Casino VIP Programs Continue to EvolveHarry Coulter | 14 Jun 2018
VIP programs have been an important feature in most land-based casinos for a very long time. Casinos have long realized the importance of rewarding players for their loyalty and continued support. Players who qualify for VIP status and VIP programs are treated to everything from free drinks to courtesy meals to extravagant overseas vacations!
When online casinos made their debut in the early 1990’s, they too, wanted to reward their players for their continued support, and the obvious reward was giving away free money. What better way to reward a loyal player than free money? However, in order to keep things fresh and keep players coming back to the same site time after time, it became necessary to get a bit more creative than just giving away monetary rewards.
Online gaming brands had to get down to it and get innovative. It makes for an interesting study to consider how they have achieved this over the years up until now.
In The Beginning
Early-day VIP programs all followed the same strategy: players were in it to win real money, so the best possible reward had to be to allocate real “free” money to their accounts. Players were rewarded with everything from free bonus rounds to double your money initiatives.
Obviously, those players who spent more at the online casino were treated to more and better rewards. The easiest way to achieve this was via a loyalty points system, whereby players accumulated points for the time and money spent. This translated to a simple equation: the more a player spent, the more points were accumulated on their player account profiles. Players were then at liberty to trade points for bonuses and free games.
Then And Now
Online casinos soon realized that they would have to shake up the excitement in order to retain the edge. They began instituting initiatives whereby loyal players could get their hands on hard-to-get concert tickets, luxurious travel packages that were either awarded in full or at a hugely discounted rate, and many other incentives.
A New Generation’s Demands
The strategy worked well until very recently, when online casinos realized that a new player dynamic was starting to evolve. A new generation of players had entered the gaming arena; a generation who demanded more than just the mindless accumulation of points.
Gamification demands more involvement and a chance to be a part of the bigger picture. iGaming brands listened to the generational demands of players and nowadays, rewards programs take on a different look and feel. Players are treated to everything from free money to being able to compete in online adventures by advancing through the stages of various semi-skill-based games.
All in all, over the years rewards programs have had to change with the times, and they have become more in depth and more interactive, proving that it is the overall experience players seek, not just the instant gratification of a bonus.