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How MGM Resorts' M Life Is Putting The Screw To You

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 20th January 2011 6:10am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


On January 11, 2011 MGM Resorts International finally rolled out their new comp club - M life - to all of their Las Vegas properties. They trumpeted unsurpassed accessibility, transparency and flexibility where M life players would be able to track and redeem Express Comps via freshly issued tiered players cards, kiosks at Mirage and NYNY, iPhone apps and fully retrained employees. Great!

What they didn't tell you - and we've learned from an internal source - was that all of this "transparency and flexibility" came with a price tag, paid primarily by slot players.

If you are unfamiliar with how comps are calculated, go read this vintage VT feature The Hand On The Hand In The Cookie Jar: The Math of Casino Comps and come right back. You can play with the Comp Calculator later.

The short version: players are assigned a "theo" - short for theoretical loss - based on what types of games they play. Standard issue 'theo' for table games is for the casino to re-invest 40% back into the player (a comp.)

Example: if you lose $1000, you'll get $400 worth of comps - two nights in a $200/nt room, or 50% off the room and two $100 show tickets, or one night free and $200 in resort credits, however they decide to slice and dice. The casinos figure that the next time you wish to stay and play in town, you'd probably blow $1500 at the dice table since you didn't have to fork over for x, y and/or z. Eventually, you work your way up the food chain to getting a host who knows what types of panties you prefer your hookers to wear, and exactly where to cart your spouse off to while said services are being rendered. Great!

Two weeks ago, gambling on a pre-M Life table game, you were rewarded with a 40% reinvestment of your theoretical loss. In a post M Life table game, you still are reinvested with 40%. Your comp reinvestment is now first sliced ($0.13/$1) into Express Comps, a balance that is shown to the player via Mlife.com, apps and kiosks. Slot players are given $0.02 per point accrued. The leftover theo goes into a Primary Comps balance that pays for - in M life determined priority order - resort fees *gak*, hotel rooms, wholly owned gift & sundries shops, retail, dining, spa and entertainment. Prioritizing how they spend your Priority Comp balance gives priority cost and pricing advantage to the resort... get it?

Example: M life will pencil away a useless $25 resort fee and a $250 room at a priority value that is higher than the actual market value of the room. Yes, under M Life your comp points are paying resort fees on comped rooms. Puke?

If you're a slot player, it gets worse. Time for an infographic:

If the previous MGM Mirage Players Club was analogous to 3:2 natural blackjack payouts, M life is almost to the penny the 6:5 version. Under M life, the theo return for slot players has been slashed from 30% to 25%.

Yeah, we've got tiered benefits, on the spot Express Comps redemption, iPhone apps and one swipe discounts (that do double duty as player taste and spend tracking) but you didn't think they'd roll out a new comp system that would have better or equal mathematics for the players did you?

Tagged: mlife   comp clubs   


Comments & Discussion:

Can someone tell me, seriously, what the FUCK are the tiered benefits?

i can. later today.

Thank god. Cause not even MilfLife can.

you hearing anything about hotel/total spend earn rates?

(coming "later this year")

answered - apparently the employee training sessions did NOT mention hotel/total spend earn rates.

I think what your forgetting in this argument is that it is in your favor to use your comps for room and resort fees.... lets do some simple math here... say you have three charges on your billing to apply your 'express comp' a room and tax charge of $280+tax, a resort fee of $20+tax, and $100+tax in food and beverage from some MGM owned restaurant... Now you have $100 in express comps to apply...
Because of the way the Nevada courts have ruled it is in your favor to apply this comp to the room charges/resort fee... In the state of Nevada the hotel does not have to pay taxes on comp room charges, while you do have to pay them on food and beverages purchases...
In this example if you applied your $100 in express comps to the resort fee (which like it or not you will be responsible for) and the room tax you would actually be getting an additional $12 in value, because now neither you nor the hotel is paying the tax on that charge (it kind of just magically goes away, the magic of litigation) you get the full value of the $100 applied, plus the value of $12 if tax you would have paid...
It doesn't work like that with any other charges, if your applying that same express comp to your food and beverage charge someone is still responsible for the tax charges (whither it be you or MGM)... So if they are applying this comp to your account they are going to be only taking $92.51 in actual food and beverage, the other $7.49 is going to be all tax...

What I would figure is the reasoning behind this pecking order of charges has more to do with taxes then some kind of mythical house advantage to where you spend it...

I used to be pretty loyal to MGM, but I'm finding it harder and harder to justify giving them my business.

They're out to screw their customers at every turn, and most of their clientele is blissfully ignorant as to how bad they're being screwed.

JimBojangles has a point. Previously, resort fees were paid for by just asking a comped, and supposedly valued, customer for the money out of pocket at check-in.

The money is coming from SOMEWHERE. The only people MLife puts a crimp in in this regard, is people who have a policy of always throwing a fit at the front desk and seeing if the resort fee will be waived for creating a big enough fuss. If this damages your ability to play that game, as someone who doesn't play it I can't really care.

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