That’s the basic premise of loyalty programs, and they’ve been around for a
very long time. One of the best examples is through
airline frequent flyer miles. You fly, you get points for the miles you’ve
traveled, and you then redeem those points to travel even more.
These days, it seems like everyone has a
loyalty program. If
you buy ten sandwiches, you get one free. Five coffees? The sixth is on us. Pay
for 12 months of service up front, and we’ll give you a month free. These types
of offers are everywhere.
You may think it’s just an attempt to get you to purchase more but there’s
another reason why these programs are so prevalent these days. Businesses want
to track your activity. If you’ve ever gone into a grocery store and handed them
a card or provided your phone number to get some sale pricing, it’s not all
about the discount. That store is tightly monitoring your purchasing activity. They know what you prefer to
buy and how much you spend.
With casinos, that concept also comes into play. Land-based casinos want to
know who their players are and what their betting action equates to at any given
time so, if you walk into any given casino, you’ll probably see player cards
inserted into machines and given to the dealer at each table.
Players need to be encouraged to use the card, so perks come along with its
use, and they can be pretty nice perks. We’re talking about free meals, free
hotel rooms, even cash prizes.
Online casinos, on the other hand, already have your information and they are
tracking you whether you want them to or not. It’s just the nature of the
business. You have to sign in to an online account, so everything is thoroughly
monitored every time you enter your password.
So, even though internet casinos are using new technology, they’re really
going old school when it comes to loyalty programs, enticing you to “buy more”
by giving you the incentive.
Pay for Play
The online gaming loyalty program concept can be simply defined:
Betting converts to points. Points convert to free stuff.
There’s usually always a way to convert your accumulated points back to play
cash but, many will go the extra mile and provide a lot more incentive as well.
All sites have the ultimate goal of getting you to return over and again. The
better the program, the better the odds of you coming back and depositing more
into your player’s account.
How Did I Become a VIP?
Loyalty programs with online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms are
typically called VIP programs and, as soon as you place your first bet, you’re a
member of the club whether you know it or not.
It’s different than with a physical casino where you may or may not want to
join the club. Your preference could be to go in anonymously, place a few bets,
and leave without the casino knowing who you are or how much you’re wagering. A
club card will foil your plan.
Online, though, you have no choice. You’re being tracked. There’s just no
getting around it, so being a part of the VIP program doesn’t really change
anything. If you don’t want to take advantage of any of the offers provided to
players, you have the right to decline them. But, if you’re playing a lot at an
individual site and you rack up some good points, you may enjoy the benefits
that come along with an elevated VIP status.
Higher and Higher – Status Is Everything
VIP programs are set up with multiple levels. Everyone is automatically opted
into the basic level but, from that point on, your deposits and your wagering
activity determine how quickly you move up the ranks.
Not all sites provide detailed information on how points accumulate, but some
do and it can be something like every £10 in bets equates to one loyalty point.
Slot games will provide for full and faster accumulation. Video poker and table
games may have an entirely different formula like every $100 in wagering is a
point. Sports betting and poker play each has their customized methods as well.
As you do progress through the levels of VIP status, you’ll see that your
points not only add up so much faster, but your benefits increase rather
significantly. If you’re a member of a site with an excellent VIP program, you
could even receive free trips and gifts like electronics or appliances.
There’s Value in the Perks
VIP benefits are entirely dependent on the site. Some don’t go beyond the
simple “turn in your points for free play cash” but others go all out for
You can find any combination of these types of rewards depending on the
Faster accumulation of points
Lower rollover requirements
Free spins or bets
Reduced juice betting
Invitation only tournaments
Automatic entry into contests and drawings
The majority will allow players to convert their points to cash but some will
still stipulate some play through that accompanies that play money. The better
the program, the fewer hoops you’ll have to jump through.
Identifying the Better VIP Programs
Just as every program is set up uniquely, every player has different
preferences. As a general rule, though, good online loyalty programs should
Information regarding point accumulation and how to attain a higher status
Rewards that go beyond deposit matches
Cash back without wagering requirements
Even if you’re not a fan of some online bonuses that usually have wagering
requirements that accompany them, you can still find benefit from the VIP
programs. You’re not obligated to accept any offer that comes your way but, if
you’re a regular player or a high roller, you may be surprised at how quickly
your points can accumulate. Once you reach a higher level status, the rewards
can be significant, and all you have to do is play.
Do I have to do something to receive points?
You shouldn’t have to do anything aside from depositing and betting. Players
are usually automatically opted in, and points naturally accumulate in
conjunction with your activity on the site.
How do I redeem points?
If there isn’t a dedicated email posted for loyalty club members, then you
just need to contact the central customer service department by email or chat
and an agent should be able to assist you.
What if I don’t see any vip program posted?
Not all internet gambling sites provide a VIP program. Remember, they’re
already able to track your information so it’s not as vital for them as it is
for a physical casino as the website can still provide other player perks to
entice you to return. It never hurts to ask, though. Just reach out to customer
service, and they’ll let you know either way.
My site says that the vip program is by invitation only, but I think I should be a member, what do I do?
It never hurts to ask. You may be close to meeting the site’s internal
criteria, and they can advise you if there’s something you can do to expedite
your invitation. Or, they may accommodate your request anyway after you ask them
to review your account.
How is an online club different from a brick and mortar casino’s program?
Aside from the overall concept of point accumulation and rewards provided
based on those points, they’re very different as you’ll see below.
Player’s club requires registration
Card use is required either by inserting into machine or given to the dealer
Rewards can go beyond the actual points; a player rewards
center may issue separate comps
Rewards include free play cash, merchandise, comp dinners,
entertainment and hotel rooms
Points automatically are issued based on play throughout the site
For the most part, rewards are directly in conjunction with the point balance
Rewards that include free play cash may involve a rollover;
other prizes include free withdrawals, expedited cash outs, special bonuses,
physical merchandise or trips
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