Read my Mr. AC Casino column in the Atlantic City Weekly

(Most recent post: "Gamers join gamblers in A.C. this weekend" - March 24, 2017)

Latest News and Views About
Caesars Entertainment & Total Rewards

Updated: March 29, 2017

 Follow me on Twitter


@7StarsInsider
 Read my Atlantic City travel articles on TravelZork.com


(click any image below to enlarge)

Man Dies In Accidental Fall From Harveys Parking Garage
A man from Fresno, Calif., has died from injuries he suffered in a fall from the upper level of a parking garage at Harveys Lake Tahoe.  In a statement by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, according to witnesses, David Garcia, 29, had been drinking the night of March 25 before he left the casino on foot around 2:20 the next morning.  Authorities responded around 3 a.m. after receiving a report about a man with a traumatic injury next to the parking structure.  Paramedics said Garcia was unresponsive and wasn’t breathing.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  (3/28)


https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Starbucks2.JPG

Coffee (and more) Is On In Philadelphia
Starbucks has opened
– 24 hours a day at Harrah's Philadelphia.  In addition to the standard coffee, tea, and other hot and cold beverage fare, customers can get breakfast sandwiches, pastries, etc.  Reward Credits are accepted on a 1:1 basis and Seven Stars cardholders can get a 10 percent discount by showing their players card.  (You can pay with cash or by credit card and still get the discount.  Just be sure to show your Seven Stars card before your order is rung up.)  The Market will now open daily at 11 a.m. and close at 3 a.m.  (3/27)

https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Tim%20and%20Kevin.jpeg
Toque-n Of Their Esteem

Tim Davis, executive chef - banquets and catering at Caesars Atlantic City, was inducted into the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs March 26.  Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the oldest and largest food and wine society in the world.  He and Caesars and Bally's Executive Chef Keith Mitchell are the only two culinary members from Caesars Entertainment in the Atlantic City chapter.  Pictured are Davis, left, and Kevin Ortzman, president of Caesars and Bally's Atlantic City.  (3/26)



Harrah's Cherokee offers this menu in addition to its
complimentary food in the Diamond and Seven Stars Lounges.




No more long lines for Seven Stars cardholders at Bally's Atlantic City's Dunkin' Donuts.

New Orleans Smoking Ban = $70 Million Loss
Since it took effect April 22, 2015, a smoking ban in New Orleans contributed to a $70 million loss in revenue at Harrah’s New Orleans.  That’s what Caesars Entertainment CEO Mark Frissora told the Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force March 21 at the Capitol Building in Baton Rouge, La.  “It’s not fair because everyone else around us doesn’t have the smoking ban,” he pointed out.  Dan Real, Caesars Entertainment regional president-south and Harrah’s New Orleans general manager, said the company’s first quarter in 2015 was its best in that property’s history, just before they were “hit” by the ban.   Even the Task Force’s chairman pointed out that revenues for neighboring properties were decreasing before the ban, and now the reverse is happening.   To give gamblers who smoke a place to play, in November Harrah’s installed 63 slot machines in a new smoker-friendly courtyard.  Two additional courtyards are scheduled to open this year.  In addition, a previously announced entertainment center on the second floor of Harrah’s is scheduled to open on July 4, 2018.  (3/22)



Uh, according to my calendar, May 5 is a Friday.

Here's Your Chance To Take Out Giada

Giada De Laurentiis spilled the cannellinis in a last-second plug during her cooking segment with Matt Lauer on the Today Show March 22.  After Lauer passed on a compliment from a friend who recently had dined at Giada, De Laurentiis' self-named restaurant at The Cromwell in Las Vegas, the celebrity chef quickly added, "And don't forget about Giada To Go at Caesars Palace."   No other details are available. (3/22)


https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Player%20Rewards.jpg
Total Rewards UK
At Caesars eight casinos in the United Kingdom, their player loyalty program, Player Rewards, is now Total Rewards UK.  In 2006 Caesars Entertainment acquired the Alea Glasgow casino in Scotland and seven casinos in England:
  • Rendezvous - Brighton
  • In addition to the eight casinos in the United Kingdom, there are three in Cairo (Ramses, The Kings and Queens, and Caesars) and the Emerald Resort in South Africa.
    Empire Casino - London
  • Playboy - London
  • The Sportsman - London
  • Manchester 235 - Manchester
  • Alea - Nottingham
  • Rendezvous - Southend-On-Sea
Total Rewards UK more closely parallels its North American counterpart.  New players start with a Gold card, and further tier status is calculated based on Reward Credits earned from gaming or food and beverage purchases.  Promotional bonus credits are not included.  By earning 15,000 Reward Credits in a calendar year, players get upgraded to a Platinum card; at 30,000, a Diamond card; and at 100,000, a Seven Stars card.  It’s not clear how much play or other expenditures it takes to earn a Reward Credit.  While Total Rewards UK is separate from Total Rewards, UK Reward Credits can be exchanged for Reward Credits that can be used in the United States and Canada.  However, prior to travel, UK players must enroll online in Total Rewards.  Again, it's not clear if Reward Credits earned in Caesars North American casinos are transferable to the UK program.  However, if you're planning a trip, you may want to contact Total Rewards UK.  (3/21)

Charge!
MobileQubes, the only cord-free, portable, on-demand mobile power service on the market, is partnering with Caesars Entertainment to offer mobile charging stations at eight of its Las Vegas properties – the first time this service will be available to casino guests in Las Vegas.  MobileQubes kiosks allow guests to rent and return compact battery “Qubes” that charge mobile devices on the go.  A 24-hour rental is $6.99 and is available at Harrah's, The LINQ, Flamingo, The Cromwell, Bally’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood and the Rio.  Kiosks also are available at Horseshoe Bossier City, Harrah’s New Orleans, Harrah’s Gulf Coast, Harrah's North Kansas City, Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe and Harrah’s Reno.  MobileQubes will continue to expand its partnership at the remaining Caesars-affiliated properties throughout 2017.  (3/21)

No Smoke, But Mirrors
After some hallway renovations and a deep clean of its rooms, the hotel at Harrah’s Joliet is now smoke-free.  (3/19)

April Tier Credit Bonus
Atlantic City is doing an April promotion where, if in one gaming day (6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m.) you earn 25 tier credits at each of the three Total Rewards casinos (Bally's, Caesars and Harrah's), you'll get a 150 tier credit bonus shortly after May 1.   (Earn 25 tier credits at two casinos for a 50 tier credit bonus.)  You can do this up to four times for a total of 200 to 600 bonus tier credits.  Pretty lame, if you ask me.  It's one thing if you're staying at Caesars or Bally's and can walk next door, but to schlep over to Harrah's?  Or go from Harrah's to Caesars/Bally's?  Are people that desperate for 600 bonus tier credits to go to all that trouble?  (3/18)

NCL To Increase Service Charges
Norwegian Cruise Line is adjusting its daily service charges, effective April 1.  The new rates for all ships, except Norwegian Sky, are:
  • $13.99 per person per day for any category up to a mini-suite stateroom (currently $13.50).
  • $16.99 per person per day for any suite or Haven category (currently $15.50).
Any guest who makes a booking by March 31 will have the option of prepaying these service charges at the current rate if done prior to sail date.  Guests with existing cruise reservations who already have pre-paid their service charges at the current rate are not affected.  (3/17)

Coastal Craft To Open May 12

Yet another delay for the opening of Coastal Craft Kitchen & Bar at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.  It’s now scheduled for May 12.  Coastal Craft will replace the Café (which temporarily has been replacing Sammy D’s).  (3/17)


https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Suitcase.png

Wow!  This is a large suitcase!
Now I understand why they call it The Big Easy.



Starbucks is now open at Harrah's Food Court in Atlantic City.

Insider Tip

The Who will play Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City at 8 p.m. on July 22.  Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. (Eastern) March 24.
The Who – What, Why, Where and When

The Who will launch an exclusive Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace beginning July 29.   The Who is the first rock band to take residency at The Colosseum since the venue opened in 2003.   Tickets for the first run of six shows – July 29 and Aug. 1, 4, 7, 9 and 11 – are on sale now.  Purchase tickets in person at The Colosseum Box Office, by calling (866) 320-9763 or visiting thecolosseum.com or axs.com.  A dollar from each ticket sold will benefit Teen Cancer America (teencanceramerica.org).  (3/15)



https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Senoir.jpg

I won't publish this host's name, but anyone out there who is a Senior Executive Host
should check his/her email signature and business card.




https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Pet%20Stay.jpg

Despite what it says on the Total Rewards website, Harrah’s Resort Southern California
stopped participating in the PetStay program as of July 15 last year.
Total Rewards is in the process of correcting the information.




https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Complementary.JPG

What does this gift complement?  Is it free?



Horsing Around In Philadelphia
The 2017 racing season at Harrah's Philadelphia begins April 2 and runs through Dec. 17.  Click here to see the complete schedule.  (3/12)

Remember, 'Sheep Herder' (Shepherd)

The Seven Stars Lounge at Caesars Atlantic City is featuring Shepard’s Pie this month.  I think they mean Shepherd’s Pie, unless they're referring to a recipe made famous by Alan Shepard, Shepard Smith or Sam Shepard.  (3/11)




Though nothing "officially" has been announced for Atlantic City, this is the entertainment
line-up for the 2017 Seven Stars Signature Events.  Only Harrah's Atlantic City
remains to be booked (or announced).

You're The Top
Congratulations to Michael Rello, 32, beverage operations manager at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.   He was named one of 2017’s “Top 40 Under 40.”   The awards are a collaborative effort between the Greater Atlantic City Junior Chamber of Commerce and Atlantic City Weekly.  You may have seen Rello when he managed Crossroads at House of Blues Restaurant in Showboat or in his previous position as casual dining manager at Harrah’s.

Congratulations, also, to Cory Johnson, 39, and Christian Stuart, 38.  They were named to Vegas Inc.’s 2017 “40 Under 40.”  Winners were selected based on community service, entrepreneurial spirit and impact on their respective industry. Johnson is vice president of food and beverage at Caesars Palace; Stuart is senior vice president and chief of staff at Caesars Entertainment.  (Updated 3/25)





Looks like Caesars isn't the only casino to make mistakes.
This email was sent on March 9 as a reminder for an event on March 10 and 11.
However, the date in the illustration is Feb. 23.






Glitz Opens In Bally's Lobby
A new retail outlet, Glitz To Go, opened earlier this month next to Dunkin' Donuts in the lobby at Bally's Atlantic City.  Items average around $10 each and you can use Reward Credits at a 1:1 ratio.  (3/10)




Horsing Around In The Wild Wild West
Bally's Atlantic City continues to add to its inventory of non-traditional gambling devices.  Royal Derby, until now available only at Tropicana, is now live at the Wild Wild West Casino across from the AC Snack Shack.  (3/9)


https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/GGWU%202X.jpg

How did I miss this?

Early Bird Tier Credit Bonus
Many Seven Stars cardholders have received an offer for an "Early Bird" 5,000 tier credit bonus as an incentive to book their annual retreat to Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe and stay between April 1 and May 31.  (3/8)

Ruby 8 86ed In Baltimore
Fú Noodle House has replaced Ruby 8 Noodles and Sushi at Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.  Similar to Ruby 8, Fú Noodle House offers a mix of Asian dishes, such as sushi, soups, noodles and entrees.  It’s open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and closed Monday and Tuesday.  (3/8)

Lost In Space
It happens nearly every time there's a promotional giveaway at Harrah’s Philadelphia.  On March 5 it was luggage.  Players “park” their cars outside the lower entrance at the guest drop-off area
"No Parking," a sign clearly says, and go inside to collect their gifts.  This not only causes mini-traffic jams at the entrance to the self-park garage, but is illegal and not fair to those who have difficulty walking and need to save some extra steps.

Three weeks later: Amazing what a Security van with flashing yellow lights will do to discourage this practice.


However, just as bad are those drivers who “create” parking spaces where none exists – particularly when they flank the driveway between the two self-park garages on the first floor.  With illegally parked cars narrowing the passageway, only one car can enter or exit those areas, causing further back-ups and delays.

Then there are those who blatantly park in spaces reserved for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board – like this vehicle with a Delaware license plate.  While a guard in a van marked “Security” is certainly a good first step, it’s not stopping cars from dropping off passengers at the door, driving around for several minutes, and then stopping again to pick up them and their luggage.  Perhaps a guard walking around and politely, but sharply, rebuking those drivers who abuse the passenger drop-off zone, as well as watching for drivers who illegally try to park their vehicles, will slowly get this situation under control.  The former Revel Hotel Casino in Atlantic City used to slap bright orange “warning signs” on vehicles that were illegally parked.  They were difficult to remove, and drivers quickly got the message that they were violating the rules.  Maybe it’s time for more aggressive action. 
(Updated 3/26)

Two Stabbed In Early Morning Fight At Harrah's AC
A security officer and a customer were stabbed during a fight at Harrah’s Xhibition Bar in Atlantic City.  The incident occurred around 4 a.m. March 4 after a fight, according to New Jersey State Police.  The security officer was stabbed while trying to break up the fight, according to police reports.  One of the patrons involved in the fight was stabbed in his forearm, but injuries weren’t life threatening.  Both were taken to the City Campus of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.  The incident remains under investigation.  (3/4)

Bad Credit
Apparently, even the folks writing promotions have a difficult time distinguishing the difference between tier credits and Reward Credits.   I think what this is supposed to say is “purchase with 5,000 Reward Credits”:

Receive additional bingo packets (Max 3) by earning Tier Credits during the promotional period or purchase with 5,000 tier credits [emphasis added] or $50 cash at Harrah's Lake Tahoe! Valid 04/24/17-04/25/17.  (3/4)



Fine-Tune That Name
Based on a survey several players received this month, Caesars may be considering changing the name of The Cromwell in Las Vegas to Caesars Republic.  In 2014 Caesars applied for a trademark and it's been extended four times.  If they do change the name and you are a "regular" there, might you risk becoming known as a "Caesars Republican"?  (3/3)







Prepare for "sticker shock" when you enlarge the menu above.
This four-course menu at The Steakhouse at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City
is $140 per person
not including beverages, taxes and gratuity.
(And what the heck is "Loaded Butter"?)



https://sites.google.com/site/sevenstarsinsider/latest-news-about-caesars-entertainment/Survey.jpg
Survey Says. . . .
Once again the crack team that contracts out surveys for Caesars/Total Rewards found another inept supplier, and, apparently, nobody checked to be sure the questions were appropriate or the survey could be completed properly.  Good example is the page above.  Of the six casinos listed, only one [Sands Bethlehem] has a buffet.  Worse, even if you've never eaten at that buffet, the survey won't let you continue until you check at least one box.  Same with the first question on this page.  I've never been to a bar/nightclub at any of these casinos, but the survey would not let me continue until I checked at least one box. 
The only way to get to the end of the survey and submit it if you don't have an answer to one or more questions is to lie.  Consequently, the survey ended up in my email "Trash" folder.  What a waste of money on Caesars part, and what a waste of time for customers who may already have completed the previous sections.  What kind of data does that provide?  (3/2)

In yet two other examples of surveys using incorrect/outdated information, the page on the left
(click to enlarge) has several errors.  Borgata's player loyalty program is called My Borgata Rewards, MGM Resorts International's program now is called M life Rewards, Palms is now part of Station Casinos and its Boarding Pass program, and Tropicana replaced its Diamond Club with Trop Advantage quite a while ago. The survey on the right asks about Trump Taj Mahal which closed five months ago on Oct. 10, 2016.

SugarHouse Offer
If you want to take advantage of the SugarHouse Casino upgrade offer (see March 2017 Newsletter), take your Seven Stars card and photo ID to the Concierge Podium in the High Limit area.  (3/2)

Un-Event-Full

Insider Tip

Not happy that you're limited to a certain property for the Event of your choosing?  If you haven't booked an Event try going online and making a "regular" reservation at the casino of your choice.  Then when you book your Event the reservationist will connect that room to your Event selections.  (Do this quickly because as soon as someone from Total Rewards sees this, they'll put a block on all the rooms over those weekends.)
  • Trying to decide which show to see on Friday night during the Seven Stars Signature Event in Atlantic City this summer?  No one can tell you, because only one has been booked and not officially announced.  [It's Joy Behar at Caesars.  (The show choices in Las Vegas are Steve Martin and Martin Short or Britney Spears, and the matinee in Lake Tahoe will be Louie Anderson and Gary Valentine.)]
  • Don't even think about registering for one of the Viking Cooking School classes during the event in Atlantic City.  They're all fully-booked.
  • OK, how about the "Desserts With Chef Deb Pellegrino" on Friday or Saturday "evening"?  (Since when is 4 p.m. considered evening?)  Sorry, both sessions are "sold out."
  • Maybe a round of golf or spa treatment?  Oh, oh, unlike the other "excursions" (who came up with that name?) those are for only one person, not two.
  • What about brunch with your spouse or guest at Harrah's on Sunday?  Nope, only single reservations are available.
In fairness, everyone who qualified to attend these Events was told to book early, but it's still got a lot of people upset.  Keep in mind, the cooking classes are limited to around 12 people each, but I'm surprised that the dessert excursion is booked since it's scheduled for the Diamond Lounge at Bally's.  And only single reservations for Sunday's brunch at Harrah's?  Crazy!  My suggestion: If an excursion you want to attend is booked, keep calling back or ask when you register onsite to see if there might have been any cancellations. . .or just try showing up.  It's been my and others experience that there generally are no-shows.  (Updated 3/24)
 

Reward Credit Multipliers, Free Play Offers In Atlantic City
Beginning April 1 Reward Credits awarded during Reward Credit multiplier promotions in Atlantic City will be inclusive of base Reward Credits earned.  In other words, if you earn 1,000 Reward Credits on a 5X multiplier day, you will get 5,000 Reward Credits.  Currently, you would receive 6,000, i.e., 1,000 base credits and 5,000 bonus credits.

Beginning June 1 free slot play offers in Atlantic City will be valid from 1 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. unless otherwise stated.  Currently, offers begin at midnight and end at 11:59 p.m.  (3/1)

Seven Stars Renewal Events
Here is a list (as of March 29) of Seven Stars Renewal Event dates.  If your home casino announces a date, please email me and I will update the list accordingly.  Thanks, everyone!

April 1 & 2
Harrah's Cherokee
April 8
Harrah's Philadelphia, Horseshoe Hammond, Harrah's Ak-Chin Phoenix, Harrah's Joliet (also April 9)
April 21 & 22
Horseshoe Baltimore
April 29
Atlantic City, Harrah's Gulf Coast