Casino players who frequent MGM-owned properties on the Las Vegas Strip will now have another way to get in the game, after the company launched the first online slot machine and bingo tournaments ever approved for real money gambling in the United States.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently approved MGM Resorts International to offer easyPLAY Mobile Tournaments to customers 21 years or older who are physically located within any of nine MGM-owned properties (Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York.
Played for real money, easyPLAY Mobile Tournaments pit players against one another – rather than the house – in tournament-style slot or bingo competitions. With affordable buy-ins starting at just $10, and short durations of 25 spins, these tournaments are designed to give casino goers the option of gambling via their smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.
The only way to access an easyPLAY Mobile Tournament is to log on to the wi-fi service offered by each of the nine MGM-owned casinos, so play is effectively limited to customers of those particular venues.
Lovell Walker, who serves as the executive director of Interactive Gaming Development at MGM Resorts, told CNBC that the introduction of slot and bingo tournaments is simply a precursor for the company’s wider adoption of mobile gaming:
“This mobile platform that was just released is going to lay the foundation for what we do in the future. We think that mobile is going to be a major part of gaming, and this is the first digital and interactive tournament to be offered by a regulated casino in the United States.”
Tom Mikulich, senior vice president of business development for MGM, said in a press release that the move towards mobile gaming will provide players with additional access to their favorite casino games:
“The introduction of easyPLAY Mobile Tournaments at our MGM Resorts properties gives our guests an exciting, new opportunity to play their favorite games while enjoying the best Las Vegas has to offer.
The tournaments are extremely user-friendly, provide players with a variety of game options including slots and bingo, among others, and bring an element of competition that our guests will enjoy whether they are sitting at a bar enjoying a drink or simply hanging out by the pool.”
By embracing the tournament concept, MGM also hopes to capture its share of the recreational gambling market, offering big money payouts for bargain basement buy-ins.
Players visiting one of the nine mobile-powered MGM casinos before September 4th can participate in the All Summer Long Winner Takes All Progressive Slot Tournament. With an entry fee of just $5, slot enthusiasts can spin away for their chance at a minimum grand prize totaling $10,000.
MGM’s addition of casino games also pushes Nevada toward the mainstream in terms of the legalized online gambling industry. Before the addition of mobile slot tournaments, the only real money casino game available in the state was poker, while players in New Jersey have had access to the full spectrum of casino games since the passage of online gambling legislation there.