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MGM’s nongambling customers can get rewards under rebuilt program

Updated February 2, 2022 - 6:15 am

MGM Resorts International on Tuesday launched its revamped loyalty program, one that for the first time brings nongambling customers into the rewards program fold.

The company’s new program, which is called MGM Rewards, retains the five-level tiered rewards structure used by the previous M Life Rewards. One of the major changes that MGM Rewards brings is that loyalty program members will now be able to get points for more than just gambling, and will earn redeemable currency when they spend money on food, drinks, entertainment, rooms and other nongaming activities on MGM properties.

“We heard that our customers wanted to be rewarded for all of their spending,” David Tsai, president of Midwest Group for MGM Resorts, said in an interview Monday.

Stowe Shoemaker, dean of UNLV’s Harrah College of Hospitality and an expert in customer loyalty programs, said the changes reflect the overall trend of visitor habits in Las Vegas, one that has seen resort customers spending a growing percentage of their travel budgets on entertainment, food and rooms rather than gambling.

“I think they’re fabulous,” Shoemaker said of the changes.

By adding redeemable currency that can be earned by spending money on nongaming activities, the company will have a better chance of keeping their customers’ dollars in MGM properties, he said.

“Every customer comes to Las Vegas with money in their wallet. And the goal of any company is to keep that money being spent in their business, not someone else’s business,” Shoemaker said.

Tsai said the changes came after examining the M Life program for what customers were wanting as well as looking at loyalty programs from hotels, airlines and even competitors in the resort industry. That resulted in a new program that will provide more meaningful rewards for customers in the premium tiers and one that will feel more rewarding to gaming and nongaming customers alike across the company’s U.S. portfolio.

Some of the other major changes to the program include additional benefits to the higher-tier programs, such as waiving resort fees for Gold tier and higher customers, complimentary tickets to exclusive MGM Rewards concerts for Pearl tier members and celebration dinners and airfare to Las Vegas for those who achieve Platinum tier.

People who play slot machines also will get an extra perk under the new program, via MGM’s new “Slot Dollars,” which are an additional currency that can be earned alongside MGM Rewards points while playing slots.

The new rewards are in play at MGM Resorts’ entire portfolio of luxury properties in the United States, including Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas; Borgata in Atlantic City; Beau Rivage in Mississippi; and MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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