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MGM Resorts, Ameristar Form Marketing Alliance to Draw Visitors

MGM Resorts International and Ameristar Casinos Inc. agreed to a marketing alliance to draw more visitors to their casinos across the U.S. and Las Vegas.

MGM Resorts, the biggest owner of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, and Ameristar, the operator of eight U.S. casinos in Missouri, Colorado, Mississippi, Indiana, Iowa and Nevada, agreed to offer reciprocal rewards to some customers in their loyalty programs, the companies said in an e-mailed statement.

Ameristar, which doesn’t have a Strip casino, and MGM, which has 10 including the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and CityCenter, negotiated a deal that lets some big spenders within MGM’s M life program benefit from Ameristar privileges. Ameristar’s Star Awards customers will get offers from MGM’s Strip properties. The partnership will begin in mid-March.

Las Vegas casinos are pursuing alliances to draw more visitors from parts of the U.S. where they don’t have customer databases and reducing marketing costs by targeting offers to established players. Caesars Entertainment Corp., which has the most casinos across the U.S., uses its Total Rewards program to draw gamblers to Las Vegas from its resorts elsewhere.

MGM Resorts has already announced alliances with rental-car company Avis Budget Group Inc., Delaware casino owner Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment Inc., Rank Group Plc, the U.K. operator of casinos and bingo clubs, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, which is owned by the Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribal Nation, and with SBE Entertainment, a Los Angeles nightclub and restaurant group.

Pinnacle, Wynn

The MGM-Ameristar alliance follows an agreement last year between Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and Wynn Resorts Ltd. that lets customers at Pinnacle’s seven casinos in Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana and Nevada use their loyalty points at the Wynn and Encore resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

In October, MGM Resorts said it was investing in Creative Casinos LLC, owned by former Pinnacle CEO Daniel Lee. The deal included MGM managing Lee’s planned Mojito Pointe casino resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. said in October 2010 its Venetian and Palazzo casino resorts in Las Vegas would join InterContinental Hotels Group Plc’s database and loyalty program, gaining access to travelers who can help fill the properties’ 7,000 suites.

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