– Highlights of Last Two Weeks

August has arrived, is it the end of summer?  

Well, let’s take you back a few weeks to the best received posts from the past two weeks, with a gambling riddles intertwined…… courtesy of from


July 20th – MGMSpringfield Resort Success is Crucial For Springfield

A comparison post, MGM Springfield two years ago and the present.

What did the dealer say to the deck of cards? ……..”I can’t deal with you anymore.” 

July 24th – Comped Drink Systems Is a Good Change  

Video Poker Bar

While all the other changes by corporate bean counters has me pulling out the little hair I have left, paying for drinks through play is not so bad in this blogger’s opinion.

What does a BlackJack player eat for dinner…..Whatever his comp card allows him to! 

July 25th – Wynn Boston Harbor Drinking Hours Extended With Opposition

My, My………we have seen the influence of MGM on the Massachusetts legislature and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, now the other casino giant has gotten it’s way through the back door.

Whats the difference between online poker and live poker?…….You can cry after a bad beat online and no one will laugh at you. 



Aug 1st – Gambling Losing Streaks




Finally, a quote from Paul Newman  “If you’re playing a poker game and look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you”

Have a great week!


Comped Drink Systems Is a Good Change

Lights signal bartenders for vouchers. Some are automatic.

What happens in Las Vegas, doesn’t necessarily stay in Las Vegas.  When the casino industry changes things, those changes usually migrate across the country in one form or another. Since corporations have taken over in Las Vegas in the 1980’s, the comp systems have been slowly eroding to something of a slow squeeze to visitors and their bankrolls.  Diminished payouts, table game rules changed to add to the house’s edge, parking and resort fees, and now, good-bye comped drinks.

Let’s reminisce, shall we.  Even as of the year 2000, after parking the car in a free garage (or valet for a couple of bucks), a gambler would checking in to the hotel expecting to pay the hotel fee he booked, or get a comped room, without any add-ons.  Then, walking into the casino floor to gamble, could either find low table limits at decent rules (no 6/5 BJ) or Video Poker with good paytables.  As he/she played, they were assured of one more amenity – free drinks.  And that’s where this post really begins.

“It’s yet another revenue-generating move, as more Las Vegas casinos embrace the idea of a comp drink monitoring system that decides if gamblers are wagering enough to warrant free alcohol.” (from CasinoOrg’s post by David Sheldon  More Las Vegas Casinos Now Monitoring Players Before Offering ‘Free’ Cocktails).


While all the other changes by corporate bean counters has me pulling out the little hair I have left, paying for drinks through play is not so bad in this blogger’s opinion.

KTNV in Las Vegas reported “It gets rid of the people that want to hang around and play a quarter and try to basically, I don’t want to use the word scam, but basically take advantage of the system,” said Albert Tabola with Arden Progressive Systems & Games.   Tabola says, if you’re a consistent player, this won’t affect you. You will still get your comped drinks. It simply affects the people who want something for nothing.”

Long Bar, at the D, downtown Las Vegas.

For those of us who study, practice and play video poker at video bars, getting a seat to play, relax and have an occasional free drink is not only part of the experience but expected.  But those of us who are avid VP players know the frustration of people who sit at the bar, getting free drinks, while playing $.25 every 5 minutes.

Many times, these VP bars will include progressive payouts, but there are no seats available because the “ploppies” and the “squatters” don’t move.



It seems there are two systems growing in Nevada – coupon and lighting systems.

Drink coupon at the Cosmopolitan, Mid-strip, Las Vegas.

The coupon system is easy to understand, just not easy to predict.  When your play equals a certain amount, the machine coughs up a free drink coupon.  A normal amount of play should not affect your number of free drinks.  For example, at the Cosmopolitan in the Vegas Strip, some players have commented they end up with a surplus of coupons not used.  But the amount of play doesn’t seem to be standardized yet, with bugs in the software of certain machines.

Caesars Entertainment officially rolled out the comped drink monitoring system by the Arden Progressive Systems & Games mentioned above at all their casinos on the Las Vegas strip about a year ago. Here’s how it works: (see image above)

It’s a green light, red light alert system designed to tell the staff if you’re playing enough to qualify for comped drinks:

  • When you enter money into a bar top machine like video poker, Blackjack, or Keno, the machine turns on a blue light to show someone is playing.
  • As you play enough, your light will turn green, alerting the bartender you are ready for a drink.
  • If you fall behind and don’t gamble at a fast enough rate, your light will turn red.

Either system is a plus.  The casino saves money, less ploppies and squatters taking seats meant for players, and true players have more seats available without ten millennials huddled behind scamming the bartender into free drinks.


The Star Bar in Mohegan Sun.

Frankly it could be two years before we see this technology.  While CET (Caesars Entertainment, formally Harrah’s) does not have a property in New England, it’s influence could move east to Atlantic City – close enough to make a mark.  By 2020, Wynn Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield will be fully operational.  We already know that Mohegan Sun has eliminated discretionary comps, but hasn’t succumbed to other national influences in the industry affecting the player.  The following casinos still have free alcoholic drinks:

  • Mohegan Sun
  • Foxwoods
  • Massachusetts Casinos – the casino bill signed into law does allow casinos to offer free alcohol to gamblers from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Massachusetts casinos are trying to extend to 4 a.m.  It has recently passed, but is still being challenged.

    Few Video Poker Machines - Single Line all in Revolution Lounge - 8 of them.

    Plainridge Park Video Poker Machines in Revolution Lounge 

Patrons must pay for alcoholic drinks in all Maine & Rhode Island casinos.  Plainridge Park Casino, in Massachusetts, while it seemingly can offer free alcoholic drinks by law, doesn’t.  Alcoholic drinks must be paid for, even at the one small VP bar with 10 machines.

The real question is “who will be first to change to a drink monitoring system?”


I would imagine they will be first to have paid parking because parking has been diminished in the resort’s initial plans and downtown parking is not easy to come buy, with paid parking already established in the city. MGM Springfield will be the first to add this drink system.  Wynn will end up with paid parking, but will resist the drink monitoring systems.  Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods will resist both to be competitive.


Drink monitoring systems are a good change at VP bars are a good change.  But, decent paytables must be offered – no more diminishing the video poker odds by diminishing the VP pay tables.  May full pay VP is a thing of the past (although Mohegan Sun still offers 9/6 JOB), but offering 6/5 JOB is just offensive – especially if you are playing for your drinks by playing.


The newest rumor from Las Vegas is that comped drinks through a coupon system may be added to slot machines on the casino floor.  More on that as it continues.  Wow!


Tomorrow, we finally take a look at the Sugar Factory at Foxwoods. 

But, that’s all for now.


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.


No Free Drinks For Slot Players?

Notice drink vouchers from TI. in Las Vegas

Notice drink vouchers from TI. in Las Vegas

What’s next – a voucher for a 6oz. bottle-ette of water?

Vital Vegas just reported that free drinks while playing slots may be a thing of the past soon.

A few days ago I posted  Video Poker Free Drinks One More Thing to Take Away From Players?  It seems casinos feel they have it soooooo bad, they must take away historic perks to make up for their own  mismanagement.

Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas

Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas

According to Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas, an MGM representative said the company is pilot-testing a paper voucher comp-validation system on slot machines at MGM Grand and the Lobby Bar at the Mirage in Las Vegas.  Yes, this is same wonderful group that started their PGP (profit-growth-plan) to find where they can make better business decisions to make more money.  Only, this initiative comes out of the pockets of the same people they keep in business with. Yes MGM, the group that gave you crappy gambling rules, the first to charge for parking, the first to make VP players earn their drink, and now about to make any player pay for their drink no matter their game of choice.

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

Remember my fellow New Englanders, this is the casino giant building MGM Springfield – MGM Resorts International.  Is this the kind of hospitality and gambling we can expect?

In Scott’s article  “Free drinks for slot play? Not so fast” others climb in on why it’s necessary.  As the president of Raving Consulting Co., Dennis Conrad consults with casinos across the country. He says automating comps might be an attempt to improve customer service by ensuring people entitled to comps get them. And it might also be a way to get rid of freeloaders and even reduce theft. Regardless of the reasons for implementing them, automated systems could create new problems.There needs to be some training and communicating the facts of why we’re doing this and how, if you’re a good player, there’s nothing to worry about,” Conrad said.

One thing I don’t hear from anyone it seems is the fact that 99% of all gamblers are already paying out of their pocket – it’s called the HOUSE EDGE!!!!

Here's that 6 oz. root beer you earned after the last half hour of play.  Congratulations!

Here’s that 6 oz. root beer you earned after the last half hour of play. Congratulations!

Why is it that if gambling revenue is decreasing, and all these stop gap moves to eliminate internal business problems are being implemented, these masterminds of casinos can’t see the real reason why there’s less gambling going on.  A players bankroll doesn’t last anymore because of 6/5 blackjack, less free odds at craps, low % slots, video poker pay tables that SUCK, and the latest 0, 00, and yes 000 at some casino roulette wheels!

Long Live New England Casinos.  May they stay away from the greedy take-aways that people see out west.  Maybe people will come to New England for some of the best gambling in the U.S.  If they play their cards right, 10 casinos can be one destination – a little something for everyone.


Video Poker Free Drinks One More Thing to Take Away From Players?

Once again, casino bars in Las Vegas are taking away something sacred to the Vegas player – the free drink.  At least, we can be glad things like this take time to reach us in New England.

Since forever, I could remember playing video poker, being able to get a free drink.

But if you look closely at the pic above you see lights facing the bartenders.  Those lights tell the bartender if you have “earned” another free drink. Most customers would probably never even notice the lights, but they’re used by bartenders to determine if players are worthy of comped cocktails while sitting at the bar.

Vital Vegas logoHere’s how it works, according to Vital Vegas and Scott Roeben, reporting on the Caesars Palace system:

“First, the blue light turns on of the customer at the car has inserted $20 into the machine. It serves as a baseline to differentiate between customers drinking and enjoying sports on the nearby screens and those playing video poker.

Typically, a bartender can comp a first drink if a player puts money into a machine, but that doesn’t appear to be the case with the Red Light, Green Light system.

Only after a player has qualified with their play do they get the green light for a comped cocktail. Red light, no comped drink for you.”

Amazing.  But are there good aspects to this, besides casinos such as MGM and Caesars nickel & diming it’s patrons?  What’s so bad about it? Well:

  • Bartenders are less social, no need to smooze when their hands are tied with the customers.  Will it also mean less tips for bartenders at these bartops?
  • If you like to play low limit $.25 electronic keno, or $1 blackjack, don’t expect to get a drink for a while.  It takes too much money in.

Are there any positives for the player?

  • If you are a mid-roller at Video Poker and play 200 to 300 hands per hour, you should have no problem getting another drink.
  • At times, the bartender can override the system – but don’t count on it.
  • It might keep the drink monger who sits in these “gaming seats” hardly playing and taking up the space other REAL players are looking for – especially at high volume times.

It’s still evolving.  Probably newbies to gambling will pay anyway – damn millennials.



I’m feeling like Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” yelling out “Tra-di-tion!” knowing things are changing, and not for the player.  Tevye is asked for a blessing for the the Czar, the one changing their lifes.  His response is “May God bless the Czar — and keep him FAR AWAY FROM HERE!”

Paid parking, drink vouchers – please, keep them FAR AWAY FROM HERE!