The Beauty of Drink Comps
From Las Vegas Advisor:
We tend to take it for granted, but that free drink is the most potent comp a regular guy can get these days. The arrangement isn't universal-many Native American casinos don't serve alcohol, and in some places, Indiana for example, it's illegal to comp booze-but in the majority of casinos the deal is standard: Play a roll, get a drink. It's that simple. And most keep serving up the free ones as long as you're actively playing the machine. That means that if you get lucky and hit a big video poker hand (or slot jackpot) early on, you can enjoy several complimentary cocktails on a ten-dollar bill. On the other hand, if you play your credits all the way down to zero you might think, "That was a great way to get a ten-dollar beer." But the reality is that the tried-and-true drink-for-play arrangement in a casino is one of the strongest deals going. Let's break down the numbers....
This deal is so strong, the choice to play rather than pay makes sense even when considering the purchase of less-expensive soft drinks, or when you play on very bad schedules or slots. Say a Coke costs just a dollar and a 25-cent slot machine has a big 9% hold. Playing $10 through one time costs 90 cents compared to forking over the buck. The leeway to play isn't as wide, but it's still a money-saver.