January 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Casinos Betting 2013 a Lucky Year

"...early indications are that revenues will be only slightly higher than there were in 2011"

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The final numbers for 2012 won’t be in for a while, but early indications are that revenues will be only slightly higher than there were in 2011.  To get things started, the casinos in the Santa Fe/Espanola area are coming out with some aggressive promotions in January.

The Pueblo of Pojoaque’s two casinos (Buffalo Thunder and Cities of Gold) will be giving away three vehicles, Tesuque (Camel Rock) is giving away $40,000 in cash and Ohkay Casino is giving away $30,000 in cash.

Buffalo Thunder and the Cities of Gold,  which had operated as separate entities, have combined their resources and will be giving away a new Chevrolet Silverado on Jan. 12, 19 and 26.  The Hilton at Buffalo Thunder Resort also has rooms priced at $79 Sunday through Thursday.

Camel Rock Casino will give away a little over $10,000 in cash Sunday in January.  Drawings will be held at 2, 3, 4 and 5 p.m.  The 2 p.m. drawing will be for $200, followed by $500, $1,000 with the 5 p.m. drawing work $2,013.  Martin Luther King’s holiday will be marked by Camel Rock awarding 5x points on Monday, January 21.

Ohkay Casino is playing off the “13” in the new year with 13 random drawings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in January from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The 13 winners will gather at 8:30 p.m. and choose a prize envelope that ranges from $100 to $600 in cash or $100 free play.    Ohkay offers a gift every month to players who earn the necessary points on that that day.  On January 17 the gift is a fajita skillet.

The Santa Claran Casino is having a $45,000 Winter Slot Tournament in January with five hourly winners every Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Like other casinos, the Santa Claran also has many daily promotions including 3x points on Tuesdays; Senior Days on Wednesdays; Thursday’s “Throw for the Dough” with hourly winners from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Military & Public Service Appreciation Day on Saturdays and a Football Toss on Sundays.  Every Thursday the Espanola casino also has free dances starting at 8 p.m.

How Can I win?
Casinos are promotion machines and work every angle to increase play and reward their customers.  To be eligible for a casino prize, you must be 21 or older and also a member of the casino’s players club.  Membership is free and in most promotions you must use your players card when playing on your gaming machine or table game (not all casinos provide entries for prizes to table game players).

Each casino has a different point system that is based on the amount of coin-in—the amount of money you play through your gaming machine.  The more you play, the more points and entries you can earn (points determine the number of entries one can earn but are not deducted).   The more entries you have in the drum, the better your chances to win, just like buying lottery tickets.  The rules for each promotion at each casino are either posted or are available at the player’s club or promotions area. 

And what about all those points one earns?  Each casino has different goods for which they can be redeemed including meals, clothing, hotel rooms, golf, etc.  And, remember, when you use your players card the casino knows your level of play and direct mail offers are tiered to reflect your level of play.  Bigger gamblers get bigger offers—it’s as simple as that.

NOTE:  A tip of the hat to those hard-working marketing folks that get me their casino's information.  And to everyone, may 2013 be a lucky year for you! 

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