I walked up to the Players Club counter. There was no line and I was able to get to a representative of the Club in a hurry. She was talking to the representative next to her and also checking her fingernails.
“Yeah, well, I told him that he could just pack his bags and go home to his momma if he kept cheating on me and you know what he said? He said his mother loved him more than I did. Well I threw the drink right in his face that’s what I did; smack in the face….”
“Ah, excuse me,” I interrupted.
“Just a minute, I’m talking can’t you see that? God some people,” she said, referring to me. “They think they can just jump into your conversation. Now, where was I?”
“I have some questions about the Players Club,” I said.
“Take care of him fast and we can get back when you’re done,” said her co-worker, a disheveled young man with little sprouts of hair on his face.
“What do you want?” my representative asked me as she checked both sides of her fingers.
“Hi, Ma’am, I just signed up for the Deluxe, Glittery Gold, Super-Dooper Casino Players Club, could you tell me how the points and comps are established?” I asked.
“I don’t have all day, you know, and it’s Miss, not Ma’am, got that? I ain’t that old. Oh, jeez, can’t you just follow the simple formula, for crying out loud? I could really use a cigarette. Joey, baby, when is my break?”
“You just went on a break,” yells Joey, her co-worker, from the position right next to her.
“Could you tell me what that comp formula is?” I asked.
“It is so simple even a two-year old should be able to figure it out. Can’t you figure it out?”
“Help me, please, okay?” I asked.
“Listen now because I don’t want to have to repeat myself. You earn one point for every one hundred dollars you put through the machine and when you have 13,567 points we subtract the weight of one-billionth of the earth from that amount then we divide by 16 and subtract 7 to assess your play. Of course on Tuesdays and Wednesday’s we subtract one ten-billionths of the weight of the planet Pluto from the formula to give you something extra as your slot club return. Good luck because you’ll need it if you gamble in this joint!”
“Look, I didn’t quit understand….”
“I have a whole line of people waiting.”
“Uh, there’s no one behind me,” I said.
“They’re coming. They’re coming.”
“Do you need to know the time?” I asked.
“I’m looking at my watch to see how much of my time you’ve taken.”
“What kind of comps do you give out for what types of play?” I asked.
“You’re full of questions, aren’t you? Oh, jeez, what do you play?”
“Some slots and some tables. I play 25-cent slots. And $5 on the tables.”
“You’re a squirt of a player so you won’t get much. You should play more and maybe we’ll give you something but right now you are just wasting our time when you play. The plastic in your Players Club card costs more than you’re worth.”
“Ah, ha, ha, ha,” roared Joey at that joke. Then a patron came up to him.
“I want to know how much in comps I have?” he asked.
“Can’t you use the automated machine? It’s not hard you know,” said Joey. “They are right over there.” He pointed and the customer begrudgingly obeyed him.
“You don’t get much in comps for my level of play?” I asked my representative.
“You’ll get some little ones and some crummy little gifts every so often, like plastic key chains and some cheap cups with our logo on them and the paint probably has lead in it. What do you want from your level of play anyway? You’re lucky we even give you a Players Club card.”
“I thought every player was valuable to the casino?” I asked.
“Yeah, right, where did you get that idea? I could really use a cigarette. Do you smoke?”
“I never smoked. Mark Twain discouraged me,” I said.
“Who’s he, some dumb doctor?”
“Never mind, thanks for your time,” I said and walked away.
“Yeah, well, you got any more questions we have some kind of booklet.”
“Could I have it?” I asked.
“Go over to hotel registration and they might have one.”
“Thanks,” I said into the air.
Okay the above scenario is not real and I have never met Players Club representatives who are so grossly uncivil and demeaning – and I belong to Players Clubs all over the country and in Canada. But there is some truth in exaggeration.
The purpose of a Players Club is to get players to want to play longer and for more money than they planned to. If you didn’t realize that, give some thought to the casino as a business entity. Any good business wants its products to be attractive so that a customer coming in to buy a toaster just might also spring for the unplanned microwave, if the microwave is presented in an appealing way. The representatives of the business need to be pleasant and friendly and encouraging so that business can thrive.
The representatives I wrote about above were the worst of all possible worlds – who would want to deal with people who were like that or even somewhat like that? No one.
Players must feel they are being rewarded with freebies for being such a great customer – and all players should feel that the casino wants their action, even if it’s small-roller action. But the bottom line is, after all, the bottom line. Good players clubs increase the bottom line for their casinos; bad players clubs don’t.
All the best in and out of the casinos!
Frank Scoblete web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from smile.amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.