A Las Vegas Advisor Blog from the "Queen of Comps"

Are Casino Comps a Dying Breed?

Recently I wrote the article below for a newsletter than goes mainly to casino executives.  However, I thought it might be of interest to some of the players who read this blog.

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Back in 1995, the news crew of 48 Hours followed Brad and me around Las Vegas, filming as we played video poker and reaped comps all over town.  On the air, Dan Rather dubbed me the “Queen of Comps.”  By then I had been honing my comp skills for more than ten years and after retirement, and Brad and I were staying in comped casino hotel rooms in Las Vegas for months at a time.  Our low-roller play on quarter video poker not only provided us with a free places to stay, but comps covered our food costs, gave us myriad entertainment choices, and provided gifts galore.  It was the golden age of comps. Read more… »

In my last blog entry I talked about the major revision Stations has made to its players club program.  You should read that first to fully understand this discussion.  They have changed the point calculation from $1 coin-in = 3 points to $1 coin-in = 1 point.

I try not to be too critical of casinos – they endlessly frustrate me but I know they are companies that need to make profits to stay in business.   So I try to be patient with them.  But when they make changes, especially those that negatively affect their customers, it would seem to be good business practice to publicize some details, preferably in advance.  People are already wary of a business that directly empties customer wallets at a fast rate.  So when casinos bring in new programs that change the rules of the “game” but don’t reveal this information, it is no wonder that customers feel like they are being tricked.  Doing things that decrease the trust your customers – or potential customers – have in your company is not only bad business practice – it is a public relations disaster.

If the Stations would have asked me how to handle this new change, here is what I would have said Read more… »

Again!!!!

In 2008, the Stations players club underwent a major overhaul, changing point redemption from comps-only to a free play option.  Then in 2011, another major overhaul took place.  I discussed this at http://jscott.lvablog.com/?p=1585#more-1585 .   This one included a major upgrade in the value of their points, but a downgrade in extra benefits like comps.  Now, in 2014, there are major changes once again – and massive confusion once again for their customers.

Personally I wish casinos wouldn’t change their minds so often – it’s keeping me from retiring.  Read more… »

Monthly mailings were running late from several casinos.  I hate to start off a blog entry with a rant, but I can’t understand why casinos are so dilatory in their advance planning.  A promotion that ran a day before I got the mailer telling about it does not seem like a good marketing technique.  Casino executives:  EVERY MONTH STARTS ON THE FIRST!  Read more… »

APRIL VEGAS PROMOTIONS

More Marketing Relationships

MGM and Thunder Valley Casino Resort have announced a strategic marketing relationship which creates reciprocal benefits for the loyalty programs of both companies. Thunder Rewards members will receive exclusive offers at MGM Resorts destinations in Las Vegas, while MGM Resorts’ M life members will enjoy offers to play and stay at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif.

SLS Las Vegas will become part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts guest loyalty program, Read more… »

Personal Stuff

I appreciated greatly all the positive comments about my recent blog “story” –   “How it All Began.” (http://jscott.lvablog.com/?p=3436 )  However, I need to make it clear that this was not labeled “Part 1.”  It was a one-time celebration piece about a memorable happening in Brad’s and my life 30 years ago.  There was no promise of “More to Come.” 

That being said, I must admit that while I was finishing the piece I was thinking that this would be a good first chapter if I ever decided to write a memoir, a project that has been in the back of my mind for the last few years. Read more… »

My last blog entry (http://jscott.lvablog.com/?p=3436) generated a record number of comments. Now I really love it when a subject produces a good discussion with helpful information.  However, sometimes a thread goes off the track and quickly degenerates into personal arguments that upset – or at least bore the majority of readers.  I am always willing to allow, even encourage, a diversity of opinion, but the conversation must stay polite and not include personal attacks.  You can disagree strongly with someone’s ideas but you can’t call them insulting names. 

Comments must also not ramble too far off the original subject. Read more… »

It was 30 years ago, on a windy March day in 1984, that a man and a woman arrived in Las Vegas on a plane from Indianapolis, Indiana.  It was their first vacation together, and it was only natural that they chose Las Vegas.  After all they had met and fallen in love while gambling together at Tonk games at the local Moose Lodge.  (The man would always laugh and say he had won the lady in a card game; the lady would explain that he had only won her heart.)

The couple had saved for this vacation, but they looked for the most inexpensive travel arrangements they could find – so they would have more left for gambling. Read more… »

Skillful Slots?

I don’t write about slot machines much since I rarely play them, instead sticking to video poker.  However, I recently read an excellent article by John Grochowski on the Web site CasinoTimesCity, http://scoblete.casinocitytimes.com/.     “Slot Machines Where Skill Counts” gave some interesting information for slot players and here are some excerpts:

“A tiny percentage of slots incorporate elements of skill. In International Game Technology’s Reel Edge games — Centipede, Blood Life Legends, and Tully’s Treasure Hunt — along with GTECH’s Zuma and Bejeweled, a skilled player will receive larger average returns on the bonus events than an unskilled player.”

But then he discusses a group of what I call “fooler slots.” Read more… »

ADDITIONS TO MARCH VEGAS PROMOTIONS

TUSCANY

They are running a “Hot Seat Giveaway” promotion Saturdays in March for machine players and an “Electronics Giveaway” for those playing table games.  Regular gift days are the 12th and 26th.  Earn 300 points on Sundays and you are eligible for a gift in the “inventory gift giveaway.”

Senior News:  Read more… »