The big news in Las Vegas actually affects casino guests all around the country. Boyd Gaming updated their B Connected players club. In addition to greater benefits, this upgrade should be a better way to link their casinos around the country. Not so fast, my friend. Between a computer glitch and new rules for earning points and credits the new version of the players club has gotten off to a bumpy start.
The computer glitch was supposed to be fixed by Friday. It doesn’t appear to be fixed. The “high system traffic” message was still appearing as of Saturday. It’s difficult to give a definitive opinion of Boyd B Connected until everything is actually operational. Even after everything is sorted, I think the company will update the update to the players club. More on that shortly.
TravelZork is all about reward travel and casino players clubs play a big role for gamblers who travel. I’ll highlight some notes from what may already be an outdated overview of the new B Connected I wrote earlier in the week.
Boyd B Connected – New Tier Levels
The most flashy update to B Connected is the new tier levels. Titanium is an entirely new tier. Onyx is new to many Boyd guests since it was only available by invitation previously. Once you reach the second level of the players club, Sapphire, you have access to benefits including trips to Bermuda and cruises. You can see a breakdown of tier benefits here.
Boyd B Connected – “The big change”
The big change that existing B Connected card members are first to notice is that the lowest level, Ruby, does not earn B Connected reward points. Ruby tier members can only earn tier credits. Players must reach the Sapphire tier (750 tier credits) in order to earn points that are redeemable for dining, retail goods, and free play.
These points are incredibly useful because a guest can save 40% on the dollar value of B Connected points when they’re redeemed for food. For example, a Happy Hour slice of pie and a beer from DuPars at Suncoast that would cost $10 in cash. It would only cost $6 in points when paying with the B Connected card. Similarly, a $100 dinner for two at a Boyd restaurant would only cost $60 in points. That’s a legit deal.
There’s also a bit of confusion as to how players earn tier credits. One tier credit is earned for every $5 played for slot machines. Even if the ratio is different, video poker is usually rewarded similarly. The new B Connected players club rewards video poker play similar to how table games are rewarded.
B Connected tier credits for video poker are now earned based on the game played, average bet and length of play. This is how table game tier credits are usually earned. B Connected appears to treat the two the same. Then again we don’t know this for sure since the algorithm is new. Each game could have its own algorithm.
Boyd B Connected – Video Poker
The video poker algorithm is far from clear. I earned 3 reward credits (actually 6 because of a 2x multiplier…woohoo!) on Friday for $80 coin-in (about 10 minutes of play) and about 5 spins on a slot machine (5 minutes and a sweet bonus) at Suncoast on Friday. A higher tier friend received no points for $200 of coin-in from video poker at the same casino the day before. We can try figuring out table games and sports bets another time.
The players club card displays on the machines at Boyd Casinos in Nevada aren’t showing points or credits during play. The displays were created to entice gambler to chase points so they can climb tiers. I think this will be one of the adjustments to the players club after the computer system is fixed.
One of the problems with the system overload is that points are being converted for players at different rates. Nobody seems to know their correct tier credit balance with the new program. Transparency is important for all gamblers and especially for neurotic video poker players.
The new B Connected is supposed to really align Boyd Casinos around the country so there are a lot of moving parts. I’ll give them some time to get everything working before coming up with a solid opinion. Feel free to leave a comment below if with your first impressions. Visit bconnectedonline.com for more information as they continue the update.
Las Vegas Raiders Parking
The new football stadium being built for the Raiders has a legitimately awful parking plan. Parking on site is extremely limited and they’re only accounting for less than 50% of capacity with parking plan at four sites being proposed.
The city and the stadium aren’t even considering traffic from rideshares, shuttles, and foot traffic walking from Mandalay Bay. This is a cluster that probably should have been planned before building the stadium. Hoboken, New Jersey is the only other city I’ve seen with this much drama surrounding parking.
Right now it seems like a smart move might be to take Uber or Lyft to Excalibur then take the tram to Mandalay Bay and walk across the I 15. The stadium is still on target to open in time for the 2020 NFL season so there’s still a couple years to figure this out.
Al Davis Way
The Las Vegas Stadium address will be 3333 Al Davis Way. If you’re planning on sending a gift, don’t get this confused with Sammy Davis Jr. Drive. You can read more about the new street here.
We’ll opine a little for Quick Hits this week. Here’s even more news from Las Vegas.
- Even with Resorts World Las Vegas progressing, construction at the north end of the Vegas Strip has been pretty quiet. One project that’s been quietly dormant is the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion. This is supposed to be finished in 2020 but construction really hasn’t started yet according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Read more here.
- Why didn’t the new owners just change the name of Mandarin Oriental to Fancy Panda Express Resort? Earlier this year the founders of Panda Express, Andrew and Peggy Cherng, purchased the Mandarin Oriental. They’ve made non-Panda Express related hotel investments in the past. Waldorf Vegas is just their latest foray into hospitality. Read more here.
- The fancy food court at the Cosmopolitan is now open. The space looks nice and I’m looking forward to trying Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Lardo. Read and see more here.
- It’s been revealed that a head fund has purchased 5% of Wynn Resorts. Interesting timing with rumors about the company potentially selling Encore Boston Harbor last week. Read more here.
- Psycho Las Vegas won’t be returning to the Hard Rock or Virgin Hotel in 2019. The heavy metal festival says they’ll be moving to the Vegas Strip. Read more about the rumors here.
- The pro football SuperContest at Westgate has a record number of entries this year. The grand prize for the winner of the contest will be around $1.5 million. Not bad for a $1,500 entry fee. Read more here.
- The poker room at Treasure Island has closed. Read more here.
- Topgolf is expanding in Las Vegas! Kinda. They have a new swing suite at M Resort. Read more here.
- Crafthaus Brewery is opening a new tasting room in the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. Read more here.
- The Las Vegas 51s don’t have a team for next year and progress on the construction of the new stadium appears to be progressing very slowly. Whatever, they have plans for seats! Read more here.
- Nevada is making a lot of money from legal marijuana taxes. Read more here.
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