Caesars Comp Drink Monitoring
I recently met up with a friend who was staying at The Linq and wanted to watch football. After checking into the hotel we didn’t get out to catch the games until noon or so. This was when the 2nd half of most of the early games were beginning. The second half of the early games is prime time to watch football in Las Vegas. Not everyone can deal with being up and out at 10am. We didn’t think open seats would be easy to find but lucked into two seats right in front at TAG SPORTS BAR.
This is one of my favorite beer bars in Las Vegas but I was apprehensive. See, after a year of testing a comp drink monitoring system at the Caesars Palace sports book bar (see mention here), Caesars rolled out the system at all of their video poker bars (see Vegas News from October 2). In the past, Tag Bar was free and loose with complimentary drinks.
Our two seats at Tag Bar had video poker machines so we naturally played while chatting and watching the games. This was a semi-annual catch up so there was a lot of yapping in between watching the games, playing video poker and drinking beer. Little did I realize that this would my first test of the Caesars comp drink system. The task of watching, chatting, playing and drinking seemed a bit overwhelming for the new drink monitoring system at first.
We were near the center of the right angle of the bar and had the attention of both bartenders. Neither explained the new drink system rules when we sat down and put $20 in the machines. My friend asked for a new Belgian beer while I searched my phone to find the beer I had on my previous visit. The first round was a Grimbergen Blonde and Kirsch Gose as recommended by the bartender.
The 2nd bartender noticed that we were done with our beers and offered another round. He then stated that our drink lights weren’t ready for another complimentary beer. He offered only two beers instead of the 100+ available in the refrigerator. We were told that if we didn’t speed up play we’d have to start a tab and pay for future rounds. This wasn’t a big deal as beer prices are affordable at $6-$8 each but it would have been nice if we were told this when sitting down.
After getting the second beer we inquired about the pace of play. We were told that we must play $6 every 2 minutes for 20 minutes to receive a complimentary beer. In video poker terms this is 5 max bet hands every 2 minutes. This isn’t a difficult or breakneck pace, but not something you might think about when hanging out with friends.
Caesars Free Drink Threshold In Comparison To MGM
The Caesars drink monitoring system seems like an easier threshold to reach than the MGM Resorts International drink monitoring system being tested at The Mirage Lobby Bar. If my math is correct (remember I’m bad at math), you only have to play 50 hands and of video poker at Caesars bars to receive a complimentary drink. That works out to $62.50 coin-in played for each drink. The Caesars comp drink system takes less than half of the 120 hands and $150 coin-in the comp drinks “cost” at The Mirage.
After the Eagles lost and I won my bet we picked up the pace a little. Catching up to and surpassing the drink monitoring system wasn’t a problem. There was another round before I busted out. The actual cost for complimentary drinks with video poker and tip came out to $15 per beer for my friend (3 beers, $5 tip) and $12.50 for me (2 beers, $5 tip).
It would have been less expensive to buy each beer without playing video poker. Unfortunately, without video poker there’s no chance of a long overdue royal flush. I need a royal flush. It’s been too long. Fun note, this friend got a royal flush at the Bally’s bar last year while we were drinking Macallan straight from the bottle. No such luck for either of us this time.
The biggest issue with these drink monitoring systems is not knowing that they’re in place. Normal pace of play should allow for complimentary drinks. The threshold for complimentary drinks isn’t difficult with either system. However, with Caesars Entertainment‘s system it seems easier to get a “free” drink. It’s easy to let play slip if you’re with friends. People don’t visit Las Vegas to think and that’s probably the real problem with these drink monitoring systems.