Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about the life of a high-roller?
Having your every want attended to hand and foot while lounging in the cabana pool side or getting that ticket for the hottest Vegas show is not often for the proletariat.
Enter the junket trip.
These all-inclusive casino trips will have you rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, if you’re into that sort of thing. Junkets combine your accommodations, food, airfare and a casino trip in a convenient package.
Not exactly or at all.
In fact, these junkets are often inexpensive or flat out free.
What’s the catch, right?
Well, there isn’t one exactly. The single requirement is that you gamble.
Imagine setting sail on a cruise where you spend the morning at the blackjack or roulette tables and the evening enjoying the sun set over the open ocean. Think of the possibilities a family trip to Las Vegas provides. What memories would the family make on such a trip? Lavish hotels, fine dining and playing your top casino games is what these junkets are all about.
If you have friends or family that don’t enjoy casino gaming, no problem. They can venture to the spa to be pampered or lounge by the pool enjoying drinks and the scenery.
These package deals will include your transportation costs to get to your destination, accommodation at luxurious resorts, dining in some of the greatest eateries available and any other overhead that could possibly be associated with your stay.
The only stipulation being that you promise to either gamble for a predetermined amount of time or spend a specific dollar amount gambling.
Casino junkets are not some new age idea. In fact, junkets have been around since 1950s. Early on these trips were organized for the sole purpose of attracting gamblers and tourists alike to Las Vegas Casinos. The popularity of these trips soared for decades.
However, their shine began to dull and they were out of the limelight for a period. Recently though we began to see the popularity of junkets come back. Any avid gambler or even moderate gambler looking for a fun all inclusive trip which to be spoiled should consider the junket.
I am certain you have many questions and I’m going to provide answers to some of these now.
Who Can Book?
In general, casino junkets are geared toward would-be vacationers that love gambling, gamble often and know how to play casino games. That hasn’t always been the case. The early days of junkets were solely comped trips reserved only for VIPs, whales and others who spent a lot of time and as importantly money in the casinos.
The casinos would extend the invite and entice the players with posh amenities and staff at their beckon call. Of course, there was an understanding that once the guest arrived all gambling would be done at that casino. Junkets operate in much that same manner today, but you don’t have to spend the kids college fund in hopes of catching an invite. Nope, you know who the real VIP is and you can book your own junket in accordance.
Be aware that the travel agencies that offer these junkets have different criteria. Many do accept players of all types. However, others only allow qualified players that meet their own standards. Also, age restrictions are often placed because some casinos won’t allow players under 21. Additionally, and this is important to understand, you are typically required to gamble between 4 and 6 hours a day. So, you must be able to have a bankroll heavy enough to support that requirement for the stay.
What this says is that junkets are not for every aspiring gambler on the block. Rather, the junkets are geared to avid players who are able and willing to drop a large amount of money testing fate on the casino floor. Players that meet this qualifier typically get the entire trip for free. Other players ante up for the trip, but at a greatly discounted rate compared to what this brand of high society travel would cost at face value.
How to Become a Qualified Player
Obviously, now that you know qualified players get to lap it up in luxury for no out-of-pocket costs, you want to become one of those qualified. A qualified player is, according to junket operators, a person who has achieved a specific level of casino play.
Each company sets their own requirements and if you are attempting to qualify it would probably be in your best interest to contact these companies directly. Bear in mind there are different levels of qualified players. Some may receive a completely free trip while others may qualify for only certain perks.
What Expenses a Junket Covers
Depending on whether you are qualified or not and at what level determine the covered expenses. As I’ve said, qualified players won’t spend a dime on the trip. That includes transportation and flights, luggage and hotel accommodation.
Some operators have really lavished the players with casino comps including food, beverages, golf, skiing, spa time, gym use, VIP pool access and any form of entertainment the resort offers.
If you don’t qualify, there’s still good news. While you will have to fork over cash for some costs, you are going to be taking your trip for substantially less than it would cost if not for the casino being such a great host.
What About Taxes?
Certain state and casino regulations mandate certain fees that gamblers must pay. Players are taxed directly and junket operators are prohibited from covering them. You can ask the junket operator in advance if these fees will be incurred.
What Types of Junkets Are Available to U.S. Gamblers?
Gamblers in the United States are able to access a variety of junket trips. The length of the junket is really at your discretion, ranging from weekend trips to stays of several weeks. There is no short supply of possible destinations, including Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Miami, to name a few.
How you arrive at your destination is just as varied as your destination. You may find yourself tarveling thru the air, on land or even by sea. Which one of the options applies to you depends on your desired destination and qualification.
How Do You Book a Junket Tour?
Before you can book your junket tour you’ll need to select the junket operator. I have found that because of the countless outfits offering these trips, it can be difficult to pick the right one. I suggest starting with only the operators that have destinations that you are excited to visit. This should at least narrow down the vastness of options.
Perhaps you want to channel your inner Bruce Springsteen and visit Atlantic City. Possibly the glitz and glamour of Sin City draw you in like a moth to a flame. Or the high energy action of the casino floor enough to get your attention. You certainly have a multitude of choices.
Next, contact the particular operator you’ve chosen to find out about their conditions and pricing. Make sure to discover their criteria for being a qualified player, what amount of time or money you’re required to spend gambling, and the scope of their all-inclusive packages. I wouldn’t want to be hit with any unexpected charges.
Most operators will not publish this information on their website or in print media, which means you need to reach out to them by phone or email.
Junket operators offer some type of trip to just about any destination where gambling is legal. The top 5 aren’t surprising: Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Mississippi and The Carribean. All these venues are renowned for their breathtaking architecture, wonderful selection of games or amazing locale.
Remember you’ll be enjoying some local flair while on your vacation. So, don’t forget to pack accordingly and please don’t forget the camera. Booking a junket trip for your next family vacation is sure to come up Aces.