I’ve been absent here for awhile but have been out of town for a little non-casino vacation. Just got back from a few days in Indianapolis, IN, where we visited with many of Brad’s relatives. We spent time with his daughter and son and their spouses plus all six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
At the reunion on Father’s Day, about 35 of us gathered for food and fellowship – close friends and relatives and extended family, some Brad hadn’t seen for decades. Here is a picture of Brad with 5 of his six grandchildren that were able to make the reunion.
Now back in town, working on the July Vegas promo report. A vacation in IN was not really an escape from the heat wave here in Vegas. No, the temperature wasn’t as high, but I always forget how stifling the humidity can be!
Here’s a question I am asked over and over: “What are some of the fantastic comps casinos have given you?”
Wow, after 31 years of working the casino comp system, that answer would probably take a whole book to answer – in fact, maybe I might write a book about this sometime – or at least a big section in the autobiographical tome I’ve been thinking about writing when I get too old and feeble to play video poker. Although I am definitely heading to that condition, I am hoping it is pretty far down the road – so here are just a few examples that come to mind today.
As I have written and spoken about many times, when we first started visiting casinos, we were blackjack players and active in casino junkets which were popular at the time. And those junkets provided some luxurious comps. Here is one of my favorite photos of Brad, enjoying the luxury in our French-Provincial-styled hotel room in Monte Carlo – the real city, not the faux one on the Vegas Strip.
After a few years, because we were looking for more long-term Vegas stays in our retirement years rather than short-term casino visits, we left blackjack and the starting-to-fade fancy junket trips and turned to low-level video poker. Continue reading
Why? The reason your comment did not appear on my blog page is that I did not “Approve” it, something I must personally do before any comment shows up. (I usually check submitted comments daily, but sometimes if I am away from my computer, it might be several days before your comment is approved and will appear.) The main two reasons I do not approve a comment are:
- It is too long. Don’t copy long passages from other sources. And try to stick to the subject of the original blog entry and avoid rambling around to many other subjects.
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Yes, some casino restaurants (including Caesars Palace buffet) are still adding an automatic tip (often 18%) for large parties, usually 8 or more diners, even though the IRS ruled several years ago that this was not permitted. Continue reading
I have found some new information since I wrote my earlier blog about June promotions.
Earlier I said the newly-opened SLS (Former Sahara property) had already made revisions to their players card, effective June 1, but I didn’t have the details. Finally they have appeared on their Website: Continue reading
The rather-newly-opened replacement for the old Sahara is already changing its players club. According to a full-page in today Review-Journal, it is a “new club,” with “new tiers” and “new benefits,” although it seems to be keeping the same name, The CODE. They are also advertising 2x tier credits every day in June and 10x points on slots every Thursday. Since this seems to be a sudden change, you will need to check http://www.vpfree2.com/casino/sls-las-vegas/club in a few days for details of the new club, and perhaps the casino’s own Website will finally get around to announcing this information eventually.
BOYD PROPERTIES (Sam’s Town, The Orleans, Suncoast, and Gold Coast)
A new long-term senior promotion is running at all 4 properties from June 3 until the end of the year. Continue reading
First, for Las Vegas area residents only: House Seats is running a 2-4-1 offer through tomorrow, May 25, TWO years for the price of ONE, for a membership that gives you the opportunity to see scores of Las Vegas shows for free. Details at https://lv.houseseats.com/.
Another locals-only promotion: multiple points on Memorial Day at all Las Vegas Boyd properties, including those downtown, 15x for penny reels, 11x for slots, and 7x for video poker. In the newspaper ad there is this *: “Multipliers are valid for local residents in 89000-89199 zip codes.” Another note you MUST take seriously: “Some restrictions apply. See B Connected for details.”
Before you start playing at any property, check whether it is a 24-hour promotion or limited hours. Also check if there is a cap on the number of point that can be multiplied. I know there is a 10K cap on VP at the Gold Coast, but not all properties have the same details. Also, don’t forget to swipe BEFORE you start playing or you won’t get these multipliers.
Brad and I won’t have the energy to get around to all 7 Boyd properties by any means – but you might see us at the Gold Coast and the Suncoast. Stop and say hi if you spot us. Brad is still recovering from the change-out of the pacemaker put in over 6 years ago. It is taking a little longer for him to get back his strength. But with a new pacemaker with a fresh battery, he plans to soon be at the top of his game as the Energizer Casino Bunny.
Station Casino also has an ad in the newspaper about multiple points on Memorial Day. Again you need to read the fine print: “Multipliers are based on $1= 1 point. These cannot be combined with the daily 3x points.” Therefore the 10x slots/6x video poker promotions isn’t as juicy as it sounds. Compared to what you get every day it is really 3.33x on slots/2x video poker. Don’t be fooled!
I have changed my mind – asserting a woman’s prerogative!
Recently, when asked about the IRS proposal to lower the figure for W-2Gs on slot wins from $1200 to $600, I wrote the following:
Some are suggesting a mass write-in effort by gamblers to protest, but I don’t think there would be enough participation to be influential. More successful will likely be the casinos’ efforts. They hate this idea as much as the players do and their lobbyists are already busy in Washington citing the problems of increased paperwork, irritated customers, and added costs, to name just a few. So I’m going to sit back and quit worrying about what might happen in the future. There’s time enough to deal with any negative tax changes if/when they do happen.
However, I have been receiving emails from the American Gaming Association (AGA) that have convinced me that there needs to be a strong grass-roots protest. Here is part of the most recent email, with some specific recommendations on how we each can individually effectively join this protest:
We believe it is critical that the IRS hear from American consumers who enjoy the first-class entertainment experience that the U.S. casino industry provides and from the millions of U.S. workers whose job depends on gaming. With a looming June 2 deadline for public comments regarding the IRS’ potential consideration to lower the slot gaming winnings threshold from $1,200 to $600, it’s imperative that the IRS hears from a wide array of voices about the negative implications that any reduction would have.
Their recommended message:
- The IRS could soon force casino guests to dramatically increase the level of paperwork, which would severely undermine the customer experience.
- Specifically, the IRS may consider lowering the tax reporting threshold on slot machines from $1,200 to $600.
- Not only has this $1,200 threshold existed since 1977, but when accounting for inflation indexing the threshold should actually be nearly $4,700 today.
- This potentially burdensome requirement, for taxpayers and for the IRS, would cost states and cities significant tax revenues that pay for vital public services, such as teachers, firefighters and road improvements.
- Please tell the IRS not to reduce the slot gaming winnings threshold from $1,200 to $600 because it would severely harm the customer experience and reduce state revenues.
Here are ways to spread the word: Continue reading
A very entertaining show – but such high energy that I came out exhausted just from watching. Amazing how they can still do it just like they did when they were young.
Donny and Marie do a very personal meet-and-greet after the show. Since Brad and I have been on Nutrisystem for several months, Continue reading
Most Vegas locals casinos, plus many downtown, have senior days. Here is a quickie promotional round-up for those of us in our golden years. This is not a complete list – you should check casino Websites for more. And I haven’t given many details, since they often change from month to month. So you need to check individual casino websites often even if you are familiar with the programs. Almost all senior programs are for ages 50+ and almost all have food discounts. I have listed some special extra benefits that I thought were more valuable or more unusual. Continue reading
Tuesday evening, May 12th, I will be speaking at a meeting of the SOUTHERN NEVADA CASINO COLLECTIBLES CLUB in the Founders Room at the downtown El Cortez Casino. Guests are welcome at both the 7 p.m. meeting and the casino memorabilia trading /selling sessions at 6 p.m. and after the meeting. Brad and I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting some new ones. I’ll have some autographed books on hand but I am always happy to sign a well-worn copy you can bring from home!
Valet parking is available and the parking garage for the El Cortez is directly behind the casino with a security guard at the entrance!
By the way, there’s been some work done here on my blog page – and you may have noticed the new cleaner look. So if you have had some technical problems here in the past, signing up for the notification e-mails or making a “Comment,” you might want to see if your problems have been solved.