What happens in Vegas no longer has to stay in Vegas.
For the first time, players at MGM Resorts-owned casinos in Las Vegas can take personal videos and pictures while playing a table game and share it to social media. Poker players can even stream themselves playing or make a vlog that includes footage of them playing a hand.
MGM outlined the policy change on Twitter two weeks ago.
“The new policy is aimed at allowing our guests to take photos and videos, and, when appropriate, to share that content in real or in near real time via social media broadcasts (‘streams’ or ‘streaming’) while limiting the risks associated with allowing photography, filming and streaming in MGM Resorts’ gaming establishments.”
There are some restrictions, but this could be game-changer that other casinos might want to emulate.
New policy could make money for both casino and content creators
In this TikTok era, people expect to post images and videos of pretty much every aspect of their lives. And that includes posting their unique and winning hands at a Vegas casino. With the popularity of slots and table game streamers, MGM felt it was time to take a serious look at its policy about taking pictures and videos on casino floors, MGM Resorts Director of Poker Strategy Sean McCormack told PokerNews.
“We’re forward-thinking with a lot of things, and when we see people get a lot interest in something like vlogging … and stuff like that, we want to get behind it. But also, working for a big corporation, these things take time, of course.”
MGM’s new policy makes distinctions between personal and commercial use. It also sees the potential to monetize the latter, McCormack said.
“It can grow into something even bigger. … There’s a road to where we monetize this for the content creators. We can partner to showcase our amenities while you also create the content and monetize it on your side. So, it’s double win-win for the content creators and then a win for the casino.”
There are restrictions on both personal and commercial use
There are some restrictions on both commercial and personal use of content.
For those who take photos and videos for personal use while at the tables, there are a few rules.
- Texts can be sent while playing at a table, but they cannot hold up the game.
- Phone calls can be answered at the table so long as the player is not participating in that hand.
- Players can take pictures of their own hands for personal use.
- Players cannot leave their phone on the table for extended periods.
- Players cannot have long phone conversations while in a seat.
- Players cannot take pictures of equipment, others players or staff.
- Players may not play music.
High-limit table game rooms will have their own sets of rules.
Permission must be sought for any commercial use. Anyone looking to use footage they take while playing table games commercially – like poker streamers or gambling vloggers – will have to gain approval through the proper casino departments.
- Commercial use: Prior approval is required from a MGM Resorts public relations department.
- Quasi-commercial use: Prior approval is required by MGM Resorts’ Corporate Gaming Department.
- Personal use: Prior approval is not required. Guests may take photos and videos to post on social media.
If the dealer feels content being created is for unapproved commercial use, they can and will alert casino staff.
Which casinos in Las Vegas are under this new policy?
This new policy is for the nine casino properties in Las Vegas owned by MGM Resorts.
- Mandalay Bay
- MGM Grand
- New York-New York
- Park MGM (and NoMad)
That list could expand to casinos outside of Las Vegas, but for now, the policy is only active at Las Vegas casinos operated by MGM Resorts.
News of the policy change came out May 31 on Twitter.