When it comes to free drinks, the typical Las Vegas scenario involves the cocktail waitress determining whether or not you’ve played enough to get a drink. But this system may become a thing of the past since slot machines – not waitresses – are deciding whether you’re worthy of a comped drink.
Vegas’ ABC affiliate reports that Vegas casinos are looking at this as a cost-saving move to help boost their revenue.
“It’s kind of what Vegas is known for,” says Scott Roeben, a Vegas expert. “They’ve gotten all the low-hanging fruit. Now I think they are looking at the things that can have a huge financial impact.”
Roeben added, “Casinos are being very aggressive about it. The casinos are taking the discretion out of the hands of the bartenders to give comped drinks.”
Caesars is one casino resort that’s using slot machines to determine who gets free drinks.
Their system involves a red light, green light, and blue light on the machines. The blue light turns on when you put money into the machine. Once you’ve bet enough money, you’ll get a signal that tells the bartender you’re ready for a comped drink.
A red light will come back on and stay that way until you put more money in to start the cycle over again.
“You gotta pace yourself, and you’ve got be willing to invest a little to get that free drink,” Roeben says.
The Vegas expert goes on to describe a slot voucher system at the Mirage Lobby Bar, where video poker machines give out vouchers that say ‘You’ve earned a free drink’ after so many bets.
The Vegas ABC affiliate reached out to MGM International, Caesars’ owner, which gave them the following statement:
“We are pilot-testing a new slot machine feature at the Lobby Bar, which provides vouchers for drinks based on the time and length of slot play. The new technology has eliminated the guessing game for bartenders about how many drinks each guest is eligible to receive based on play. Further, it has made the number of comped drinks that players receive consistent for all slot players at the bar.”
According to Roeben, this is less a test, and more the way that all Vegas casinos will handle free drinks for slots players in the future.