This week we continue reviewing apps that allow you to earn comps for casinos, by looking at the Binion’s Casino app. There are a variety of useful comps you can earn on the app, but the method of earning is a bit convoluted despite it looking straightforward on the surface.
Let’s start by looking at the app and its features, and then turn our attention to the comps opportunity.
Overview of the App
Binion’s Slots features at its core 18 slot games with basic slot functionality and original games, a couple of which have light theming around Binion’s, and one themed to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a license the app maker has along with Binion’s, but most are generic themed and functioned.
Each slot has 9 achievements that can be accomplished, and each time all of the achievements are completed a coin award is offered. You can re-earn achievements as you up your bet, which allows earning multiple awards and trophies for completing the accomplishments.
You can unlock access to a trivia feature at a high enough bet on any game, which can award a bonus based on your ability to correctly answer trivia. It’s a nice, although not necessarily groundbreaking, addition to mix it up a bit.
The Benny’s Billions game features the ability to earn Benny Bucks as well as Binion’s Progressive, which allows for coin purchases without actually spending money.
The game also features 8 versions of video poker, including multi-hand capabilities, with pay tables that escalate based on the amount being bet. You can push above a 100% theoretical payout with a high enough bet. As a video poker player myself, this is among the best implementations of video poker I’ve seen, so it’s a welcome inclusion to this app.
Like many slot-based games, there is a leveling up mechanism that you earn levels based on the number of coins you’ve bet. Video Poker bets are, like in many real-life casinos, discounted compared to slots bets, in that it will take more coin-in on video poker vs. slots to level up. If I’ve done my math right, 1 million coins on video poker is worth 40% on the leveling meter of what it is on slots.
Earning Coin Bonuses
There’s two main mechanisms for earning coin bonuses. In the bottom left corner is the ability to watch an ad for 75,000 coins, which can be completed each hour, and labeled as a “reward.” UPDATE 6/7/19: The bonus was reduced from 100,000 coins to 75,000 coins around June 1.
On the bottom right corner is the free coin bonus, which earns bonuses in the following sequence each day, and is available every two hours, resetting at midnight:
- First bonus: Binion’s Question of the Day, which plays identically to the trivia – with each wrong multiple choice guess the bonus goes down until you get a consolation prize if you don’t answer correctly before reaching the final option.
- Second bonus: A wheel spin, which starts with a 2x multiplier and wedges as low as 15,000 coins, but as you level up you can achieve higher multipliers.
- Third bonus: 10 hats. Hats are the comp points so this is really helpful. More on them shortly.
- Fourth bonus and beyond: 100,000 coins.
As you level up in the game, you earn coins for leveling up. Finally, there are Facebook Friday and Monday Funday bonuses that pop up, which give you an additional coin bonus.
The game also has a VIP program, which is free to join as long as you provide an email address. As you level up you also earn VIP points, which lead eventually to VIP upgrades. Higher VIP levels increase the coins in coin packages, the value of the Question of the Day, and the number of Trophy Collections you can achieve.
You can buy coins on the app, which can include bonuses of wheel spins with higher multipliers, VIP points, and additional other bonuses based on VIP level. You can also buy coins with Benny Bucks in lieu of actual money. The cost in Benny Bucks is the same vs. the cost in actual dollars.
Hats is the currency that allows you to earn comps. There are a few ways that make you eligible to earn hats or get hats outright:
- The third bonus of the day gives you 10 hats, as mentioned before. This is the most obvious and guaranteed way to get hats without doing anything else. So it’s worth collecting your bonus three times every day just to get those hats, as that works out to about 300 hats a month guaranteed.
- Each time you watch a video, you qualify to earn a few more hats. You must start playing games after watching a video and earning bonus coins to earn the hats, although you don’t have to do it immediately – you can save up coins and do it in a larger block.
- Collecting Monday Funday or Facebook Friday bonuses, which like watching a video makes you eligible to earn a handful of additional hats. These bonuses offer more coins than the video/reward bonuses and similarly offer the ability to earn a few more hats.
- Purchasing coins unlocks the ability to earn quite a few hats relative to video watching. I did a test purchase of $10 worth of coins when writing the original review, which got me about 17 million coins. The hat earning on that $10 of spend was 333. That’s a return in terms of comps on your spend of a bit over 40% based on the hat redemption value (details below). That’s a solid return and much higher than other apps we’ll review later.
For that latter item, which is the more common way you can earn hats, they are accrued based on how many hats you are eligible to earn (based on the number of videos watched) and the number of coins you have. It’s not based on total coins bet, or bought, or anything else. So it’s a weird mathematical formula.
So what does that mean in practice? You should, either after earning every bonus, or if you want to play longer every day or two, plan on doing your very best to use up all of your coins and earn your hats based on the videos watched. There is no value in letting coins build up, collecting a huge stash of coins, etc. – you won’t earn more hats for playing longer. It’s totally based on the amount of video watching you do.
There are conflicting reports online of whether you earn hats for buying coins on the Binion’s app. Some say yes, some say no. During our working on this article, we attempted to buy coins and the game would never make it through the process – very unusual for an app that works off the ability to upsell you. This article will be updated once we can verify. Most have reported no benefit for using Benny Bucks, which would make sense as that’s not real cash being spent.
But what this means is you can earn some hats every day, but most of the hat earning appears to be connected to revenue-generating activities like watching a video, and possibly spending money on coins, but in all cases you must play the coins earned down to accumulate the hats in those cases.
Redeeming Hats for Comps
Fortunately the redemption model is much more straightforward. Hats can be redeemed for a variety of items, including room credit (if staying overnight), restaurant credits, drink purchases, and branded merchandise.
The room credits in particular work for their sister property Four Queens, since Binion’s has only limited room options. a Four Queens app will be coming soon, offering comps for the Four Queens side as well, but the Binion’s team has said they don’t at this point plan on removing the Four Queens comps from the app when the Four Queens app alunches.
There is a pretty consistent value of 400 hats per $5, which means if you’re collecting the daily hats alone, you’re grabbing about $5 in comps a month right there, not too bad for a few seconds work a day. If you spend the time to watch the videos and spin the coins down, you could see much more significant growth.
Online reports have said there aren’t limits for redeeming the comps, but you must have the hats available to purchase, and you must visit the Binion’s players club booth, where they’ll process the comp so you can go to wherever you need to go (restaurant, hotel, bar, etc.) to complete the transaction. So be sure to factor that in to your plans.
The video poker, for me, is the saving grace of this app from a fun perspective. I find the slot games pretty mediocre and the hat earning is a bit awkward, but on the other hand it is nice to have a downtown comp earning option, since most of the other apps we’ll review is more focused on strip properties or big chains.
So kudos to the Binion’s team for having the foresight to figure out they should do this, and finding a way to do so profitably. Hopefully over time the app will improve and offer more fun options.