Promotional Ideas for Casinos

By Katie Jensen

The casino always wins in the long run.
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Casinos provide entertainment, camaraderie among the players and the chance to win. While the odds are stacked in the casino's favor, the casino can't earn any money unless guests play the games. Promotions make potential guests aware of the casino and give regular players a reason to return.

Loyalty Programs

Airlines and hotels, as well as grocery stores and other retailers, offer their customers the option of becoming members and earning free airfare, hotel nights or special discounts. Casinos have the opportunity to do the same thing by giving their members special treatment, free meals and free chips based on how much they've played. Some casinos are associated with hotels. If that's the case, members can earn free hotel nights.

Free at First

New guests sign up for a new player's card that's coded to give the player $20 of free play. When the $20 is gone, players can load the card with their credit card or cash. Depending on the games that each person plays, the $20 can last a few hours or be gone in less than 20 minutes. Another option is to give the player the free play plus discounts on additional play for that first visit. Guests need to show ID to get into the casino, and the card is coded with the ID's number so there's little chance of one guest abusing the free play.

More Money

The more money, the merrier the casino's guests will be and the longer they'll play. Giant jackpot winnings lend an air of excitement to the play. It's possible to calibrate slot machines so they give a variety of payouts on a random basis. The million-dollar prize attracts guests to keep playing. Money grab is entertaining for everyone watching. The player is randomly selected. He goes inside a large, clear, plastic box with crumpled $1, $5, $20 and several $100 bills. A fan is turned on and the money flies around inside the box, with the player grabbing as much as he can.

Holiday Celebration

While anyone under the age of 21 isn't allowed in the casino, that doesn't stop the casino from providing holiday celebrations for all ages outside the casino. Fourth of July could be a fireworks display. A visit from Santa Claus with real reindeer celebrates Christmas. Announce the celebration activities through press releases and advertising on television and radio.


Dennis Conrad, whose marketing company specializes in gaming organizations, suggests that tribal casinos tie Native American Heritage Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, to a charity promotion for a Native American charity. Charity support doesn't have to be limited to Native Americans to be a promotional idea for other casinos.


Whether fast-paced action at the blackjack table or long, slow, drawn-out poker play, tournaments attract both players and an audience. Just about any game can be played in tournament fashion. Slot tournaments don't require the skill that blackjack does, which attracts new guests. Each tournament player pays an entry fee and chooses a machine. The machines pay in points. The guest hits the spin button and either wins or loses points. At the end of the tournament time, the guest with the highest number of points wins.