I stopped in the new Cosmopolitan Casino on The Strip in Vegas. This is the casino/hotel between Bellagio and the CityCenter project. Right now, it is independently owned and it does not have a players' club program that is connected with any other casino. But I don't think that mattered to the clientele who were there late Saturday night when I walked through.

Frankly, it is more of a "club scene" than a casino. The first thing you see when you enter from the north side of The Strip nearest to Bellagio is a giant bar with several bartenders and the first thing you hear is very, very loud music.

The Cosmopolitan has the look and the feel of a party, a club, with an "under-40 year old crowd" dressed in "clubbing outfits" including lots of short black sequined dresses and party attire for the young guys. The alcohol was flowing, the party was wild and loud, and the pricey table games were packed with young playing playing $25 per bet and higher craps, and $50 and $100 per hand blackjack. The slot machines were mostly empty which told me that the "players" were there for "social gaming" and not the isolated gaming that slot machines and video poker machines offer.

This was a party crowd in a casino built for parties.

I was impressed with one new feature of casino design that the Cosmopolitan is using: instead of large gaming areas, the slot sections are divided into smaller areas and there is a reason for this. Studies have shown that players like smaller gaming areas where they can feel more secure and relaxed than instead of being in a big, expansive room sitting in long rows. The Cosmopolitan also does not have long, straight walkways. Instead, the paths through the casino have turns and this also adds to the concept of smaller, intimate gaming areas.

While I am not an expert on selection of slot and video poker machines, it appeared that the selections were limited. But, like I said, this was a casino built for a party -- not as a slot joint.

I'd like to hear other reactions about the Cosmopolitan and its new next door neighbor the Aria which is far more subdued and offers a better selection of lower limit games than Cosmopolitan has.