LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Buying a pair of jeans from Target or a flat-screen TV from Best Buy now will earn Caesars Entertainment Corp. customers points that can be redeemed at any of the company's 40 properties nationwide.
The casino operator on Thursday rolled out new features of its 15-year-old Total Rewards customer loyalty program, which now will include opportunities to earn points and credits outside the company's casinos.
Members of Total Rewards -- some 45 million strong, according to Caesars Entertainment -- still earn points through casino play and spending on hotel rooms, shows, retail, dining and other nongaming amenities at the company's resorts.
Going outside the casino is a new twist.
"We started out as a slot club," said Joshua Kanter, vice president of Total Rewards for Caesars Entertainment. "Obviously, it's much more. Our intent is to make this program as valuable to our guests as possible, and meaningful to their lives outside of the resort property."
Caesars kicked off the Total Rewards launch with a sleek new logo and a concert extravaganza that included performances by Mary J. Blige, Cee Lo Green, P Diddy, and Maroon 5 at locations in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and New Orleans. The concerts were simulcast to a private party at Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace.
Up next is a 90-day contest where program members can win more than 90,000 prizes. Top prize is an all-expenses paid trip to Caesars Palace, including travel aboard a private jet.
Total Reward has long been considered the first player loyalty system of its kind in the gaming industry. It also serves as a customer tracking system for Caesars Entertainment, allowing the company to monitor the spending habits of its guests, which can be incorporated into direct-marketing programs.
"We have always taken pride in being the first to launch multiple tiers and other ways to make the program better," Kanter said.
Total Rewards was originally rolled out in 1997 as the Total Gold slot players club when the company was known as Harrah's Entertainment.
"Our business has grown to encapsulate so much more than gaming," Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman said. "Every single one of our nearly 40 resorts across the country provides a 360-degree entertainment experience.'
As part of the new enhancements, Caesars Entertainment will offer additional ways to redeem points at the properties, including preferred pricing at restaurants in Caesars-operated resorts.
Also, frequent nongaming leisure travelers will be recognized and earn additional points. Meeting planners and business travelers will receive additional rewards based on frequency of visits.
Caesars also created a portal through the Total Rewards website where customers can earn benefits and points while shopping online at more than 500 retailers, including Best Buy, Target, Barnes & Noble and Banana Republic.
Officials said the benefit was the first in the gaming industry to offer casino customers credits outside the resort.
"This allows customers to earn points in their everyday lives," Kanter said.
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