Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
Joined: May 5, 2010
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May 31st, 2012 at 10:16:06 AM permalink
When I was in Chicago this weekend, I noticed that Ameristar was heavily advertising that if you play at Ameristar, you can stay at various MGM Properties in Las Vegas. As my parents and I were staying at Ameristar, I played there a bit and inquired at the player's club about this program. I wasn't aware that MGM had any money to buy out the jewel of the Midwest, but then again, where do any of these casinos get their money these days??

Apparently, the program is a "match card level" program that allows Ameristar players to take advantage of guaranteed Freeplay in various amounts as well as discounted or even free rooms and suites. The top Ameristar level, ACE, is still only on the third level at MGM, while Pearl is equal to Premier and Elite at AStar, and Star Club and ACE are Gold. The offers are very attractive, especially if you like playing at Ameristar and in Vegas.

Ameristar is a slot player's paradise. They have cut back table game inventory to embarrassing levels, especially in East Chicago, but even across the board. At first, I thought the setup was ridiculous; what MGM player would want to visit Council Bluffs, IA? However, the more I think about it, it's genius.

Ameristar is usually positioned against a Caesars property: AStar St Charles/Harrah's St Louis (though soon to be Hollywood), AStar Council Bluffs/Harrah's AND Horseshoe Council Bluffs, AStar KC/Harrah's KC, AStar E. Chicago/Horseshoe Hammond. Black Hawk sits by itself as does Vicksburg, though you could argue Vicksburg competes for Tunica and Biloxi dollars, both where MGM and Caesars has a presence.

A big piece of the Caesars message is that you can play at your home casino, then go to Vegas and use your credits there. This new campaign from Ameristar mirrors the same verbiage, though they also add a pun about the MGM property (Like, Play at Ameristar, Stay at MGM Grand, We're not Lion!) Even though MGM does take a risk of an Ameristar player not playing on site, a slot machine is a slot machine and it's very likely those players will stay on property to gamble.

I'm wondering if MGM is reciprocating at all on the deal, like sending people to Chicago and Iowa. If anybody is aware of that, do tell, as I can't imagine the Ameristar properties as "destination" resorts.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
Gabes22
Gabes22
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May 31st, 2012 at 10:20:32 AM permalink
I live in the Chicago area and I have seen the same commercials. I am feeling that the partnership is mutually beneficial. I would think that since NW Indiana is a competitive casino market, giving players multiple options to use their credits will cause more people to flow through Ameristar's doors.
A flute with no holes is not a flute, a donut with no holes is a danish
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
Joined: May 5, 2010
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May 31st, 2012 at 10:23:08 AM permalink
Quote: Gabes22

I live in the Chicago area and I have seen the same commercials. I am feeling that the partnership is mutually beneficial. I would think that since NW Indiana is a competitive casino market, giving players multiple options to use their credits will cause more people to flow through Ameristar's doors.



Well the way I understand the program, you can't use your actual Ameristar credits; rather it gets you free rooms and a small amount of FreePlay, depending on your play at Ameristar. THEN, once you're at the MGM property, you get a new card and earn points there. Ameristar is not linked, so each property is independent of one another. This is reason I don't like to play there (that, and few tables games, though they sure love EZ Pai Gow).
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
Gabes22
Gabes22
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May 31st, 2012 at 10:30:45 AM permalink
If it wasn't all the way in Indiana, I might give it a whirl to get a free room when I go to Vegas. I really think MGM should partner with casinos out of market in order to have transferrable credits. There are too many area where there is not MGM casino, and Chicago is a HUGE market that doesn't have one.
A flute with no holes is not a flute, a donut with no holes is a danish
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
Joined: May 5, 2010
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May 31st, 2012 at 10:45:38 AM permalink
Quote: Gabes22

If it wasn't all the way in Indiana, I might give it a whirl to get a free room when I go to Vegas. I really think MGM should partner with casinos out of market in order to have transferrable credits. There are too many area where there is not MGM casino, and Chicago is a HUGE market that doesn't have one.



That's not entirely true. Grand Victoria is 50% owned by MGM.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
Scotty71
Scotty71
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October 18th, 2012 at 8:45:51 PM permalink
Quote: Tiltpoul

That's not entirely true. Grand Victoria is 50% owned by MGM.



The other chunk of GV is owned by the Pritzker family who owns Hyatt. I cant recall if hyatt has a casino property in LV? That might have something to do with it.
They give decent comps for craps especially if you tip.
I find Mlife confusing as the last two trips (LV & Tunica) rooms and meals were comped but they never take my express points.
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." E.E. Cummings
tringlomane
tringlomane
Joined: Aug 25, 2012
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December 21st, 2012 at 11:08:19 PM permalink
Pinnacle is buying out Ameristar. So I guess bye-bye to this co-marketing thing? I never played enough to see anything significant from it anyway.

http://www.lvrj.com/business/las-vegas-based-pinnacle-entertainment-to-acquire-rival-ameristar-casinos-for-869-million-184419871.html?ref=871

Pinnacle will now eventually own 3 of 4 casinos in my home area on the Missouri side of St. Louis.
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
Joined: May 5, 2010
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January 5th, 2013 at 10:59:03 AM permalink
Quote: tringlomane

Pinnacle is buying out Ameristar. So I guess bye-bye to this co-marketing thing? I never played enough to see anything significant from it anyway.

http://www.lvrj.com/business/las-vegas-based-pinnacle-entertainment-to-acquire-rival-ameristar-casinos-for-869-million-184419871.html?ref=871

Pinnacle will now eventually own 3 of 4 casinos in my home area on the Missouri side of St. Louis.



Not to revive a dead thread (especially one I started a while back) but I'm surprised there isn't more talk on the forum about this merger. In a world of corporate mergers where day-to-day business on the ground level can be ignored for stock returns, this acquisition is one of the few I've seen that actually makes sense.

Pinnacle is all about resort properties in odd locations (i.e. Belterra or River City). Ameristar is all about slot players in mostly crowded markets (i.e. East Chicago and Kansas City). Ameristar has a lot of resort type things about their properties. Pinnacle is trying to do Vegas where it's not Vegas.

I think the two companies will complement each other well. If they decide to keep the partnership up with MGM, it will be a huge coup against the CET and Penn machines that have been building.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park

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