5 topics every gaming business should be thinking about in 2014

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It’s been a year of ups and downs for our industry as we continue to remain a focal point of sensationalism and half-truths in the media.

On one hand, we enjoyed the common sense approach with the changes to the $50 and $100 notes being permitted through gaming machines, while the wind was taken out of our sails when it was announced that the expiration date on the moratorium of trading hours was to be extended further than what was originally stated.

This indicates just how unpredictable the industry can be.  The extension on the moratorium is now in effect until the 31st March 2014 and any further extension permitted under the act will be via a legislative change. Venues are encouraged to talk with their local MPs to ensure they are informed about the specific requirements of your business and not a ‘hospitality business’ sensationalised through the media.

Another hot topic at the moment is the impending ATM legislation.  As it stands, the legislation is still current and the industry is hopeful of a notification of change in the coming weeks.  February 1st is the gazetted date for the change of legislation and venues should seek clarification on this prior to committing on any changes.

Taking shifting macro and micro environment changes into consideration, it’s important to remain quick on your feet.  Business history is scattered with tales of lost opportunities due to ignoring a great idea from an ‘inconsequential’ employee.  For example, one of the most iconic vehicles in middle-class America is the Chrysler minivan.  This idea was championed by a Ford executive, Hal Sperlich who ended up getting fired for his efforts.  When Sperlich was hired by Chrysler, he took this idea with him and Ford lost out on a car that dominated the US automobile market for decades.

Don’t let a great idea slip through your fingers.  Involve all staff members into your strategy discussions to give everyone a voice on how you can do better business. After all, they are a big part of it.

2014 brings a fresh change to many venues as you no doubt start planning for the year ahead.  With so many changes happening external to the business, venues will need to ensure the product they offer is more appealing than their competitors. To avoid making the same mistake as Ford, venue managers need to be open-minded and willing to listen to all their employees.  Who knows?  That off-beat, quirky idea from the Duty Manager could lead on to something great.

Customers are far more savvy in their expectations and simply being good at what you do will not suffice. Venues who dare to step outside the box and create the ultimate entertainment experience will prosper greatly however this will not happen overnight. Understanding the market and ensuring you have the right tools is an integral piece of the pie.

Lastly, we are often amazed at the feedback given and the ideas offered by staff and patrons yet these resources are often neglected through the planning process. After conducting numerous planning meetings with clients it is incredible to see the impact to the business and the overall direction and decision making, whether it’s from a survey or strategic planning workshop.

If you would like to discuss any of the above topics further, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our consultants on 3878 9355 or email danny.ns@dws.net.au.

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