Sorry comp hustlers, your time in Vegas could be up

  • Comp drink validation system will be introduced on Las Vegas slot machines in the next few months
  • System designed to reward real players and prevent those coming to casinos just for free stuff

The days of lapping up free drinks at Vegas casinos while keeping your money in your pocket could be over.

As reports, after a so-called ‘drink validation system’ was successfully implemented on video poker machines in, Caesars’ Las Vegas property, it will soon become a reality across thousands of slots across Sin City.

The goal of this new system is fairly straightforward: giving out free drinks only to those customers who actually play and aren’t inside the property just to get freebies while idly occupying the machines.

Free drinks have long been one of the trademarks of casinos in Las Vegas, and they are a part of the fun. However, it is no secret there are many patrons that hang around the casinos, barely playing, and scoring free stuff. The comp drink validation system aims to prevent such practices. And while it won’t affect any of the real players the hope is, it may, in fact, boost their overall experience.

How will the new system work?

Comp validation has already been tested with video poker machines, and the results were considered generally positive. These are small devices that keep track of the player’s play at the particular machine and, based on the amount wagered, determine if the patron should get free drinks or not.

Systems installed on video poker machines give a clear hint to the waiting staff by displaying either green or red light. Green means players qualify, red indicates they should increase their bets or play more hands per minute if they want to get those free drinks.

Albert Tabola from Ardent Progressive System & Games, the company that developed the system, explains that requirements for poker machines aren’t that high at all.

A player should wager around $4-$5 per minute to qualify for free drinks. He further adds that players need to understand that this actually influences the casino bottom line, as the average hold from the machines is only a few percentages.

When subtracting the price of drinks, it doesn’t leave that much for casinos to work with, even though it may seem otherwise to those not in the know.

Upsides of validation system

Casinos want their patrons to drink, and they don’t mind giving those free drinks out, as long as players spend their time wagering any reasonable amount while inside the casino.

With the new systems in place, set to roll out within the next few months, casino servers can focus on those players and provide them with better and faster service.

So, it could actually help save the practice of free drinks, instead of ruining it, as many seem to believe.

Casinos are business operations, and they have to make decisions based on the expected profits. According to
Tabola, introducing these systems for video poker machines has helped one Caesars property save about $1 million in free drinks, which more than justified the setup price.


Comp drink validation systems are coming to Las Vegas slot machines
From everything we know, it won’t hurt regular players in any way, and it does seem it could help improve the overall service rating.

At the same time, it may anger those “regulars” who spend a lot of their time just hanging around casinos, but there isn’t much that can be done about it. Las Vegas needs to keep up with the industry changes, and these systems aren’t nearly as bad as it may sound at first. In fact, they are almost fair.

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