Las Vegas gets all of the attention as far as Nevada gambling destinations go. It easily overshadows its cross-state rival, Reno.
The latter doesn’t offer the glitz and glamour that Sin City does. Therefore, Reno must use other means to draw visitors.
It offers more favorable game rules and cheaper hotels to lure budget-conscious players. The World’s Biggest Little City also carries a reputation for being generous with comps.
But is Reno more generous than Vegas when it comes to VIP rewards? I’ll answer this question below while also discussing more on this city from an overall perspective.
How Reno Typically Comps Gamblers
I’ll just cut right to the chase! The average Reno venue gives casino comps to visitors much more than the typical Las Vegas venue.
Reno doesn’t have luxurious penthouses, endless entertainment options, and the mystique of Las Vegas. Instead, it’s a mountainous town with colder weather and much less prestige.
Reno doesn’t use tacky measures like drink-monitoring systems. Likewise, its pit bosses don’t heavily scrutinize gamblers to determine if they’re deserving of a free sandwich or not. Instead, the casinos here let free drinks flow. They’re also quicker to offer a free meal or even hotel room to deserving players.
You’ll also find it easier to get hosted in Reno. The casino hosts here don’t have as high of standards as Vegas when it comes to working with potential VIPs.
You may draw the attention of a host just by playing $25 blackjack at certain casinos. Contrast this to Las Vegas, where you normally must play $50 or $100 blackjack to have a shot at getting hosted.
Reno Treats Gamblers Like Yesteryear
The gambling industry as a whole has tightened up on VIP rewards. Casinos are much more selective about whom they comp.
Of course, no gambling establishment wants to reward the penny slots player who sits idly by for 30 minutes while hoping for a free drink. But some casinos take this obsession too far and snub deserving players.
Reno, on the other hand, treats rewards like they’re stuck in a time warp. Its casinos offer comps as if they’re living in the 1980s, when gaming venues were much freer with rewards.
The Grand Sierra Resort especially carries a reputation for delivering lots of comps. This popular Reno casino commonly gives out free drinks, meals, and more.
The Atlantis, Nugget, and Peppermill also offer solid rewards. A little gameplay at these casinos can lead to plenty of rewards.
Vegas Is Stingier With Comps
Vegas is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to VIP benefits. Sin City is definitely willing to comp high rollers to keep them coming back.
However, Vegas has forsaken smaller gamblers. Its rewards programs require lots of play to generate any meaningful benefits.
Of course, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t join player’s clubs at Vegas casinos. But you won’t get nearly as much through these programs as you would in Reno.
Now, Sin City casinos push their dining, nightclubs, shows, and shopping just as much as gaming. They don’t see the need to shower players with comps like they once did.
You can still get decent rewards at casinos downtown and on the Boulder Strip. By and large, though, you just don’t receive as much back from your play in Las Vegas needs days.
Downsides to Chasing Reno Rewards
Reno certainly wins out against Sin City when it comes to VIP benefits. However, you should also consider the downsides to this city before booking a trip here.
Las Vegas draws 40 million tourists every year. It remains one of the world’s most-popular tourism destinations for a reason.
Actually, multiple reasons exist behind why Sin City is so popular. It offers megaresorts, lavish penthouse suites, five-star restaurants, and hot nightclubs.
Reno has its perks too from a luxury standpoint. For example, the Peppermill Resort & Casino can compete with many Vegas casinos in terms of size, quality rooms, and amenities.
On average, though, Reno doesn’t have anywhere near the opulence as Las Vegas. Nowhere here will you find anything comparable to the Bellagio or Venetian in terms of resorts.
This town also can’t match the awe-inspiring Vegas Strip. by comparison, Reno feels run down and like its best days are decades behind it.
Fewer Surrounding Entertainment Options
Some of the most popular things to do in Reno aside from gambling include mountain climbing, concerts, and even free activities.
Its offerings are no doubt better than what the average town in America offers. But it still pales comparison to what’s available in Sin City.
The latter boasts countless entertaining opportunities around every corner. You can get instantly married in Vegas, visit a world-renowned restaurant, hit up the classiest strip clubs, or play any casino game you desire.
Reno Is Harder to Reach
Reno isn’t exactly a remote Pacific island. You can reach it by driving down I-80 (east/west) or I-395 (north/south).
Nevertheless, Reno is much less accessible than Las Vegas. It no longer has an international airport, and the Sierra Nevada mountain range makes the drive more taxing.
Even still, you probably won’t have much trouble getting to this city. But the travel routes aren’t as polished as those heading to Sin City.
Limited Advantage Play Opportunities
As mentioned before, Reno offers favorable rules for its casino games. Reno’s blackjack tables, for example, typically feature between a 0.5% and 1% house edge.
Compare this to the average Las Vegas blackjack game, where the house advantage runs between 1.5% and 2%.
Considering that they’re more generous with the rules, Reno casinos don’t want professional gamblers taking advantage of them.
Pit bosses monitor table games more closely to root out any potential advantage gamblers. If you’re a card counter, for example, you’ll be backed off quicker here than just about anywhere else.
Are the Better Reno Comps Worth the Trip?
Reno is far from the ideal gambling hotspot. It doesn’t offer the same glamour and entertainment opportunities as Las Vegas.
However, you may not be the type of person who’s looking for these things. You might, instead, just be hoping to get away on an affordable gambling trip.
In this case, Reno is definitely worth the effort. It offers some of the best rewards out of any gaming destination.
Casinos here try to win your prolonged patronage through rewards. Free drinks are the norm, while meals and comped hotel rooms are definite possibilities.
Of course, even Reno casinos won’t give you posh suites and free room service just for playing $5 blackjack. You still need to offer them legitimate play to get the best rewards.
On average, though, this town is much better with VIP perks than Vegas or almost everywhere else. If you’re the type of person who extends your gaming sessions to get a free meal or hotel stay, then you’ll really appreciate gambling in Reno.
This Western Nevada city bucks the trend of skimping on loyalty rewards. Instead, Reno acts like casinos of yesteryear by offering you lots of comps.
Assuming you’re a legitimate gambler, you won’t have much trouble getting rewarded here. You may even draw the attention of a host.
But before you hit the slot machines or tables, you want to join the player’s club at any new casino you visit. Your membership ensures that you’ll be in line for favorable Reno comps.
You should also look into various casinos ahead of time to see who offers the most generous VIP programs. Even if you skip this research, though, you can still look forward to some nice benefits.