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Station: at last play-for-points

Feb 26, 2008 1:23 AM

Station Casinos recently announced it would be offering free slot play for points earned. Thus, Boarding Pass members, beginning on Valentine’s Day, would be able to redeem points at the rate of $1 in slot play for every 1,000 points earned.

In addition, even though the points are "redeemed" for slot play, they are still available for food and gift shop comps, just as before.

This is welcome news and a long time coming, I might add. Now, if Station would add "cash back" to the benefit package, they’d really be on the cutting edge of rewards programs!

Arizona Charlie’s, by the way, does offer cash back for slot club points. They also issue cash vouchers, redeemable at the casino cage for hard cash, for your slot play.

Most locals-oriented casinos — including Station and Arizona Charlie’s — also offer "free slot play" in one form or another. Station has "Extra Play Cash," which is based on the volume of your play.

However, it’s been my experience that the Extra Play Cash (XPC) doesn’t always match the volume of your slot play, and this needs to be corrected.

For instance, one month last year I accumulated about 150,000 points, but over the next four months, my Extra Play Cash exceeded the $20 minimum only once. Supposedly, the XPC can be as high as $500, but not once did it ever come close to that amount.

In order to keep good and loyal slot players, the slot clubs must match the rewards to the players’ investment. This is something the table players have received since casinos first opened.

There’s a similar situation with Arizona Charlie’s. It occasionally offers a "swipe and win" of a player’s card for free slot play. Supposedly, a player can win up to $100, but I’ve never received more than $10.

Here’s a hint for slot club managers: throw a bone out there every once in a while. The money will always be played back into the machines, and you may gain a loyal customer in the process.