Lock It Promotion at Mohegan Sun – by Special Guest Joe Freda

“War For The Soar”

The “Lock It In” Challenge at Mohegan Sun


Today’s guest post is from NETG gambling friend Joe “Reload” Freda. Joe has supported NETimeGambling from the very beginning. He brings tried and true tips on maintaining a high level of gambling. Joe has been an avid gambling writer for the past two decades, covering casino and sports wagering.  Freda can be reached at joe_freda@yahoo.com or through Twitter (@ReloadSports). 
While this post was released last year, Joe’s approach is sound. The “Lock It In” promotion just ended at Mohegan Sun. After reading this, you might want to approach your next six months differently.

Introduction

After a recent rest from visiting Connecticut’s casinos, I was hit up with a unique “Lock It In” promotion from Mohegan Sun that was worth exploring.  The offer designates a specific four-day period where your current Momentum player status tier can remain achieved without further visits needed.  In my case, it would take earning 500 points through play over the four days to lock in Soar status, which is the highest published level of Mohegan Sun’s five tiers.

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

The Soar status normally takes 4000 status points over six months to achieve for the next six months.  Even with scattered double or triple status promotional days, this is still quite an undertaking.  I recall only reaching it once before a few years ago. Since then I have had the second-highest level, Ascend.

The same four-day period also featured several overlapping comps. To further enhance the visit,  Mohegan Sun offered me a $500 free bet, $300 of Players Perks and a coveted Sky Suite to stay in.  While gambling is not on the minds of many as the holiday season approaches, it can be a promising time to strike with casino offers!

The challenge in obtaining 500 points over this span would be a hefty one.  I needed the right planning and bankroll management.  I only had two of the days free, so I faced  some lengthy action without going bust.

Early struggles in my “War For The Soar”

In trying to conserve for a long haul, I opted to start with some commission-free Pai Gow Poker. Commission-free Pai Gow Poker has a low variance.  Pushes happen at over a 40% rate, which make it your best chance for your money to last.  You can also set your hands at times to more conservatively play for a push instead of going for a full win.

My $500 free bet won early and provided some breathing room. But the rest of my first night was a downward spiral of losses every hour.  I even missed out on a Royal Flush progressive payout of $2900 by not ponying up the game’s $5 side bet. While that may sound disappointing, playing an extra $5 a hand through a longer trip like this would have lost back almost all of that.

I ended up lasting until 5am in that session for 188 status points. I was still down 75% of what I came to Uncasville’s mothership with.  It was back to the Sky Suite for some rest, room service and planning the strategy for the rest of the visit.

“Soar-ing” back and enjoying the ride

As the next day of action approached, I opted to tighten risk even further. I split my wager into two hands of Pai Gow.  This would allow my average bet to still be high enough in getting the points needed, but lessen the chance of sharper drops money-wise.

I knew it would take a lot of time but my luck was holding serve well out of the gate. I played two hands. Normally, it’s tougher to surge upward. playing two hands at a time. But, I managed to double my stake after the first couple of hours.  Even with more chips to work with, I remained conservative in the betting style so I could still last long.

As the clock struck 2am, I reached a good stopping mark. I had won back 70% of what was lost the night before.  I checked my status points knowing there was only a four-hour window left in the “Lock It In” period.  Thankfully, I reached a total of 495 points and just needed a few more!

I finished the night with some video poker in the “Hall Of Lost Tribes” and curled up to a “9/6 Jacks Or Better” machine.  In this mini-session worth seven status points, the gods of “quads” came through with four of a kind twice.  It felt nice to end with some extra winnings after all I had been through.

The next day, Mohegan Sun sent me a mailer. My Soar status was extended thanks to achieving 502 points.  I also enjoyed using the rest of my “Players Perks” in picking up an Under Armor hoodie from Denali. At the soon-closing Margaritaville restaurant, I also picked up a couple of hats.

I ended up losing about 10% of my bankroll over the trip. But, the overall experience and comps achieved made this a memorable one.  I felt five-star service the whole time and will be looking forward to another six months of Soar benefits. That’s the Mohegan Sun way!

 

Taxes – A Quick Gambler’s Guide – Part 1

Wow! a Jackpot! Now What…

How many times have you finally hit that rare jackpot over $1200, your machine has locked up and here comes casino staff – much quicker than that 15-minute ago drink order.

“Congratulations!”, as they make the usual check for any machine malfunction or possible shenanigans on your part – to be expected, of course. The you are asked the famous question “would you like taxes taken out now, or will you be taking it out later?

What’s a person to do? You’re excited, nervous (unless this thing happens to you all the time like me…..lol), and have to make this decision, usually without a lot of experience in this area.

Well, I am going to try to look into what the experts say about gambling & taxes. Today we look at the question of “tax me now, or tax me later?”

A personal true story that stopped me from ever considering getting taxes taken out instantly:
I was playing Triple Play Video Poker at the Palms in Las Vegas. Playing full-pay Bonus Poker I was dealt 10-J-Q-K of spades. Triple play, if you haven’t played it, is a VP game where you play three hands based on the deal of the bottom hand. Most Video Poker paytables jackpot of a Royal Flush is 4000 credits, and at the $.25 level, that’s under the taxable amount of anything over $1199. Well, I was extremely lucky at least I thought so at first.  I drew an Ace of spades at the top hand and a Straight Flush 9 of spades draw on the bottom for a total of 250 credits – yeah! Oh wait a minute – that’s $1249.  (Just over the $1199.)
I took the taxes immediately because I didn’t know any better and was handed a little over $900. I know I should be grateful, but on that extra $ 300 I could have played single VP all day – enough for comps, and future offers.


IRS Reporting
All casino winnings are subject to federal taxes however the IRS only requires the casinos to report any wins over $1,200 on slot and video poker machines or other games such as keno, lottery or hose racing. When you have a win equal to or greater than $1200, you will be issued a W-2G form. This form lists your name, address and social security number. The casinos are not required to take out withholding tax on jackpots under $5,000 as long you supply your social security number. If you don’t provide your social security number the casinos will withhold 28 percent on smaller jackpots.

You can request a specific amount of withholding tax to be taken out on any jackpot you win. Some players like to do this to avoid a big tax payment in April when the file their income tax returns. The additional withholding may not be necessary if you keep a log book. The law allows you to deduct gambling loses up to the amount of your winnings. You can only do this if you have documentation of your losses. Keeping a diary or logbook, is the way to do this.

However if you gamble at a specific casino, you should ask for a win/loss statement that the casino will provide to show the losses that offset your jackpot. Personally, I am able to gamble enough locally and once per year in Las Vegas to get whatever win/loss statements from different casinos to show my losses to offset that jackpot. (Boy, can I show the losses!)

IF you still don’t trust the players club, here is where it is your friend!
If you hit a big jackpot, you’ll be so happy you were a player’s club member you might just dance in the streets. If you weren’t, you might be out in the street. Using your player’s club card will allow the casino to keep track of your wins and losses. At the end of the year you can ask for a win/loss statement and they will either email or snail (if the post office is still in business) mail you a copy. That should shrink your big jackpot’s tax liability.

Tomorrow, we will get some tax tips from gaming experts. That’s all for now.

Binbin

Foxwoods Rewards – Before and After

Foxwoods Resort Casino

Well, it’s been three months since Foxwoods Resort Casino changed a few things concerning it’s rewards program.  With all the sincerity of a squirrel after the first acorn of fall, so, too, I sought out to inform you of these changes and present our followers with a comparison of then and now.

According to the Foxwoods web site, “The New Foxwoods Rewards Program supposedly accelerates you to higher tiers faster than ever, whether you play Slots, Tables, Poker, Keno or bet at Race Book. Now, all earned Foxwoods Tier Credits and Rewards Points will make upgrading to the next Tier more rewarding for our Members, plus you can enjoy more benefits and their NEW Monthly Choice Benefit.”  Sounds great.  But let’s look closer………..

Earning Period & Tier Credits

Earning tier credits will now be 6 months instead of 12 months starting October 1, 2017.  That seems to make it bigger demand on your play.  But the number of tier credits for each of the same levels has also been diminished. Members must earn the minimum number of qualifying Tier Credits during a 6-month time period to advance to the next Tier. The total number of qualifying Tier Credits for each card level is as follows:
Wonder: 0 – 399 (previously was 0-899 Tier Credits)
Gold: 400 – 1,999 (previously was 900-2,399 Tier Credits)
Platinum: 2,000 – 9,999 (previously was 2,400-31,999 Tier Credits)
Diamond: 10,000+ (previously was 32,000+ Tier Credits)

This seems to be a plus, with less credits needed relatively speaking. By moving to a 6-month program, Members do not need to earn as many Tier Credits, which allow them to advance to the next Tier faster.

Tier credits Will reset to 0 on October 1 and April 1 each year. Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Tier levels will be reevaluated on a semi-annual basis. (Does this mean if you “barely” make the next level, you could still be down-graded?  It seems that they have provided a little loophole for themselves, now, doesn’t it!) While Tier level upgrades will take place automatically throughout the year as members earn the next level, once a Tier level is achieved, it will be in effect through the end of the qualifying time period (Oct. 1 – March 31 & April 1 – Sep 30 each year).

POINT ACCELERATORS used to be as follows: GOLD-15% Slots/ 30% Tables Games, PLATINUM-20% Slots/ 30% Tables Games, DIAMOND-30% Slots/ 30% Tables.  Nothing on the website describes the previous accelerators, so I must assume they are not offered anymore.

Earning Tier credits through spending at the resort, or through credit cards is not available like other rewards clubs such as Total Rewards of Caesars Entertainment and MLife of MGM International. Earning Tier credits through play is as before, BINGO – 1 Tier points for every 1 Reward point, TABLE GAMES – 2 Tier points for every 1 Reward SLOTS, POKER, KENO, RACE BOOK – 4 Tier points for every 1 Reward point.

Foxwoods Rewards has four levels.

Big Change – Choice Credits

Previously players could choose between your choice of Bonus Slot Play, Free Bet or Rewards Points Accelerator each month by visiting the rewards club and making the choice on the 1st, 11th and 21st of each month.  Now, your offers will be based on your play during that period, not the previous play period or on your present tier level.  Choice offers will be mailed to certain Rewards members and will be available ONLY on specific days during the month, again, according to your play.  Foxwoods Rewards Points on all Tiers will expire from an account if there is no activity on the account for over 12 months.

Rewards Points are for players to use toward hotel rooms, dining, entertainment, golf, spa services, retail purchases, select Tanger Outlets stores throughout the day’s play based on the type of game they are playing, their average bet, and length of play. If you are unhappy with your offers, you can contact someone at rewardssupport@foxwoods.com.

Personal Experience

A Royal flush at a previous play at Foxwoods – gotta love that Ultimate X!

With a very small sample over the last three months, it seems that Video poker accumulates faster than other casinos. I have been able to equal half of last year’s tier points over two months of play already.  But remember, that’s only video poker & slots over an extremely small sample. I have not played table games at Foxwoods.

Personally, I hope this works out.  It seems to be more based on your ADT and your Theoretical worth to the casino than previous years.  The more you play, the better your offers. For more information on that, try our previous post Casino Comps & Your “Average Daily Theoretical”

Please note – gambling for offers is a dangerous slope.  Gamble for the fun and enjoyment. Chasing offers is like chasing losses – it’s easy to go over board. As Cousin Vito says, “Bet With Your Head, Not Over It.”

More updates later as the process of the new Foxwoods Rewards unfolds.

That’s all for now,

Binbin