Ten Things I Never Knew About Las Vegas Until I Ran a High-Roller Suite – The Monday Link

Every Monday is “The Monday Link”


Have you always wondered what life in the high-roller suites was like?  I have…….I could only imagine what it would be like to betting thousands of dollars on one hand of anything, with a dealer, butler, and host by my side.  My only extra request might be to have all 31 flavors of Baskin & Robbins’ ice cream – or all of Ben & Jerry’s.  Not much to request, right?

I had different plans for today’s link, but when I saw this on Twitter, I had to share it.  Brandon Presser wrote this article for Bloomberg, and he describes his experience as “A stint managing premier client relations at the Cosmopolitan revealed secrets that probably should stay in Vegas.”  I couldn’t stop reading it!

This is for all my podcasting friends who are Las Vegas nerds like me. After reading this article, I’m convinced that some things should definitely stay in Vegas. 

Real requests like a chinchilla-fur hammock, Louis XIII cognac, priced at $4,300 a bottle, or sending butlers to such glamorous places as In-N-Out Burger and Target. It’s a fascinating read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

“Ten Things I Never Knew About Las Vegas Until I Ran a High-Roller Suite”

by Brandon Presser



Comp Basics – the Monday Link

Every Monday – The Monday Link


We all know that the casino has the edge, the “house edge.” It’s how casinos make their money, and how many states count on revenue for their budgets. Whether we are advantage players or casino newbies, there’s one thing that helps reduce that edge – free stuff, comps. Short for “complementaries,” these casino meals, hotel stays, free gifts and many other items are the things that help diminish that house edge.

Today, the Monday Link turns to John Grochowski for a look into the basics in the ever-present quest for comps. While this article is pre-recession, it definitely has legs. It’s one of my favorite’s of John. Enjoy.

“Comps – the Basics”

John Grochowski - the Casino Answer Man

John Grochowski – the Casino Answer Man

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Casino Card Swiping Promotions – Does Anyone Really Win?


Casinos love to run promotions to get you To Visit.

Even the most naive gamblers realize this.  In the summer, many “Swipe & Win” promotions are offered at casinos, and New England is no different.

But I’ve never won anything – have you?  I know some do – one friend of mine won $500 with one swipe of their players card.  But for most of us, it’s just another exercise in futility. I’m so tired of “You did not win a prize today, come back and swipe again tomorrow.”  When I read that I hear, “Hey loser, we got you to do this again, didn’t we?”

How do they work?

In these swipe promotions, you swipe your card, then choose something on the screen, hopefully matching something or finding something for a reward.  One patron after another will be disappointed, because it’s a promotion, not a free-play ATM.

I began to think it was very similar to a VERY, VERY low paying slot machine.  Remember, the reels, bonuses, etc, on a slot machine is just the entertainment value for pushing a button, or in the old days, pulling the handle. It could be showing you the latest Stars Wars trailer – it wouldn’t matter.  You push the button, you choose a combination in the RNG (in a milli-second) and what ever you get, you get.  So, I figured, it’s not the choosing, it’s the swipe that counts.  Again – the screen choosing and all that is just the entertainment value. (Or the not-so-entertaining value.)

The Casino Answer Man to the Rescue

So I asked one of the leading gambling experts what he thought of my analysis, John Grochowski – gambling columnist and author. His well-known book The Casino Answer Book explained has explained the basics of casino gambling to beginners and pros since 1998.
He contributes articles to magazines and internet publications to the Casino City Times website, as well as many other websites and magazines. He agreed with me!

(I pat myself on back!)

John also added the following in his email reply:
“You are correct (I LOVE THAT PART!) — the promo programming is basically a low-paying slot, with results determined by an RNG. There’s an extra wrinkle at most casinos. Your players club tier level can make a difference in the odds, whether in more frequent pays (1 in 10 for Tier A, 1 in 20 for Tier B, 1 in 50 for Tier C, for example), or by size of reward, such as most frequent prize being $25 in free play at Tier A, $15 at Tier B, $5 at Tier C.

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

Such differential programming would be illegal on a slot machine. You can’t give a player a better chance at winning just because he’s a more frequent customer. But in player rewards, it’s not only legal but expected that the best customers are going to get more comps and perks.”

There a Catch

Every time you participate in a swipe, it is recorded as a visit.  If you visit, swipe, and leave, it is considered a “non-gambling day.”  This means you took a chance on their promo and didn’t give them any play. “So what?” you might ask.  Well, it lowers your ADT – Average Daily Theoretical. For more on that, read “Casino Comps & Your “Average Daily Theoretical”

Once, I asked a host to tell me why my free slot play diminished, since I had given good play two times the previous month for over four hours each time.  His answer included a reference to the  number of times I stopped in for a promotion and didn’t gamble – giving me little credit for the big plays. I only swipe for anything when I’m going for that big play day, otherwise, I just pass by that kiosk without looking.


So, there you have it.  That’s how it works.  Fascinating!  Please check out John’s many gambling articles at grochowski.casinocitytimes.com, Facebook, and Twitter. You won’t be disappointed.  John has a knack of getting to the truth about gambling.

Thar’s all for now.