Earlier this year, the Downtown Grand initiated a rebate-on-loss promotion with a monster $1,000 limit. A short time later, the Plaza unveiled a $500 program. I’ve written about rebate deals before. They represent outstanding value, allowing players to gamble up to a designated amount with almost no risk, because you get your money back on the rebate. Various offers have shown up over the years, sometimes running concurrently at different casinos. But the combined total has never been as high ($1,500 total) or as convenient (casinos within walking distance of each other) as this one. Sometimes locals are prohibited from participating, but that’s not the case here. As is typical, you have to be a new sign-up to be eligible, but that’s the only logistical requirement.
The two programs—“Get a Grand from the Grand” and “500 on Us”—are similar in several ways. Both rebates apply only to losses accrued in the first 24 hours after joining the club. Both restrict the initial loss to slot play—video poker or table-game losses don’t apply. Both distribute the rebate in stages, with 50 percent returned on the following day and the remainder distributed on subsequent visits. The Plaza is more convenient in that the balance is available one day after the first installment, whereas the Grand’s is dispensed over a two-week period. The rebates come in the form of free-play, which you have to run through the machines one time before you can cash out: This is standard.
The main difference is in the machines you’re allowed to play. Things change in programs like this, but as of this writing, your initial losses at the Downtown Grand have to be from playing reel slots—no video poker allowed. You can use your free-play on video poker if you choose. At the Plaza, losses can be incurred at slots or video poker. The restriction there comes in the rebate playoff, where machines with higher-returning video poker schedules are excluded. But you can still play the video poker games at the sports book bar, as well as a few on the floor, where the best available is 6/5 Bonus Poker. You can also play the rebate on table games at the Plaza, but that’s not recommended, as the style of promo chips used are worth only about half of face value.
One other difference is the slot inventory. Downtown Grand features mostly new machines, including lots of pennies. The Plaza offers some of the old-time faves, e.g., Double Diamond, Triple Double Diamond, Double Red White and Blue, and Triple Strike.
As always, the strategy for both is to play until you’re at least close to the loss limits, which gives you the best chance of popping something big. Remember, getting a full rebate is only the second-best result. Hitting something meaningful with your $1,500 freeroll and banking the profits is priority No. 1.
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and LasVegasAdvisor.com.