The Future of the Casino Industry

 

While different industries continue to try to adapt to global markets and the recover from the Great Recession, the casino industry is benefiting from relaxed regulations and the fact that Americans have more disposable income. Casino industry experts are also projecting a bright future based on the recent election of Donald Trump, an industry insider. Despite some bright spots, data indicates that the casino industry may be undergoing some major geographical shifts and experiencing competition from online gambling, which is leading the gaming industry in both Europe and Asia. For a closer look at the future of the casino industry and what emerging trends to be on the lookout for, keep reading.

Notable Shifts in Casino Regulations

In the past, casinos have been regulated by state laws that were applied across the board. However, regulations are becoming more localized. Instead of instituting broad limitations, local governments are being given the power to make their own decision about how to handle gambling establishments and revenue. As a result, more small casino locations are popping up in the form of riverboats, tribal casinos and cruise ships. Expect this trend to continue and for gambling to become more accepted and welcomed outside of traditional gambling and casino hubs.

Geographic Changes in Casino Locations

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In the United States, casinos have been concentrated in two main locations: Las Vegas and Atlantic City. However, both these locations are undergoing major changes while casinos along the east coast continue to multiply and grow. Over the past decade, Atlantic City has lost over half its value. While the gambling and hospitality industries still make significant contributions to the local economy, it is hard to imagine the city returning to its heyday.

Las Vegas is still thriving as a tourist destination, but less and less of the city’s revenue is coming from gambling. In 2016, 34% of the Strip’s revenue came from gambling. Compare that to 1984 when a full 58% or revenue was a direct result of gambling. More people are choosing to spend their time and money on shows and other entertainment.

Those who are almost exclusively interested in gambling and view the shows and restaurants as an added perk and not the main attraction, are heading to smaller establishments. The east coast, in particular, is seeing an expansion of the casino industry. Perhaps most notably, MGM has made major investments in developments near Washington DC and Springfield, MA. The goal is to provide local consumers with the same brand experience that would have in Las Vegas. Industry leaders are betting on the fact that people will be excited to have the casino experience without having to pay for travel.

How Casinos are Winning Back Gamblers

While casinos are still making significant profits, even if less of their revenue is coming from gambling, they are still looking for ways to lure people back to the games. Those looking to introduce disruptive solutions that will lead to true market innovation are turning to skill based gambling games. For example, Konami recently introduced a Frogger slot machine that combines both skill and luck. Players can win performance based prizes. At the end of each round, you can spin the wheel and win additional prizes. It combines classic, interactive arcade games with traditional gambling for a more well-rounded user experience.

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These new types of skilled based games appeal directly to Millenials who simply aren’t showing up to engage with typical gambling games. By introducing the arcade element, casinos are able to meet players where they already are and provide a twist on gaming. Instead of sitting at home in front of computers and game consoles, avid gamers can visit the casino and put their skills to work and maybe win a little cash.

The Future of Casino Gambling Games

Arcade themed slot machines are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the future of interactive gambling. Virtual reality games are also poised to become more standard fare in casinos, as well as, team games that allow players to interact with other gamers in the same casino and around the world. Casinos will have to continue to develop innovative ways to incorporate new gaming technology into their establishment to avoid becoming an obsolete form of entertainment.

Beyond the Games: Cultivating Loyal Customers

Modern consumers have higher expectations when it comes to both the types of games they want to see on the casino floor and the level of service. More than ever, patrons expect to visit a well-organized establishment that is able to provide fast and courteous service that helps create a memorable experience. The more casinos are able to provide both cutting-edge games and superior service and hospitality, the more they will be able to build brand loyalty and earn repeat business.

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Once again, the solution to a better casino and impeccable service comes down to technology. Relying on powerful management and scheduling software, such as Casino Schedule Ease, allows large casinos with hundreds to thousands of employees to effectively fill openings and make sure that every aspect of the casino is appropriately staffed. A streamlined system with a centralized dashboard also makes it easy for employees to request time off and manage their own schedules. It is the best way to improve efficiency, drive profits and reduce the number of man-hours that are spent managing employees and scheduling.

While the casino industry is still profitable, its growth rate has slowed significantly over the past decades and more revenue is coming from entertainment than actual gambling. If casinos are able to expand into the right markets and continue to incorporate new games that address the evolving interests of customers, then they may be able to stabilize the industry. Brick and mortar casinos will also experience increased competition from online gambling, which makes the ability to provide a positive customer experience even more important. Simplifying the employee scheduling process with the right software is just one way to improve service and earn loyal customers.

How Automated Scheduling Helps Businesses and Customers

Managing the schedules of a dozen full-time employees can quickly become complicated and time-consuming. Leaders have to make sure that different areas of the business are going to have adequate coverage, sick-time and vacation time are appropriately accounted for and employees are getting enough hours. Now take those standard scheduling challenges and multiply them by 100 and you have a general idea of how difficult it can be to schedule workers at a casino. That is exactly why automated scheduling tools are a must for modern casinos that want to keep both employees and customers happy.

Scheduling Challenges that are Specific to the Casino Industry

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Not only are casinos open 24/7, they are also subject to seasonal traffic. This means that a staff of full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are working to keep everything running. Managers also have to take into account Union and FLSA regulations, as well as, personal availability and time-off requests. Finally, not all dealers are as skilled or qualified to work all the table. All these factors make it impossible to implement traditional shift rotations. When there are glitches in the schedule, the customers can suffer, which can ultimately mean that the business suffers as well.

Why Smooth Scheduling Matters to Customers

If your casino isn’t able to properly staff different areas of the business and customers aren’t satisfied with their experience, you will see that directly reflected in your profit margins. Today’s consumers are more demanding and savvy than ever before. In fact, the very term customer service has been replaced by customer experience.

While customer service tends to focus on the response customers received when they had a problem or request, customer experience focuses on “the sum of all interactions a customer has with a company.” If you are bogged down in the challenges of daily operation, it can be easy to lose sight of the customer experience. Automated scheduling can help you shift the focus back to the customers.

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The value of a memorable customer experience cannot be overestimated. In the age of social media, word of mouth is more powerful than ever. Not only will happy customers tell their friends, they will post photos and comment on online platforms. Up to 92% of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family. Happy customers essentially become brand ambassadors and your most powerful marketing tool.

In addition, no matter what type of business you are in, return customers represent the vast majority of revenue. Here are just a few other statistics to keep in mind when it comes to the importance of creating a positive customer experience:

  • It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase.
  • It can cost 5x more to acquire new customers than to keep current ones.
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.

Source

Just think about all the time and effort it takes to attract new visitors. If they don’t have an exceptional customer experience, then your ROI drops dramatically. However, if your staff is qualified, well-organized and attentive, you can earn the loyalty of repeat customers, cultivate brand ambassadors and increase profits.

The Solution: Automated Scheduling

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Could the solution to a better casino customer experience really all come down to scheduling? Of course! Well scheduled employees enjoy hours that allow them to achieve a healthy work/life balance, which means that they will have better morale and more loyalty to their employer. In turn employees will perform better on the job and add to a more positive customer experience. In addition, customers will be able to visit their favorite game tables, eat at the buffet and enjoy other amenities in a building that is well-maintained and staffed.

Fortunately, technology has led to a simple solution for businesses, including casinos, who face scheduling nightmares. The answer lies in automated scheduling programs that provide a centralized user-friendly dashboard to better manage all the information that can go into creating an ideal schedule. Here are just a few of the benefits of using automated scheduling:

  • Instantly create different zones or departments in order to better organize your staff and the schedule.
  • Easily assign breaks, tasks and shifts with just a few clicks.
  • Enjoy the ability to visualize custom maps of your casino to help with ensuring adequate coverage.
  • Empower employees with the ability to submit schedules and requests that can then be worked into the schedule.
  • Easy access to information on employee skill level, hourly limits, pay range and other data that will make it easy to optimize the schedule.
  • Instantly publish, distribute and update the schedule. Employees can even be alerted when changes are made so that they know if they will be affected.

Automating the scheduling process will allow you to get the most out of each employee and your payroll budget while also drastically reducing the number of man-hours that are spent organizing and managing a complicated schedule. Your casino operations will be completely streamlined for better performance and a better customer experience.

Successfully running any business requires continuous innovation. In today’s competitive business world, relying on processes that have worked in the past will leave you struggling to hold onto your share of the market while your competitors are moving forward by implementing new and innovative products and services. Even necessary and mundane process like scheduling casino employees can affect your bottom line if you aren’t taking advantage of available tools and optimizing man-hours and other resources.  

While automated casino scheduling tools will benefit your employees, it is also important to remember that this tool will also ultimately affect your customers. A well-managed casino that is staffed by happy employees will translate into a superior customer experience, which will build brand loyalty and drive repeat business. Implementing automated casino scheduling tools is one simple way to promote innovation and be proactive about staying ahead of the competition.