Casino Reviews

Casino Bonuses

Casino BonusesThere are many casino bonus plans available from almost all casinos including even the online casinos, however not all are the same and not all are as lucrative. If you are a gambler and not taking advantage of these bonuses, then you are leaving behind a major part of your winnings. Everything from free shows, free meals at many restaurants in casinos and free rooms at these casinos. When rooms are going for $100 to $400 a night and you are receiving the room for free, this is equivalent to winning a small jackpot.

But we really need to emphasize at this point that gamblers must always be in control and never lose more than what you can afford. The promise of free stuff is just something to make you gamble more and everyone must be careful.

There are major gambling chains and there are major gambling cities such as Las Vegas. We will review these Mecca’s in North America in general detail and refer you to other posts that provide more detailed information on each of the cities along with the hotels. We will also go into more detail about the slot cards and the entire comp process that the casinos use to entice you to come to their hotels and casinos. They all do it, but some are better than others.

Major Gambling Mecca’s – Casino Bonuses

Almost every state and province in the US and Canada have casino’s. In fact all major cities have one or have a casino close by. This has become a huge money raising opportunity for many city and state governments, so much so that they continue to build casinos across North America. There are several rather large private companies that run casinos across the country and quite a few more that run individual or small groups of casinos in several cities.

The remainder are run by local Indian tribes and government to raise money to fund a variety of local initiatives. In general we have found that government run casinos do not pay as well as private companies do when you combine payouts and comp’s provided by the various casinos taking into account their market value. The major cities with groups of casinos in order of popularity are: Las Vegas, Atlantic city, Tunica, Biloxi and Laughlin.

Las Vegas –

with over 120,000 rooms and at least 25 to 40 casinos this is the top city in the nation to visit for a good time. Every year millions of people come to Las Vegas for a vacation, to see a show, go out for a fabulous meal, visit the night clubs and of course gamble. There is lots to do in Las Vegas from dining at fabulous restaurants, taking in shows that are the best in the country, viewing the décor at any of the major casinos, spending time at the pool or the golf course, and of course gambling at any of the casinos.

In our opinion the best places to stay are the Bellagio, Caesars, the Mirage, Treasure Island, Wynn, Palazzo or the Venation, or even the Flamingo. These hotels are all very large and offer rooms at a variety of prices. We have picked these hotels because of their location and proximity to each other along with their central location.

Attending Conferences

We suggest that you select hotels to stay at based on were your conference is being held as well as any comp’s that you may be receiving. You may also want to visit down town Las Vegas and see the Fremont Experience. It is a street blocked off from vehicles with a light show on a glassed in ceiling in the evenings and numerous entertainers that are all free to listen too.

If you gamble, always make sure you are using a slot card for the slots and identify yourself to the pit boss if you are playing the tables for any length of time. This will ensure that you receive all possible comp’s that you may be eligible for.

Las Vegas is within 5 hours driving time of Los Angeles and Phoenix and many other smaller cities. They have a major airport that millions of people fly into every year to visit Las Vegas. This is the ultimate place to go if you are looking for an exhilarating over the top place to spend a few days of your vacation time.

Atlantic City – Casino Bonuses

Atlantic City boardwalk casinos are located along the ocean. There is a great boardwalk to stroll along and also great beaches to spend your time at. During the summer time this is a wonderful place to go to. There are roughly 10 casinos along the boardwalk with another 3 or 4 located several miles away near the marina. There are shuttles that run back and to the beach areas and the casinos located along the boardwalk.

Most of the major chain casinos are represented here so you can use your slot card to book rooms and to gain free comp’s during your casino play. The casinos are older and the hotels are a bit more tired looking than what you will find in Vegas, however many are gradually updating both the hotels and casinos.


There are also condo’s along the ocean and many restaurants along the boardwalk. This is a beach town and most people go for the summer time beach time in June through September. During other times of the year, most people are going to the casinos and or attending conferences at the hotels.

Atlantic City is less than 2 hours from major population centers such as New York, new Jersey, Philly and other major centers. If you are driving, be prepared to pay a lot in the form of tolls and parking fee’s.

Atlantic city has seen many upgrades over the years. Just two blocks off the boardwalk it used to be very unsafe and almost slum like. Now they have spent a great deal of money to improve the area. There are over 200 outlet stores now in the down town area near Caesars and Ballys hotels.


Tunic is located just south of Memphis and there are approximately 10 casinos spread out over a rather large area. You will need a car to get between them with the exception of the Goldstrike, the Horseshoe and the Roadhouse Casino and Hotel. They are affiliated with MGM and Harrahs respectively. Patrons can easily walk between these three hotels.

We have been to Tunica many times and found that while enjoyable for gambling and meals, there is little to do in the immediate area. Golf, shows and entertainment in Memphis are among the things to do while visiting tunica.


Biloxi is located roughly an hour by car east of New Orleans on the golf coast. Prior to hurricane Katrina there were quite a few casinos operating in the area. Today there is probably 4 o5 with the Beau Rivage being the flagship and the nicest casino – hotel in the area. It is located right on the coast, is very modern and is on par with many Vegas hotels although not as large in terms of number of rooms.

If you are staying at the Beau Rivage, ask for a room looking out on the golf for some of the best views around. We have not stayed at any of the other hotels in the area, although we have visited the Hardrock hotel and Casino. It is brand new and I am sure a very nice place to stay at as well. Biloxi is a resort town with many condo’s and shopping, however you will need a car to get to many of these locations.

All Other States

Virtually all other states with the possible exceptions of Utah, Texas and Alaska have casinos. These are typically run by Indian Bands or by the State government. They are all designed to try to capture some of the gambling revenue in their state instead of clients going to one of the major gambling areas such as Vegas or across the state line to a neighboring state. As such although enjoyable, we have a general feeling that they are not as competitive in terms of payouts from their tables and slots as well as the comp’s are not nearly as lucrative.

Millions of people who cannot afford to travel go to these casinos every day and have a very enjoyable time. Again always join the slot club and get as many comp’s while you are playing as possible. Something is always better than nothing.

Canadian Casinos

Most provinces in Canada also have casinos. Unfortunately most are run by the government and frankly they just do not measure up to their US counterparts. They are interesting places to go to and some even have top notch hotels to visit as well. However as far as comp’s and payouts, they do not measure up. The possible exceptions are those Canadian casinos in Niagara Falls and Windsor where they must compete with American casinos located just across the border. They tend to be more competitive offering free rooms and meals to entice customers to return to their premises.

Canada has followed the US example of having casinos close to population centers to grab a portion of the gambling dollars that clients are willing to spend. Many are associated with race tracks and other venues and sold to the general population as a means to raise money for local sports, health and to defray tax increases.

Major Gambling Chains

There are several major companies that offer significant advantages to their customers. This includes being able to visit casinos in many different cities and vacation spots and take advantage of their comp’s at any of these locations. We will only discuss Harrahs and MGM, although there are others that may encompass from two to maybe 10 casinos in their group.

Harrahs – has casinos all over the US and several in Canada as well. Most have hotels attached to the casino and patrons of Harrahs using their slot card can receive free rooms and meals at any of these hotels depending on their play. The majority of their properties are in the major centers we have already discussed along with many smaller centers as well.

MGM – works in the same manner has Harrahs in that they have multiple properties scattered around the US and around the world.

How Slot Cards Work – Casino Bonuses

Slot cards are totally free. They are used to identify you when you are playing the tables or playing at a slot machine. The casino can then tell how often you play, how long you have played and how much money you have played. With this information, rewards are given in terms of comp’s such as free meals, free rooms and free play which can be used at the slot machines. There is no value attached to these slot cards other than the comp’s you may be entitled too. Basic information such as your name, address, drivers license number and email is all that is required to get set up. Offers can be sent to you by email or by regular mail.

Benefits of Slot Cards

The major benefit of a slot card is the comp’s that you receive from the casino. These include meals, rooms and free play. Many hotels will offer 2 or 3 nights free as an attraction. They get their clients to say at their hotels and into their casinos. They may also offer free meals with that or you earn comp $ towards meals during your stay.

A free room for 2 or 3 nights could be worth up to $300 for a regular room. Much more if you are considered a high roller. This is as good as winning a small jackpot. It is definitely worth the effort of signing up and using your slot card when you are playing.

In addition, always charge your meals etc to your room. Before you check out, drop by the slot host to see what they might write off for you. All you do is drop into their office. Ask to speak to a slot host. Hand them your slot card. They will ask for your room number and then they will review your play and your expenses that you charged to your room. At this point they will either write some of these expenses off. Or they will tell you that you perhaps did not play enough for them to comp you for your expenses.

On some trips we have received free rooms and have not been given anything for our meals charged to our room. On others we have played a lot, won some and lost some, they write everything off including the meals. A nice little surprise!

How to Get The Most From Your Slot Card

Always play with your slot card inserted in the machine you are playing. They track you based on time playing, amount of money bet and amount of money bet per hour. Whether you are playing penny machines or $25 machines, always use your slot card.

At some casinos they have surprise awards for only their slot players. This is another reason why you always have a slot card inserted. We have had slot staff come over to us with free meals. We have been awarded $750 on a surprise slot award when we have been playing. Not all casinos do this and some only do this sort of thing on special days.

The casinos will also send you special deals either in the mail or by email. These can be great deals for everyone with a combination of free rooms, free meals and free play being awarded.

Your Slot Host

If you play a lot, get to know your slot host. It is always a good idea to be on good terms with these people. When you are on the edge of getting a free comp, they might just award you the comp because they know you are a regular!

Call Your Slot Host for Your Reservation

Same thing with reservations. Always call the slot host office for reservations. They can get you better rooms and better prices including free rooms. If you go through central reservations, you are going to pay for your room and you may miss a free comp.

Charge Everything to Your Room

As we mentioned earlier, charge all of your meals etc to your room. Then see the slot host before you leave. If you do not charge your expenses to the room, the slot host has no way of verifying what you spent. They cannot give you any comp’s.

Before You Check Out

See the slot host always before you check out. As we already mentioned they will review your slot play or table play and then comp you as much as they can based on their casinos guidelines. Just say thank you regardless of what they comp even if they cannot give you anything. There is always a next time.

Casinos to Avoid From a Slot Card Benefit Perspective

The worst casinos to avoid as far as slot card benefits are concerned are all of the single casinos run by any government. We find that these are by far the worst. Since they usually are single casinos serving a single area or city and have no competition. Government run casinos are the worst and we do not spend our money in these casinos.


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