Key trends for gaming venues

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The dawn of a new year brings a sense of anticipation.

2014 should be remembered as the year in which the pendulum changed slightly to enable hospitality venues a greater chance at delivering an entertainment experience in-line with the expectations of our consumers.

So what next? Obviously, the industry will continue to face roadblocks created through various components. We must not forget that this is a necessary evil and continually think laterally to identify new ways of improving the entertainment experience for our patrons. While venues may have to tackle further changes, thanks to an impending election, we must make the most of the current opportunities.

It’s critical that our industry remains on the front foot. Do you want to be a market leader? Or are you simply happy to follow the herd? Regardless, there will be many changes in the year ahead. Here are 13 key trends predicted for 2015.

  1. There will continue to be an increased focus on Player Development and Host Skills Training, and discovering how to turn hosts from being glad-handing, comp-writing ‘huggers’ to true business development sales professionals and ‘hunters’.
  2. As the use of TITO (Ticket in Ticket Out) and Card Based Gaming continues to spread, more venues will begin to question its use and ultimate benefit.
  3. The evolvement of online and/or social gaming will continue to grow. Venues will also be looking at ways in which they can prosper from this segment.
  4. The evolvement of ‘integrated resorts’ in Queensland will continue with an announcement to be made on a Brisbane-based project and Gold Coast project. Casinos in general will become more focused on the local markets.
  5. Social media and online marketing will continue to dominate the majority of marketing budgets at the expense of more traditional marketing tools, such as mass media, brand and direct marketing.
  6. Venues will become more focused on the entertainment aspect of operations throughout all venue components (gaming, beverage and food).
  7. Database management and acquisition of multiple demographic groups will continue. Venues will seek to expand their target age demographics with less focus and reliance on a single age bracket.
  8. There will be a continuing expansion of special services for VIP customers as venues strive to increase market share.
  9. The trend of combining players’ club and cashier operations into one location will continue.
  10. The availability and affordability of home entertainment systems will grow, making venues work harder to extract the prospective player from their own home.
  11. More attention will be paid in marketing efforts to first-time club members and lapsed members who have returned after a significant absence.
  12. There will be an increased focus on improving customer service as more venues in hypercompetitive markets realise the untapped potential that elite customer service can provide when it comes to securing a competitive advantage and build loyalty.
  13. A rationalisation of smaller clubs will continue with recent changes to legislation, allowing more established venues to become multi-site operators

There are many other considerations amongst the aforementioned. However, 2015 will provide many opportunities for growth, and venue operators should be seeking to establish a strategy to use these changes and trends to provide members and guests with an entertainment experience which coaxes consumers from their homes and into your venue. Challenging staff and management to become thought leaders and taking advantage of these changes is a great start.

Interested in stepping up to the board and becoming a market leader? DWS can assist your venue in developing a competitive strategy through our 20 years of hospitality development and management, combined with the latest industry research. Call to speak with the team at DWS on 07 3878 9355 or email us at info@dws.net.au.

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