Casino comps are items given by a casino to its patrons free of charge. Although there really isn’t an exclusive list, those items can include meals, hotel rooms, free event tickets, drinks, money to play with, and cash to spend.
Casinos in the central United States almost all offer free soft drinks to the person casually walking through the casino. Usually, there are conveniently placed fountain drink machines or waitresses pushing a cart of them around the casino
In the Nevada, Mississippi, and New Jersey casinos, alcoholic beverages are available free to patrons playing the games. Waitresses there circulate taking orders and delivering the free drinks.
Midwest casinos usually have cash bars. Waitresses from the bars circulate through the casino taking orders. They deliver and collect for the ordered drinks. An exception would be Bay Mills in upper Michigan where playing patrons are supplied with complimentary alcoholic beverages.
Comps beyond drinks fall into three different categories. There are earned comps, discretionary comps, and marketing comps.
Earned comps are returns to the patron based specifically on the level of play. Patrons should join the tracking club at any casino they frequent. That enables the casino to know where the player ranks in their hierarchy of play. It also allows the casino to know that an individual patron played perhaps $20 in a machine. The casino than might be comfortable returning part of that $20 to the player as a comp. These comps take the form of a cash rebate, comp dollars that can be used for food or rooms, or dollars that can be used for play in the machines. When a patron allows the casino to track their play on a machine the casino can calculate what the rebate should be. Each casino has its own method of arriving at a rebate percentage.
Several internet sites publish information on specific casino rebates. One of them VPFree2 is easy to use. At the top of the page, click on the region of the country for which information is desired. From the resultant list of casinos, select the one of interest. At the site for that casino, click on the Player’s Club button. A list of information about the percentage of cashback, credits available for the purchase of food or room, and credits available to be played on the machines will be displayed.
Video poker players can add the percentage of cash back, free play or comp dollars to the percentage return that can be discovered through the article on Fun at Video Poker previously published on Yahoo Voices. Slot machine players will find it more difficult to calculate the return expected on a machine because slot machine return rates vary widely but the comp rates are usually straightforward. You can try video poker with buktiqq which is one of the amazing online gaming portals that offer you different options when it comes to slot machines and poker games.
If a patron is playing a video poker machine that returns 99.6% of the money put in the machine and the casino rebates .15% of the money bet, the return on the game becomes 99.75%. Slot machines normally have a lower percentage of return than video poker but a higher rebate from the casino.
Discretionary comps are comps that are handed out by the casino personnel. While generally based on the level of play of a patron, it is a subjective decision made by an employee. These include drinks, meals, event tickets, and rooms. Usually, a casino employee dispenses these comps – a supervisor at a table game or a slot host in the area of video poker and slot machines.
An example of discretionary comps is that after a reasonable length of time gambling, the casino when asked might provide a sandwich at the snack bar or a meal in the buffet or a steak in a steakhouse. Clearly, a comp for a sandwich would require a lower level of play than a comp for a steak dinner. These comps are available only when a request is made. If a patron is playing a game at a table, the dealer can initiate the action by getting the attention of his supervisor. If a patron is playing a machine, they should press the service button and ask the resulting attendant to speak to a casino host about a comp. The casino employee that is empowered to issue to issue comps works under guidelines set by the casino and might say “no” or suggest a different comp. However, the possibility of a “no” answer should not deter a patron from asking.
How the awarding of discretionary comps is calculated is specifically a mystery to most players. Each casino may have a slightly different method. Generally, however, the casino tries to calculate how much money a patron has bet. From that, they are able to estimate what the patron should lose on the average. They are then willing to return a percentage of that expected loss to the patron. As an example, a blackjack player might bet $5 a hand and play 60 hands an hour. His wagering in the hour would be $300. If the casino expected to win 5% of the wagers, they would expect to win $15 and they might be willing to return $5 of that to the patron.
The third type of comps is marketing comps. When a patron identifies himself as a club member, the casino’s computer tracks the activity of the patron. After the patron leaves the casino and goes home, the tracking computer passes the information to the advertising computer. The advertising computer makes a decision that ranges between “it’d be nice to see this patron again” and “he gave us a lot of action. Let’s get that patron back and see if he’ll lose some money.”
If the patron is in the first group, they might receive a marketing comp that invites the player back and offers a free or reduced rate room for a night or two or maybe a meal in the buffet or maybe a few dollars to play on one of the machines. If a patron is in the second group, they might get offered a plane ticket to the town where the casino is located, a limo to pick them up at the airport, a free luxury suite, free tickets and preferred seating for a name entertainer, and gourmet meals while in town. The computer normally makes those decisions.
The value of marketing comps can be added to the value of earned and discretionary comps to arrive at a return on money gambled.
Casinos are resort businesses that survive because they offer entertainment at a reasonable cost. Patrons need to budget their trips to the casinos. Casino comps can and should enter into that budget. Calculating the value of casino comps is different for each patron and it can become complicated. However, it is clear that comps can be profitable by increasing the return from the machines and that they can be fun by offering perquisites while in the resort.