& Associates, Inc
The Internet Is A Serious Competitor for Casinos?
Properties That Ignore Cyberspace
Do So At Their Peril
Martin R. Baird
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.
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.”
offers the following seven tips on why Internet competition is important
to brick-and-mortar casinos and how they can compete with cyberspace gaming.
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
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.”
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
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
& 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, www.casinocustomerservice.com,
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
Ellis Communications, L.L.C.
Phone (623) 780-4558