CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Comps come and go

10 January 2016

QUESTION: My wife and I travel to Las Vegas from England twice a year, and we stay for 14 nights each time. We always stay at the same downtown hotel. Our budget has increased over the years to around $500 per day, or $7,000 per trip. We have the second-top level of player card.

In the past we often got the first week free and more depending on our play. We never ask for free meals or other perks, just the room.

Recently we only seem to get three of the 14 nights comped, even though we spend the same or more than last year. Last trip we put another 14,000 points on our player cards.

In your opinion does this look normal? Could we get the same or more from another downtown hotel with this level of play or are we, as suggested by the new host, just low level gamblers?

ANSWER: When I received this e-mail, I asked for more information and was told about 80% of their play is on video poker, with the husband mixing in some $10 blackjack and the wife playing some slots. The biggest change in the last few years is that the wife plays less on slots and more on video poker.

The increase in video poker play and decrease in slot play probably is a factor. Where they play, the players' club awards one point for each $1 in slot play, but it takes $3 in video poker play to earn a point.

Once you have the points, if you redeem for free play, it takes 250 points to redeem for $1 in free play or comps. So 14,000 points is the equivalent of $56 in comps or free play. Even at the low room rates of downtown Las Vegas, that’s in the territory of three nights comped for players with an established history.

It might be possible to get a better deal downtown. Each operator has its own marketing goals, and different comp rates. Scanning data at VPFree2.com, I made a comparison to Binion’s, where it takes $8 to earn a point at video poker, so 14,000 points at this couple’s casino would be the equivalent of 5,250 points. However, 40 points bring $1 in cash back, and 20 points bring $1 in comps, so those 5,250 points would bring $131 in cash and $262 in comps.

That doesn’t necessarily mean room comps would be correspondingly generous, but it could be worth exploring by explaining your play history and comp level to hosts or club representatives at different casinos to see what they can do for you.


QUESTION: Roulette with the double-zero has a higher house edge than other table games. So why don’t casinos offer single-zero roulette, where the 2.7% edge is still higher than blackjack or the good bets at craps, but at least it’s a lot closer to other games than 5.26% is.

ANSWER: Roulette moves at a slower pace than other table games. Players must have time to spread their chips on the layout, the wheel spin takes time, and it takes time to settle bets and clear the layout of chips before the next round of betting. The casino must make more money per spin to make as much money per hour as on other games.

Part also is player acceptance. Americans are used to double-zero wheels, and one casino general manager one told me players complained when he installed a single-zero game. He was even told, “Double-zero is my lucky number.”
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:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> 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