Casinos Must Look To The Past To Survive. The effects of the pandemic still loom over the casino industry. But, as casinos reopen all over the country, some changes may be here to stay. Let’s look at why Casinos Must Look To The Past To Survive.
Guest Appreciation VS. the Almighty $1.00
Yes, gamblers are flocking back to their casinos. Las Vegas is said to be “back.” All seems closer to normal. But looks are deceiving. Check out these trends:
- Drink costs are rising
- Free drinks for gamblers are being squeezed out
- Higher Resort Fees, Covid cleaning fees and fees for children are now part of Las Vegas
- Parking Fees at Hotels and even malls (Miracle Mile, Las Vegas) are the norm in Las Vegas
- Added fees at bars and restaurants along the Las Vegas Strip called a “concession fee,” “venue fee” and “CNF,” which can amount to as much as 5% of the total bill. For what? nothing but additional profit for the owners.
- Less hotel staff with higher room prices.
- Gambling squeeze
- stadium gambling earns little to no points in rewards clubs.
- High table limits continue even when tables are full
- A third zero in roulette
- Low house edge games gone from the casino floor (Pai Gow poker at MGM Springfield)
- Poker rooms closed
Will these trends increase, or will patrons finally say enough? I say they will continue until the post-covid Golden Goose stops laying the golden eggs of increased visitation, travel costs continue to rise. Gambler’s discretionary funds from being home during the pandemic continue to be available.
Casinos Must Look To The Past To Survive After COVID
Yes, a safe casino environment is essential these days. But that priority won’t continue to bring guests back. I may sound like I’m pining for the old days, but once this wave of casino guests crests and things calm down, patrons will need more to return. Return and new guests need better service, staff relationships, the feeling of appreciation, and the expectation of winning and playing a long time will.
The bottom line is all business. Basically, if the casino and hotel industry can get away with higher and extra charges, they’ll do it.
Related Post – Are Smoke-Free Casinos Here To Stay?
Give Players Something to Make Visiting More Enticing
Years ago, Casino Owners knew that the key to keeping people coming back was personalized service. Today, it’s about Rewards Clubs, algorithms, points, and status levels.
One property in Downtown Las Vegas opened recently. Its owners know what it means to invest in their guests. That property is Circa, and its owner is Derek Stevens.
Circa Resort & Casino opened, intending to look to the past and add that lost personal touch. According to AP, “It’s the first new property to open downtown since the Sundance in 1980. That became Fitzgerald’s, which Stevens and Circa co-owner, brother Greg Stevens, bought in 2011 and renamed D Las Vegas. The brothers also own the Golden Gate, which opened in 1906.”
The structure will be getting all the attention. But the foundation of Stevens’ success is built on guest appreciation and experience. Derek Stevens is bringing back old Las Vegas inside new vegas packaging.
Derek loves to mingle with high rollers and low rollers alike. So he makes himself available daily at “His Chair” at the end of Long Bar at the “D” Casino Hotel. No doubt, he will bring this old-school philosophy to Circa.
Technology Causes Laziness
Yes, I said it. Technology makes it easy to put casino guests into numbers and data charts. Automating the process of comps and interaction has de-humanized the casino relationship. By going down the rabbit hole of technology, they have moved further away from customer service.
The invention of player tracking systems gives a very simplistic view of casino visitors. As a casino guest, your history decides the level of service the casino will give you if anything at all. Whether they win or not, guests want to be treated well and feel like guests, not a number on a card.
Casinos Must Start Investing In The Customers Experience
Casinos interested in the guests’ experience must include changing the games they offer:
- Enough with the triple zero roulette.
- Get back to 3/2 Blackjack (instead of 6/5, which surveillance staff has admitted to not watching for counting cards, since the house edge on 6/5 makes it a waste of time)
- Increase the hold percentage of slot machines instead of decreasing. Increase the payout instead.
- Bring Back playable Video Poker, or keep the lower paytables and allow players to earn what slots earn.
- Side wagers and other proposition bets are fine, but what people really want is extended time at the table
- Give them some time at a game and a drink or two and they will have gotten what they came in for – a chance to forget about what March and April of 2020 dealt them.
Promotion Changes – Stop The Insanity!
Stop! with these kiosk entry promotions that only favor high rollers. They also cause gamblers to stay longer for those entries, boosting wasted time at the casino, thus, enticing problem gambling.
And, Stop! with promotions that keep guests playing in the casino all day so that six hours later, they can claim their “free” wooden spoon set.
If you want people to come back, stop treating your casino like it’s there to take people’s money. Sure it’s a business, and you are in it to make money. But don’t cry like the airlines did years back when travelers stopped flying due to cost.
Give your guests a fair deal. Give your employees the ability to make customers into friends. And give them a reason to be in your casino and forget about the virus, the news, and social media. Treat us as people, not a number or a piece of data.
In other words, Casinos Must Look To The Past To Survive.
The Author – Robin T. Aubin (AKA Binbin at NETimeGambling.com).
Bin has been a guest on Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast and The Bettor Life Podcast. He has also been a guest on The Art in the Game Podcast and TravelZork’s ZorkCast with Michael Trager. Robin also writes monthly posts and articles concerning New England casinos for TravelZork. In addition, as the founder of NETimeGambling.com, he has provided a resource for recreational gamblers featuring New England’s expanding casino market events, gambling promotions, and entertainment.
NETime Gambling has offered the most comprehensive coverage of New England casino and recreational gambling for eight years. The goal is to provide a service, a resource for anyone visiting New England’s expanding casino market. We include news, promotions, gambling strategies, and personal opinions. Whether it be slots, table games, dining, or entertainment, we cover it all. There are three of us – Binbin (that’s me), Miguel & Bert.