How M Life Rewards Changes Impact MGM Resorts Casinos–And Members

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MGM Resorts International will be updating and streamlining its M Life Rewards loyalty club beginning October 1. The changes to M Life Rewards will make it so that earning comps will be the same in Las Vegas and their other casinos around the country.

Before we get into MGM Resorts’ recent property news, let’s talk about what the updates to its M Life club mean to members.

New M Life Rewards changes

Guests staying at MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas properties will notice the bulk of the changes to the loyalty club. There will be three changes taking effect on October 1. Some are more important than others.

  1. Standardizing the M life Rewards member room rate discount
    • All M Life Rewards members will now receive up to 10% off room rates. This is already taking place at Las Vegas resorts and will roll out to other casinos on October 1.
  2. Discontinuing POINTPlay cash out at MGM Grand Detroit
    • No other M Life Rewards property allows this. Detroit will become the same as every other MGM Resorts casino. Members may still redeem their points for POINTPlay and convert points to Express Comps.
  3. Aligning Express Comps calculation methods
    • MGM Resorts is doing this to standardize the way it calculates Express Comps earned playing slots. Express Comps will be calculated based on time played, average bet, and game type beginning October 1 at all M Life Rewards casinos.

The new Express Comps formula will affect Las Vegas customers the most as the new east coast resorts already operate this way. By changing this calculation, M Life Rewards will give comp points to slot players the same way that mychoice (Penn National Gaming) and B Connected (Boyd Gaming) now reward their customers.

While streamlining the loyalty club is good for MGM Resorts, it’s not a benefit for guests. This ambiguous formula will make it more difficult for customers to track their comps. Additionally, the change will allow MGM Resorts to switch how they reward slot players without informing them.

You can see full details on the changes here.

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M Life Rewards Is Growing

But one positive note is that M Life Rewards is growing in many ways. The addition to new casinos all around the country is just one way the MGM Resorts loyalty club is expanding. It continues to add partners that are unlike any other casino loyalty club in the country. Here are just some of the M Life Rewards partners:

  • Hyatt
  • Southwest
  • Royal Carribean
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Avis
  • Reflection Bay Golf Club

M Life Rewards has a credit card where customers can earn M Life Rewards points. They also reward MyVegas social casino players with discounts and complimentary items.

The changes on earning Express Comps might be an unwanted change but as MGM Resorts continues to grow, so will M Life Rewards.

MGM Resorts expanding on the east coast

MGM Resorts is seen as a Las Vegas company by many casino guests. However, they’ve spent the past few years expanding to the east coast of the US. MGM National Harbor in Maryland opened in 2016. This was their first new east coast casino but not their only east coast property.

In 2016, MGM Resorts announced they were purchasing 50% of Borgata in New Jersey from Boyd Gaming. This purchase gave MGM Resorts 100% ownership of the casino they only had a 50% stake in since it first opened in 2003. In 2017, Borgata became an M Life Rewards casino.

In 2018, MGM Resorts opened a new casino in Massachusetts. MGM Springfield rounds out the new M Life Resorts casinos in the east.

MGM Resorts has M Life Rewards casinos and/or resorts in the following states:

MGM Resorts corporate streamlining

Before MGM Resorts started to expand east, they began looking at ways to save money. In 2015, they announced the Profit Growth Plan (PGP). The goal was to save $300 million by the end of 2017. The program worked so well that MGM Resorts announced that it was increasing the savings goal to $400 million about halfway through implementing the new plan.

PGP streamlined expenses while creating new revenue streams. For example, one way MGM Resorts saved money was clustering its Las Vegas casinos together in order to buy in greater bulk. Casinos like Aria and Bellagio were linked as luxury properties. Meanwhile, Excalibur and Luxor were connected as value properties.

This plan also ushered in parking fees and increased resort fees at the different Las Vegas casinos.

MGM Resorts is once again in the middle of a major corporate overhaul. In early 2018, MGM Resorts announced the implementation of the MGM 2020 program. This program is meant to create efficiencies, streamline operations, reduce expenses, and save MGM Resorts another $300 million.

The first phase of MGM 2020 is designed to improve operating efficiencies throughout the company. The second phase will focus on creating new revenue with new digital initiatives. MGM Resorts’ M Life Rewards is one of its digital springboards.

Loyalty club offers and promotions frequently drive visitation, which helps increase revenue. The changes to M Life Rewards should make the loyalty club easier understand by having the same rules at all casinos. In turn, M Life Rewards should increase revenue for MGM Resorts International.

On a recent earnings call, MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said that Las Vegas will see the majority of the impact from MGM 2020. The changes in Las Vegas didn’t start with the loyalty club, but will soon have an effect on loyal gamblers.

Marc Meltzer

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Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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