Monday, February 28, 2011

Bartender's casino flings

Going over an old copy of the Straits Times, i came across a highly interesting nugget of information.

According to the Jan 13 paper, a bartender by the name of Jason Lin, aged 26, goes to the casinos in Singapore three times a week and "rolls" $2K to $3K each time!

There must be money aplenty in the bartending business? Or Jason's got super lucky hands! Perhaps that's why he's called Jason. Remember Jason and the Golden Fleece of Greek myths fame?

What Singapore's casinos gain from or lose to Jason, the floating casinos he used to patronise have lost him --for the time being anyway.

"I don't go on cruise ships any more, " he said in the ST report. "It's too troublesome -- it takes too long to get on board the ship."

Although it's a long while since I've been on ships with casinos like the SuperStar Virgo, I too remember the inconvenience. The hours to enjoy gambling are short, especially if you go on those four day three night cruises that I took.

There was always so much time wasted hanging around, especially those long hours when the ship was in dock and many people went ashore to sight see.

Much better to have the casinos right on our doorstep, so that when energy and/or luck run out, one can go home to sleep it off!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Math of casino visits

When i paid the $2,000 full year levy to enter the Marina Bay Sands Casino on Jan 2, I knew I must visit more than 12 times to make the sums work for paying the levy in advance, instead of paying $100 every time I go there.

Apart from the upfront payment, I have given up the flexibility of visiting the casino fewer than 12 times during the next 12 months. Because if I go fewer than 12 times, I would in effect be paying more than the government mandated $100 per day levy.

However, I know for sure that I would visit MBS more than 12 times in 2011. I intend to anyway.

Where is the break even point? 20 times. Visits beyond that would be considered "levy free" or would go towards reducing the cost of the levy per visit.

Still, that would depend a lot on whether my luck holds out on most of the visits.

If I lose more money than I win, then I may not visit more than 20 times. If I win more than I lose, then tarada, I would go more than 20 times. Simple!

Stay tune to this blog for more about whether the numbers work out for me at MBS!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Been to Marina Bay Sands 10X already!

And certainly planning more in the coming days, weeks and months!

In 2010, when I paid the $100 per visit levy, I went four times: Jun 7, Jun 28, Jul 17 and
Dec 23.

Since I bit the bullet and paid the $2K full year levy on Jan 2 this year, I’ve been 6 times so far: Jan 2, Jan 7, Jan 17, Jan 26, Feb 10 and Feb 16.

It would have been 7 times had I accepted a friend’s invite to join her and a foreign visitor she was showing the casino to, on Feb 4 but that being the second day of Chinese New Year, it’s no can-do for me.

Also, I view going to the casino somewhat like meditation. Not too much talk or bonding. I want to focus on what I’m doing — gambling — not updating each other about our lives which should be done over a meal or an activity which doesn’t demand all my attention.

Further, friends who want to meet up are given to understand that we needn’t move around like Siamese twins, otherwise we won’t have the freedom to explore all the gambling wares (for me it’s strictly the more than 1,600 slot machines) that are on offer. Further, we are free to say ciao and split should we run out of energy or money!

Plan to go again be4 this month is over, although I really need to go another 14 times for the rest of this year, to break even on my paid-for full year levy, with all subsequent visits effectively levy free.

Now, if only I can be equally certain I won't lose money: then, it would be a no-brainer to go everyday. Since i can't, I've to dole out the visits, very much like favourite foods and drinks, so as to savour the experience, without injuring my pocket overmuch at the casino, and without injuring my health when it comes to eating n imbibing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Penny-pinching gambling

Ever since I went to Marina Bay Sands casino for the first time in June, 2010, I’ve been an MBS Premier Advantage red card member, which is the lowest of the low among MBS Premier Advantage membership categories.

The next levels are Gold, Platinum and Diamond respectively.

I had signed up first and foremost because it’s free and is supposed to give me freebies, tho I never really knew what these were at the time of signing up.

Later, I discovered I could redeem the horrendously expensive $24 parking charge by using up some of the Premier $ that resulted from “points” I earned by gambling in the casino.

Since I’ve already visited the casino a grand total of 7 times with the last visit on Jan 17 (other visits: twice in June, once in July and December and three times so far in January), I decided to explore a bit more on what
exactly my Premier red card delivers.

So, I logged onto my membership account tonight and discovered

1) I had accumulated 80 points that left me 308 points short of the next level of membership — a gold card that needed 388 points to qualify. As it has taken me almost a year to earn about 25% of the required points for elevation, it will likely take me another three years of the same level of gambling to get upgraded!

2) At my membership level, every 10 points translates into $5 premier. That means I should have a total of $40 premier. However, I’ve had six free parking passes, which at $4 premier per parking pass (one wasted because I misplaced it just be4 I exited the carpark) must have eaten $24 premier. So the balance of $16 premier in my account tallies.

What I’m really curious about is just how much one must gamble to earn 1 gambling point? Can’t find any info on the MBS website. Nor was I any wiser after asking at one of the membership service counters at MBS, the last time I was there.

So I’m left to guess: Is 1 gambling point equal to $100 gambled?

If so, my 80 points would reflect having pumped $8,000 into the slot machines (my only mode of gambling) or more than $1,000 per visit.

But I’ve only been down at max $350 — and only once on Jan 2 — and lost much much smaller amounts on two other occasions, while coming out quite handsomely on the other four. So most of the gambling points earned must have come from the constant recycling of my capital and that of the casino! ;)

Yes, MBS?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sixth visit & biggest win so far

It’s exactly the sort of day the doctor would have ordered, if I were under the eye of a doctor — which thankfully I’m not.

What I want to say is that today I did things I want to do in the way I want to do them, with no ifs or buts.
I met up for lunch with LW, KL and MK2, the latter two whom I haven’t seen since July 2010 when KL took a room at the Marina Bay Sands and MK2 and I among his many friends went along to look-see and get a freebie gander of the Sky Park.

After lunch, LW and I headed off to run an errand; thereafter we split, she Ang Mo Kio and I decided to head for the MBS casino -- for my 6th visit since its opening -- where I had dropped about $350 (X!!!&**@ff?) after going there from Z’s birthday lunch on Jan 2.

I had some $37 worth of voucher left over from that loss to be used within the month or else see that paper go to waste. (So the actual loss was $350-$37).

Fortunately, today’s outing was a complete success as I won a gross amount of  $620! Which leaves me beaming from ear to ear, and with some fresh capital (after offsetting losses from the Jan 2 visit) for the next round which alas, given my calendar, will not be till after mid-January!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Winning machine

A quick pix of one of my wins at Marina Bay Sands. Love the casino which doesn’t seem to mind photos being taken of their jackpot machines, unlike in Genting Highlands and its ship, Superstar Virgo.

At those places, they have strong, armed and beady eyed security men watching any shutter happy guest all ready to move in to stop any action.

Besides, there are spoil spot signs which indicate “No camera” with a slash across a sketch of a camera.
So, unlikely I would be heading back to Genting or Virgo any time soon, now that there is MBS with its more than 1,600 slot machines to choose from compared to the hundreds in Genting and several dozens on board Virgo!

This machine is near one of the entrances of the casino and beneath a sports car (that's supposed to be a prize!) and next to two other slots, named Butterfly Kisses. Not bad payers either but don't put in more than 10 bets!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winning day at Marina Bay Sands

for me that is, not the casino!  

I’m grinning like a Chesire cat, happy as a sand boy (girl, actually) as I write this.

This is because today I treated myself to a day at the Marina Bay Sands like I had been planning to since July and had fretted here that I might not be able to make it be4 2010 bows out.

Somehow with a bit of planning and tight scheduling of all my chores, I got that long clear stretch I wanted to justify paying the $100 levy to enter the casino.

And guess what? Not only did I spend close to 12 hours at MBS — not all of it inside the casino of cos, as I explored the new food court, the new shops that had opened since I was there last, ate a leisurely early dinner, snacked and generally took it easy.

But I guess I must have been inside the actual casino for at least eight hours and so in my estimate have maxed out the cost of the levy.

And guess what again? I started with $500. After paying the levy, I had $400 left for gambling.
Then guess what yet again?

When I left, after 10pm, I still had $150 of capital in my wallet and cashed out this amount as shown in the pix I took be4 I changed it for cash at the casino’s cashier.

My math tells me that I won a net of $75.41, after taking into account the levy, or $175.41 if the levy is ignored.

Which isn’t a bad return where I’m concerned.

So my fourth visit to Marina Bay has been the luckiest to date. A very fitting X’mas present to myself!
And unlike my July visit, I didn’t lose my “free parking” ticket. I got free parking for all the hours I was there.
Oh, the cheap thrill I get out of this to brighten my life!  :-D