In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Tower, Global Market Advisors senior partner Andrew Klebanow discusses the latest trends in entertainment for integrated resorts.
Land-based casinos continue to face tough competition from online games for several reasons. One is the convenience of gambling at home. In the past, players had to drive several kilometers to place a wager or play their favorite slot machines. Now, players can play their favorite casino games whenever they want, wherever they are—thanks to the development of the latest software and gambling applications.
The biggest advantage that a land-based casino has over its online competitors is the unique entertainment it provides to its guests, according to Global Market Advisors senior partner Andrew Klebanow. As social beings, Klebanow said players still love to interact with other players and be entertained.
“Entertainment has always been an important factor in a casino. It has always been the reason why people step out and go to casino resorts. Yes, there will always be those people that go out to gamble. But the fact is, you can gamble anywhere today,” Klebanow told CalvinAyre.com. “If you choose to gamble at home, you can gamble at home. But people still like to go out and be entertained. They like to be amongst others, they like to socialize.”
Major casino operators are investing heavily in entertainment to lure mass market gamblers to their integrated resorts. In Macau, Melco Resorts & Entertainment built a venue where shows like the $300-million production House of Dancing Water can be seen.
Klebanow also mentioned the development of an entertainment space called The Sphere in Las Vegas and London. The Sphere is an 18,000-seater arena which provides virtual reality performances. Malls also add entertainment value to integrated resorts, according to the gaming analyst.
“Walking through a shopping mall in Bangkok or in Kuala Lumpur and you see three-story video walls projecting images, videos, products. Yes, they are promoting a product but you are being subliminally entertained. It’s why people still go to shopping malls. People still want to go out and experience the ‘wow,’” Klebanow said.
To encourage tech-savvy millennials to visit integrated resorts, Klebanow advised casino operators to think of unique entertainment that will get the attention of these young visitors off of their mobile devices.
“Everything you provide in terms of entertainment has to be more unique, more entertaining. Sure, we all stare at mobile devices. We all enjoy them, we all are addicted to them. We all interrupt conversations by looking at them,” the Global Market Advisors senior partner said. “But there comes a time when we want to put these things down and see something far greater. Those types of content being provided are found in venues like this. Companies that have capital provide billion-dollar Spheres, $300-million production shows, even smaller forms of entertainment. So when you walk in to a mall, and you go, ‘Wow, I think I’m going to buy something.’”