Less competition. In Vegas you have dozens of other competing rewards programs so they try harder to earn your business. In Detroit you only have two competing casinos (three if you count Caesar's), non of which are as easy to reach by walking across the street like on the strip. The lower ratio is probably enough to keep their regulars at MGM-D to earn something rather than nothing at the others.
It is also possible that the slots in Vegas are tighter than in Detroit. If they take more of your money in the slots, they are willing to give more back in comps. Much like Video Poker having a much lower house edge (assuming full pay) than slots, so you don't earn points as fast. I don't believe they have to publish their slot payback percentages, so that will remain a mystery.
Third I am going to guess that the Detroit casinos don't make as much money in non-gambling revenue as in Vegas. You are much more likely to book a luxury suite, have a $90 dinner, go to a show, book a spa visit, round of golf, etc. in Vegas. By enticing people to the desert with extra comps they make that extra revenue, vs the majority of people here who gamble for a couple hours then go home.
Thanks Tev - I was thinking about this again as my tier points are back to zero. They reset Oct 1st. I am never going to reach the next tier at MGM Detroit. No big deal as it seems you have to have a gold or higher to get anything there. I do like the $19 buffet deal when you use $5 in comps.
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