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Are Casino Comps a Dying Breed?

Discussion in 'Comps' started by westie, Apr 22, 2014.

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  1. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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  2. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    Jean, even though she has passed her prime as the queen of comps and is not as relevant as say the 90's, is still dead on in this article.

    The whole game has changed, at least in Las Vegas. The current model, at least on the strip by the big operators, is shrinking comps for mid tier and low tier players.

    If it were not for the CET free rooms, I would probably forgoes Las Vegas completely. Downtown still offers a high value prop at some places, but I find it less exciting than other markets.

    I have already shifted my trips to secondary CET markets where I can maximize my comps at the same level of play. New Orleans and AC offer just as much enjoyment (minus shows) with better comps. I am even hearing that RENO maybe the next best return for gaming, so I am considering a late year run there to test the waters.

    Bottom line if you were a solid mid tier player during the 90's and pre 2008 you were treated well. Bad business decisions, expanded local gaming, and the downturn has all but eroded good comps for mid tier players.
     
  3. dvandentop

    dvandentop VIP Whale

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    Since the casino is not the main profit center for some places anymore it seems like they forget about players comps and like to lower comps all the time...
     
  4. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    We stay downtown at MSS and the Cal, and always get mailers each and every month for our free rooms. I always considered this as a reward for past casino play on previous trips. It used to be easy to ask for a meal comp for two, just about every day ... but the back-room "bean counters" have now adjusted the game. We now occasionally get turned down for a meal request, as we are told that we are "overextended" on comps (seems to include our room comp). We were even told once that we have plenty of player points, and that we should just use those, instead of a real comp. The times they are a-changing ......
     
  5. parallax

    parallax Low-Roller

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    I might be in the minority but my comps have gotten better over time with mlife. We were not planning to go to vegas this year but MB kept sending us better and better offers. We are only at the gold level.
     
  6. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    I'm a mid-level player, I guess, (I managed to just get to CET Diamond last year) and have managed to get my rooms for free for the last three years, and paid nothing for food on the Biloxi trips. (Per year, 2 Vegas trips, 10 nights total, 4 Biloxi trips, 20 nights total). I've also racked up some good reward credits and should eat for free this trip to Vegas. I always get at least one fancy steak meal per trip.

    All the points are CET or Boyd (IP in Biloxi mainly), and I'm getting the free rooms from Harrah's Gulf Coast, IP Biloxi, Flamingo, Bally's and (this trip) The Quad. I also usually get a few hundred dollars worth of free play each Biloxi trip; not in Vegas, though.

    MLife has basically fallen off my radar, even though they have the far better blackjack. They just don't offer me free stuff at all, and the backgammon tournament that is the reason for all the Vegas trips has been at Flamingo for quite a while, now, so CET is where I aim my play.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Somebody posted, maybe it was even you Buddha, that Four Queens was going to a point based system for comps, so no need for hosts.

    Sorry I don't remember which thread, or who posted it.
     
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  8. VegasChic-

    VegasChic- VIP Whale

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    I used to go to Vegas 20 plus years ago before player cards, back in the days of the pit boss walking up to the table and personally offering comps. It took us a long time of playing to start getting an offer it seemed!

    After a 7 year hiatus from Vegas, I went back with my sister with maybe a 2500 bankroll, of which we returned home with likely $1000 of it. Over 3 days we played hard (hard by many hours, on penny slots 3,20 per spin...no HL room for us!)....but given the low losses incurred on the trip split between cosmo and CET properties I was absolutely SHOCKED to have CET reach out to me to appoint me a host, and Cosmo marketing offers for 3 free comp nights and $400 in FP. We had another trip a couple months later, which was pretty much the same as the first....same repeat comps coming in.

    My total rewards inbox is packed (30 plus offers) with anytime comps up to 5 nights, show tickets, reel rewards...

    Cosmo continues sending 3 free anytime nights, 3-400 in free play, show tickets.

    I went to venetian 1 afternoon.....win/loss shows about 1200 through machines, but real loss was $150. For that I'm getting comps for 3 free nights and $30 in free play.

    We went one night to the palms, used their loss rebate of $100 and even got $100 in some other way....not even sure how....now I've got 2 comp nights and a little free play good until September.

    I realize now about ADT score, but seriously....these comps are insane in my opinion. I continue to take advantage of the cosmo offers. $400 per night x three nights, plus 350 in free play plus $270 in show tickets. Value over $1800?? I'm not going to say no.

    Perhaps these will dry up, or, maybe they will continue to get better as I climb status on the player cards with similar play. My point is, in my limited trips/experience....the comps seem INSANE, as long as you really are playing...not as a marketing error at one hotel, but straight across the board everywhere I played.

    Is it possible expectation of comps is getting too high? Are people playing 1-200 bucks in a couple hours then expecting free rooms/play/show tix? Am I just experiencing high front end comps that will soon dry up? In any case, my experience is Vegas has been VERY generous given how much I actually left behind!
     
  9. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    VegasChic, my experience is about the same as yours, COMPS are getting better. I have a little larger BR on trips than you mentioned (5k over 5 days usually), but I can stay free for 5 nights at any CET property (including Octavious at Caesars, Suites at other CET properties), just got an offer for $750 in Freeplay upfront and all of my food has been taken care of on the back end. I'm starting to give COSMO a little play and Bellagio on my last trip and I'm getting 2 weekday night offers from Cosmo and reduce rates from mLife, i'll take it!
     
  10. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    This statement confuses me. To me, player points are a real comp. The casino is giving you points for your play to be used as you want. That's way nicer than having say 2 comped buffets. Players now have the options and choice of saving the points for what they want - not what the casino thinks you need.

    Of course I always want more and in Vegas if you don't ask, you don't get but the comp system still seems pretty good to us. Mind you, we are floaters, never spending too long in one place. A little bit from lots of casinos works well for us.
     
  11. VegasChic-

    VegasChic- VIP Whale

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    Gchrome.....when you say you don't pay for the food and get it comped on the backend.....

    I had a 50 food credit at CET....made the mistake of using PF Changs and they wouldn't apply credit as not CET owned.

    When making dining choices, do you limit where you eat in hopes it will be comped, or, do you eat anywhere and the host can still comp it off as long as charged to room? Not sure if host has more freedom here.

    I'm having a hard time getting an answer on this.

    Not interested in asking host for front end comps, but depending on how may play goes, would consider asking on the back-end and just wanted to know if they can take care of any charges....don't want to charge things that have no hope of being covered!
     
  12. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    THAT'S exactly my point here. I have earned those points with my play, and I should be able to use them as "I" want, not as how the casino wants me to do. Using my points for 2 buffets is NOT "nicer" than getting the buffets comped ... and still keeping my points. Why should I use 15,000 of MY points, if I really deserve to have the meal comped ???
     
  13. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    i rember seeing the original airing from this couple and they had the system dowm and i think with all due respect eventualy it bit them in the ass, dont go tv and brag how your basicaly beating the system and then they pull the rug out from you .

    in the old day you used to be able to buy in for 1000 or 1500 play for a while pocket 500 or 1000 in chips and they would market it down for a loss, they got hip to that trick.

    good for the old couple it worked for a long time but now the paper comps are gone we have internet , cell phones and everything is on your card so if they actualy played they would recive stuff instead of gamming the sytem.

    theres still comps out there for smaller player cet , downtown boyd hoters somebody will always take your money


    rant over

    theres a new magazine called sunday that just launched tons of free cupons and 2 for 1 people should pick it if they can find it
     
  14. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    most of the resturants around ph mall arent compable , you can always ask ahead of time thats what i did with koi.

    at hardrock the say what is on there propert that they can comp , nobu, starbuxs and a few otheres they cant, yes in some situations those still can but its very expensive comp. so pf changes might have been compable but it might have been 4 time the regular comp rate like nobu at hardrock.yes its tricky just ask a head of times also theres the diamond 100 diiner list that will give you a good idea what they can comp.
     
  15. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    We're on the same page here Buddha. I understand what you're saying.

    When we went to Suncoast last, they had a special on the weekend of free dinner at the steakhouse after earning 10,000 points. Since we earned 10,000 points on Wednesday (and would not be there on the weekend), I asked for and received a free meal. BUT, since it's their rules, she could have said no and to use my points and I would have felt slighted but that's the way it is.

    I guess what I was commenting on was the reference to player points not being real comps. They are real and worth value. If they say no to a request, it's still at our discretion as to whether we really want what we asked for. We can use points and the casino is still going to be buying us a meal. "They" are still giving us a real comp, just not as much as we think we deserved.

    Believe me, I too feel entitled to certain comps after play. We stayed at Southpoint for 2 nights, played a lot and didn't even receive a "thanks for visiting" email, let alone a BOGO offer. We won't be back. Also, I've just learned the DT Grand doesn't send offers to Canadians, so why would I bother playing there when other casinos reward me. I'm just saying that the points do have "real" value and that's a comp to me.

    If they always said no when I asked AND gave me no points to play with, I'd be gone.
     
  16. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    vote withn your dollars mgm just screwed me over so i said bye bye bye but bellagio reached out to me, your money take it to where you will get the best bang for you buck somebody will always want your play. it might not be a top tier place but somebody will welcome you.
     
  17. coolpacific

    coolpacific Low-Roller

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    Bean counters are trained to look backwards. They see non-gaming revenue up quarter after quarter and conclude that they don't need to give as much away. The problem is, the pendulum swings and at some point nightclub, restaurant and room revenue will flatten and/or fall relative to the casino. At this point gamblers will suddenly become much more valuable.

    I think we are already starting to see this (Cosmo for example) and who could forget the V/P experiment in not comping rooms to players?
     
  18. Fafa2e

    Fafa2e Low-Roller

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    I have definitely seen a decline in comps over the past several years. I frequently received offers for three nights comped, including weekends, as Vegas was trying to recover from the recession from 2008 through 2010. More recently, I will receive the mid-week room comps and discounted weekend rates as Vegas visitorship is back up to pre-recession levels.

    I understand that the casinos need to make a fair profit, but I believe that certain comps do not cost the casinos too much and could be provided to mid-tier players.

    I have booked solo trips because of weekend room comps which I'm sure did not cost the casino very much because they tended to be during slow times of year; however, I haven't been seeing weekend room comps recently.
     
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  19. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    I'd have to disagree with the article, based on my experiences in the boom time (through 2007), in the mini depression period (08-09) and the current recession period (10-14).

    I'm not stating it's easier today than in the 1990s when you could find plentiful 100% + games, plus easy comps vs. today (both in terms of comps and playing conditions), but comps haven't decreased over the period covered by Jean's piece (08-14), at least in my experience.

    Vegas had all the customers they needed (and more) until the economy started to turn in 07-08. Casinos were stingy on comps because they were able to fill their rooms and casinos w/o comps.

    When the economy dried up, casinos were doing anything and everything to get even the lowest of low rollers through the door. People with or without a pulse were able to get comp offers.

    Things started to pick up in 10-11, and casinos started to cut back on their flier offers (for customers who played 1/2 hour hoping for a longer play period on a future visit), and players were forced to play a decent amount on their comped stays to earn a similar return offer.

    At CET, PIAD coin in gives you comps at nearly all hotels/periods, and various tournament and other offers. I stopped playing at MILFe casinos (but might hit a $1 9/6 JOB machine for a few hours in June to see what happens - I was gold/platinum before). Boyd is as generous as ever, as is 4Q and LVH and TI. The only group I saw cut backs on comps based on decent play were Stations Casinos, and I believe that was a conscious decision to focus on local play.

    I don't use hosts (I'm approached by hosts either during/post trip) and prefer mail (e or USPS) or online offers. My offers have been consistent, based on whether my play was consistent. CET is most forgiving of occasional short play trips, which I do sometimes in Vegas due to the fact they do not have standard 9/6 JOB in Vegas at the $1 level (9/5 is their best offering).

    [YOUTUBE]97wvwuHUMCw[/YOUTUBE]
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  20. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Its the same difference. They can go back to the old way of not giving you the points and just comping you the buffet straight up. But that just gives you less flexibility. Like gambler said, the points ARE a comp.

    Overall I think comps have just gone more mainstream and widespread. The frequent gambler who hustles the comp game like Jean Scott has less of an informational advantage now than they did back in the day. Now a $100/day slot player can get free rooms at CET casinos, back before everything was computerized and point based those players wouldn't even be noticed. Everyone gets comp dollars based on play no matter how low they roll, the comp dollars the casino spends are no longer limited to just the players who get noticed or the ones who make the effort to ask.
     
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