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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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One Way to Manipulate Player's Clubs

6 February 2001

I recently received an interesting question via e-mail from a longtime reader of this column who writes in regard to casino player's clubs:

"My wife and I are usually on a boat two or three times a week. We play twenty-five cent and $1 poker machines at Trump and Harrah's Joliet. Trump has the best payback and Harrah's is closer with open boarding. We both have Platinum at Harrah's and Red Preferred at Trump. I've asked Joliet to combine our points on one card but was told state law prevents this. Harrah's East Chicago told me the same thing but said Las Vegas is the only place this can be done. Four weeks ago we were in Las Vegas and they told me this can't be done. Is there really a state gaming law that prohibits a casino from combining points on one card? I can't believe the gaming commission would care how many cards or points a person has. I really feel that Harrah's is giving us the run-around."

Casinos take their player's clubs very seriously. They are the most important marketing tools of casinos across the country. Vital demographic information, as well as valuable statistics about individual players, can be obtained from them. When you establish a player's club account, you are given a number that is yours and yours alone. Transferring points accrued on one account to another account, even though it's all in the family as far as you and your wife is concerned, would create many problems for the casinos.

For example, where would the casinos draw the line? Only between husbands and wives? Or would that open the door to combining the points of boyfriends and girlfirends? Brothers and sisters? Best friends? The bottom line is this: Once you establish an account, any play that is credited to that account and any points or benefits the account earns belongs to the person whose name is on the account. The benefits are not transferrable.

There is yet another complication. At year's end, players have the option of requesting in writing from the casinos they patronize a form that is called a "win-loss" statement. It is a record of the individual's slot play (based on coin-in, coin-out) for income tax purposes. If cards were issued only for the purpose of accumulating slot points, casinos would probably give players more transfer options. But because player's clubs are really serious business for casinos, strict rules are applied.

One way for couples to manipulate the system when it comes to casino slot clubs is for them to play using one account. In this manner, instead of diluting the value of your combined play by creating two mediocre accounts, you can "double up" and create one much stronger account capable of wielding more influence when it comes to requesting discounts and comps.

In a majority of cases, two people can reap the benefits of a single strong player's club account. Dinner comps are usually issued for two. Other discounts, such as hotel rooms, are based on double occupancy. So, in reality, what are you really losing by combining your play under one name and one account number?

An exception to this rule could be the case of you and your wife. Both of you are highly rated players, which means that each one of you is entitled to above-average perks. Still, it couldn't hurt to look into the possibility of playing under one name and see what benefits that one big account can generate for you as opposed to two smaller ones.

Two people playing under one account name and number is simple if both of you are slot or video poker players. Simply obtain duplicate cards and use them at every machine you play. Table games are a little different story. When you hand in your card to the supervisor to be rated, the name on the card is matched up with the player.

Using this method to play doesn't mean one of you is going to miss out on something. You can both be signed up with the club and receive separate mailings. But when it comes to building up points, just have an extra card issued and double up on a single account.

There are many scenarios under which the system pays off. What about Triple Point Tuesdays at Empress Casino Joliet? The Double Star Points coupons that Hollywood Casino Aurora sends out are especially useful for these purposes. A player must attain a certain point level before the "double" goes into effect. It's a lot easier for two people's combined play to hit that level than individual play.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp