Mount Airy Casino and Resort has carved out quite a niche for itself in the competitive PA land-based casino market, and it appears that 2018 may wind up being the small property’s best year ever.
The resort enjoys several geographic benefits: it is set in one of Pennsylvania’s best tourist areas, the picturesque Poconos mountains, it has little local competition, and the local counties have opted not to allow any of the new satellite casinos to be built in the area.
Not only that, it is situated near enough to New Jersey and New York to attract players disinclined to travel further distances to decent casinos in their own states. The casino also expects significant growth in the coming year from the impending launch of their online casino, long ago prepared for with a partnership with 888.
Still, on top of all these advantages, Mount Airy has pushed to further increase player loyalty in 2018 with an upgrade to their Player’s Club in the form of the new Instant Rewards launched on January 1st.
The current Player’s Club
Despite being smaller than many casinos in more prominent gambling locations, players at Mount Airy already enjoyed a standard array of perks and benefits from the current program. Player’s Club was previously separated into four tier levels:
- New members begin at Bronze level, and enjoyed small discounts on buffet and golf and $10 in free slot play at signup.
- At 5,000 tier points players graduated to the Silver level, where they received valet parking and improved buffet and spa discounts.
- The Gold level at 50,000 tier points saw further increases to the discounts and a significant jump in promotional mailers, but pales in comparison to-
- The 200,000+ point Onyx level. This is where all the serious perks came in: a dedicated host, VIP club access and pool cover waived, cashback, and considerably better freeplay bonuses.
Tier points would last for a year, earned for every $1 of coin-in on slots, $2 of coin in for video poker, or dealer-observed average activity at table games. Mailer promotions are offered based on a complex algorithm factoring frequency and length of play and average bet.
A restructuring of sorts
In Mount Airy’s new Instant Rewards the benefits of the main four tiers remain the same, only each will become much more easily accessible. Representatives of the casino have indicated that the 3rd tier now takes a third as much activity to reach, roughly the equivalent of 15,000 of the current tier points, while the 4th tier should be unlocked with a quarter of the previous effort, basically making it as easy to achieve as the previous Gold level.
This may seem like a small adjustment for Mount Airy to make, but it makes a huge difference for players that may never have earned enough points to reach Onyx before to have access to the full benefits of the program.
In addition, Instant Rewards include an additional non-standard 5th tier level. This tier is invitation-only, with invitations awarded solely at the discretion of casino management. Reportedly this privilege will be earned based on a consistent high-rate of losses to the casino.
While Mount Airy has not publicly released full details on the rest of the Instant Rewards, hosts have indicated that the Earned Rewards system will be improved. Previously $1 in earned rewards were given for every 1,000 tier points earned in the previous year of play (this is the equivalent 0.1% in rewards, but as it is based on tier points it is unrelated to the 0.1% cashback given to players at the Onyx level). It is unclear so far if the rate has been improved or by how much, but to start the new system at least promises better applications for redeeming the rewards at Mount Airy Resorts and with vaguely described additional perks.
Rewards dollars are still redeemable as bonus slot dollars on a 1-1 ratio, but there are apparently also options to use earned rewards to make purchases of goods at shopping locations (albeit on a 4-1 ratio to real dollars.)
Additional information on Instant Rewards are still forthcoming, but so far the casino has claimed there are better discounts and increased freeplay offers relative to the prior rate. It is also very likely this new program will bring more cross-promotional benefits that tie to online gaming when its online casino becomes active, presumably sometime later this year.
The 888 connection
While details are still scant about Mount Airy’s forthcoming online casino, the adjustments to the rewards program have most likely been tailored to fit with those plans.
Mount Airy has been in preparations for its online launch well in advance of the competition, having maintained a relationship with 888 since 2014 – long in advance of the legalization of PA online gambling. Last summer when the political tenor began shifting, Mount Airy solidified that relationship by offering a tie-in promotion to the New Jersey version of 888casino via kiosks at the Mount Airy Player’s Club desk and on its current website.
This partnership has been seen as an attempt to get a head start on the development of Mount Airy Online with 888’s assistance, giving it access to already developed software and infrastructure for the casino and an even bigger advantage if interstate poker liquidity gets worked out. For this reason it is almost certain plans have already been made for how the new Instant Rewards will apply to Mount Airy’s online offerings.
Current active players at Mount Airy received an Instant Rewards Pull Tab Mailer in their December mailed promotions, which on Sunday, December 31st resulted in four drawings from a prize drum for $1,000 cash prizes. It is possible similar promotions will occur with future mailers, as well as additional offers tying into the new Instant Rewards in the coming months.
For now, Instant Rewards players will receive $25 in free slot play just for signing up.