I read today that the Mirage is using a voucher system to comp drinks in the casino. This is, to say the least, an unpopular idea and a really bad one. Players hate it and cocktail waitresses, who are now getting fewer tips, hate it too. Who likes this idea? Bean counters.
The current gaming revenue situation and the response by casinos is mind-boggling. I am sure number-crunching execs are looking at spreadsheets and determining that the only way they can continue to operate the casino is by cutting costs. If they looked away from the computer screen for five minutes and went down to the casino floor, they would probably learn a lot more. They need to talk to people.
They need to survey customers. Entice them to come into the casino. They need to expect more out of themselves and provide a top-notch entertainment experience for their customers.
When you make your product less attractive, what do you think the end result will be? Suppose you wanted to purchase a new smart phone. Your two options are one that offers you a quality product with a lot of free features, and one that used to be good but then decided to cut costs because not enough people were buying it. Which one would you choose?
I realize the problem goes beyond simple marketing (i.e. making casino games more attractive to put more butts in seats), but it is also much more complex than simply cutting services and saying “people aren’t gambling, so let’s reduce costs.”
My message to casino execs who tighten slots, make players pay for drinks and churn out crummy 6-5 blackjack tables is simple, however: try harder.