The Bear Growls: Circus Circus Reno customer dis-service

With the exception of its excellent sportsbook, Circus Circus Reno has long been one of the worst-managed casinos in the Reno area, seemingly actually being run by clowns. Old and dirty, with paranoid, unfriendly pit personnel, most dealers suffering from shuffling disease, and featuring house-ordered preferential shuffling even against tiny-stakes players, the dump is a burn joint.

But it has hit a new level of stupidity. Circus Circus Reno sends emails with weekly free play offers that formerly were able to be loaded directly onto customers’ cards by use of the PIN, ready for immediate use on the machine(s) of the customer’s choice. But now, the system has been changed to instead create a new “line-standing opportunity” for patrons. To “validate” the free play, patrons now must now stand in the long, typically slow-moving lines at the players club.

When a patron asked the players club manager the reason for this newly-concocted stupidity, the manager replied that most patrons “prefer standing in line” to directly loading the free play into a machine, because “now we can offer more free play.” Further questioning revealed the manager had no clear idea as to what she was talking about, as she provided nonsensical answers to simple questions. Among other things, she claimed the “new computer system” is unable to correctly set the dates on which the free play should be automatically activated, so it must be done manually at the players club. Because many other casinos with supposedly older computer systems can handle this mundane task, it is hard to know if the players club manager was lying or really is as ignorant as she seemed. The claim that most patrons prefer wasting their time standing in line instead of directly loading their free play is mind-boggling.

I hope top management at Circus Circus looks at this absurd situation and takes corrective action before more customers are lost forever because of this stupidity.

June 3, 2009 – A rare victory for common sense over casino stupidity

There is at least one brain-using manager at Circus Circus Reno.  Friends have reported that as of June 1, the system has been changed back to the previous method of freeplay being loaded directly onto the card, immediately playable without the ridiculous line-standing.  Thank you to the intelligent person there, whoever you are.



  1. Sometimes a “manager” is an idiot with no more brains than he had as a flunky. However, I think the situation you are dealing with is so absurd that what it boils down to is a campaign to drive the casino into bankruptcy. An asset play? A realization that all those Californians are now going to Indian casinos in California instead of making a lengthier trek to Reno? An obsessive focus on costs? More likely its just a realization tha the casino and its license are no longer something to be highly valued.

  2. Or perhaps such extreme actions are part of a campaign to depress the income statement a bit and freeze out a minority stockholder or something. There has to be a reason for gross stupidity and one reason is to make the bottom line look unattractive for awhile. Afterwards, you can stop making the lines long and the food overly salty and the lounge acts such losers.

  3. Or, as I have seen with other places. You give people $150 instead of $50. BUT make it 5x more difficult to get. It looks like you are giving out more money but you actually give out less because people don’t want to be bothered standing in line. But then people feel it’s their fault. Odd, stupid but true.

  4. That is a possibility too!
    The casino gains by advertising some sort of special reward but raises the hurdle so high that the annoying rigamarole to claim the reward saves them the money.

    It used to be such things as a sign out front saying “free key chain” and then a clerk at the window said the guy with the key chains will be back in 15 minutes. This ofcourse encouraged key-chain seekers to kill 15 minutes at the slot machines. Now I guess its more subtle. Just give them a long line at the Players Club desk.

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