The Ultimate Truth About Casino Players Cards & Slot Machines

players-clubIt amazes me to see people sinking their money into a machine with out having a card inserted in the card reader. I sometimes ask people why they don’t use a card and have received several different answers.  The other day, someone was spouting off every slot myth in the book – “teaching” everyone around him, whether they cared or not.  However, the biggest sin of this whole escapade was that he had taken out his card to “get a bonus” for nearly 10 minutes.  His bet was over $8.00 a whack!  Just think of the comps he missed out on due to his “Casino Paranoia.”  That was the most foolish thing he could’ve done.

All of the following was said to me one time or another and are completely false. An explanation of why is provided.  But some slot players build their play on suspicions and conspiracy theories.  I still hear about the “switch upstairs” – you know, the one that changes the machines from paying out to completely cold.Plainridge Casino Floor

“I don’t play enough to earn anything.” You would be surprised to see how quickly points can add up.  Take advantage of multiplier days to increase your points and tier status.

“When I use my card the machine knows and doesn’t pay off.”  There is no connection between the card reader and the slot machine. There is NO WAY that using a card will affect the way a machine pays. They are two separate systems.

download (4)“I don’t want to give out my address to the casino.”  The casino cannot send you any promotions if they don’t have your address.  Some high rollers without their players club card at tables so they stay anonymous.  But as face recognition software gets better, even that may become difficult.

“I take my card out and I get a bonus – explain that!” Again, there is no connection between the card reader and the slot machine. There is NO WAY that using a card will affect the way a machine pays.

“Playing with your slots club card decreases your chances of winning.” The theory is that the casinos want you to win less in order to recoup the perks and rebates that you receive from playing with the slot machine club. The reality is that the amount of money returned is negligible, and the casinos don’t mind paying it.  Your perks depends on your theoretical value.  Click on the following link to see a previous post explaining Average Daily Theoretical.

“When I use my card, I never win. The machine knows and it doesn’t pay off.” Although a very interesting and popular myth, this is absolutely false. The notion that using a casino club card lowers the odds of winning is a big misconception, and quite frankly illegal.  Remember, the players club software is a different system and does not have a connection to the Random Number Generator working in the machine.

download (5)“The slot machine can tell the difference between playing maximum and minimum.” That’s why I take out my card when I change my bet.”  The number of coins played has no effect on whether or not the winning symbols will line up. It only determines how much you will win or lose. Many players will vary the number of coins they play per spin because they believe there is a pattern that can make them winners. Some players will even cash out during their playing sessions so the machine will “Think” a new player has started playing. Slot machines are computers and there is no way they “know” when a new player starts playing. The RNG is continuously running and is used to select the next win or loss. It is not linked to the to the coin receptor so varying your coins or cashing out and starting again will not help you win.  However….know the machine you’re playing.  Some extra bonus symbols are added, or some winning combinations are not available at certain denominations.  Still, not connected to the players card.

AND FINALLY

“Using a player card enables the casino to report my winnings to the IRS.” The fact is, it makes no difference. If you win $1,200 or more they will report it either way. If you have a net losing year, which you probably will, at least the casino will have evidence of it. Such annual win/loss statements may be used as evidence to declare offsetting loses to jackpot wins.

Play sensible, play with knowledge, and play with your Players Card in the card reader.

Binbin

Momentum Players Club At Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun

Some think Rewards or Players Clubs at casinos work against you, or even gather information to distribute to advertising or even the IRS. I just think they are a positive way to decrease the house edge with comps.

What does the casino use the players club for?  Basically, to offer discounts and complimentary items in exchange for adding your name for their marketing database, for the ability to track how and where you spend your money.

In the 7 New England Casinos, we have 6 distinct Slot/Rewards clubs two of which are under Penn National’s Marquee Rewards – Hollywood Bangor in Maine, and Plainridge Park in Massachusetts.

Mohegan Sun has five tiers (levels) now – Core, Ignite, Leap, Ascend & Soar – to their Momentum Rewards Club.

Here are some basics for Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Club.  Statistics are based personal experience and search,  vpFree2, and Mohegan Sun’s Momentum website:

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

IMPORTANT NOTE for VIDEO POKER PLAYERS: ALL FULL PAY VP MACHINES DO NOT EARN PLAYERS CLUB POINTS!  Check for a small white placard on each machine displaying FULL PAY, NOT ELIGIBLE.

Accruing Points

Video Poker stats – $390 – $550 coin-in = 1 status point ; short-pay VP earns Momentum Dollars

Approximately $167 coin-in on slots = 1 point

BASIC FACTS:

Cashback: NONE
Marketing Comps: Yes
Discretionary Comps: Yes
Points Expire: After 1 year of inactivity
Slot club day runs from: 6:00AM to 6:00AM

You can spend Momentum Dollars at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. You can’t accrue Momentum points at Resorts.

Mohegan Sun Pocono, Pennsylvania

Mohegan Sun Pocono, Pennsylvania

Momentum Club perks by level include:

  • The Core status card is the initial card and free of charge. It has many basic benefits associated with it, such as free slot play, and is available to all guests over 21.  If you sign up as a new card holder online, you can receive a special offer of free slot play.  Click HERE for more to fill out the form.
  • The Ignite status card is available to guests who earn 400 Status Points during the six-month qualifying period. Guests who earn Ignite status will have all of the associated benefits that the Ignite status card offers. Ignite members will be given 50 Choice Credits each month with which they can design their stay based on their interests while visiting Mohegan Sun.
  • The Leap status card is available to guests who earn 600 Status Points during the six month qualifying period. Guests who earn Leap status will have all of the associated benefits that the Leap status card offers. Leap members will be given 200 Choice Credits each month with which they can design their stay based on their interests while visiting Mohegan Sun.
  • The Ascend status card is available to guests who earn 1,400 Status Points during the six-month qualifying period. Guests who earn Ascend status will have all of the associated benefits that an Ascend member receives. Ascend members will be given 800 Choice Credits each month with which they can design their stay based on their interests while visiting Mohegan Sun.
  • The Soar status card is available to guests who earn 4,000 Status Points during the six month qualifying period. Guests who earn Soar status will have all of the associated benefits that a Soar member receives. This card level does not have Choice Credits. Soar members have full access to all of the benefits that are received by using Choice Credits without having to manage a set amount of Choice Credits each month.

    Resorts in Atlantic City accepts Momentum Dollars for all amenities

    Resorts in Atlantic City accepts Momentum Dollars for all amenities

Other NOTES worthy of mention:

  1. Qualifying periods are the same, April through September
  2. As you elevate your Status, Momentum Dollar Accelerators will kick in to boost your Momentum Dollar earning rate. Ignite, Leap, Ascend,  & Soar boosts status points 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25% respectively.
  3. There is no opportunity for spending to earn points or status.  
  4. Mohegan Sun has an inflexible policy concerning “non-gambling” days.  If you use your momentum dollars for dining or drinks, if you take advantage of any offer comped to you, and if you swipe your card in a kiosk without gambling, Mohegan Sun counts it as a “non-gambling” day.  This means it is used to diminish your Average Daily Theoretical which calculates what comps you will be offered.  Be smart with what perks you use and when.
  5. Advantages: Ascend and Soar members may park in our Riverview garage, and Leap, Ascend and Soar members may park in the Indian Summer garage.
  6. When you play at a higher rate, you will earn more Status Points and Status Points are how you move up to a higher Status Card level.  Many times throughout the 6-month period, triple and double multiplier days are offered to boost your status even faster.

STATUS POINTS, MOMENTUM DOLLARS & CHOICE CREDITS

Inside one of three VIP lounges at Mohegan Sun

Inside one of three VIP lounges at Mohegan Sun

  1. Momentum Dollars are spendable at any of the shops or restaurants. These dollars are earned by gaming. One Momentum Dollar is equivalent to one dollar when using them for purchase in any of our shops or restaurants.  This is for ALL amenities.
  2. Status Points are earned through gaming and determine which card level members fall into.  Status Points, unlike Momentum Dollars, are earned at the same rate throughout every card level.
  3. Choice Credits are complimentary credits that are given to Ignite, Leap and Ascend members each month. Ignite members will receive 50 Choice Credits each month, Leap members will receive 200 Choice Credits each month and Ascend members will receive 800 Choice Credits each month.  Choice Credits can be used for VIP lounge access, Seasons Buffet entry, hotel stays, scooter rentals, gaming exchanges (available to Leap and Ascend members only) and Arena tickets.

 

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

 

 

Momentum Players Club At Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun

 

Here is Part Two of our look at New England Casino Rewards Players Clubs, including the future casinos in Massachusetts. In the 7 New England Casinos, we have 6 distinct Slot/Rewards clubs two of which are under Penn National’s Marquee Rewards – Hollywood Bangor in Maine, and Plainridge Park in Massachusetts. For more on Marquee Rewards, click on Marquee Rewards at Plainridge Park and Hollywood Bangor

MOMENTUM

Mohegan Sun has five tiers (levels) now – Core, Ignite, Leap, Ascend & Soar – to their Momentum Rewards Club.

Here are some basics for Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Club.  Statistics are based personal experience and research,  vpFree2, and Mohegan Sun’s Momentum website:

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

IMPORTANT NOTE for VIDEO POKER PLAYERS: ALL FULL PAY VP MACHINES DO NOT EARN PLAYERS CLUB POINTS!  Check for a small white placard on each machine displaying FULL PAY, NOT ELIGIBLE.

Accruing Points

Video Poker stats – $390 – $550 coin-in = 1 status point ; short-pay VP earns Momentum Dollars

Approximately $167 coin-in on slots = 1 point

BASICS:

Cashback: NONE
Marketing Comps: Yes
Discretionary Comps: Yes
Points Expire: After 1 year of inactivity
Slot club day runs from: 6:00AM to 6:00AM

You can spend Momentum Dollars at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. You can’t accrue Momentum points at Resorts.

Mohegan Sun Pocono, Pennsylvania

Mohegan Sun Pocono, Pennsylvania

Momentum Club perks by level include:

  • The Core status card is the initial card and free of charge. It has many basic benefits associated with it, such as free slot play, and is available to all guests over 21.  If you sign up as a new card holder online, you can receive a special offer of free slot play.  Click HERE for more to fill out the form.
  • The Ignite status card is available to guests who earn 400 Status Points during the six-month qualifying period. Guests who earn Ignite status will have all of the associated benefits that the Ignite status card offers. Ignite members will be given 50 Choice Credits each month with which they can design their stay based on their interests while visiting Mohegan Sun.
  • The Leap status card is available to guests who earn 600 Status Points during the six month qualifying period. Guests who earn Leap status will have all of the associated benefits that the Leap status card offers. Leap members will be given 200 Choice Credits each month with which they can design their stay based on their interests while visiting Mohegan Sun.
  • The Ascend status card is available to guests who earn 1,400 Status Points during the six-month qualifying period. Guests who earn Ascend status will have all of the associated benefits that an Ascend member receives. Ascend members will be given 800 Choice Credits each month with which they can design their stay based on their interests while visiting Mohegan Sun.
  • The Soar status card is available to guests who earn 4,000 Status Points during the six month qualifying period. Guests who earn Soar status will have all of the associated benefits that a Soar member receives. This card level does not have Choice Credits. Soar members have full access to all of the benefits that are received by using Choice Credits without having to manage a set amount of Choice Credits each month.

    Resorts in Atlantic City accepts Momentum Dollars for all amenities

    Resorts in Atlantic City accepts Momentum Dollars for all amenities

WORTHY NOTES:

  1. Qualifying periods are the same, April through September
  2. As you elevate your Status, Momentum Dollar Accelerators will kick in to boost your Momentum Dollar earning rate. Ignite, Leap, Ascend,  & Soar boosts status points 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25% respectively.
  3. There is no opportunity for spending to earn points or status.  
  4. Mohegan Sun has an inflexible policy concerning “non-gambling” days.  If you use your momentum dollars for dining or drinks, if you take advantage of any offer comped to you, and if you swipe your card in a kiosk without gambling, Mohegan Sun counts it as a “non-gambling” day.  This means it is used to diminish your Average Daily Theoretical which calculates what comps you will be offered.  Be smart with what perks you use and when.
  5. Advantages: Ascend and Soar members may park in our Riverview garage, and Leap, Ascend and Soar members may park in the Indian Summer garage.
  6. When you play at a higher rate, you will earn more Status Points and Status Points are how you move up to a higher Status Card level.  Many times throughout the 6-month period, triple and double multiplier days are offered to boost your status even faster.

STATUS POINTS, MOMENTUM DOLLARS & CHOICE CREDITS

Inside one of three VIP lounges at Mohegan Sun

Inside one of three VIP lounges at Mohegan Sun

  1. Momentum Dollars are spendable at any of the shops or restaurants. These dollars are earned by gaming. One Momentum Dollar is equivalent to one dollar when using them for purchase in any of our shops or restaurants.  This is for ALL amenities.
  2. Status Points are earned through gaming and determine which card level members fall into.  Status Points, unlike Momentum Dollars, are earned at the same rate throughout every card level.
  3. Choice Credits are complimentary credits that are given to Ignite, Leap and Ascend members each month. Ignite members will receive 50 Choice Credits each month, Leap members will receive 200 Choice Credits each month and Ascend members will receive 800 Choice Credits each month.  Choice Credits can be used for VIP lounge access, Seasons Buffet entry, hotel stays, scooter rentals, gaming exchanges (available to Leap and Ascend members only) and Arena tickets.

 

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

 

 

ZorkFest AC Was A Blast!

ZorkFest in Atlantic City.

The Atlantic City shore.

It was a wonderful weekend in New Jersey. So informative, with the friendliest group of people I’ve ever met.  Let me share the many great times we enjoyed.

First of all, I was so surprised to hear that so many people knew of NETimeGambling. I had no idea our little website wasn’t as small after all. (It brings a smile to me inside and out.)  The people I met were friendly, accepting and brilliant in the fields of gaming, Casino Rewards, and Travel Reward programs.  Everyone was so respectful, each with a little eccentricity and nerdy interest in these fields, and so many with expert knowledge.  I learned so much that my brain hurt (but in a good way).

Michael Trager and the TravelZork Team.

The man with a vision, Michael Trager

Eric, Coach Kitty, Angeline, Seth, David, Jeff……what a team.  This maiden voyage of ZorkFest was so well run and offered incredible classes, that many of the gambling enthusiasts didn’t even leave to play in the Bally’s AC casino! Michael Trager’s vision of the event paid off. His hospitality, generosity and expertise made it wonderful success. The quality of every session at ZorkFest was unbelievable. For those who weren’t able to attend, or chose not to, the good news is that ZorkFest 2018 is already being planned.

By the way, I won a Diamond Caesar’s Entertainment Players Card!  I was able to check out the Diamond lounge three times. It was a large area full of tables, free food and drinks, small fireplaces, great design with floor to wall windows with a beautiful view of the boardwalk, beach and Atlantic City ocean view.  The bar was almost as long as the “LongBar” at the D in downtown Las Vegas. Thank you TravelZork. Other perks included free valet parking, pass lines, and an immediate appreciation by the Bally’s staff.  Wow, it felt great.

Bally’ Atlantic City

Bally’s AC – it had been over five years since visiting Bally’s, never mind staying over.  The room in the Dennis Hotel was spacious clean, and met all our needs. I would stay there again – comped of course.

Bally’s Casino – the casino seemed completely different from the old boardwalk casino I would play very little in.  It was kinda dumpy, but now has a fresh look, with lots of new machines, a brighter tables area, and a more modern feel. My first attempt to gamble was Friday afternoon at Lobby Bar.  I didn’t stay long, since the pay tables were terrible.  I assumed that Video Poker was bad throughout the property.  Thanks to CoachKitty from the TravelZork Team for leading me to full-pay Jacks or Better.  There was also full-pay bonus poker on a Triple Play progressive (both at the quarter level).  Thanks to vpFree2 for the information on full-pay denominations and locations in the casino.

It All Came Down To The Peeps

I met so many players, podcasters, and professionals interested in certain aspects or areas of the gaming and travel industry that I felt blessed to be there.

Cousin Vito, our MC.

Cousin Vito – our MC fit the bill. The voice and owner of the best new gambling podcast for the recreational gambler, Cousin Vito Casino Podcast, did a great job starting us off.  Bravo!  And having quality time with his sidekick Cousin Mikey and Mrs. Cousin Vito (Amanda) made a true trifecta of fun.

Tony Snyder – from the 360Vegas podcast, was as entertaining as he is on the show.  Although he had a tough battle with a bull in Bally’s Wild Wild West, he still provided a great time.  Thanks for the “cee-gar” Tony.  I brought the rest of it home.  Is there such a thing as bronzing a cigar?

Tony Snyder, of 360Vegas podcast.

Craig was there from Atlantic City’s own podcast “Due For A Win.”  I’m sure he will have coverage of the event on his (and the other host Kyle’s) next podcast.  It was great meeting the guy behind the mic of a great podcast.

Jullian of the new VegasConfessions podcast was visiting the east cast from Vegas. Thanks Jullian for the upcoming documentary of ZorkFest I.  Your video will prove valuable to all of who attended this year when we view it in your suite in Vegas five years from now.

To Phil, Jay, Bryan, Amanda and Luke – great meeting you. I’m glad to have made some new friends.

Eric Rosenthal knows Caesars Total Rewards inside and out.

Eric Rosenthal – you are the most knowledgeable Rewards person I have ever known.  Your sessions were so interesting and thought provoking that it has changed my view of comps at gaming establishments forever.

Finally, Michael Trager – the most fascinating world traveler I ever met.  Your interest and effort in producing an outstanding event such as ZorkFest, to accompany the website TravelZork, Is greatly appreciated. You made a new and exciting event that will double and triple in the coming years.  Thank-you for the idea and the perseverance to make it a tremendous success.

Binbin415 from NETimeGambling.com

Curtain Call – an Explanation for Those Who Had No Clue What This Post Was About

If you read the entire post, and still don’t understand, then you must plan to attend next year. December possibly, and maybe in Las Vegas. ZorkFest features sessions on the combination of two worlds – travel Rewards (hotel, airlines, etc), the gaming industry, and the connections between both.

So, I will just say to all of you who didn’t attend this year

“see you at ZorkFest 2018”

Binbin

 

 

Marquee Rewards at Plainridge Park and Hollywood Bangor

You might have been wondering where we have been with only two posts in the last 7 days.  Well, you’ll find out tomorrow.  But today we start a series about the Player’s Rewards Clubs in New England’s Casinos.  Today we look at Penn National which owns two of the seven.

Marquee Rewards connects to Penn National casinos across the country

Casino Players Clubs were born as “Slot Clubs” in Atlantic City in the early 1980’s when the casinos there were trying to find a way to keep players from hopping from one casino to the next. By offering a reward for their loyalty they were able to keep the player coming back.

As we approach casino saturation in the Northeast, NETimegambling is on a quest to find your players club. First we look at The Penn National’s Marquee Rewards.

THE BASICS

Level three of Five in the Marquee Rewards Program of Penn National
The club is free, (as most are) Marquee Comps dollars can be used for dining, shopping, and hotel stays at participating Marquee Rewards locations.
No CashBack but Does Include Free Slot Play Offers
You can receive special offers and invitations to promotions, sweepstakes, events, free SlotPlay or VLTPlay based on your level of play.
Tier points are accumulated and tier status awarded on a fixed six-month basis, January 1 through June 30 and July 1 through December 31.
There are five levels – Marquee, Celebrity, Producer, Exec. Producer and Icon.The higher the level, the more benefits are offered. To see those benefits, click here.

BENEFITS

Marquee Rewards can be earned at 20 casinos in 12 states. A new connection for the future is Penn’s acquisition of M Resort and the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Hopefully, all properties will soon be completely connected, offering New Englanders a connection to comps in Nevada.

Recently, an announcement was made that Penn National will be purchasing Pinnacle Gaming. Pinnacle operates sixteen casino properties, located in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and a horse track in Texas. If the purchase were to take place, that would provide more connections through Marquee Rewards.

They are connected to Carnival cruise lines, where free cruises for highest levels and even 30% off for second level Celebrity players are offered.

Preferred Parking, personal host, and VIP lounge access is offered to Exec Producer & Icon Levels.

DISADVANTAGES

Marquee Comps are earned at variable rates depending on game type, game denomination and level of play, so it’s very difficult to get information on coin in for either Plainridge Park or Hollywood, Bangor. Penn Casinos tend to be “won’t tell, so don’t ask.”
Casinos tend to be small racinos, where sports betting wagers don’t count towards any Marquee Rewards.
Table games are usually not included in the players club, while some are. Ask at guest services to see if your table play is included in Marquee Rewards.

Most are smaller casinos and racinos. Most Video Poker paytables are far from full paper. Some, like Plainridge Park, don’t have table games. And most have few dining amenities, hotel options, and entertainment options, except for Nevada.  Most tend to be destination casinos.

The Final Word

Marquee Rewards is rumored to offer a lower than normal % in in points returned for use. A good Rewards club will return above 30% from your play – Penn’s Marquee is rumored to offer a little above 20%.

But no matter what the percentage offered, it is always better to play with your players card in! – It’s like a rebate after buying an appliance. The appliance isn’t free, but a little off the top always helps.

This week we will look at other Rewards Clubs in New England, including a look at the future – MLife at MGM Springfield and Wynn’s Red Card at the future gem of New England, Wynn Boston Harbor.

Stay tuned!

Binbin

Cardless Casino Players Clubs

So many casinos – so many Players cards. I use to have a fanny pack in the 90’s that was full of them, from Vegas to Atlantic City.

At first, they were introduced for slot players to off-set the high house edge.  People were skeptical.  Why earn comps when you can just ask for comps?

According to Bill Burton of ThoughtCo.com,  “The “Slot Clubs” were born in Atlantic City in the early 1980’s when the casinos there were trying to find a way to keep players from hopping from one casino to the next. By offering a reward for their loyalty they were able to keep the player coming back.”  It worked. By 2000, most casinos had players club cards for all gamblers including table games, registering data that transformed gamblers play into complimentary eats, show tickets, and rooms. Life was good with a players card.

One of my first players club cards – Lady Luck in Las Vegas. Notice the divits used for the data – magnetic strips in back were not universal yet. Notice no name, no number!

Now, there is something new on the horizon, already in use out in Las Vegas – the Cardless Players Card!

What is Cardless Connect?

Red Rock Resort Casino

Red Rock Resort Casino Hotel, the Gem of Stations Casinos

The IGT Cardless Connect technology with Station Casinos enables a player to use their MyBoardingPass loyalty card without actually using a physical card. To use Cardless Connect, players simply download the STN app, sign into the account and tap the phone on the card reader at a slot machine. The phone will simply connect the player just as a physical loyalty card would so the player can experience all of the benefits of the loyalty program.

You must have a working 4G signal OR be connected to the casino Stations Wi-Fi, in this case Stations casino, in order to sign into the STN mobile application. You also need to have Bluetooth enabled; that’s how we connect you, so keep your phone close by the bezel or you might get carded out.  Forgot your card?  No problem!

You can also log in through kiosks with your mobile device by selecting the QR code in the Boarding Pass section of the Station Casinos app.

IGT Innovations

IGT was the pioneer in TITO – Ticket In, Ticket Out – technology that brought coinless machine play to casinos all over the country.  IGT is also the owner of the vast number of video poker machines in today’s casinos and has been a leader in Lotto technology. Now, they’re taking Rewards clubs to the next level.

A player sits down and points their phone at the gaming machine. Suddenly, the player display shows the player’s name and point balance. When the player leaves, the app automatically cards them out. No card? No problem! As long as you have your phone or mobile device with you (and who doesn’t!?), you’ll be able to connect.

 

Cardless Connect is in Barley’s Casino & Brewing Co. in Henderson, NV, just outside of Las Vegas and is the only Vegas casino to already have it installed. Stations will be installing it in two more of its casinos in the coming months.  How successful this will be with players is yet to be seen.

I remember when I thought the reality of coins in slots and video poker was real gambling – not this fake sound of coins hitting trough and a paper ticket.

Years later, with clean hands and no more hopper fills to wait for, I am convinced I was wrong – TITO was a great innovation.  Maybe this will become the next one.

Binbin

 

 

 

 

 

 

The players club display on the machine will show the player’s name and point balance as if the card were in use. When the player (and the phone) leaves the game, the app automatically cards them out. This is as simple as new mobile can be.

Based on the initial success of the Cardless Connect technology at Barley’s, Station Casinos plans to implement it at two more locations in Las Vegas later this year with the remaining properties to follow shortly after. Unfortunately, Station Casinos isn’t ready to divulge which casinos will are up next for Cardless Connect. Here’s what they did have to say about the future of using their players club card.

“We are committed to continuously delivering new benefits to our My Rewards Boarding Pass that bring value and convenience to our new and existing members,” said Staci Alonso, Station Casinos EVP and Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer. “IGT’s Cardless Connect technology adds meaningful value to the STN mobile app by allowing guests to use their phone to card in at their favorite slot game if they prefer a digital experience.”

“Station Casinos has been a phenomenal partner in our rollout of Cardless Connect technology,”said Nick Khin, IGT Chief Commercial Officer, North America Gaming & Interactive. “We evaluated multiple technologies and developed a flexible solution that supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or QR code connectivity. From the initial phases of implementation to the excitement of the ‘go live’, the Station Casinos team has embraced Cardless Connect’s innovative features and BLE connectivity, which deliver a superior user experience.”

Cardless Connect is a great idea and should make visiting Las Vegas easier as more casino operators add the technology to their machines. The days of packing countless players club cards for a trip to Las Vegas may be over soon.

Don’t dump your players club cards just yet. This will only roll out to a few Station Casinos properties this year with more next year. While MGM Resorts has been testing Cardless Connect at MGM Grand in Detroit, they haven’t been any announced expansion of the technology into Las Vegas.

Kudos to Station Casinos for stepping out with this great technological advancement. Let’s hope others will follow soon.

Gamblers Expect Hospitality at the Casino/Hotel

Besides making money, what do casino players want?

As the competition in New England increases in the next three years, ramping up to a possible 13 casinos, the main question casino personnel should be asking themselves is

“what do casino players want?”

I love to read articles about the other side of the table.  How does the casino staff and executives go about their business, and what dictates their daily, monthly and yearly decisions?

Guest service is the key to success. It’s called hospitality for a reason. Players wanted be respected and treated fairly.  We all  know (or should know) winning at the casino is not consistently possible, unless you are an AP (Advantage Player) – and these days, being an AP or Pro has become the increasing harder.

In this article, NETG will be covering only those suggestions pertaining to the casino floor, hotel and related areas.  Entertainment, dining, and other leisure/amusement activities will be left for a different post. Today is about the vast majority of the casino’s visitors, the recreational gamblers like you and me. The whole guest experience is the most important thing for casino CEO’s should be looking to improve constantly, from the initial contact through departure, whether staying overnight or on a day trip, .

Janet Hawk, from RavingConsulting.com wrote an article concerning just that. RavingConsulting.com  is a full-service gaming resource for casino consulting, guest service, casino marketing, security & surveillance, database, player development, research, online gaming, design & construct, food & beverage, management & host sales and skills training … yes, just about everything casino personnel need to know about.

I will now try to translate to the players point of view.  Here is what I think counts towards player satisfaction, recreational gambling, fun, and enjoyment. This includes those things that make gamblers stop and think if this is the right casino for them. I mean, we all understand house edge, but we visit anyway.  What makes us return, and makes us say “never again.” Here are Janet’s concerns, as well as a few added by our NETG staff. See what you think:

  1. (NETG) CONSISTENCY of RULES by EMPLOYEES When Dealing with Players.  Pit bosses, hosts, dealers, slot techs – they should all know the casino’s approach with player concerns.  Getting a different answer from two different people on the same casino team just influences a move to a different casino. A consistent and detailed way to evaluate each area in the casino is expected its visitors.  Knowing the casino is working as a team to make your stay an enjoyable one is important.

    Robert De Niro, the old intimidating image of a pit boss.

  2. (JH)FRIENDLY ENGAGEMENT with guests.  Janet goes on to suggest to casino management “Don’t just observe, but engage! It’s easy to just sit back and observe, but you have to engage to really experience what your guests are seeing, hearing, and feeling.”  Janet Hawk suggests to casino management to visit the competition, especially those doing well, and act like guests.  Instead of “bitching” about what’s wrong, players would be more interested in friendly conversation.
  3. (JH)HOTEL STAYS MADE EASIER.  Rooms should be ready, cleaned, and in working condition on time.  It should be what the guest expects it to be – and more.  Players enjoy staying in the hotel in between sessions.  The room should be a place for rest, respite, or relaxation.  It should also be a place for sleep at night, without interruption.  Complaints should be handled promptly, especially about other inconsiderate guests next to you.  I won’t go back to a place that I was not allowed to re-energize for the next morning’s session – not to mention any names like Westgate, Cosmo, and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (for example).
  4. (NETG)COMPING POLICIES SIMPLY EXPLAINED AND CONSISTENT DONE.  Don’t give me the run-around.  If you are a casino that wants to wallow in secrecy about how players earn comps, then I’ll go elsewhere.  If the casino or company is ashamed of their hard-to-get comps policy, then there are many websites with comparative information to be found.  A casino that makes players feel stupid for asking about comps makes their policies seem even more fore-boding.
  5. (NETG)GETTING MORE FOR YOUR PLAY THAN LESS – This just doesn’t refer to winning.  Although, in recent years, the “nickel-and-diming” of some industry companies makes time-in-play shorter and shorter.  Changing table game rules, diminishing payout % on slot and video poker, paid drinks and parking (are you listening MGM, Caesars?) What’s next, if player play enough, the get comped chairs to sit in?As Victoria, a new follower of NETG, says “Playing more & getting less can make a loyal player look elsewhere!”
  6. (NETG) FRIENDLY and INFORMED PLAYERS CLUB STAFF – Every time I get a card, or I visit a casino for the first time in a while, I go to the Players Club and ask “what promotions should I be aware of, today?”  Half the time i’m met with friendly, informed staff that start my visit feeling “this is the place for me.”  But the other 50%?  I might as well call up the website for a more pleasant experience. Bert, of NETG, says “Players Clubs are the first contact for most players, especially newbies.  That first contact should set expectations for the visit.”
  7. (NETG) CLEAN AND VISUALLY INVITING GAMING AREAS – I have nothing against the disgusting trail of ashes left on the VP screen by a smoker (hmmm, maybe I do?)  or the nauseating look of drinks piled up next to your machine.  CLEAN THE CASINO!  And upon entering the table game area, or any part of the casino floor, the vision in front of you should be enticing, pleasing to the eye.  No one wants to stay and play in a dump.
  8. OTHER THINGS THAT JANET HAWK SUGGESTS THAT PLAYERS WANT
  • Good WiFi signal
  • Good Signage to navigate around casino, restaurants, entertainment venues, etc
  • More electrical outlets, especially in hotel bathrooms.  And how about USB ports – now more important than ever.
  • A Coffee maker in your hotel room.  (YES!  who wants to pay $4.00+ for a coffee or wait for service on the casino floor.)
  • Not hearing employees complaining while on the job.  (Instead of standing together “bitching about the place,” try engaging with the customer.  It makes us feel special.)
  • Great customer service on the casino floor.
  • Employees who respond to a complaint with “I know” or “I’m sorry,” then do nothing to make it right.
  • If a guest needs something, don’t make them come get it, take it to them!

Janet ends by saying, “By paying attention to details and learning your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you can improve your product substantially, and really create a wonderful guest service experience for your guests!”  A a wonderful guest service experience for your guests! That’s what both sides of the industry should want at a casino.

 

Binbin              

Marquee Rewards – Plainridge Park & Hollywood Bangor Rewards Club

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Hollywood Bangor Casino, Hotel & Raceway

 

In the 7 New England Casinos, we have 6 distinct Slot/Rewards clubs two of which are under Penn National’s Marquee Rewards – Hollywood Bangor in Maine, and Plainridge Park in Massachusetts.  Marquee Rewards has five tiers (levels) – Marquee, Celebrity, Producer, Executive Producer, and Icon.

TravelZork briefly explains “Penn National Gaming (PNG) is a national casino operator similar to Boyd Gaming and Caesars Entertainment. PNG is actually an international casino operator as one of their twenty properties is located in Canada (here’s the list of locations)…..The lack of transparency at the Tropicana isn’t a surprise. Not all Penn National properties offer the same rating so you will earn Tier Points and Marquee Comps differently at different casinos. Likewise, Tier Points and Marquee Comps may be earned for table games play at some Marquee Rewards locations.”

Here are some basics for Marquee Rewards.  Statistics are based personal experience and search,  vpFree2, and Penn National casinos webpages.

Marquee Rewards connects to Penn National casinos across the country

Accruing Points – Penn National owns many casinos across the country, and this has produced regional differences. After checking casinos under the Penn National ownership we have found that the following entries from Plainridge Park (Hollywood Bangor was unavailable, but I assume higher due to lack of competition).

  • $1 Coin-In = 1 Point
  • $2 Coin-in = 1 Point (VP) / $10 Coin-In = 1 point in other PennNat casinos.
  • Comps Only, Free Slot pay,

In other casinos:

  • Rate varies based on ADT but is .05% or less on video poker.
  • Bounceback Cash: In some
  • Discretionary Comps: In few
  • Marketing Comps: Yes

Obviously, when companies buy properties, they must deal with previous players club expectations.  All NETG can suggest is try to tracking your points, and ask casino management, if you dare.  Many casinos just won’t give you a good answer.

NOTES worthy of mention:

The obvious advantage to PNG’s Marquee Rewards is the coast to coast connection of the Players Club.  Playing in Massachusetts  or Maine and accruing points for your next visit to Las Vegas with benefits equals the other national gaming operators in New England, such as the newcomers with MGM Springfield & Wynn.

Las Vegas – Penn Nationals Tropicana & M Resort

Tier points are accumulated and tier status awarded on a fixed six-month basis, January 1 through June 30 and July 1 through December 31.

You can spend Marquee Reward points at most PNG properties.

Multiplier Days include different multipliers for different card levels: Marquee = 2x, Celebrity = 3x, and so on.

75,000 Bonus HollywoodCasino.com Credits on your Birthday. (Check if your casino takes part in this and if the # of points is the same)

Personal hosts, Preferred parking and VIP lounge access for player and guest, are only for Exce. Producer & Icon Levels where available.

Marquee Rewards members can now earn cruises on Norwegian Cruise Line. Members receive exclusive offers and discounts based on tier level. Executive Producers and Icons receive a FREE cruise per renewal period and Celebrities and Producers receive discounts.

Points expire after 12 mos. of inactivity.

Marquee Mall is your online shopping website where you can use Marquee Comps to buy the latest and greatest products. From high-quality kitchenware, to fashionable apparel, and the coolest electronics, Marquee Mall has everything you’re looking for.

Marquee Perks by level include: (again, thanks to TravelZork.com for the easy layout)

  • Marquee (0 – 9,999)
    • Receive special offers such as promotions, sweepstakes, special events, free play or VLT Play. This is based on how much you play
    • Earn extra Tier Points towards the next Tier level at Marquee Rewards

    Celebrity (10,000 – 29,999)

    • Same as Marquee plus…
    • Up to 30% off Carnival Cruise Lines trips

    Producer (30,000 – 124,999)

    • Same as Marquee plus…
    • Preferred access to select restaurants and Player Services
    • Up to 40% off Carnival Cruise Lines trips

    Executive Producer (125,000 – 399,999)

    • Same as Producer plus…
    • Preferred parking
    • Personal host
    • VIP lounge access for player and guest (where available)
    • Annual complimentary cruise up to 8 days with Carnival Cruise Lines
    • Renewal gift

    Icon ( 400,000 and up)

    • Same as Executive Producer plus…
    • A-Lister pass for one guest for VIP lounge (where available)
    • Celebration Dinner of (once per renewal period) (Approximate value of dinner is $250)
    • $500 Travel reimbursement towards cruise or Marquee Rewards location trip
    • An annual complimentary 3-night trip to a Marquee Rewards location plus a $250 dining credit at the Marquee Rewards location of your choice

 

 

Hotel at Hollywood, Bangor

Hotel at Hollywood, Bangor

As gamblers we learn to take the good with the bad.  This is not the best players club – matter of fact, it is considered one of the worst.  But some casinos in PNG portfolio are better than others.  But the 20 or so options across the country gives it an advantage only the bigger players in the industry can offer.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

 

10 Money-Saving Tips For the Casino – Jean Scott, The Queen of Coupons

There are so many people out there we can learn from.  Blogs, podcasts and books are there for our benefit.  Many people think gamblers are reckless – taking chances.  But the best gamblers are those who learn the best strategies on the best games and use any legal method to increase their odds and lower the casino’s advantage.  One of those authors practices what she preaches.  Anyone who ever wanted to get as much as they can out of the casinos – and has –  should know and follow Jean Scott – the Queen of Coupons.” But it’s not just coupons she is an expert in!

Before continuing on, check out two of her websites Jean Scott’s Queen of Comps  & Jean Scott’s Frugal Vegas.

Jean Scott is the author of the best-selling book “The Frugal Gambler,” ( a must for every gambler) a casino guide for thrifty low rollers, plus a sequel, “More Frugal Gambling.” She stresses sensible, responsible gambling and shows how to stretch out casino fun time whatever your gambling bankroll. Her exploits have been featured on “Dateline,” “Hard Copy,” “Extra,” “To Tell the Truth,” and “48 Hours,” where Dan Rather dubbed her the Queen of Comps. She appears frequently on Travel Channel shows on Vegas and gambling. Jean also stars in many “American Casino Guide” videos on YouTube.

Retired from the high school English classroom, her passion is still education while she continues as an active player in casinos all over the country. She is a popular speaker and writer on gaming subjects. Today, Jean Scott, who, in her words, is just an “ordinary grandmother,” is the world’s most famous low-rolling gambler and her fans are legionWhile all of Jean’s suggestions are with Las Vegas in mind, it would be a great idea to use or modify them for our local New England Gaming.  Check out these tips:
10 money-saving tips from the Frugal Gambler
1. Study before you go. Libraries and bookstores have oodles of casino and gambling books that will guide you on a money-saving path. The Internet is full of information on the various casino games. Learn which games have the smallest casino edge, or have a skill factor you could learn, or that enable you to risk your money more slowly. All of these will allow you to lose less and/or stretch your bankroll further.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

2. Treat gambling as a form of entertainment and budget it just as you do whatever else you do for fun, such as movies, eating out, and vacations. Nothing takes away the fun factor more quickly than losing money that you need for life’s essentials. Do not take your checkbook or ATM or credit card to the casino with you. Decide how much you can afford to spend (lose), and take that amount in cash or safe traveler’s checks as your gambling bankroll. Make your gambling bankroll last the whole time you plan to be in a casino by dividing it into segments, i.e., in thirds if you are staying three days, in three-to-four session bankrolls for each day. Then never “borrow ahead” from the next session bankroll.

3. Join every casino player’s club you can, even if you don’t plan to gamble there. You can join many online before you get to Vegas. Membership is free and many casinos give discounts to player’s card holders in their restaurants, gift shops, and for rooms.

4. Use your player’s card EVERY TIME you play, no matter how small the amount or short the time. This allows the casino to track your play and thus know how much to reward you with comps, those freebie meals, rooms, shows, and other benefits that the casinos want to give their players.

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

If you play machines, there is a place for you to insert your card. If you play the tables, you merely hand the card to the dealer of any game and ask that your play be tracked. Casinos cannot give you comps if they don’t know you are playing in their casino.

    An added benefit of joining and using a player’s card is that casinos often send mail offers to everyone in their database, sometimes even to those who have played little or not at all. You will be surprised at the money-saving offers that will appear in your mailbox when you get home.
5. Don’t drink too much alcohol, even if the drinks are free. It will cloud your judgment.
6. If you are losing too fast, go down in denomination. Change from the dollar slots to quarters or from quarter to nickels. At the tables, bet the lowest-value chip allowed.
7. Slow down your play — savor the noisy, fun-filled atmosphere. The bells and whistles, the clanking coins, the high fives at the tables, the excited screams of winners — this is what makes the casino such an entertaining experience.

Remember the days of casino trips with coupon books?

8. Look for coupons and specials for discounted meals, shows, and sightseeing tours. You can find many of these in the freebie magazines around town: at the bell desk, at rental car agencies and motels, at the airport, and right in your room. Read the marquees for menu specials.

9. Look for promotions that will add value to a game you play:
a. bonus players club points, like double points on holidays or on a certain day every week;
b. bonuses for certain events, like the top jackpot on slots, a certain quad in video poker, or a special hand in blackjack;
c. drawings for which you can earn tickets by playing your favorite game.
10. Make your bankroll last longer by taking frequent non-gambling breaks. Take in a show, go sightseeing, have a long, leisurely meal, take a tour or go shopping. Get your proper rest. A tired gambler is a gambler who will make decisions he will regret. Get a full night’s sleep and take a nap, if possible. Gambling is hard work!
The Royal Queen of Coupons has spoken!  Check out her books at Amazon

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Casino Annoyances – Slots, VP, Table Games and More

Spending time at the casino can be so much fun…..if it wasn’t for those annoying humans and machines that you have to interact with.

So, you’re at your favorite casino, playing your favorite machine or table game. Then something annoying happens…..you are immediately taken from Casino solace and recreational fun to gambling annoyance….the dreaded casino pet peeve.

What’s your pet peeve when visiting the casino?  I’d love to hear about about it from you. Follow us and comment on Twitter and Facebook. Here are some of my pet-peeves. Let’s see if these sound familiar:

Slot Machines

SLOTS

  • A person sits at the machine next to you. He/she constantly puts their players card in, and pulls it out – like it has anything to do with the outcome. I guess they are trying to fool the machine. These people should have read my blog on the Random Number Generator?
  • The person who sits at the slot machine and has to hit all the buttons before the pull (hitting the button). Are they composing, or soothing the machine with a lullaby? Again, RNG people, RNG!!
  • Slot machines that congratulate you for winning a small amount in the bonus – like a whole $8 while you’re betting $1.25 a whack. I’d rather have it say “better luck next time!” or “lucky you, you’re only $200 down, now.”
  • Ashes on the machine buttons. Smokers, c’mon – consider the players after you, please!
  • Players who smack the crap out of the buttons – I mean, don’t these people suffer stress fractures or something?

The solitary play of a video poker player.

VIDEO POKER

  • The person who slaps the buttons so hard, you swear that he/she will break the machine before they break their hand. It’s like they are beating the machine into submission.
  • Sticky buttons on VP machines at bars.  It would be great if there was something that would cover the buttons.
  • The number of times that 4th Ace doesn’t appear in DDB.
  • VP machines placed in the casino when the lighting produces a glare so bad that you can’t even read the cards unless you constantly move back and forth.

TABLE GAMES

  • Listen, if your are playing $25 at a $5 Blackjack table, don’t get upset when someone doesn’t play perfect strategy. Where else are they going to learn for real? Play with the serious players at the $25 table. Besides, studies have shown mistakes in basic strategy by newbies usually even out the table’s play with bad plays that actually help the players. (Look it up!)
  • Dealers who don’t thank players for a tip. Tapping the chip does not count as a proper “thank you.”
  • High table minimums, no lower options.
  • The dealer shuffles, the players await their first hand of the shoe – and dealer has blackjack!

GENERAL

  • Walking behind someone who suddenly decides to stop cold in their tracks in the middle of the aisle without any regard to the 10 people behind them who now have to quickly react to or run into the inconsiderate person. Is it too hard to just walk to the side before coming to a complete stop?
  • The cocktail waitress comes around and asks you if you would like a drink… then you don’t see her for 15-20 until she comes by and asks you if you want a drink… you order again and then 15-20 minutes she comes by again and still hasn’t brought you a drink and asks you again if you want something. Etc, etc, etc….
  • When the space between machines is filled with half-empty drink glasses, full ashtrays, and other trash.  People ca be such slobs.
  • People who scream and shout and jump up and down when they hit almost any kind of win, and lots of times it’s a small win on a slot machine that doesn’t even return their bet back. I figure they do it because they’ve never been to a casino before and they’ve seen people do it on TV or in movies and so they think that’s how they are supposed to act in a casino.
  • And finally, though I love New England casinos, I hate the fact that Las Vegas is SO FAR AWAY! Those 7 hour flights are a royal pain. Of course, higher resort fees, new parking fees, worse VP than Mohegan Sun, time share hawkers, porn slappers , freaks on every corner….. like I said, I love New England.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Rewards Club – Locals Beware

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

According to Jeffrey Compton of Casino Player & Slots Player Magazine, casino players clubs actually got their first strong start in New Jersey. “…most Atlantic City customers go home every night, some of those “locals” travel 150 miles both ways to get there……Atlantic City Golden Nugget (now the [defunct] Atlantic City Hilton) created the first system (using players club cards and tickets) that actually gave rewards totally based on actual play.”

The Atlantic City Hilton, alive and well years ago.

The Atlantic City Hilton, alive and well years ago.

Slot clubs were originally offered to reward players for their loyalty so they kept coming back.  In this day & age, some slot clubs have become so strict and restrictive, they seem to reward the one time big player, instead the locals frequent business, and the state residents that support the casino and state revenue.  So it goes in Uncasville, Connecticut.

I have been very surprised and outraged at what I have found out from two hosts and a host phone call from Mohegan Sun the last six months. What I’m about to tell you probably won’t make you feel loved by it’s player’s club. Remember, “Slot clubs were originally offered to reward players for their loyalty.”players-club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Rewards Club has many good points.  Please check out the following NETG’s previous posts for more information:

Mohegan “Sun”day – New Rewards Club “Momentum”

Momentum @ Mohegan Sun: New England Casino Rewards Clubs Part 1

Now, about that “Loyalty” thing and what we have found at NETG.

Anytime you use your Momentum Players Card, the Mohegan Sun considers it a “gambling day.”  ANYTIME! Here are a few scenarios:

  • Scenario 1 – You decide to visit the casino to buy take out with your Momentum points on your way home for supper. You use the points you have EARNED and leave.
  • Scenario 2 – You attend a concert, or a Connecticut Sun Game.  You get into the arena and buy yourself a beverage using your Momentum points, or anything else, inside the arena. You use the points you have EARNED and leave after the concert or game.
  • Scenario 3 – You take your father to the buffet for Veteran’s Day, or your spouse to an expensive restaurant for Valentine’s day, or even take your family for pizza at Pepe’s. You use the points you have EARNED and leave.
  • Scenario 4 – On your way home from work, you swipe at the kiosk to play for a prize or something. Then, as quickly as you arrived you exit.

In all four scenarios, one thing is common – they all count as “No Gamble Days.”  

Average Daily Theoretical is your value to the casino.  The math to determine your ADT is based on the above.

Average Daily Theoretical is your value to the casino. The math to determine your ADT is based on the above.

They all count against your ADT – Average Daily Theoretical. For more about ADT, see a related post called “Casino Comps & Your “Average Daily Theoretical” Every time you use your card at Mohegan Sun, and you don’t gamble what you typically gamble, your ADT tumbles. What does this mean? Less free slotplay, less dining offers, less… well, everything!

After checking at Foxwoods, with my Detroit connection and their casinos, Penn National’s two New England Casinos, and Vegas sources, I have come to two 2 conclusions:

  1. Mohegan Sun’s Rewards Club is unfair to locals
  2. Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Rewards Club is one of the strictest reward clubs in the country.

What Mohegan Sun expects, and this is from the horse’s (host’s) mouth, is if you use your card, you are expected to gamble your typical amount.  If not, every time your card is used, even though the points you are using you’ve earned, your offers diminish. It’s all automatic – discretionary comps are completely out of hosts hands. The computer algorithm determines all your comps, no matter how you use your card or points.

This also brought another question to mind – if locals are treated in this way, why would I support a third casino venture by MMCT?  Hmmmm…….

Mohegan Sun Slots

Mohegan Sun Slots

So, the next time you visit Mohegan Sun, without the intention to gamble (remember, they consider themselves a Destination Resort?), pay cash and leave your player’s card in the card.  If not, it’s just going to hurt your value to the casino.

Binbin

 

The Ultimate Truth About Casino Players Cards

players-clubIt amazes me to see people sinking their money into a machine with out having a card inserted in the card reader. I sometimes ask people why they don’t use a card and have received several different answers.  The other day, someone was spouting off every slot myth in the book – “teaching” everyone around him, whether they cared or not.  However, the biggest sin of this whole escapade was that he had taken out his card to “get a bonus” for nearly 10 minutes.  His bet was over $8.00 a whack!  Just think of the comps he missed out on due to his “Casino Paranoia.”  That was the most foolish thing he could’ve done.

Anyway, all of the following I was told at one time or another and are completely false, with an explanation why:

Plainridge Casino Floor

“I don’t play enough to earn anything.” You would be surprised to see how quickly points can add up.  Take advantage of multiplier days to increase your points and tier status.

“When I use my card the machine knows and doesn’t pay off.”  There is no connection between the card reader and the slot machine. There is NO WAY that using a card will affect the way a machine pays. They are two separate systems.

download (4)“I don’t want to give out my address to the casino.”  The casino cannot send you any promotions if they don’t have your address.  Some high rollers without their players club card at tables so they stay anonymous.  But as face recognition software gets better, even that may become difficult.

“I take my card out and I get a bonus – explain that!” Again, there is no connection between the card reader and the slot machine. There is NO WAY that using a card will affect the way a machine pays.

lasjw_casino_playersClub“Playing with your slots club card decreases your chances of winning.” The theory is that the casinos want you to win less in order to recoup the perks and rebates that you receive from playing with the slot machine club. The reality is that the amount of money returned is negligible, and the casinos don’t mind paying it.  Your perks depends on your theoretical value.  Click on the following link to see a previous post explaining Average Daily Theoretical.

“When I use my card, I never win. The machine knows and it doesn’t pay off.” Although a very interesting and popular myth, this is absolutely false. The notion that using a casino club card lowers the odds of winning is a big misconception, and quite frankly illegal.  Remember, the players club software is a different system and does not have a connection to the Random Number Generator working in the machine.

download (5)“The slot machine can tell the difference between playing maximum and minimum.” That’s why I take out my card when I change my bet.”  The number of coins played has no effect on whether or not the winning symbols will line up. It only determines how much you will win or lose. Many players will vary the number of coins they play per spin because they believe there is a pattern that can make them winners. Some players will even cash out during their playing sessions so the machine will “Think” a new player has started playing. Slot machines are computers and there is no way they “know” when a new player starts playing. The RNG is continuously running and is used to select the next win or loss. It is not linked to the to the coin receptor so varying your coins or cashing out and starting again will not help you win.  However….know the machine you’re playing.  Some extra bonus symbols are added, or some winning combinations are not available at certain denominations.  Still, not connected to the players card.

AND FINALLY

“Using a player card enables the casino to report my winnings to the IRS.” The fact is, it makes no difference. If you win $1,200 or more they will report it either way. If you have a net losing year, which you probably will, at least the casino will have evidence of it. Such annual win/loss statements may be used as evidence to declare offsetting loses to jackpot wins.

Play sensible, play with knowledge, and play with your Players Card in the card reader.

Binbin