Following MGM cyber attack

Marriott, MGM delay loyalty partnership launch to 2024

Reading time 1:28 min

The customer loyalty partnership between Marriott International and MGM Resorts International will not materialize this year. Originally scheduled to launch this month, the collaboration was postponed until 2024, after MGM suffered a ransomware attack in September, which reports indicate could be the cause.

In July, the two giants unveiled the MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy. This long-term strategic agreement includes MGM's 17 domestic properties, including the brand's hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and its regional casino hotels. The expectation was that by the end of this year, all MGM properties would be available for booking on Marriott's platforms.

However, a September cyber attack, attributed to the "Scattered Spider" hacker group, has caused a significant setback for MGM. Although the company claims to have overcome the crisis and not given in to ransom demands, the costs related to the attack seemingly amounted to $10 million, in addition to a $100 million reduction in EBITDAR for the third quarter.

Bill Hornbuckle

Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM, in a recent letter to customers, detailed the extent of the damage, revealing that the hackers accessed sensitive data, including name, contact information, gender, date of birth and driver's license number of customers who interacted with the company before March 2019. Some customers even had their Social Security or passport numbers compromised.

Marriott has also faced challenges related to cyber-attacks in its history. The hotel chain was the victim of an attack in 2014, resulting in a fine of $24 million in the UK in 2020 and last year. While neither Marriott nor MGM publicly confirmed that the hacking is causing the delay in the partnership, the potential reputational risk to companies that suffer cyberattacks could be the reason for the pushed launch.

Logistical complexity is also cited as a possible reason for the delay. The MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy involves different tiers of MGM casino hotels. In addition, four properties will be integrated into the already-established brands of the Marriott Collection. Bellagio Resort & Casino will join The Luxury Collection, while Aria Resort & Casino and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be associated with the Autograph Collection. Park MGM will become part of the Tribute Portfolio.

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