It’s amazing how life works sometimes. I’ve been meaning to visit the Cosmopolitan to a) check out the renovated Chandelier Bar and b) see how their comp drink monitoring system worked. Unfortunately, my travels haven’t taken me to the Cosmopolitan. I’ve tested the Caesars Entertainment drink system and the MGM Resorts drink system so I felt compelled to give it a run. It turns out I had a meeting at my favorite bar on the Vegas Strip (Chandelier Bar) this week. This gave me a chance to knock two things out at once. Boom!
Here’s a quick review of the renovated Chandelier Bar: It looks similar but flows more like a circle bar than before. The bar now has USB chargers and bag hooks at every seat. I’m not sure if the video poker machines are new, though. I had a broken button in the first card position and the others didn’t “feel” new. Anyway, let’s get to the action.
Playing Video Poker And Drinking At Chandelier Bar
The drink monitoring system at the Cosmopolitan is a drink ticket system similar to what MGM Resorts is using at The Mirage Lobby Bar. You receive one complimentary drink when you place $20 in the machine (no ticket required). In order to receive more tickets, you must play a minimum of $1 per hand. This is a four credit bet for a quarter game or one credit bet for a $1 game.
You’ll receive more drink tickets as long as you meet the money requirement and keep up an unidentified pace of play – no slackers. Like the other drink monitoring systems, you’ll be able to keep pace up easily if you’re alone. If you’re chatting with friends you’ll have to make sure you don’t take too long between hands when you’re playing.
This actually leads to a major difference with the Cosmopolitan bars than other bars. I’ll get into specific numbers shortly, but it’s not difficult to obtain more drink tickets than you’ll need for one sitting. These drink tickets can be redeemed for a complimentary drink at Chandelier Bar or the Sports Book Bar. They hope to have Bond Bar as part of the system soon. You can also use your drink tickets while lounging on one of the chairs or couches at the Chandelier Bar. I love this!
The drink tickets earned at Chandelier Bar can be used for 24 hours from when you win the ticket. The MGM Resorts drink ticket system is similar but is less flexible since you can only redeem one bar at The Mirage. When you’re playing video poker at a Caesars video poker bar you can only receive complimentary drinks while playing.
Another amenity, for lack of a better term, of the drink monitoring system at the Chandelier Bar is their drink options. The drinks that you’re comped are much better than at Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts bars. Their $16 Signature Cocktails are all available with a drink ticket (see the menu at Vital Vegas). Most drinks that are $15 or less are available complimentary as well. This includes almost every brand of vodka, many brands of whiskey/scotch/bourbon (no Macallan) and they even pour Captain Morgan out of the bottle for people like Scott at Vital Vegas.
Listen, there’s no reason to get excited about a drink monitoring system but let’s make the best out of it. Caesars limits the brands of alcohol that you can choose from for your complimentary drinks. They usually offer three brands of booze per category. MGM Resorts also limits your alcohol selection but they also short pour mixed drinks with only 1.5 ounces of alcohol instead of 2 ounces.
Math Behind The Drink Tickets
Earning complimentary drink tickets wasn’t difficult since I was alone and just chatting with the bartender. Remember, the pace of play matters so you’ll have to keep somewhat active. I received drink tickets at 20 something points (I forgot to put my card in when I sat down. Dummy!) and 43 points.
One Identity point is earned for every $6 wagered on video poker ($2.50 in slots). Let’s say the first ticket came after 22 points. You know that I’m bad with math but that should mean that I had to play through $132 to earn a drink ticket. That’s 105 hands of video poker for a maximum credit quarter player and 26 hands for a maximum credit $1 player.
If you have a drink every 20 minutes this is a pace of about 315 hands per hour. That’s not a very fast pace of play at all.
My video poker session cost $40 and lasted just under an hour. In that time I received a delicious Becky With The Good Hair signature cocktail, an Old Fashioned with Woodford Reserve bourbon and a third ticket that I used for a Verbena for a friend. I also received a large bottle of Fiji water for the road. The cost of the cocktails added up to $47 (plus the water). In this case, the cost for drinks versus video poker was essentially a wash after tip.
My opinion of the Chandelier Bar is biased because it’s my favorite bar on the Vegas Strip. However, you get a much better bang for your buck with their video poker drink monitoring system than the others.
Marc’s Data-Points Gathered For Comp Drinks At Las Vegas Bars With Monitoring
Caesars Bars : 50 hands of $0.25 max coin ($1.25 per hand) video poker, $62.50 coin-in per drink.
MGM Bars : 120 hands of $0.25 max coin ($1.25 per hand) video poker, $150.00 coin-in per drink.
Cosmopolitan Bars : 105 hands of $0.25 max coin ($1.25 per hand) video poker, $131.25 coin-in per drink.