Posted on Aug 31, 2008 under Casino Promotions, Ethics |
I just heard (from a skilled gambler who shall remain nameless) that a friend of his saw a well-known “promotion scrambler” get handcuffed and taken in the back at the 4 Queens casino sometime last month. “He was working several peoples’ cards on their promotion–the same promotion that you wrote about in your blog. Evidently he was paying people to use their cards.”
This report does not surprise me. There is a small number of players who not only feel that “all is fair in love and war” but in casinos too. And juicy promotions can bring out the greed big time. A big slot club signing bonus going on? Gather up some of the homeless and bring them to the casinos – pay them a little bit and take the biggest chunk of the bonus for yourself. A big check-cashing bonus promotion going on? Get your non-player friends to cash their paychecks at that casino and “buy” the valuable bonus coupon they get.
I have been writing about ethics and gambling ever since I had a whole chapter subtitled “Strange Bedfellows” on that subject back in my first book, The Frugal Gambler. Here’s what I wrote in the section called “The Casino as a War Zone”: “After I’d been gambling for awhile, I realized that very little in a casino is black and white, ethically speaking. Going into a casino is kind of like entering a war zone. It’s you against the house, and it starts to seem like the house has a license to steal. So if you get a chance to steal something back, you rationalize that it’s only fair. When I started thinking that way, I knew I had to formulate my code of casino ethics. I’m not going to tell you what that entire code is, because it’s a personal thing. You’ll have to come up with you own code if you intend to ‘fight’ in this battle zone.”
I went on to say that my code is always being tested — and that is still true today because gambling ethical issues are still in a large gray area. But I must warn you that casinos ARE taking measures to ferret out those that they feel are abusing the system.
Posted on Aug 15, 2008 under Casino Promotions |
I’m back. I haven’t been sick and we haven’t been traveling so that’s not the excuse for being absent here for so long. It’s the recession! No, we haven’t gone broke or run into any financial problems. In truth we are having one of our better years in the gambling department. It’s the fault of the darn casinos! They are fighting the bad economy by revving up their promotion machines. And one of the hardest things for me to do is to ignore a juicy casino promotion!
Although this is a glorious time for “advantage scramblers,” Brad and I find we still need to watch that I don’t plan too many video poker hours in our schedule. Our energy levels just aren’t the same as they were when we started 24 years ago. However, the last month or so I think we have tried to take advantage of a few too many promotions and we are tired – we still haven’t rested up from our 8-8-08 marathon playing sessions. So we are going to slow down now – and I will have more time to catch up on household paperwork and do more writing, including giving this blog more attention.
(As an aside: I am also working on another book. I know – I know I said I wasn’t going to write any more books, but this time I am working with a co-author who is doing the lion’s share of the work. It is my long-time friend and editor, Deke Castleman, who is steering this new project, Frugal Vegas, a guide to finding value in all the things you do in Vegas besides gambling – rooms, meals, transportation, entertainment. The less you spend on all these the more you can save for your gambling bankroll – if you are a gambler. And if you aren’t a gambler, then the less your Vegas vacation will cost you.)
Anyway, having so many promotions in town does allow one to pick and choose those that fit one’s bankroll and goals the best. We often use the ice-cream-cone model to decide where to play. An example would be our choice of Green Valley Ranch (and other Station casinos the choice of others). First the “cone” is a good video poker machine choice. Then the first “dip” is the gas/cash promo running Sunday through Thursday. Then we look at our mailer for this month to choose a day when we also have bonus points or we can use the 5x coupon from the Stations magazine we found in our local paper (or in the dumpster . A third “dip” is that we will also be getting credit for our play that will determine what our future mailers will be. Now add the “dip” of weekend drawings. Then the “cherry” on the top is the BJ coupon (also from the Station monthly magazine) we will use to add value to this total play.
We love it when we can stack up our casino treat. You will too when you see the financial advantage!