Ranking Rewards Programs At Ohio Casinos And Racinos

Written By C.J. Pierre on October 8, 2023 - Last Updated on October 9, 2023
ranking rewards programs at Ohio casinos

Casino rewards programs greatly incentivize customers to spend money at a particular location. It’s how casino and racino properties in Ohio say thank you for sticking with them.

In states with online casinos, online operators tend to tether their brick-and-mortar rewards programs to their online sites. There aren’t any Ohio online casinos yet, but if they are legalized in the future that would likely be the case.

Most Ohio casino loyalty clubs allow you to earn points every time you gamble at participating casino properties. However, some award points for every dollar you spend staying, playing, dining and shopping at one of their casino resorts.

Here’s a look at what Ohio casinos and racinos have to offer loyalty members.

1: Caesars Rewards (Scioto Downs)

Scioto Downs Racino is Caesars Entertainment’s only property in Ohio.

It has over 2,400 slot machines scattered around a 117,000-square-foot gaming floor. You can also bet on horse races from May to September and simulcast racing all year. Regular players can expect various promotions and bonuses, mainly through the Caesars Rewards program.

Benefits include free bets, swag, and more. When you hit the Diamond tier, the best benefits apply to any Caesars property. Those include complimentary valet, priority lines at the casino cage, and VIP access to exclusive lounges.

Caesars Rewards is one of the most popular and best-known casino rewards programs. Both casino gaming and sports betting at Scioto Downs earn Reward Credits. Members can also earn credits through hotel stays, dining, shopping, and more.

2: MGM Rewards (MGM Northfield Park Racino)

The MGM Rewards program is a staple at MGM Northfield Park Racino. Members can earn MGM Rewards points from gambling, dining and hotel stays.

MGM states that you’ll earn points based on how long you play, the type of game and the average bet. For dining and hotel stays, you’ll earn 1 MGM Rewards point per $1 spent.

Since MGM Rewards points are worth 1 cent each, you’re effectively getting a 1% return on your non-gaming spend.

MGM Rewards has five tiers: Sapphire, Pearl, Gold, Platinum, and Noir. Though the Noir tier is invitation-only, earning tier credits is key to ascending the first four levels. Users can accumulate those credits by betting in person at MGM properties.

As players move up the tiers, the perks include bonus bets, additional Rewards Points, access to premium customer support, and even air travel credits. The only downside is that you need to accumulate a lot of points to climb up that ladder. For those committed to the process, go for it. But even reaching the Gold tier seems like it would take a while.

3: PENN Play (Hollywood Branded Properties)

Before we get into the benefits of PENN Play rewards, it lands at the No. 3 spot on this list because of the share number of locations you can use these rewards in Ohio.

PENN Entertainment owns and operates two casinos and two racinos. Hollywood Casino Columbus, Hollywood Casino Toledo, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course are all PENN-owned properties.

PENN Play rewards members earn tier points for playing casino games. In addition, you can earn points for playing, staying, dining and shopping at Penn Entertainment properties. Meanwhile, they can also accumulate PENN Cash, which members can spend on hotel stays, dining, shopping, gaming and more.

PENN Play offers significant value through online shopping discounts, in-person casino credits and travel for customers who take advantage of them. The biggest downside is that the program mainly benefits customers who regularly visit Penn National destinations, travel more than once a year or are motivated by shopping discounts.

4: Wild Card Rewards (Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati)

Wild Card Rewards at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati is a very simple rewards program to get on board with. It’s a four-tier program, with the earning period fixed every 12 months.

You earn points by playing slots, table games and poker with your Wild Card Rewards card. You can spend your points at Hard Rock restaurants and retail stores.

For every 100 points, you receive $1 redeemable at the casino. You can also earn free play rewards based on your qualified slot or table activity every time you play. The more you play, the more you earn. All Free Play rewards and bonuses will be auto-loaded to your account directly.

It’s a simple and easy system. However, unless you are in the top two tiers, you aren’t getting anything that you wouldn’t get from any other casino rewards.

5. ClubJACK (Jack Cleveland Casino & Jack Thistledown Racino)

The loyalty program or players club at JACK Cleveland Casino and Jack Thistledown Racino is called ClubJACK.

The program has five tiers. Players can earn points to move to different tiers by playing multiple types of games, including table games and video poker. They can also move to different tiers by playing keno or bingo at some casinos. One fun thing is that customers can spend their comp dollars on tickets to events at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

To progress to higher tiers in ClubJACK, players must earn enough qualifying points over 12 months. Like other rewards programs, the final tiers is typically for high rollers. In this case, the fourth tier would take approximately $200,000 played through slot machines over 12 months.

The overall benefits for rewards members are good. But based on this estimation, that is a lot of money to spend to reach one of the top tiers. Most folks can’t make that kind of money in two years, let alone be able to spend it at a casino within one year.

6. Boyd Rewards (Belterra Park Cincinnati)

On the surface, the benefits of Boyd Rewards at Belterra Park Cincinnati Racino are pretty good. However, after looking deeper, you can see why customers would pick any other casino rewards program in Ohio over this one.

First, you can use your Boyd Points to fly with Hawaiian Airlines by redeeming points for miles and getting exclusive rates when booking round-trip airfare. However, Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t operate in Ohio.

So you’d need to get to Boyd’s third tier to receive anything unique if you are an Ohio customer. As an Emerald member, you receive a complimentary cruise for two on the Holland America Line. But almost every rewards membership offers some kind of travel perk.

7. MVG Club (Miami Valley Gaming)

Folks that frequent Miami Valley Gaming Racino can sign up for a MVG Club Card and get $10 Free Play. You’ll earn points each time you play with your card inserted in any of the venue’s 2,200 gaming machines.

Sounds good. However, the math isn’t mathing.

The Miami Valley Gaming website reads, “$1 coin-in = 1 point.” To me, that means you need to receive one reward point for every dollar you spend. But then, you need to earn 1000 points to get $1 that you can redeem for free play or put towards food at any Miami Valley Gaming restaurant.

So, essentially, you need to spend $1000 to $1 to put towards something else. But then, you need a minimum of $5 to redeem anything at the casino. So you need to spend $5,000 before you are awarded the minimum $5 you would need to redeem something. That’s very bizarre.

Of course, there are tiers that you climb that give you more money to redeem as you accumulate points. However, your accumulation is built up over six months. On one hand, you can move up tiers faster. On the other, you have a limited amount of time to advance to a high tier if that’s what you want.

Overall, there isn’t a lot of incentive to become an MVG Club member over anywhere else.

Photo by AP Photo / Al Behrman
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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at PlayOhio. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino, sports betting and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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