George Clooney Wants Casino With Dress Code

George Clooney is getting resistance to his plan to start an upscale casino in Las Vegas that would require patrons to dress in suits and other formal attire.

Dress code idea for planned casino could get cold shoulder (Las Vegas Sun)

Actor George Clooney has proposed the kind of casino that could be as welcome in Las Vegas as the casino thief he portrayed in the heist movie “Ocean’s Eleven.” Clooney, who is investing millions of his own money in a $3 billion hotel and condo complex called Las Ramblas, has floated the idea of having a dress code in the casino similar to those enforced in many European casinos.

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Even the most luxurious of properties in Las Vegas allow visitors to walk about freely in shorts and T-shirts — a freedom ensured by the fact that casinos generate profits based on volume rather than exclusivity. Formal dress codes were common in the early days of Las Vegas, where women often wore furs and men dressed in suits to go out. Those days are largely gone as Las Vegas tourists have increasingly dressed down in recent decades, mirroring society at large.

That the Las Ramblas developers are considering a European model — a relatively small casino that encourages upscale dress — has some observers scratching their heads.

“It doesn’t make that much sense to me,” said Jeff Voyles, a casino management instructor at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV. “I think they have hotel, condo and real estate guys giving them advice rather than gaming guys.”

“You can’t achieve the revenue you need (to make a casino profitable) by narrowing your focus,” said Voyles, a casino executive at MGM Mirage. “Do you know how many millionaires are walking around Las Vegas wearing jeans and polo shirts? You cannot tell somebody who is 35 to 45 years old, very successful and makes a quarter of a million dollars per year that he has to wear a jacket.”

That’s probably true as far as it goes. Still, there may be a clientele that prefers a more upscale atmosphere. If Clooney’s casino can attract all their business, they might be able to make a go of it.

Regardless of the economics, though, I rather like the idea. Sometimes I get tired of being surrounded by sloppy people who appear dressed for sitting around on their living room couch. There’s something to be said for civility.

OTB-BS

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Eric J says:

    I’ve thought for a while that there’s a niche for a Rat Pack themed Vegas Casino, and this could definitely work.

    Make the atmosphere exclusive enough, and you could have people paying to get in.

  2. Josh Cohen says:

    Exactly. Make it small, make it so you have to dress up, and I think it might work as sort of a novelty thing. Have the waitresses wear formal dresses (and comfortable flats so they don’t die of foot pain), make everyone wear, at the very least, a collared shirt and slacks, and don’t set things up so that you have to walk through the casino to get to everything. I mean, to get from my room at the Luxor (last time I went to Vegas) to the parking garage, I had to walk through a LOT of casino. I understand WHY — so they get you to gamble — but if everyone at the Clooney Casino is wearing formalwear and you’re wearing shorts and a t-shirt because you want to go on a sightseeing tour…

    The big thing is going to be making it big enough to be profitable but small enough to be exclusive. Still, it’s a cool idea.