Now, as business tightens up, comps fading

Sep 2, 2008 7:00 PM

by Ray Poirier | A year ago, some Atlantic City casino operators were complaining that their competitors were offering too many freebies or comps to bring more customers through their doors.

Now, as business tightens up, customers are complaining that comps are becoming as rare as hitting the jackpot.

And the numbers bear them out. According to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, casinos spent $375 million on premium hotel rooms and other perks in the three months that ended on June 30. During the same period in 2007, the number was $422 million.

Since the casino operators are getting away with fewer comps, they say the days of hefty comps probably won’t return.

"You are seeing a shift in the entire marketplace on how we market," explained Scott Barber, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Resort.