In my local casino, they were "giving away" a $100 Macy's gift card. All you had to do was play $500 of your own money! No wonder people ended up begging a certain woman who wasn't playing with a player's card to let them put their player's card in her machine after they lost their money chasing the Macy's gift card! That's absurd when you think about it! You could have just saved your money and just BOUGHT a Macy's gift card or 5 of them yourself at a grocery store instead of having to earn it at a casino.
Why is the ratio of trolls to unicorns so high here?
I was being serious when I said a $500 requirement for a $100 Macy's gift card is a bad casino giveaway.
Are you suggesting that $500 coin-in got you into a drawing for a Macy's Gift Card or that $500 coin-in absolutely would get you the Macy's Gift Card? If you are suggesting the latter of those two things, I find it hard to believe that the casino would offer a promotion that GOOD. Even if you had to buck a House Edge of 15% (which would be really high even on penny slots) you'd still have an expected loss of just $75 in exchange for a $100 Gift Card.
I'd consider that break even, only because I don't normally shop at Macy's and, therefore, attribute the value to the gift card that I could easily sell it for. If you could do the $500 coin-in on VP, even terrible VP, I'd suggest the player has the best of that by a long shot. I don't shop at Macy's, but if I can trade a 5% expected loss on $500 coin in ($25) for a $100 gift card, sign me up!
If, instead, you're referring to a drawing for a $100 Macy's Gift Card, then I'd have to try to figure out how many gift cards there were in the drawing and roughly how many people would qualify for the drawing. The gift card, of course, would still have value but not $75 (the maximum value I would ascribe to it) in value...unless there were more cards than players. At a guess, the Video Poker would have to be pretty darn good for the value that I would assign to the gift card multiplied by the probability of my winning it (expressed as a decimal) to be more than the expected loss.
And, of course, if the gift card were for a place I would normally shop, then it would, in fact, have $100 in value to me as a straight giveaway.
Okay, okay, it was $500 coin in for a guaranteed $100 Macy's gift card. But still, having to spend $500 for a $100 gift card is really steep IMHO.
My local casino also had a $50 dollar umbrella giveaway promotion. Get out of here! That umbrella was worth $6 at the most!