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The American Gaming Society lays out the proposition with four undisputable facts, per Sara Rayme, SVP of Public Affairs.  Casinos operate in 40 states.  Gaming is a $240 billion industry.  It supports 1.7 million jobs and generates $38 billion in Tax Revenue.  Something, eh? And, as an operator, how do you feel?  I would think a bit unsettled.

The industry is still shaking out.  Some areas of the country are looking at the growing competition.  Just consider the Northeast and the forces at play with some casinos to open in Massachusetts, challenging the big players like Mohican Sun and Foxwoods.  Or, watch the slow demise of Atlantic City, as Pennsylvania casinos chip away. Don’t forget the impact of on-line gaming

Moving westward, new casinos are opening every day in California it seems.  We have many casinos changing their orientation to more of a Destination feel, providing accommodations, spas, fine dining, recreation, entertainment and retail stores to make the player and guest experience more attractive (and lasting).  And, the audience is changing, as well.  We are not in that period of 2008 through 2010 where disposable income went for bread, milk and eggs, but our players now have so many more options to consider for their spend.  Has the industry overbuilt, is the product diluted, have operators kept up with the times?

Many casinos have kept pace, rightsizing their strategies, if you will.  But, there is still uncertainty in the marketplace.  Look at the stock market, watch the public demonstrate its rage within the election process, remember that do-nothing Congress and city and state coffers becoming bare.  We all are anxious, but that does not mean we have lost control of our visions or playbook.  However, there is work to be done!

Most of that energy should be directed to our players and guests, keeping them satisfied and true advocates of your brand.  And, how do you do that to ensure that their experience revolves around the best product and service.  This goes beyond fireworks and dazzle. You can add more slots and table games and hope for the best.  Or you can invest in your staff – that’s right – those who deliver for you.  They have the interaction with your patrons, they set the stage for attitude and engagement, and they will make the difference in the player experience.  We are not talking astrophysics here.

You start with standards of performance and service, aiming to properly train those employees.  You need some type of validation that indeed your training effort is succeeding and that standards are being adhered to.  Mystery Shopping can provide those benchmarks and immediate feedback.  You can ask your customers about how you are doing through satisfaction surveys.  That insight is invaluable and absolutely provides a look at your entire operation, the good and the bad, but giving you a chance to immediately fix the problem.

This is not the time to bask in your glory, for we simply do not know what is around the corner.  It is the time, though, to invest in the future of your product and those who deliver.  This ROI will see you through the challenges to come!

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About John Hendrie

John Hendrie believes that Remarkable Hospitality is the portal to the Memorable Experience. Seek solutions at:

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