Premium Player Rating Systems and Standards in Australia.
By Andrew MacDonald
Gaming Manager, Casino Operations, Adelaide Casino, 1996
The Adelaide Casino Complimentary Policy |
Other Australian Casinos |
Complimentary Policy Profitability |
Analysis of Rounds per Hour on Blackjack |
Rounds Per Hour (per player) |
Hard Versus Soft Comps |
Rating Efficiency Levels |
What is player rating?
Player rating is a system by which a player's worth/value to the profitability
of the Casino Operation may be approximated.
Why rate players?
Once a player's value is determined complimentaries such as room, food and beverage
and airfare reimbursement may be offered to that player as an enticement for a
return visit to the Casino. Thus, player rating is a valuable marketing tool which
is used to penetrate the premium or "high roller" market.
How is a player rated?
Various rating systems exist however the systems in Australian Casinos at present
rely on gaming personnel to provide the following information on individual players:-
- buy in
- average bet (bet range)
- time played
- game played (decision rates)
This source information is collated and utilised to calculate a theoretical win
by applying the following formula.
Theoretical win = average bet x time played x hands/hour x game edge.
The game edge is the mathematical expectation based on game odds, probabilities,
and distribution of play.
The hands/hour information may be based on average decision rates from gaming
surveys of individual games or may be provided by the gaming personnel at time
How much of a "high rollers" theoretical loss is extended to him/her in complimentaries?
This may vary from player to player and Casino to Casino. Australian Casinos generally
offer between 25 and 50 percent return based on theoretical win and other conditions.
How do the Casinos generally define "high rollers"?
Some Casinos require a minimum bankroll (deposit) to qualify and/or minimum average
bet requirements. These may vary by a player's state of origin and by game played.
In Tasmania for example the minimum bankroll required is $10,000 for Victorian
players with an average bet of $150. The Adelaide Casino's policy only requires
a minimum wager amount of $25 in order to qualify. Whilst this may seem low by
comparison, the complimentaries offered to a player playing the minimum bet are
also much lower.
Bankroll requirements are generally meaningless when turnover is utilised and
complimentaries are provided based on play levels.
How much revenue is contributed on a yearly basis by rated players?
Using the Adelaide Casino as an example this is not greatly significant in itself
for an operation of this size, however, given that the general Casino infrastructure
would already exist it is nevertheless an important potential increment to bottom
Why rebate complimentaries and not cash?
Complimentaries are often "soft" costs to the Casino operator. For example in-house
food and beverage complimentaries may really only cost the operator the cost of
the ingredients and the preparation time. Therefore the real cost of the complimentary
differs from its retail cost. This is also true of room costs if the Casino is
part of a hotel complex. In this case the real cost depends on percentage occupancy,
with the real cost during off season periods possibly being as low as the cost
of cleaning the room. This means that the Casino operator's rebate based on theoretical
win can really be non existent until such time as external costs are incurred.
A problem with cash rebates is the fact that generally with high level premiums
the player's expenses do not meet the complimentary value, whereas with a cash
rebate, the maximum value would always have to be paid out. Associated with this
is the inherent inaccuracy of rating players in this manner (ie totally accurate
turnover and game edge information is often not available). Inaccuracies in this
area could potentially result in the complimentary costs being incurred outweighing
the potential revenue achieved.
Thus complimentaries such as room, food and beverage may be easier to provide
and in some cases can effectively become a cost free marketing tool, where the
perceived value by the patron is still very high.