Gambling in some form has been around for thousands of years, with games of chance appearing throughout societies in ancient Greece, Rome, and Mesopotamia. And with the development of the first gambling house in 17th-century Italy, casinos quickly became an international mainstay for entertainment and fun.
And throughout those many years, the industry has weathered many ups and downs, such as ever-shifting regulations, unprecedented crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rise of online casinos. However, that doesn’t mean that casinos can, or should, rest on their laurels. In fact, it’s critical that brick-and-mortar establishments stay vigilant and innovative to keep current players and attract a new generation.
Challenges Facing Land-Based Casinos
No industry titan has stayed unchallenged or untouched by outside forces for long. From the landline, to VCRs, to hotels, human ingenuity has always sought out ways to improve technology, sometimes rendering the original version obsolete. The casino industry has faced several challenges that have changed the game (pun intended) and potentially taken a bite out of their profits.
Most of us spend an enormous chunk of our time on devices, particularly when it comes to entertainment. Additionally, with the rise of Gen Z and Millennials, a large portion of the population doesn’t know a life before the internet, and is incredibly savvy when it comes to using technology. Enter online casinos. In 2018, online gambling brought in $306.5 billion in the U.S., and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. Given the convenience of playing from the couch (or the beach or the coffee shop), accessing games that aren’t available at land-based casinos, and the low financial entry, it’s no surprise that online casinos have become so popular. And as a result, they’ve diverted customers from brick-and-mortar operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on businesses of all stripes around the world, and casinos were no different. With quarantine restrictions, even more customers discovered online casinos, and while the world has opened back up, many people are still reluctant to get back to pre-pandemic traveling, which means fewer visitors to land-based casinos.
How Land-Based Casinos Can Keep Players Playing
While it may seem all doom and gloom for land-based casinos, there is much that the industry can do (and that many have already done) to stay competitive, weather changes, and attract players.
- Level-Up the Games. Given the variety of options available to players online, it’s imperative that brick-and-mortar casinos find ways to make their games exciting and engaging. Newer generations expect tailored and customized experiences and are looking for entertainment that will keep them guessing. One way operators can up a classic game is by offering incredible bonuses through slot machines. Offering bonuses and rewards are a great way to keep players playing, even during a losing streak. Our Precision Bonusing platform is compatible with any slot machine connected to the Foundation casino management system and allows operators to optimize the customer experience by offering rewards or bonuses that meet their needs at the moment. And by customizing the delivery mechanism, casinos can ensure players never miss an opportunity to get rewarded and keep coming back for more.
- Delight the Senses. The advantage that land-based operators have over online casinos is that they can engage all of a player’s senses. When a customer arrives at a casino, they can be met with a unique, can’t-get-anywhere-else experience of sights, sounds, smells, and experiences. From the sleek look of the roulette table to the buzz of conversations to the cha-ching of a slot jackpot, an in-person experience can be a winning draw for players. This is an opportunity that operators can leverage to differentiate their land-based casino from the online purveyors and attract visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience they just can’t get on a screen.
- Build an unforgettable website. While it might seem counterintuitive for a land-based casino to compete with an online casino on the web, it can provide an opportunity to show off the unique experiences that await visitors in-person. While most casinos likely already have an online presence, operators should look for ways to not only convey general information about the casino, but also to lure and tease potential visitors with features such as virtual reality tours of the property and previews of bonuses and rewards. Brick and mortar casinos could even consider adding some version of an online casino such as at-home player experiences with live dealers. This can help create brand loyalty and ensure that when a customer is ready to play IRL, their casino will be the one they choose.
Make a Bet on Innovation
Online casinos aren’t going away anytime soon, and with the rising popularity of AR and VR, it stands to reason that land-based casinos will continue to face fierce competition for their customers. That’s why it’s important for operators to think outside the box and find new ways to appeal to current and new players. Whether it’s leveraging technology to level up games, creating an unforgettable in-person experience, or building a stellar website, land-based casinos can find ways to stay competitive and relevant in the face of challenge.
At Acres, we’re dedicated to reinvigorating the industry through collaboration and innovation. If you’d like to learn more about our groundbreaking technology reach out for a chat.