MGM postponed other news, events after Las Vegas shooting

One of the highlights of the annual Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas is the ability of local companies to show a few things to their international contemporaries when they’re here for the trade show.

Equipment manufacturers often schedule casino executives to tour their showrooms in the days leading up to the event to give them a personalized look at what new dazzle is ahead for their floors.

MGM Resorts International had something like that planned during the week of G2E, which brought an estimated 27,000 people to the city.

The company, which months ago announced that it would roll out its GameSense responsible gaming program at all of its Las Vegas resorts by the end of the year, arranged to have a media event at The Mirage, across the street from The Venetian, where G2E was staged.

MGM was going to show a program it is required to have to open a casino in Massachusetts and liked enough to introduce in many of its other U.S. properties.

But everyone knows what happened the Sunday before G2E. Everybody’s minds were occupied with the tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest festival, and MGM’s attention was on its Mandalay Bay property.

The company wisely canceled a media event about GameSense, and a training session at The Mirage was postponed.

MGM has provided details of the program on the company’s website and has information and displays at Mlife centers on casino floors.

Through GameSense, the casino giant is about as transparent as it can be on how people win and lose when they play. It explains random-number generators in slot machines, dispels myths about casino games and notes that while some players increase their edge through skill, the luck of the draw still prevails on card games.

The cynics among us will say MGM and other casino companies are all about sucking every dollar out of your wallet, but the GameSense program encourages people to set limits on spending and time gambling and how and where to seek help for people who can’t stick to those limits. It suggests that players take regular breaks from gambling for other amenities.

With tools accessible through the company’s Mlife loyalty program, players can get tips on how to establish a gambling budget. MGM’s site stresses that players should go in with the expectation they probably will lose money but that those losses are the cost of entertainment.

The GameSense program wasn’t the only MGM happening that got bypassed by the Oct. 1 tragedy.

Through a process of elimination, reporters determined that it was MGM behind the purchase of the San Antonio Stars WNBA team, which will start play at the Mandalay Bay Events Center next year.

It’s been reported that while the WNBA is the world’s most successful women’s sports league, MGM is hoping it can parlay a successful WNBA home team into luring an NBA team to T-Mobile Arena to share the spotlight with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Chairman and CEO Jim Murren has made attracting the NBA one of his goals, which could help fulfill MGM’s plan to be the go-to destination for gaming, entertainment and sports.

MGM’s sports books, by the way, take wagers on WNBA games.

Playing at a casino property is not without precedent. The Connecticut Sun, a team that enjoys success in part because of the proximity of the highly successful University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, plays its games at the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena at the massive Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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