Overview: Looking for an entertaining day or weekend away with your significant other? Casino shops can be the means to get away for a break while making a little extra money. Meals, concerts, drinks, and gambling may be reimbursed. You may even win some money gambling!
Project variations: These projects can vary from a 2-hour visit to a one or two-night hotel stay. They may include restaurant and bars, gift shops, concerts, and of course gambling.
Visit and reporting requirements: Required interactions can include valet, hotel staff, cocktail servers, bartenders, pit bosses, dealers, and slot attendants. Reports often require a great deal of commentary, with each yes/no question required to be addressed in the comments. You may also be required to submit photos of the hotel rooms or other parts of the casino property.
Strategies: There are often a lot of timings, names and details to be reported on these shops. I take notes on my phone and fill out the report as soon as possible. I visit the restroom when I need to take a few minutes to review a report or make a lot of notes. When I am staying at a hotel, I bring my laptop and work on my report throughout the visit, while it is still fresh in my mind. It would be overwhelming to wait until I am at home to write out all the commentary based on only my notes.
As with most other shops, it is important to be able to think on your feet when things don’t happen as smoothly as the guidelines imply they will. For example, required staff interactions don’t always happen as naturally as we would like. For instances like this, I try to have several questions ready to force an interaction. “Which restaurant is best for dinner? How late is valet parking available? Can someone from security walk me to my car after the show?”
Special note: With the shops I have done, gambling losses up to a certain amount, around $250, were reimbursed. Any gambling winnings over another certain amount, $500 or so, were required to be given back after the visit. This has never been an issue for me, since I have never won more over the limit. I always bet smaller amounts, so I have never come close to the loss limit either. I have heard there are companies that actually send you the gambling money in advance of the shop, but I have never seen one like this myself.
Special Note #2: Casinos are extremely security conscious when it comes to electronics on the gaming floor. In most areas they are prohibited. Therefore shoppers who rely on Digital Voice Recorders or other similar devices are out of luck. A note on the technical aspect from James: Our modern electronics all rely on superheterodyne circuits to amplify signals in place of amplifiers. These circuits transmit radio signals on known frequencies, which the casino monitors with radio scanners [similar to the police and fire scanners you can buy at Radio Shack or elsewhere]. IIRC, if you’re caught with a device, you are evicted from the property and the device may or may not be confiscated.
What others have to say: Like most assignments, there are some shoppers who love these and some who see them as too much work for too little pay. A common theme in the forum seems to be the lengthy reports and detailed commentary required.
Estimated pay: The shops I have seen pay from $40-200, with a bonus sometimes offered for a timely report. Restaurant meals, hotel rooms, drinks, concert tickets, and tips are usually reimbursed. My expenses for these shops have averaged around $600 and were completely reimbursed. It can take as long as three months to get paid, so don’t take one of these shops if you can’t afford to front the money for that long.
MSCs: I have seen casino shops posted with Service Sleuth, Bestmark, and NWLPC.
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