How much does a casino know about its players? All modern casinos require their players to use ‘Player Cards’ which is a system designed to get a hold on them. This tells them who is playing their machines, what machine they are playing, how much money they are wagering and how much time are they spending on each of their machines.
In the slightly older times, casinos had to employ a really intricate system of surveillance cameras, personal and other tracking devices to keep an eye on their players. This came with a lot of tediousness. Not only did they have to alert throughout, they also had to be smart & vigilant enough to track some of the more carefully planned errors.
Over time, casinos starting pushing the player cards in the garb of loyalty programs. Players were encouraged to buy such cards so that they could avoid buying coins, paper money or tickets. This was originally inspired by the credit card and airline card systems where rewards (food, rooms, gifts, cash, free play etc.) exist but every kind of behaviour is also recorded.
The membership is always free and each player is issued a card when he or she signs up at the players’ club booth. The machines too were modified later to include card readers so that every member inserts the card to initiate a game. Casinos, at the end of all this, are able to get a definite sense of their customers by using complex programs that sort through data. All of this is then broken into demographic detail, an analysis of behaviour of sorts, which allows them to modify or introduce new offers.
The player analysis also helps casino draw generics and target players accordingly. For example, retired men and women under 30 have similar proclivities when it comes to gambling. This information is especially gold for casinos who can devise and innovate for these needs. When this cloud of data is enquired, an animated sense of behaviour is realized.
The data analysis tells them how to approach a gambler individually and also where they fit collectively. Where they’re at that evening, what they are likely to do next and the whole profitability factor. Casinos, to put in simple terms, are not particularly interested in a player’s win/loss record but the design of their game-play and how they can be targeted.
The whole deal might seem very sketchy and a bit intrusive too. But there are quite a few advantages to using a player card:
Free Slot Play: Every casino offers free slot play reward when a player signs up newly. This allows players to try out a few slots and get their heads around how things work in a casino. These rewards are usually loaded into the card by default.
Complimentary Gifts: Casinos offer gifts in many ways to encourage loyalty on the player’s part. These gifts are often interesting and useful that tends to showcase the personality of the place. There’s usually a team dedicated to these aspects of casino that put in good thought. Free drinks to gas cards, the gifts range according to individual tastes.
Travel: Many casinos offer travelling as a complimentary gift that usually includes visiting a sister casino. The lowest tier players too are offered in many cases where a short trip, usually a bus ride away, is offered along with the stay.
Tracking of Losses:
One thing is for sure. If you’re a frequent visitor and enjoy a bit of gambling every now & then, it is imperative to keep a track of your gambling winnings and losses. This helps you to deduct losses because the government mandates to provide tickets, statements, receipts or any other form of proof that acts as acknowledgement.
Gambling winnings are certainly taxed like regular income. Every time you cash in a slightly large amount in chips, you are asked to show your ID and fill out a tax form. The government however allows you to deduct your losses from the winnings but not more than the winnings.
It is therefore highly important to have clear idea of where the losses have occurred and to ensure a proof of sorts resides with us. Let’s say you get lucky and win really big. To reduce your taxes, you would want to reduce your losses from the gambling winnings. If there is no document around that supports your claim of having lost so much, there’s no way the government is going to believe it. This is where the player’s card comes in very handy. Every casino that gives out this card will require you to swipe or use it all the time. Casinos are then able to track your performance and maintain a record of wins and losses. Thereby, when the taxing time is around, the casino can give a detailed account of losses.