Taking Full Advantage in Casino
Staying aware of your players club status can entitle you to extra freebies
By H. Scot Krause
Check your tier status on a regular basis. If you’re entitled to more perks and benefits, including shorter lines, by all means ignore the jealous stares of those in the longer lines and take advantage!
I guess I’m not as good of a gambler as I sometimes think I am. I was visiting one of my local haunts, and had to stop at the club booth for some reason I can’t exactly recall. What I do remember is that the club rep informed me that I’d moved up to the top tier of my club. I thanked her for letting me know, she made me a couple new cards, and I was on my way.
At this particular casino, top tier status gets you some nice extra perks—like the “no-waiting” VIP lines at the cashier’s cage, box office and restaurants. I needed to pick up show tickets, cash some chips at the cage, and go eat, and at all three locations my newly acquired status moved me through much more quickly than usual. On my way out, I learned that the casino even offers VIP parking in the garage, and I received a special pass card to use on my future visits.
The lesson learned? Check your tier status on a regular basis. If you’re entitled to more perks and benefits, including shorter lines, by all means ignore the jealous stares of those in the longer lines and take advantage! You’re a good player, and that’s why the casinos offer it to you. Heck, I remember waiting in long lines and feeling envious of the VIP players. Now I’m one of them—and it feels pretty cool.
Here’s another tip for slot players. Are you looking for a certain slot or video poker machine you want to play? Well, did you know that many casino websites now offer a “Slot Search” tab that allows you to locate the games you’re looking for online, before you get to the casino floor? For example, Boyd Gaming offers a slot search tab on their B Connected website at: https://www.bconnectedonline.com/. You can use the pull down menu to select any of their casinos and find the games you’re interested in playing.
Caesars Entertainment has a similar page titled “Slot Finder” at: http://www.totalrewards.com/SlotFinder.do (Or just Google: Caesars Entertainment Slot Finder.) Once there, you can search by casino name, denomination, slot type or slot name.
Here’s another excellent resource for locating specific video poker games at nearly any casino in the US: http://www.videopoker.com/ The site is sponsored by IGT/Action Gaming and has great pull-down menus to find video poker games and locations as well as additional video poker information, a chat forum, practice games, and more.
Finding the games once you actually hit the casino floor can be a bit more challenging, but you can always ask a slot attendant where your favorite games are located. If they don’t know right away, they can look it up on their computers. However, they may only have a few of those machines, and they could be occupied—so have a back-up plan in mind with some additional games you might like to play at the same casino.
This month, I also recommend that you start requesting your Win/Loss statements, sometimes referred to a Tax Statement, from each casino where you’ve played over the past year. These statements can be used to help you prepare your taxes, especially if you were a winner in 2011 and want to be able to declare your losses against your wins when you file your tax returns. While the government will not accept these statements as your only proof of wins and losses (they also want you to record a gaming diary that details your gambling sessions), it will help as back-up evidence. Many casinos now also offer your personal Win/Loss statements online. You can download this information, or submit a request to have it mailed to you.
Some casinos will still make you do it the old school way, and have you visit and sign a form in person. Get started now, early in the tax season, and you’ll be well prepared.
Happy New Year and jackpots to all!
Feel the Power at Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun’s $250,000 Feel the Power Giveaway runs through Jan. 31. Swipe your players card daily to enter the grand prize drawing and a chance to win $50,000 cash. 100 instant winners receive $500 in cash, and everyone has a chance to win free slot play and points instantly.
On January 14 and 15, every 30 minutes, one winner at IP Casino Resort in Biloxi will spend 30 seconds inside the money machine. It starts with $5,000 cash and more money is added hourly. IP Rewards members who are actively playing slots or table between 2:00 pm – 9:30 pm have a chance to win, plus a $10,000 Cash Drawing will take place at 9:30 pm. Visit the club booth for complete details.
Caribbean Cruise Giveaway
Now through January 28, you can earn entries for the Carribean Cruise Giveaway at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. Register at the Players Club to win a February 26 – March 4, 2012 cruise for two to the Caribbean on the new Carnival Magic SM ship. Ports of call include Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Montego Bay. The cruise will depart from Reno on February 25. Qualify for an entry by earning 2,000 tier credits on reels, video reels or table games, or by earning 6,000 tier credits on video poker when playing with your GSRewards card.
H. Scot Krause is a freelance writer, gaming industry analyst and researcher. He is a former entertainment director and a sixteen-year resident of Las Vegas. His work is regularly featured in gaming publications and the annual American Casino Guide Book. Questions or comments for Scot may be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org