Casinos tell us that tracking the $500 loss limit is too invasive and too difficult. But the exact opposite is the case. They have the worlds most efficient and invasive tracking systems already.


(One in every 10 Americans)

See Harrah's patents for automatically tracking
the betting activity of casino patrons

As I moved from machine to machine, a tangle of computers in a Harrah's office in Memphis, Tenn., was collecting the biggest prize of all -- an astonishingly detailed account of each second I spent at the Rio. Harrah's took note of how many different machines I had played on (nine), how many separate wagers I placed (637), my average bet (25 cents), and, of course, the total amount of money -- called "coin-in" -- I'd deposited in the machines. By the time I left the Rio, Harrah's had compiled enough information about me to build a detailed profile of my gambling habits, a plan for luring me back to the casino, even an individual profit-and-loss projection by which the company would gauge its future marketing investment in me. Twenty-five million Harrah's customers, in fact, use these personalized frequent-gambler cards, called Total Rewards, to earn free trips, meals, hotel rooms, and other freebies while they test the decidedly long odds of slot playing. There's a reason, of course, that Harrah's works so hard to glean all the data it can from the slot crowds.
Welcome to Harrah's You give us your money. We learn everything about you. Here's how Harrah's customer-tracking system works. / By Joe Ashbrook Nickell, April 2002 Issue Business 2.0 Media Inc.

Late last month, Harrah's proudly crowed that it had embraced three of the four Harvey's casinos in its computerized family, which, through new computer systems at the casinos, allows players to earn discounts for rooms and gaming. By incorporating players from the Iowa and Nevada casinos into its database program -- called Total Awards -- Harrah's gathered 674,000 new players, pushing its collective of players above 25 million.
Gambling Giant's Deal Leaves Out Central City, Colo., Casino / By Jason Blevins / The Denver Post / 1.10.02

There's a reason why casino workers are so friendly to visitors. They're looking to learn their identities and track their gambling habits. Richard S. Tesler, director of table games at Foxwoods Casino, outlined yesterday the casino's extensive efforts to know who is gambling and how much they are betting. Through personalized "wampum cards" which work like grocery-store scanning cards, the casino can track when a player begins gambling, at what table, how long he gambled and his winnings or losses. Under cross-examination by defense lawyer C. Leonard O'Brien, the casino's Tesler attempted to explain the term "buying in" -- when a player arrives at a table and begins playing -- and how the casino tracks the amount of cash or chips he starts with.
Foxwoods tracks who and how much /Projo.com Providence City Hall on Trial.htm 5.23/02

Executives think the players probably spend even more on food and beverage and shopping, and the casino is looking at a system to track the "gross revenue per occupied room." "We will be getting a 'smart card,' where everything they do can be tracked," said Jon Arnesen, senior vice president of hotel operations.
New Mohegan Hotel Drawing Fewer Guests Than Projected By KAREN FLORIN / The Day Publishing Co. / 8.21.03 / www.theday.com

In addition, the bar code on coupons sent by direct mail has helped Harrah's track and segment its customer base.
Harrah's Bets on Increased Online Marketing, By: Christine Blank / Courtenay Communications Corporation. /10.15.01

Harrah's was awarded U.S. patents for technological innovations that underlie Total Rewards, a key component of the company's growth strategy. 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 Entertainment president and chief operating officer.
Friday July 13, 3:00 pm Eastern Time / Yahoo and Business Wire Press Release Harrah's Entertainment Inc., Las Vegas

DETROIT -- MGM Mirage, hoping to foster customer loyalty throughout casinos, will begin rolling out a chain-wide frequent gamblers' card April 2, with its Detroit property slated to issue the card before year's end.
MGM plays loyalty card Promotion will allow players chain-wide use of casino points / By Becky Yerak / The Detroit News / www.detnews.com/2002/sports/0203/01/index.htm

When Harrah's hired Mr. Loveman, the company had sown the seeds of science; it was collecting data on customers through "Total Reward" cards that they slip into a slot machine or give to a dealer. The cards record playing habits and correlate them with the gambler's age, sex and name. Mr. Loveman was responsible for interpreting the data from casinos and using it to attract gamblers, said Mr. Kent, the Goldman Sachs analyst.
Applying Science to the Casino / By Matt Richtel / New York Times 11.4.02

Harrah's has emerged as the industry leader in database marketing, parlaying its 25-million person database of customer names into a powerful revenue driver.
Harrah's reaches out for locals market / By JEFF SIMPSON / Las Vegas Review-Journal / 11.02.02

That's the word from an executive whose company this year issued a card that players can use to accumulate gambling points at one casino, redeem them an hour later for show tickets at another casino and charge dinner to their hotel room at a third casino that night, with all data updated every 8 second. It's that kind of thinking that prompted InformationWeek magazine to rank MGM Mirage 68th on its list of the most technologically innovative companies in America, tops among gaming or hospitality companies. In all, the company uses 10,000 desktop PCs, 500 servers and 21 operating systems to keep its $3.6 billion operation running smoothly. Murren said the task of creating MGM Mirage's frequent-gambler card, called Players Club, was daunting. In April, some 18 months and $25 million later, the company has a database of more than 20 million names.
Casinos urged to embrace technology / By JOE WEINERT / The Press / 11.15.02

In part, Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Miss., can now track what its customers "ate, how they paid, and where they sat," said Stephen Freitag, Micros' director of product development. In addition, the point of sale system allows the casino, rather than its many restaurants and stores, to place orders and keep track of credit cards and customer information.
Micros Systems cuts deal with Mississippi casino / By Mark Stricherz / 10.28.02

Argosy Gaming Co. of Alton has roughly 2 million cardholders in its database, which covers six riverboat casinos in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana. Argosy invested $3 million in its customer data system, which went into service in the spring. The detailed demographic information that casino operators glean from their player's clubs has enabled them to identify - with remarkable precision - which customers are most profitable and how they respond to special offers. Harrah's system can keep tabs on which slot machines a particular person plays, how much that gambler usually bets with each pull of the handle or push of the button, and how much he or she typically loses on each visit to the casino. In Boonville, employees know many of the regular gamblers by name. The information captured through the player's club cards can tell them almost anything else they want to know.
Casinos keep tabs on best customers by carding them /
By Christopher Carey / Of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch / 11.23.02

"(Casinos) are the envy of other industries with the amount of information we sit on about customers," he said. Chett Harrison, director of marketing for Boomtown Casino in Biloxi, said database marketing is the No. 1 driver of incremental business and that identifying player behavior patterns is the ultimate goal.
Knowing players key to luring them back / By JOY JONES / The Sun Herald 5.10.02

Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. is embarking on a new methodology of evaluating and valuing customers as it intensifies its rivalry with industry giants like Harrah's Entertainment Inc. Casinos will know more about their customers and their behavior than many retailers would. For Isle of Capri, its IsleOne loyalty card is the tool of such behavior. Typical card transactions available to analyze include purchasing at food and beverage outlets, retail shops, booking hotel rooms and gambling. The company drops 7 million mail pieces yearly to 1.5 million active customers in its 4.5 million-strong database.
Casino Looks to Better Its Odds With CRM / By: Mickey Alam Khan / 8.11.03
DMNews http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artprevbot.cgi?article_id=24696

About 27 million people, or roughly one in every 10 Americans, already have Total Rewards cards, Harrah's says.
Loyalty royalties / By CHRISTOPHER CAREY / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / 7.10.03