They say that whatever happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. But no matter what one experiences in America’s gambling capitol, today’s technology will soon create memories much different than in years past. At least, the memories of when people go to casinos.
That’s because casinos have to adjust their business model to adapt to new clientele. Slot machines, for example, have long been a driver of a high profit margin (as much as 60%). But younger generations are used to playing games on smartphone and their Xbox. Slot machines? Those are for their grandparents.
Casinos must adapt due to a shift in generations. The average age of a visitor to Las Vegas used to be 50. But since 2009, that age has fallen to 45. Perhaps more cause of an alarm, the amount of visitors who gamble has decreased from 83% to 71%. So casinos, like other industries, are beginning to use technology to gain younger customers.
For starters, they’re riding the big data train. Casino are gathering personal information for data sets like amount spent, times and dates visited, and specific types of games played. They can then create customized offers sent via email. This model is being applied to online gaming as well, where streaming data allows game developers to alter games in real-time to adapt to individual player preferences and behavior. Big data is also helping to improve security, which is perhaps just as important as anything else within the casino infrastructure. Databases of transactions, cheaters, employees, and others can be scanned to detect potentially comprising relationships.
Another adaption is adding Virtual Reality (VR) to the gaming experience. More and more, games are including high-end 3D graphics, on-screen touch interactivity, super-high resolution, 4K pixel clarity, music, sound, audio effects, and panoramic wide screens. Again, this is extremely appealing to Millennials and other young people, as they expert entertainment that mirrors the experiences they have on smartphones and other digital devices.
Casinos have also recognized the need to implement more sophisticated business process management technology. They are integrating Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems to tie together data from human resources, accounting, and contracts. This streamlines all processes across the entire operation, which cuts costs and improves efficiencies the way it does for other industries.
Historically, casinos struggled to keep track of the mountains of documents from all internal departments. The problem was, many people need to review and approve various types of documents, and through the process some would inevitably fall through the cracks. An ECM eliminates this extra, often unnecessary workload.
Overall, casinos have realized that to survive – like other segments of commerce – they must shift with the times. Tastes change, newer generations have different preferences. What was once in-demand is now out of favor. Now, many visitors to casinos would rather press buttons within a digital experience than use their hands on a mechanical machine. It’s a smart shift in mindset, then, that casinos have recognized how their IT departments can lead them not only to survival, but to create another generation of long-term customers.