Ask the Slot Expert: Las Vegas locals casinos vary more in promotions

31 August 2022

Question: I received a $10 voucher on my 94th birthday. My dear son drove me to MGM Yonkers, N.Y.

Lost all my play money but it was a very Happy Birthday surprise.

Answer: A few weeks ago I posted a column about how my regular casinos did not give me a gift (point multiplier, free play or even a physical gift) this year. I called the column "Casinos banish birthday promotions". I don't know how I missed the alliteration of "Casinos banish birthday bonuses". [Sigh].

(I wasn't completely giftless this year. Cafe Rio, Port of Subs, Round Table Pizza, Auntie Anne's, Smashburger, Famous Dave's, and Lucille's all gave me a gift.)

I'm glad your casino remembered your birthday. Let me take this opportunity to wish you a belated Happy Birthday.

It seems like there is much more variability between casinos in terms of promotions today. Pre-Covid, both of my regular casinos had their 50+ promotions on the same day and the benefits were similar: point multiplier and an opportunity to win some cash (drawing or tournament). I used to start my day by playing a few hours of NSU at Red Rock and then playing in its tournament. Then I would head down to Gold Coast to meet Jean Scott and Brad. We all played NSU until Gold Coast held its drawing. We all also earned the free buffet that was part of the promotion.

The tournament and drawing did not reappear with reopening. Their absence may have had more to do with staffing problems than bean counting. Now that players keep coming without the promotions and profits are up, the promotions may never come back.

When I first moved to Las Vegas, I considered making the Rampart Casino one of my regulars. It had 9/6 Jacks and a good new member promotion. A current member could refer a new member and both would get a bonus -- I don't remember the details. I figured that I would join and then a week or so later, I would get my cousin to join.

"He who snoozes loses." I never got around to executing my plan and then not only did the promotion end, the 9/6 Jacks machines were removed.Rampart came off my list now that the best game there is Bonus Poker.

I stayed at the property in 2001. It was the Regent Las Vegas then. I had come to Las Vegas for the gaming convention. The keynote speaker expressed the convention organizer's gratitude to the attendees for having come to the show. It was October 2001.

The casino is part of the JW Marriott hotel. If I remember correctly, there was trick to finding the casino. You followed the signs for the Marriott to get off the roads that run by the property. There weren't any signs for the casino until you got onto the property. Now there's a big Rampart Casino sign on Rampart Drive -- but the URL for the website is here for the latest Covid data.

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John Robison

Articles by John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology. You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.