This is Part 5 of our 5-part article series, Smart Casinos: Consumer Engagement at the Edge. In Part 4, we looked at how casinos can transform their operations by moving from ethernet to wireless-based networks. Here in Part 5, we’re diving into why 5G will become the foundation of modern casino innovation. 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.
The 5G network is poised to become the backbone of modern business communication. Qualcomm, a company at the forefront of the 5G revolution, describes 5G as, “a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together, including machines, objects, and devices.” This idea of an interconnected world is changing the way many companies operate and provide services for their customers.
The 5G network and wireless technology as a whole are creating new opportunities for casino operations and marketing engagement — strategies that are critical to help casinos find success and new revenue streams in a post-pandemic world.
A Modern Business Model
Many companies still operate on an ethernet-based IT network. When fully realized, the 5G network will normalize cloud-based IT infrastructures for casinos and other large businesses. While a transition to the cloud may have short-term costs and stresses, the result will ultimately take willing companies into the new age of marketing and business — enabling new ways to innovate with customer engagement, improve brand equity, and ultimately drive more revenue.
As one example, due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless payment methods are becoming extremely popular. These payment systems include debit cards, smartphones and other devices that utilize near-field communication to make safe, secure payments. When casinos transition to a wireless IT infrastructure, these contactless payments can happen anywhere in the building. Customers can buy a drink on the casino floor or pay for their room service, all without the need for person-to-person contact. This not only creates a seamless digital experience for customers, but opens up new revenue opportunities for the casino at large.
Of course, another clear benefit of a cloud-based IT framework is on the operations side — the reduced cost of upkeep. With reduced reliance on physical, onsite hardware, there are fewer opportunities for issues to arise, which require manual intervention from technicians. This means, as operations move to the cloud, that troubleshooting can occur from anywhere, as IT professionals can solve problems without actually being on the premises.
Meanwhile, cloud-based IT infrastructure allows for more advanced data collection, as well as for new digital vehicles to better leverage that data. Connecting with third-party companies will become seamless, for instance, allowing for outside analysis and usage of the data collected in casinos. With some outside help, casinos stand to benefit from new marketing tactics that have only recently become possible. For instance, real-time marketing is a new approach, explored in Part 1, that examines and reacts to customer data with speed, accuracy, and context. By monitoring customer behaviors and preferences, casinos can serve up effective advertising in real time and address specific customer needs.
Making the Transition
Now that wireless internet speeds have matched or eclipsed those of ethernet, a new age of a mobile, interwoven culture is here. Especially in light of challenges presented by the pandemic, most large businesses that have relied on an ethernet-based IT infrastructure are starting to make the switch (or at least consider it).
The casino industry, and big business as a whole, is due for a telecom makeover. Casinos have the opportunity to capitalize on the advantages and flexibility of 5G and other emerging technologies to find additional success in the coming years. The world is changing at an ever- increasing pace. In order for businesses to stay relevant and meet consumer expectations for personalization and connectivity, they will need to adapt to these changes with grace.
If you’re interested in learning more about how organizations are redefining the consumer gaming experience by embracing connected, mobile-first digital transformation, you can review the June 24th webinar recording here.