Vegas Indie Artists June 2014 - Page 22

It’s a bygone era, when entertainment was king, and gambling was the source of income. When a patron would enter one of the casinos they would be decked out in glamorous clothes and plenty of money to gamble in their pockets. Free floor shows, a variety of lounge acts, free and low priced food and free booze were all part of the experience patrons expected when they entered a Las Vegas casino. Today entertainers have to pay to play in the casinos, a thing called “four-walling”. Forgotten is the fact that gambling is the primary source income for the casino. The casino experience is gambling, taking a break and watching the shows, getting a $1.00 shrimp cocktail as you walk around the machines and tables and wearing your finest clothing. Forgotten are the glamour and glitz that was authentic Las Vegas.

It feels like the patrons and artists of Las Vegas have been robbed. Robbed of the true feel of Las Vegas, to see and experience, robbed of all the rich entertainment, and are now looked at as the bottom line. Corporate Las Vegas has taken over. Like it are not during the days of the mob there was a sense of wonder in Las Vegas. They understood that if they provided free entertainment, low price food, free booze, and an environment of glamour that the money from the gambling would flow. Nowadays corporate heads look at all aspects of the casinos as an income stream, not as the source to draw people to come and gamble.

I find it interesting that if you talk to any


in the Las Vegas area they will tell you that they cannot make money playing in Las Vegas. They have to pay to rent the venues and very seldom will the ticket sales cover the rent. Promoters and agents tell entertainers these days that they can get plenty of exposure. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills so entertainers no longer can entertain and who is the big loser? The patrons of the casinos and the entertainers both lose. What the casino owners don’t realize is that they are losing too.

Four-walling takes several forms, in most cases the entertainer is responsible for all of the costs related to the show and the venue pays nothing, or almost nothing. In the most extreme cases, the entertainer also must rent the showroom. Only about 10% of artists who four-wall make any money. If Elvis Presley came back from the dead, he wouldn’t make any money four-walling unless he had a super huge marketing bucket. Entertainers can run through a bankroll in a hurry. It is this four-walling that has destroyed the entertainment business in Las Vegas. Even the once heart-throb, Robert Goulet, threw in the towel after trying this at the Venetian. What’s more is the casinos expect the patrons to come early and gamble, then stay late and gamble all at the expense of the artist. Most people don’t even realize that the entertainers are paying for the venue and to play for them. It is a shame! What ever happened to an entertainer being paid for entertaining?


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email: address: 5the Avenue 10001 NYC New York


Four-Walling has destroyed

entertainment in our town.


Article by Annette Hasalone