Comps are one of the most rewarding parts of gambling. You can pick up free drinks, cashback, free play, hotel stays, and more through gambling.
Casinos in America, Asia, and Australia especially like giving out these rewards. They see comps as small investments that encourage players to keep coming back.
But what about European casinos? After all, Europe isn’t well known for handing out lavish comps to gamblers.
I’ll discuss more on the situation regarding European casino rewards and if you can still get decent comps in the Old Continent.
How Do Many Gambling Destinations Treat Comps?
High-profile gaming destinations are well known for delivering extravagance rewards. Macau, Las Vegas, and Singapore are especially notable for the extravagant comps they offer.
Casinos on the Vegas Strip, for example, routinely provide limousine transportation, steak dinners, and top-shelf liquor to high-valued players. They want high rollers to feel like royalty and come back frequently.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to bet four or five figures per hand to get rewarded. You can also gamble at moderate stakes and still look forward to these perks.
Of course, everything starts with signing up for a player’s club card. Rewards cards see you earn points that can be cashed in for perks, ranging from meals to spa visits.
Many gamblers mistakenly feel like they’re being given everything for free. The reality, though, is that casinos do the math ahead of time and realize they’ll come out on top in the end.
Here’s an example involving a real money blackjack player:
- The house edge is 1% when accounting for rules and the player’s skill level.
- The gambler bets $25 per hand.
- The table sees 70 hands per hour.
- 70 x 25 x 0.01 = $17.5 in theoretical hourly losses
- The comp rate is 0.05%.
- 70 x 25 x 0.0005 = $0.88 in hourly comps
- 5 – 0.88 = $16.62 casino profits per hour
The house still makes their money when everything is said and done. However, the player also feels like they’ve gotten something extra after a long session.
Of course, gamblers can overcome the house edge and win profits. Otherwise, nobody would set foot in the casino.
But gaming establishments have an advantage over the average player and will win profits over time. That said, they can afford to give out rewards and still be fine.
What Is Europe’s Take on Comps?
All of the major casino destinations mentioned before feature huge resorts that include extravagant hotels, fine dining, expansive gaming floors, and/or luxurious spas. Most casinos in these places are meant to be all-in-one entertainment options that serve as a total experience, rather than just gambling alone.
European casinos, on the other hand, take a different approach. They’re not worried about housing and feeding players along with giving them an unforgettable nightclub experience. Instead, they’re strictly about the gaming.
In fact, some of these casinos charge membership fees or entrance fees. They know that those who really want to gamble will ante up the cover charge.
The majority of European gambling venues aren’t very big in comparison to those found throughout American, Macau, and Australia. They may only offer 100-200 slot machines and 6-12 table games.
Contrast this to the average Macau casino, where gamblers will find hundreds, if not thousands, of slot machines along with hundreds of table games. Macau is especially noted for its countless baccarat tables.
In any case, casinos in Europe are smaller and focus on the gambling. Therefore, they don’t feel as obligated to shower players with rewards.
This isn’t to say that you can’t still earn comps in Europe. However, you probably won’t get a free lobster dinner after playing $25 blackjack for a few hours.
Casino comps are more hit and miss across Europe. The perks you get will vary widely from one city or country to another.
Venues with memberships and/or entrance fees may not offer any rewards at all. That said, you should investigate each European casino beforehand to ensure that you can collect rewards.
Can You Still Get Decent Comps in Europe?
The quality of gambling perks you get in Europe depends upon where you’re at. For example, London offers plenty of casinos that are generous with rewards.
The Hippodrome is one instance of a London casino that lets the comps flow. This non-membership location offers an extensive VIP program that covers drinks, free play, food, and entertainment.
Of course, you can also find comps outside of London too. Germany’s Spielbank Berlin, for example, offers a player’s club that delivers typical rewards, like meals, lodging, and free play.
How to Ensure You Get the Most From European Casino Comps
Rewards aren’t always available in European gambling venues, but they can be found in certain casinos. If you find a casino(s) that does offer them, you should use the following tips to take advantage.
Sign Up for a Rewards Card
European casinos that offer rewards feature VIP programs that are quite similar to anywhere else. Their loyalty plans are tied to a card system.
You must sign up for a player’s club card to take advantage of rewards programs. You can either sign up online or in person.
I suggest joining online for the convenience factor. If you plan on joining in person, though, you should easily be able to locate the player’s desk.
Assuming you can’t find the signup area, then you can always ask an employee. They can direct you to the right place to join the comps program
Know Which Games Offer the Most Comps
Stakes obviously have a major impact on your rewards. You’re going to earn more comps for betting $100 per blackjack hand versus $25.
However, bet sizes aren’t the only factor that casinos take into account when determining rewards. They also consider the game in question and its house edge.
Simply put, you’ll earn more rewards when playing riskier games. Casino stand to make more money off you with a higher house edge and are more generous as a result.
Baccarat may give you a stronger chance to win. However, it’s not going to deliver as many rewards as Caribbean stud, for example.
Try to Get Hosted
Casino hosts add a personal touch to gamblers’ experiences. They work with VIPs to ensure they get comps that are specifically tailored to their liking.
For example, you may prefer multiple meals over a free two-night stay. Your host can speak with the casino to make sure that this happens.
Of course, gambling venues only have so many hosts working for them. You won’t draw a host’s attention when you’re grinding at the $5 blackjack tables.
The minimum bet needed to draw their attention varies based on the casino’s prestige. Generally, though, you must wager at least $25 per hand or play dollar slot machines (or higher) to interest them.
The reward can definitely be worth the effort. By working with a host, you’ll be sure to always get the rewards you value most (within reason).
Play Frequently at the Same Casino
Europe offers many fine casinos. Therefore, you may be tempted to spread your play around to multiple gambling establishments.
You might also be able to get rewards at each casino. However, you’re better off dedicating your play to 1-2 venues.
Concentrating your play allows you to do you reach a higher VIP status at one establishment. This higher loyalty status motivates the casino, or associated host, to offer you bigger and better rewards.
Take Advantage of Promotions
Like anywhere else, European gambling venues realize the importance of running promotions. They want to keep their loyal customers coming back and draw new players.
Assuming you’ve signed up for the player’s club, you can look forward to bonuses such as free play, free blackjack bets, and increased loyalty points.
Extra loyalty points are especially worthwhile, because they can deliver 2-3 times the normal number of rewards. These extra points translate into bigger rewards, whether you’re looking to get cashback or stay a couple of free hotel nights.
Europe may not be as comp-heavy as Las Vegas or Macau across the board. But this continent does offer solid rewards depending upon where you look.
Larger cities, like London, Rome, Vienna, and Barcelona, are more likely to feature casinos with rewards programs. Going further, you can expect more extravagant comps in larger gaming destinations.
You may not win a free penthouse on the 50th story when gambling in Europe. However, you can still collect nice comps in the right places.