MGM: Operations Normal At All US Casinos Following Ransomware Scare

Written By Dan Holmes on September 20, 2023
Lion roaring with logo for MGM Grand Detroit, which has fully reopened after the MGM hack

All is normal at MGM Grand Detroit. The news comes than a week after the casino/resort and others were the victims of an attack by cyber hackers. That according to a statement by MGM Resorts.

MGM Grand Detroit and MGM-owned gaming venues in at least six other states suffered from partial systems shutdown or difficulties. It was revealed last Monday that a hacker had infiltrated its systems. ATMs, point-of-sale systems, credit and debit card terminals, check cashing and even reservations systems were impacted by the attack.

Two groups, one calling itself Scattered Spider, and the other known as ALPHV, have claimed responsibility for the attack. They claim they took control of MGM’s servers at several of their casinos. That included the popular MGM Grand Detroit.

MGM Resorts used X (formerly Twitter) to issue a statement about the operational status of its many casino/resorts. Most were at least partially crippled by what seems was a ransomware attack.

“We are pleased that all of our casinos, hotels, dining, entertainment and resort services are operating normally, and are welcoming thousands of guests each day,” the statement on social media’s X platform read.

BetMGM Michigan went unscathed, per MGM

MGM claims the data breach did not affect its online betting operations. So its Michigan online casino app — BetMGM Casino Michigan — apparently was never impacted.

Earlier in September, Caesars casinos were allegedly targeted by the same hacking groups. Caesars paid a ransom to regain control of their servers and protect sensitive data. It’s unclear whether MGM Resorts paid the hacker groups.

A phone call by PlayMichigan to MGM Grand Detroit’s customer service desk confirmed that the casino is telling visitors that all systems are back to normal.

“You can come here as you normally would, and our cash machines and slots are all operating as you would expect,” a service representative said.

Slots, gaming tables, and free play are available

According to MGM Grand Detroit, last week for a period of time, free play was not available for visitors to the gaming floor. As well, visitors were unable to earn free play from slots and other gaming play. But that is no longer the case, according to MGM Resorts.

MGM Grand Detroit did not respond to an email about the financial impact of the cyber attack. But, a customer service representative told PlayMichigan that for at least a few days last week, visits to the casino “was less than normal.”

Customers at MGM properties in Nevada and Massachusetts stated that any winnings at a slot had to be paid out manually. It is a fact that MGM Grand Detroit employees confirmed was the case in Michigan, too. Evidently, based on the statement from the company on X, those problems are now resolved.

For nearly a week, the MGM casino websites, including the one for MGM Grand Detroit, were barren The sites showed only a message that explained they would be back soon, and urging customers to call.

As of last Friday, the MGM Grand Detroit website was back to normal functionality. Visitors to the site can reserve rooms and plan their visits.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a Michigan resident who writes about sports betting, sports media, casino and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters.

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