Casino Loyalty Programs: The Case for Remote Redemption


As casinos around the country slowly re-open in their new Covid-19 incarnations, I am struck by how little communication there was between many casino operators and their guests during the pandemic. Yes, when most news is bad news, there isn’t much reason for communication and thus many chose silence. There was however one shining example of a casino whose patrons stayed engaged throughout the shutdown via there online rewards program. This large, first class Native Indian gaming operator stayed top of mind with their better players by keeping their remote redemption program active.


This casino’s merchandise rewards program had gone from being offered in a 4,000 s.f. store with a significant stocking position for immediate takeaway (vs. being drop shipped to their home), to a small rewards area with 7 web enabled redemption stations for remote fulfillment only and display cases of available merchandise, and finally to a purely online remote redemption solution. Patrons can now redeem their hard-earned points from the comfort of their home. And while the coronavirus shut down the casino in March, it could not shut down the interest in the online catalog, where thousands of patrons continued to shop and redeem their points while the casino was dark.


In years of talking up the benefits of a remote redemption solution, I have consistently heard one main argument against this strategy: foot traffic. “We want to get them here” I’d here, as if they could magically earn the points they were redeeming by not frequenting the casino. This “butts in the seats” mentality dismisses the following facts:


  • Less time shopping a rewards program on property means more time on device.
  • Freeing up floor space for another use or a paying tenant can increase revenue and maximize ROI.
  • Offering a service your competitor may be unwilling to gives you a leg up.
  • Rewarding your patrons with this luxury may make them more likely to visit your property.


Certainly, no one was earning points during the shutdown. But the idea that this casino’s guests could spend the points they had already earned, afforded them the opportunity to stay top of mind with their better players. The result was an increase in rewards website visits and redemptions that were equal to, and in some cases surpassed, year over year results for a given week.   On top of which, the average duration of each online session was in the 13 minute range for that time period; valuable time engaged with the brand!



In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.



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