MGM Resorts (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report wants to take the fight to Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc Report in the battle for frequent Las Vegas/casino visitors as it changes its loyalty program, adding new perks at a time when its main competitor has been cutting back on incentives.
The new MGM Rewards program, which begins February 1, allows both gaming and non-gaming guests to earn loyalty points with new benefits. These include two benefits that have been key features for mid and high-level Caesars Rewards members:
- Waived resort fees: That means that members that reach MGM’s Gold+ level or higher won’t pay this daily fee, which covers parking, internet, gyms, pools, and more when staying at one of the company’s properties.
- Celebration dinners: These are meal credits earned, beyond those that can be redeemed from rewards points,
The new MGM Rewards also offers “Tier Achievement Travel Credit to Las Vegas (Platinum+), complimentary tickets to MGM Rewards concerts (Pearl+), advanced suite upgrades for up to three nights (Platinum+), access to exclusive tier appreciation events and experiences (Gold+) and 4 p.m. late check-out (based on availability; Platinum+). As an added benefit, MGM Rewards Points and Slot Dollars will not expire for Pearl+ members due to account inactivity.”
Rewards points in both the MGM and Caesars programs are earned for casino play and spending money at each company’s properties. Point levels earned can vary based on current promotions.
MGM Adds While Caesars Cuts
MGM is upping its loyalty program at a time when rival Casers Entertainment and its loyalty club has lost one of its more popular perks.
Caesars closed its Laurel Lounges, formerly called Diamond Lounges, in Vegas during the pandemic and there are scant signs that the company is keen on bringing the rooms back any time soon. In fact, the Laurel Lounge location at Paris Las Vegas has become Vanderpump à Paris, a cafe/bar from reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump.
“The power and magic of Lisa Vanderpump can be felt through the excitement we continue to see after 2.5 years of Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace, and we are thrilled to extend our partnership with her to open a second location,” said, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Paris Las Vegas .”Vanderpump à Paris will bring Lisa’s charm and flair to the resort that will attract fans and guests looking for an unparalleled night out filled with picturesque cocktails and bites.”
That may be nice for Vanderpump’s fans, but it’s bad news for Caesars Rewards members. Diamond members used to be able to pay $10 per day for access to the Laurel Lounge locations, which offered free drinks and a daypart-appropriate snack buffet. Higher-level members got free access.
Caesars Is in Flux
Caesars Entertainment was purchased by Eldorado Resorts for $17.3 billion in July 2020.
The company is looking to sell one of its properties on the Las Vegas Strip sometime this year. The company’s Harrah’s, Bally’s, Paris, Flamingo, The Cromwell, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, and The Linq all sit on the city’s most valuable real estate.
“We are looking at selling a Strip asset, expect us to put that in motion in the early part of 2022,” Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said. “We expect to be aggressive on the refinancing front in 2022 to lower the cost of debt, and it should add up to well in excess of $5 billion in cash to deploy in 2022.”
Caesars reported a net loss of $233 million in the third quarter as the company said that it was being weighed down by interest expenses and efforts to build up its Caesars Sportsbook digital-betting service.
Caesars’ hotel business is still profitable, posting net income of $272 million in Las Vegas and $239 million for its regional properties in the the third quarter.
“We are encouraged by booking trends, and we began to see conventions return to Vegas in the third quarter, representing 10% of room nights,” COO Anthony Carano said. “That’s a dramatic improvement over the first half of the year, and we continue to expect a gradual recovery in the segment.”
Nevada casinos, including MGM Resorts and Caesars, posted winnings of $1.32 billion in November, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
November represented the ninth straight month over $1 billion, with house winnings gaining 8% from $1.22 billion in October. But November trailed last July’s record of $1.36 billion.
The nine-month streak topped the previous mark of eight that was set from October 2006 to May 2007, prior to the Great Recession that began in December 2007, Board Senior Analyst Michael Lawton told the Associated Press.