It's difficult to resist being enticed by the myriad of promotions that casinos schedule on a regular basis in an endeavor to remain relevant and successful in the market.
New automobiles, vacation trips, even substantial cash prizes and free slot play, are usually the focus of promotional giveaways.
Certainly one of the most prominent players in the Region is Majestic Star Casinos in Gary.
The property’s promotional calendar is the domain of director of marketing Christi Hardesty, who on a monthly basis puts together activity that’s interactive, timely, and successful.
“We usually plan our promotions several months in advance,” Hardesty said. “For example, we’re currently in the process of filing up May and starting to work on June. Of course we always have to keep in mind upcoming holidays.”
This month the activity centers around slot tournaments on Tuesdays, Chrysler 300 drawings on Fridays, and “Shoot for Loot” on Saturdays.
“The success of a promotion is based on three criteria,” Hardesty said. “First: The number of guests who activated their entries. Second: The value per player. Third: The overall revenue generated by the promotion to the bottom line.”
Something all promotions have in common is the fact your chances of winning are dependent upon the luck of a random selection process.
Some promotions are targeted for specific dates and times. Still others are created to encourage frequent visits.
In many cases, individual advertising campaigns are built around the drawings and sustained over an extended period of time, giving long "shelf life" to giveaways for luxury cars or large sums of cash.
At least two things promotions at casinos must meet are (1) a set of internal controls and procedures must be in place and (2) the campaign must be approved by the state gaming commission prior to being launched.
Once those hurdles are cleared, it's up to the individual property to take the baton and run with it while at the same time ensure and maintain the integrity of the promotion.
“We rely heavily on social media to get the word out on our promotions, but our strongest marketing tool is the monthly newsletter that goes out,” Hardesty said.
The same modern computer technology that governs the electronic gaming devices that people play also rules over promotional drawings at casinos.
What happens to all of the "virtual entries" we earn for casino drawings, and just what is meant by the so-called "activation process" we're all accustomed to hearing?
Once a campaign receives regulatory approval, a computer program is created utilizing an in-house customer database.
Just as random number generation governs slot machines, so does it reign supreme over the fortunes of computer-based promotional drawings.
The program recognizes player account numbers, not names, and dependent upon how many entries you have earned is how many times your account number appears.
The account numbers are circulated at lightning speed in much the same way reel configurations are cycled through a slot machine. Whatever number it's on when the command is given is the number that wins.
Computer-driven promotional drawings still are based on "the luck of the draw", but thanks to computer technology that process has never been more efficient or fair.
AMERISTAR: The “Break the Bank” giveaway and your chance to win up to $1 million continues every Saturday through April 7. Three drawings will be held each day of the promotion. Three winners will be selected at each of the 7 and 8 p.m. drawings for a chance to win between $750 and $5,000. Three winners will be selected at the 9 p.m. drawing each promotional day for a chance to win up to $1 million. MyChoice player’s club members will receive at least one complimentary tier-based entry daily at the kiosks. Additional entries can be collected for every 100 points earned.
BLUE CHIP: The legendary southern rock band, 38 Special, performs Saturday (March 10) night in the Stardust Event Center at 8 p.m. Over the past three decades the band has produced more than 15 albums, including gold and platinum, with sales of more than 20 million. Their timeless hits include “Hold on Loosely”, “Rockin’ into the Night”, “Caught Up in You”, “Fantasy Girl”, and “Back Where You Belong”. Tickets start at $30 and are available at ticketmaster.com or the Blue Chip Gift Box in the pavilion.
HORSESHOE: The 2018 Chicago Poker Classic kicks into high gear this weekend. Event #10, which starts on Friday (March 9), is a No Limit Hold’em tournament with a $250 buy-in and a $250,000 guaranteed prize pool. The winner, in addition to first prize money, will be awarded a new BMW or cash option. Additionally, any player who makes it to day number two in multiple flights will receive a $2,000 double qualifying bonus. Also, whoever surrenders the most chips when double qualifying will be eligible for the following prizes: First - $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event seat; Second - $6,000 in cash; Third - $4,000 in cash. Event #9, the Main Event, has a $2,000 buy-in and a $1-million guaranteed prize pool. It also begins on Friday (March 9). The winner will cash big time with a six-figure check and a new BMW. The winners of Events #11 and #12, which are slated for closing day of the tournament on Monday, March 12, will each be awarded a $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event seat.