Happy New Year to all – and hopefully some of the information here will help start you off to a prosperous gambling new year.
Do you like to keep up on changes in VP inventories all over the U.S? You do check vpFREE.com frequently but you would like to know sooner when information is added/changed in their database. Easy – subscribe to their free e-mail service and you will get timely notices.
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT PROPERTIES
Major changes in their tier program for 2013 – for all their properties, not just in Vegas. Read the details here. Or if that link doesn’t work go to http://www.sevenstarsinsider.com and click on the January 2013 newsletter.
Change continues to be the key word here. The salon, both at Palms and Palms Place, is now managed by celebrity beauty expert Kim Vo. Most of the old personnel is now gone, replaced by stylists coming from the Mirage, where Kim Vo previously had his Vegas salon. You can stop in and get a menu/price list for the services they offer. Brad and I get our nails done there regularly using the salon coupons that come in our monthly mailers. We usually go on Sunday through Thursday and, as locals, we get a 20% discount. How’s that for an extra frugal use of coupons!
A very welcome change is the new promotion area where the poker room used to be, less crowded than the old food court location. This is where you need to go for gift redemptions, drawings, and other promotions. However, I look forward to an upgrade of the kiosks, which seem to malfunction on a regular basis, a particularly frustrating situation when it is close to a promotional deadline.
Surprising and very welcome news on the VP front – they have put in several more banks of “good” machines. Check out vpFREE2.com for the locations and details about slot club point and promotional restrictions.
The “Play, Earn, and Win” promotion continues 10 am-10 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We won’t know the details until tomorrow, Wednesday, when you can pick up the list, but the pictures in the mailer show mostly “stuff.” However, there is one picture of a Visa card but no details of value so it might be a nice surprise for people like us who don’t need any more “stuff” to add to our already-full “comp garage.”
Mini earn-and-swipe promotions run every Tuesday and Sunday. Earn 10 base points on slots or 100 base points on video poker and then swipe to see what you get – slot play, cash, or a “stuff” item. And seniors have an extra swipe-and-win promo on Sterling Advantage 50+ Thursdays, with the same base points needed.
The “Play and Buffet” promotion continues in January on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, various point levels depending on whether you play slots or video poker and which meal you choose.
The usual Friday and Saturday night drawings continue through January 26, but this change. They are at 8 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m. time.
So many promotions, so many rules – as I keep reminding you, better stop at the rack around the corner from the slot club desk and pick up the rules for each one – and read all the fine print! And never assume the rules and details will be the same as in the past.
THE “COAST” CASINOS
I still refer to The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, and Sam’s Town as the “Coast” properties although that isn’t the best designation since Sam’s Town was never a “Coast” property as the other three were. And it seems Boyd is trying to get away from that designation. But they still group and market these properties together most of the time, separating them from their downtown casinos. So until they give this group another name I guess I will call them the “Coast” casinos.
However, understanding promotions at these four properties continues to be fuzzy – and frustrating; it isn’t always clear what promotions are going on in all four of the casinos or just in one, especially for someone who plays at more than one property and gets a combined mailer. And some are saying that they found more promotions in their online account than in the snail-mailed information. So it pays to check both resources – plus Scot’s Bonus Point list.
There is also confusion about their new Young At Heart senior promotions.
They are starting an earn-a-prize and drawing program which is on Tuesdays at all four properties. However, the calendars in our Gold Coast mailer and in our account on the Gold Coast Website also list Senior Days on Mondays at this casino. As in the past the senior bonuses continue on that day too: 10x/5x points for Young at Heart members plus the VP tournament and Bingo and buffet specials. Since we don’t play at the other casinos, we don’t have an online account at any of them so I am not sure if they have senior bonuses on other days than Tuesdays as the Gold Coast does.
10x-point days continue in January but only on Mondays and Fridays. And pull tabs return but also on a scaled back schedule, only on the 9th and the 23rd. Same rules – 1000 base points = 1 pull tab, with a max of 4 per day. Tabs must be picked up on the same day earned. If the tabs have the same mix as before, the lowest you will get is $10 in free play. If you pick lucky, you might get ones with a bigger amount of free play and, once in a long while, you might get one for $50 or $100 in cash.
They have added 3 Mystery Free Play days, on January 1, 15, and 29. They say you have a chance to win up to $500 in free slot play, but in the past we always got about the same amount as our usual twice-weekly free play. I’m guessing there aren’t very many bigger amounts. They say it is pre-loaded to your account, but I am assuming that this is only for people who get the monthly mailer.
Gift days are on the 3rd and the 31st. If you don’t get a mailer and aren’t “pre-qualified” for the gift of the day, you may get one by earning 300 base points.
They have a new Web site that is listing some of the current promotions. We’ll have to wait and see whether they update it regularly. Today, January 1, it is still showing December promotions but often IT people don’t regularly work on holidays. Hopefully current information will be added tomorrow.
Ellis Island has changed their criteria for the various tier monthly mailers. We – and many of our friends – had a decreased amount of bounce-back in our January mailer even though we had played the same amount per month as we had for a couple of years. I’m not surprised at this move after they recently offered some new better paytables on some of their machines. If the tier levels have not changed drastically, this probably will still remain a good play for us. We’ll just have to re-evaluate the play after we find out the new tier requirements. If/when I find out the new schedule, I will post it in a future blog entry.
Ellis Island has a 50+ Club for seniors, with drawings every Tuesday and Thursday and other perks.
Much of the customer “business” is now done at the kiosks. You need to activate drawing entries there. And to get your twice-monthly gifts, you must print out a kiosk voucher and redeem it at the slot club. There are no more pizza coupons in the mailer; you will now need a kiosk voucher to get this Tuesday and Saturday free treat.
Also, be sure to stop by a kiosk to print out a voucher before you go to the coffee shop if you want to get the special reduced price on their famous steak dinner – $7.99 instead of $10.99. Recently when we ate there a lot of people who didn’t know about this new requirement had to hustle to the kiosk when their bill came. Fortunately you only need one voucher to get that good steak dinner price for everyone at your table. However, it does mean that at least one of you must be a slot club member, since the kiosk only works for club members with a players card. There may be an improvement with this new voucher requirement – the steak dinner comes with a free 20oz. beer. I don’t remember that being included in the past but it has been a long time since we’ve ordered that dinner – and we never drink beer so that isn’t on our radar!
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