Travel Tuesday: Living Vicariously Through myVegas
As is well documented on this site, I have a major soft spot for Las Vegas. Despite not drinking and rarely gambling (save a trip last year when my friend bankrolled me to play blackjack with him), I’ve always enjoyed walking The Strip and exploring the numerous hotels and casinos along the way. Incidentally, since we got married there, my wife has developed a similar affinity for Sin City. Thus, for the past several months, we’ve been missing all things Vegas. Enter the myVegas set of apps that not only offer some mobile gaming fun but could apparently also translate to some real-world rewards.
myVegas actually offers a few different apps, including myVegas Slots, myVegas Blackjack, myKonami Slots, and more. According to the Play Studios site, there’s also a myVegas Bingo game on the way as well. Personally, I’ve really only played the myVegas Slots and Blackjack apps but have also dabbled in the Konami one.
What I like most about myVegas Slots app is that it takes inspiration from the real-life Strip — well, at least part of it. That’s because myVegas is connected with MGM Resorts, which owns such properties as Bellagio, Park MGM, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, my beloved Luxor, and more. However, this means you won’t find any Caesars Palace, Paris, Flamingo, Wynn, TI, or other non-MGM casinos in these apps.
When it comes to playing these games, you’ll have lots of ways to earn the chips used as currency in the app. That said, while the game is free to play, they do have in-app purchases that cost real money. Something I really like about the app is that, in the case of myVegas Slots, you’ll find a pretty wide variety of games to try — including some I.P.-based machines such as King Kong, Bridesmaids, The Munsters, and more. This variety is welcome as I’ve found different things to like about different slots.
As you play, you’ll not only see your chip balance change but may also see your Loyalty Points grow. The amount you earn is based on a few different factors, but the bottom line is that, the more you play, the more loyalty points you’ll earn. Then, when you’re ready, you can redeem your points for rewards at properties in Las Vegas and beyond. Among the type of rewards available are free appetizers, complimentary drinks, room discounts, Free Play, attraction tickets, and even complimentary nights. To see available rewards, you can browse by property, point level, or category. Of note, for some redemptions, you will need an MLife account, but this is free to open as well.
For as fun as the myVegas apps can be, they can also be extremely annoying at times. This starts when you open the app — specifically the myVegas Slots app — when, after an occasionally lengthy load time, you’re greeted by multiple pop-ups advertising the latest promotions and chances to buy chips. Another personal annoyance is that, while the myVegas Slots and myKonami Slots apps were easy to link, I didn’t have as much luck with the myVegas Blackjack app. Specifically, while the slots apps allow you to connect via your Apple account, blackjack only offers Facebook. Because of this, I currently have two separate rewards balances. Also, while we’re talking blackjack, this is far from my favorite blackjack app as it doesn’t allow you to adjust the rules — but I will give it credit for having some fun side bets.
Something else I should note is that, while some of the rewards sound extremely generous, there’s often a catch. For example, if you’re eyeing one of the Free Play options, a stay of two or more nights may be required in order for you to claim that that bonus. Also, if it wasn’t already clear, I have yet to actually redeem any rewards so I can’t speak to what that experience is like.
Another obvious downside is that playing these games may tempt you to spend money. Even though there are plenty of free chip opportunities (including daily bonuses, various challenges, and more), it can be frustrating to run out of chips when you really want to play. In other cases, the promise of getting a leg up in a current promotion may also lead you to buy a chip bundle. Because of this, if you’re susceptible to such in-app purchases, I’d stay far, far away from myVegas.
Ultimately, I’m not expecting that playing these myVegas apps will greatly enhance my next visit to Sin City. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to at least trying out a redemption — and reporting back with my findings. Until then, I’ll admit that I enjoy seeing my favorite casinos, even in cartoon form. So, if it results in anything, I’ll call it a double win.