Gambling Industry Specials Are Prevalent for United States Veterans
As Veterans Day approaches, the gaming industry frequently acknowledges those who served in the Armed Forces with discounts and price specials, usually for rooms, food and entertainment.
Naturally, some proof of service is required of active military, retired military and prior-service veterans.
While Veterans Day itself, Nov. 11, and the days immediately surrounding the observance generate many one-off types of appreciative gestures, such as a free buffet or something similar, some casino companies offer benefits that are of significant value throughout the year.
Perhaps the most worthwhile military/veterans benefit is an elevated tier loyalty club status. And a handful of casino companies offer such programs. Luckily for military and veterans, two of the largest national loyalty programs do that, as well as a few others. In some cases (but not all), the club status upgrade is extended to spouses.
Here are some noteworthy casino benefits available to active-duty military, retired military and veterans.
The Caesars Rewards Salute Card
At Caesars Casino, active military, retired and veterans actually get a spiffy, patriotic-looking, red-white-and-blue loyalty club card. More importantly, the card has the word “Platinum” on it, which is the second step up the loyalty ladder in Caesars Rewards.
Before getting into the Caesars program’s Platinum-level benefits, it’s important to understand the process of getting a military-associated loyalty club card at just about any casino.
In most cases, it requires in-person registration at a casino loyalty club desk. Secondly, documentation is required. Active duty and often retired military will have ID cards. Prior service veterans should have with them a copy of their DD 214, which is paperwork veterans receive at separation that is basically an account of the service person’s time in the military.
As an aside, if you are veteran, the DD 214 is an important piece of paper so, if you don’t have it handy, go through the process of getting it.
Here's just some of the benefits of the military/Platinum Caesars Rewards card:
- Salute cardholders are eligible for military hotel discounts when they book online (10% all year).
- Complimentary self and valet parking at many destinations (huge savings in Vegas, where parking is mostly paid these days).
- Pre-sale access for some shows.
- Discounts at casino gift shops.
- Two other advertised benefits are discounts on select Norwegian Cruise Line vacations and a complimentary stay at Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas. Like all offers, make sure you understand the terms and conditions.
MGM Rewards MVP (Military & Veterans Program) Card
Again, active duty, retired and veterans get a special card with a patriotic motif. And there’s also an automatic tier BetMGM casino upgrade, in this case to “Pearl” level.
Some benefits are:
- Special discounts on rooms, restaurants, shows and attractions.
- Pearl level carries free self-parking at many MGM properties.
- Pearl includes bonus slot dollars.
- Some free MGM rewards concerts and discounts at other select shows.
- Discount (10%) at participating retail shops.
Ocean Rewards Veterans Card
One of Atlantic City’s most luxurious casino properties, the Ocean Casino Resort offers benefits to military and veterans through an automatic “Preferred” card upgrade (second level) and “Preferred Tier” benefits.
As in most other cases, documentation regarding military service is required (typically ID card or DD 214) for the veterans card is necessary but at Oceans, that also includes a valid state issued ID card or driver’s license with the “Veteran” designation.
Some of those benefits are:
- Complimentary Self-Parking.
- Veterans Cardholders permitted entry to Avila Lounge, Sunday-Friday plus one guest with an entry fee of $15 Comp Dollars per person per visit. Excludes blackout days and holidays.
- 15% discount at participating dining venues.
- 15% discount at participating retail outlets.
- Presale access to select Ovation Hall shows.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
At the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, the Wild Card Reward's Veterans Program is open to all active-duty military and all veterans as well as spouses. Here, the upgrade is to “Elite” level. Rules note that a driver’s license with the “Veteran” designation is valid as proof of veteran status.
Some benefits include:
- Automatic upgrade to Elite status (with complimentary self-parking).
- A limited-edition Hard Rock Veteran Pin.
- Buy One, Get One Buffet, Monday through Friday.
- 15% discount at Hard Rock Café.
- 20% off all regular priced services at the Rock Spa.
- 20% off Hotel Rooms Sunday through Thursday, and special Veteran’s Events throughout the year.
Venetian Resort Las Vegas
The Venetian, featuring some of the most luxuriously appointed “standard” rooms (actually suites) in Las Vegas, does not offer active military/veterans an upgrade in its loyalty club, called Grazie, but the resort does offer a year-round generous 30% discount on room rates to active-duty military and veterans.
A couple of notes: The discount is a call-in offer. Call 866-659-9643 and mention code: JVGVMNT. Identification required at check-in. Spouses and dependents are not eligible.
A number of casino-hotels offer year-round discounts for military and veterans, along with similar discounts for belonging to other groups and organizations but without upgrades in their respective loyalty programs. Take notice when booking rooms for those discounts.
Daily and Veterans Day Discounts
Along with year-long military and veterans programs, many casinos will be offering discounts and specials that are day-of-the-week specific or attached to Veterans Day (Nov. 11) itself.
Here are a few:
Silverton Casino, Las Vegas. Current and former members of the Armed Forces receive special perks every Wednesday. Present military or veteran ID at the Silverton Rewards Counter. Among the benefits are “Swipe N Win” where participants can win up to $100 in free slot play. Wednesday 50% dining discount at several restaurants for loyalty club members at Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels.
Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City. Resorts Casino New Jersey has some all-year benefits for veterans as part of its Military Appreciation, mostly discounts on dining, hotel and salon services. But on Veterans Day itself, there are some freebies. Those are a free burger at the Landshark Bar & Grill and a free Cheeseburger in Paradise at Margaritaville. Limit one per person.
Live! Casino & Hotel, Hanover, Md. A chance to win Thanksgiving dinner for 10. Service members can receive a commemorative Live! Rewards Card exclusive to veterans. Present your veterans or active-duty military ID at the Live! Rewards Desk to receive your card. Participants will have a chance to win a curated gift basket and a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 from Wegmans in a veteran-exclusive drawing with 50 winners. Swipe at any promotional kiosk to get 1,111 free entries into the drawing! You can earn an additional 100 entries for every 100 Tier Credits earned. Earning period is 6 a.m.-11:59 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11, with a virtual drawing at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 12.
Bally’s Atlantic City. Veterans enjoy 10% off their hotel stay all year long. Plus, on Nov. 11, they receive a 15% discount at several restaurants, including Jerry Longo’s Meatballs and Martinis, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse, as well as others. Free parking will be available Nov. 11 -13 with proper ID. Government and military personnel who sign up for a Bally Rewards card will be immediately upgraded to “Star” with valid proof of military or veteran’s card. Also, there’s a Veterans special room rate of 25% off. Book through Nov. 30 and stay through Dec. 29, 2022. -
A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.