New Casino Openings and Trends for 2018

The year is quickly coming to a close and it is time to start looking forward to 2018 and preparing for emerging trends that may influence the casino industry over the next 12 months. While there have been some notable closings over the last year, the future is looking bright with plenty of new openings scheduled. Each upcoming casino represents a new aspect of the casino industry and reflects not only what consumers are demanding, but also how more established casinos are going to have to adapt in order to survive. It should come as no surprise that technology is going to play a major role in these new openings and throughout the entire industry. With all that in mind, here are some new openings, tools and technology trends to be on the lookout for in 2018.

New Casinos Opening in 2018

Soboba Casino

While the Soboba band of Luiseno Indians have been running the Soboba Casino in the foothills of San Jacinto for the past 21 years, the tribe has already made major progress on a replacement that is location just one mile down the road. The new facility will span over 480,000 square feet and offer a hotel, events, cafes, bars and much more. Construction has been underway for some time now and on December 11th the tribe held a “topping” ceremony to celebrate a building milestone. If everything goes smoothly, the new casino will be open in the fall of 2018.

This is just one of many renovation and expansion projects among tribes in California and across the country. These groups are looking to increase profits and 2018 will see the completion of a variety of major improvement projects among Indian owned casinos.

Desert diamond West Valley Resort and casino

This project has been in the works for years and while it might not officially open in 2018, much of the project will be completed in the coming year. The Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise is heading up the project and building a large facility in Glendale, Arizona’s, Westgate Entertainment District, which is already home to many trendy spots. It will play host to slot machines, bingo, poker and plenty of restaurants and other amenities.

Getting the project off the ground has been challenging. Federal legislation looked like it would be able to stand in the way, but court rulings continued to favor the tribe. In the interim, the tribe opened a temporary casino, but the state of Arizona refused to approve a liquor license, which put a major damper on business. Now that they have finally been cleared for Class III gambling and were given a license to serve alcohol, the project is in full swing. Once all phases of the project have been completed, this large facility will take up over 1 million square feet and create over 3,000 jobs for tribal members and the community.


Resorts World Catskills


If everything goes according to plan, the Resorts World Catskills will be opening in mid-February, about two weeks ahead of schedule. This would be a plus for the casino because the new opening date aligns with the Lunar New Year and their target audience. The casino is looking to capitalize on Asian patrons and will offer games that are popular in China along with employees who speak Mandarin. Right now, the biggest challenge is hiring enough employees to staff the facilities, which include a hotel, spa, restaurant, bar, casino retail stores and more.

While the Resorts World Catskills is one of many openings schedule for 2018, it is notable because it represents a couple key trends.

  1. Relaxed gambling laws are creating more competition away from traditional hubs like Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Casinos are spreading up and down the east coast and taking over more rural areas.
  2. Resorts World Catskills is being billed as a destination casino. They aren’t just trying to pull in people from the region, but trying to entice world travelers to visit. While they aren’t the first casino to cater to Asian customers, they do represent a unique model.

Tools and Technology Trends for 2018

In previous posts, we have looked at important factors that may have contributed to major casino closings in 2017. One common thread was that some casinos failed to adopt technology and other management tools that allowed their competitors to operate more efficiently. In 2018, technology will continue to be an important tool, not only on the gaming floor, but also in the back office. If there is one thing casinos should pay attention to in 2018, it’s how they can use technology to run a better business because you can be sure that the competition is already using these tools to get the edge.

While consumers will be looking for updated games that are more interactive and provide a social element, casinos also need to pay attention to the complete visitor experience. This means staying organized and running a tight ship. Casino Schedule Ease is one increasingly popular tool that is being used to streamline employee scheduling and communication so that managers spend less time on administrative tasks. It also automatically optimizes employee placement on the floor so that they are able to play to their strengths. Perhaps best of all, the software allows employees to easily request time off and get shifts that best fit their personal life. Ultimately, happy employees translate in a better business and customer experience, so while scheduling might not be the most glamorous aspect of the casino industry, it plays a vital role in overall success.

For 2018, look for trends that include casino openings in less populous and popular areas of the country. While Vegas is getting some upgrades, some of the most exciting new projects are being executed by tribes across the country. These projects represent some real challenges to established markets. For those looking to stay competitive as tribes expand their reach, it will be important to utilize technology to improve efficiency and offer a better customer experience. Look for software, like Casino Schedule Ease, to be a more common staple among successful casinos who want to leverage the power of technology.

Why Some Casinos are Shutting Their Doors While New Resorts are Being Planned

If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you may have noticed that there are some seemingly contradictory happenings in the casino industry. Since 2014, Atlantic City has closed a total of five casinos. Meanwhile, major new casino projects are underway. In fact, Virgin Group, headed by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, is looking to expand its hotel holdings by opening a casino in Las Vegas. With so many casinos closing, paired with promising new openings, it is important to examine why some longstanding institutions have crumbled and how new casinos can ensure success.

The Collapse of Atlantic City


Perhaps the most notable decline in the casino industry can be seen in the downfall of Atlantic City. This New Jersey town was once the only gambling hub outside of Las Vegas, but it has been rapidly declining in recent years. At the height of its success, there were 12 fully operational casinos playing host to tourists from around the country looking to try their hand at winning big. Today, five of those casinos have closed although a few are in talks to reopen as hotels, water parks or other entertainment venues. Yet, even these deals seem to be fraught with challenges and there have been many negotiations that have fallen through and delayed re-openings so that massive hotels still sit empty on the boardwalk.

What happened?

It is impossible to trace the collapse of a city and an industry back to one particular event. A variety of factors combined to create a complicated web of challenges that ultimately drew business away from the city. For starters, new legislation in other states eased gambling restrictions, increasing competition. People who used to make the trip to Atlantic City can now stay closer to home. City leaders are quick to point to this cause, but there are also some other important factors to consider and some of the blame needs to be put on the casinos themselves.

Many casinos made the mistake of resting on their laurels and failing to recognize and adapt to emerging trends. Even if gambling has been a popular past time, consumers are a dynamic group who will always demand better games, entertainment and service. As we have discussed before in this blog, casino patrons are looking for more concerts and entertainment acts, as well as, interactive games that go beyond simply sitting at a slot machine and pushing a button repeatedly. By all accounts, Atlantic City casinos failed to recognize these trends. Instead of making meaningful changes that would attract today’s consumer and increase revenue, companies turned to financial juggling that was meant to cut costs. When the ship started to take on water and sink, casinos chose to put all their effort into bailing out the water instead of fixing the hole.

New Casino Openings

While it remains to be seen whether Atlantic City can quickly adapt to changing markets and make a full recovery, Las Vegas could be a good example to look to for guidance. While the strip has experienced some closures over the past few years, many of these casinos were renovated and reopened. Even those that were completely demolished are being reborn as more modern establishments that speak to the demands of customers who want more advanced gaming and a better overall experience.

The announcement that Virgin Group and Branson are looking to take over an existing building and create a casino that embodies the Virgin brand is another sign that new life is being breathed into Las Vegas. Virgin has long built itself as a innovation leader and a “sexy aspirational lifestyle brand” that is “savvy enough to think like a guest.” This is the kind of attitude and approach it is going to take to ensure the continued success of casinos and the gambling industry as a whole.

How Can New Casinos Achieve Success?

First and foremost, new casinos need to learn from past mistakes, especially those made in Atlantic City. That means being able to take a step back from thinking like a casino and actually stepping into the shoes of guests and target demographics. It also means adopting new technology that will provide better games, automate operational tasks and improve the overall customer experience.

In Atlantic City, casino owners were looking to cut costs by renegotiating leases and shuffling money around, but these were only temporary fixes. Fortunately, there are other ways to reduce overhead costs while also improving the visitors experience. Technology like Casino Schedule Ease is specially designed to address the unique needs of the casino industry. This software effectively automates and organizes the scheduling process for benefits that include:

  • Less time and valuable man-hours spent managing employees
  • More ideal schedules for individual employees, which increases morale and improves employee retention rates.
  • The ability to strategically place employees where they perform best.
  • A centralized dashboard the streamlines communication.
  • The ability to get the most out the the entire staff and provide a better overall customer experience.

It is certainly no coincidence that three of the casinos that have been able to weather the downturn in Atlantic City, have all taken a proactive approach to incorporating new technology. Borrgata, Tropicana and Resorts all use Casino Schedule Ease to help create a better employee customer experience.

With the right technology there is a way to both increase revenue and reduce operational costs. The key is not to rely too heavily on one tool or another and present a united front of innovation that looks at every aspect of how employees and visitors experience the casino. Happy employees will translate into loyal customers. Combine that with advanced games, great food and entertainment and a continued commitment to progress, and you have a recipe for success.


The casino industry isn’t the first to fall victim to a false sense of confidence. The American automotive industry also failed to push for progress and underestimated their competition, which ultimately lead to a historic government bail-out. It is easy to become comfortable being the leader, but history has shown time and again that hubris can cause companies to be blind to important changes in the market. While Atlantic City has had to relearn this hard lesson, there are positive signs that new casinos across the country are actively avoiding the same mistakes and seeking out new ways to use technology to ensure success. With plenty of available tools on the market, the future could be looking bright for the entire industry.







How Technology is Changing the Casino Industry

Technology is revolutionizing the casino industry for employees, managers and patrons. New management and scheduling software makes it easy for casinos to manage hundreds of employees who are working around the clock to provide hotel, restaurant, entertainment and gambling services, all under one roof. Patrons are also being wooed by new games that take advantage of the popularity of TV shows and social media to create a more interactive gaming experience. Almost every area of the gaming industry is getting makeovers thanks to technological advances and the result has been a noticeable shift towards growth in the industry that is projected to continue through 2021.

How Software is Improving the Casino Experience

Casinos are a unique destination because they are designed to provide an immersive entertainment experience that goes well beyond gambling. Successful casinos provide a well-orchestrated experience that begins the moment a visitor arrives on the premise. From the building’s architecture and glitz to the employee uniforms, every detail has been carefully considered, so that each patron feels transported and wants to recapture that same sensation in a future visit. At the heart of all these efforts is a commitment to customer service.

Managing hundreds of employees and a constant stream of customers requires a high level of organization. In the past, scheduling and human resource managers were bogged down with trying to recruit and retain experienced employees while also working to balance everyone’s scheduling preferences. This job was further complicated by requests for time off and the fact that certain employees performed better at different roles throughout the casino. Trying to balance all these different variables and ensure that patron’s are being properly served was a daunting task.

With the invention of scheduling software, such as Casino Schedule Ease, casinos can automate many of the complicated processes and administrative tasks that used to plague managers. This frees up time to work towards more meaningful goals, such as innovation and growth. It also means that employees are better utilized throughout the casino, which ultimately translates into higher morale and a better customer experience. Something as simple, yet revolutionary, as casino specific scheduling software can actually trickle down all the way to more repeat customers.

The Marriage of Video Games and Gambling


In recent years, some of the biggest names in video game design have crossed over to creating casino games.  The same CGI and 3D imaging that goes into creating truly impressive scenery and characters in both major movies and games is now being applied to casino games. This move towards graphic-driven design speaks to what consumers are already gravitating towards and capitalizes on a trend to improve the gambling experience.

In some cases, popular games, such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush and Call of Duty are being installed on the casino floor next to more traditional games. By monetizing these games and allowing people to play against the house or one another, casinos are using skill-based games to draw in more millennials. This trend also takes gambling, which can often be a solitary endeavor, and turns it into an interactive and social experience.  The next move may be to allow betting on competitive video game tournaments in the same way that gamblers currently bet on boxing matches and other sports.

It also helps that basic screen technology has come a long way since the first television transmitted a signal in 1927. Today, Ultra HD or 4K technology provides a minimum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. That is four times as much as full HD television currently offer. Curved screens are also making an appearance in casinos across the world. This technology provides a wider field of view and greater feeling of depth. Combine that with thousands of pixels and cutting-edge graphic technology and you have a truly immersive experience that speaks to all the senses.

The Simpsons Slot Machine


Perhaps the single best example of all this technology at work is The Simpsons slot machine from Scientific Games Corporation. The game features three HD displays and  tablet with a multi-touch button display. It also comes with motion sensing so that users can directly interact with the game. In one bonus feature, players try to physically catch virtual donuts and all the movements are relayed through the motion technology.

The Future of the Casino Industry


The result of better management software that improves the customer experience and the introduction of gaming technology onto the casino floor has caused a  noticeable increase in gambling, especially among millennials. In 1990, revenue from gambling in Las Vegas accounted for 58 percent of casino’s total earnings. By 2014, only 37 percent of total revenue could be attributed to gambling. Instead of spending time at the tables, patrons were coming to enjoy the nightlife and the entertainment and world-class shows, but that is projected to change starting in 2017.

In fact, in early 2017, a study from Research and Markets predicted that the global casino market will grow at a rate of 10.16% between 2017 and 2021. While part of this projected growth is due to the increasing popularity of online gambling and apps, it is also a direct result of more social gambling. Friends can visit the casino and play familiar games that pit their skills against other people in their social circle. Instead of feeding money into a lot machine and hoping for the best, players can actually engage in a little competition and win money in the process.


From efficient management tools that allow casinos to effectively run the backend operations to immersive and interactive games that reflect other trends in gaming, technology is improving practically every aspect of the casino and gaming industry. This is good news for owners who want to drive up revenue, employees who are looking for ideal working conditions and visitors who want to have a fun and entertaining experience that exceeds their expectations. While the casino industry hasn’t been as healthy and robust over the past few decades, all signs point to the fact that new technology is going to allow the industry to pivot and experience significant growth in the coming years.





Why Casinos Need to Pay More Attention to Cybersecurity

If you have learned anything from watching Hollywood heist movies, it is probably that banks and casinos are by far the best places to rob. While old school fictional criminals dug tunnels under buildings and found ways to trick security guards, today’s actual robbers are using technology as their preferred tool and stealing valuable data and personal information from the comfort of their own homes. Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses across every industry and that also holds true for casinos.


Hackers aren’t interested in getting a hold of a pile of chips or breaking into the casino vault, they are targeting casinos in the hopes of securing credit card information from guests. These types of breaches not only affect the finances of customers, but it also diminishes the reputation of the hotel and casino and makes it less likely that people want to take the risk of doing business with casinos that have a record of experiencing security problems. This issue will continue to become more important as a variety of casino information is stored and processes are conducted using cloud-based software.

A popular casino with locations around the world,  serves as a cautionary tale of the consequences of poor cybersecurity. Once a year, for the past three years, the casino has experienced major problems. In 2015 and 2016, malware was found installed on the POS system, which allowed hackers to access credit card data and other sensitive guest information. In 2017, eleven of their hotels were attacked through their booking software. While this last incident was not entirely their fault, the incident it still associated with their name.

Why Casinos Face an Increased Threat

Now take into account that many casinos also offer online gambling services, and you have a potential recipe for disaster. A 2015 report by Akamai, a digital security firm, found that online gambling is now the new prime target for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. In fact, over 50% of all DDoS attacks have been directly aimed at the gaming industry. The goal of this type of attack is to disrupt service so that legitimate users are unable to connect to the host site and conduct normal activities. By overwhelming the site and causing chaos, the attackers hope to create or at least identify another vulnerability that will allow them to steal data. According to the study, these attacks lasted an average of 16 hours before they were able to be stopped. For casinos, that can translate into a significant loss of revenue.

Part of what makes casinos a prime target for attacks is because they handle large amounts of information and transactions. They are essentially a sophisticated banking system with multiple points of contact. Customers and guests enter their information when making hotel reservations, paying for meals, purchasing chips and even buying merchandise at gift shops.


Another part of the problem is the emergence of cloud-based technology. Yes, new software allows casinos and other businesses streamline processes, store data and run more efficiently, but without the right protections in place, these tools can also create vulnerable points of entry for persistent cyber criminals. It isn’t enough to onboard new solutions and assume that current security safety nets will continue to be effective. Cybersecurity is extremely challenging to combat because even as new security measure are put into place, hackers are working on finding ways around these patches.

The Solution

First and foremost, casinos need to realize the extent of the threat they are facing. While many are quick to point fingers at the shortcomings of the casinos that have been effectively targeted, there are few other establishments who are adequately prepared to handle cyber threats. The security platform, UpGuard, evaluated a range of both brick and mortar and online casinos to assess their website security. The results show that even industry giants, like Caesars Palace seem to have let cybersecurity become an afterthought.

Be Proactive


Once casinos are able to objectively evaluate their current situation and understand where there are real gaps, they need to implement solutions and change their entire approach to cybersecurity. Any business that conducts transactions or stores customer data absolutely must take a proactive approach to security. The last thing you want to do is be left trying to play catch up. In a worst case scenario, you will experience a significant revenue loss, damage your reputation and have to compensate hundreds of people who were the ultimate victims of any attack.

Partner with the Right Companies

Individual casinos need to spearhead their own cybersecurity strategies and have experts in place to immediately address any attacks. In addition, they also need to partner with the right companies and providers. As businesses continue to incorporate more software solutions into their daily operations, they need to make sure that those companies also demonstrate a commitment to security and continue to improve their own security protocols. You will want dynamic solutions rather than programs that will quickly become outdated and subject to attack.

For example, Casino Schedule Ease specializes in providing a client server based program that automates scheduling tasks that are specific to the gaming industry. Greektown Casino, Borgata and many other big names rely on this service to run more efficiently and improve employee satisfaction. However, they also turn to Casino Schedule Ease, because the company has demonstrated a progressive approach to providing secure services that are designed to complement and enhance the existing efforts of their customers. Being able to form partnerships with providers who share the mutual goal of advanced security will be an essential part of protecting against increased attacks.


Technology is being used to disrupt industries that were once seen as unchanging and create solutions that streamline processes and put more emphasis on the importance of creativity. While most would agree that this signals progress and the promise of more positive changes, it also create opportunities for criminals to exploit systems for their own personal gain. As part of an especially vulnerable industry, casinos need to wake up to impending threats and make sure they are doing everything possible to thwart attacks. This includes creating their own security strategies and making sure that they are partnering with other solution providers who share the same commitment to security.




The Top Ten Reasons to Work at a Casino

Casinos are a luxurious destination for visitors who want to be entertained, enjoy some fine cuisine and perhaps win a little money, but casinos are also a great place to work. Dealers and other staff members are often treated like part of a larger team and given a wide variety of benefits and perks to keep their morale high. Afterall, a happy employee will help provide a better customer experience and help the casino thrive. Here are the top ten reasons why you might want to consider working at a casino:


Pay. That’s right. Casinos provide employees with generous compensation packages because they understand how important dealers and staff are to the success of their business. A lot of companies will offer a starting wage of $25. From there, you can earn performance and seniority based bonuses, not to mention tips. If you have a friendly and outgoing personality that can keep guests happy, then your earning potential can be upwards of $100,000 per year.


Great benefits and perks. As part of their compensation packages, some casinos offer 401K match programs to help you save for retirement, excellent medical coverage and a range of other perks. Casinos often encourage camaraderie through health and wellness programs, company sponsored sports teams and regular events and outings. In addition, you may qualify for college tuition reimbursement.


Easy and Flexible Scheduling. Casinos operate on a 24-hour schedule, so you can choose the right shift to fit your needs. If you want to be home during the bulk of the day to spend time with children, you can work later shifts and still enjoy a flexible schedule. A well-organized staff also means that it is easier to cover shifts if an employee experiences an emergency.


While it might seem complicated to have to schedule hundreds of employees across different areas of the casino throughout a 24-hour cycle, tools like Casino Schedule Ease simplify the process and make it easy for managers to accommodate employee needs. This software also allows employees to easily request time off and make adjustments to their regular schedule. Casino Schedule Ease is just another way casinos work to create a pleasant and convenient work environment.


Excellent Working Conditions. Casinos need to provide a clean and appealing environment to attract and retain guests and the same goes for employees. It doesn’t hurt that workers get to take advantage of eating food prepared by world-class chefs. Meals are usually free or offered at a steep discount.

Minimum Education Required. You don’t need a college degree to begin working at a casino, but you might end up with some college classes under you belt during your employment. Many casinos offer tuition reimbursement programs for any classes that will help you advance your career within the company. In addition, they will provide all the on-the-job training you need to begin earning great wages and benefits.


Job Security. While no business or industry is recession proof, regulations limited casinos across the country have been relaxed in recent years, opening the door for more employment opportunities. In addition, there is little chance that your job will be outsourced to machines. Guests enjoy interacting with dealers and it is a central part of the gambling experience that won’t be going away soon.

Location, Location, Location. Just think about it: casinos are usually located in some of the nicest places in the world. You get to live and work in locations where people visit to celebrate big life events.


Easy to Relocate. Many casinos are part of a larger corporation that manages properties across the country. That means that you can easily transfer to another location under the parent company. Need a change of scenery or looking for new experiences? You may be able to move across the country and have a job waiting for you with a company that you are already familiar with.


Uniforms. This may sound like a minor selling point, but not having to invest in work clothes or worry about what you are going to wear every day can be a huge plus. In addition, many casinos will launder your uniforms for you. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.


You Get to Have Fun at Work. Sure, every job involves minor annoyances and there are going to be bad days when you are tired and perhaps under the weather. However, as a casino employee, you get to play games and interact with people who are there to have a good time. If you enjoy people and are a bit of an extrovert, you will feed off the energy of the casino and its guests and actually have fun making sure other people have fun.

If you are looking for a rewarding career where you will feel like a valued member of a team and enjoy plenty of opportunities for advancement, then becoming a casino employee may be the right path for you. Today’s casinos offer highly competitive wages and benefits that are designed to improve retention rates and create a positive environment for employees and guests. While working for a casino might not be for everyone, it does offer a wide variety of benefits for the right people.

Statement on the Mandalay Bay Shooting

As the nation begins the healing process and tries to make sense of why the tragic shooting at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas occurred, we want to express our own sorrow. The entire team at Casino Schedule Ease feels a special fellowship with casinos around the country and is proud to be part of the industry. While the massacre touches the life of every American, we feel especially grieved that this took place on the strip where people gather to celebrate birthdays, engagements, anniversaries and other joyful life events. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the entire city of Las Vegas even though that feels like far too little to offer in the face of such an overwhelming and pointless tragedy.

How You Can Help

If you are experiencing the same feelings of helplessness, there are some actions you can take to positively contribute to the recovery efforts of the victims.

  1. Many of the victims do not have healthcare, which means that they will be responsible for paying for their medical care. To help with these costs, Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak established a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds. You can visit the site to donate.Donate-blood-mandalay-bay
  2. Whether you live in Nevada or other areas of the country, visit your local blood donation center and give blood. Even if your blood doesn’t go directly to the victims of the massacre, you will be helping someone else in need.
  3. Practice kindness. Events like this can make it easy to feel jaded, but but showing kindness towards yourself and others who are also dealing with their own feelings of pain and confusion can help us reconnect with our humanity and move forward.

We can only hope that this most recent mass shooting will be the last and that Americans won’t have to live in fear.

What Atlantic City Revenue Numbers Really Mean

A recent report from the New Jersey Division Gaming Enforcement shows that the seven casinos located in Atlantic City earned a total of $244.8 million in August of 2017. While that might seem like a lot of money, it actually amounts to 0.4% less casino revenue than a year ago. Meanwhile, internet gambling, which is available at 5 out of the big seven casinos, enjoyed double digit growth across the board. So what exactly do these numbers mean for Atlantic City, casino owners and managers and the future of the gaming industry?

The Trump Taj Mahal Factor


First, it is important to keep in mind that the numbers include earnings reports from the Trump Taj Mahal, which closed on October 9th, 2016. For those who have been following the history of this casino, the only surprise about the closing is that it was able to be avoided for so long. From the beginning, when the casino opened in 1990, it was at a financial disadvantage. The entire project was heavily financed and was involved in two separate bankruptcy filings by the parent organization, Trump Entertainment Resorts.

In the final days of the Trump Taj Mahal, owners and employee unions clashed over wages, pensions and health care benefits. After the last rejection of a possible deal by the union, the owner, Carl Icahn, decided to simply shut down the casino instead of investing $100 to $200 million to keep the casino afloat over the next year. Although the decision left approximately 3,000 employees out of work, it seemed like a reasonable decision for a business that had lost an additional $350 million over the last few years and showed no signs of becoming profitable in the near future.

What Atlantic City Casinos Actually Earned

Once you remove the doomed Trump Taj Mahal from the earnings report, the numbers start to look a lot more promising. As a whole, Atlantic City’s casino revenue went up by 5.5% although both Caesars and Harrah’s are in the red. Here is an exact breakdown of how the six casinos stacked up against one another and combined to offer an average revenue increase:


As you can see, internet gambling has been much more of a lucrative source of revenue for some of Atlantic City’s oldest casinos.

How Does Internet Gambling Work?

As of 2017, there are only three states (Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey) that have legalized online gambling, which is heavily regulated by the state. In new Jersey, internet gambling became legal, but also comes with the following restrictions:

  • Players must be at least 21 years of age
  • The player must be located within New Jersey. This is verified through a GPS system.
  • Only Atlantic City casinos can offer internet gambling, which must be operated through a server that is located at the actual casino location.

In return, the state is able to tax online gambling revenue at a rate of 15%, which has resulted in $101.25 million in tax revenue since the practice first became legal in 2013.

How Can Brick and Mortar Locations Compete?

It is hard to compete with the convenience of being able to log onto your computer and gamble from the comfort of your own home. Yet, the physical casino locations are an important part of Atlantic City and provide services that simply can’t be found anywhere else. For owners and managers who are looking to experience growth in both categories of in-house and online revenue there are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Entertainment and dining


Those who visit casinos are looking to gamble and hoping to win the big jackpot, but they are also looking for a total experience. They want a night out on the town. If people aren’t going to be spending as much at the tables or slot machines, then it is important to attract customers with great shows and delicious food. You may even find that food, drinks and a good show are what bring people in and the gambling is only a secondary activity. The most important part is getting people through the door.

2. Reducing costs and improving efficiency

One way to increase total revenue is to earn more money overall, but you can also improve numbers by cutting costs. Sometimes, this can be something as simple as introducing more streamlined processes that increase efficiency and require less man hours, which are both valuable and costly.

For example, new technology like Casino Schedule Ease, allows casinos to easily handle scheduling and table assignments in order to optimize productivity and place employees in positions where they are strongest. In fact, Borgata and Tropicana Resorts have adopted this software and seen marked improvements. Casino Schedule Ease makes it a lot easier for employees to request time off and ensure that all openings are covered, which can be especially challenging in a business with 24 hour shifts. Finally, this technology can free up time for managers so that they can spend more time on other tasks.

3. Customer experience

This directly relates to the two previous areas mentioned. If you are able to implement tools and practices that allow you to better manage your casino and improve employee job satisfaction, these efforts will directly translate into a better customer experience. Combine that with great food and entertainment and you have created a destination and not just a place to gamble. Pay attention to every detail of the customer experience and provide superior service and you may just be able to get some of those internet gamblers off the couch and into your location.


The good news is that on the whole, Atlantic City revenue is up. However, it is important to recognize that these numbers are marginal compared to the spike in internet gambling. Any revenue is good, but brick and mortar locations cannot ignore this trend if they want to continue to stay relevant. It is important to not only recognize, but anticipate industry changes and begin to implement progressive technology and solutions that will work to both boost revenue and decrease operating costs. Focus on capitalizing on the traditional hospitality principles that preach good product and services while also utilizing the latest technology to empower employees and improve efficiency.

What You Can Learn from the Top 5 Best Casinos for Employees

With casinos becoming more prevalent, especially along the east coast, gaming industry veterans and rookies alike, have more options when it comes to choosing where they work. While a generous compensation package may be enough to bring employees through the door, overall job satisfaction is what keeps them there and translates into a customer satisfaction. With that in mind, we put together a list of the best casinos to work based on a wide range of criteria that contribute to employee satisfaction and feelings of fulfillment. By better understanding what other casinos are doing right, you may be able to change the culture at your own casino and see vast improvements in employee and customer satisfaction.

Best Casino Ranking Criteria

Here are just some of the criteria we looked at when determining this list:

  • Advanced scheduling and table assignment procedures. Employees want to be able to easily schedule time off, let managers know if their availability has changed for the week and see exactly when and where they are scheduled. Software based programs, like Casino Schedule Ease, streamline the scheduling and communication process, making the casino a more organized place to work. Locations with this type of technology ranked higher among employees.
  • Programs designed to protect and promote employee health and welfare. As we saw, these programs ranged from organizing fun activities that encouraged employees to play to wellness rewards programs that provided support for those looking to improve their health. Either way, these programs signaled that the casinos was committed to helping employees destress and enjoy happier lives both inside and outside of work.
  • Performance based bonuses. Everyone loves to be recognized for their hard work. The best casinos employ a variety of bonus programs that reward hard workers who are often nominated by their peers.
  • Demonstrates a clear sense of values and contributes to the community. Every employee wants to feel like they are a part of something larger and making positive contributions. The best casinos make sure that they define and live certain values and give back through charity, fundraising and volunteer events.
  • Opportunities to advance and earn higher salaries. Any employee wants to know that a job has the potential to turn into a career where they can take on leadership roles, learn new skills and earn more money. Employees were most satisfied when these opportunities are present.

    1. Four Winds Casino – Locations across Michigan

At Four Winds Casinos, employees appreciate the thorough training process that sets them up for success and the focus on creating a pleasant work environment. The employees truly seem to enjoy one another and look forward to interacting with both the co-workers and the guests. It doesn’t hurt that the casino provides them with food throughout the shifts along with employee appreciation days and periodic gifts to employees.

Employees also enjoy a variety of perk programs. The ACES Award Program provides a secret shop that rewards employees when they are recognized for exceptional performance. The company also encourages perfect attendance by rewarding those who haven’t missed a day in the last quarter with personal time off and a mention in the company newsletter. To help keep things light and fun, employees are encouraged to dress up on holidays, participate in the casino softball league and wear their favorite jersey on big game days.

2. Wind Creek Hospitality

– Umbrella company for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians with locations in Alabama and Florida

Wind Creek Casinos are known for their focus on guest service and satisfaction, which can always be tied back to well-trained and happy employees. The company sets out a clear set of values and provides employees with the support they need to live up to those values. Incentives include bonus and reward programs and constant recognition for a job well done. Employees also have the opportunity to focus on their own health and achieve a work-life balance through the wellness program that includes a personal trainer on-site.

3. Harrah’s Resort – Southern California

While Harrah’s is a big name in the gaming industry, this particular location has become a favorite among employees for a wide variety of reasons. With almost 1,500 employees, organization is key and Harrah seems to have mastered the art of keeping everyone perfectly schedule and placed even over a 1.2 million square-foot facility. To help keep employees informed, the casino regularly holds “buzz sessions” to discuss changes and recognize employee achievements.

As a larger establishment, the casino also offers plenty of bonuses and activities. Employee of the month winners receive up to $250 in credits and winners of the Chairman’s Award receive credits that amount to $2,500. After work, employees can participate in walking, running, softball, cycling, soccer and other wellness focused clubs.

4. FireKeepers Casino Hotel – Battle Creek, Michigan

Some might be surprised to see that another Michigan based tribal casino made the top 5 list, but these casinos have clearly realized that the formula for satisfied customers begins with happy employees. At FireKeepers, employees are rewarded not only for performance by also for loyalty. Every year anniversary means a cash bonus.

The casino also demonstrates a clear set of values by providing employees with career paths and encouraging community engagement. Employees can get to know one another and improve morale in the team member dining room and at a variety of casino sponsored charity and volunteer events. The employees have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger instead of simply putting in their time at work.

5. Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The SIGA is a unique organization because its main focus is to enrich the lives of its First Nation employees. Perhaps more so than any other gaming organization, they are committed to helping employees achieve job satisfaction while also earning a livable wage and creating opportunities to give back to the community. While the casinos are fundamentally profit driven businesses, the entire business model is designed to put that money to good use.

Employees can participate in a long list of community based wellness activities and enjoy plenty of opportunities to earn bonuses and rewards. The list just goes on and on, which makes SIGA an outstanding part of the community that is actually helping to cultivate better citizens through employment.

As you may have noticed, a lot of the top casinos are part of the tribal gaming community. It is clear that these organizations are committed to providing a better life for their employees and serving as a positive force in the community. It may be in the best interest of larger establishment to look towards these casinos as an example of what it means to be successful. While businesses typically measure success in dollars and cents, the truest indicator may be employee satisfaction.

These casinos also offer important lessons when it comes to managing a large population of employees. Through incentive and rewards programs and scheduling technology, the casinos are able to empower individuals and make them feel recognized instead of lost in sea of people. Simple management tools can allow casinos to offer a more personalized experience to employees, which will ultimately translate to a better customer experience.


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


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.


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.

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

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.

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%.


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


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.