Here I am in Las Vegas, staying at the Encore. I’ve lost $297 today at the craps tables. I’ve been using my “comp” card and out of curiosity asked the “casino services” representative why is a small-timer such as me even bothering to use my comp card at the tables. He said that every player can get a comp, even if it is just a cup of coffee… all the way up to a private jet ride home. I handed him my card and asked, “so if I keep playing like this for 3 days where do I fit on that spectrum”. His answer: “a cup of coffee… but please use the card.”
The folks at the Wynn/Encore are exceedingly polite and professional. Their job is to 1) make money for the casino, and 2) provide a positive experience for the customer while doing so.
So no private jet for me! That said, I think I will quit using my comp card. What’s in it for me?… nada.
I understand very well the rationale of the casino. First, table games are expensive to operate… craps takes 4 dealers to run. Second, the way I play is least favorable to the house. I place pass line and come bets, and place odds bets on the points. Other than tips, that’s it. No “field”, no placed bets, nothing. Given a thousand people like me the casino probably, on average, breaks even after expenses.
So why do they want my data? My hunch is that players like me still fill a role. We seed the tables and have fun. Some high rollers like that. The guy next to me at one craps table walked away with $16,000 and change. He mentioned that at one point he had $25,000, but he had lost a bit. Still, he said, he was up overall. I assume this guy rolled in comps. He is the gambler casinos covet. He tipped generously, perhaps $500/hour.
I have decided that my privacy is worth more than a cup of coffee. (Perhaps I would have settled for a room-service breakfast for two). I will try to keep a lower profile, but in Vegas that is a difficult game. Cameras, RFID-enabled chips, facial-recognition software… good luck keeping a secret here. But I’m gonna make them work that much harder, because that’s how I roll.
Stay tuned if you want to learn some of the worst craps advice I’ve heard in a while. Until, then, best of luck!
Update: The terrible craps advice? To use “placed” bets rather than pure “odds” bets on numbers in order to get more “comps” and more “comps action”. Follow this advice and you will see your $10 bet on “4″ pay back $18 instead of $20. The $2 fee will get you about 2 cents worth of comps! Plus you’ll get less action than you think because you’ll lose your money faster.