Casino Reviews

OLG Give Aways

January 11th, 2011 ernie Posted in Slot Cards No Comments »

OLG Give AwaysWe just have to leave a post about this subject to show how cheap and sad the OLG really is. The Ontario Lottery Corporation is a running a month of OLG Give Aways, actually it is not even a full month, but then who is quibbling! OLG is run by the government and of course they see casinos as another source of income without the negative that taxes are perceived with. Here are the giveaways.

OLG Give Aways – 21 Days of Giveaways

January 3-9 You could win an all-expense-paid trip to Ottawa from January 29 – 31, 2011 to see country superstar Brad Paisley perform live!

Prize package includes:

  • Concert tickets
  • Transportation, accommodation and dinner
  • $500 in spending money

Plus, we’re giving away 21 daily instant cash prizes of $100*!

January 10-16 You could win 100,000 Reward points!

Plus, we’re giving away 21 daily instant cash prizes of $100*!

January 17-23 You could win a Home Entertainment package!

Prize package includes:

  • SONY Bravia 55″ TV
  • A SONY Blu-ray player
  • SONY Surround Sound System
  • Tech Craft LCD Mounting Stand
  • La-Z-Boy Diplomat Recliner

Plus, we’re giving away 21 daily instant cash prizes of $100*!

Minuscule Prizes

These are nice prizes, however what is so sad is the smallness of these prizes. Other casinos will give away huge prizes in the thousands of dollars, while here you might win $100! or one of the other prizes. And they really do not say how many of these prizes are being won or given away each day, so you can be sure there are not many.

This coincides with their slot cards which give away a minuscule amount of money and meals to patrons of the casino compared to US casinos. We go once a year to Tunica and stay at the Goldstrike there and we receive free rooms every year. We are only there for two days, yet we get all of these free rooms! The OLC does not even come close.

Government Taxing Canadians and Americans

Governments, which the OLG is part of is taxing Canadians to the hilt and taking even more money through casinos. Americans who do not live close to Vegas, Tunica,  Atlantic city or Biloxi are having the same thing happen to them. These casinos are built for one reason only, they are to bring added revenue into the states. The OLG has a casino in all of the major cities in Ontario and where there is not a casino, they place one at the race tracks close by. There is no competition and there are certainly no significant perks for patrons.

We recently saw an interview of a government representative about casinos run by local governments. There attitude is that their constituents are going to gamble anyway, so they may as well gamble in their province and the province may as well collect the revenue instead of losing it to Quebec or to the states. The state governors in the US feel exactly the same way. As a result you see all of these casinos springing up, spread all over the place which means no competition between them and poor payouts as well as poor perks.

OLG Lack of Giveaways

Or should we say OLG poor giveaways? These giveaways are only being done to try to keep Canadians from spending money in the US or in Quebec. January is a slow month, consumers have to pay their Christmas bills and there is less money to go around.

I really think that people living in Ontario should boycott their casinos for just this reason. The Ontario Government is just offering small baubles to entice you to go to the their casinos.

Comments are welcome. Maybe you agree with the writer or perhaps not. We would like to hear your opinion on this subject!

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Free Rooms, Free Buffet and Freeplay

January 7th, 2011 ernie Posted in Slot Cards No Comments »

casino compsWe are starting to receive advertising for the spring of 2016 from the casinos we have visited over the past year. There are lots of free rooms, buffets and also free play available if you can take advantage of them all. Casino comps are one of the casinos primary advertising methods. They reward their customers and attract business to their venues. Of course we are talking about the casinos in the United States since Canadian casinos do not provide significant casino comps. In fact they are down right tight on these sorts of things.

Casino Comps – Free Rooms, Free Buffet and Freeplay

These rewards of course depend on your play and also how busy the casinos are, however with the economy the way it is they all seem to be doing everything they can to get their customers to come back to their hotels, their casinos and their restaurants. We have found that when there are major conferences and trade shows taking place, the room comp’s are not as great or you need to have a lot more play to qualify. On the other hand if the casino is not busy, they work hard to fill rooms and bring people to their property and that often means many more rooms are offered to the slot players who also have a slot card, even if you are not a big player.

How Do You Qualify for Free Rooms?

It is pretty easy. First you need to register with the casino’s slot program. It is free to sign up and make sure you give them your email address, since they will send you deals and information about shows by email. You can choose the regular mail if you prefer, however most people go for email because it is faster and it is eco friendly.

Always use you your slot card when you are playing the slots. Just insert it in the card reader on the slot machine before you start playing. You will have to also insert money as well, either cash or a ticket that you got out of another slot machine. As long as the card is inserted, they will track your play and then based on your play you will be sent invitations to free rooms, meals and shows. Of course if you only play for 5 minutes, don’t expect to receive any free items!

Sign Up for Slot Cards Everywhere

We always sign up for a slot card and now we are receiving all of these offers. Of course we will not take advantage of all of them, but so far we are receiving 6 free rooms, several meals and also some free play. That’s over $800 depending on what you assume a room costs these days! A small jackpot!

Heavy Players

We do not fall into this category, however if you play a lot, then you will likely receive far more that what we have just discussed. Everything from free rooms anytime, free meals, even free airfare if you are a heavy gambler. Note that we are not advocating gambling or playing a lot. However if you do play, you may as well take advantage of these perks as much as you can to enhance your trip and make it more exciting.

Collecting Free meals and Free Play

Most casinos will either send you a voucher which says you will receive free meals and free play. If you get one of these vouchers, then all you have to do is to go to your slot host. They will actually add it to your slot card. Then you can go to the restaurant and enjoy your meal on the house. Same with free play.

Sometimes the slot host will tell you to charge all of your expenses to your room. Once you are ready to leave, they will ask you to come and see them. At that time, they will decide how much to give you or write off for you. If you played a lot, they may write off all of your meals, expenses and room charges. The down side of this if course is that you have to eat within the casino or hotel. Any meals that you eat outside of the hotel you are staying at cannot be written off by your host.

Why Not take Advantage of these Offers

With all of these complimentary meals and rooms available, players would be crazy not to take advantage of them. Sometimes you may have really bad luck at the slots, and recoup the equivalent in comp’s! It is also a bit of payback from the casino for all of your losses.

What a great deal if you play your slot card and comp’s right. If you have comments or know of deals that our readers will benefit from, let us know. Leave a comment.

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Slot Cards – Special Awards

September 7th, 2010 ernie Posted in Slot Cards No Comments »

slot cardsI did not know if I should file this one under the general title of slot cards or whether I should file it under the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. This post is really about slot cards. However the example I want to use involves the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. Although it could be any casino in the country. All casinos offer special events and other special activities to attract their customers to their casino.  Some will use free slot play. Others will offer free meals and some will offer special draws. They all offer these specials to their slot club members. So it is really important that you have a slot card from each casino that you play at. If they do not know about you, there is no way they can offer specials to you or give you deals.

Slot Cards – Hot Seat Awards

The following is an example of what I am talking about and it happened to me while playing at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino a few months ago. We often go to this casino and although it is about an hours drive for us to get to it, we enjoy the atmosphere and the buffet. Let me digress for just a moment. If you have not been there, go just for the buffet. Although the decor is not outstanding, the buffet is excellent quality and priced right. It is definitely worth the trip!

Anyway, I am sitting at one of the slot machines playing the machine. My slot card is inserted into the card reader so the casino is tracking my play and will give me comp’s as usual based on my play. If you are knew to this, check out our post on slot cards to get the full details and learn why you always want to have a slot card. There are many benefits, however in this case I want to describe a special award to emphasize the why you should always have a slot card.

Slot Cards – Turbo Car race

Each slot machine has a little screen that displays how many points you have, advertising and special events. This is a great way for the casino to advertise restaurants and shows that they have at their casino show rooms. Anyway, the sound of a car race suddenly comes from the speakers on my slot machine. Llittle race cars are running around a track. All of this is show on this little screen I mentioned. Next thing I know the race is over and the race umpire is waving a flag and a message comes on my screen showing that I had won the turbo race.

I had no idea what a turbo race was, nor did I know how I even was entered in the race. Turns out that anyone with their slot card inserted in a slot machine is eligible to be in the race ( remember no card no race, no reward) and by random draw, I won the race. This is a progressive slot jackpot that gradually increases until it reaches $1000. It must be won before it gets to $1000.  I won $647 just for having my slot card inserted into a machine!

The Casino management came over to the machine a few minutes later, check out the machine and said congratulations. Next thing I know I have $647 in my hand.

What a great deal? The moral of the story, always have a slot card. Always have it inserted into the slot machine, just in case there is a mystery draw!

No Longer offered

The Mohawk TURBO is guaranteed to hit before it reaches $1,000. There is a second slot award, The Mohawk NITRO which is guaranteed to hit before it reaches $2,500! They also have the Mohawk SUPER Jackpot guaranteed to go out before it reaches a whopping $100,000!  Always use your slot card when you are playing the slots and get rated if you play on the tables.

If you have experienced something similar, we invite you to post a comment. We would love to hear about your stories and what you won. Spam comments will be deleted.

For more details about slot cards, click here.


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Casino Slot Cards & Comp’s

May 14th, 2010 ernie Posted in Slot Cards 11 Comments »

Casino Slot CardsMany people use casino slot cards all of the time, while others are afraid of them and have misinformed ideas about these cards.  For starters it is a good idea to understand exactly what they are so that there is no misconception.

The cards that casinos encourage their customers to use are plastic cards similar to a credit card that you place in a slot machine while you are playing  the slots or playing the tables. The casinos use this card to identify you while you are gambling and keep track of how much you gamble, how long you gamble and what kinds of games you like to play. They are not a credit card!

What do they do with all of this information, you ask?

Like any good marketing company they use this info, plus the personal info you give them when you sign up in a number of ways , basically to increase customer loyalty, to ensure they have the right games for their customers and to reward their customers for the time they spend in their casinos. This is a very competitive tool with some casinos using this feature more than others. Many casinos in a competitive market will provide better rewards to their customers based on their play than those in non-competitive markets. Las Vegas and Atlantic city casinos probably have the best rewards comp’s , while a small casino at a racetrack without another one for miles around will not provide very much in the way of comp’s.

The Canadian casinos are notoriously poor at providing good comp’s for their patrons. The Canadian provincial governments have a strangle hold on casinos, will not allow any more to be built and will not allow any competition to their government sponsored casinos.

How Do Casino Slot Cards Work?

Signing up for a slot card is easy and it is free. All you need to do is go to your casinos reward desk, fill in an application, provide photo id and the casinos will provide you with a personalized slot card.  Some will even reward you for signing up with a free gift , free slot play or a free diner buffet.

Before you begin to gamble , place your slot card in the slot machine card reader. The system will search for your name and when it finds your name will provide you with a welcoming message.

Next just start playing the slot machine as you normally would. The casino will now record how much you are betting, how frequently you bet and how long you play at that machine. Move to another machine and repeat the same procedure.

After awhile the casino will build up a profile on you about the type of machine you like to play, how often and how much, etc. They will design a customized rewards plan for you to attract you to their casino.  You will receive these rewards in the mail or by email depending on what choice you made when you signed up.

What Kinds of Comp’s Can I Expect?

The answer to this question really depends on how much you play however in general you should expect the following from time to time.

  • Free meals
  • Free play
  • Point play
  • Meal and merchandise discounts
  • Complimentary rooms
  • Free airport pickup ( High Rollers)
  • Complementary airline tickets ( High Rollers )
  • Free gifts
  • Invitations to slot tournaments or table games tournaments
  • Free tax report( more on this later)

Frequent players can expect more while less frequent , or low denomination players will take longer to build up their comp’s.

How do I Actually Collect the Comp’s

Every casino is a bit different and the best approach is to ask the rewards desk how and when you should expect to receive comp’s. Having said that there are two very important things to know about getting your comp’s and taking full advantage of your casino players card.

First, if you played sufficiently, the casinos want you back and they will send you various promotions in the mail or by email if you gave them your email address. Sometimes you need to check your junk mail file if you have this feature set up on your email system since new senders usually end up in the junk mail file. These promotions will consist of offers for discounted rooms or free rooms, free meals, free play and either discounts or free tickets to various shows. There will be a telephone number to call to book your next stay and all you need to do is give them your slot card number and your promotion number off the mailing that you received.

Ask for Comp’s

The second way to receive comp’s is to ask for them. Generally what we do is we will book our hotel stay through the casino host ( the number can be found on the back of the slot card or players card) and they will give you a room reservation at a rate that is consistent with your players status. Sometimes they will be at casino rates while other times you will receive a number of rooms nights free.

While you are at the hotel and playing at the casino with your slot card inserted in the slot machine, charge all of your meals etc to your room. Before you check out, go and see the players rewards desk, tell them you are checking out and give them your slot card. They will review your play and decide on the spot if they will comp you for anything. On good stays I have had my rooms and meals all comp’d. This is like winning a jackpot! Don’t try to negotiate, since they have their rules and formulas to follow, just be thankful for having a slot card. After you have been comp’d just check out as you normally would!

Casino Slot Cards – Free Tax Report

One other advantage of  of slot cards is that the casinos can provide you with a tax report. This report summarizes your losses. This is important and perhaps a bit scary at the same time. If you should win a jackpot over $1200, you are supposed to declare this as income and pay the appropriate tax. Some casinos will deduct the tax immediately and provide you with the appropriate IRS form to use in filing your taxes. Your tax loss statement from the casino can be used to reduce the amount of tax you pay on your slot machine jackpot!

Note: In Canada, casino and lottery winnings are not considered taxable!

If you found this helpful, please leave your comments,

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