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Help me understand MGM comps

Discussion in 'Comps' started by Terry Benedict, Jan 1, 2014.

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  1. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    I have seen several thread topics regarding asking for backend comps and getting the response of using Express Comps first. So I have a few questions:

    Aren't EC points actually backend comps? If they are not, what are they? If they are, why are they an unacceptable comp to players?

    After getting upfront comps, which are essentially a backend comp from a previous trip, why the animosity toward MGM?

    Is there a guideline, chart, or formula that the hosts or MLife desk can give to players to allow us to understand what can be expected?

    I think the hotel/casino market is rising so comps are gradually on their way down and will continue to drop. Especially since competition is going to be static for the next few years with no new casinos being built. Essentially, why give out comps when they don't have to?

    But please help me understand EC and other comp expectations. Thanks.
     
  2. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    your confufing a few things ec comps and descretionarty comps.
    descretionary is where a host alot of leeway with. how they determine them is anybodies guess. but a large loss will trigger them.you need a good host there is a formula but a host has latitude.

    also up front comps like room and food wich you have to play off before a host can take descretionary comps if you qualify for them.
     
  3. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Yes you're right. I think of the animosity of using your ECs as basically the unintended consequence of giving players control of their comp dollars because even if the overall comp ratio hasn't changed, people want to bank their ECs. But before the program started they were just part of primary comps like everything else anyway.
     
  4. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I will try to add to what has already been said:

    1. yes, EC are a back end comp. I think what posters mean in the other threads is that they want additional comps at the (back)end of their trip for room charges and whatnot and they want those charges to be paid for with primary comps instead of their EC. Like Chicken said, most players want to bank their EC for future trips. I don't think there is any "trigger" for a host to apply primary comps rather than EC to cover room charges. A big loss certainly helps because the host will be sympathetic and want to keep you happy. But its not a requirement. My host has taken care of my room charges on trips where I walked away a big winner.

    2. As for animosity, I don't understand it either. Any frustration I have ever had with various comp systems was a result of the comps being inconsistent from trip to trip. But ultimately, the casino owes us nothing. In the broadest sense, all comps are discretionary. Nothing guarantees them and the casino can take them all away without notice (e.g., the Venetian a couple years ago).

    3. I think I agree with your last statement. I read a projection today that room rates on the Strip will rise 14% in 2014. if that's correct, it is a sign that business is strong. If business is strong, there is less incentive for the casinos to give us stuff for free.
     
  5. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    "your confufing a few things ec comps and descretionarty comps."

    I am not confusing EC comps and discretionary comps. I simply called them backend comps. (And aren't you a little embarrassed by your grammar and spelling? You should be.)



    "I think of the animosity of using your ECs as basically the unintended consequence of giving players control of their comp dollars ..."

    This is odd. Reasonable, but odd. I guess players would rather be given a gift of a comp than earn an accurate amount on an account. It just feels better.
     
  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Ouch. That hurts.
     
  7. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I think a lot of it has to do with relative expectations. I've never felt animosity, but I thought back to the times I was frustrated and it was because my expectations were not met. I felt that since I was comped a certain amount for a certain level of play previously, I expected to be comped the same for the same play.

    But I don't understand the animosity. Disappointment, sure. But being upset because you did not get the amount of free stuff that no one ever promised you, I don't understand that. If you feel you are entitled to more and can get it from a non-MGM casino, go for it. That's what I have done in the past. But I was never angry about it.

    All that being said, I like the MGM comp system. I accumulate EC faster than I do tier credits at CET and I like the certainty of knowing how much I have in comps to spend. I like Cosmo more after discovering more about their comp system this year. To each their own, I suppose
     
  8. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    nope.

    i hire people if i wanted it spelled right.
    this a fun forum not a job and i hate jobs:poke:
     
  9. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    The animosity or annoyance with ECs comes in in this situation:

    ECs represent about 3.3% of theo. The simplest example of this calc is $3 coin in = $0.01 in EC. So on a slot machine with a 10% hold, your expected loss on $3 is 30 cents and you get 1 cent in EC. It rises to 1.4 cents for a Platinum and above, which is 3.67% of theo.

    What people don't like is when they have played at a high enough level and generated enough theo so that they either know (or feel) they have played enough to have most or all of their room charges comped off without touching their ECs. You get to the end of a trip and you can pretty much calc your theo, and you know that it's way over and above taking care of your room.

    So let's say you have $300 in room charges.

    Let's say you know you that in addition to theo required to comp your room, you had an additional $3,000 in theo, which ought to be good for about $750 in comps. And you have $250 banked in ECs (not just from this trip).

    You sure as hell don't want the MLife desk telling you you have to apply all your ECs against the room charges, and then they'll cover the last $50.

    You want it to be the other way around.
     
  10. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    "So let's say you have $300 in room charges.

    Let's say you know you that in addition to theo required to comp your room, you had an additional $3,000 in theo, which ought to be good for about $750 in comps. And you have $250 banked in ECs (not just from this trip).

    You sure as hell don't want the MLife desk telling you you have to apply all your ECs against the room charges, and then they'll cover the last $50."

    Why wouldn't it be reasonable to use ECs? In your scenario, I'm still getting comped $250 from my last trip. And I have $700 for my next one.

    I'm still thinking it's about expectations not being met, based on lack of information about what a player is actually entitled to. I think the casino doesn't give out the comp formulas because they probably continually change.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  11. sabre

    sabre Low-Roller

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    Given Chuck's example, there's no guarantee that your next up front comp is going to have anywhere near $700 of value.
     
  12. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    No.

    1. You don't bank primary comps from one trip to the next one. You may get another upfront offer, you may not. Upfront offers are at the casino's risk, they are not carryovers of comps earned on a previous trip.

    2. I earned the comps on this trip. Give them to me on this trip.
     
  13. jdvegas

    jdvegas VIP Whale

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    As several have now said, the big difference is you can bank unused ECs for future use. Unused primary comps are gone forever. There is unlikely to be any material relationship between the quality of your next offer and the quantity of primary comps you left on the table.


    While it is possible that comps for the average, infrequent visitor will dwindle away, that is not really the way it works for the average or above frequent visitors. There is a basic and very open "quid pro quo" between frequent gamblers and casinos: the gambler will always give money to the casino in the long run, so the casino will give you some of that money back in comps. If this relationship did not exist, the frequent visitors would visit... less frequently.

    Gambling driven visits are less than they used to be, but casinos are still the single biggest contributor* to Vegas revenue. They need those gamblers to come often!!!


    Lastly, I play exclusively MGM/Mlife casinos, and love them. I have strong relationships with my hosts, and always feel I am treated and comped very well. I tend to believe that the complainers have unrealistic expectations. Related to what I suggest above, some infrequent gamblers see the stories from the Vegas regulars, and expect the same treatment/comps even though they have no history with the casino or relationship with a host. They get bitter because even at the same level of play, they did not get near the comps or VIP treatment they read about. I love MGM/Mlife, but I do have some empathy for the complainers because it is such a hard system to crack and you can easily be misled.

    * casino revenue is down from about 60% in early 80s to about 35% total revenue now. The rest of revenue is spread out among hotel revenue, food & beverage, clubs, and shows & attractions. No longer the "majority" of revenue, casinos revenue is still the single largest piece of the pie.
     
  14. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Even though casino revenue may be down to 35% of total revenue, much of the other revenue would not exist if it was just a city with fancy bars and restaurants. It is a total package.
     
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