The word casino invokes a certain glitzy, glamorous image of a place where the money flows freely. The truth is that the house always wins, but that doesn’t stop people from gambling their hard-earned incomes away at the whim of a roll of the dice or spin of the wheel.
Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones from some of the oldest archaeological sites pointing to games of chance. But the modern casino evolved from Italian aristocrats’ private social gatherings known as ridotti and grew to encompass a variety of gaming options under one roof during a gambling craze in the 16th century.
Most casino patrons are boozed up when they enter the door, so casinos serve alcohol nonstop, delivering it to them at card tables, slot machines and even horse-racing screens. The booze lowers inhibitions, clouds judgment and makes it easier for people to make bad decisions. The result is a lot of lost cash for the house.
It’s no wonder that casino marketing is all about creating a manufactured blissful experience for customers, encouraging them to keep spending. For example, casinos often waft scented oils through their ventilation systems to help guests relax and create the illusion of a luxurious environment. The cheerful, melodious sound of slots in action and the dazzling lights all work together to create a euphoric setting that keeps people coming back.
Many casinos also take the sting out of losing by dissociating real money from gamblers’ chips. They offer players free drinks, food and entertainment when they rack up enough points on their gaming cards, making the sunk cost fallacy all but disappear. And some casinos even employ “near-miss” strategies to keep people playing by rewarding them for near-wins at slot machines.
As casino marketing shifts to entice younger crowds, marketers must understand that people aren’t looking for the same thing from their gaming experiences. Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to spend on non-gaming offerings such as food and entertainment, so it’s important to offer them more than just a crowded and loud gaming floor.
Casinos need to be aware that the trends that are popular today are unlikely to remain so five or ten years from now, either. Keeping up with changes in consumer preferences and expectations is essential, as well as understanding how to reach target audiences via digital channels.
For example, a casino could boost its event marketing efforts by targeting potential group business on Cvent’s search advertising platform, giving it prominent exposure when meeting planners are searching for hotels and other venues in their area. This approach can be particularly useful for a casino that’s trying to compete with other casinos in the same geographic area. It can give the venue major visibility in a competitive market and potentially win group bookings it otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to win. Interested in learning more about how to improve your casino marketing?