One of the more interesting things I did on my most recent Las Vegas trip was finally visit one of the many Dotty’s locations in the Las Vegas area.
Dotty’s has a very different business model than casinos. Most Dotty’s locations have a limited number of games, operating under licenses that allow them to have a small number of machines in each location. So instead they have a vast number of locations in markets where they operate.
In Clark County, Nevada, where I visited, Dotty’s were allowed a certain number of machines, as long as they had a certain number of bar top machines, offered food a set amount of time per day and were a certain size.
The Dotty’s I visited seemed to have all of those features. Dotty’s is also one place where I saw the U1 machine I previously wrote about; they have a near-exclusive license on them in the locations they serve.
There were a couple of employees on site at the time I visited; the woman behind the counter, a cleaner and a slot technician. There were also a few people gambling.
Like many locals focused places, Dotty’s seemed to have a local-focused comp program in place, with all sorts of point multiplier and rewards messaging. I was earning 7-8 points per dollar on video poker, but I’m sure the points required heavy aggregation to mean anything. You won’t find much online about their rewards program; their website is basically just a store locator.
It took nearly 20 minutes for me to get a card, as because of the small facilities they had to fax in my application and call a main hub to get my account number to print a card, once my account was actually set up. That limited my time to further explore or play.
The location I was at also sold cigarettes and beverages; they gave me a bottle of water as I was playing so I presume comped beverages come into play if you’re gambling like any other establishment.
It was interesting the layout, as the machines were in small clusters, with tons of plants and generous seating areas (likely to accommodate the food purchases). I didn’t see anyone actually eating but I’m sure if someone wanted to eat and play they could.
I saw many of these integrated into neighborhoods with the frequency of drugstores like Walgreens or CVS, or convenience stores like 7-Eleven, back home. I presume their business model is to simply make it convenient, instead of having to navigate the strip.
The video poker pay tables were nothing to write home about, so I’m sure the slot machines were also set pretty low overall. Dotty’s didn’t always seem to be this way; Bob Dancer wrote about them lowering pay tables as recently as 2018.
But ultimately it was a fun half hour side diversion during a lengthy trip, and it might be fun to stop in again, but I don’t know that I’d purposely schedule it all that often. The limited number of machines is offset by the unusual nature of the establishment. You’ll likely do better at local’s casinos, and I’ll share my experience about one such establishment coming up here on the site.