Source: Robinson & Associates, Inc

 What? The Internet Is A Serious Competitor for Casinos? 

Properties That Ignore Cyberspace Do So At Their Peril

Martin R. Baird

May 14th, 2002 

    Casino managers are well aware that competition is increasing significantly in the gaming industry.  However, many of them get blindsided because they don’t realize that the Internet is a serious competitor.

    “Casino executives realize that new properties opening nearby or added gaming options at existing casinos take a bite out of their business,” says Martin R. Baird, president of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Robinson & Associates, Inc., a guest service consulting firm for the gaming industry.  “What’s surprising is that they seldom mention the Internet as a direct competitor and that’s a big mistake.”

    Baird offers the following seven tips on why Internet competition is important to brick-and-mortar casinos and how they can compete with cyberspace gaming.

  1. It’s no longer good enough to be the best gaming establishment in your area.  “Because of the Internet, you are now competing against the world,” Baird says.  “Players can and do spend their gaming dollars on the Internet.  For you, that’s lost revenue.”
  2. Guests visit casinos to be entertained as well as to gamble but are your casino’s sights, sounds and overall gaming experience truly superior to the ease and convenience of the Internet?  “If your casino is in a cold climate, it’s easier for potential guests to stay in the warmth of their homes and gamble on their home computers,” Baird says.  “If you’re located in a hot climate, will all guests drive to your property when it’s 105 degrees outside?  They can get a gaming experience in the air-conditioned comfort of their homes.”
  3. Time is another consideration.  “This is a no brainer that’s very appealing to lazy players,” Baird notes.  “It takes a fair amount of time to get ready to go, travel to your casino and then drive back home when the fun is over.  If you’re tens of miles away from a metropolitan area, the lure of Internet gaming is even stronger.”
  4. The primary way to compete against the Internet is stellar guest service.  “If I can sit in a casino and play a game on a computer screen, why not just play it on my home computer?”  Baird asks.  “Service is the answer.  Your guests must believe that they will have a better experience at your property.  Your staff must provide a level of service that encourages guests to visit your casino again and again.”
  5. Challenge your employees to do a better job with guest service.  Have them visit nongaming companies in your area that have a reputation for outstanding service so they can see the level of service your guests expect from you, Baird suggests.
  6. Never forget that great guest service happens only when it’s a philosophy instilled in all your employees.  “When casino employees see management going out of its way to provide great service – and not just to high rollers – they respond,” Baird says.  “Outstanding guest service starts at the top.”
  7. Most employees will need training because few people are naturally gifted at providing good service.  Offer training that gives employees the skills they need to provide service that amazes and pleases your guests, Baird says.

    Robinson & Associates, Inc., is a guest service consulting firm that provides specialty customer service training, management skills training, presentation skills training, team building programs and employee incentive and recognition programs for casinos.  Baird has a Web site,, that’s devoted to helping casinos improve their customer service so they can compete and increase revenues.  Robinson & Associates may be reached at 480-991-6421.  Baird may be reached by  e-mail at

Tom Ellis
Ellis Communications, L.L.C.
Phone (623) 780-4558
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