Not all of us can fly to a 5-star resort at the drop of a hat, just to spend a fortune living luxuriously for a weekend. Only celebrities can afford to do that right? Although they definitely have deep enough pockets for it, it may surprise you that celebrities rarely have to open their wallets while visiting casinos.
Like any establishment, casinos love having celebrity patrons because they benefit from all of the free publicity they bring. The paparazzi report on their stay, the casinos name and picture are plastered all of the media, and other guests see them enjoying the resort, which leads to more postings on social media.
The same is accomplished when stars perform at the casino, like Miley Cyrus did at Foxwoods Resort back in April, not to mention that ticket sales ranged anywhere from $175 – $350 a piece.
To attract a celebrity clientele to stay or perform, casinos offer them the best services, the nicest accommodations, and anything they need at the drop of a hat, usually completely free of charge. As Vulture points out, the practice of enticing celebs with freebies isn’t at all unusual, stating the following: “On average, a regular red-carpet walker will receive about $100,000 in free goods and services annually.” Also: “Resorts like the One & Only chain and Atlantis in the Bahamas will foot the bill for a celeb and entourage. At the Golden Globes, Air Pacific handed presenters like Johnny Depp and Jake Gyllenhaal two round-trip tickets to Fiji, as well as accommodations at a five-star resort. Total value: around $15,000.”
But along with hoping for the subsequent increased media attention, casinos have another motivator to have celebrities visit. Owners are also hoping that celebrities will use the money they saved on amenities and rooms on the casino floor, the only place in the hotels where charges won’t/can’t be completely waved.
Lucky for casinos, there’s no shortage of A-list stars that like to hit the tables. Access Atlanta says that major celebrities like Tobey Maguire, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Matt Damon all like to partake in a round of poker now and again.
But some celebs have given up the ability to take advantage of the comfort of the casinos. CNN reported that blackjack enthusiast Ben Affleck was banned from a Las Vegas casino just a few weeks ago after supposedly winning too much money. But just because he’s not welcomed at the tables, doesn’t meant he can’t enjoy some of the same VIP treatment playing elsewhere. There are even casino promotions at Betfair, an online gaming site, for high-rollers. While they can’t comp drinks or rooms (obviously!), the program offers a different incentive known as “Loyalty Points.” Exactly how many points a person receives is directly related to how much they wager, and players can then get a percentage of their cash back.
While many of us can offered to play a few hands, doing so online is a easy way to have some fun and save money on traveling. If someone were to pay me to stay at their resort, I’d be all for it—but until a genie grants me A-list celeb status, I’m better off sticking to online poker.