The casino market is a competitive one- both online and in the real world (ie physical casinos with bricks and mortar- you do remember the real world don´t you?). And we do love a freebie, so this section is all about how you get casino comp points and other freebies from casinos.
And that´s good for us casino players, as the casinos are all falling over themselves to entice you through their doors (or past the home page). So what are comps and how do you get them? How do you get your paws on the freebies! Well, we´ll discuss doing this at land based casinos first and then cover the virtual world of bonuses, comps and freebies later (although many of the same tricks apply).
Comp is short for complimentary. They are freebies that a casino gives to its customers as a reward for playing in the house. We have all heard about the maxim that it is 10 time more expensive to acquire a new customer as it is to keep an existing one loyal- well the same theory is true for casinos, and these businesses have woken up to the fact that they need to give some of their loyal players “a bit of love” every now and then. And that generally means free casino chips, drinks, hotel rooms and limo transfers!
Many people think that that comps are only given to the big players or high rollers who spend tens of thousands of pounds or dollars at the table. Not so sir! Most casinos have tiers of comps that they give out. Of course the big spenders are going to get big comps, but there is also a budget for the players who aren´t quite spending so much too.
Comps don´t need to be in the form of free casino chips: they can be free hats and pens, free meals, free accomodation, free suites, free flights and even free private jet hire. Free drinks are usually given out to most players (there´s only one place in the world that likes a drunk more than Vegas and that´s Macau).
Most establishments will ply you with free booze while you are playing at the slots or on the tables. Casino Rate is another type of comp. The casinos prefer you to stay with them, rather than wandering across The Strip (easy to do in Las Vegas). You get a competitive room rate, and if you make enough bets the room is on the house. A buffet or coffee shop comp is also fairly widespread in Las Vegas and Macao. Again, this stops you wandering off too far from the gaming floor- or rather their gaming floor.
The best way of getting lots of comps is to do the following: first off, you must sign up to the loyalty program, or player´s club, or whatever the scheme is called. This is the casino equivalent of Air Miles and allows the casino to track your play. Make sure you load money onto the card and play with that (rather than cash). If you are playing roulette, and blackjack- ask the dealer to make sure your play is covered on your card.
The next thing to remember is “if your don´t ask, you don´t get”. Yes, the powers that be at the casinos will comp you without you having to ask, but why wait for them to notice you? Make some noise! I know that this isn´t a very British approach, but you are probably not going to be in Britain if you are looking for comps- you´ll be in Las Vegas, Macau or Monaco. Demand some comps Goddammit!
If they turn you down, there has been no harm done- in any case you should then know how much you need to bet before you start getting comps. And these things are always flexible, believe me. Ask politely and show the casino staff some respect and the chances are that you´ll jump the queue ahead of the guy who is huffing and puffing and going blue in the face.
If you are looking for free food, ask while you are playing: it is always more effective if they can see you spending money at the time. For a free room, try talking to a casino host during your stay to try and get your room charge waived. Ask them if you are eligible for a discount on your room rate half way through your stay. Or make up some cock and bull story about having plans to move on to another hotel, “but I jes´ lurve it here, it´s awful pretty and could you let me know if it is possible etc etc…..” Actually, on second thoughts scrap that appalling attempt at a Southern accent and use your cutest BBC English accent- you know, like the ones out of Pathe news from the 1950s.
The sooner you befriend one of the casino staff (ideally a casino host), the better. Start chatting them up as soon as you walk through the door!
The golden rule is to be polite – enquire rather than demand. Comps are a bit like upgrades on airlines. There is a certain amount of discretion allowed when they are allocated to customers. Let´s face it, a Casino Host doesn´t wield much power, so they are going to be in Custom´s Official mode when dishing out the comps. You aim is to whizz through the Green Channel with heaps of Duty Free, rather than be summoned into the back office of the red channel by the hairy guy pulling on washing up gloves, if you get the metaphor.
You are far more likely to get a comp if you are respectful to the staff. Good manners cost nothing after all!