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Comps: meals and deals10 March 2015
Fast forward to right now. I eat nowhere near what I did 35 years ago. But I am quite overweight — comparatively, anyway — and I just shake my head in wonder when I look at pictures of myself way back when. How could that person be me and this — this large figure looming out of my full-length mirror in my bedroom — be me as well?
I wish I could lay the entire blame on all those comped meals I’ve been eating down through the decades, but seriously, no casino shoved the food down my throat. In fact, as the years have gone on I eat much less. Life is weird, isn’t it?
Decades of overeating got me to thinking about what comps the casino extends to us and which ones do we actually use? First and foremost on the comp list goes (without saying) a comp to the buffet. I think buffet comps are the worst comps of all time because they are, actually, the best comps of all time. Here’s why:
From what I have seen in my gluttonous buffet-eating career, there is no such thing as a single meal when you eat at a buffet. Let’s not kid ourselves. We gorge. We tend to eat some Chinese, some ribs, some Italian, some steaks, some chicken, some turkey, some fish, some specials of this, that or the other thing, a whole bunch of rice and potatoes, a few vegetables here and there and then you eat a panoply of desserts consisting of cakes, ice cream, pies, puddings and cookies.
Of course, breakfast buffets are just as engorging, with eggs, cheese and meat omelets, French toast, pancakes, waffles, pork bacon, turkey bacon, ham, bagels, rolls, tons of butter, some fruits, different breads, crullers, biscuits, gravy, sauce and enough jelly to make it look as if the Blob has been unleashed upon an unsuspecting humanity.
It is almost as if you could feed a country on what we consume in the typical casino buffet. Actually, we can. Come on, be honest, some of these buffets have food that is out of this world, which is the best place to weigh yourself after indulging your tastes since there is no gravity in space. “I’m sorry, doctor, I only weigh myself when I'm on the International Space Station.”
I guess the second-worst comp is to the spa for a free day of working out. I go to the spas all the time because even though I waddle as I walk, I do like to work out every day. It is rare to see more than a dozen people working out at any given time — these dozen exercisers grinding away at the weight machines, walking the treadmill, rowing furiously, climbing the stairmasters, all dozen of them working out in spas in casino-hotels that have hundreds if not thousands of rooms. It looks good in the mailings to get a free spa visit, but very few players take advantage of them. They’d rather devour the buffet’s delights.
Now a really good comp is a free massage. You’d think that these would be gobbled up by casino players just like buffet comps. Not so. Most players do not want to take time out of playing their slot machines to spend an hour or two in heavenly bliss being massaged by master manipulators of sore muscles all over your body. Almost none of my friends will take advantage of the massages freely offered them.
A truly great casino experience is the entertainment offered — entertainment other than merely gambling. Any major casino and any major casino town will have a constant stream of name singers, comedians and magicians; some larger places will have Broadway shows or great shows such as those by Cirque du Soleil. These are wonderful comps. If you get one, use it. The machines will always be there, but these shows might not. Yet how many of the casino gamblers that you know take the various entertainment comps offered them?
Naturally, match play coupons and free bet coupons are a gambler’s delight. Always use them. If the casino is giving away free money, which these coupons basically amount to, then take the free money.
Now here is something that many casino players don’t know — and this might go for table game players more than slot players. If you receive a match play coupon that just seems too big to play, then go to the cage and ask if they will break it down into smaller denominations. So if you have been given $100, see if you can get four $25 coupons. This will give you a chance to win some. It is depressing to use a $100 coupon, match it with your $100 and get blown away.
Yes, if you play for truly extended periods of time, that $100 — broken up or not — will result in the same expectation, but most casino players don't play often enough to see the probabilities work themselves out.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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