Party Poker NJ sent a promotional email to its registered account holders this week, detailing upcoming changes to its player loyalty program.
The revamp is slated to go into effect on October 1, and will impact both Party’s online poker and casino patrons in New Jersey.
From what I could gather, the loyalty program will undergo four noteworthy alterations:
- The highest loyalty tier, Palladium Elite, will be kicked to the curb. Palladium Elite was the sole quarterly tier among the site’s five loyalty ranks.
- The point thresholds for the four remaining tiers will be amended.
- Return rates will be higher (possibly).
- Players will be able to exchange their points for casino bonuses and cash.
In addition, player point totals from September will determine their October status under the new system.
As far as tier requirements, they have been changed to the following:
- Bronze – base loyalty level
- Silver – 50 points per month, down from 250
- Gold – 750 points per month, up from 500
- Palladium – 2,000 points per month, up from 1,000
Notice that the bar to achieve Silver status has been set exceedingly low. My guess is that Party went this route to attract more casual players.
On the flip side, the point requirements for both the Gold and Palladium tiers have been upped quite significantly, which may sit unfavorably with hardcore players, especially poker grinders.
Going further, Party’s most loyal patrons may be distraught to learn that they may no longer receive the preferential treatment associated with being a Palladium Elite member, although it’s conceivable that Palladium members under the new scheme will receive a similar windfall of luxuries.
In that case, gaining special attention from Party will be that much easier (Palladium Elite requires players to earn 10,000 points over three months).
Party isn’t the first operator to adapt a “take from the rich and give to the poor” mentality, as just last month Full Tilt rolled out sweeping changes to its existing loyalty program, many of which favored the recreational crowd.
Thus far, Full Tilt’s radical new approach to VIP rewards hasn’t exactly resulted in renewed interest in the site. According to Poker Industry Pro via PokerScout.com, Full Tilt has plunged to ninth in the global rankings, with average cash game liquidity hovering in the mid-800’s, down from the mid-1300’s this time last year.
Casino/cash bonuses a welcome change
The upcoming expansion to Party Poker’s points store is a welcome one as currently, players looking to exchange their points for added play are restricted to poker bonuses.
This stands in stark contrast to sister site BorgataCasino.com, which offers poker, casino and cash bonuses, and also hosts the lion’s share of the network’s promotions.
As of next month, the playing field should be somewhat leveled, signaling that Party isn’t quite ready to concede defeat to the more popular Borgata.
Return rates still a mystery
The text of the email leads me to believe that Party Poker will be boosting its current point conversion rates, as well as instituting rates for casino/cash bonuses that are more favorable than what’s currently offered by the Borgata’s online gambling sites.
Information regarding what those conversion rates will ultimately look like was intentionally left out.
At present, players can convert points to poker bonuses at a relatively paltry 4-10 percent cashback rate, dependent upon the size of the bonus and current loyalty tier. Borgata’s rates are slightly more varied, running the gamut from 2-15 percent.
Exchange rates on tournament tickets are far more favorable, ranging from 7-20 percent on Party Poker, but still lacking in comparison to online casino sites in other regulated markets. Borgata lags behind Party in this department, only offering 5-16 percent conversion rates.
That’s still better than Borgata’s cash bonus rates, which at best offer poker grinders 5.3 percent cashback and slot players just over a .1 percent return on their wagers.
Should Party’s rates eclipse these rates (and it shouldn’t be difficult to do) it will be better positioned to capture a larger share of the network’s liquidity, particularly on the casino front.