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Gaming Guru

Scan
 

It Isn’t Called Player Development for Nothing

15 April 2012

What would be a good gift for my casino host? I have seen this questioned posed on travel, casino and gambling-related forums dozens of times over the years. Usually other posters will respond and suggest wine, liquor, neckties, scarves, flowers, candy, sporting event tickets, or gift certificates to local stores. Some of the less informed posters even suggest cash, which is strictly prohibited by casino management.


Each time I see the question and the responses, I am amazed at the posters gullibility. I want to get in my car drive to their homes, grab them by the shoulders, shake them and yell, "The casino host is not your friend!"


These people need to understand that the casino host is a salesman. He or she is selling you entertainment. In return, you are risking your hard-earned cash on games that most people have little chance of beating over the long run.


The host’s job is to get you into the casino to gamble. The longer you gamble and the more money you risk, the happier the host is. The host’s livelihood depends on the player losing money. That is a fact, plain and simple. Sure the host will give you some nonsense about “theoretical losses” and rooting for players to win, but that is a load of bull. The players are nothing more than a cash cow with a casino player’s card.


If you think the host is your friend, try this. Book a comp casino trip. Stay a couple of nights in a free suite, charge your meals and bar bill back to your room. At the same time give the casino little or no casino gambling action. At the end of the stay, go see the host and ask him to take care of the outstanding room charges. He will look at you as if you are crazy. Now, guess what. Do you think your “friend” the host is going to call to invite you back? Forget about it, it is not happening!


Depending on their deal with the casino, the host has a vested interest in your losing. One famous Las Vegas host has been know to boast that in his line of work you haven’t been successful until you have busted a player of one million dollars.


The power of the casino host is psychological and it is strong. Everyone wants to be treated special, they want to be known as a VIP and offered things that are not available to the average person. Casinos exploit this by having tiered players clubs with membership levels that require the player to risk more and more money to rise in the hierarchy. The gullible player is always reaching for that next ladder rung.



Casinos advertise the benefits of rising in their players clubs prominently on their websites. The benefits can have monetary value, such as comped rooms. They can also have status value, such as front of the line access to restaurants and buffets. Just think how a casino patron that spends the week in a menial job taking orders from a boss he hates feels when he and his date walk past dozens of people standing in lines and are whisked to a table. The psychological appeal is very strong.


Members of the upper level tiers are granted access to “exclusive” lounges that have been established in many casinos. The casinos promote the lounges by showing handsome, tuxedo-clad gentlemen with supermodels enjoying a sumptuous feast. If you have never been inside the lounge you would think it that the most glamourous Hollywood stars are inside partying in a wild bacchanal. The reality is the patrons are often slovenly dressed, broken down players that have gambled away more than they can afford to lose. The fare consists of a mediocre buffet that is quite limited and not of the highest quality.



Uninformed players do not understand that the tiered membership levels are the real genius of the casino marketers and their hired psychologists. Whenever a player reaches a level, the temptation to rise up and attain a place in the next level is very powerful.



Take a look at the Caesars Entertainment players club. It has three basic levels of players. The lowest is Gold, followed by Platinum and then Diamond. Platinum level requires a player to attain 4000 base reward credits, while diamond requires a player to reach 11,000 reward credits. When players reach Diamond, they are invited to select events, parties and tournaments. They are fawned over by casino personnel. It is not unusual to see a Diamond player strutting to the front of a restaurant line holding out his Diamond Card as if he is Moses about to part the Red Sea with his staff. The players undoubtedly enjoy that attention, but if they want to keep being treated like a VIP they have to maintain their level of casino action. If they do not, they fall to the bottom of the barrel.


One caveat, not all Diamond Players are treated alike. Reportedly, certain offers are only available to those playing at the highest Diamond level. In addition, to keep the Diamond Players reaching for more, Caesars Entertainment has a category above Diamond. This is known as “Seven Stars”. To reach this you really have to be dipping into the IRA to feed your favorite machine. Seven Stars requires 100,000 base reward credits, that is S1,000,000 run through a video poker machine.


Seven Star players are given the keys to the kingdom. They are offered trips, cruises, meet and greets with celebrities and more. To keep Seven Stars players reaching for the carrot on the comp treadmill, there are reportedly three higher levels of Seven Stars. To reach Level I requires 125,000 Base reward credits. Level II requires 200,000 base reward credits. Level III requires 500,000 base reward credits. The higher you rise, the grander are the rewards.


In conclusion, if you want to drop $100 on a hand-painted necktie for Bob or Betty Smiley, your favorite casino host, go ahead. But if you are not giving them the casino action they want, your gift means nothing and that host is not going to give you the time of the day.


Scan
Scan works in a top-secret government agency and he is therefore not allowed to reveal his real name or show a picture of himself. We’ve used a clip-art drawing to indicate his nature. Needless to say, he is an extremely bright guy. He is an active member of the goldentouchcraps.com private members-only Web site where he posts his thoughts and gambling theories on a regular basis.
Scan
Scan works in a top-secret government agency and he is therefore not allowed to reveal his real name or show a picture of himself. We’ve used a clip-art drawing to indicate his nature. Needless to say, he is an extremely bright guy. He is an active member of the goldentouchcraps.com private members-only Web site where he posts his thoughts and gambling theories on a regular basis.