View from the Wing shared a deal on Wednesday, in which the Atlantis casino in the Bahamas is offering some people four free nights at its resort if you complete six hours of “rated” play. I’ve heard good things about Atlantis and know a few family friends who have been there, so it piqued my interest. Nearly any elite status with any competing casino rewards program is eligible for this offer, as long as you don’t have the lowest elite tier.
The example Gary gave was Gold status with MGM’s M life program. Because Hyatt has a status match program with M life, you can easily get this mid-tier status if you already have some kind of status with Hyatt. All Platinum members with Hyatt Gold Passport can receive Gold status with MGM by asking. All Diamond members with Hyatt can receive Platinum status with MGM.
And because Hyatt’s Platinum status is awarded automatically if you have the Hyatt Visa credit card, that means a single credit card application (which comes with two free nights) is enough to get you status with M life and make you eligible for this offer at Atlantis. I’m still not sure why it says “Atlantic City Billboard” at the top.
However, the rated play requirement made me uneasy.
I’m a decent poker and blackjack player. I’ve even won a few friendly tournaments. But I ultimately think gambling is a boring, repetitive waste of time. Six hours sounds awful. Add the fact that the house always wins, and it doesn’t look like such a great deal from my perspective. I decided to do more research.
It turns out that this promotion isn’t new. Atlantis has had something similar for a while but recently made the offer a little more generous in 2014. Some community forums for slot machine fans provided data suggesting a minimum bet of $3 per spin would qualify as rated play. Slot machines have among the worst odds in a casino, and the comments I read suggested Atlantis was even worse than Las Vegas. You could easily lose $600 over the course of six hours of game play.
Table games have better odds, but even something with good odds like craps could turn sour. The point is, you must play for six hours in order to get your free nights. You could lose a lot of money in those six hours, or you could lose a little money, or you could win money. You really don’t know.
There are also many fixed costs. You’ll still be liable for room taxes or resort fees of about $50-70 per day according to a few comments on Slot Fanatics. Just one example:
I did this last year. They give you 4 free nights with any premium card. It doesn’t have to be the highest level, just not the lowest. You are required to play 6 hours averaging $3 minimum bet over your 4 nights. You are also required to pay “taxes” which end up being about $50 a nights.
Many people also suggested that food and beverage at the resort are very expensive. Even the cheapest meal plan is $170 per day for two people.
On top of all this, you don’t really know where the hotel will put you. The Atlantis has many different towers, not all of which are the same quality. If you have higher elite status with a competitor it’s very possible that the resort will put you someplace nicer on the assumption that are you more likely to be a valuable guest. For example, someone with M life Platinum status might be assigned a better room than someone with M life Gold status even though they’re requesting the same offer.
I’ll be passing on this offer because there are just too many unknowns for my taste. You can still stay at Atlantis by booking a room at the value-priced Beach Towers for about $200 per night or at the more luxurious Royal Towers for $300 a night.
There are also other promotions, such as a Black Friday sale this weekend. Book your stay for December and you could pay as little as $250 per night at the Royal Towers and get a $400 resort credit on a 4-night stay. That easily brings the cost down to something close to your estimated loss from six hours of slot play, and with much more certainty about the final bill.