Video Poker in Supermarkets Now Giving Comps

When you live in Vegas, you see video poker everywhere. There are tiny “casinos” like Dotty’s. Restaurant/Bars like Buffalo Wild Wings have video poker. They’re also open 24 hours a day. Kinda cool,┬ákinda strange but very Vegas.

When I moved I found it strange to see video poker in gas stations. I found it even more strange to see people playing video poker in gas stations. Last year I saw a guy hit a royal flush. He was jumping up and down and for a moment I was stoked for him. Then I got sad, when I wondered if he was there every other week using his paycheck to gamble. Once I realized that there are plenty people like this in casinos I was fine and enjoyed my 99 cent soda.

Probably the strangest place I’ve seen video poker is at the supermarket. Supermarkets in Vegas are bigger than I’m used to back east. There is one across the street from me with a Starbucks (complete with seating) AND Panda Express (no seating) as well as all the fresh counters you’d expect to see. There’s also video poker and slots where I rarely see people playing. That might change soon.

Golden Gaming is about to make that possible by giving grocery store slot players their own rewards club.

One of the business units acquired by Golden covers the roughly 2,200 slot machines operated in large grocery store chains statewide. The games in some 151 stores account for almost 25 percent of Golden Gaming overall route of 8,500 slot machines.

On Tuesday the company will launch Checkout Rewards, a players club dedicated to grocery shoppers. Part of the launch includes a giveaway of $100,000 in cash and prizes over the summer. Plus, three people will win a year’s supply of groceries when the promotion concludes Labor Day weekend.

“This is the first time that someone with the responsibility for our gaming route has created something of value for our customers,” said Chris Middleton, area vice president of operations for Albertsons, one of three Southern Nevada grocery chains that will participate in the promotion along with Smith’s and Vons.

It’s an interesting idea that seems to be a long time coming. There are players clubs for everything and it was surprising that there was no players club involvement in the supermarkets. Since the supermarkets don’t own or maintain the machines they wouldn’t provide rewards, although that would be cool.

I don’t see myself ever having the urge to play video poker in a supermarket, but at least the people that play in supermarkets now can get some rewards.