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Casino Loses Patent Ruling

Station Casinos, a company which owns the majority of local casinos in Las Vegas, has won a nearly 5-year legal battle against Harrah’s Entertainment. The law suit Harrah’s filed pertained to Station’s promotion and sale of the famous ‘Boarding Pass’, a similar perks card to that of the ‘Total Rewards’ card distributed by Harrah’s. The major hotel and casino operator claimed that Station’s ‘Boarding Pass’ infringed on three Harrah’s patents. Due to a lack of specific wording and explanation regarding the subject matter Harrah’s patented, Judge David Ezra could not find sufficient evidence to rule in favor of the world’s largest casino company.

The ‘Boarding Pass’ by Station Casinos and the ‘Total Rewards’ card by Harrah’s Entertainment both operate on tracking systems which monitor how much and how frequently customers gamble. Free buffets, show tickets, and other perks are also offered to these loyal casino card holders. Harrah’s devised this powerful marketing tool, but it seems the casino giant will have to accept the law of free enterprise and come to terms with the fact that its knowledge of customer tracking will become widespread.

Although Station Casinos has been successful in promoting and selling their ‘Boarding Pass’, the company has still not been as successful as Harrah’s. The casino leader attributes this to their slot club. It is a unique club which has achieved customer loyalty in large numbers. Although Harrah’s has lost this battle, the casino king will continue to be successful with its ‘Total Rewards’ card because of its exclusive slot club.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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