Ocean Casino Resort’s (Dis)Loyalty Program
On October 1st 2019 Ocean Casino Resort Atlantic City is rolling out their new player loyalty program. This program boasts improvements and possible upgrades, assuming, of course, the player actually receives what is promised. But, will this be a major milestone with regard to Ocean Casino Resort Loyalty?
Editorial Note: TravelZork tries to be balanced with its coverage and content about casinos. We are huge supporters of Atlantic City, and enjoy sharing many of the aspects of the casino experience at Ocean Casino Resort Atlantic City. But, we also feel that casino loyalty and travel loyalty programs must strive to be transparent. In addition, loyalty should be a “two way street.”
Can Ocean Casino Resort be Fixed?
You may recall an article by TheInveterateGambler, who has been bouncing around the casinos of Atlantic City for decades, “Can Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City be Fixed?” The cornerstone of any significant casino is their casino loyalty program. If the loyalty program (“Players Rewards Club”) doesn’t entice, it’s unlikely gamblers will find a property compelling.
Player Incentives – Ocean Casino Resort
During the last year-plus, Ocean ran several promotions with rich comp dollar multipliers and incentives to bring in, and bring back gamblers. These comps were offered and earned at a time where they could be banked, and their expiration date would be continually pushed out based on continued account activity. This is a standard practice in most casino loyalty programs.
This is absolutely their right to change terms and conditions going forward.
Terms and Conditions Change – Comp Expiry
Earlier this year, Ocean Casino Resort decided to change the terms and conditions of their program. The most significant change was that the new expiration date on all comps would be set firm at 6 months from the date they were earned. No longer could expiration dates be extended for any reason. This is absolutely their right to change terms and conditions going forward.
What? Changes Retroactive? – Ocean Casino Resort Loyalty
Unfortunately, they decided to implement this policy and then apply these new rules RETROACTIVELY to comps that have already been earned. Without notice they had confiscated all comps earned more than 6 months earlier that had been banked by players.
For those uninitiated to casino comps, Ocean ran promotions to induce action (gamble, where most players lose) by offering these bankable comps and AFTER most players presumably lost, took away the inducement that brought them in.
Many players have also reported free play and other promotional items specifically offered to them via direct mail were refused. Some have even had their accounts frozen.
Good Faith? Disloyalty?
This has built substantial animosity toward Ocean Casino Resort among knowledgeable gamblers in the area. For the most part, gamblers operate on good faith. With fellow gamblers and casinos alike, one is only as good as their word.
In their defense, they did offer a one time reinstatement, but you first had to know that they took your comp dollars (not communicated), know to ask for a reinstatement (not communicated), and be willing to subject yourself to the awful experience of dealing with their player club personnel.
This is the equivalent of a major hotel chain or airline depleting or draining your account and never publicly addressing it.
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Onus On The Player
In my personal experience, I waited an extraordinary amount of time in line to deal with a representative that acted as if she was doing me a favor by reinstating my earned comp dollars that had been taken.
Further, her advice to me was to spend all of my (non confiscated) dollars today because they have no idea when they will fall off, and once that happens there is nothing anybody can or will do about it.
I assume if I was being yelled at all day by angry consumers who feel robbed, I might have an edge too. I brought with me a detailed list of quantities of comp dollars earned and the dates they were earned on. I was told that this information doesn’t matter, if they fall off there is nothing we can do about it.
There is a substantial need for both training and use or access to compiled data. Creating this one by one faux fix and placing the onus on the player is entirely unacceptable, in my opinion.
This is the equivalent of a major hotel chain or airline depleting or draining your account and never publicly addressing it. Instead, they just roll out the new program with as much fanfare as they can create.
Ocean Casino, Can We Talk?
I’ve reached out to Ocean via social media. They actually requested a Direct Message so they could set a time to speak. An appointment was set to discuss my grievances and this article. They confirmed the appointment, then never called, or responded to any of my follow up attempts. I’ll take that to mean they have no comment.
There Was An Easy Solution
- Communicate all casino loyalty program changes to players, in advance. (The further in advance, the better.)
- Never make any loyalty program changes retroactive.
- If a program does make changes retroactive, upon deciding to “correct” the issue make the “fix” seamless.
- Give all players (loyalty club members) a chance to benefit from the “fix.” (i.e. Once it was decided to allow players a “one time” opportunity to reinstate comp dollars, make sure this is communicated to ALL members of the loyalty program.)
Games of chance are part of the casino experience but have no place in the loyalty program.
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The Ocean Casino Resort Has an Identity Crisis
It’s All About How You Treat Players
The player’s club and any comp dollars earned are owned by the casino. Management reserves all rights, and legally I don’t believe they have done anything wrong. Morally this is an abhorrent bait and switch and terrible way to treat any customer base in general, and gamblers in particular. Games of chance are part of the casino experience but have no place in the loyalty program. Keep the games fair and honor your commitments.
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