Casinos want to keep customers happy. These establishments realize that even people who lose money are likely to return if they enjoy the overall experience. And supplying free beverages and snacks is an effective way of improving that experience.
High rollers obviously expect to be rewarded with sumptuous free meals whenever they visit casinos. However, you’re still eligible for complimentary treats even if you don’t bet extravagant amounts of money. In fact, at least three out of every four casino freebies — known in the industry as “comps,” short for “complimentaries” — go to average gamblers.
A common way to earn comps is to join a rewards club for gamblers. As a member, you’ll have a plastic card with a magnetic strip on one side. You can have every machine you use read your card, and you’ll earn points according to how much money you gamble or the amount of time you use a machine. Employees stationed at card tables will likewise keep track of your gaming. Then you’ll probably be able to redeem those points for drinks and food at some point. Prizes such as tickets to shows or hats might be offered as well.
In many instances, casinos also reward non-gamblers with comps. Some people visit casinos only for the restaurants, shops and entertainment options. And casino managers want to please those patrons too. So if you’re headed to a casino and don’t intend to gamble a cent, it still makes sense to stop by a customer help desk and inquire about the comp programs you could join. You might boost your odds of landing free food and drinks if you mention that you’re interested in returning to the casino someday.
A particularly effective method of landing comps is to lodge a complaint. If you express your unhappiness to management about inadequate service or some other problem that occurred during your visit, the casino might decide to grant you free snacks or drinks in order to compensate you for your troubles. You’re even more likely to receive comps if you appear to be particularly upset or aggrieved. Casino managers know how important word of mouth is to their bottom line, and certainly they do not want you to write them a negative Internet review. That doesn’t mean you should fabricate a complaint or exaggerate a problem; doing so would of course be unethical. But don’t be shy about speaking up should something go wrong during your stay.
Finally, if you have a hankering for complimentary food and drink, you could always just ask a manager or a server for a comp. This strategy is more likely to work if you’re lodging for two nights or longer at the casino. In addition, be especially polite and friendly when you ask. And your chances of comp success increase if you dress well, behave well, and tip generously during your stay.