I received an e-mail from a reader this past week asking my thoughts regarding changes made by his favorite casino to its comp program.
Apparently, it now takes $2 of video poker play instead of $1 to earn 1 point. I knew that some casinos had cut back greatly on the number of point multiplier days. They did not exactly announce it as cutbacks. Instead, they just told everyone what days would be point multiplier days and it was clear that it was not as many days per week as it used to be.
But the point change itself? That must have been in the fine print somewhere. No casino is going to scream out how they cut your benefits. So, my suggestion to everyone out there is be diligent and check to see if your favorite casino is still doing what is used to be before the temporary closures.
Of course, that leads to the other half of the question, which is what choice do we have? As a local, I spend most of my gambling time at one of a couple of properties. I try to juggle enough time at both to keep my name on their mailing lists.
Before the coronavirus, I would meet a friend for lunch every week or two at one or the other to catch up and the buy one get one buffets kept it all obscenely affordable. When the casinos re-opened in June, only one of these two casino chains had me still on their mailing list. I have received a few e-mails from one, but no offers. The other welcomed me back with the usual free play and free gifts. But, when they first reopened, I was a bit nervous about sitting to play for too long, so it only took a couple of months and my offers were ratcheted back quite a bit.
Is there really any rhyme or reason to what the casinos do in this regard? To be honest, I don’t know. I’m sure there is some criteria they use to decide who gets what offers. I never thought they made much sense before all this insanity. The odds of anyone in the casino knowing what makes sense now is even less likely.
Personally, I would think they would want to give me reason to go to the casino. There is little doubt that they are not as full as they used to be. The parking lots are far emptier. Getting on my favorite type of machine is easier — even though there are half as many. But, if one casino is sending me limited offers and the other is sending me none, what am I going to do if I want to go play for a couple of hours? Am I really going to change my hobbies because they cut my point earnings in half? I’m not that big of a gambler that this is going to make a monumental difference.
We all know how this going to play out. Eventually, a casino that is not doing as well is going to increase its comps and start sending me flyers (or e-mails). Then another will follow suit and before you know it, everything will be back to the way it was. For anyone who has been in Las Vegas for a long time, they know this is how it goes.
For now, I’m willing to cut the casinos some slack while they recover. Just don’t abuse my kindness. It has its limits.