New Study Shows Size of Casino Free Play Credits Not a Major Factor in Visit Frequency

  • Lowering the size of the free play credit didn’t create a drop in visits
  • The frequency of visits for gamblers who got no credits decreased by 20%
  • Land-based casinos often spend big money offering free play credits
Woman holding casino chips
A new UNLV study suggests that the size of free play credits at casinos doesn’t have a major impact on the frequency of visits. [Image:]

A new study from a University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) researcher shows a drop in the effectiveness of casinos using free play credits to harbor loyalty.

Anthony Lucas, a professor at the university’s Harrah College of Hospitality who has 40 years of experience in the gaming sector, found that a casino lowering its free play incentives didn’t have much impact on the frequency with which people visited the property or how much they spent when gambling.

One of the core focuses of his research was a look at data from a tribal casino over the course of a few years. Players were getting weekly free play worth $15 in year one. The researcher then split the people into four groups and gave them between $0 and $15 in credits thereafter to gauge if altering the incentive would have a significant knock-on effect.

did not see any drop-off in the expenditure per visit following the reduction

Lucas did not see any drop-off in the expenditure per visit following the reduction. While the frequency of visits for the group that didn’t receive any credits dropped by 20%, this wasn’t the case for those who got some amount of credits.

Land-based casinos across the US have a complimentary credit system in place and Lucas believes that operators should instead spend this money in other ways such as improving facilities or customer service.

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