|Player's Club Lawsuits|
These days when you hear about a lawsuit involving a casino you immediately think the casino is being sued by a losing player looking to get their money back. That's not the issue in the latest suit to hit the gaming world. This time it is a Casino Company suing another Casino Company over a slot club policy.
On Friday July 13th, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.(NYSE:HET) said it had sued rival casino operator Station Casinos Inc. (NYSE:STN), alleging elements of Station's customer loyalty program violate Harrah's patents.
Harrah's initiated the Total Gold Program a few years back that links all of its 21 properties in 17 markets nationwide. A player can earn comps at any of the Harrah properties and spend them at another property making it the first national slot club.
``Harrah's spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars to become the only casino company with a national player-recognition and tiered loyalty-card program,'' said Gary Loveman, Harrah's president and chief operating officer.
Stations Casino initiated it's "Boarding Pass" program in April 1999 linking all the Stations Casino properties together. A player can earn and spend player's club points at any of the Station's properties. Now they are being sued by Harrah's over their program. Station spokesman Jack Taylor said the company has not seen the lawsuit and therefore could not comment on it.
My only question is, if Harrah's thinks they have been infringed upon why did it take them until now to file the suit? Station Casino has had the "Boarding Pass" program in effect for over two years. Could the fact that Stations has been buying up many of the local's casinos in Las Vegas be what prompted the suit? In the last year or so Station Casino Inc has purchased the Santa Fe, The Fiesta and The Reserve.
I don't know if Harrah's will win this lawsuit or not. My personal opinion is I hope not. It is beneficial to us, as player's when a Casino Company links all its properties together. I frequently hop from casino to casino. When I visit Las Vegas I play at the Palace Station, Boulder Station and Sunset Station. I had to carry around three different player's cards. I had three separate accounts with a little play on each. When they merged to the Boarding Pass I had one big account.
I would like to see all the major Gaming Corporations adopt national player's clubs. I think it makes good business sense for them to do so. It builds player loyalty and a player traveling to different casino destinations would be more inclined to play at a casino where they can receive the level of comps they are accustomed to without having to establish themselves by joining a new player's club.
Park Place Entertainment links some of its Atlantic City properties together. Bally's, Wild Wild West and Hilton AC all use one player's card. It would be nice if they linked all of their 16 casinos nationwide together. Mandalay Bay Group and MGM/Mirage would also be helping out players and themselves with a national player's club.
Woule you like to see more Natioanl Clubs?
Vote in the Poll.
Natioanl Player's Club Poll
Until next time,
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge stays forever."