Welcome to the 2012 Clubathon Olympics! In the previous parts (Part #1, Part #2, Part #3, Part #4) we analyzed the Player Clubs of several U.S. bricks-and-mortar casinos. Today we will award the medals to those who excel at the various categories, and laugh at this unforgettable performance from the Sidney games eight years ago. It’s like watching Thomas going through an annual budget meeting: It’s a never-ending process, he sweats and pants, and no matter who else is with him in the room – he will finish last. Even if he is by himself.
* Green = best score in category
* Red = worst score in category
* Yellow = REAL MONEY CASHOUT
Ready? Set, Go!
Ranking: How many different establishments do they offer? What’s the geographical spread? (10 possible points).
Winner: Caesars, with their 40 venues … so much bigger than Station Casinos in 2nd place with only 18 venues.
Worst: Treasure Island and Silverton, with a single venue each – both in Vegas.
Editor’s Pick: Station Casinos, mainly due to its Red Rock’s 180°-view suite.
Ranking: Is it easy to enter? How quickly will you start looking for your way out? How are the tiers structured? (30 possible points).
Winner: Silverton, as they allow colleting points on ALL possible games, and apply very generous reward-out-of-play ratios.
Worst: Stratosphere. Impressive scheme on pretty much every aspect, yet we aren’t given any clues as to how quickly points accrue. Therefore, it’s nearly unrankable.
Editor’s Pick: There are few nice features that should be looked at within this category, like Pinnacle Entertainment with its nice twist re expiration (you get your level the day you hit the required threshold and keep it until the year ends; come January 1, all levels reset to the basic “Choice” level), MGM and the coolest names for their tiers (Sapphire, Pearl, Gold, Platinum and NOIR), and Station Casinos again, with its general heartwarming approach.
Ranking: What does the non-gambling factor look like? Can you bring your wife and kids? Will they find their way back home? (10 possible points).
Winner: MGM. They have everything in every style, and members can even select the songs for the Bellagio Fountains show.
Worst: Both Ameristar and Silverton have a very boring portfolio of non-exciting activities. I guess it may appeal to a certain Redneck audience, but we give a higher rank to foam parties at Senor Frog :)
Ranking: What can you do with those club points you earn? Any super-cool rewards? Frequent promotional events? (50 possible points).
Winner: Well done, Treasure Island, offering the highest payback to your loyal customers with a whopping $8.33.
Worst: Well, we have no idea what the Pinnacle is all about, as you can’t figure out their return ratio, but that said, we would have expected more of The Venetian. One of the most famous casino establishments on earth should offer much more favorable treatment of its Player Club members, as right now it is 18 cents for every $1,000 you risk on Slots.
Editor’s Pick: Imagine that: Station Casinos wins our heart (and pockets) at the most lucrative category of them all due to its generous real-money conversion offering.
The obvious questions following this series are:
- Which program would I, as a player, prefer to join?
- What key elements should I adopt for my online Loyalty Scheme?
- Which program is best equipped for an online gambling makeover? (Assuming that soon the Vegas people will need to focus their retention efforts at iGaming ON TOP of what they do right now.)
As for what is best for the players, the results are all mentioned above. Your personal choice really depends on preferences – are you a local Nevadian? Do you enjoy grandiose shows? Is it all about the money for you? And once and for all, what is your stand on Bikini contests?
The nice thing about this competitive landscape review is that we found out that the schemes are not all alike and that indeed there is a Player Club to match any personality. Collectively, they’re able to honor nearly every imaginable request. Even those who prefer Rodeo.
That said, it was quite surprising to realize that the larger programs have a lot less to offer to a reasonable player. Caesars would have never earned that top score if they would have had only 10 venues. But, as you have learned for yourself from those rare occasions you have managed to fool someone to join you for a late coffee at your place or hers – size does matters.
In fact, you can conclude that the smaller the network, the better the offering (apart from Grazie, with its two venues and horrible return ratio). Even though some of these Player Clubs are (a lot) less than modern, are baffled by this new “getting online” trend that they’re convinced will vanish in just a century or two, and obscure any views into their programs’ details, they still do whatever they can to keep a player once they meet him/her. It certainly seems as if the less famous Player Clubs put up quite a fight to draw attention to themselves, and we CRM experts can only applaud such a heroic effort.
Two remaining topics will have to be discussed in detail in a later post, because right now there’s a rerun of the second-season finale of “Games of Thrones.” How do we make a connection between this hard-core series – with its rampant corruption, relentless violence and obscene sex scenes – and our highly moral industry? Pure fantasy would be an educated guess.
PS: Our new website is up and running, with an enhanced mobile browsing compatibility
** UPDATE: We invite you to also read the previous articles of this Clubathon series: