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Reader Poll for August 5, through August 14, 2004

Answer our reader Poll, win 2 free $40+ Show tickets!   Each Reader Poll, the 3 best replies each week will receive two $40+ show tickets absolutely FREE! The 3 winners will be selected by Richard Reed, IVLV owner.

Comps as well all know are casino rewards for gambling a set period of time and a set amount of money. This week’s poll asks . . . How much money should a person spend and how long should they have to gamble before they receive comps and what should those comps be? 
How Much and How Long versus what do you Get?


Reader Poll Replies:

* I feel that comps should be given at all levels of play starting with $100. It seems that comps are given only to the "whales" and other individuals that can afford the luxuries offered to them via comps. Give the little guy something for a change. After all, most visitors to Vegas are tourists with a pocket full of hard-earned money to burn. The comps should be according to rating and spending. For example, for $100 or 2 hours of steady play, a comp of a free buffet or a small logo item from the gift shop would be appropriate; $250 and 4 hours of steady play would encompass a nice meal in a restaurant or show tickets, etc. In all my 30 years of coming to Vegas once or twice a year, I have never been comped even though I have asked for one. I spend between $500 -$1000 on gaming per trip and have never once been given a free meal or room or even a T-Shirt! I have been rated at several casino properties and still no "freebies." Give us little people a spiff occasionally to make us feel welcome and special like the "whales." After all, us little guys spend more than we can afford to have a good time in Vegas and a little token would do us good and make us want to come back to the property. Also, most of the pit bosses should lose the attitude when approached about a comp. They represent the casino property and often this leaves a bad impression on the gambler. Comps are nice, but uniform standards should be created to follow the issuance of them. What is good for one property should be good for the others.  George Gryak  West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

*  Comps are a marketing tool to attract and retain business. It's one of those things that just escalated after casinos started giving out coupons, then coupon books, and now Players Club cards. Each casino, in fact each table, has to do the math to see how much or how little they have to give away to draw an increase in revenue. Perception of value of a comp to a customer can also be manipulated. The number of points you accumulate on your players club card toward meals, logo goods, or a room, have a value relative to the quality of the buffet, the garment, or the lodgings. The old neon come-on of the "loosest slots in town" can draw as much business as guaranteeing a pair of buffet tickets at 1500 "points", particularly if you have a "Harrah's quality" buffet reputation. Valued Comps to the average gambler can be a better looking cocktail hostess who brings your drink just a little more often than the next casino. I think what Las Vegas is discovering is that there is a more discerning average gambler working the strip today, who is evaluating the odds and the paybacks to a higher degree than anyone imagined possible a few years ago, and seeking the optimum combination of odds, luck, amenable surroundings, comps, accessibility, and the feeling that the house is willing to work with you win or lose. Entertainment, or a great restaurant, brings in people, but does not guarantee retention. But if you add a sliding scale comps program, and a little black box wherever you sit and insert your money that cheers you on to each award level, THAT guarantee of taking something away even if you are losing can keep you in that seat a little longer.  Don Bartley  Portland

*  Casinos are in the business to make money. They own the house edge on every game.
I've been comped rooms, meals, shows, drinks, tours, etc. Casinos make more on gaming than anything else. It blows me away that millions are spent on mall space, yet casino patrons will walk through casino floors with 3/4's of the tables without any dealers at all, or past idle dealers because the table limit is too high. A $5.00 minimum blackjack table can pick a players pocket for about $300 in an hour of play. A player could purchase a great room up-grade, terrific meal, see the finest show in Vegas for that hour of play. Vegas should be for great entertainment. Just how entertaining is it to blow a chunk of your entertainment dollars before you even get a cocktail server to bring you a COMPED drink? It becomes a win/win for the operators and patrons the longer a casino can engage a patron in gaming. Solution, LOWER TABLE LIMITS. Are the COMP gimmicks a great pay-off for having your pocket picked? NO!!! Comps should be to keep patrons in the fold, not to pacify them for their loss. The real point is - how long does it !
take the average out-of town visitor of Vegas to earn the $300 that they lose in an hour? It's all perceived value. Peoples perceptions are that the longer they are at a table the better they have done. Therefore, what is the break even for casinos before they begin offering "FREE" stuff? Instead of using comps as a form of gratitude, Casinos should lower the table limits and let the patrons play. They make money, visitors have fun. Sounds easy.
Besides, I would rather play at a casino with very busy tables, rather than one that looks like a fancy morgue.  BW Sharp  Lonewood, CO

*   To get comps need to spend some time like 6-8 hours, should get free meals, maybe a show, If you spend more, can get a free room for one night.  Barb Weisman  Canoga Park, California

*  It depends on what comp you are asking for. If all you want is a free meal, then ask, if the pit boss has seen you playing for a hour or two, you might just get it. If you want room and food, then four hours of play at the dollar slots, or at the tables seems to be standard. I go to play, the comps are extras. Of course the better the extras the more likely I will play in that casino. Love high limit break areas with free water and snacks. Love my coffee in the morning without hassle, lines or waiting for a waitress. Looking forward to seeing what the MGM's updated high limit area looks like, it was nice before, should be great.   Respectfully submitted, Judi Ketchum

* Gambling 4 hours out of 24 at $25-50 per outcome for Room and at $50-75 per outcome Room and Food. 4 hours at $10-25 per outcome should get you some food comps at the very least. Give Pit bosses the ability to write food comps again PLEASE.  Lonnie Morgan  Buxton, NC

*  We all should realize Comps are a way of keeping you in the middle of the action. A casino is a competitive business with a budget and marketing strategy to help it maintain a competitive position. Comps are a carrot to help lure us to the tables or machines. A big hit will earn you more than a big loss--the house wants its money back not to pay you to have a good time touring the strip or surrounding area (or worse yet taking the green out of Nevada). When my family owned a place in Las Vegas all we ever expected was a good meal or discount ticket to a show once in awhile. The pit boss and your host had much more latitude in handing out awards, and there were more golf shirts etc with no value attached. Mow it is all a numbers game, based on type of game, average bet and length of time played. I usually get a room a couple of meals and am happy although I do miss the ability to just nod to the pit boss and ask for a dinner or even have him (or her) come over and ask if I had eaten yet. Now it is "we have to check your account" or else told to charge it to the room and see what will be comped at checkout. hbhastings  Parsonsurg,.MD

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