Q. Are the games that Entertainment Specialties Inc. provide legal?
A. This is the number one question weíre asked. The answer obviously, is yes. Back in 1995 a question was asked of the Oklahoma Attorney General with regard to a very specific type of casino party. The question described an event where participants were forced to pay an entry or admission fee and were given chips or play money in return for this fee. They were also given the opportunity to purchase additional chips if they ran out. At the end of the event the participants were given the opportunity to purchase gifts with their winnings. As anyone can plainly tell this is gambling. The Attorney General agreed and wrote an opinion which started a feeding frenzy of misinformation with the media. What they failed to report was the most important thing the opinion said. "Our conclusion should not however, be read to suggest that a casino night operated slightly differently would not violate the law." As with any game of chance in Oklahoma and surrounding states if participants are forced to pay to play the game, be it lottery, raffle, casino or any other type of enterprise, and have the opportunity to win something of monetary as a result, the activity is gambling and gambling is illegal. There are of course exceptions to every rule. The state legislature has saw fit to grant special status to some groups of individuals putting them in effect "above the law". If you want more information on this, check out the Charity Games Act, or Indian Gaming Laws. So far theyíve been limited to Bingo style games. In conclusion, do not make your guests pay to play and you do not violate the law. If you do want them to pay to play, donít award prizes. And if you want them to win prizes and pay to play, it cannot be a game of chance. We have the entire nine page opinion from 1995 on hand as well as specific correspondence from the Attorney Generalsí Office and local jurisdictions if youíd like further clarification on any related questions. Please feel free to phone or ask for copies.
Q. How many games do I need for my group?
A. With casino style events most of our clients will try to accommodate about 75% of their guests playing at the same time at an average of 8 or 9 people per game. As an example, a group of 100 people will typically order 10 games, usually 8 Blackjack, 1 Crap, and 1 Roulette. This will ensure that the majority of their guests can play at the same time and that everyone that wants a chance to play will have an opportunity to do so some time during the event. Remember, we use stand up tables to maximize the amount of people accommodated per game. The 8 or 9 person per game average is capacity. We do events with fewer games than this for 100 people, but hesitate to drop below a 50% rate because many of your guests will complain that they never got a chance to play, and thatís no fun for anyone. Our other theme type games accommodate one or two players per games. As with a fair or carnival situation however, a lot of your guests will be watching while others play, so you donít need as high of an average as you would with a casino party. For larger groups just multiply using the above as a guide keeping in mind that the bigger the group the more you can back of the average assuming that the others will be mingling and enjoying other activities while the casino is going on. For a group of 2000, usually 120 or so games are sufficient. This of course, is just a guide. We like to design your event to meet your specific needs and budget. The more information we have the better we can serve you.
Q. How does it work?
A. Each party is designed to fit a clientís specific needs. I will however describe a normal event for us. We begin by issuing each of your guests a ticket which they can redeem at the game of their choice at any time. The ticket is worth a predetermined amount of chips, usually $1000.00. The chips can be used at any game during the evening. After two and a half hours, or earlier if you desire, the participants are given a short opportunity to make their final wagers. A cashier area is set up and players will be given a voucher with their name on it and the amount of their winnings. The vouchers are then exchanged for prizes. Most of our clients opt for awarding prizes on a half auction, half raffle basis. The big winners will be given an opportunity to bid on about half the gifts and the remainder will be awarded in a drawing. This seems to make the most number of people the happiest, the most often. Everyone that stayed until the end is eligible for something and the big winners get a round of applause for their luck, or skill if you prefer. Your fee will include all of the above if you wish or we will assist you with any portion of it you choose. We can change any part of the above description to meet your specific needs.
Q. Where do you get the dealers?
A. We consider staffing to be the absolute most important part of any event. We look for folks that are courteous and fun wherever we find them. Everyone has a favorite bartender, waitress, or other person in the service industry. We attempt to duplicate the feeling you get when you deal with these folks. When we first started going to Las Vegas in the 70ís and 80ís everyone remembered your name, what you liked to drink, and how to make you feel special and appreciated. These folks were truly unique. They were fun to talk to, nice to look at, and always up for their job. We try our hardest to find bright people we can train to make all our customers feel the way we use to. It always made us look forward to going back. Itís become a little too "amusement parkish" for us lately, but still a great place to vacation, and has no rival. As you can tell, most of our staff is female. For some reason, most people find it less threatening, or just prefer it that way. We donít try to fight the flow. Our dealers are well trained and well paid. We donít use minimum wage recruits to save money and we donít look for volunteers. If the years have taught us anything, itís that you get what you pay for, and good help is hard to find. Even harder to keep!
Q. Can we do trade outs?
A. On rare occasions.
Q. Can we extend the playing time?
A. Yes. For an additional fee.
Q. What are the most popular games?
A. Yes. Weíve found that about 1 out of 10 people prefer to play Craps or Roulette as opposed to Blackjack. Since the Crap and Roulette are much quicker, and donít require much dealer interaction, we usually get everyone that wants to learn or play thru pretty quickly. Normally, you only need one for every 10 Blackjacks. They other games like Chuck-A-Luck, Wheel of Fortune ect., arenít nearly as popular and are typically used for fundraisers or trade show applications where folks are wandering around a lot, and just want to stop for a minute to participate while involved in other activities like silent auctions or business greetings. If you have a much higher percentage of men than women attending you may want to double up on the Crap tables. The reverse to be true with Roulette. Donít consider the new additions like Let it Ride, Carribean Stud, Baccarat, Multi Action Blackjack, and so on to be fun at these type events. Youíll be paying for something thatís vacant most of the evening. The games like Poker and Slot Machines arenít much good either. They take people out of circulation, rather than encouraging them to be part of the party. You decide. Weíll provide whatever you request. We will always try to talk you out of a bad choice though.
Q. Can we play for real if it's just our friends?
A. No. Not with us involved.
Q. Do you sell games or equipment?
A. Once in a while. We have a limited supply of items taken out of service from time to time. Call us for current availability. If you have a substantial order we can usually get it for you cheaper than conventional outlets.