How to Profit From Tax Day, VP Play and the Riv’s Closing


It’s tax time again, which always means deals when cashing your refund check at a casino. But whereas there have been multiple tax-day promotions in the past, fewer have materialized this year.

One that you can always count on is the 5 percent bonus at El Cortez. Cash your refund check at the EC cage and get 5 percent of the rebate in free-play. The maximum bonus is $50, paid for refunds of $1,000 or more.

Another reliable offer is back again at Mandalay Bay. Mail your tax return from a designated area in the parking lot on April 15 and get free admission to Shark Reef. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be your return in the envelope; just mail something with an IRS address on it to receive your pass.

Home Plate bar is offering $20 video poker match plays April 12-15. You can play one per day, which adds up to a juicy $80 in VP bonuses.

These surely won’t be the only tax-day specials—I haven’t seen an April 15 yet that didn’t bring several bonus-point and drawing offers—so keep your eyes open.

➜ Another free-lunch play for gamblers has surfaced, this one Downtown at the little Courthouse Bar & Grill. Hit any four-of-a-kind in video poker and get your choice of any item from the menu (the wings are good). The schedules are standard bar-issue, with 6/5 Bonus Poker being the best play (returns 96.87 percent). However, you also get a wheel spin for quad 5-Ks, and since most of the lunch items on the menu cost about $7, adding in that value puts you at about a 99.5 percent return. How do you play it? Easy. Go for lunch, play till you’re hungry, and just pay if you don’t hit the quad. If you do hit one, you also get a ticket for a Friday drawing for $400.

➜ This one’s somewhat speculative, but it might make sense to poke your head into the Riviera this month. The casino is giving away $500,000 in cash and prizes throughout April, mostly via drawings for players. But with the Riv’s closing set for May 4, there may be other promos planned, as gaming rules require that accumulated jackpots on progressives be distributed in some manner. And even if not, you can get one last look at a Vegas legend.

➜ The Riviera’s closing may also lead to opportunities from other casinos in the area. I walked through the Westgate recently, and there’s work being done throughout the property. I’m waiting to see what materializes there, but there already are good things happening at the Mardi Gras on Paradise Road. For example, “FREE-bate Wednesdays” offers a 25 percent rebate on the day’s losses; there’s a video poker tournament on Thursdays; and players get 20-times points from noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.