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HOME > Gaming > Deal Me In: The casino returning lost loot is a no-brainer

Deal Me In: The casino returning lost loot is a no-brainer

27 June 2014

By Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark: Your recent column about someone who found credits in a slot machine brought to mind an incident that happened to me a few weeks ago at the MGM Grand in Detroit. I accidentally left my $97 voucher on the bar. When I came back from the restroom, it was gone. I reported my loss to security. Within an hour, they caught someone on “the eye in the sky" cashing the ticket in. This is one time that I lost my money at a casino and they gave me my money back. James B.

Contrary to some mailbag response that didn’t quite believe what a casino does with the left behind credits or vouchers, I must reiterate, it really isn’t smart customer service for a casino to pocket lost loot. Returning player winnings to its rightful owner is one of many ways a casino builds on customer loyalty. Heck, handing a player $97 that justly belongs to him can keep him yanking handles in their casino for life.

From the casino’s perspective, customer loyalty comes through having a strong relationship with its players. When a player sees them as a friend and ally, they are reluctant to jump ship to another casino, even if it means they can get a sweeter deal elsewhere. Given the competitive nature of the gambling business, casinos protect their customers as a mother bear does her cubs.

Customers will decide whether to trust a casino based upon their day-to-day behavior. Handing you back your $97 builds on that trust. Make that type of behavior consistent over time – and here is where many casinos fall short – and the management knows you can be counted on as “their” patron. If their behavior becomes unpredictable, you, the consumer will find another joint to take your money. You, James, getting your $97 back was a no-brainer for the casino.

Dear Mark: Are you aware of a good video poker program that will run on a Macintosh laptop? I had Bob Dancer’s program on my old PC, which I liked a lot, but it is not available in a Mac version. I would like to find a similar product, but I am not having any luck. Charlie P.

Unfortunately, Charlie, though I have been in the Mac world since its infancy, I too have yet to find software comparable to Dancer’s Video Poker for Winners!. It is specifically for that reason that I keep an old PC laptop lying around, as you should too.

Besides using VP for Winners! as a video poker game that replicates the IGT machines you see in a casino, you can also use it as a tutorial, create strategies, focus on problem areas, check unusual hands, figure slot club paybacks, and a whole lot more.

A few of my favorite features of this software program is the capability of printing out game-specific strategy charts that you can take to the casino with you. The money you save by never having to pay for another strategy chart alone will more than pay for the cost of the $50 program. In addition, I like that VPW allows you to change pay tables and then analyze that game’s overall expected return. Finally, I like the ability to determine what your bankroll needs are to avoid going broke.

There is no better way to master video poker than with this software program. I recommend, Charlie, that you stick with it.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “To be a winner, you have to really want to be a winner.” – Avery Cardoza, How to Play Winning Poker (1987)

Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the gambling trenches, working for seven different casinos. He now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer, and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.

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