How the gaming and hospitality industry is evolving the way they connect with customers
by Arturo Mendiola
Worldwide, the casino and hospitality industries are expected to grow at a rate of 5.14%
The continual rise and introduction of newer, bigger and more enticing property options, and the competition flooding the market has left guests with an abundance of options. Casinos and resorts are continually finding new, innovative ways to attract and retain guests – from exciting entertainment and dining options to incentivizing loyal gamers with special perks and rewards.
Below are the current trends affecting the gaming and hospitality industry today, and the impact that they will have on guests:
1. Sports betting remains strong
Due to a high sportsbook win percentage and solid growth in existing markets, sports betting set a new quarterly revenue record of $1.68 billion, up 80.6 percent year-over-year. This surge in demand has spurred technological advancements, such as mobile betting apps and live-streaming services, enhancing the overall gaming experience.
2. iGaming popularity shows no signs of slowing down
There was a significant drop in patrons visiting brick-and-mortar casinos in the U.S. in 2022 following COVID-19 and growing economic instability. This decline of on-property visits has led to a 15% increase in opening online casinos. (Slotegrater). iGaming offers convenience, accessibility, and a variety of games attracting new players. On the other hand, traditional casinos face increased competition, necessitating diversification and technological investment.
3. A wave of younger demographic players is on the rise and older audiences are on the decline
As noted above with online gaming and sports betting, mobile gambling has enabled younger digital-native players to enter the market. Casinos with online gaming and sports betting are seeing a move by younger demographics to brick-and-mortar properties due to cross-pollination from digital and traditional database sources. (Tribal Gaming and Hospitality). The increasing presence of younger players is likely to drive the demand for more technologically advanced and innovative gaming experiences.
4. Self-service and mobile technology are now baseline
The integration of mobile reservations and check-in/out features has become an indispensable part of the guest experience in the hospitality industry. With the advent of smartphones and the growing reliance on digital solutions, guests now expect the convenience and flexibility that these mobile services offer. Hotels, resorts, and other accommodation providers have recognized this shift in consumer behavior and have responded by adopting these technologies to stay competitive. Mobile reservations and check-in/out features are table stakes for guests as part of the experience.
5. Lodging rates have gone up, but amenities have not
Between January 2022 and January 2023, hotel rates have increased by 54%. This is largely attributed to high-demand and inflation. With increased competition in the hospitality industry, guests have more choices when it comes to accommodation options. If they feel that they are paying more for the same amenities, they may be more inclined to explore other hotels or lodging options, leading to reduced customer retention and loyalty.
6. Leisure travelers want to experience more out of their destination
According to American Express Travel, travelers are seeking vacations with personalized experiences 88% of respondents say they like to seek out local experiences and learn about culture when they travel. Providing personalized experiences presents opportunities for hotels to not only gain customer loyalty, but also to upsell additional services and amenities.
Connected guest experiences, a sure bet
While the industry will be constantly evolving and innovating, placing guests at the center of the business strategy and building a foundation of truly knowing your customers is key. This includes knowing their preferences and interests, as well as where they’ve been with your brand experience, including past stays, their favorite amenity or game.
Which is why collecting, mining and analyzing data to make intelligent decisions to inform guest journeys will give your brand the best chances of positioning itself as the preferred destination and/or property.
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