The Legend of Barona’s Loose Troop
by Chuck Hickey, Vice President of Slots
If you watch TV at all or read a newspaper or print of any kind, then you know about Barona’s Loose Troop. If you don’t know about them – then let me fill you in on why, what and who they are.
Why the Loose Troop? Every casino talks about their loose slots so all the talk gets lost in the clutter. What is loose? Is one casino’s loose another casino’s tight? Who says the slots are loose and what does it all mean, anyway? Barona has always been pretty proud of our reputation for being a loose casino. After all we offer the loosest table games rules anywhere, so why wouldn’t our slots be the same? Our goal at Barona was to expose some of the mystery of how slot machines are set. So we created the Barona Loose Troop to clear up some of the mystery. We also wanted to do something totally different than our competitors during these difficult economic times. Something totally OUTRAGEOUS. So, while some casino companies are asking manufacturers to create even tighter slot machines – Barona decided to zig while those guys were zagging and loosen up our already loose games. “Prove it!”, you might say. So the Barona Loose Troop was born.
Who are the members of the Barona Loose Troop? Well – they are the people you see in the ads and on TV, really! They are a group of our expert slot technicians and auditing staff that don’t sneak around the casino – they actually advertise themselves on the casino floor by wearing the snazzy Barona Loose Troop vests, push the Barona Loose Troop cart around and even ring a bell when they head out to the casino floor to loosen the hold percentage of our slot machines. You can even watch if you have an interest. Afterward, they put up a sign on the loosened slot, date it and sign their initials indicating who did the task. The TV commercial with the cute little old lady stealing a sticker off the slot machines actually comes from a real life incident when we first started this program. We actually witnessed a guest who literally ripped off a sticker so no one would know that her favorite machine had been loosened so she would be the only one to know about it (we put one back on the game so you can still find it). But even if her game is taken it isn’t hard to find the loosened games on the casino floor because they are clearly marked and frankly, they are EVERYWHERE.
What started out as a fun way to give something back to our guests has taken on a life of its own and while we started just adjusting nickel slot machines, we have continued to include a variety of denominations and games. We already had the certified loosest poker machines around, so we didn’t need to look there for candidates, but we did move through every denomination, including our already famously loose Dollar machines. You can read all about it in Casino Enterprise Management Magazine.
Have you seen the Loose Troop on the casino floor? Tell us about it!