Fiscal year 2013 was a rough one for the gambling industry, according to Jesus Aviles, president and CEO of Mystique Casino. In fact, in an article in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Aviles calls the Iowa statewide revenue statistics for June “almost a bloodbath.” He said markets across the country, including in Iowa, Illinois and New Jersey, showed declines in revenue from the previous year.
It’s no secret that people come to casinos to drop some serious dough. But during the recent recession, people were less inclined to take chances with their money or spend large sums at once. Some establishments in the gambling industry are still recovering.
Additionally, the gaming industry is in a growth phase due to recent changes in casino legislation. Bans on foreign investment and ownership were lifted and establishments intended to attract international guests have started to emerge. In these tender times, people counting systems can help casinos and other entertainment establishments optimize their operations by tracking the amount of traffic they receive.
Here are four ways:
1. Get feedback.
Things might be easy for the four largest casino chains, which earned 34.6% of the industry’s revenue in 2013, but others might have to be more creative when dreaming up new ways to draw crowds. With a people counting system, those establishments can measure traffic at high-profile events to make sure they’re getting a good amount of bang for their buck. They can also get feedback on new attractions.
For example: How many people who come in are making purchases? Are they purchasing memberships, dinners, hotel rooms or spa packages? Generate reports from your people counting software and monitor these numbers. If people are only coming to gamble and not making purchases, you may want to do something differently.
2. Compare to other locations.
Casino chains like Harrah’s and Bally’s can compare to their other locations to find avenues for improvement. By generating traffic reports from people counting software, locations gauge the effectiveness of an attraction based on numbers garnered from another location in their 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: Find out how many people are dining at each location. If your location has the lowest number, you might want to promote your dining area differently or offer specials.
3. Keep tabs on different areas.
People counting sensors 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 make more purchases. They can also learn which areas are doing well and concentrate money into those areas to maximize profits.
4. Keep track of time and labor.
During what times does your establishment see the most traffic? If your dining 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 then close it at night.
You can conserve money by making sure that you aren’t paying employees just to stand around when business is slow. 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.