Right now the poor economic environment and rising unemployment in the United States has forced many states into pursuing gambling expansion legislation as a way to generate revenue and create jobs.
What it amounts to is more competition between casinos for the almighty gambling dollar. But in order to stay competitive, American casino executives are saying they’re spending less time thinking about new card tables, slot machines and hotel rooms and instead are chasing new entertainment and promotions that are cheaper to offer and will distinguish their resorts.
It’s all about differentiation to attract new business; just how creative a casino can be to accomplish that goal could mean the difference between being a front runner or falling behind the pack.
Executives at an industry conference in Las Vegas said they are using retail, enhanced restaurants and other attractions to compete for consumers’ leisure spending. The feeling being that with casino gambling now available in 38 states and other states considering more gambling expansion, resorts need more than fresh tables and shiny machines to compete.
CEO Virginia McDowell of Isle of Capri Casinos said she’d rather spend $200,000 on renovating a restaurant than on buying 10 new slot machines because more people will go to the restaurant and talked about how the uncertainty in the economy has affect the casino business approach:
“The key word right now is ‘uncertainty…When you have 250-point swings in the stock market on a given day, it really makes it hard for people to feel good about spending their leisure dollars.” –Canadianbusiness.
As is always the case with increased competition, the winner in all of this is the consumer, especially the ones who love drinking, gambling and carrying on.