Using Comps in Casinos
No one goes into a casino with the intention of losing all their money. Some may take the approach that they are comfortable losing a set amount, which is probably the wisest perspective to have, while others say they will quit once they have won a certain amount, which is a bit more of a risky way to look at the situation. Either way, gamblers, both veteran and amateur, generally walk into a casino with a tight hold on their money. Casinos, of course, prefer that gamblers are as free with their money as possible, else how would the establishment stay in business?
Much, therefore, is done by casinos to create an environment that tells its guests to let go of inhibitions and likewise, their tight grip on their cash. For example, the term what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas certainly did not come about by accident, and could perhaps be reworded to mean the money you lose in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but we’re all okay with that. Other, subtler measures are taken, such as the well-known sound of coins cascading into metal slot machine buckets. This sound is intentional, and seems to suggest to people that money just pours out of slot machines, and that newcomers should get in on the action as quickly as possible and start gambling.
Another step taken by casinos to encourage gambling, beyond the luxurious environments, progressive jackpot displays and rotating expensive cars, is the act of giving free complimentary items, or comps, to gamblers. Comps refer to anything given by the casino free of charge, generally as a way to further encourage spending, or to ensure loyalty. Some casinos give free drinks to gamblers, which not only make the guest feel welcome, but also further loosen up any inhibitions. It is a common sight for those at the high roller tables to constantly be fed free drinks.
A free drink, however, is peanuts in comparison to how much is spent at a high roller table. Other comps may include free parking, a number of free spins on the slot machines, free hotel accommodation, and even free tickets to locally held shows. Which comps are given to which guest generally depends on the type of game the guest is playing, how much they are spending, and how long they stay. Those who are members of a casino’s VIP club, however, which requires a certain level of loyalty to the casino, will be given a huge number of comps and other special treatment, ensuring that the person comes back as regularly as possible.
Casinos are required to abide by rules and regulations, one of which says that a casino may not take advantage of certain guests. Gambling addiction is a very real problem for many, and a casino that would knowingly encourage gambling from such people would, of course, be deeply frowned upon. Hence, the majority of casinos openly state that they support responsible gambling. Closely regulating every guest that passes through a casino’s doors is, however, impossible, and between encouraging gambling as much as possible, and being obliged to not take advantage, casinos must have a very difficult job on their hands.