The gradually improving economy has some business sectors cheering. But the good news hasn’t extended to all types of businesses. For example, consumers have been slow to return to casinos. The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) new G2E SmartBrief survey points to strategies that casinos are taking to try to improve business.
Earlier this year, many in the gaming industry expected to see improvement in casino traffic. “The recovery that we had hoped for last year has yet to take hold, and that has tempered some of last year’s optimism,” noted the president and CEO of AGA, Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. Nearly half (44%) of industry experts believe the industry could take 3–4 years to reach a full recovery.
To encourage more people visit more frequently, casinos are rolling out new services. Industry operators say the following innovations will prompt consumers to spend more on gambling:
- Online gaming 42%
- Networked/server-based gaming 27%
- Property-wide rewards program integration 11%
- Hand-held gaming devices 10%
And when the promise of winning big while playing games in new ways doesn’t draw consumers, casino resorts are turning to marketing other entertainment options. This winter, Foxwoods in New England will be promoting its new outdoor skating rink. The entertainment company notes that it will be holding numerous special events on the ice rink during the winter. Company officials hope that after ice skating, consumers may be tempted to enjoy spa services or a swim at one of the many pools on the property. Robert Victoria, Chief Marketing Officer for Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises. “We’re constantly striving to provide our guests with the best entertainment experience available anywhere and our skating rink certainly provides a unique way for them to embrace the holiday spirit.”
Look for more casinos to explore creative ways to bring revenue through the door and to promote these efforts with ad campaigns.[Sources: MGM GRAND AT FOXWOODS SKATES INTO WINTER WITH OPENING OF CASINO ICE RINK. Mgmatfoxwoods.com. 29 Nov. 2010. Web. 16 Dec. 2010; AGA SMARTBRIEF SURVEY RESULTS REVEAL GAMING PROFESSIONALS’ OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY. Americangaming.org. 16 Nov. 2010. Web. 16 Dec. 2010]