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You’ve Got (MORE) Mail

A little while back I listed a few choice comp offerings that came by way of snail-mail and FedEx.  The article raised a few hackles from a player who says he bets larger than I do, yet doesn’t receive the same caliber of offers from “HIS” casino, even though in this case, “HIS” casino is also MY casino.

I’ve run that reader’s complaint by a number of casino executives at different joints, and to a man, the answer is EXACTLY the same.  HE IS NOT BEING RATED PROPERLY!  I’ll get to the reasons for this, and what you can do about it in a few minutes.  First let me list a couple of neat offers that have recently come in:

       GRAND OPENING & ANNIVERSARY INVITATIONS

There seems to be a number of venues opening that call for gathering casino patrons together to mingle with various groups in the media and entertainment field.   The word-of-mouth momentum that can build from a properly-designed “launch” can carry a new venue on hype alone for years.

         Grand Opening of the Shadow Nightclub in Caesars Palace.

         Anniversary Party of Baby’s Nightclub in the Hard Rock Hotel.

         Grand Opening of La Femme at MGM Grand.

         Annual Cigar Social in the Pavilion at the Las Vegas Hilton.

         ESPN Zone Restaurant opening in New York-New York.

         Even the opening of a slot club is reason enough for an upcoming invitation-only party at Las Vegas Club.

         The opening of the much-anticipated Guggenheim Museum at the Venetian is probably one of the only “will-not-miss” galas on THIS list. 

       MOTORSPORTS, SPORTS and OFF-BEAT EVENT COMPS

Anyone who has read my articles with more than just a passing interest knows of my keen involvement in Motorsports.  You don’t have to be as involved as I am to receive these comps from some casinos.   In fact, some places buy huge blocks of tickets as “thank-you” gifts, or “come-back-soon” incentives to players who don’t even have the faintest interest in this sport.  Do you remember filling out your Players Card application?  Was there a list of some activities that you could put little check-marks beside if you were interested in them?  Well, for all those leisure and sports-activities listings, I mark every damn one of them!  Here’s a sampling of the freebie-results:

         International 8-Ball Championship and Antique Arms Show at the Riviera.

         World Swimsuit Model Search Finals at Caesars Palace.

         Classic Car Show at the Frontier.

         Ms. Lifestyles Swimsuit extravaganza and the Fitness Olympia at Mandalay Bay.

         Breeders Cup tickets and comped airfare for the October 22nd event from several of the bigger joints in town.

         Boxing at Orleans and Kickboxing at Bellagio

        Demolition Derby, NASCAR Truck Series, NHRA Hot Rod Nationals at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway courtesy of several casinos who are offering the use of their suites, hospitality tents and All-Access passes.

         U.S. Open Supercross and the Andre Agassi Benefit at the MGM Grand.

         Women’s World Bowling Shootout courtesy of Suncoast.

       The Big Empire (the Cheapo Vegas guys) Cocktail Soiree and Penny Slot Shoot-Out courtesy of Randy Shandis and the Gold Spike.

Okay, so how could a player who should have a higher comp rating than me, get LESS casino offers, or in some cases, NONE AT ALL?

Well here’s a couple of typical scenarios as provided directly from the mouths of those who have the “power of the pen” to sign and grant virtually ANY comp available:

       After playing for three hours, an intrepid player sees another fellow hand in his Player’s Card with his buy-in.  That reminds him that he’s also got a card for this joint…if he could only find it…and if he could only remember to use it EVERY time when he starts play.  “Oh well, too late, maybe I’ll use it next time…if I remember, but it’s such an inconvenience.”

       “No I don’t want a Player’s Card and I don’t want to get on your mailing list because what I make in your casino is MY business, and none of yours.”

       After finishing play, a fellow asks for a comp.  “What’s your name, sir”, asks the Pit Boss.  “When did you start play, sir?, asks the Pit Boss.  “I’m sorry we don’t have a rating card on you, sir”, says the Pit Boss.  “I’m afraid I can’t really help you out tonight, sir”, says the Pit Boss.  The player walks away muttering and spewing about never playing in that rotten joint again.  “Why do they need a card to rate me, they see my damn face all the time.”  Unfortunately the casino computer does not know him, so granting a comp is very difficult in the mega-corporation bean-counter driven casinos of today.   If the computer says, “NO”, then the Pit Boss has to say, “NO!”

       A player hands his Players Card in at the same time that he buys-in.   A rating card is started.  After a short time, the player moves to greener felt-pastures at another table, then another table, then still to another.  Oh sure, the fifteen minutes that he put in at the first table was accurately recorded and will certainly be entered into the all-important data-base that the casino keeps on each player.  Unfortunately, the comp-value for the balance of his three-hour session will be sorely lost because he failed to ensure that his rating card moved when he did.

       Each player’s betting patterns are different.  The size and type of bet are taken into consideration.  I won’t bore you with the standard formula that is found elsewhere on this excellent site, but it figures into the over-all comp value that a player receives.

       Each bettor has their own playing time.  Some people like to make a quick “hit and run”, while others will slog through a five or six-hour session a couple of times each day. Rated playing time figures prominently into the over-all comp-value that a player receives.

       A very important factor that most players don’t even think of, is to make it appear to the computer (or in this case the rating-card writer) that your bets are significantly higher than they actually are.  Simply, you bet bigger or on a higher-edge bet when the Floorman is filling out your card, and much, much lower at your regular bets when he leaves.  If the dice are in the middle of the layout, I’ll call-out a set of LARGE Place bets.  When the dice are about to move, I’ll tell my dealer “off on the Place bets till I call them on.”  I get the comp benefit of huge 1.5% or 2.5%-edge Place bets, without actually putting money at risk.  In the case of my own shooting, my Place bets are usually ratcheted up into pretty large bets all on their own steam anyway, so there’s no needs for inflated “off” betting then.

I particularly love Vegas because of the wide choice of music that’s available.  But I resent paying $65 for each concert ticket if the recording-star who sounds great on CD, turns out to have little or no real talent other than being slickly-packaged by hyped-up marketing machinery and smoke-bombs on stage.  On the other hand, with comped tickets, the threshold is a little more forgiving and accommodating. 

       CONCERT TICKETS COMPS

        Spinal Tap at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.  If you’ve seen the movie by the same name, you know who these guys are.  Ticket vouchers for B.B. King & Buddy Guy were also enclosed.

         Los Lobos at the Orleans Showroom.

         Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, and REO Speedwagon in Mandalay Bay.

         Grand Funk Railroad from my ‘70’s rock-generation at Club Madrid in Sunset Station.

         Reba McEntire & Martina McBride at Mandalay Bay, while Belinda Carlisle and the Go-Go’s play a “comp-only” party right on their beach.

         Whoopi Goldberg is going to be at Theatre des Arts in Paris.

         Hall & Oates and Trisha Yearwood are being offered at the Las Vegas Hilton.

         Patty Loveless and Gladys Knight at Sam’s Town Live!

         Brooks & Dunn at the Star of the Desert Arena in Buffalo Bill’s.

         The Beach Boys will be at the Stratosphere for a “comp-only” show.

 

A few casino hosts also suggested what I might have privately thought to myself about the whole subject of rebuffed players, but I was going to be too polite to mention it on my own.  And that reason is that some Pit personnel intentionally “stiff” some players.  If you want to read about one set of reasons why they would do that, I would kindly suggest my  Are You A Friggin' Idiot? article as enlightening reading. 

One host suggested in David Letterman-type fashion that most players who ARE idiots don’t even know it.  He said it’s kind of like the indications that an idiot on a date would get if things aren’t going well.  “If you catch her giving her phone number to the guy squeegeeing your windshield, and she says, “Whoa! Is it 8:15 already?”   Or if she doesn't even finish her "Whopper", and it's been four hours since she left for the ladies room, it’s a good sign that she isn’t looking for a second date.   And if she says "Do me a favor -- next time call a different escort service," then you know things just aren’t happening.

Finally, someone e-mailed me a comment about my The Ground Zero of Opportunity article that discussed their 100x Odds bet.  He said, “Great article about the low house edge at Casino Royale, but the motel-section of that place is crummy.  You shouldn’t mislead people into thinking it is someplace they should stay.  It’s populated with leather-wearing cross-dressers, noisy college-kids and prostitutes.”  

Well, I’ve played craps at CR countless times, and I count a cocktail waitress there among my good friends, but I’ve never actually stayed in one of their rooms, and I certainly don’t think that I was promoting the Motel section of that business in any manner.  But for the record, and in keeping with that Letterman-theme, here are some indications that a Vegas hotel/motel may cater to kinky tastes. 

If their brochure mentions complimentary handcuffs on the pillow, 24-hour leather repair and naked bell-boys, then it probably isn’t the place for your family reunion.  If the flashing marquee-sign flashes “Sheets changed every hour” and  “Soccer-team-sized LUV-tubs”, then perhaps a quiet nights sleep will be found elsewhere. If the “Do Not Disturb” sign has been replaced by a butcher-shop "Please take a number and wait" dispenser, then you can be pretty sure that “working-girls” are near.  Casino Royale is a great place to play CRAPS.  What you do after your session is between you, your conscience, your lawyer and God.  Me?  Well, I’ll be resting my head in a fully-comped suite somewhere away from THAT kind of action.

Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

By: The Mad Professor

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