Once used to simply track players' frequency of play and award free play credits, many casino 'Players Club' programmes are evolving into true loyalty programmes. But, according to a study by Phoenix Marketing, consumers' expectations exceed what many of these programmes are currently offering. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The study examined the opinions and expectations of 3,000 customers from the US Mid-Atlantic region who belonged to at least one Players Club loyalty or rewards programme, and who gamble at least three times a year.

When asked about the importance of various features and benefits of these programmes, the primary attraction was found to be the amount of free play offered, followed by dining discounts, and free hotel rooms.

However, casino patrons also place heavy emphasis on free self-parking, free access to in-house events, early check-ins, late check-outs, and special bonuses and promotions based on the loyalty tier or level they had achieved within the programme.

When asked to rate the value of loyalty programme partners, those that were rated most as being valuable to loyalty customers were restaurants, hotels, gas stations, grocery stores and, interestingly, other casinos.