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Casinos find Win Cards boost to marketing

Nov 18, 2008 5:07 PM

by GT Staff |

In an economic climate that has affected casinos across the country, operators are seeking new ways to entice customers and stimulate play.

"It’s not that easy to get people to gamble anymore, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find new players for the casino’s live games," said Ted Gottlieb, president of Gaming International, Inc., of Lake Tahoe, Nevada. "In light of sagging gaming revenues, enticement seems to be back in fashion."

In addition to returning to the basics of quality service and competitive pricing, casinos have become more proactive in promotion and marketing their properties.

Toward that end, many casinos across the country including the upscale Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas have introduced WIN CARDS to help attract and develop new players for their live table games.

The WIN CARDS program is designed to assist casino operators in making the live games of blackjack, craps and roulette more accessible for beginners. The WIN CARDS are handy, plastic cards, with a dial that works to quickly and easily show novices the basics of how to play the live games. They reduce the intimidation factor that prevents many new players from giving the games a try.

"Although the profile of the Red Rock is of a ‘local’s casino,’ the truth is that all locals do not necessarily know how to play all of the casino’s games," explains Bart Pestrichello, vice president of casino operations at the Red Rock in Las Vegas. "I have a long history of success with the WIN CARDS program – from their introduction at the Boulder and Sunset Stations in the 1990s to their recent implementation at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Over the years, I have seen nothing but good things from this promotion."

Attesting to the broad-based suitability of this casino marketing program, in recent months casinos large and small, in Nevada and abroad, have added WIN CARDS to their casino marketing efforts.

Pam Butler, director of marketing for Gaming International, reports that the WIN CARDS program has recently been introduced at the Mandalay Bay and Slots-A-Fun in Las Vegas, the River Palms in Laughlin, the MontBleu in Lake Tahoe, the Soaring Eagle in Michigan, and the Royal Beach Resort & Casino in St. Kitts (the largest casino in the Caribbean).

Next year, the WIN CARDS program will be implemented on the cruise ships of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Customized WIN CARDS that feature the cruise line’s logos and advertising messages are presently being designed and ordered for their entire fleet.

Most of these casinos offer the WIN CARDS for $20 to players, who also receive $30 in special, free-play, non-negotiable chips. The offer is available to those who join the casino’s player’s club and is limited to one per person.

The promotion is geared to satisfying today’s customer and their "Demand for Deals."

The WIN CARDS program, now in its 22nd year, has worked to attract and develop live games players at over 165 casinos, cruise ships, riverboats and tribal casinos. Over 10 million of these cards have been sold.

 "There is nothing like it," said Mike Jones, director of casino operations at Lake Tahoe’s Mont Bleu Resort & Casino. "The WIN CARDS Program is the only bona fide method with which casinos have been able to entice new people to learn and play the casinos table games.’

Jones added that the cards are useful in cross-marketing existing slot and blackjack players to other games.

"What distinguishes casinos in Nevada from our competition in Arizona and California is that craps and roulette, in their traditional form, are not offered in these other states," Jones continued. "Nevada casinos should be doing everything possible to introduce new players to these games, and WIN CARDS help us in these efforts."

For more information about WIN CARDS, contact Gaming International, Inc. at 775-588-4222 or visit its web site, www.wincards.com. They will also be on display at Gaming International’s booth at G2E.