Less is More – Big Play Casino Gambling Day
More play in fewer trips is going to net you the most casino comps. This is just a general statement about casino gambling because the amount of play that will generate marketing offers is not an exact science. But, my experience over the last 14 years of playing, reading and speaking with knowledgeable gamblers is that the more concentrated play you do (playing one big day, rather than more frequent smaller days) nearly always leads to receiving better mailers and more perks.
This is not always easy to do and it’s not a natural way to play. Of course you want to play however much you want, when you want and redeem every comp you can. Some casinos offer you a gift or free play almost every day! Surely they want you to take advantage of these extras you’ve earned or they wouldn’t offer them.
Umm, NO, they want to appear generous, while prompting you to lose more money than you win. It’s not personal. A casino is a business and casino comps are a business expense. They want to make you just comfortable enough, so that you will feel that your losses justify what you are getting; be that casino action, lifestyle perks or just plain fun. Casinos use computers to calculate the minimum offer that will trigger you to come back and spend more money. The casino already has the edge on every wager that is made, but they ALSO want to keep their expenses as low as possible. The less they give you, the more money they make.
Don’t Believe Me?
If you don’t believe me, you can experiment with different patterns of playing and see what happens. You can go to a host or the booth and ask them outright what kind of play merits specific comps. If you receive a concrete answer, most times this will be true.
For example: I was getting one night weekday comps at the Tropicana Atlantic City last spring. Suddenly in the summer, the offers stopped. I figured that my play did not justify peak summer comp rooms, even on weekdays, but then fall came and still no offers. I was playing every visit, BUT I was playing their best game, 5 Jokers Wild, which earns casino comps at a lower rate. So I went and asked at the booth why I wasn’t receiving comped rooms anymore. A manager told me, very bluntly, that I had to earn 450 points a visit. Well, I’m not sure if that is a valid number and even if it is, whether earning that amount is worth one weekday room night a week. (I mean, I’ve stayed in the West Tower, which really ought to be free—okay, maybe not free—I’m willing to pay $22.36, the price of tourist fees and the resort fee plus the taxes on it.) I have Copper Status, their first status tier for earning 4000 tier credits in the gaming year and I knew that I had earned that in more than 10 trips, which means my average was well below 450 tier credits a trip.
So, I stopped playing at the Tropicana (because I wasn’t getting any offers), but then started up again (because we had fun during our weekday outings) but branched out beyond 5 Jokers and upped my points beyond 450 and voila—2 weekday nights a week comped and $10 free play on various dates throughout the month.
You’ve got to figure out what the minimum amount of play is, that will get the comps you want (or think you deserve) and you’ve got to be realistic. Casinos are more selective with their comps now. Even though I have upped the amount of play that I give the Borgata, I am still not getting any comped room nights or a mailer, after a year of calculated, disciplined play. They have raised the amount of play required for the same comps and I cannot play to that level because my bankroll is not large enough. So, I adjust the only thing that I have 100% control over—my attitude and my play! It looks like I’m not going to trigger a monthly mailer and I am not going to earn, even weekday room comps—but—I get the occasional room offer through MyVegas and I have Mlife Gold Status through a match and with the comp rate on video poker still at .2% on full pay games, I can still comfortably play there, but stay somewhere else.
I am also going to ease up on my quest to actually earn status at the Borgata this year. (Why do it? Increasing my risk is not increasing my benefits.) Had I not taken a step back and thought about just what my goals were at the Borgata, I probably would have continued a frustrating crusade to earn improbable awards. I’m getting all I’m going to get, so I might as well make do.
Why am I doing this?
What do you do when your offers stagnate, but you don’t want to change? I feel your pain. When I’m playing that One Big Day and I’m losing, I’m pretty miserable and I’m thinking to myself, “Why am I doing so much work and spending so much money? This is supposed to be fun.” Because, the alternative is that I can’t afford to play at all or that I feel completely taken advantage of by the casinos and I don’t want that either. Let’s face it. I really enjoy recreational gambling (knowledgeable and skilled, but still not a positive AP situation) and I’m going to continue to play, so I might as well expend some effort, setting up the casino experience to be as positive as possible.
In Part 2 of this article, I will go into detail about some strategies to help you switch up play to generate more offers.