Casinos Post COVID-19: Preparing For The Reopening
With the news of the development of promising vaccines making the rounds and the infection curve seemingly stabilizing, the world has progressed into ideating strategies and action plans to safely transition into a post COVID 19 working environment. It’s time casinos too did the same.
After almost a two-month hiatus, governments around the world are easing restrictions to allow businesses to bloom back to life. Though social/physical distancing norms are very much in place, the time has come for casinos to reimagine their workplaces and think about how they can become operational.
Today, there are several casinos that are already opening the doors to their customers. Giving paramount importance to the safety of the customers, new norms of functioning have been laid down.
With limited seating and slot machine on the floor, casinos are ensuring that the risk of the spread of the virus is contained. Across all casinos that have opened in the United States, grand tournaments and special events have been limited and buffets have been kept closed so that human interaction can be restricted. Wearing masks has become mandatory, especially for employees, and regular sanitization through fog and disinfectant machines have become a common occurrence across the floor.
While many casinos are installing hand sanitizing stations all over the casino, health screenings at the door have become mandatory too. In this blog, we’ll try to outline some other key steps that can come in handy – from a business perspective – to enable your business to smoothly bounce back to life post the end of the pandemic.
Assemble the right team
Once the pandemic scare is over, it is estimated that markets will see a sudden surge in customers/players. With pent up demand during such a time, it’s the early birds that get to enjoy a great advantage. That’s why it’s important for businesses to be equipped with the right resources and brains to be able to take dynamic decisions that can fast-track operations.
This also means that getting onboard adequate ground staff, support personnel, the IT workforce, and other manpower. Each fragment of the business model needs to be closely observed to ensure that it is equipped with adequate depth in human resources. This will ease operations and ensure in offering a pleasant gaming experience for customers.
Prepare for diverse recovery scenarios
Things are changing rapidly and we are all now living in a world that is so vastly different than it was just a while ago. For many years, the gaming industry has been very resilient and has overcome many challenges. With a bit of creative thinking and a deep-dive approach to crisis management, we can ideate tactics that can help us navigate this situation.
So, begin with resuming familiar and sure-to-work revenue management strategies. With respect to developments or changes in inbound markets, gaming data, player statistics, economic recovery speed, and more, adjust and reiterate core strategies.
A crucial part of business recovery is to show and reassure people that all the precautionary measures are being taken to ensure safety. From thermal screenings, constant sanitization rotations to the spacing between tables, staff health screenings, and more, in a reassuring tone, convey that the casino offers a safe and risk-free gaming environment.
Get equipped with the right technology, including contactless systems
The spread of the COVID-19 has pushed casinos to slash new projects and put expenses on hold. Now, this money can be used to make a difference. With reduced data and on-ground traffic, now is the right time for businesses to upgrade their technology. Like setting up a more advanced CRM, updating the slot machines that come with in-built revenue optimization tools, developing a better website equipped with upsell modules that can generate more revenue per user, and much more. Also, since the marketing efforts will take a much aggressive approach, boost up your casinos by giving the right computing edge that can store, monitor, and assess large volumes of data on the go. This time is of great essence. It presents a window of great opportunity for businesses to revamp their entire technological framework, which will, in turn, bring in great results.
Additionally, invest in contactless machinery that reduces human contact. Look at alternate technologies that enable operators to remotely and efficiently perform a variety of essential casino functions. Like enabling and disabling a slot machine from their desktop remotely without having to go in person, thereby reducing interaction. Similarly, look for digital solutions that let casinos players process their hand pay jackpots at a slot machine, without needing the help of an attendant. Moreover, with a centralized system, service staff can log, track, and schedule cleaning operations across the casino, thereby ensuring less in-person interaction. These are just a few examples, but the avenues for digital integration are endless. By adopting such measures, casinos can enable a safe environment and in turn, gain the confidence of the players.
Deploying accelerated market initiatives and AI for gaster GTM
There are more people on the internet than ever before. This makes it tactfully important for casinos to invest aggressively in marketing. Businesses need to find the right tone that touches upon the safety measures that are being undertaken and at the same time highlight the much-missed experience of playing inside a casino.
Earlier, marketing campaigns were highly dependent on data. With advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence-enabled data collection platforms in place, this enabled the accumulation of the right data, at the right time and at the right place.
But since the ground traffic has been reduced to zero, businesses need to create and depend heavily on weekly reports that reflect data at the property as well as the market level. It is also important to look at other sources of information like competitor pricing, travel trends, passenger traffic, booking windows, and more to tailor effective marketing strategies and make the right investments. While undertaking this, make sure to reconfigure your existing data collection platforms so that they can gather meaningful insights from the information that gets collected.
This too shall pass
The health crisis, coupled with uncertain revenues has made it incredibly difficult to conduct business today. The casino industry is left with no other option but to adapt to these changing times and try to overcome the harsh reality. With a little bit of resilience and by looking to the future we are certain that we can overcome this too. Sure, the road ahead is long, but for many years, we have come out of downturns stronger than before and this time too, we are confident that it shall be no different.
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