By Andreas Marathovouniotis
KPMG LLP and the International Gaming Institute (IGI) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, recently reported the results of a survey of more than 1,000 casino customers, revealing that a significant number of them will return to casinos in the near term if health and safety measures are in place and are highly visible. The survey effort also asked 50 casino industry executives to weigh in on the measures they plan to take to build consumer confidence and recover quickly.
“Our research indicates that customers want casinos to ensure a safe environment, and they want to actually see the safety measures in place,” said Rick Arpin, Las Vegas office managing partner, KPMG LLP. “In addition, as casinos reopen across the country, they need to plan for the future and identify how they will make their health and safety programs sustainable. Casinos should also build engagement points to attract new, younger customer segments while staying in touch with existing customers, who may not return to the physical property as quickly.”
Survey results pointed to five key insights for bringing customers back to casinos and attracting brand-new fans:
Some of the survey’s key findings include:
Plan the future, now
According to the KPMG report, casinos will need to make their programs sustainable and leverage technology – such as wearables, robotics and artificial intelligence – to be most effective. Beyond getting existing customers to come back, this is the industry’s chance to engage with entirely new segments of customers, in a whole new way. Survey results indicate that health and safety could be the next competitive differentiator – 66% of our survey respondents said that the casinos’ efforts to safeguard customer health and safety is a “very important” factor in deciding which casino to visit.
“This is an opportunity for the gaming industry to truly build bridges with other industries and to put innovation first. As we continue to serve today’s customers, we can welcome tomorrow's customers earlier than otherwise expected. It is crucial to 'innovate our way past' this challenge, and the leaders who do will win the day,” explained Bo Bernhard, Executive Director, UNLV IGI.
COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the casino business, but those companies that rise to the challenge and innovate can set a course for a greater future, if they plan now.
During May 2020, survey responses were gathered from more than 1,000 individuals across the United States who had visited a casino within the last two years. Men and women were equally represented with an average age of approximately 52 and a median household income of $75,000. Opinions from 50 gaming industry professionals also were collected during the same time period.