Here’s how some veteran bettors rate Las Vegas casinos on comps:
ARIZONA CHARLIE’S EAST: Rated tops for comps on the Boulder Strip by an International Casino Players Association survey. But one out-of-town player reports that Charlie’s has tightened up. "They don’t have a position for the out-of-town players, so local conditions are imposed. My wife and I ($8,000-a-day slot players combined) used to get our rooms comped, along with a meal or so at the Yukon Grill, but if that’s gone, so are we."
BARBARY COAST: Rated best Strip casino for generous comps in the ICPA poll, finishing ahead of New York-New York, Caesars, Bellagio and the Venetian.
CASTAWAYS: Trying to breathe life into the old Showboat, this slot-heavy casino regularly offers four- and six-times points promotions. One of the few clubs that gives both cash back and comps.
FLAMINGO: Gives cash back and points. Buffet freebies draw locals.
FOUR QUEENS: You can get a room, food and beverage for $6,000 to $7,000 a day coin-in. Also 0.5 percent cash back.
GOLDEN NUGGET: Good place to land free show tickets. Ranked second in ICPA poll of Downtown casinos.
LADY LUCK: One of the best comp programs for the $10 to $50 bettor. Players rated at $25 a hand get limo service to and from the airport. Cash back for slots is one of the best in Vegas. Generous offers for parties/special events/free rooms for $25 players. Even $1 slot players get can get mini-suites.
LAS VEGAS HILTON: A 1.11 cash back ($11 per $1,000 of play) on slots is one of the best in town. Its 0.56 video poker formula is far better than, say, the MGM Grand’s 0.31.
MAIN STREET STATION: Ranked No. 1 for comps Downtown by the ICPA survey.
THE MIRAGE: $25 average bets required for ratings.
NEW YORK-NEW YORK: Rooms and food and beverage are easy to get and you can get comps to the shows at the MGM also.
ORLEANS: Went from 0.2 percent comps to 0.1 percent comps last year and tightened up RFB. Still ranked second in ICPA poll citywide, just ahead of a third Gaughan property, the Gold Coast.
REGENT: "If they’d loosen up on comps and get competitive with the Suncoast or even the Strip casinos, they would not be going bankrupt," says one disgruntled gambler.
RIO: Reduced cash back and reduced comps. During one stretch earlier this year, it took about $8,000 coin-in to get a buffet pass.
SAM’S TOWN: Was a locals’ favorite for comps until it went to a cash back or comps policy. Where you could get a Silver Card for $4,000 to $5,000 coin-in per day, it now takes $10,000. The Gold Card would take about $8,000 coin-in per day.
SUNCOAST: Rated No. 1 in comps in Las Vegas by the ICPA survey. Although the policy is cash or comps, you can get comps from the floor people and the points do not come off your account. Rooms and food and beverage are relatively loose. About $4,000 coin-in per day nets a room and buffets. With deals like this, Suncoast has been grabbing customers from Fiesta and Santa Fe.