MGM Resorts Loosens Photo Policy to ‘Enhance Guest Experiences’

MGM Resorts has implemented a new photo policy at its Las Vegas properties, allowing players to snap a selfie or immortalize a winning hand. Historically, casinos have prohibited most filming and photography, particularly around their gaming tables.

According to a statement sent to Bonus, MGM tweaked its policy to improve the casino experience for its guests.

Our filming and streaming policies are designed to enhance our guests’ experience as they play slot machines, table games and poker while minimizing disruption to our guests and the normal operation of our casino.

We’re thrilled to see the excitement of our players as they enjoy our gaming options and strive to be a social media-friendly environment.

However, we are mindful of the privacy and safety of all our guests, and our policies reflect that balance.

The change to MGM’s Guest Photography, Filming, Streaming Policy signals a modernizing shift intended to attract younger, social-media-savvy casino-goers.

Policy Change Affects Slots, Tables, Poker

An MGM memo circulating on Twitter revealed the new policy launched at its Nevada casinos in May.

Notably, the policy is different for each type of casino game.

MGM’s statement detailed the specifics for slots, table games, and poker:

Slot Machines

Guests playing at MGM slots can now take photos and short video clips provided it’s of their own play. Photos and videos captured must be for personal use and recorded by a personal device.

This policy also applies to the general casino floor.

Table Games

Table games staff now have discretion over guests taking photos or videos while playing at their table. If given the go-ahead, players can capture shots or clips of their hands with their own devices for personal use.

 Poker

Again, at the discretion of MGM’s poker staff, players can take photos of their own hands on their devices for their own use.

Uniquely for poker, the policy change applies to photos only—all videos, regardless of length, require prior approval. Live streaming, possible at slots and non-poker tables, is not permitted in the poker room.

However, where it is permitted, guests who wish to record longer videos, live stream, or use lighting or other equipment still require prior approval.

Influencers, Brands Require Prior Approval

Casino visitors who record for distribution or other commercial use also require prior approval. This group includes vloggers, streamers, YouTubers, and other online influencers.

To obtain the required approval, guests must apply to MGM’s Corporate Gaming division beforehand.

According to an auto-reply message to an email sent to that department, notification of approval or denial can take up to 10 business days.

Streamers planning to visit an MGM casino in Vegas should plan accordingly.

Even with approval, the statement provided to Bonus asks guests to consider the experience of others.

Failing to do so could affect their ability to film, even down the road:

All guests are reminded to be mindful of others. Recordings that disrupt the guest experience or the normal operation of the casino are two examples of recordings that are prohibited.  MGM Resorts determines if a guest’s recording is disruptive and may limit or deny current and further recordings by the guest.

So far, the new photo policy only applies to MGM Resorts’ Vegas properties. However, MGM says it is working on similar guidelines for other markets.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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