MGM Resorts International has launched a mobile gaming platform called easyPLAY Mobile tournaments.
This is the first real money online and mobile slot game tournament to be offered by a regulated casino in the United States. The real money tournaments can be played by anyone from the U.S. visiting one of nine MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas.
The basics on MGM’s easyPLAY
To get started, head to easyplay.vegas to sign up for an account. You can sign up from anywhere but you can only participate in tournaments at an MGM Resorts International property.
The sign-up process only takes a few minutes. Once you’re registered you can sign up for tournaments whether you’re at an MGM Resorts International property or not.
Each entry is considered a ticket and you can pay with a credit card or PayPal. Current contest fees are between $1 and $5.
Payouts for contests will vary depending on the tournament and number of contestants. Higher stakes tournaments may be added as the player base grows.
Sign-up bonuses will come and go. Right now, there is a buy one, get one free entry available for a summer-long tournament, but that may not exist for all tournaments.
There may also be promotions from MGM Resorts International’s loyalty club M Life Rewards. When the easyPLAY tournaments launched there was an email sent to loyalty club members for $5 bonus entry to the summerlong tournament.
You must be 21 years old and a resident of the United States to play.
Participating in slot tournaments
You must be at one of the following MGM Resorts International properties to participate in easyPLAY tournaments:
- Mandalay Bay
- MGM Grand
- The Mirage
- Monte Carlo
- New York New York.
Delano and Vdara are non-gaming hotels, so patrons would have to visit Mandalay Bay or Aria, respectively, to participate in any tournaments. You also can’t participate at Circus Circus, even though it’s owned by MGM.
For the time being, you must be online via the wifi offered at any of the participating hotels. The wifi connection rule could change in the future. Wifi speeds vary at each property, so you might want to run a speedtest to make sure your gameplay won’t be negatively affected.
Having your own device isn’t necessary to participate in the easyPLAY tournaments. You can use your laptop or mobile devices at the pool, bars, restaurants or in your room but there is also another option.
You can use any of the numerous interactive tables located throughout MGM properties to participate.
Tournaments play similar to traditional slot machine tournaments in a casino. Instead of being timed by a clock, the tournaments typically consist of 25 spins.
Your credit wins for each spin are added up and ranked against other participants. Prizes are allocated according to the structure of the tournament.
At the end of a tournament, the winners will be notified by email.
Cashing out at easyPLAY
Tournament winners may cash out winnings at an MGM casino cashier cage.
There are two requirements for obtaining your winnings. You’ll have to show a government-
issued ID like a driver license and provide the email address that was used to register the winning account.
The IRS requires that all prize winners who have won $600 or more net of entry fees to receive an annual 1099MISC from easyPLAY. This rule is different than traditional casino game winnings where video poker and slot machine winnings are taxed on wins of $1,200 or more.
The games at easyPLAY
You can currently compete in real money slot machine and bingo tournaments.
The video poker game, Jester Poker, plays more like a slot machine than actual video poker game. You’re only dealt cards which provide a winning or losing hand. Unlike traditional video poker, you don’t discard or hold any cards.
Triple 7 Sapphire and 25 Diamonds play like traditional slot machines. Empire Action looks and plays like a multicard bingo game.
You can also play free games to practice or see what each game is like if you’re not ready to risk money to compete for cash or prizes.
The games are meant to be played in between other activities. The lack of a time limit allows you to take a few spins each time you need a break from eating, drinking or a conversation.
While you can sit in your hotel room and play, you’ll probably enjoy the games as a secondary attraction.
New games will be added in the future. MGM is already exploring video poker, blackjack even a game that takes the gambling of Pachinko and combines it with a social game like Candy Crush Saga.
MGM’s online gambling and technology
The easyPLAY tournaments were developed by mobile gaming tech company oneLIVE inc.
This isn’t an app for your computer or mobile device. The tournaments are played via easyplay.vegas (.vegas is similar to .com if the extension doesn’t look familiar). An app may come in the future, but it isn’t a priority for oneLIVE or MGM.
The only other online and mobile gaming available in Nevada is poker and sports wagering. Many casinos offer mobile sports wagering via smartphone apps. There are two online poker networks in Nevada.