It’s now been a couple of months since casinos have begun reopening, and like just about everything else, offers have been an interesting thing to watch evolve.
The casino math behind offers can vary from company to company as it is, based on a variety of aspects such as level of competition, big or small ownership, and the type of player (tables or slots), along with more personal things like coin-in/out, theoretical loss per day or trip and so on.
But COVID-19 has upended many casinos’ thinking because of things like limited capacity in the building, reduction of available slot machines for social distancing, plexiglass at tables which has generally halved the number of spots at a table game to play, and so on.
That means how they use offers to drive demand has shifted as well. So what have casinos been doing? A bit of everything:
Some companies decided to just let it be. Mlife is one of the strongest examples of this – the offers many had before COVID-19 is exactly what was waiting for them when casinos reopened. This was true for me for both the Las Vegas market as well as locally in New England.
Casinos that have done this probably presume that offers will drive players who are ready to return, without overwhelming the casinos with players they can’t support. Demand would likely be suppressed.
Restrict Offers for Some/All Players
Some casinos took a conservative path, knowing that they were already behind the curve, and suspended offers for some or all players. The CT casinos originally announced that they would not actively solicit players from some parts of New England, and in the case of one of the two I didn’t receive any offers in the first month.
The logic would be to depress demand driven by offers at first to get a better gauge of how many people would show up, and then adjust as you go. Both casinos are giving me offers back closer to their norm now, but the first few weeks they held back a bit.
Interestingly, the CT casinos reported results that were a small fraction below June the previous year when it came to gaming performance, indicating their expectation that demand would be there even without offers was accurate. As the only casinos in New England that were open at the time, they had the market to themselves for the first time in quite a few years.
Start Small and Grow
I’ve seen some casinos either offer a lowered offer or the same offer as before, and then improve the offers if things need to pick up. I’ve seen a few bonus offers get pushed out mid-month to upgrade the offers already floated in a few cases, or upgraded room offers (weeknights being upgraded to add weekends and such).
This splits the difference between the first two approaches, and the casinos get more aggressive as need be to get the traffic they’re hoping for.
Go Big or Go Home?
In at least one case my offers went obscenely high for my level of play – it gives the impression they really want to drive traffic right now. I’m not sure how the casino is doing (it’s a bit far relative to my locals) but it was interesting to get such unusually high offers from them.
This seems to be by far the minority. But some casinos just want to get the foot traffic going and are willing to spend the money to make it happen.
How have your offers changed after the casino reopenings? Share your experience in the comments!
Horseshoe bossier city Louisiana no more foods comps from table games or host. Free rooms all gone any day of the week. Now if you spend a ton of money with yes I am sure that is not true. For the average person it is true. I haven’t paid for a meal or food in years. That has stopped!!!!
Thanks for the feedback on offers there, Bill, and sorry to hear of the cutbacks. Caesars casinos in particular will likely see cutbacks as part of the merger with Eldorado. They’ve outright said they’re cutting comps as a deliberate cost-cutting strategy after the merger, which is a shame.