As gambling has
expanded over the past decade, the marketing might of casinos has
intensified proportionately. Fiercely competitive gaming jurisdictions
have evolved around the country, prompting corporate management to
come up with ever increasing creative ways to drive in business.
One of the most
popular forms of marketing tools that casinos use is promotions. They
vary in size and scope, but the bottom line goal for all of them is
to encourage brand loyalty and increase the frequency and number of
Playback, an e-report
that is written entirely by players, sponsored the Ten Best Casino
Promotions of 2004 at this year's Global Gaming Exhibition in Las
Vegas, citing the need to judge the value of promotions from the player's
perspective as opposed to judging them based solely upon the casino's
What follows are
the award winners and the reasons they were the favorites of players:
1. Downtown Reno:
Stay, Play & Win $1,000,000 A unanimous selection among
the judges and the best promotion of the year. Four Reno casinos partnered
to create promotions that allowed each property to hold qualifying
slot tournaments and send their top 500 winners to the final. The
2,000 qualifying players then played in a two-day tournament championship
with the winner receiving $1 million. Players appreciated the fact
so many were given a chance to win.
2. Barona Valley
Ranch Resort and Casino (Lakeside, California): Lucky Numbers
This promotion gave players a chance to win by matching randomly drawn
numbers to the ID number on their player's club cards. The more numbers
in sequence the player had, the bigger the prize. There were a lot
winners and all players had to do was listen for their numbers.
3. Las Vegas Hilton
(Las Vegas): Supernova This promotion utilized a two-story
high game board in the Space Quest Casino. Everyone who signed up
for the new player's club cards was given the opportunity to play
the game and a chance to win $1 million. Players liked the fact that
everyone was guaranteed a prize.
4. Jerry's Nugget
(North Las Vegas): 40th Anniversary A player's favorite during
the celebration was guaranteed winner scratch cards. They made it
clear that they do not like to receive scratch cards that say "sorry"
as a reward during a promotional period.
5. Grand Victoria
Casino (Elgin, Ill.): We'll Pay Your Bills Giveaway The creative
and guest-friendly aspect to this promotion was that it allowed players
to choose which drawing time they wished to be eligible for by giving
them a choice of drums in which to deposit their entries. There's
nothing worse than not being able to be present for a drawing.
6. Casino Regina
(Regina, Saskatchewan): Casino Regina Playmates Promotion The
casino made a promotion out of their new Playboy slot machines by
giving players "meet and greet" photo opportunities with
three Playboy Playmates who were in town for the Grey Cup, the Canadian
Football League's Championship game.
7. Trump Taj Mahal
(Atlantic City): Donald Trump's Birthday Bash with 100 Donalds
One hundred Donald Trump look-alikes walked through the casino handing
out cash at random to people on the casino floor.
8. Casino Windsor
(Windsor, Ontario): Trade In and Trade Up: After a 41-day closing
because of a labor dispute, the casino welcomed players back with
complimentary food offers, free entertainment, double cash back and
9. Gold Strike
and Nevada Landing (Jean, Nevada): Signature/Signature Elite Memberships
The two casinos permitted their best players to write their
own comps. They also received a free 3-night stay each week without
redeeming any of their comp dollars.
10. The Lodge
Casino at Blackhawk (Black Hawk, Colorado): Break the Bank
The casino had 110 piggy banks filled with cash. Winners received
an opportunity to select a piggy bank, throw it down a chute and break
it to see how much money they had won.