[toc]With the announcement of its latest promotional vehicle, Golden Nugget online casino in New Jersey has sent a clear message: “We are not to be outdone.”
Earlier this week, the NJ online casino market’s top performer announced its $300k Golden Race giveaway, a 10-month long leaderboard promotion comprised of 10 individual monthly promotions coupled with a massive year-end giveaway.
In total, Golden Nugget will dole out $300,000 worth of bonuses from now until the end of the year, rendering the event one of the largest single promotional offers in industry history.
But is this a race where everyone has a shot of crossing the finish line? From the looks of it, that depends on how much fuel players are willing to place in their casino wallets.
This Golden Nugget promo is madness
From March 1 through March 31, players that make a qualifying deposit of $20 or more using the promotional code MAR17RACE will be automatically entered into the competition.
From there, they’ll be tasked with accumulating Golden Points — the NJ gambling site’s loyalty measuring stick — which going forward will also award monthly and annual leaderboard points.
The crux of a player’s Golden Points will be earned by participating in real-money games, with earn rates of five points per $100 wagered on slots, and one point for every $100 gambled on table games, including blackjack, roulette, and video poker.
However, Golden Nugget Casino has broadened its program to include several other means by which to earn points:
- 10 points each day a real-money wager is placed
- 20 points for each day a player makes a $50 – $99 deposit
- 40 points for daily deposits of $100 or more
In essence, a player could earn 50 points a day — the equivalent of $1,000 in slot wagers — just by making a $100 deposit and placing exactly one bet.
At the end of the month, all leaderboard points will be tallied, and the top 100 finishers will split a $20,000 prize pool as per the following matrix:
- 1st place: $3,500
- 2nd place: $2,500
- 3rd place: $1,500
- 4th place: $1,000
- 5th place: $750
- 6th – 10th place: $500
- 11th – 25th place: $200
- 26th – 50th place: $100
- 51st – 100th place: $50
- 1 random prize of $250
It’s worth noting that the promotional prizes currently offered by competing sites pale in comparison to these amounts. From our experience, $500 – $1,000 top prizes are industry norms.
Suffice it to say, this is an aggressive offer.
What’s more, is that the bonus funds are only subject to a low 1x wagering requirement, which means that they’re nearly as valuable as straight up cash.
One very important twist
This month’s offer comes with a bit of a hoops-inspired twist. Throughout the month, select games will award Golden Point multipliers.
From now through March 6, a healthy mix of 64 of the online casino’s 360+ games will award double points. These games will then rotate out and be replaced with 32, then 16, eight, all the way down to just two games on March 31.
During the final two phases of the promotion, selected games will award triple, then quadruple points. This caveat should grant players that are lagging behind the leaders the opportunity to make up ground.
Note: Golden Nugget has added a special Games Madness tab to its main lobby. This is where players will find games that are currently eligible for point multipliers.
One marathon comprised of a series of sprints
March Games Madness is just one piece of a greater whole.
To elaborate, players that opt in to any race will automatically be eligible for an annual leaderboard competition that runs concurrently with the monthly races.
At the end of the year, the top 25 Golden Points earners will win substantial bonus prizes, as follows:
- 1st place: $24,000 ($2,000 monthly)
- 2nd place: $12,000 ($1,000 monthly)
- 3rd place: $9,000 ($750 monthly)
- 4th place: $6,000 ($500 monthly)
- 5th place: $4,200 ($350 monthly)
- 6th – 10th place: $3,000 ($250 monthly)
- 11th – 25th place: $1,500 ($125 monthly)
- 5 random winners $1,500 ($125 monthly)
In total, $100,000 worth of bonuses will be given away. These bonuses carry the same negligible 1x turnover requirement on slots (5x on other games) as the monthly race prizes.
On balance, the bonuses are equivalent to 92 – 98 percent of their value in cash, depending on the game(s) played.
Worth noting is that players are given extra incentive to participate in later races, as they will earn double leaderboard points throughout the months of August through November, and triple points in December.
Offer targets high-rollers almost exclusively
Give Golden Nugget Casino credit, this is a shrewdly-crafted promotion. What’s especially crafty is that not only are players incentivized to compete with one another, but they’re encouraged to ramp up that level of competition as the offer nears its expiration date.
The result: More revenue for the Golden Nugget.
But that’s not to say players won’t benefit immensely from this offer. It’s just that those who’ll reap the biggest rewards will have to put in the volume, all while maintaining a relatively high average bet.
Thus, budget and/or casual players will be left in the dust, with virtually no chance of winning a leaderboard prize.
Notice, there are a few random rewards, but they only comprise a tiny slice of the total $300k prize allowance.
What will it take to win?
So just how much volume will it take to win a top prize?
Based on the big numbers put up by some Golden Nugget Casino players, we estimate players will need to wager in the millions, possibly the tens-of-million for table game/video poker players, from now until December to finish near the top of the leaderboard.
Even then, this is still a lucrative cashback deal.
Think of it this way: A player who wagers $10 million playing perfect basic strategy blackjack only averages a $41k loss.
Over the course of the next ten months, it’s plausible that this player will finish in the top 5 of the leaderboard standings every month and for the year, pocketing at least $13k in bonuses, in addition to tons of VIP Club perks and cashback via Golden Point conversions.
That amount still doesn’t offset the losses, but if the player was going to play that high anyhow, it severely cuts down the losses.
Then again, there’s no guarantee $10 million in wagers will be enough — but we suppose the unknown variables are part of the fun.