Chances are you’ve gotten the Facebook notifications: A friend has invited you to play MyVegas, the app that lets you play casino games (for fun, not money) and rack up points that you can convert into real-life rewards at several places on the Strip, including MGM Resorts casinos and Wolfgang Puck restaurants. Starting November 5, you’ll be able to play even more often, as MyVegas is launching a mobile app for iOS, Android and Kindle devices.
The mobile rollout will be the latest move ahead for PlayStudios, the Las Vegas-based company that produces MyVegas. The company’s CEO, Andrew Pascal, says that extending Las Vegas into cyberspace was a natural move. “It wasn’t a stroke of brilliance,” says Pascal, who started working at the Golden Nugget as a college student in the mid-1980s. “Gambling content is possibly the most widely consumed online category of entertainment the world over.”
MyVegas is different, Pascal says, in that it doesn’t just port gambling content—standard casino games—into Facebook. Instead, it extends what he calls “the experience of Las Vegas.” He doesn’t want to replace Las Vegas—he wants to add to it.
“We want to get people re-engaged with Las Vegas wherever they are,” he says, “to reconnect with the whole romantic notion of Las Vegas.”
Having worked alongside his uncle, Steve Wynn, as he created several of Wynn’s trademark Strip casinos—he was chief operating officer of Wynn Las Vegas before leaving to found PlayStudios in 2011—Pascal knows just what goes into creating that romance in real life. Now, he’s ready to find out if people who love Las Vegas are willing to do a little speed dating over their phones.
The success of MyVegas—it launched a year ago, and more than 250,000 people play each day— shows that, even as gambling and hospitality become more virtual, Las Vegas remains an alluring destination and a potent brand identity. – David G. Schwartz