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Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

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A shuffle through the gambling mailbag

6 September 2012

QUESTION. If the casino makes a higher percentage on slot machines rather than on blackjack, why then, when we get coupon books, why do they always give coupons that can only be used for blackjack but not for the slots as well?

ANSWER. You’ve put a bit of a twist on the issue of perks and comps for table players vs. those given to slot players. Usually I’m asked why slot players get so much more than table players.

In the case of coupon books, there are a couple of things at work. Gambling vouchers in coupon books are usually designed to get players to sample the games. Table play is a much smaller percentage of overall play than it once was. So coupon books sometimes include a voucher for match play in which one winning table bet is paid double, or perhaps coupon that serves as an ace as your first card in a blackjack hand. The idea is to get someone to try the table game in the hope that they’re interested enough to wager some of their own money under normal game conditions.

Slots have long been the growth segment of the casino business, and the problem on the slots isn’t to get players to sample the games. Instead, the use of promotional cash on slots is designed to reward those who have been playing, and to keep them coming back.

There’s a much more efficient way to accomplish that than vouchers in coupon books. Casinos get that promotional cash into the hands of players through free play or, in increasingly rare cases, cash back on player rewards cards and bounce-back coupons via direct mail. Few player rewards programs give free play among table rewards, and when they do, it takes more play to earn the cash. Free play coupons via direct mail also are harder to come by for a table player than for a slot player.

Some coupon books do include slot free play, and some have vouchers for free slot club points, or to double your earned free play for a day.

The free slot club points or free play multiplier tie right back into the player rewards program, the most efficient way the casinos have of delivering promotional credits to the players they want to attract back.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

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

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

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

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski