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Best of John Robison

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Ask the Slot Expert: Do MyVegas rewards decrease Mlife comps?

2 September 2015

First, let me say that I love your articles! It sometimes creates disputes between my wife and me because she refuses to believe slot machine outcomes are random. It's very entertaining.

I was wondering whether the sudden explosion of popularity of Mlife's MyVegas slots on Facebook has an effect on the comps you receive while playing real slots in the casino. I think these "freebies" are great for people that don't play actual slots at the MGM properties, but for someone like me that is very loyal to their chain I feel like the comps have been cut back.

Typically my wife and I make two trips a year to Las Vegas and we would earn enough credits to reach their gold level. Each trip we would earn enough comps to cover our room and all room charges for our five-night stay.

Now, with these new V slots we redeem our three rewards up front; however now when we check out we receive only 1/3 the comps we used to receive. We still reach the gold status. But even when you add in the value of the MyVegas rewards, we are still receiving considerably less.

I just wonder for people like us that play exclusively at the MGM properties, is it better to not redeem any of the MyVegas slot rewards or is it too late now? Have they adjusted everyone's comp earning due to the online slots regardless if you redeem any of those rewards?

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

For those not familiar with it, MyVegas is a site that awards you loyalty points for playing the games on the site. Points are earned for how long you play, not for how much you win or lose. You can exchange the points for rooms, shows and meals at MGM Mirage or Station Casinos properties and some other properties.

I don't have a MyVegas account, but in researching MyVegas I get the impression that it takes a lot of play to earn the rewards. Nevertheless, I've read posts from people who have seen many Cirque shows, eaten at many restaurants, and stayed at many hotels for free using MyVegas rewards. One recent post on the WizardOfVegas site sums up the current state of the MyVegas rewards: "I don't think the redemptions are as good on MyVegas currently as they used to be, but free is free. It makes my trips to Vegas a lot better."

It's possible that using a MyVegas reward might limit what the casino can comp for you. For example, if you purchase a package deal including hotel and airfare, there's no way to get your room comped. You didn't mention what rewards you used, but maybe they affected what could be comped. If you used a room reward, next time you can try using show and meal rewards that wouldn't appear on your hotel folio. But then again, the MyVegas site says that many rewards require an Mlife account, so maybe you can't hide.

In any event, I doubt the MyVegas rewards have had any effect on comps in general. The rewards are designed to get new players into the partner casinos and give established players reasons to remain in the partner casinos for food and entertainment. The rewards are limited and, moreover, the cost of the rewards is partially defrayed by players who purchase chips on MyVegas. Finally, the Mlife program changed a few years ago and that might be the source of your changes.

Let me put your question out to my readers who have experience with Mlife and MyVegas. Have you noticed a decrease in additional comps when you use MyVegas rewards? Have you noticed a decrease in comps in general?


I recently played at the Hollywood Casino located in Charles Town, West Virginia, and was playing on a penny machine where I started with $20 and went up to about $65 right away. I was hitting quite frequently. All of a sudden my machine locked up and a sign flashed on the screen saying “machine taken off line.” It came back on line almost instantly. The other lady playing two machines down had no interruption.

My question is, could the casino take it off line to reset it some way because it was paying so frequently or maybe was about to hit a jackpot? It was totally cold after coming back on line and I never got another hit on about $40 before I moved on.

Just curious and sincerely appreciate any thoughts on this.

I don't know exactly what happened, but the casino did not do anything to reset the machine because it was paying too frequently or about to hit a jackpot.

First, the results are determined at random from spin to spin, so the casino would have no way of knowing that the machine was about to hit a jackpot. Second, your short winning streak has a negligible effect on a machine's overall performance. It's like a drop of food coloring in the Atlantic Ocean. The streak was significant to you, but not to the casino. Besides, people have to win sometimes. Finally, there's a principle developed with the introduction of downloadable games that no game changes will occur while a machine is being played.

As humans, we are uncomfortable with randomness and events happening for no reason. We want cause and effect, not randomness. It's only natural to assume that something changed on the machine. Years ago I was playing at Caesars Palace when a technician came by to adjust the volume on the machine I was playing. I watched as he put the machine in configuration mode and lowered the volume. I hit a cold streak after he lowered the volume. Even though I saw exactly what he did, I couldn't help thinking that the change somehow affected my results.

Of course, I just hit a normal cold streak. And that's exactly what happened to you. You had a nice hot streak followed by a not-so-nice cold streak. Happens all the time.


John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots