Image courtesy of: sryan10 (Steve)
Don't know about you, but the idea of free stuff in Vegas conjures of the images of old when Vegas was Vegas. They knew you by name there (if you were a decent player). It was far less corporate than today. One constant is you can still get free cocktails pretty much anywhere in the casino-even the penny machine area.
Getting free rooms and other perks in the old days was tough for machine players. You basically had to catch the eye of the pit boss. Today, that's all changed. Comps, which is just a short way of saying complimentary or free stuff, are easier to get because all play can be tracked through player cards.
One day the player card was introduced and video poker and slot machines that could read them started showing up. The system progressed into a fine-tuned compensation machine. You play $x and you get Y points to spend on stuff, like free rooms, clothes, food, cash back, etc.
I guess the downside to all of this is the tight line casinos follow. They really follow a compensation rule set and don't deviate from it at all. It's nice, but the personal touch has left the place. But the upside is you can play anything in the casino and get points toward free stuff. Whether you like Keno, Bingo, slots, poker or sports betting, you're earning points toward free stuff.
Of course, all of this has moved online. Many online casinos now offer player rewards and all sorts of goodies. Dare I say, they've outdone Vegas. It's a toss up. Brick and mortar casinos can give you free rooms and shows. Online casinos can give you most everything else, but they also give bonuses that offline casinos don't-like cash bonuses for playing, depositing, etc.
Whether you're playing in the real world or a virtual one, make sure you're getting rewarded. In the real world, player cards also work as coupons. You can get discounts on shows, buffets and all sorts of stuff. And I wouldn't play at any online casino that didn't offer bonuses of some sort.
One nice feature of player cards is the ability to get a printout of your wins and losses for the tax season-if you want.
In the end, Vegas and online casinos offer all sorts of free stuff for players. The one constant is that you have to get into the system to get it. Before playing anywhere, do a little research and find out how to get free stuff and what you get.
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