Understanding Comps

Vegas Observations: Mlife Specialty Slots

Mlife players cards
Written by Joshua

During my most recent trip to Las Vegas, about half of my time was spent at Mlife properties. My offers have been solid there for some time, and I usually have a lot of fun.

One quirk of the Mlife program is that although slots generally provide a base point for every $3, there are some slots, dubbed “Specialty Slots,” that earn base points at a rate of $10/point. Some of them are obvious – popular licensed slots, and a handful of the newer, more popular games.

But the purpose of this article is to vent a bit about the lack of consistency across properties, or even the definition of a Specialty Slot. Specialty Slots can differ from property to property within Las Vegas, and are not always marked, and this creates some frustrations given the fact their system is also old and can make it hard to immediately know what you’re up against.

Let’s first talk about the slots themselves. Take Quick Spin, an Ainsworth slot that’s a standard game available in many casinos throughout the U.S. Mlife casinos have the game regularly featured, but for some reason, Aria has the game classified as a specialty slot. A multi-game Konami machine at Park MGM was flagged as a specialty slot even though it featured standard games that could be played elsewhere as a standard slot.

In fact, it seemed like many games at Park MGM and Aria were specialty slots, at a higher ratio than many of the other casinos. Given those casinos are trying to market to a higher end customer, I wonder if that’s intentional. But the fact that such games are playable as non-specialty slots at other casinos they own, many times right next door, is more frustrating.

The second aspect that makes this challenging is that obvious games that would be expected to be specialty slots not only were, but they had a sticker denoting them as such. But games you wouldn’t expect to be specialty slots, had no indication on the machine they were, but ultimately proved to be.

If you want, you can tell if a game is a specialty slot by actually playing it… but not until you’ve put $5 or so through the machine. That’s because unlike Caesars casinos’ system, which has a countdown that tells you how much until you earn your next point, only Aria and Park MGM have anything like that available at all. So you may not realize the game you’re playing is a specialty slot until you’ve put at least a few dollars through and you didn’t earn that tier point.

While I’ve said here that people shouldn’t play for comps or points, the reality is some people have point goals they are working to accomplish, such as if they’re really close to the next tier. The lack of transparency is among the more frustrating parts of Mlife, from the specialty slot issue to their recent change to obscure how you earn Express Comps in Las Vegas.

MGM seems to be taking things to a more difficult place just as things begin to reach the finish line for the Caesars/Eldorado merger. Time will tell what this means for players, but in the meantime when you’re playing at an Mlife casino (and not just in Vegas), you need to keep a watchful eye on those tier credits if such a thing matters to you, and make sure you’re not shortchanging yourself on point if playing a game that’s unclearly flagged as a specialty slot.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.


  • This information is both great to know and gives me a little paranoia. Do You think the same practice us used at MGM Springfield? What would be possible examples of low earning machines?

    Great article. Thanks

    • Hey Robin! I’m sorry to report they absolutely do this in Springfield. Just going off my recollection, Lightning Link, Ultimate Fire Link and Dancing Drums were specialty slots when I played them in the past. They do change the list over time, so games that were specialty slots can come off the list and vice versa, and the only way you truly know is if they put a notice on the machine (I saw this rarely in Vegas, and can’t recall seeing it in Springfield) or you do $6 in coin-in on a slot machine, and if you don’t get 2 points it’s a specialty slot.

Leave a Comment