Sunday 27 November 2011

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My 10 Favorite Las Vegas Casino Offers

Las Vegas and I have a love/love relationship. I love to go there, and they love to invite me back. Quite frequently. With all the different casino companies, I have a drawer full of hundreds and hundreds of invitations to come back to Las Vegas. A lot of them aren't interesting enough to draw me back unless I was already planning on being in town, but some have tempted me to plan a trip around them.

I've written before about what got us hooked on Vegas, what we do in Vegas, and some of the better wins we've had in Vegas. These are the best offers that have kept us coming back to Vegas:

#10) Tom Tom GPS Giveaway
Might as well start with the bad news about these offers. If you want them to keep coming, you have to keep gambling, and sometimes that doesn't work out too well for you. This was a great offer for us, as we got three free nights and a GPS which has been a life saver for us on many occasions since, plus it was right at the end of the school year, so when we were done in Vegas we just grabbed a van and headed for California. It ranks so low because, let's face it, for what we lost gambling we could have easily bought a GPS and paid for the rooms ourselves.

Gambling Win/Loss - (-$900)

#9) Visa Gift Card Giveaway
You know what would make offers like this work out even better for me? If I actually got to use the prepaid Visa. We all know that's not going to happen though right? We qualified for a $250 prepaid Visa card this time, which Lori promptly confiscated and headed to the mall. I suppose if I count the card as money that I would have paid out anyways then we did OK, but since accounting isn't my strong suit, I just consider it a present for my wife. Which is handy, because that's how she sees it too.

Gambling Win/Loss - (-$235)

#8) Elton John Tickets
Hey kids! Remember when I took you to the Lady Gaga concert, and we thought it might have been pushing the envelope a little too far? It could have been worse. Oh boy, could it have been worse! Setting aside the appropriateness of Elton's show for children (which probably was never really in doubt), the chance to see a music legend for free while spending a few nights in Caesars Palace was too good to pass up. The giant banana rising up from between two cherries while Pamela Anderson did a pole dance, made me glad there were only two tickets.

Gambling Win/Loss - (-$600)

#7) Dooney & Bourke Purse
If you thought that I got very little out of the Visa giveaway, this offer should put that one in perspective. Outside of the three free nights, there's very little in this offer for me. On the other hand, it doesn't make it very hard to convince my wife to go to Vegas. "Hey baby, there's a free Dooney & Bourke purse waiting for us at the Paris casino. Want to come pick it up with me?" Works every time. What's really impressive though, is that Paris sent us this offer only one year after the Paris Pool Incident. Good to know they don't hold a grudge.

Gambling Win/Loss - (-$55)

#6) Free Leather Jacket
This was one of the very first offers that we ever redeemed in Vegas, and I was so thrilled to be offered anything in excess of a free room that I jumped on it. We actually used another offer for almost the same thing later, only my son got a jacket that says "Rio" on it instead of "Paris". It did set a bit of a bad precedent however, as we won money on the trip, thus convincing me that I could accept as many of these offers as I wanted since all I had to do was win enough money to cover the airfares. That kind of logic didn't last long.

Gambling Win/Loss - (+$155)

#5) Garth Brooks Concert
This was an invitation to the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids charity concert. I've never felt like such a non-VIP in my life, as the concert was filled with all sorts of sports stars and celebrities, yet Lori and I still found ourselves seated in the lower level of the Colosseum. In fact, when Garth had all of the athletes who participate in his charity stand up, we had better seats than quite a few of them. Combine the star-studded audience with the fact that Garth Brooks is an amazing performer, and this show probably should rank higher. If only I was capable of winning at Caesars Palace.

Gambling Win/Loss - (-$220)

#4) Tim/Faith Concert
Private concerts are usually a little dull. It doesn't matter how great a performer you are, it's tough to energize a crowd who are largely there simply because it was free. This one was different though. I wrote about the show here, but in short, the crowd was amazing, Tim and Faith were amazing, and the room...well it was free. It didn't hurt that this offer fell on my birthday weekend, and that we followed up our Vegas stay with a night in the Presidential suite at the Fairmont San Francisco. Even suffering a small loss, this was a fantastic trip.

Gambling Win/Loss - (-$115)

#3) Fashion Show Mall Shopping Spree
It's not often that both Lori and I would agree on one of these offers, but this one worked out brilliantly for us. Bally's gave Lori a $500 prepaid Visa to go shopping with (it says Fashion Show Mall, but you could take the card anywhere) and while she shopped I stayed at Bally's, where I was on a pretty serious winning streak. Don't feel bad for Bally's. Over the years we've had a very up and down relationship, but there always has to be some give and take, and this was my turn to take. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't argue that rather adult sounding movie that showed up on our hotel bill when we left, even though I swear we didn't order it.

Gambling Win/Loss - (+1700)

#2) The Las Vegas Comedy Festival
How much do I love stand up comedy? Consider that I'm ranking this offer above one where I came out $1700 up, even though this one involved spending three nights at Caesars Palace where I never, ever win. There were four headliner shows in the festival, and the offer included two tickets to two shows of your choice. We took Jerry Seinfeld and Dane Cook, both of who put on fantastic shows. We had planned to buy tickets to the Russell Peters show, which was taking place in a smaller venue, but his time slot unfortunately got moved to the same time as Dane Cook, so it didn't happen. An added bonus to this stay was that for some reason we got upgraded into a newly renovated suite in the Palace Tower. It was a ton of fun, and I promise you that if we had actually won on this trip, it would have held the #1 spot. This is Caesars Palace however. I'm sure somebody has won here at some time, but it's never been me.

Gambling Win/Loss - (-$300)

#1) Bally's Free Money Offer
If you consider that Bally's and Paris are essentially the same casino (they operate under the same gaming license) then it's impressive that they have four of my ten favorite offers, and two of the top three. This is the biggest offer we've been given - $600 in cash for spending three nights at Bally's. We grabbed the offer, figuring that the money would cover the cost of our airfares to visit, but then Allegiant Airlines ran a $7 special on flights to Vegas, and we ended up pocketing all of the money for ourselves. Of course, by pocketing the money I mean that Lori went shopping, although I think she bought me a new shirt so I guess that's fair. Add on the fact that this was a winning trip for us, and you can understand how this gets the number one spot.

Gambling Win/Loss - (+$400)