New player bonuses and comps are ways that casinos attract new players and reward current ones. New player bonuses tend to be given by online casinos while comps are more likely to be given by brick-and-mortar casinos, but there are exceptions to the norm. New player bonuses are usually included in casino advertisements or included in online advertising banners.
Casino “comps” work the same way comping food does in a restaurant—except instead of giving things to customers for free to appease them or make up for bad service, casinos use comps as rewards for frequent customers to encourage them to come back.
If you join a casino’s players club, you’ll earn more comps than a regular or occasional player would. Players clubs are free; signing up will get you a membership card that you’ll be asked to swipe before each game so you and the casino can track your activity in the casino (for you, so you can see how much you’ve won and lost, and for the casino, so it can formulate statistics about which games are most popular and how much money the average player spends).
Comps are meant to reward players who come to casinos frequently. Comps could include free meals, free drinks, free buy-ins on certain tournaments, and invites to special events. It depends entirely on how often you’re at the casino, how well you know various dealers, managers, and owners, and how much money you spend.
Practicing good etiquette and appearing experienced and enthusiastic about being in the casino are good starting points. Filling out comment cards and giving customer feedback also increase your chances of becoming well-known and being offered comps.
New player bonuses, as we said earlier, tend to be employed primarily by online casinos. Online casinos either operate on “real money” or on a point system. Legal currency can be spent at some online casinos, and other online casinos operate on a points system, where players bet with points. Usually those points can later be cashed in for merchandise, legal currency, or another bonus.
In order to draw in new players, online casinos may offer a start-up bonus that will give new players a foothold in the games. For example, William Hill Live Online Casino offers a £25 bonus for signing up. Some online casinos require a deposit, and they may run specials where the new player bonus covers the deposit.
Casinos that operate on point systems usually offer a new player bonus regardless of specials or the time a player joins, because it encourages new players to join and gives them a no-cash-needed way to get in on the website with the hopes that when those comp points run out, the player will buy a new points package.
Some brick-and-mortar casinos also offer certain percentages of cash back as a sort of comp. Depending on how much a player spends, the casino may offer a 5% cash back on losses—so if you bet $100 and lose, you get $5 back. While not necessarily a free service or good, cash back is a way to thank the players for betting and a way to make the psychological impact of their loss a little less harsh.
For some casinos, giving out free hotel rooms for nights and weekends is a popular way to reward their players. It’s a smart business move on the casino’s part, too; giving out free hotel rooms to local big-spender players for a night or weekend encourages them to come back and spend more money during their stay. “RFB,” or “room, food, and beverage” packages are popular when these sorts of stays are offered.
If you’re looking to join an online casino, keep an eye out for the best new player bonuses and especially keep an eye out for further bonuses or sales on points packages. Do some research and see if there are coupon codes or special joiner codes that can get you better bonuses. If you’re a casino frequenter, work toward earning comps—develop a schedule, get to know dealers and managers, and be friendly and courteous. Casinos are more than willing to hand out perks—if it’s mutually beneficial.