I’ve been around for a while. I’ve been gambling recreationally since the 1980’s. Consequently, I’ve weathered some drastic changes and experienced major gambling innovations in the casino industry in my day. These changes I can honestly say have enhanced my gambling experience. Here is the first installment of a series “Major Gambling Innovations.” Part 1 is Major Gambling Innovations – Rewards Cards.
Major Gambling Innovations – Rewards Cards
Over the years, some new innovations have revolutionized the industry. Here is a look at some of the gambling innovations which have changed the gambling industry forever, and shaped the way we think about casinos.
Related Post – Slot Machines, EV & Bankroll
Players Club Cards
Player’s points are redeemable. Many casinos also keep track of your “status” points. Status or Tier points keep track of your level of play. Your status points accumulate depending on the game you play and the amount of time you play it. Games with a high EV (expected value) like Pai Gow Poker will need more money in than, let’s say Roulette. The EV translates into the house edge. The higher the house edge, the quicker status points will be earned.
A perfect example is the difference between playing slots & video poker. Because of the skill involved and the low house edge in video poker, it usually takes up to 3X the coin in at the same denomination.
Major Gambling Innovations – Rewards Cards – FAQ
Do my points expire? – For your redeemable club points, then usually the answer is no. The exception is if you have been inactive for a long period of time. Now, those status points usually have dates of expiration. Some casinos start you over every half year, others a full year. It’s important to know when.
How Much “money in” equals one point? – Points accumulate at different rates at each casino. Knowing how much $$ it takes to earn one point helps when looking for the best player advantage at different casinos. Ask the rewards staff. If they don’t know, ask a host or do your homework. Some websites give you answers, such as VPFree2. But, don’t expect a good answer. Casinos like to be extremely vague about this issue. Another similar question you most likely receive a vague answer to is “how many points equals one dollar earned?” Some casinos are very simple with their calculations. It never hurts to ask.
Does 1 point equal $1 when using my points? – This varies. Some properties, such as MGM Springfield, will charge you 2 points for each dollar. For example, at Borgata in Atlantic City, all stores and restaurants on the casino floor are 1 to 1. But if you go downstairs to their food court, it will cost you $10 in points for a $5 burger. BUYER BEWARE!
Should you always use your rewards card? – Yes, for the most part, but there are exceptions. If stopping in for a quick play and a drink, you might want to play without your card so that a small play doesn’t mess up your ADT. Many Advantage Players will pick and choose when to use cards, considering anonymity better than earning points.
How Long is a Gambling Day? – Know when the gambling day starts. Some start at 6:00am while others start at midnight. Also, be aware if using perks from your rewards card. Playing a little on one gambling day will change your “Daily Theoretical.” A host at Mohegan Sun told me using Momentum Dining Perks meant a gambling day! That’s a ZERO DAILY THEORETICAL! For more information concerning Average Daily Theoretical, click HERE:
The Mega-Rewards Club
Some casino rewards clubs have become HUGE due to mergers and acquisitions, such as Caesar’s Total Rewards, or MGM’s “M Life.” Knowing you can earn at the AC Harrah’s and use them at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is great. Likewise, MGM’s MLife gives you access to properties across the country. Here is a list of the largest rewards mega-clubs:
- MGM International (includes MGM Springfield)
- Pinnacle Entertainment
- Boyd Gaming
- Penn National (includes Hollywood Bangor in ME and Plainridge Park In MA)
- Stations Casinos / Red Rock Resorts (Nevada only)
- Sands International
- Genting International
New England Casino Rewards Clubs
- MyChoiceRewards – Penn National; Hollywood Bangor and Plainridge Park Casino
- MLife – MGM International
- Red Card – Wynn international
- Oxford Rewards – Oxford Casino
- Twin River/Tiverton Rewards – Twin River & Tiverton Casinos
- Foxwoods Rewards – Foxwoods
- Momentum Rewards – Mohegan Sun
Remember, the three things casinos take into consideration for tier levels and comps are average bet amount, time spent, and game played. Usually, the casino looks at the average play for your last number of visits. That number of visits varies per casino – for example, comparing the CT casinos, Foxwoods averages your last three visits, Mohegan Sun your last 6 visits. So beware of that $10 free slot play offer. If it isn’t parlayed into a longer stay, you may be bringing your level down by a visit for free play, eating and then leaving! (based on personal experience – I guess we learn from our mistakes)
That’s All for now.