Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blog #5

Customer Value Beyond Gaming
Bill Geoghegan

One trend throughout the Las Vegas casino environment: non-gaming revenue has become a much larger part of the income of a resort. In 2003, non-gaming revenue actually surpassed gaming revenue in southern Nevada for the very first time since the numbers have been kept. This is important and has some serious implications for the gaming industry as a whole. Some casinos and resorts are beginning to see their gaming as a smaller percentage of their gross operating revenue.
Because casino and resort guests are beginning to spend more and more of their money outside of the gaming floors, new methods of information gathering are being devised to assess the value of casino players versus the non-casino players.
Some methods for doing this are as follows:

1. Ask for room key identification as part of the transaction settlement. This is the most straightforward way to go about collecting this information.

2. Another method involves granting points for purchases made throughout the resort. This method is probably the best method for capturing the information without significant cost to the resort/casino.

New methods are currently being developed to help the hospitality industry better gather the information that will tell them where their customer’s money is being spent. RFID tags on room keys are being researched as a possible technology for identifying guests spending habits. Once the data can be captured, determining the transaction’s value to the property in straightforward, but the challenge today is to find out exactly the best method in which to capture the guests’ spending pattern.

I think that it is only a matter of time before there is technology developed that will allow casinos and hotel properties to positively identify a guest's exact spending patters with ease. I think the real question is should guest’s privacy be thrown in the gutter for a few extra dollars. Many guests choose to play game anonymously and would be unhappy if their habits could be tracked easily through the properly without any say as to whether or not they care. Time will tell, but I think that money will be the deciding factor; that and technology available that will allow properties to implement and track guest's spending patterns.