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The Luck of the Draw . . .

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October 23, 2022
Gaming | Technology
Fran Worrall

We only have to look at the last two-and-a-half years to see that fate sometimes overtakes our best-laid plans. Like it or not, situations and outcomes are often out of our control.

The world as we knew it changed irrevocably in early 2020. A global pandemic, followed by worker shortages, an interrupted supply chain, and increasing prices shook the hospitality industry to its core. Even the Las Vegas Strip, which had not closed since JFK’s assassination in 1963, was shut down on March 18 and didn’t reopen until more than two months later. With one in three jobs in Nevada connected to tourism — and many of those jobs in the gaming sector — the fallout was devastating.

Upon reopening, casinos quickly pivoted to accommodate new requirements, from social distancing to temperature checks. Soon, higher-end innovations—keyless entry, smart sensors, voice assistants, and more — began to take hold. Digital technologies helped properties not only survive the pandemic but also improve guest service. A silver lining to a very dark cloud.

It has been said that if necessity is the mother of invention, then resourcefulness is the father. And the hospitality industry is nothing if not resourceful. Yes, challenges still exist, and the world may never go back to the way it once was. But gaming properties are rebounding, and fun is returning to casinos around the world. Resilience, ingenuity and innovation win the day!

In this special supplement, we’ve focused on getting back to business and on how technology is helping gaming properties do just that. In our article on using tech to boost profitability, we interview three casino operators about how they are increasing guest spending and loyalty with innovative solutions. In our Q&A, we talk with Eric Bowers of Boyd Gaming Corporation to find out how one of the country's most successful casino entertainment companies is using technology to improve service and to learn where the company is investing its IT dollars. Finally, we take a look at some of the top technology trends shaping the gaming world. While some of these trends have been around awhile, others are just beginning to make inroads in the industry.

Thomas Jefferson once said: "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." That seems a fitting comment for the gaming industry. Hard work and perseverance, augmented by technology, are helping it recover. The vendor community has also played a huge role, assisting properties in dozens of ways, both large and small, as properties have adapted to a different landscape.

And so, we introduce our first gaming supplement. Although geared to the casino side of our industry, it contains information that will be useful to any hospitality venue.

Let us know what you think!

Fran Worrall
Features Editor

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