Score One For the Old Folks

Photo by Ray Polanco

The Orleans | Photo by Ray Polanco

Was there really a time when our casinos didn’t have many deals specifically for seniors? Or was I just so young that I didn’t notice back in the day? Regardless, such offers are everywhere now, and one of the better ones resides at Gold Coast, Suncoast, Orleans and Sam’s Town.

The Young at Heart promo runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, and is open to anyone 50 and older. Among the program’s several perks are $4 movie tickets and a big drawing that has a bunch of rules you need to follow to be eligible. But two other components interest me more.

The first is a point multiplier for players. When you swipe your B Connected players card at a kiosk, six boxes pop up, with a multiplier behind each box, and you simply select one of the boxes. I’ve seen multipliers range from 4-times to 30-times points, and ads say it goes as high as 50-times. Each point is worth 0.1 percent in free play. Hence, a 4-times bonus is worth 0.4 percent. If you’re a video poker expert, you know that’s enough to turn a good game like 9/6 Jacks or Better into a breakeven gamble, which ain’t half bad. But that’s not where the honey is.

Hitting a 30-times multiplier adds 3 percent; 50-times adds 5 percent. That may not be enough to get you over the breakeven hump on a slot machine, but it absolutely will get you there on most video poker schedules if you know what you’re doing (and get you darn close even if you don’t).

The maximum you can earn in a day is 10,000 base points at each casino, except Suncoast, where the max is 25,000 points. If you like this arrangement, go for it. But if rocking $10,000 coin-in isn’t your thing, there’s still a reason to play. After playing just $10 through, you get a two-for-one buffet voucher (available automatically from the kiosk). After $50 coin-in, you get a free breakfast or lunch buffet. And after $100 coin-in, you get a free dinner buffet. The expected loss for playing $100 is only a dollar or two, but if you don’t want to risk that much, just play $10 through for the twofer.

Now for the fine print: Everything must be done within the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. window. You must swipe, play and retrieve your buffet voucher from a kiosk before 7 p.m., or it disappears. You have until 9 that night to eat, but confirm at the booth to make sure, as this rule seems to be open to interpretation. A good way to play it is to swipe your card early on Wednesdays to see what your multiplier is, then determine if you want to play to the max, just enough for the buffet or not at all.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and