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

Brad and I will be at Harrah’s New Orleans February 20th and 21st. From there, we will be sailing on the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship from February 22nd until March 1st. We do not play video poker on cruise ships, so you’ll need to look for us at a blackjack table there. If you ever spot us in a casino, please stop and introduce yourself — we don’t mind taking a rest from gambling to chat with old friends and make new ones.

While we are gone – and I’m away from my computer – I thought I would leave this bit of musing.  Maybe some casino executives will read it and take it to heart!

It’s a cliché about walking in someone else’s shoes, but I wonder if some casino executives have become lost in their gigantic databases and forgotten that these are made up of individual human beings who are basically very much like themselves.

What are some of the basic likes and dislikes we all share, in some degree or another? Read more… »

I just received an e-mail from Boyd Gaming that contained a link to the rules for their point multiplier promotion on President’s Day.  (This promotion is advertised in today’s newspaper but they don’t mention some of the important details.)


I like that kind of information from a casino: clear details on times, limitations, and qualifications.  In case you can’t open the above link – and I know some of you are having trouble doing that on some of your devices – I am copying the main rules below.  I urge you to read them carefully because there are some unusual limitations/qualifications. (What you can take advantage of might depend on your zip code!)  Remember I always say - the devil is in the details!


2015 President’s Day Point Multiplier Rules

1. The Promotion is valid at the following seven (7) participating properties: The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, Main Street Station, California and Fremont on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. through 11:59 p.m.

2. Participants must be B Connected members. B Connected membership is free and available at the B Connected Club. Must be 21 years of age or more to be a B Connected member.

3. The bonus point multiplier is open to all B Connected members at The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast and Sam’s Town. Local B Connected participants with their mailing address in the zip code range of 890-891 may qualify for the point multiplier at Fremont, Main Street Station and California.

4. Monday, February 16, 2015, B Connected members will receive 15X points on penny reel games, 11X points on reel games and 7X points on video poker games at participating properties. Video poker base points up to 10,000 at The Orleans, Gold Coast, Sam’s Town, and 25,000 at Suncoast will be eligible for this Promotion. At Main Street Station, California and Fremont, B Connected members may earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Points are not valid on select machines marked excluded. It is the player’s responsibility to make sure his or her valid B Connected card is properly inserted in the slot machine to receive the points.

5. Participants must swipe at the kiosk prior to play in order to activate the point multiplier.



Satisfying the “Crave”: Last night Brad and I visited the White Castle that just opened a week or so ago on the Strip, at the Casino Royale. First one west of the Mississippi! The buns are not exactly the same as we had been used to so many years ago when we lived back in the East, a little more like a “regular” hamburger bun – but they were good and still had that nostalgic White Castle taste we remember so well. Read more… »

Review of 2015 Edition of Tax Book

[The following is a guest post from my long-time editor and good friend Deke Castleman. Deke knows as much about Marissa’s and my tax book as anyone, so, since I’m probably a bit prejudiced about its value, I asked him to review it for the readers of this blog.]

Review by Deke Castleman

Sure, I’ve been Jean Scott’s editor since The Frugal Gambler was first published in 1998 (and even long before that). And yes, I work for the company that publishes Tax Help for Gamblers, so I have an interest in seeing it sell well. But the down-and-dirty fact of the matter is this: Taxes are a bitch, and they’re especially complex, vague, ambiguous, and even contradictory — in short, open to individual interpretation — for anyone who gambles. And there isn’t another book on the market today that covers gambling tax issues as accurately and in as much depth as Tax Help for Gamblers.  Read more… »



New senior Fifty Plus club – details at http://www.themresort.com/rewards/50s-Plus-Club.html



See February promotions at http://www.tuscanylv.com/packages-en.html. The all-month senior discount of 20% moves to Caffe Bottega in February. Read more… »


Miscellaneous information I have picked up recently, either in a personal visit to a CZR property or from the Internet:

Want to know just where you can earn or redeem Total Reward points? Check here: https://www.totalrewards.com/content/cet-tr/en/earn-and-redeem/on-location.html.

Want to know the differences between tier credits and reward credits. Read more… »


Yes, tax returns are on the minds of many now, especially gamblers. Maybe 2014 was the first year you got a W-2G. Or, maybe it was the first year you happily got a lot of them. Maybe you always had been a recreational gambler but you retired from your regular job and started gambling a lot more. Or, you moved to another state, one that isn’t tax-friendly for gamblers? So many questions arise. Where do you report those W-2G amounts? What if you lost a lot more than those jackpot amounts? What if it looks like you will have to pay gambling taxes even if you lost? When might you consider filing as a professional gambler?

For many years now the book Tax Help for Gamblers has been the go-to resource for the answers to the hundreds of tax questions that gamblers have been asking. And since the government is an ever-changing river of laws and policies, it has been necessary to update this book frequently. Marissa and I have been hard at work on this project, and a brand new fully-updated third edition will be coming out at the end of this month. Read more… »

Here is an article I wrote for a newsletter than goes mainly to casino executives.  Perhaps it might be of interest to some of the players who read this blog.


Free Play – Do Casino Players Like it?

In the good ol’ days, casinos rewarded players mostly with comps, but sometimes with hard cash. We loved cash rewards, which we could put in our pocket and walk out of the casino with. No matter how much we had lost while gambling, the cash made us feel, at least a little bit, like a “winner.”

Then, about the turn of the Millennium, casino cash benefits began to be replaced by “free play.”  No longer could we just walk away: We had to run the free play through a machine at least once.  Read more… »

Where To Play – Q+A

A couple of related questions that I get so often:

Q: [Speaking about Caesars] Why would you want to go to a property that is going to declare bankruptcy? There are many others (Bellagio ,Wynn, Venetian, Southpoint) to name a few. I would avoid Caesars.

A: The short answer is that we can still find very good plays there. Where skilled players play depends on a lot of factors: whether they are locals or out-of-towners; whether they need room comps or not; how much bounce-back free play is given; whether they have been banned from a casino; what their financial and/or psychological bankroll limits are; what their goals are; whether they count comps in their win figures; their location -  and on and on.

That being said we try to be very aware of benefits we have earned at any casino and not let them pile up. Read more… »


Recovering from celebrating the new year? Or, perky today because you celebrated, like we did, by sleeping in the arrival of 2015?

In any case, whenever you start thinking about Las Vegas casino promotions, here is a selection of food and gaming offers you might want to consider.



See promotion details at http://www.southpointcasino.com/upcoming-events.php, including bingo specials. Read more… »

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