I had this question recently come in on Twitter which I thought was a good one, and wanted on today’s post to elaborate more on my thoughts that I shared as a reply. Let’s start with the question:
Last month I brought with about 1000 to Vegas. I play slots, enjoy it etc. Compared to my previous visits I spend more on slots. Got back home and my offers for the next trip decreased. Any help?
There are a variety of reasons that comps can move in a different direction than you’d anticipate after a casino visit. I’ll go over the core potential reasons here, with the caveat that each casino handles offers differently, so I can only theorize as to what may have caused the downward shift.
Coin-In/Out vs. Actual Win/Loss
Even if your budget went up, to the casino you may not have played as much as before. That’s because there’s the concept of coin-in/out vs. actual win/loss. The former is how much in total wagers you placed; the latter is the final amount you actually won or lost based on your wagers.
Many casinos build offers off of coin-in/coin-out vs. actual win/loss, which rewards those who play slower and steadier vs. those who might swing for the fences and lose big fast. The reason for this is, over time, if you make more wagers, you are more and more likely to donate to the casino vs. the casino donating to you.
Sometimes casinos will factor win/loss in as a secondary layer, but usually in their favor – if you are winning too much, they’ll knock your comps down since the winnings were enough, in their mind. It’s crummy, but it happens.
Your Trip Length
If you spent more, but also spent more time there, you could be watering down your play in a different way – reducing your daily average. Many casinos calculate your play based on the number of gaming days you’re on site, and develop a daily average. This is generally understood to be how Caesars has historically handled this, through an average daily theoretical (ADT) calculation.
Other casinos will calculate based on a trip, and your comps will basically be balanced around that. Vegas Mlife and Cosmo are more in that bucket, and so the entire offer (room nights, free play and food and beverage) are pooled together as a trip offer based on how much they expect you to spend on a trip, and how much in comp value they’re willing to extend you.
What You’re Comped vs. Play
If the casino gives you a certain level of comps, but believe you got more than you were supposed to, some will reduce your next round of comps to calibrate for this. If you had a nicer room, say a suite, vs. a regular room, they’ll calculate that differently in their comp value issued to you, as an example.
You’ll usually see what they value the room at when you book it, but that may be the retail value vs. the casino value, so that number in and of itself is just a helpful relative guide to see the cost differences between room types.
How Often a Casino Updates Offers
The drop in offers could be something that was already going to happen before your recent play, and your recent play may not be incorporated yet.
I’ve seen a very wide delta in how quickly a new visit hits casino offers – some places seem to be able to react within a day or two, especially when it comes to things like bounceback offers; others take months, as much as three months at times, to reflect that visit. A month is probably average, given most casinos issue monthly offers.
One Visit May Not Be Enough
Your one increased visit may simply not be enough if you have a more entrenched history. If you had a good visit (or more) drop off, and you only played once at a newly higher level, it may simply not be enough to move the needle the way you’re hoping.
However, if you haven’t played that much at a property, every visit will carry proportionally more weight accordingly, and casinos have various ways of aging older visits, which may work in favor of those players whose play increases iwth time.
Other Casino Factors
Sometimes seasonality and peaks and valleys can determine changes in comp offers. If casinos aren’t struggling to pull people in, and bookings are high, comps such as rooms can be hard to secure. Particularly as bean counters take firmer and firmer hold of more casinos and casino companies, casinos that are particularly busy may see other types of comps pruned as well.
New ownership, such as Eldorado’s purchase of Caesars and other casino properties in recent years, has led to comps being cut in many cases as well; I still distinctly recall when they acquired Tropicana in Atlantic City and many peoples’ comps were instantly slashed by 50 percent or more.
I realize this isn’t a specific answer to the question, but the question is also very broad, and so I’m aiming to cover as many angles as I can with my response.