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Casino Credit Card Makes Big Splash with Gamblers

by Peter Andrew

Casino

Credit Card Makes Big Splash with Gamblers

The Arriva Card, a private-label credit card marketed to "prime"

casino gamblers, announced earlier this week that it has signed

up its first 1,000 cardholders and has seen $2.5 million in

transactions in its first weeks of limited marketing. While

the numbers are extremely modest by the standards of big credit

card issuers, Arriva Card, Inc. says that its direct mail response

rate is 1.36%, well above the industry standard of 0.3%, and

that is targeting only the most credit-worthy customers. In

addition, the company says the average cash advance on an Arriva

Card is nearly twice as large as those done on non-Arriva credit

cards.

While

the appeal of using credit to fund gambling purchases is obvious,

Arriva is understandably emphasizing a focus on good-credit

customers and responsible gaming. Witness the statement from

Todd Smith, vice president for card services at Global Cash

Access, Inc., parent of Arriva Card, Inc.: "It's very exciting

to see how many experienced, responsible gaming customers with

strong credit ratings have applied--and qualified--for an Arriva

Card during the initial few weeks of our direct mail marketing

effort. It really shows that savvy gaming customers know they

don't need to be penalized by traditional credit cards' terms

for cash advances and are eager to embrace an alternative that

treats them better."

Smith's

specific reference to cash advances is appropriate because the

Arriva Card's main selling point is that it offers better terms

for these advances--which are what gamblers use to access more

cash on the casino floor--than could be achieved through traditional

credit cards. Arriva Card offers a grace period on cash advances,

as well as a rewards program on cash advances. Most card companies

offer no grace period on such advances, meaning cardholders

begin paying interest immediately, and cash advance interest

rates are usually significantly higher than rates on regular

credit card purchases.

Arriva

Card says it is accepted at over 700 gambling destinations.

The card is not associated with a network such as MasterCard,

Visa, American Express or Discover, so it can not be used as

a general credit card for typical credit card purchases.

Published 09/15/06 (Modified 05/07/12)


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