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Thread: Harrah's New Orleans to refuse to give discretionary comps with RCs left

  1. #1
    Apparently Harrah's New Orleans was still giving people RFB comps when they had RCs left.

    No more.

    Starting 1/1/2015, you are supposed to use up all RCs before getting any RFB.
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  2. #2
    I don't understand why this was ever an issue? Discretionary comps could still be given to players -- but first they wanted players to use up their reward credits. What's so wrong with that? While I've never asked for discretionary comps, I've received other "extras" such as an extra room even when I had RCs available.

    No matter what the official policy might be -- hosts can still do what they want for players who deserve the perks.

  3. #3
    Alan: Although I am not involved in CET promotions, Dan's lamentation makes sense to me.

    Which scenario would you rather have?

    A: Being comped the standard RFB while still having a full range of menu options available to spend your reward credits on, or....

    B: Being comped the standard RFB only after the range of menu options with which to spend your reward credits are exhausted.

    You have more information to make better decisions under scenario "A".

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Apparently Harrah's New Orleans was still giving people RFB comps when they had RCs left.

    No more.

    Starting 1/1/2015, you are supposed to use up all RCs before getting any RFB.
    Doesn't that policy only align Harrahs New Orleans with all other CET places? I will taking a Seven Stars retreat next month to New Orleans and I plan to convert most of my retreat awarded 50000 reward credits to free play and eat dinner at their Diamond Lounge where Seven Stars have unlimited cooked to order dishes and wash it down with some mint julips. That leaves only breakfast and lunch. Beignets and chicory at Cafe du Mond followed by soft shell crab at Acme Seafood. Yummmy

    FAB
    Last edited by FABismonte; 01-19-2015 at 08:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Count... I would prefer option C: I show up at the casino and they give me $10,000 of free play + RFB + I keep all my reward credits to use to buy more free play or to use in the gift shop. Yeah, that's what I prefer.

    Come on. It's time to get real. Businesses can't give away the store just because you want them to.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    Count... I would prefer option C: I show up at the casino and they give me $10,000 of free play + RFB + I keep all my reward credits to use to buy more free play or to use in the gift shop. Yeah, that's what I prefer.

    Come on. It's time to get real. Businesses can't give away the store just because you want them to.

    Alan: Hey, I did not say CET New Orleans should give away the store. I know and understand how much financial difficulty they're facing and the belt tightening they need to do.

    I am saying I understand the logic behind Dan's reasoning, that is all. If there is anybody you want to say should "get real", it would be Dan in this case.

    I just see the "poker player's mentality" behind his lamentation.

    EDIT: The poker player's mentality Dan is showing....

    By being forced to make his Reward Credit menu choices before being given discretionary RFB instead of receiving the RFB at any time, it is analogous to a poker player complaining that he is being forced to make his decisions from early position rather than in late position.
    Last edited by Count Room; 01-20-2015 at 05:44 AM.

  7. #7
    We were done at New Orleans for the new year and were caught by the new system. Before, we could always get free meals, and other things, without using our RCs. No more. We are going back for Super Bowl weekend and will do what has been suggested above; visit Shawn, Jimmi, and Geramy at the Diamond Lounge where we will still get a nice enough meal. We always eat at least one meal there each day. This weekend we were at Cherokee, where they DID comp our dinner -- which in the past they would not do. Strange they way the two properties are going in different directions at the same time. Also, strange that Cherokee is building a new casino at the very time that so many are in financial trouble.

  8. #8
    Alan

    I thought you always believed that you should be comped at you level of play.

    The requirement of RCís before discretionary comps is bad for their business. It has made me decrease my play at multiple properties in close time proximity.

    I used to go to Rincon on Thursday for the 15x RCís. It has happened more that once that I have earned over 10,000 TC during the bonus giving me $1,600 worth of RCís. Only $100 will show up until the bonus posts a few days later.

    Then I go to Vegas that weekend and play to a theo of, lets say, 8,000. I would normally be able to get $2,000 in room charges taken off my bill. I cash the $100 in my account to freeplay on Saturday.

    I check out on Sunday. Rincon adds the $1,500 worth of RCís to my account and now the Vegas property takes my comps I earned at Rincon and short comp me on the weekend trip.

    When I do catch this I will cash in $500 more of freeplay, but that still leaves me getting shorted $1,000 worth of comps that I have earned.


    All CET owned properties are now use RCís before discretionary comps.

    Hosts do not have the power to override this. It comes from the corporate level.

    It is not really RFB but discretionary comps. I can get an extra room, the golf benefit, and all the front end offers including the Experience credits.

    This rule has decreased my play at Rincon.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    I don't understand why this was ever an issue? Discretionary comps could still be given to players -- but first they wanted players to use up their reward credits. What's so wrong with that? While I've never asked for discretionary comps, I've received other "extras" such as an extra room even when I had RCs available.

    No matter what the official policy might be -- hosts can still do what they want for players who deserve the perks.
    They seem very obsessed with NOT allowing this at Harrah's New Orleans anymore, so I think hosts are fairly powerless on this issue. I know that some hosts have bent the rules for you before regarding this matter at Vegas and Rincon, but I think they are pretty hard line about it now at Harrah's NO.

    So what's wrong with the whole concept of forcing players to use their RCs first, prior to being issued discretionary comps?

    Because it violated the entire concept of RCs.

    RCs were created so you could "comp yourself", at your own pace. While it's true that it requires a VERY minimal level of activity to avoid losing them (you need to earn at least 1 RC in a 6 month period), basically your earned RCs will be there for you, regardless of how much you do or don't play.

    So if you earned $5,000 in RCs in 2012 and have barely played since, you can still spend your $5,000 in RCs in 2015.

    That was the system CET created, and that's the system people came to understand and expect.

    Discretionary comps are very different. They reward current play. So, using the example Aaron gave, if he would rack up a $8,000 theoretical loss, he would get $2,000 worth of discretionary comps for that trip.

    However, under this policy, he could not get any of those discretionary comps until blowing his RCs first.

    Why should these two be related?

    Why should it matter if I redeem my RCs today, tomorrow, or next year? In fact, they are better off if I wait, in case my RCs either expire, or I just never return to spend them.

    As has already been pointed out, you can cash in your RCs for freeplay (albeit at reduced rates), and suddenly you are able to get discretionary comps again. But why is this necessary?

    I understand that this is CET's way of forcing you to be more dependent upon your host (and continue playing actively), basically negating your ability to "bank" comps as well.

    But it doesn't really negate your ability to bank comps. It only hurts the people who DO want to play, while having no effect on guys like me who went the entire year of 2014 without playing at all. People like Aaron want to play, but then think, "Oh, crap, I won't qualify for any comps because I still have RCs. Well, screw it then, I won't play."

    They should be treated completely separately. RCs should be treated as earned, bankable rewards, and discretionary comps should be used to reward current play.

    If CET really hates the fact that you can bank comps, they should kill RCs entirely. They shouldn't neuter them by punishing active players who would prefer to save some of their RCs for the occasional trip where they don't play.
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  10. #10
    I have been playing more at Cosmo lately.

    Each trip am given upfront free room, $450 to $1,000 in freeplay and $100 to $200 folio credit and then $600 to $1000 in discretionary comps.
    In the last 3 or 4 trips I have also built up over $3,000 in Identity Points and they have never touched them.

    CET had 100% of my Vegas business a year ago and now they are getting less then 50%.

    The arrangement between player and casino is simple; bring a sum of money, willing to lose it and the casino gives a good value in comps for the play.
    The Casino should not take something that has been earned on a previous trip.

    Maybe they should start requiring you to lose any previous winnings before any comps.

    If CET continues to do this players will play somewhere else.

    Like I have started to. If I have a large sum of RC's when booking my Vegas trips I just stay and play at Cosmo.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    I have been playing more at Cosmo lately.

    Each trip am given upfront free room, $450 to $1,000 in freeplay and $100 to $200 folio credit and then $600 to $1000 in discretionary comps.
    In the last 3 or 4 trips I have also built up over $3,000 in Identity Points and they have never touched them.

    CET had 100% of my Vegas business a year ago and now they are getting less then 50%.

    The arrangement between player and casino is simple; bring a sum of money, willing to lose it and the casino gives a good value in comps for the play.
    The Casino should not take something that has been earned on a previous trip.


    Maybe they should start requiring you to lose any previous winnings before any comps.

    If CET continues to do this players will play somewhere else.

    Like I have started to. If I have a large sum of RC's when booking my Vegas trips I just stay and play at Cosmo.
    100% agree, especially the bolded part.

    CET is being too much of a pain in the ass to players with their obnoxious rules and regulations.

    Corporate needs to learn to back off, stop nickel-and-diming, stop controlling hosts, and let the active players just play and earn comps with no headache.

    They don't seem to understand that gamblers want to at least feel like they're getting the VIP treatment while losing money, and if they find themselves stressed with silly rules and regulations, they will just go elsewhere.
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  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    As has already been pointed out, you can cash in your RCs for freeplay (albeit at reduced rates), and suddenly you are able to get discretionary comps again. But why is this necessary?

    ~snip~

    I understand that this is CET's way of forcing you to be more dependent upon your host (and continue playing actively), basically negating your ability to "bank" comps as well.
    I view it differently. I suspect by far the largest amount of comps granted are for food and hotel rooms. Both items are high markup items over wholesale cost. When the average CET customer comes to the casino and gets hungry, s/he will be forced to spend the RC's on high-markup buffets rather than on low markup gift cards, gas giveaways, etc.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Alan

    I thought you always believed that you should be comped at you level of play.
    Yes -- and reward credits which reflect your play -- does that. As I've said many times, I've never had a problem checking out of Caesars at zero out of pocket expense with the exception of tips. I have received things that are "extras" including show tickets and additional rooms when needed. In other words, the Reward Credits system works fine for me and I think it is fair. There have been times when I had excess RCs and redeemed them for free play.

    Being realistic -- Caesars is a company that's in trouble and if players keep demanding more in terms of Total Rewards they are going to get them -- and in exchange the games will be worse than they have been.

    I remember when Caesars had full pay 9/6 Jacks and 8/5 Bonus at the $1 level -- and those days are gone.

    I remember when Caesars had many craps tables at $10. But just this past weekend (MLK weekend) I was told that the craps games were at $25 even though the casino was NOT busy.

    Regarding the situation at Rincon -- Caesars main goal at Rincon is to get you to go to Vegas. Think of Rincon as a "feeder casino" to Vegas which is why they have Total Rewards and advertise/market how you earn RCs at Rincon to be used in Vegas.

    The reality is, there aren't many places to use your RCs at Rincon. The only reason why it takes a few days for your RC bonuses earned at Rincon to show up is because it takes a few days for them to enter them into their system. What you get at the kiosks when you swipe your card is NOT tied in to the master computers in Vegas -- it's a Rincon-only thing. In comparison, when you earn Tier Points and RCs on the machines, they ARE tied in to the master system and they show up immediately (or when the day is updated, usually the following morning at 7:30am).

    I know that everybody likes to "work the system" the best they can. And if you feel you must go ahead. Frankly, I am not as concerned about working the system as I am concerned about playing the best games. So, I play video poker at Rincon for 8/5 Bonus or 8/5 Aces and Faces, and I use my comps and RCs when I go to Vegas to play craps.

    I don't play slot machines, like you Aaron, so I've never had a 15x multiplier. In fact, I rarely show up at Rincon for multiplier days because multiplier days rarely fall on a free play day. I am more concerned with the free play. The extra few bucks I might get from a multiplier mean nothing compared to the free play I get on free play days.

    I am also not the high roller that you are. So what I get in RCs balances my play and other offers pretty well.

    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    They don't seem to understand that gamblers want to at least feel like they're getting the VIP treatment while losing money, and if they find themselves stressed with silly rules and regulations, they will just go elsewhere.
    I don't know what you mean by silly rules and regulations. I understand the system just fine. But I am more concerned seeing better games than I am chasing comps.

    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    Corporate needs to learn to back off, stop nickel-and-diming,
    Forgive me for chuckling, but this is funny coming from an AP who is proud of nickel-and-diming as much as he can under the TR Seven Stars program. :-)

    The bottom line here, gang, is Caesars runs a business and up till now had the best players program. I think we all agree. It you push it, you will ruin it. And it's teetering on the brink.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Corporate needs to learn to back off, stop nickel-and-diming, stop controlling hosts, and let the active players just play and earn comps with no headache.
    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    Forgive me for chuckling, but this is funny coming from an AP who is proud of nickel-and-diming as much as he can under the TR Seven Stars program. :-)
    Alan: If you want to be a successful financial vampire squidlet, you must have the mindset that it is always OK for you to nickel-and-dime the other guy, but it is never OK for the other guy to nickel-and-dime you. Zero-sum game and all....

  15. #15
    Alan, I don't understand you.

    Your argument is that YOU find it sufficient to just use RCs and not worry about discretionary comps.

    And that's fine.

    But your preference to do it that way shouldn't apply to everyone.

    RCs are banked comps, and apply to past play. They do not degrade in value, even if you go a long time without playing.

    Discretionary comps are for rewarding current play. This way, a player who comes to the casino and risks a lot of money at the house's advantage (i.e. generates a high theoretical loss) will earn discretionary comps for his play. This makes the player believe he has "gotten something" from his current play, win or lose, which is important to generate repeat business.

    If a player knows that play today will earn him zero comps because he already earned too many RCs last week, he might opt not to play -- or at least not to play at a CET casino.

    I think Aaron is a great case study as a Seven Stars player, and CET really should be studying guys like him.

    He fully understands all of the perks, comps, and benefits associated with Total Rewards, but at the same time plays fairly high and is willing to play higher house edge games like slots.

    This means that a player like Aaron could be rewarding to have as a customer (because of the high theo he generates), but he is also smart/aware enough to realize when he's getting screwed out of comps or being treated in an unappreciative fashion.

    The fact that Aaron has now moved a lot of his action to the Cosmo is proof positive that the RCs-first policy is stupid and self-defeating for CET. They are trying to create an overdependency on hosts, which is backfiring by pissing off their best customers.

    Alan, you and I are not typical CET Seven Stars players.

    I am an AP and a bonus whore, while you care little about discretionary comps, and never utilize hotel rooms at Rincon. Neither of our cases are typical.

    Aaron represents the type of "aware high roller" who is willing to generate a high theo but also doesn't want to be hampered by arbitrary or comp-robbing rules.

    CET needs to stop assuming its clientele is stupid, and just give their best customers what they want (while still guaranteeing themselves a healthy profit).
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  16. #16
    Dan, you're going to have to explain this to me... slowly. You said:

    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    RCs are banked comps, and apply to past play.
    Question: do you have to wait for your RCs from your current play to be added to your account? I don't. I play, I go to Total Rewards and redeem them, or I use them at a restaurant, etc. I get my Reward Credits the same day I play. Bonus RCs or promotional RCs might not show up right away.

    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Discretionary comps are for rewarding current play.
    Question: is there any host who will give you discretionary comps without knowing your past play?

    Also you wrote:

    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    If a player knows that play today will earn him zero comps because he already earned too many RCs last week, he might opt not to play
    Sorry, I don't buy this. I NEVER play for comps. If I am winning, I will keep playing. If I've lost my budgeted amount I stop playing. You do understand that these RCs you covet are only worth one-tenth of one cent of each dollar of your coin-in? Are you going to keep playing dollars for a fraction of a cent in comps?

    Let me put it this way: IF you could find 9/6 Jacks or Better paying 99.6% and you added in your comps you would still have a return of just 99.7% which means on a mathematical basis, you're still losing.

  17. #17
    Okay, Alan, I'll try.


    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    RCs are banked comps, and apply to past play.
    Question: do you have to wait for your RCs from your current play to be added to your account? I don't. I play, I go to Total Rewards and redeem them, or I use them at a restaurant, etc. I get my Reward Credits the same day I play. Bonus RCs or promotional RCs might not show up right away.
    No, I don't have to wait, but I CAN wait. That's the huge difference between RCs and discretionary comps. Try playing a big session in January, staying without playing several times for the next 9 months, and then asking your host for discretionary comps in October based upon your January play. He will laugh in your face.

    So RCs are a no-strings-attached reward you EARN for past play (whether recent past or distant past), while discretionary comps are a reward for playing currently.

    RCs are kind of a form of 0.1% cash back (though not as good, obviously), while discretionary comps are a way to encourage you to keep actively playing.



    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Discretionary comps are for rewarding current play.
    Question: is there any host who will give you discretionary comps without knowing your past play?
    What's the point of this question?

    Yes, past play does factor in to the discretionary comps you'll receive, but you're actually being awarded them based upon current or expected play.

    Let's look at it this way:

    Joe plays 8-5 bonus poker on April 8, 2014. He runs $200,000 worth of coin-in, and finishes even. He has earned $200 in RCs. The next day, Joe goes out to a $200 meal at a CET-owned restaurant, uses his RCs, and goes home.

    Mark also plays 8-5 bonus poker on April 8, 2014. He also runs $200,000 worth of coin-in, and also finishes even. Like Joe, he has earned $200 in RCs. However, Mark doesn't use them, and goes home.

    Neither Joe nor Mark return to a CET property in 2014.

    On January 21, 2015, Joe and Mark both visit the same property again.

    Joe again runs the same $200,000 in the same machine as last year, and once again finishes even. He again earns $200 in RCs.

    Mark also runs the same $200,000 in the same machine as last year, and once again finishes even. He again earns $200 in RCs.

    Both guys have the same host. This host decides that they've each earned $400 in discretionary comps from their play.

    Joe goes out to a $600 meal with his friends at a CET restaurant. He only has $200 in RCs, and charges the other $400 to his room. His host comps off the rest, as it falls within the $400 Joe earned this trip in discretionary comps.

    Mark goes out to a $600 meal with his friends at a CET restaurant. He $400 in RCs ($200 from last year, $200 from this year). He uses those first, and charges the other $200 to his room, which the host comps off.

    So these two guys put in identical play, had identical results, and played on identical days.

    But did they get identical benefits?

    NO!

    Joe got a $200 meal in 2014, AND a $600 meal in 2015.

    Mark got NO meal in 2014, and a $600 meal in 2015.

    So how is this fair?

    Now, I know what your answer is going to be.

    "Since Mark only used $200 of his $400 allowed discretionary comps, he could have another meal for $200, whereas Joe could not."

    Right, but who says Mark wants to do that, or has time to do so? What if he's leaving? What if he doesn't feel like another expensive meal? What if he gets sick?

    The bottom line is that Mark has ZERO flexibility. He can't bank the comps he earned for this trip, because he's basically being forced to first use the ones from the past, and then loses the discretionary comps he could have used from THIS play.

    RCs are FAR better than discretionary comps of the same value, because they can be spread over many trips and many years, while discretionary comps "expire" when you go home. While it's true that lack of redemption of discretionary comps will allow them to be a bit more generous next time, it's nowhere NEAR a 1:1 relationship. Mark won't be able to come back and get that unused $200 tacked onto his discretionary comps earned next time.

    Bottom line is that RCs and discretionary comps are apples and oranges, and one should not affect the other.

    It would be like your boss at work refusing to give you a raise until you can prove that you spent the raise he gave you last year. How is that any of his business? If you already earned it in the past, it's not anyone's business but yours when you choose to spend it, and it shouldn't affect your future ability to earn.



    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    If a player knows that play today will earn him zero comps because he already earned too many RCs last week, he might opt not to play
    Sorry, I don't buy this. I NEVER play for comps. If I am winning, I will keep playing. If I've lost my budgeted amount I stop playing. You do understand that these RCs you covet are only worth one-tenth of one cent of each dollar of your coin-in? Are you going to keep playing dollars for a fraction of a cent in comps?

    Let me put it this way: IF you could find 9/6 Jacks or Better paying 99.6% and you added in your comps you would still have a return of just 99.7% which means on a mathematical basis, you're still losing.
    How are you "not buying it" when we have a real-life example of a semi-high-roller in Aaron, who moved 50% of his action to the Cosmo EXACTLY FOR THIS REASON.

    Again you are thinking that your own standards for fair comps apply to everyone else. They don't. A proper marketing strategy would seek to retain valuable customers, not just retain the ones with lower standards of treatment.

    BTW, I don't advocate playing for RCs. As you said, RCs simply give you back 0.1% of house edge, and that's not enough to change any VP game at CET into positive expectation.

    This isn't about playing for RCs. It's about whether it's smart for CET to demand you use your "banked" RCs before getting discretionary comps.

    Make no mistake, this policy is in place so people become dependent upon hosts for comps on every trip, and don't simply bank RCs so they can play little-to-nothing on several trips, and still comp themselves. That's what CET is trying to avoid, but they are inadvertently targeting active and semi-active players, while not thwarting players like me who are comping themselves based upon action long in the past.
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  18. #18
    This discussion is starting to get silly, so let's cut to the chase or go directly to the bottom line:

    Caesars has cut out discretionary comps because they don't want to give out more comps. In fact, they want to give out fewer comps so they are putting limits on what hosts can give players.

    When you play you earn comps and you use those comps first. It's a business decision.

    In certain cases, the power of the pen survives when, for example, a substantial player runs into a lot of bad luck quickly, and loses too much and too soon to generate enough reward credits to pay for their stay. Or, in some cases, a player might get an extra comp (show tickets, dinner) to reward him for a lot of play.

    Caesars has changed its business model. For the most part discretionary comps are gone. It's tough. It means sucking up to hosts won't get you what it did before. It means that for "non players" there isn't much chance for a free ride.

    Deal with it, or try another casino company. This is today's reality.

  19. #19
    RC'S and TOTAL REWARDS VISA:
    I think it should be pointed out for anyone considering applying for, and using, the Total Rewards Visa card that the points earned via spending will only further erode the possibility of receiving discretionary comps or further eat into discretionary comps. I would urge anyone who has this credit card it to take advantage of the free 24 hour buffet passes and the initial free $100 worth of comps but then stop using it . Because if you spend a lot on this card, and buy things for bonus RC's through the Total Rewards marketplace which give 2x-10x reward credits per dollar spent depending on the company, then you are simply hurting your chances of receiving any discretionary comps. These aren't even comps related to gambling, they are REWARDS for spending that you can get on many other credit cards, and Caesars has the freaking nerve to make you spend these before you can get a free taco from a host. Ridiculous. This further supports Todd's POV. I put my card in a drawer and won't be using it ever again. Thanks for a useless credit card Caesars, it would only be irresponsible of me to allow you to earn merchants fees on my purchases while you won't even allow me to choose how to spend MY REWARDS. Another stupid policy to put a bad taste in the mouths of your customers.
    Last edited by BAGGINS; 01-27-2015 at 04:37 PM.

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