Like every casino, the management at Station Casinos had a hard decision to make:
Do you conduct business as usual during a national health crisis? Or do you adjust and try to keep the traditions that got you customers in the first place to keep them visiting your properties?
When it came to the upcoming NFL season, Stations had to compromise. It would not offer its Great Giveaway Contest this season which in the past lured tens of thousands of participants. Instead, it will continue its “Pro Football Last Man Standing Contest,” which has proven to be very popular.
The Last Man Standing costs $25 to enter. If you buy four entires, you get the fifth one free. The rules are simple: You pick one NFL game each week against a designated point spread. If your selection wins, you remain in the contest. Lose and you’re out. Whoever is the lone remaining survivor wins the contest. If at the end of the season there are more than one contestant remaining, they will split the prize money.
Last year’s winner took home $150,000.
Stations wanted to do a similar Last Man Contest for college football. But with so much uncertainty and several conferences opting out, it decided to focus just on the NFL.
“Last Man Standing has been our signature contest for many years,” said Chuck Esposito of Sunset Station. “I think from a consistency standpoint and the fact that’s it been such a popular contest, it was important to move forward with this. Especially once it appeared that there would be a pro football season.
“We would have loved to offer the college contest with its uniqueness to the market. It definitely had its special appeal with college football bettors.”
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Football contests of some form have been a big part of Station Casinos’ marketing for decades. So despite all the uncertainty, the company didn’t want to abandon its fall tradition.
“I think everyone was on board with offering this if at all possible,” Esposito said. “I have guests asking me about it daily.”
The deadline to sign up is Sunday morning. Contestants must be 21 years of age or older with a valid ID and must sign up in person. Contestants may enter and play at Palace Station, Boulder Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe, Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock, Wildfire Rancho, Wildfire Boulder, Wildfire Lanes, Barleys, Wild Wild West, Wildfire Sunset, and El Cortez.
Esposito is expecting a big push for signups this week right up until the deadline.
“Signups usually pick up with the highest percentage during opening week,” he said. “Early indications are that this trend will continue this year.”
With so many unknown variables, this year’s contest could be ultra difficult.
“When it comes to these types of contests, I’ve heard of many different strategies,” Esposito said. “Without stating the obvious, it’s important in today’s information era to definitely do your homework. “It’s interesting to hear how different guests approach this with up to five entries. I’m just glad football is here. I can’t wait for the opening kickoff!”