Detroit. The latest numbers from the Michigan Gaming Control Board indicate that revenues during August 2017 were down by nearly four percent, compared to August of last year. There are three major casinos in the Detroit metropolitan area. Even with the downturn, though, the three facilities earned nearly 112-million dollars. One of the casinos DID have a better time. The MotorCity Casino Hotel saw revenues up more than one percent during the same period.
Vancouver, BC. The Edgewater Casino at False Creek in Vancouver, BC, is closing its doors for the final time. At the same moment that the venerable casino closes, according to published reports, on the other side of the street the new Parq Vancouver will OPEN for business. The Edgewater, though, could see new life. A judge has approved the sale of the property to the Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming Inc. This would seem to guarantee some time of future operations.
Spain. An independent enclave in southern Spain, Andalusia, has voted in favor of allowing casino gambling. According to published reports, the Andalusia Gambling Regulations Committee has been created and authorized by the region’s Governing Council. The Regional Government expects the new gaming rules to generate about 1.6-million Euros per year in additional revenue. Andalusia is the second-most populated independent jurisdiction in Spain.
Macau. It is reported that all the necessary licensing paperwork regarding the “13” luxury hotel and casino complex in Macau has been completed. Next will come an on-site inspection. The facility is on a 65,000-square-foot plot near two popular tourist areas in Macau. The “13” will be one of the most expensive hotels-per-key ever constructed. Construction had been delayed for some time due to a snag in financing the massive project.
Australia. According to government records, state ministers in Australia have reportedly reached some kind of agreement on banning some incentives used to attract new gamers. According to plans, players can no longer get free bets for introducing their friends to a betting site, and new bettors can no longer receive certain free bonuses. The move is said to be an effort to curb problem gambling in the country, known for its voracious appetite for betting on all things.
Chile. The Gaming Control Board of Chile says it’s setting a new deadline for bids to construct casinos in three cities in that nation. There are still requests in from bidders in several other cities (no word yet on when they will be accepted for consideration). There are indications that the cities where the new halls could be located could share in as much as 20% of the profits from the planned facilities. Organizers in those communities say they are anxious to get the ball rolling on the projects.
“Comp” is the casino jargon for “complimentaries,” the freebies that casinos give players to keep them loyal to their establishment. Freebies include everything from free meals to free show tickets to free play mailed to you by casinos. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a high roller to get your share of the over 1 billion dollars worth of amenities that casinos give away annually (that’s right a billion). You just have to understand the system for getting them and then ask for one. Here are some tips.
1. Join a slot club. If your spouse also plays, sign him/her up. All slot clubs are not created equal so be sure you understand how much you need to play through the machine (coin-in) to earn one point and the number of points you need for specific comps (note: some casinos base their comps on the amount you win or coin-out—the difference between coin-in and coin-out is insignificant). It’s also best to concentrate your play in a few casinos to better understand the subtleties of their comping system and to show the casino you are a steady, loyal player.
2. Virtually all slot clubs will rebate a percent of coin-in in comps and sometimes cash back (same day or on a return visit, the latter is known as “bounce back”). The rebate percentage is not the same from one casino to another so shop around. You often can find information about a casino’s slot club via their web site or consult vpfree2.com or lasvegasadvisor.com.
3. Many casinos offer special promotions that double or triple a member’s points during a specific day of the week. If possible you should plan to play the slot or video poker machines during these promotions since your points will accumulate faster.
4. If you are a slot player, consider learning video poker because you can get returns slightly under or over 100% by learning the correct video poker playing strategies. Add in the comps and/or cash back by using your player’s card and you’ll be playing with a positive expectation (not possible with slots).
5. For table players, get rated when you play. Phone the casino and ask to speak to the casino marketing department to find out how to go about getting rated and to start the paperwork on establishing a credit line. Know how much you need to bet and for how long in order to start earning comps.
6. To get rated when you play, show the dealer your slot (or VIP) card. The floor supervisor will observe the length of time you play and your betting limits and then enters the data into the computer’s player tracking system.
7. Table comps are based on what the casino thinks they will win from your action. By betting and playing less then the casino thinks or playing blackjack skillfully you’ll get comps faster. Tips: play at full tables, take frequent breaks, and play slowly. For more details on the art of getting comps, read Max Rubin’s book, Comp City and Jean Scott’s series of Frugal Gambling books.
8. Establish a relationship with a casino host because they have the authority to issue you a variety of comps (free/discounted/upgraded rooms, meals, show tickets, transportation from airport, and more). Ask friends for the name of a host that they can recommend, or contact the casino marketing department for the name of one.
9. Contact the host before your casino trip, introduce yourself, and let him/her know what games you play, your betting level, etc. and when you plan to visit. Make sure you meet your host when you arrive to begin establishing a personal relationship.
10. Table game supervisors and slot supervisors also have the power of the pen to issue comps without debiting points from your comp account. Treat them with the same respect and try hard to build a relationship with them.
11. Lastly, don’t bet more or play longer for the sake of a comp. Just play your normal game and then ask for a comp in a polite and courteous way. When in doubt, always ask.
Henry Tamburin is the editor of Blackjack Insider Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack Course (www.goldentouchblackjack.com), and host of www.smartgaming.com. For a FREE three-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to www.bjinsider.com/freetrial.com. To receive his FREE Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.smartgaming.com.
Lucky Lotto News: Hurricane Irma Leads to Lotto Win
With Hurricane Irma closing in fast, Tiffany Hatfield of Ocoee, Florida, wasted no time in packing up her three young daughters and setting off on the long drive to Virginia to stay with a friend. After hours behind the wheel, Hatfield pulled over at a convenience store in North Carolina for a bathroom break. While there, she bought a pair of $5 Diamond Dazzler tickets, which she scratched in the parking lot. The first ticket was a dud. With the second, however, the first number Hatfield scratched matched for $1,000, and kept climbing. By the time she was done, Hatfield had revealed a jackpot of $10,000. Once the hurricane had passed, the family returned to find only minor damage to their home. Hatfield says she will use her winnings for a much-needed vacation for her daughters and husband, Ryan, who is deployed with the Navy until December.
Biggest Lotto Jackpot Ever
Some lottery winners spend months hiring financial experts and planning how to best claim their lottery jackpot. But not so with the winner of the largest lottery jackpot ever claimed by a single ticket—$758.7 million. Upon learning that she held the winning Powerball ticket, 53-year-old Mavis Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts, just walked into state lottery headquarters the morning after the drawing and handed over the ticket for validation of her prize. Mavis chose to take a lump sum payment of $480 million, which works out to $336 million after taxes. As press time she had no immediate plans for what to do with her winnings.
Payoff for Panamanian
Online lottery ticket service theLotter now has its second U.S. lottery jackpot winner—a Panamanian player who claimed a $30 million Florida Lotto jackpot. Inspired by an article about a Scottish lottery winner, Aura Dominguez Canto, 60, of Panama City, Panama, began playing American lotteries this summer using the online service. After signing up, Canto decided to play every draw of the Florida Lottery for a month. She didn’t have much luck in the first three weeks, then came week four, when Canto landed the jackpot which she took as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $21 million. TheLotter is an international lottery ticket messenger service, which physically purchases paper lottery tickets in the U.S. and Europe on behalf of its customers. In 2015, the company had its first major U.S. lottery jackpot winner when an Iraqi man claimed a $6.4 million Oregon Lottery jackpot.
Former Lottery Security Director Sentenced
A former lottery security chief was sentenced to 25 years in prison for rigging computerized lottery drawings in several states so he could collect the jackpots. Eddie Tipton, former security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, pleaded guilty to a charge of ongoing criminal conduct for a scheme involving seven lottery tickets in five states, according to court documents. He admitted to rigging computer programming code to produce winning numbers—netting Tipton and his accomplices millions of dollars. Tipton agreed to pay about $2.2 million in restitution, including $1.1 million to the Colorado lottery, $644,000 to the Oklahoma lottery, $391,000 to the Wisconsin lottery and $30,000 to the Kansas lottery.