MGM Grand Las Vegas Review for May 2024

Ziv Chen

Updated by

Ziv Chen


Michael Graham

Fact Checked by

Michael Graham

Content Editor

Last Updated on 16th April 2024, 08:58 AM


If you mention the MGM Grand to any local in Vegas, their mind immediately shifts to lions and the occasional limos you see on the street with their iconic lion logo.

In my first year living in Las Vegas, I couldn't help but notice how people's eyes would light up when the MGM was mentioned. There was that sense of recognition that you only get when you do something remarkable, good or bad.

(Their marketing team must be onto something, right?)

But leaving aside all the hype and history, there’s still one question that needs answering: is it all just smoke and mirrors? 

In this MGM Grand Las Vegas review, I'll take you through my casino experience and hopefully shed some light on everything from the games they offer to their obsession with lions.

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♦️ MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Overview

Las Vegas is a city of icons, and the MGM Grand is certainly one of them. The current property, which opened in 1993, is actually the second to carry its name Las Vegas. The first was a much less grand building at the heart of the Strip which is now the Horseshoe casino. 

The main thing you will notice about the MGM Grand, apart from the lions, is the green. Like, the Incredible Hulk during a fit of jealousy, green. That is due to its original Wizard of Oz theming that attempted to depict the property as a real-life version of the Emerald City. 

That mass of green is now all that remains of the theming, though, with the rest stripped out during the 1990s just a few years after the property opened – testament to the fact that little stays the same in Vegas for long!


The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino is located on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, in a vibrant location with several other iconic properties within a very easy walking distance. 

It stands on the Tropicana/Las Vegas Boulevard intersection, a selfie-hotspot with the MGM Grand on one corner, New York-New York opposite, and Excalibur on another. The fourth corner is occupied by the legendary Tropicana itself which sadly closed its doors for the last time in April 2024 and is scheduled for implosion sometime in late 2025. 

Another two famous Vegas casino resorts – the glistening gold Mandalay Bay (which is the closest property to the famous ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign) and the striking yet ominous black pyramid shaped Luxor – are also very close by. 

Park MGM, the only smoke-free casino on the Strip and home to some of the biggest blockbuster music residencies in Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena are easily walkable too, giving MGM Grand a great location. It also has great access to the central and northern parts of the Strip via a monorail. 

As with all properties on the Las Vegas Strip, The MGM Grand is easily accessible from the airport, taking less than ten minutes by taxi for a fixed rate fee. As of April 2024, that fixed rate is $21, although you may want to put a little extra to one side to tip the driver too.  

Quick Info

🪪 Membership required:❌  No, but encouraged 
👔 Dress code:❌  No
🏧 ATMs:✔️ Yes but with fees
🚘 Parking:✔️ Yes, but only free for MGM Rewards members (pearl level and above)
♿ Wheelchair accessible:✔️ Yes
🛏️ On-site accommodation:✔️ Yes
🍴 On-site restaurant:✔️ Yes, multiple
🍹 Free drinks and snacks:

✔️ Yes, servers circulating

🚬 Smoking:✔️ Yes, but not in hotel rooms

Are you a sports fan?

The MGM Grand is a great location if you want to go and watch live sport in Las Vegas with the Allegiant Stadium (NFL) and T-Mobile Arena (NHL) both within walking distance.

🎰 MGM Grand Las Vegas Casino Review

As with all hotel resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, the casino is very much the centre point and focus. In fact, after checking in at the MGM Grand, you can’t even get to the room elevators without walking yourself, and your suitcase, through the casino. 

The first thing you need to know about the MGM Grand casino is that it is not the most intuitive space to navigate. It sprawls more than 170,000 square feet, although much of it feels more like winding walkways rather than dedicated gaming space. 

That is fine, but my advice is to expect to get lost relatively often, as I did, especially when searching for restaurants and other amenities. Help is at hand, though. I found plenty of maps and signs dotted around the gaming floor and staff were easily recognised and always happy to help. After a day or so, I was finding my way around just fine. 

One thing you won’t be short on in the MGM Grand casino is choice. It is massive and boasts around 139 gaming tables games (I googled this number just to give you an idea of HOW massive). The cloth on the casino tables is well-kept while the seats are cushioned and wrapped in what seems like faux leather—ideal for cleaning spilled drinks from an excited winner. 

Those chairs are not only built for spill resistance either. I found them very comfortable even when gambling non-stop for a couple of hours or more. Some, though, had seen better days and sank to a lower height when I sat in them. 

The casino was built in the 1990s and you can tell by the décor. It has been renovated since, though, so there is at least a partially modern feel, although it does look and feel its age in places. Whether that’s a bad thing or a good thing will depend upon your personal taste, but it’s far from low end. 

The carpet is eye-catching and multi-coloured. That may sound garish to you, but it’s actually considered a sign of luck in Vegas, and we all need as much of that as we can get! 

Table Games Selection

It was obvious immediately that the MGM Grand Casino floor has an extensive selection of table games, maybe even more than I would have expected. 

From classics like blackjack, roulette, and craps to variations like ultimate Texas hold'em, and Pai Gow poker, there’s a game for everyone to enjoy. There is single zero roulette, often otherwise known as European Roulette, at the MGM Grand, but only on tables with a $100+ minimum and usually only during busy times of the day. 

Classic table games:

  • Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Craps
  • Roulette
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Poker (more on that later!)


  • Pai Gow Tiles
  • Single Zero Roulette
  • Let It Ride Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Texas Hold'em
  • Ultimate Texas Hold'em

When it comes to the minimum bet a lot depends on when you want to play. For example, on a weekday afternoon, you might be able to find a $10 minimum Blackjack table. On a weekend evening, you won’t. Generally, you’re looking at $20 or $25 minimum bet.  

If you're the go big or go home type, I’m sure you can talk to a pit boss, and they’ll arrange a high-limit table for you.


Generally speaking in Las Vegas, the majority of the casino floor is turned over to slots machines, and the MGM Grand does not disappoint here. There are actually more than 2,500 slot games from which to choose. 

I found a comprehensive array of the most beloved games at the MGM Grand too, including:

  • Dragon Link
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Lightning Link
  • Buffalo (many variants)
  • Lock It Link
  • Huff n More Puff

There was a good selection of both classic three-reel mechanical slots and modern video slots, with bet denominations ranging from 1c all the way up to $1000. For those who dream big, the massive progressive slots with multi-million dollar jackpots are also in the MGM Grand, such as MegaBucks.

(Makes you want to spend $20 just to test your luck, right?)

Bar-Top Gaming

The MGM Grand casino is no different to most casinos in Las Vegas in that if there is a bar, there will generally be bar-top gaming stations there. 

The obvious exceptions to that would be the higher-end bars, of which the MGM Grand has a few, but you will notice many, such as the lobby bar, offer it. Gaming stations offer an array of gambling options such as video poker, electronic blackjack, and a limited slots selection. 

If you are sitting at the bar you are not obligated to play these machines, but you will be asked to give up your seat to someone who wants to play them. Playing them will also get you comped drinks from the bar staff, with a few restrictions on the more premium brands. However, if you’re not playing, you are paying.


If you're playing, don't be paying

If you are playing on one of the bar-top gaming terminals at the MGM Grand, always ask the bar staff if they can comp you drinks. If you're playing, you shouldn't be paying. 

MGM Grand Sportsbook

The MGM Grand has a large and inviting Sportsbook that is operated by MGM Bet. Bets can be placed at terminals or in person and there are a lot of staff around to help.

Those staff will also try to sign you up for MGM Bet and have an array of offers for you to try and entice you in. I didn’t find them pushy or anything, though, and they were knowledgeable when it came to any questions I had.

The screens are a little outdated and smaller than you will find in modern or recently refurbished Sportsbooks. There are plenty of them to make up for that,, though. 

Waitress Service

We’ve all done it… sitting in a casino losing money, possibly even hundreds, and yet we console ourselves by thinking ‘at least I’ve had some free drinks.’ Between a tip and potential losses, drinks are, of course, not ‘free’ in Las Vegas casinos, but a quality drinks service can really enhance a gambler’s experience.

The slots and table areas are well-covered by waitress service, although that can be changeable depending on when you visit, so you need to be aware of that.  

Unlike some other casinos, MGM Grand and Las Vegas in general are still old-school in terms of waitress service. There are pros and cons to that, of course. The biggest pro is that you will get a comped drink even if you are betting minimally. 

That differs from some other venues where play is monitored and an option to order a free drink from the slot machine unlocked once you are deemed worthy. 

The downside is that you are at the mercy of the waitresses and how busy they are. I found a real mixed bag here. At quieter times of the day, fewer waitresses were on shift meaning they had more ground to cover and service was hard to come by. When I gambled at busier times, though, the service was generally very good due to there being more of them to cover the huge casino floor.

With that in mind, you need to know the golden rule of casino waitress service in Las Vegas: the more you tip the better service you’ll get. It doesn’t have to be much, but a couple of dollars can go a long way and keep you on the radar of the often-overworked waitresses. 

High Limit Gaming at MGM Grand Casino

There are high limit areas at the MGM Grand casino for those among you who are a little more daring.

The high limit slots room is located next to the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill and is open to anyone. It has its own waitress service and toilets and is larger than most others in Vegas casinos I have visited.

Don’t be too frightened by it either. The machines might be high limit, but the minimums can accommodate mid-level gamblers as stakes generally start at $5 a press. 

Cash and Payment Options

If you are one of these people exasperated by cash slowly electronically disappearing from your bank accounts without ever actually seeing where it’s gone, then you’ll love Las Vegas. 

The casinos there understand that part of the gambling fun is slapping a nice crisp bill on the table with the confidence and swagger of the big-shot you almost certainly are not. It's obviously one of the big joys that even the best online casino cannot replicate. 

The MGM Grand casino deals almost exclusively in cash, and you would be best advised to take your stake money with you as the ATM fees are high. That is a Las Vegas thing, though, not an MGM Grand thing. 

The one exception is that MGM Rewards members will likely get freeplay and matchplay offers. Both provide semi-cashless gaming, but they’re only granted by the casino. You can’t give it to yourself through a prepayment facility or similar. 

Withdrawals are easy and instantaneous via the cashier or ticket redemption machines. Remember that ultimately best fast payout casinos are the land based ones.

For handpay jackpots (individual wins over $1200) you will need a slots attendant as there will be tax to sort out. That can take longer, usually around half an hour or so.

170K Sq. Ft Venue
139 Live Tables
5 Entertainment Spaces
2.5K Slot Machines
24/7 Always Open

💰 MGM Grand Casino Bonuses and Promotions

The MGM Grand has a loyalty program called MGM Rewards with five tiers. The more credits you earn the higher tier you achieve, and the higher your tier the better the rewards.

Here are some of the standout benefits of each tier:

  • Sapphire: room comps
  • Pearl (20,000 tier credits): free self-parking and occasional complimentary concert tickets
  • Gold (75,000 tier credits): no resort fees and free room upgrade (where available)
  • Platinum (200,000 tier credits): airline credit and priority lines
  • Noir (Invitation only): guaranteed restaurant reservations if you give notice 24 hours before

How do you accumulate these tier credits? You can start by signing up for the rewards program. It’s free but you need to be 21 to join (remember to bring your ID). Once you’re in, you’ll get your Sapphire MGM Rewards card. 

You want to show this card every time you spend money at any MGM property whether you’re staying at the hotel, playing a table game at the casino, dining, shopping, or booking tickets for a show. If you are playing slots, you should keep your card in the machine at all times.

Should you join MGM Rewards?

Now, onto the burning question: Is the casino generous with its rewards program?

Well they don’t build new towers and mega casino resorts in Las Vegas by being generous, so it’s always a good idea to keep your expectations of rewards programs realistic. MGM Rewards is definitely worth signing up to, though. In fact, I’d recommend you do it as soon as you arrive, before you have even spent a dollar.

You will receive four tier credits for every dollar you spend on rooms, food, drink and retail at MGM properties – not just in Las Vegas but everywhere. In terms of gambling, your credit award will be calculated by an algorithm that takes into account your average bet level and amount of time you devoted to it.

You also accumulate freeplay and comp dollars (an amount that you can cash in at any time of your choosing and spent in MGM resorts). 

What makes MGM Rewards such a good program, though, especially in Las Vegas, is that there are so many properties in which you can earn credits. There is also an app to track your progress. 

While the tiers seem daunting in terms of numbers and spend required to achieve them, my advice would be to not really worry about it. I have never been above Pearl level, the second tier, and I almost always get offers that include freeplay, resort credit, comped rooms and waived resort fees.  

A good trick I have found (if you are a guest at an MGM hotel) is to charge to your room. All MGM properties will allow you to do this, even if your room is at a different hotel than the restaurant you are in, for example. That way you are sure to be making the most every dollar you spend. 


MGM Rewards is NOT MGM Grand-specific

If you join MGM Rewards and are staying at the MGM Grand, make sure you charge everything you spend at all MGM Las Vegas properties to your room to maximise your tier points. The same goes for your gambling too. It's the same card/program for all resorts. (Note: as of April 2024, the Cosmopolitan is the one exception in Las Vegas, but they will be joining MGM Rewards soon.)

🛏️ MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Resort

There are around 5,000 rooms at MGM Grand Las Vegas, and that really gives you a sense of the scale of the resort. 

Casino aside, what can you expect? Well, it’s a mega-resort on the Las Vegas Strip, so you can - and should - expect a lot. Let’s dig a little deeper though. 

MGM Grand Rooms 

The MGM Grand has more than 5,000 rooms and suites and they are of a very high standard. The standard room is around 446 square feet, which compares well to other hotels in Las Vegas at a similar price. Meanwhile, the suites, which are excellent, start at 675 square feet.  

There are also ‘Stay Well’ options, which are rooms and suites with some extra touches for the health conscious such as air purifiers and other ‘wellness technologies.’ My only caution on here would be to only use them if you are okay with a very firm mattress. And I mean very firm. 

The west wing is also worthy of a note of caution. This part of the property was actually an existing older hotel (the MGM Marina) that was incorporated into the MGM Grand, which was essentially a giant extension to it. As a result, the rooms are smaller (350 sq. ft) and you will get a less high-end feel from your surroundings. 

The suites are something I would especially recommend. I found them to be large, with an attached living area and a high-end executive-style feel, although that décor is repeated throughout the hotel. 

If you are looking for something a bit spectacular, Signature (a separate property connected to the MGM Grand but operated by it) and SKYLOFTS fit the bill, although expect to pay plenty for the privilege.  

The MGM Grand is also pet-friendly, so If your pooch is of the pampered variety and you can’t bear to leave it at home, dogs are welcome. There will be an additional nightly fee, though. 

Overall, the rooms have standard amenities, including good storage options, a safe, and a desk area. Smoking is strongly prohibited in the hotel rooms (unless you want to pay a fine of over $500), but you’re welcome to indulge yourself on the casino floor.

MGM Grand Pool

Without question, the MGM Grand has one of the very best pool complexes in Las Vegas. In fact I would probably go as far as saying the only better one I have seen is Mandalay Bay. 

There are cascading waterfalls, whirlpools, and, my personal favourite, a lazy river. This makes it a big attraction for families and children, which is good or bad depending on your point of view. You can drop your kids off at the pool knowing they will be entertained for hours while you pop to the casino, but it may not provide the most restful locations if you’re looking for peace. 

Daybeds can be rented for the day too, and the pool adjacent loungers are reserved for those willing to pay as well, but that is very standard in Las Vegas. Free loungers are plentiful, though. They are just a little further back from the pools. 

For a more premium or party poolside experience you can rent a private cabana. I didn’t do this, largely due to cost, but if you are with a group of friends then it’s certainly worth considering. 

Unfortunately, if you are looking for some poolside or swim-up blackjack or other table gambling, the MGM Grand isn’t really the place to go. That’s not the vibe at all. 


Choose your room carefully

While there is no bad rooms at MGM Grand, if you want to see the best of the property then the 'Studio King' rooms are probably best avoided. They are the smallest in the hotel and part of the older west wing. 


The MGM Grand has several bars with unique themes and ambiance. Some highlights include:

  • The Whiskey Down, with over 50 whiskey options.
  • The Centrifuge for a modern and colorful experience.
  • The Level Up for pool tables and arcade games. 

The bars at the MGM Grand offer a very wide selection that should cater to almost everyone. The Losers Bar has a lively atmosphere with live music, mainly country, and Level Up has a sports bar kind of theme. For the night club lovers among you, Hakkasan is one of the most exclusive in town and usually good for a celebrity sighting or two. 

Buffets and Restaurants

The MGM Grand Buffet offers a breakfast and lunch menu only, meaning it closes at 3pm every day. It features classic American food (bacon, eggs, waffles; you name it), seafood, a salad bar, fruit selections, and a carving station for meats. For an extra $25, you get unlimited alcohol to enjoy with your meal, but fountain (soft) drinks are part of the price. 

As for the restaurants, MGM Grand covers all food offerings, with options spanning American, French, Mexican, Italian, and more while catering to every budget. There are too many to list, but suffice to say you could stay at the MGM Grand for a week and still not get to try everything. 

Since the covid pandemic, late-night food options have definitely dwindled in Las Vegas generally. That can cause a problem if, like me, you can’t tear yourself away from a hot machine or a winning streak! Thankfully, MGM Grand boasts one of the best food courts on the Strip, meaning you’ll always be able to get something if you find that you’ve forgotten to eat.

Shows and Entertainment

Entertainment includes shows from mind-bending magic with David Copperfield (because why wouldn’t you want to see a giant tyrannosaurus-rex appear on a small theatre stage?) and gravity-defying acrobatics at Cirque du Soleil’s Ka. 

As of 2024, there is also a brilliantly modern dance troupe called Jabbawockeez. It’s a bit abstract and for some reason neither the words ‘dance’ nor ‘troupe’ appear anywhere in their promotion, but it’s a good show worthy of a visit. 

In terms of activities at the MGM Grand, the Hunger Games Exhibition offers interactive fun for fans of the hit movie franchise, there is a small arcade to keep children entertained, and Topgolf takes a golf driving range concept and turns it into a fun competitive game for all ages and all skill levels. 

When most people think of the MGM Grand, though, it’s the big Las Vegas boxing bouts that come to mind. That is made possible by the brilliant MGM Grand Garden Arena which hosts big music concerts as well as sporting and entertainment events on a large scale. 

💭 My MGM Grand Verdict

I don’t know if it was just me or the fact that thousands of people transit this casino every day, but when I stepped into the MGM Grand, there was this palpable energy of excitement, especially at night when the place fills up.

Despite the constant flow of people, and considering people smoke and spill drinks regularly, the casino remains clean. The lobby, particularly, has gleaming surfaces that reflect back at you. Also, safety is a priority here with exit signs amid the hustle.

You quickly discover that the word ‘Grand’ isn’t just posturing here. This resort is a massive a 30-story building with almost 5,000 rooms. That means you can expect lots of walking inside.

To me, the casino looks outdated, so if you prefer brand new casinos and their vibe, then it's maybe not for you. It’s clear it has been a long time there. However, while the casino doesn’t exude the opulence it once did, it still offers luxurious additions like the Signature, SKYLOFTs, top-tier restaurants, and captivating shows. 

Moreover, it’s a great place if you come to hit the tables (I loved the variety). There is also a lot to be said for old-school character in Las Vegas.

Still… I guess I was hoping for more. 

And don’t get me wrong, it’s a good casino, it checks all the boxes. But it was lacking that certain je ne sais quoi. 

In my first year in Las Vegas I was told that the MGM Grand used to have live lions that greeted you at the entrance (safely housed in a glass enclosure), as well as its Wizard of Oz displays. Perhaps that was the je ne sais quoi it now lacks, that thing to distinguish it from the rest.

Despite that, MGM Grand remains a Las Vegas icon and there is plenty to love about it, and I am not sure you can say you have really done Vegas without at least a visit. 

What I Liked and Didn't Like

The location
Variety of table games for most budgets
Large and inclusive high limit slots room
Exceptional suites
The Grand pool complex (with the lazy river)
High quality rewards program with plenty of potential
Didn't like
The standard hotel rooms décor won’t be to everyone’s taste
Layout of the casino can be confusing
Lacks a special something that differentiates it from other properties

Licensing Authorities and Testing Agencies

Meet The Author

25 Years
Ziv Chen
Ziv Chen
Writer Writer

Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.

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