Read on for more details on the types of VIP benefits and rewards you could enjoy for being a VIP player in most of the reputable online and physical casinos.
What are VIP Benefits & Casino Rewards
As a VIP, you receive the casino’s best benefits, including everything from special poker room seating and free food to comped rooms and members-only events. In return for these casion VIP programs, you give the casino your loyalty. In exchange for this loyalty, they’ll offer more of these benefits to you on an ongoing basis in the form of comps (freebies). For some casinos, this is a lifelong agreement with no stated expiration date – most will offer their most generous rewards packages to high rollers. For others, the benefits only last as long as you remain loyal to them. A player can be dropped from their VIP program for various reasons (too many complaints, too high a loss rate, too many no-shows at events/activities).
VIP Benefits – Poker Rooms
While some casinos offer rewards for all their loyal players, most recognize that poker is the single biggest generator of revenue for them. This is why they offer the most benefits to players who play poker while also devoting considerable time and effort into marketing things like poker tournaments and other special events to attract new players. In order to keep the players they have, they strive to keep their poker rooms full of players. In order to entice new players to come play in one of these rooms, casinos offer discounts on hotel rooms, food and beverage packages and tournaments that benefit from having a lot of players.
As a full-time poker player you’ve already decided that poker is your game. The casino wants you, but it’s up to you whether or not you want to continue playing there. There are many benefits provided by the casino for its loyal players while there are very few benefits offered for non-players. The benefits for poker players are normally extended only to the highest ranking players, with those at the lower levels receiving nothing.
When you first start playing at any casino (or as a part of any casino’s loyalty program), you’ll start as a Bronze member. From there, you can move through Silver and Gold to Platinum and finally Direct VIP Direct status is offered only to those who play a lot and spend a lot. As far as we know, only the Borgata (and the now closed Trump Marina) allowed players at any level or stake to skip these steps and go directly from Bronze directly to Diamond (member). Although it might seem to be simple enough to move up in one’s own mind, it’s not actually that easy.
VIP Status – Rewards and Benefits
Besides the obvious benefits of free or discounted rooms and meals, some casinos will reward certain levels for playing for a certain length of time and at a specific average stake. Contrary to popular thinking, most poker rooms don’t offer any specific rewards for their VIP players except some type of comps-related benefit that is level dependent. This means that if you are eligible for the comps program, the casino will award its most valuable offers to you. These typically include free meals and rooms, discounts on Internet access and other incidentals, show tickets and any special events (such as parties) that the casino hosts.
As a general rule, VIPs will receive their comps in the mail. If you’re staying at the hotel or walking into the poker room at a casino, this means little – it’s not likely you’ll need them right away so they go into your wallet or pocket until you leave. If they are mailed to you, you can pretty much forget about them because most casinos send out their allotment of rewards every month.
These rewards are designed with the casino’s VIP players in mind and most casinos will give you more of these if you’ve spent too much at their tables or joined poker tournaments. For example, one of the most lucrative rewards programs available for online poker is Mlife Rewards – if you play enough on their website, they may give you an additional $10 coupon per day at their properties.
Most casinos do not offer special benefits or compensation to non-VIP players or players at lower stakes (although some do… usually the companies that own the companies giving out these rewards). Why? Because… nobody is interested in coming up to you in a casino lobby and saying, “I’d like to buy your chips. I’m short and need $500. Moreover, I know you’ve been losing this weekend so I’ll buy them from you at your current buy-in.”
There is no benefit for casinos to offer comps or rewards to players at lower stakes because that would mean they would not receive any revenue from them (and likely actually lose money). Therefore, it’s in the casino’s best interests to reward and offer comps and benefits to their most loyal players. As a result, only the top 1% of the gambling world will reap these rewards.
VIP Status – Tournament Play
Some casinos offer special benefits to players who come in to play tournaments. In general, you won’t find the highest level of benefits here as most players already know that these rooms offer the best tournaments and thus don’t really need an incentive. However, some poker rooms will guarantee a certain number of seats for players with a specific VIP status. Others might provide a meal or two if you’re staying at the casino, free entry into a satellite tournament or even free entry into a special event or tournament that is normally closed to non-VIPs.
As far as we know, this type of VIP treatment has only been extended to players at the highest levels and for those who play a lot and spend a lot. For example, the Bellagio offers an incentive for its Platinum and Diamond level players to come play in their tournaments – $2500 in tournament entry fees.
VIP Status – Regular Player Program
Like other casino rewards programs, many poker rooms offer benefits based on how much poker you play. These are more common than the other types of benefits offered because, well… it’s not that expensive for casinos to offer these because they don’t have to subsidize anything.
The most common benefit is the free buffet or catered dinner. If you play a lot, most casinos will give you this for free. Food and beverage discounts also fall into this category as well as tournament entry fees which pay for the added cost of catering and tournament runners.
Other than these types of benefits, there are no rewards that you receive just because you’ve become a regular player. You’ll still need to maintain your current VIP status in order to get these types of perks and we doubt that many regular players will do so just to receive use-and-throw prizes like hotel rooms and meals.
VIP Status – Non-Gambling Benefits
Some casinos, depending on their location, might offer VIP perks not related to gambling. For example, some properties offer exclusive access to the pool area while others will provide you with a free room or meal when you play in their poker room. Some casinos even have suites where the owner of the casino will give you a tour of their facilities while others might offer discounts on events attended by VIPs.
The most common benefit of this type is some kind of discount on food and beverages which may include dinner, alcoholic drinks, snacks and soft drinks. Other non-gambling benefits include free or discounted hotel rooms or discounted valet parking. Some casinos will also give you a better player rating if you’re a VIP member.
The Bottom Line – Compensation Programs
As you can see, there are a number of reasons to become a VIP player at a specific online poker room or casino. Like other casinos that have reward programs for their highest level players, online poker rooms have certain incentives for those who play the most and spend the most.
In addition, poker rooms offer these benefits to players with a high level of status – for example, when you become a Platinum player at PartyPoker or an Elite player at 888 or if you go in and play a lot of tournaments at a specific room. As you can see, there are no limits to the number of rewards poker rooms offer their VIP players.
However, there is one thing that all poker rooms have in common: they expect to receive revenue from these rewards programs. In fact, it’s usually the only way that online poker rooms can afford any kind of reward program . In other words, this is why most poker rooms will not award rewards to their lower level players. Be sure to check out more details about VIP benefits in Canadian casinos at greatcasinoonline.com