How Casinos Can Conserve Money with People Counters

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The growth in the gaming industry has meant growing competition across the board. Casinos need to take advantage of technologies, such as people counters, to help them analyze traffic and business performance and make informed decisions about the improvements they need to make to stay competitive.

And competition is growing. According to the American Gaming Association’s report, State of the States 2018: The AGA Survey of the Commercial Casino Industry, although commercial gaming surpassed $40 billion for the first time in 2017, and 11 out of 24 gaming states reporting record annual revenues, tribal gaming facilities (not included in the $40 billion from commercial casinos) brought in a record $32.4 billion in 2017, a 3.9% increase from the previous year.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law banning the expansion of sports betting, paving the way for states and sovereign tribal governments to introduce new forms of sports betting. Several states, including New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts, are opening new commercial gaming facilities, and Pennsylvania enacted a major gambling reform bill that will allow satellite casinos, internet gaming operations, and video gaming terminals at locations other than commercial casinos, such as truck stops.

With these challenge-creating trends for casinos, people-counting systems can provide the insights they need to optimize their operations with data on the amount of traffic specific casino attractions or areas receive.

Here are four ways people counters can be beneficial to casinos.

1. Get feedback on casino conversion rates

With people counters, gaming establishments can measure traffic at high-profile events to make sure they’re getting the right amount of bang for their buck. They can also get feedback on new attractions.

People counters can answer questions such as: How many people who come in are making purchases? And are they purchasing memberships, dinners, hotel rooms, or spa packages? By generating reports from your people-counting software and monitoring these numbers, you can adapt your business strategy to optimize revenue.

People counters can also help casinos assess their revenue sources besides gambling, including food and beverage sales and other attractions such as shows or shops. People counters enable you to track which dining areas are the most popular and how many people are ordering drinks at the tables. Get data on which show times are the most heavily attended or what times of day people are using the pool. This information can help with staffing decisions, budget allocations, and promotional choices.

2. Compare casino locations

Casino chains like Harrah’s and Bally’s can compare performance at one site to their other locations to find avenues for improvement. By generating traffic reports from people counters, locations can gauge the effectiveness of an attraction based on how well it performs at another location in their chain.

Comparative data allows casinos to benchmark performance of specific revenue streams and standardize successful processes throughout the chain. In general, using a people counter can answer questions like: How are they selling and promoting their attractions, and how is it working? How much traffic are they receiving, and how are they accommodating it? Are we performing as well as they are? These questions can be answered by comparing peak traffic hours and peak transaction hours across unique locations. You can make conclusions by analyzing how they change and overlap. For example, by finding out how many people are dining at each location, you can identify underperforming restaurants. Then promote those dining areas using a method that’s working more successfully at other locations.

People counters allow you to compare:

  1. Traffic: Generate visitor reports across locations and regions, even down to specific games or attractions at each location. The comparisons will reveal which areas are not measuring up and need improvement.
  2. Promotions: Once you know the most successful areas with the highest number of visitors, you can take a closer look at their marketing strategies. How (and where) did they advertise, and what other steps did they take to draw people in? Are they offering dinner specials, or merchandise discounts, or $20 in blackjack chips when guests book a hotel room?
  3. Performance: What are the people counter statistics for the locations with the highest revenue? This information can help determine the best ratio of staff to visitors, for example, and provide additional ways to analyze revenue patterns.

3. Keep tabs on different areas in your casino

People counters can detect how many people enter certain areas. Casino owners and managers can generate reports on the amount of traffic received by their hotel rooms, concert hall, dining area, slot machines, card tables, pool area, spa or salon. They can learn which areas are lacking and brainstorm ways to attract more traffic to them. The more traffic comes in and out of each area, the more opportunities casinos have to encourage their customers to spend. They can also learn which areas are doing well and concentrate money into those areas to maximize profits.

With people counters, casinos can conduct real-time tracking of several metrics:

  • Overall visitors: The “big picture” numbers for daily, monthly, and yearly volume can be especially valuable to stakeholders and others with a vested interest in business results.
  • Visitors by period: Knowing how many patrons come in by the hour, day, week, or month enables prediction of peak demand so that staff can be scheduled accordingly.
  • Visitors by zone or game: Overall numbers can be broken down to the level of specific games or areas such as blackjack and poker tables, roulette and craps games, or slot machines. Casinos can gauge interest levels and strategically focus on the most popular games.

Analysis of visitor traffic patterns can also suggest potential improvements to the casino layout. For example, managers could put the most frequently played games toward the back of the house, in the hope that visitors will be drawn to other areas as they pass through. Or if people are often waiting to use the slot machines but not playing keno, perhaps keno should be taken out to make room for more slots.

4. Keep track of time and labor.

During which times does your establishment see the most traffic? If your dining area sees the most traffic during dinner time, then offer dinner specials to create upselling opportunities. If your spa only gets customers during the mornings and afternoons, then keep it staffed during those hours and close it at night.

You can reduce labor costs by making sure that you aren’t paying employees just to stand around when business is slow. You also want to ensure adequate staffing and security during busy periods. Casinos, hotels, and resorts often have thousands of employees – having them all working at the same time is unnecessary and wasteful. You can also analyze hourly footfall and evaluate individual employee performance in order to reallocate labor in your establishment. In doing so, determine which of your employees should be scheduled during peak times.

5. Develop money-saving solutions for your casino

People walk into casinos with dollars in their eyes, but as a casino owner, you’re looking to save money — or at least spend smartly. When it comes to people counting technology, wireless installations are attractive for many reasons, though their low cost likely stands out the most. Battery-operated wireless installations don’t compromise on people-counting accuracy or quality and enable greater flexibility in where they can be mounted including over doorways and in ceilings.

6. Improve Security & Maintenance at Your Casino

With all of the currency changing hands, security in casinos is a top priority. To ensure that security staff are deployed most effectively, use your people counting wireless installations to identify “hotspots” that consistently yield high traffic volumes. Beyond the obvious, such as the cashier’s window or the high-roller table, maybe you’ll find that some unusual or unexpected areas of your business could use additional security staffing.

The same holds true for other key staff members such as maintenance employees. As a round-the-clock business, casinos don’t have the luxury of downtime, although certain times of day may see a lull in the action. Data from your people counter wireless installation can show you the best times of the day, week, month and year to deploy maintenance staff for tasks both mundane and significant.

These are just a few of the ways that people counting data can not only help trim wasteful spending and improve casino operations, but also help identify promising areas that could grow with investments of money, people, or promotions – or a winning combination of all three.

Buy Wireless People Counting Systems From Traf-Sys

People counting technology from Traf-Sys, Inc. gives the casino industry more options for increased visibility into their operations. Real-time data collected by unobtrusive hardware can accurately gauge true interest by patrons of your games and other attractions within the facility. With the right resources in the right places, you will see a boost in revenue and popularity of your casino with proven people counter technology.

Contact a Traf-Sys representative today to learn how you can add the power of people-counting capabilities to your casino.

10 Ways the Casino Industry is Using People Counting Technology

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The casino industry is making a resurgence despite setbacks seen during the recent recession years. Casinos are enjoying increased revenue streams not only from the gaming aspects of their operations but from the restaurants, shows, shopping and other forms of non-gaming entertainment within their facilities.

Casino industry operators in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, throughout the U.S. and Native American Nations are using people counting technology installed at entrances and other key facility locations to understand better how patrons move through their casinos and the activities that are the biggest draws.

Here are ten ways people counters are a great benefit to this industry and why it is important for your business.

  1. Main entrance people counters: This can give you a total number of daily visitors coming into your casino. This data is vital to casino owners interested in gauging revenue percentages.

 

  1. Find high volume and low volume times: This data is helpful for scheduling special promotions or events to maximize revenue.

 

  1. In-casino service and entertainment locations: People counters can determine how many people visit shows, restaurants, bars or retail stores within the facility. The casino industry operators determine which services are successful—or not so successful—to determine funding and improve marketing.

 

  1. New game popularity: People counters can determine the success of new games being offered. If a new game is not doing as well as anticipated, perhaps moving it to a higher traffic area could “better the odds” of success.

 

  1. Sort out gamblers and non-gamblers: Using people counting data and observations, you can compare the number of people gambling with those just walking around or enjoying entertainment options.

 

  1. Forecast labor needs: People counters can help you determine when extra staffing for games, restaurants and security is required. Tracking casino patrons by the hour, day, week, month can also assist with optimizing facility management services such as heating, lighting, etc.

 

  1. Exterior people tracking: Know where your customers are coming from or going to with adjacent properties such as parking garages, outdoor pools or convention centers.

 

  1. General traffic flow: Knowing where the traffic flow is greatest can be beneficial for advertising or holding special promotional events. Perhaps a small entertainment venue near a bar where traffic flow tends to flourish can increase your overall sales revenue.

 

  1. Placement of equipment: People counters can help you place high revenue slots or ATMs in key areas where people tend to linger and need quick access to cash.

 

  1. Determine promotional success: People counters collect valuable data that is invaluable to a casino industry operator. The number of people who attend a special event, deal or promotion can help with future marketing and planning.

People counting technology from Traf-Sys, Inc. gives the casino industry more options for increased visibility into their operations. Real-time data collected by unobtrusive hardware can accurately gauge true interest by patrons of your games and other attractions within the facility. With the right resources in the right places, you will see a boost in revenue and popularity of your casino with proven people counter technology.

The Pros and Cons of a Video-Based Sensor

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Overhead video-based sensors are an excellent way to track your customers entering and moving about your retail stores. This data can help you chart shopping trends or determine your staffing needs based on the busiest times of day. Using video-based sensors can also enhance security and theft prevention.

The video-based Eclipse people counter uses advanced image recognition technology that records highly accurate data under a wide set of conditions, such as high traffic areas, variable lighting, and wide entrance areas.

The Advantages of Video-Based People Counter

Consider these ways a video-based sensor for people counting can benefit your business:

  • Using multiple units, you have the ability to cover wide areas, which is beneficial for larger stores and shopping malls.
  • There is support for remote video capture when using an Internet-connected laptop or tablet.
  • In the event of a power outage, data can be safely stored within the solution’s flash memory, saving up to 10 days’ worth of data.
  • Video-based sensor counters can adjust quickly to changes in lighting and temperature.
  • These solutions have the ability to filter carts, children, and strollers, providing you a more accurate count of actual shoppers versus total number of people in the store.
  • It’s easy to upgrade these solutions so they are always running the latest software version.

When Video-Based People Counters May Not Be the Right Solution for You

Even though video-based people counters offer a wide variety of advantages, there are situations in which they may not be the optimal choice. Here are some additional facts to consider:

  • Areas of your facility affected by shadows, complex backgrounds or varying light levels may impact the counting accuracy of a video-based counter.
  • The capital investment and time and labor cost for installation is sometimes greater than for thermal sensor or infrared beam people counting systems.

Which System is Better?

Business owners and managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. The fact is, both systems have their advantages. A thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts, whereas overhead video-based sensors give you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for. Speak an experienced people counting solution provider to determine which is the right system for your business.

Traf-Sys is dedicated to providing solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data. Learn more about the Eclipse video-based sensor system here.

Empowering Gaming Destinations with People Counting Technology

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people counting technologyWhile casino-goers hope for a winning streak at any of the hundreds of gaming facilities in the US, it’s not all fun and games internally. Casinos have been hit hard by the recent recession and they’ve been slow to recover as people are visiting less, taking fewer risks and playing it safe by cashing in sooner.

The dwindling cash flow means casinos have to be smart about where they focus their resources, but it’s not easy. Most casinos are open around the clock, so there are enormous staffing needs, food and beverage considerations, continuous marketing campaigns and the expense of printed materials.

In order to maintain a high level of visibility, many casinos employ people counting technology. Knowing how many people are visiting is important, but the statistics this technology provides can be invaluable when working with a 24/7 operation. People counters can tell you which games and tables are top draws and which attractions are always full, which can help casinos understand what strategies are working, where they should invest more energy into promotions and where they should be seeking opportunities for expansion.

Not convinced yet? Let’s take a closer look at how people counting technology can help casinos stay in the black—literally.

Gauge interest in gaming: Using people counting technology, casinos know the number of overall visitors and have the option to break it down into daily, monthly and yearly visitors. People counting can also help casinos maximize interest and revenue. Mapping traffic flow can ensure casinos have the best floor layout and an effective and profitable mix of slots and games. This system can also generate statistics on how many people are visiting gaming areas and attractions to assist with staffing needs.

Assess attractions: People counting technology at resorts that offer attractions like restaurants, shows and spas can give casino owners insight into where people are dining and other popular venues at the resort. The numbers don’t lie, so owners can fairly assess which areas are meeting expectations and which ones need more attention. By identifying low-performing attractions or venues, casino ownership can refocus their marketing and public relations teams on the areas that need to attract more traffic. People counting can also identify high-performing games and attractions so the appropriate resources are allocated to them to ensure they run smoothly.

Compare performance: Casino chains with multiple locations can compare the performance of its different outposts. People counting can identify which locations are drawing more foot traffic, determine which marketing campaigns actually generated the desired response by pinpointing a spike in visitors, gaming activity or other purchases and analyze revenue patterns and maximize profits.

Allocate resources effectively: Being open 24/7 means expenses that never end. There is no downtime, so knowing which areas of the casino are the busiest during certain shifts helps ensure they are sufficiently staffed. People counting will tell you which days and times are the busiest, so casino owners know which areas need more resources and which ones are overstaffed. Knowing where and when to allocate security staff, maintenance workers, servers and gaming personnel means less waste and better planning for peak shifts.

People Counters: Casinos Employ Different Strategies to Lure High Rollers, Patrons

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3D closeup of casino table with roulette and chipsMacau’s gambling industry is the envy of many, earning this region of China the nickname the “Monte Carlo of the Orient.” In 2006, Macau became the gambling capital of the world, with VIPs and high rollers making up two-thirds of their revenue. These high-stakes players from China are attracted to Macau’s riches by junket operators that whisk deep pocketed players to Macau via private jets and limousines and put them up in large suites in lavish hotels.  A typical big spender needs to drop at least $1 million per trip to the region to maintain his or her VIP status, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that gambling is Macau’s largest source of revenue.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Macau’s gambling industry raked in $45 billion last year—more than seven times that of Las Vegas’ haul for 2013. Macau is home to 33 casinos, including the Venetian Macau, the largest casino in the world.

Where does the money come from?

This mind-boggling level of success doesn’t come cheaply, according to the Businessweek story. Last year, in Macau paid out $13 billion (29 percent of their total revenue for the year) to junket operators who are responsible for getting these high rollers to casino tables. Players are loyal to the junket operators who provide the comped stays, private jets, cars and around the clock concierge service. There are many companies to choose from–currently, there are about 200 licensed junket operators in Macau.

Although the model works successfully, casino operators in Macau are feeling the squeeze from the large sums the junket operators are owed each month.  While some casino operators rely 100% on junkets to bring customers to them, others are working on diversifying by building high-end malls and producing shows to attract new customers or even building new facilities in other areas.

US Casinos and Junkets

Here in the US, casinos—especially smaller ones– do not have the budgets to hire junket operators for billions of dollars, regardless of how many private jets and limousines they own. In February, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that Nevada’s casinos took in $926 million for the month.  In Las Vegas, gambling revenue checked in at $556 million, down 20% from the previous month. It’s clear that as much as we love Las Vegas, Macau is in a class all of its own.

Drive foot traffic in other ways

In the absence of luxurious private cars and junkets willing to fulfill every whim in return for gambling dollars and repeat business, casinos here in the US, especially smaller ones, still have a fighting chance. These smaller gaming facilities can stay competitive with the help of traffic counting technology. A traffic counting system can help highlight the excitement of a casino floor. Casino owners and managers that employ this technology can more accurately measure how many players are coming and going into any single area and measure the level of interest in the different gaming stations. If activity is too low, the management team can change the position of gaming tables or equipment and adjust the traffic flow.

The ability to change the floor and measure the different variables helps the casino plan effective promotions and evaluate marketing and promotional campaigns based on hard data.  It also helps plan more effectively for scheduling needs. Casino operators will save money by not having too many employees on the floor at once and rest easy knowing they’ll have enough people to cover the busiest shifts.

What Will Happen When Native American Casinos Roll the Dice?

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Croupier Throwing A Pair Of DiceNative American casinos haven’t become a thing of the past just yet, but their revenues seem to be at a standstill.

According to the Casino City Indian Gaming Industry Report, Native American gaming slowed nationwide in 2012. They reported less growth than commercial casinos, which grew 8 percent nationwide. Specifically, revenue at all of New York’s eight Native American casinos slipped about one percent. Despite this decrease, New York gaming officials have unveiled plans to add new casinos in different regions around the state – and other states could follow this pattern.

Casino operators, take note: the Northeast is arguably the most competitive gambling region in the U.S., so the effects of this expansion could be indicative of effects that would happen in other areas.

Experts speculate that building new casinos in a time when casinos are already at an economic standstill could go one of two ways:

  1. New facilities will attract additional foot traffic and traffic will stay the same at existing facilities
  2. New facilities will draw customers away from the existing casinos and those facilities will keep losing business until they ultimately close

Why revenue matters

The two scenarios mentioned above could be “make or break” for Native American casinos – and there is a lot at stake. The revenue earned from Native-American owned gaming facilities is used to fund tribal operations, provide for the general welfare of their tribe, promote economic development and fund the agencies that provide services to the tribe. Many Native American charitable organizations are funded with gaming money as well.

Casino earnings are important to the well-being of the members of each tribe. The state has already started moving forward with its plans to build new facilities, so where these properties are placed could have a huge impact on the future success of the Native American-owned casinos and how their programs are funded.

Evaluating expansions

As mentioned, expansion could make or break a Native American gaming region. It’s important to evaluate whether or not there is enough demand in each region to support the addition of a new facility. Employing a people counting system can help facility managers determine how much foot traffic a casino is getting and what its busiest days and times are.

Once you have this data, you can assess the effects of an expansion.

  • First, look at the data set and see if another facility would put the existing one at risk. If the traffic counts at the primary facility are low compared to previous years or other facilities in the industry, then there’s a good chance there isn’t enough demand in the area to support two casinos.
  • However, if the people counts are relatively high, with busy times and quieter shifts, you may be able to split the demand and try to attract new customers while spreading enough business around to keep both facilities open.

This data can be used to protect the facilities that are already in place, as irrefutable facts as to why opening a second casino in an area that already doesn’t have enough business is a poor decision.

Improving facilities

If business has taken a tumble at one of the casinos to the point that it’s in jeopardy, the casino’s ownership can also use a people counting system and traffic data to take action and improve.

First, the casino can consider a marketing plan that would help draw in new and existing customers.  Implementing a series of incentives to get people into the door may help boost revenue. For example, offering a “stay two nights get one free” may draw in people and convince those who were already going to stay two days at the casino hotel to stay a third and spend more money.

But pouring money into a marketing plan is a bad idea without testing its level of effectiveness. Coordinating the people counting data with the marketing plan will help casino leadership see what strategies are effective and which are not, so valuable marketing dollars are not wasted.