Welcome to Hospitality Upgrade’s second annual gaming supplement! Thanks to a warm reception last year, we’re returning with this special section. Although the articles and interviews are focused on casinos, much of the information will be useful to other hospitality venues as well.
After a grueling pandemic-induced recession, the gaming industry is rebounding. Consumers, itching to travel and ready to play, have been returning to casinos from coast to coast. Conventions, conferences, sporting events and concerts have also made a comeback. And while some markets have struggled more than others, the overall outlook for the industry is bright.
The last few years ushered in a number of changes, such as the adoption of new technology that eliminates friction and enhances the guest journey. In this section, we talk with Chris Eisnaugle, vice president of enterprise architecture, integration and data solutions at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to get his take on some of the cur- rent technology challenges, including the blending of gaming and non-gaming guest experiences, as well as the technology he predicts will transform the industry. I think you’ll enjoy his insights.
We also look at loyalty programs, which are growing throughout the industry, due in large part to the fierce competition for more players. If used properly, loyalty programs can become powerful tools for retaining guests, building brand value and increasing profitability. In fact, customer loyalty should rank at the top of every casino operator’s strategic goals.
Not all of the changes brought by the pandemic were welcome ones, of course, among them an increased incidence of crime around the country. In our article on surveillance and security, we talk with several experts about how casino crime has changed over the years and how state-of-the-art technology can help combat theft, cheating, violence and other misconduct.
At the end of the day, no industry is more resilient than gaming. In fact, the casino sector has proven its ability to adapt and thrive time and time again despite fluctuations in the economy, the implementation of new regulations, and changes in consumer gambling habits. Even a global crisis like COVID-19, which presented the biggest challenge the industry has ever faced, couldn’t keep it down.
Instead, casinos evaluated their operations and employed creative solutions. Many incorporated non-gaming amenities to attract more customers or implemented new technology to enhance guest service. Others reinvigorated their loyalty programs or increased their social media engagement to appeal to broader audiences. As a result, the gambling ecosystem is alive and well.
It has often been said that creating your own luck is actually about understanding that in every challenge lies a hidden opportunity. If that’s the case, then the gaming industry is most definitely creating its own luck.
I invite you to enjoy this special section and let me know what you think. I always enjoy hearing from readers!