Casino Comps Sweeten the Deal
So, what exactly are “comps”? The term comps is short for complimentary items or “freebies” – those things that a casino literally gives away to regular players. In the competitive casino market, comps have become a favorite marketing tool for both public and Native American gaming venues. Here’s a list of just some of the comps regularly bestowed upon players to encourage casino loyalty and future visits.
- § Free Drinks and Meals
- § Free Rooms and/or Room Upgrades
- § Spa Services
- § Golf Packages
- § Tickets to Shows, Concerts, Sporting Events
- § Everyone’s favorite – CASH
- § Gift Cards, Gas Cards
- § Invites to Free Slot, Video Poker and Table Game Tournaments
- § Private Shopping Events with “Comp Dollars”
- § Merchandise such as Designer Handbags and Sunglasses, High-End Electronics, Fine Crystal, Jewelry and more
The first step to being eligible for comp rewards is, for most players, registration with the casino’s players club. I am always amazed when I see SO MANY players – some of them casino regulars! – not taking advantage of a casino’s players club membership. Make this your rule – do not put any money into a machine or down on a table without using a player’s club card! Also, even if you don’t plan on playing, go ahead and register and get a player’s card so you are in the casino’s database and have a chance at getting some of the special offers mailed to members who are active players. A casino can’t reward you if they don’t know who you are or how to contact you!
To sign up, ask a floor attendant or casino employee for directions to the player’s club or promotions desk. There, you’ll fill out an application and receive your cards (ask for two now and you’ll have a back-up if one get lost or de-magnetized.) Be sure to ask about special offers for new members as you’ll find that lots of casinos have special “sign-up rewards” like cash or match play just for signing up. Your new cards should come with some printed info that will tell you how you accumulate points and what you can redeem them for once you have them. You can also check out the casino’s website for club card information.
When you are ready to play using your new card, you’ll find a slot on the machine where you insert it followed, most times, with an LED display telling you the card is working. Usually, the lights around the card slot will also turn green letting you know the card is working. A quick note here – make sure the card is working before playing or you won’t get credit for the money you spend playing.
Cashing in on your play can be lots of fun and profitable considering the cool items casinos are offering these days. We recently had an offer from Paris for a comped three-night stay plus a free Nintendo Wii! Considering the popularity and scarcity of those, you can imagine how quickly that offer was snapped up. So now you know why I say do not put any money into a machine or down on a table without using a player’s club card!
No on can talk about casino comps without mentioning Jean Scott, “The Queen of Comps”, and the author of “The Frugal Gambler” along with other great books. She currently writes a fun and informative blog here on the excellent Anthony Curtis’ Las Vegas Advisor website.
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