About VegasClick (FAQ)
Last update: April 2019
Who's behind VegasClick?
VegasClick is run completely by one person, me, Michael Bluejay. I'm better-known for my sites on topics such as how to buy a house, saving electricity, and bicycle safety (which have been covered in Newsweek, Forbes, NPR, the Christian Science Monitor, etc). In fact, those who know me from my other endeavors think that Vegas and gambling are out of character for me. But my greatest passion is sharing information that's truly useful, so in that sense this site is no different from the others that I run. Here's my home page and my about me page.
How can I trust your information about gambling?
That's a fair question, because there are so many sites out
there just pulling random B.S. out of the air and stating it as
fact, especially about slot machines. So here are
- I worked with Michael Shackleford (aka the Wizard of Odds) for ten years. He's probably the best-known gambling mathematician in the world. (And since one reader alleged that I was just making up this connection, on the Wiz's own site he variously refers to me as business partner, webmaster, ad man, and friend here, here, here, here, and in 89 other instances.)
- I'm a former professional gambler. I used to make my living from counting cards at blackjack. My skill is good enough that there are six casinos where I'm not allowed to play blackjack in Nevada (two I'm not allowed to set foot in).
- On slot machines, I've done the math design of actual slot machines, professionally, for hire. These were for the Internet, and those machines work exactly the same way as Internet casinos. I also walk readers through the slot machine math on this site, and I cite the very best sources in my slots articles. And the first time I met the Wizard was to help him with his original research into slot machine odds, way back in 2000.
- I've spent plenty of time in Vegas. Though I no longer live in Vegas, I make extended trips back there on occasion to make sure the content on this site is up-to-date. I'm in Vegas now as I write this.
- Those in the gambling community seem to think I'm credible. I was invited to write a cover story for Casino Player magazine on money management (which I did), and I was a guest on the radio show Gambling with an Edge, hosted by luminaries Bob Dancer (in the Video Poker Hall of Fame) and Richard Munchkin (in the Blackjack Hall of Fame). Other guests on that show have included Stanford Wong, John Chang (subject of the movie "21") blackjack legend Arnold Snyder, Las Vegas publishing magnate Anthony Curtis, and gambling law expert I. Nelson Rose. My name was also floated by GamblingOnline.com as a possible candidate for the Video Poker Hall of Fame. (I'll be the first to admit that I'm not deserving of such an honor, but the point is, if others are considering me for that, then you can certainly trust the information on this site.)
Would you sell the site?
I get this question often enough that I'm answering it publicly here. I would possibly sell for $1.2 million. That's probably more than most buyers would want to pay, but that's what it's worth to me, and if I were actively trying to sell the site it's not unthinkable that I could get my target price for it.
What's the history of the site?
I started the site in Dec. 2000, making it one of the oldest gambling-info sites on the web. The site started out as Vegas Reference, and in Fall 2006 changed to Vegas Click. Here's an interview I did with GAFFG about the site and how it got started.
Although I started the site two months after meeting the Wizard of Odds, my real inspiration was a pair of sites, Big Empire and CheapoVegas (both by the same writers) filled with the hilarious escapades and reviews of "Matt & Stinky". It's quite possible that VegasClick would never have been born without their influence on me. I didn't really go the comedy route with this site, partially because I'm not nearly as funny as those guys, but I made a couple of stabs at it with my Craps Instructions Parody and the Bodog Table Drawing, as homage to the masters. Sadly, "Stinky" (Mark Sinclair) passed away of a brain aneurysm at only 34. CheapoVegas was subsequently sold and the new owner removed the humor and the critical reviews.
Why do you run VegasClick?
It's intensely rewarding to share information and to help people save money. Critics might scoff by saying that I'm doing the opposite by writing so much about gambling, because gambling is a money-losing proposition, but my target audience is people who are gambling anyway. For those people, I show them how to gamble smart instead of blindly, getting their average loss down to a respectable $2.50 an hour. Along the way, the site is peppered with reminders that not gambling while in Vegas is perfectly valid (25% of Vegas visitors don't), and that the cardinal rule of gambling is to never bet more than you can comfortably afford to lose.
Like other gambling webmasters, I make money by advertising
an online casino, but only 0.03% of my visitors gamble online, or
at least at the casino I advertise. 99.97%
don't. The tiny percentage who do are enough to pay the
bills. And the median monthly loss of the players I've sent to
the advertiser is around $75. My attitude is quite different
from that of many other gambling webmasters. As one of them
opined, "If the webmaster is not an
idiot, he wants the rich, stupid and desperate gamblers to
register and squeeze all the money out of him."
If you're so good at counting cards, why don't you still do it?
- I can make more money by
working. A big misconception about card-counting is
that players make tons of money. For the most part, they
don't. While I made a decent amount of money, I can actually
make more by doing what I do now, publishing websites (or what I
used to do, developing sites for others).
- Counting cards isn't rewarding. By publishing my sites, helping people by sharing useful information, and making them happy, I have some satisfaction. Counting cards is a fun novelty (which is why I tried my hand at it), but it doesn't add any value to the world.
- Smoky casinos. Cough, cough.
- Card-counting is stressful. It's mentally draining to do it constantly, especially while constantly pretending you're not the skilled player you actually are so that you don't get caught.
- I'd have to live in Vegas (or travel a lot). Been there, done that. I make my home in Austin, which I greatly prefer. Working from home, I get to spend my days at home with my wife, and be there when the kids get home from school.
About the advertising on this site
Please see my separate
page about advertising.