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Smart Casinos: How Feedback Loops Can Modernize the Casino Industry (Part 2)

Jun 8, 2021 | Blog

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This is Part 2 of our 5-part article series, Smart Casinos: Consumer Engagement at the Edge. Written by Les Ottolenghi, former CIO at Caesars Entertainment, Smart Casinos spans everything from real-time marketing and digital sportsbooks, to 5G wireless casino networks. With this series, gaming executives will learn how their organizations can digitally transform their operations, maintain a competitive advantage, and grow revenue, all while meeting the changing needs of digital-first patrons. Here, we’re taking a closer look at continuous feedback loops and their impact on modern casinos.

Continuous feedback loops are known as an effective method of guiding and influencing human behavior. In Part 1 of the series, we dove into how they can power real-time marketing. Here, we’re taking a look at how they can personalize the casino experience.

Everyone experiences the power of feedback loops on a daily basis. For instance, when a person’s body temperature increases, their body reacts by sweating. This causes their temperature to revert back to normal. When the body heats up again, rinse and repeat — the feedback loop kicks in again and the process continues.

Feedback loops transcend physical experiences that happen in our bodies and can be used in society to influence outcomes. As simple as the idea may seem, continuous feedback loops are an effective business tool when used correctly. The idea translates well to the world of marketing and is becoming increasingly relevant as the casino industry looks to modernize itself.

Implementing Feedback Loops into Casino Culture

Casinos, both small and large, tend to feature a sprawling floor plan. By design, customers travel from one area to the next for hours at a time, exploring different games, new restaurants, and exciting experiences. As they move around these labyrinthine layouts, subtle feelings, issues, wants and desires will inevitably arise. People experience a variety of feelings: hunger, boredom, anxiety, confusion, and more.

Feedback loops can be designed to address the needs and desires of customers as they arise in real time. Due to increased internet speeds provided by the 5G network and the ubiquitous prevalence of smartphones, continuous feedback loops can finally be implemented into the business model of a modern casino.

A Personalized Experience

Geotracking is a simple way to utilize feedback loops in the context of a casino. As a patron meanders through a casino, a smartphone app or rewards card can track the customer’s location, allowing recommendations and useful services to be provided. Did the customer leave the premises possibly to visit a different casino? No problem! The application can send a notification that offers an incentive for returning to the venue.

Maybe a patron arrived in the early afternoon but failed to visit a specific restaurant to eat lunch. The casino’s application can serve up a discounted lunch option, encouraging the customer to tend to their hunger and fuel up for another round of fun.

Enhancing Operations

The concept works on a larger scale as well. Data can be constantly collected and analyzed, opening up powerful forms of marketing. As new casino games and menu options are rolled out, casino operators can easily measure the success of products and promotions in real time. This data can be used to curate specials, advertisements, and new products. This leads to a continuous process of observing customer desires and impulses and providing them with access to items that resonate with what they want.

A heat map can be created using the data collected by each patron's smartphone or rewards card. The combined data can show movement and usage trends around the casino floor. This can reveal all kinds of operational information such as discovering casino zones people seemingly avoid or identifying the games that keep players engaged and spending the longest. These heat maps could also be integrated into security protocol for added safety around the casino.

Powerful Tools Require Responsible Users

Feedback loops can be used to reinforce both positive and negative behaviors. This fact raises some ethical concerns and places a large amount of power in the hands of casino operators. The encouragement of addictive gambling behaviors is an obvious issue that unscrupulous businesses could exploit. The industry as a whole will need to monitor and adapt to problems as they arise, creating a positive feedback loop of their own.

While the concept of continuous feedback loops has been available to businesses for decades, the possibilities have greatly increased with the introduction of faster wireless networks. Casino premises can now be set up to access and react to customer needs in real time, an option that would have seemed impossible until recent technology advancements.

In Part 3 of this series, Digital Sportsbooks, Casinos, and the Omnichannel Experience, we’ll dive deeper into how continuous feedback loops can transform floor operations and deliver personalized marketing, as well as examine how casinos can use customer data both ethically and powerfully.

If you’re interested in learning more about how organizations are redefining the consumer gaming experience by embracing connected, mobile-first digital transformation, join us on June 24th for the webinar, The Smart Casino: Consumer Engagement at the Edge. Register today!