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The Art of Glambling

Tips for a most fabulous casino experience

By Jac Kern · March 13th, 2013 · Cover Story
horseshoecasino_jfPhoto: Jesse Fox
One step into Horseshoe Casino’s chandeliered entrance and it’s clear this is not the set of Casino Royale. There is no visitor dress code and, therefore, the crowd’s attire is far from matching the sparkly, flashy casino façade. Most people who visit a casino plan to stay awhile, opting for comfortable shoes, jeans and a sweatshirt. But that’s not your style. You didn’t come here to just play a game — you came here to glamble.

Glamble (glam-bl) v. – the act of dressing in formal, eye-catching attire at a casino, with the intent to meet interesting people and obtain excellent service without spending a lot of money; a combination of the words “glamour” and “gamble.”

Intrigued? Then you’re clearly a person of fine taste. See, casinos are all about appearances. The atmosphere consistently feels like it’s a Saturday night, and there are no clocks and very few windows to suggest otherwise. Machines make a lot of noise whenever someone wins, but draw no attention to the losing customers. Glambling is just a way to play along. 

Step 1: Get Noticed 

On a recent weeknight glambling excursion at the newly opened Horseshoe, my fashion centerpiece was a floor-length faux fur coat. My overly formal attire invited a few curious glances early in the night, but as the hours passed (and drinks were presumably consumed), more folks felt compelled to talk to me, comment on my “exquisite” look and even pet the fur coat. So, if you’re shy, glambling just isn’t for you. But a unique outfit or flashy jewelry can certainly help draw the attention of a cocktail waitress (it appeared they were all women), bartender or other casino staff.

Step 2: Be Kind

On this particular night, it wouldn’t have mattered if I wore cutoffs or couture — the central watering hole, The Rock Bar & Lounge, was struggling to keep up with drink orders and assemble complicated cocktails.

The staff was visibly overwhelmed and took quite a while to even acknowledge most customers, but there was plenty of prime people-watching to pass the time. At this point, it’s important to remember that even if you’re dressed the part, you are not in fact a rich asshole, so don’t act like one. Many of these employees are newly trained. Wait your turn and tip well when you’re done. It is my prediction that as the staff strengthens and gains more knowledge and experience, glamblers will have an even more enjoyable experience.

Step 3: Become a Good Luck Charm

You’ve seen it in countless movies: A young, beautiful woman walks by a game as a high-rolling gambler hits the jackpot, at which point he whisks said woman to his side to blow on the dice or whatever people do. OK, it sounds very misogynistic but this role is not exclusive to the young, attractive or wealthy. Hardcore gamblers are serious about their luck and if you just so happen to become a part of that luck, you’re in for a movie montage-worthy evening. And maybe they’ll buy you a steak afterward!

Saunter through the poker room or other table games to test out this theory. If your presence evokes a win, you might be invited to stay and watch. Gambling-by-proxy is an important aspect of glambling, as one can learn about the game, enjoy the tension and excitement as it plays out and cheer on a big win without dropping a dime.

Step 4: Go ‘Diamond’ with Total Rewards

As my inaugural glambling experience came to an end, my group was approached by Nick Swanson, a hospitality representative. Clearly tipped off by my elegant look, Swanson could tell we appreciated the finer things in life and offered us a chance to visit the casino’s Diamond Lounge. This VIP area, shrouded with the mystery of frosted glass doors, is typically only open to Total Rewards members with Diamond or Seven Stars status. None of this meant anything to us once we discovered the drink prices were actually less expensive in the Diamond Lounge than on the main floor. The upscale lounge really was exclusive, and I was interested to see how one could gain access on a regular basis. 

To become a member of Total Rewards program, the Kroger Plus Card of several casinos, hotels and restaurants from our Horseshoe to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, you just need to sign up. Lines for the sign-up were consistently long at the casino, so beat the crowd and fill out your information online in advance. Members start off on the Gold tier and work their way up to Platinum, Diamond and Seven Stars. The Diamond tier is the lowest level that grants VIP lounge access and is unlocked when the member has reached 15,000 credits. To put that into perspective, one credit is given for every $5 played on slot machines, dining and hotel accommodations. Gulp. Better get started!

Glambling is truly an art best perfected in Las Vegas, where flashy attire and the appearance of big winnings can result in free nightclub entry, tons of complimentary drinks and meeting even more unique individuals. But our Horseshoe is the perfect spot for glamblers-in-training to cut their teeth. 



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