Tag: Players ClubsView All Tags
Vegas For Beginners / Players Clubs 101 / Tips / Survival Strategies / Players Clubs / Gambling / → All Tags
Casino players clubs have come a long way from their humble beginning as slot clubs. Players clubs started as a way to track how much money slot machine players spent in the casino. The next step for players clubs was to track all gambling, including table games, poker, sports betting, bingo and keno.
While some smaller players clubs still operate by only rewarding gamblers, the casino operators on the Vegas Strip have updated their players clubs to meet customer demand by offering players club rewards for non-gaming spending, too. Cardholders will receive rewards from spending money in most restaurants, bars, spas and other on-property businesses. Total Rewards will even offer rewards when you spend money with their off-site social casino or their credit card.
Vegas Observations / Video Poker / Players Clubs / MyPoints / Downtown Grand / Promotions / → All Tags
This writer sat down to play a little video poker at Downtown Grand before lunch the other day and noticed something a little different. (I know the video poker pay tables aren’t that great, but I wasn't risking much money.) After inserting the MyPoints players club card, I saw a variety of options from playing in a slot tournament on the same screen as my video poker game to cashing in free play. What really caught my eye was the ability to watch TV on the same screen. I could change channels, but really only ESPN seemed to make much sense on mute.
The option is a really cool feature for playing video poker in the casino, but still being able to keep tabs on a game. Looking a little deeper, I found out that it was made possible through the SYNKROS gaming system by Konami Gaming. This is the casino management system that runs when you insert your players club card into a slot or video poker machine.
It seems as if Cosmopolitan is enhancing its identity again. Late last year, its Identity players club became a little more transparent with how it dishes out reward points. And, earlier this year, a partnership with Marriott was expanded. Identity customers may have noticed a new change this week. Identity just got a little thicker in the middle.
If you’re not a low roller or a high roller, you might fall into the new Sterling (pinkies out) tier of Identity. What’s the difference? Here’s the difference. The website list benefits for its lowest tier, Silver, as nothing. Literally, nothing.
It wasn’t quite a hilarious April Fools gag, but Station Casinos launched its mobile app on April 1st. As we do with most hotel apps, we took it for a test drive and found it to be one of the best hotel-casino apps around. Unlike other apps recently released, the STN app is smooth, easy to use and very functional.
The home page is laid out simply by listing all 18 Station, Fiesta and Rancho casinos. Since the app works with your phone's geo-location features, it also gives you mileage to each property and directions, too. If you’ve rented a car and are in the mood to explore this is a great feature. Once a destination is chosen, users are taken to an easy-to-navigate tile design which features 10 categories including promotions, gaming, dining, hotel, spa, entertainment, movies, meetings and property maps.
It feels like just yesterday that MGM Resorts and Ameristar reached a partnership which would allow Ameristar's Star Rewards to connect with MGM's M Life. That players club partnership was actually more than two years ago now. Things changed for Ameristar late last year when Pinnacle Entertainment bought the company. Instead of squashing the Star Rewards/M Life partnership, Pinnacle created a new partnership between their MyChoice players club (which is not connected with Ameristar’s Star Rewards... yet) and M Life.
This partnership will allow all Pinnacle properties across the country to connect with Las Vegas. In addition to the Ameristar casinos in seven states, you can find Pinnacle casinos everywhere from Jackpot, Nevada to St. Louis, Missouri and Cincinnati, Ohio. You can view a full list of Pinnacle casinos here.
Gambling / Taxes / Players Clubs / → All Tags
We’re gamblers when it comes to just about everything in Vegas, but there’s one thing we don’t mess with and that’s taxes. Every state and country (Good luck, Canada) has its own tax laws when it comes to travel and gambling and it can all get a little confusing. We always recommend speaking with a certified tax professional before doing your taxes, but here are some tips to get you started.
Gambling winnings are all taxable and so are large comps (i.e., flights and vacations for high rollers, not your cup of coffee). You must report all gambling income on Line 21 ("Other Income") of IRS Form 1040. So, if you're a winner, prepare to pay up. If you're not, you're able to write off some of your gambling losses. Every casino will provide tax records called a win/loss statement of your gambling from the previous year around February and March. While you'll have to pay taxes for your winnings, you can deduct the losses. Keeping your own record of each gambling session is best, but win/loss statements are helpful for many gamblers.
Openings / Yard House / The Linq / Flamingo / The Quad / Total Rewards / Starwood / Players Clubs / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / → All Tags
When Yard House was created, the idea was to offer a restaurant that would boast one of the largest selections of draft beers, a diverse menu of American food, and play classic rock on a state-of-the-art sound system. Eight years later, you can add plenty of HD TVs to watch the games to that list. All things combined, it's a winning recipe for a very popular chain restaurant. The newest and largest outpost of Yard House officially opens this Friday, February 28 at The Linq.
Our hard hat tour of The Linq ended at Yard House where we were able to check out both stories of this mega-complex of beer and sample a few of the hundreds of drafts on tap. Don’t worry, nobody was hurt during this tasting. See how small this California Porter is?
There are already two Yard House locations in Las Vegas so this isn’t a new experience, but Yard House is only a regional chain with locations in just 16 states so the concept may be new to many. What makes The Linq location of Yard House so different is its enormity.
Players Clubs / M Life / MGM Resorts / UFC / → All Tags
M Life isn't pulling any punches in its quest to be the best players club around.
After teaming up with Hyatt, Southwest Airlines, Royal Caribbean, Avis Budget and Ameristar Casinos to offer members greater rewards, it's now bringing a new heavyweight to the game -- the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
Vegas For Beginners / Players Clubs / Vegas Observations / Survival Strategies / Gambling / Casinos / Tips / → All Tags
We all know that players clubs don’t exist only as a vehicle to give us freebies and discounts. They’re marketing tools that casinos use with much more diligence than you may realize. Rewarding casino customers for their loyalty makes plenty sense, but there’s a rhyme and reason behind every single offering. Casinos look at players clubs as a way to reinvest in their most loyal customers. Casino executives call this “Player Reinvestment” since rewards have historically been based solely on gaming revenue.
What might surprise you is how much casinos value customers. Casinos spend anywhere from 20%-40% of tracked gaming revenue on player reinvestment. As you might imagine, that money isn’t spread equally among customers. The more money a customer brings into the casino, the more the casino will invest in making that person return.
A lot of ideas to make gambling easier for the customer are run up the flagpole with the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC). Some are approved, but most aren’t. A controversial idea and regulation change was just pitched. A company called Sightline is proposing the use of prepaid gaming cards that would be used in slot (and video poker) machines. The idea is that these prepaid cards would be akin to prepaid gift cards. Their use would also be similar to casino players club cards that could be loaded at banks and then used at slot machines to insert and withdraw money.
Gaming regulators have always set barriers between personal bank accounts and slot machines. Since gambling can be addictive, this separation exists so that gamblers couldn't easily drain their bank accounts. ATMs are allowed in casinos, in part, because they have daily limits and don’t directly connect gambling with personal bank accounts.
That was the past, though. Now, it seems as if things are changing for the better. Recently, Identity decided to disclose the specific dollar amount of money played on table games that it takes to earn Identity points. This specific number isn’t mirrored by other players clubs, but was a nice bit of transparency. Today, The Cosmo announced an expansion of its partnership with Marriott that will benefit Identity members, too.
The Cosmo has had an arrangement with Marriott since 2010, but it was specifically for the hotel portion of the property. Now, you'll be able to transfer points between Identity and Marriott's Rewards program. Every Identity point earned can be transferred to Marriott Rewards points and used at nearly 3,800 Marriott locations worldwide. Marriott Rewards members can also enjoy the benefit of using their points for almost every experience at The Cosmopolitan, including hotel rooms, dining, spa and other casino experiences.
“NOW, WAIT ONE MINUTE!”
We downloaded the new Play by Total Rewards app for iPhone with a little too much excitement. Caesars Entertainment’s old Total Rewards and Total Vegas apps were scrapped last year for a reason. Common sense would lead one to believe that a new app that did everything a user could possibly want would be made. Not so fast.
The two things that we’d want in a casino or players club app are not allowed. We can’t book hotel rooms directly through the app and we can’t use offers through the app, either. When trying to book a room, the app takes you to the mobile version of totalrewards.com where you have to re-enter your Total Rewards information and begin the booking and offer claim process from the beginning. That kind of makes this app useless.