Monday, May 04, 2009
By CEAN BURGESON
For Destination Cache Creek Magazine
You see it on casino billboards or hear it during radio commercials: “We have the loosest slots!”
But what does that really mean?
“Loose slots refers to how much time or entertainment value you get out of your dollar,” says Russell Kinney, Cache Creek Casino Resort’s Vice President of Slots. “It’s really about the amount of time you’re able to spend on a machine and how much payback there is from a machine to a guest.” Players can play $100 in a casino and play for maybe a half hour, but the same $100 in another casino might net them over an hour’s worth of play. “In the second case you’re getting more paybacks and more value,” says Kinney.
How far slot players can stretch their gaming dollar is an important factor in having a good experience at a casino and is given a lot of thought by Cache Creek’s slot management team. “When we opened this casino we wanted to have a very competitive payback,” says Kinney. “We know when guests come out here they want to be able to play longer on the machines and have more entertainment. Part of that comes from offering Bonus Play. When players come here with a set budget, their ability to play more is increased by the amount of Bonus Play we give them. Through our direct mail offers we give away millions of dollars of this free play every month.”
Kinney also likes to remind players that they earn points for playing with their Cache Club cards, which adds to the entertainment value of slot play. “We have one of the most competitive point programs in California. With those points you can get food, hotel rooms, rounds of golf, spa treatments, or one of our new gift cards.”
Some players think that casinos are constantly “tightening” or “loosening” their slots, but Kinney says this is a common misconception. What slot experts and experienced players consider “loose” when referring to slot machines involves a number of different considerations that go far beyond the set payout percentage for each machine.
“Loose slots are more about the total slot experience,” says Kinney. “For instance, we offer slot value in a number of other ways. Another way is through our promotions, which are almost always running. So the total slot experience comes from a combination of factors including payback to the guest, amount of time spent playing a machine, bonus play, points, and promotions. All of these contribute to the total entertainment value that our guests are looking for when they come to Cache Creek.”
So when all of these factors are taken into consideration, Cache Creek really does have the “loosest” slots in Northern California.