timesleader.com

In heaven there is no beer? Because it’s free at the casino

ANDREW M. SEDER aseder@timesleader.com

August 27, 2013

PLAINS TWP. — Free beer at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino, originally touted as a summertime promotion, will continue flowing.


Citing its heady success, casino officials announced Tuesday that instead of turning off the taps on Labor Day, patrons will still be able to get free beer. The casino offers Players Card holders of all levels free 16-ounce draft beers as long as they’re actively playing slots or table games. Beer choices include Miller Lite, Coors Light, Heineken and Labatt Blue.


The giveaway began around Memorial Day and enabled the lowest level of Players Card holder to enjoy what those with the two higher tiered cards — Elite and Sagamore — were already entitled. Elite and Sagamore card holders also are entitled to free bottled beer, wine and liquor, something Mohegan Sun’s lowest tiered card holders are not.


At the time, casino President and General Manager Mike Bean said the promotion was temporary. But after three months of data showed how well the free beer was able to bring people in to the casino’s doors, the decision was made to extend the deal.


“We listened to our guests,” said Bean. “The feedback we received was so good it made sense to keep it going.”


From May 1 to Aug. 26, the casino has given away 178,000 beers to card holders, Bean said. That’s a 151 percent increase from the amount of free beer distributed in the same time span last year.


Mohegan might have been the state’s first casino, but it wasn’t the first to offer free beer to all guests. Forty miles away at Mount Airy Casino near Mount Pocono, the free draft beer and wine started being offered to all players in 2010. Liquor and bottled beers must be purchased.


At Sands Bethlehem, the state’s top casino in terms of revenue, draft beer, mixed drinks and wine are provided to all players for free. Bottled beer can be purchased.


And at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, those who hold player cards in the top two tiers of the four-tier system are entitled to free alcoholic beverages. The bottom-two tier cards are not.


Other casinos offer varying degrees of free liquor and beer.