Casinos plan basketball -- but not 'March Madness' -- parties

This is the first weekend of the NCAA men's basketball tournament -- otherwise known as "March Madness." (And similar to the Super Bowl, casinos are forbidden to use the term "March Madness" in their advertising.) Many of the casinos will be hosting special parties -- some by invitation only, others, including the El Cortez, Excalibur and Sahara, are open to the public. At the Las Vegas Hilton's annual "Hoop Central" through Sunday, college basketball fans will be able to watch the games on giant screens in the Hilton ballroom (in a smoke-free environment). Besides food and drink specials, players buying a $25 parlay card will receive a free "Madness" T-shirt -- limit two per person while supplies last.

Every day through March 31, Eastside Cannery C.A.N. Club members can swipe their cards to win up to $15,000 cash, free prizes and entries into upcoming Friday and Saturday night drawings. Drawing entries also may be earned playing the machines or at the tables. Visit the players club booth for complete rules and details. Cannery C.A.N. Club members can swipe their cards to win gifts and cash once every day this Saturday through Monday.

Aliante Station also is running a daily "Swipe and Win" every day in March. Prizes include free points, meals and cash.

On Sunday and Tuesday, Rampart players earning 150 one-day points ($300 coin-in on slots, $600 coin-in on video poker; no point redemption required) or have one hour of table play with a $15 average bet will receive a free electronic game.

The Hard Rock Hotel's "We Ain't Foolin' " drawing takes place at 7 p.m. April 1. One person will receive $5,000, while the other 14 will receive $250-$2,500 or an "April Fool's" prize. Rockstar Club members receive one entry for every 100 points ($100-$600 coin-in) earned beginning Tuesday.

Binion's (which is celebrating its first anniversary under new ownership) has revamped its players club. Club Binion's members now earn one point for every $5 coin-in on slots and every $8 coin-in on video poker. Players can redeem every 40 points for $1 in cash and $2 in comps. Although Binion's and the Four Queens are under the same ownership, their clubs are not linked.

Bonus Point Days: Cannery (C.A.N. Club): 5x Tuesday and Thursday (some machines excluded); Casino Royale (Club Royale): 2x 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 8-11 p.m., 3x 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.; Eastside Cannery (C.A.N. Club): 3x Tuesday, Thursday and March 28 (100 percent machines excluded); Eldorado (Prime Rewards): 3x Wednesday; Ellis Island (Passport Players Club): 6x Sundays and Tuesdays, 5x Fridays (some machines excluded); Gold Coast (Club Coast): double cashback Tuesday and March 31; Golden Gate (Club 1906): 2x Tuesdays and Thursdays; Hacienda (Club Matador): 2x Mondays and Wednesdays, 4x Tuesdays; Hard Rock (Rockstar Club): 6x today through Monday (register at club prior to playing); Jerry's Nugget (More Club): 5x Mondays, 3x Tuesdays and Thursdays; Jokers Wild (Prime Rewards): 3x Wednesday; Railroad Pass (Players Junction): 2x Mondays, 3x Tuesdays; Silver Nugget (Slot Club): 2x every day; Silverton (Discovery Club): 5x Fridays (slots only); Terrible's (Players Club): 3x Thursdays and Sundays, 5x (slots only) Mondays, 10x (slots only) Wednesdays; Tuscany (Players Club): 10x Tuesdays in March, 5x Sundays and Wednesdays, 5x Monday-Friday 12 a.m.-5 a.m. (some machines excluded).

The Player's Edge appears Fridays in Neon. E-mail Jeffrey Compton and Bob Dancer at jeffrey.compton@compdance. com.