Operator Talk: Are you future proof? Part One - Ron Goudsmit

Operator Talk: Are you future proof? Part One - Ron Goudsmit

Monday, January 19, 2015 Totally Gaming

The ability to stay ahead of the curve is an increasingly pertinent attribute in business today, especially as societal changes seem to be occurring so rapidly. The land-based casino industry is no different. This year at the International Casino Conference, the ‘Future Proof Your Casino Customer Experience’ session will take place, presented by leading futurist Thimon de Jong from the Whetston Group.

In the first of a two-part Q&A ahead of the conference in London on Monday, February 2, TotallyGaming.com spoke to Ron Goudsmit, European Casino Association, to hear his thoughts on the related issues. Look out for part two of the Q&A with Thimon later this week on TotallyGaming.com.

TotallyGaming.com: How do you think land-based casinos are best able to engage with the new generation of casino goers?

Ron Goudsmit: “Casinos will have to become places where there are more attractions than just gaming. Where the younger generation feels at ease also to eat, drink, club, etc. and enjoy themselves with their peers.

“The problem for smaller facilities that are catering for both the younger and older generations might not be viable because of costs and/or space. This is why Europe will see more resort type of facilities but on a ‘European scale’ and this will go hand in glove with the consolidation of the business.

“Furthermore, the operators will have to stay in touch with the new generation away from the casino property through mobile or other devices.”

TotallyGaming.com: What new ideas do you think casinos need to be considering in order to stay ahead of the curve and remain future proof?

RG: “Future proof does not exist, but the gaming offer should include mobile gaming within the casino, be it on ipads, phones or other devices. The games would have to match the games that the younger players know from their experiences at home or elsewhere. So they can play the same games on -and off site. For the young generation it is important that they can share their experiences with their friends, also those who might not be on property.

“The ideas for ancillary types of entertainment need not be new in the sense that one just has to look around what’s happening in places like Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore and cherry pick what can be tailored to the local market. In other words it is not necessary to invent the wheel every time.

"The bottom line is that the casino industry is about our customers and the one thing that will always bring customers (back) is an excellent service from all your staff.”

TotallyGaming.com: Do you think the typical profile of the casino customer is changing? If so, in what way?

RG: “The very fact that our existing customers are getting older and the younger generation has grown up in a different environment will lead to a changing profile of the customer. However since this does not happen overnight but gradually, the trick for the smaller European type of casinos lies in making bite-size changes to the casinos in order to manage investments and space.”

TotallyGaming.com: What are you hoping to hear from Thimon that you think will benefit casinos?

RG: “More background on what we are to expect from the younger generation and what triggers them to come to a casino. What will the social trends be and do things really run in cycles both in gaming and entertainment?”

The International Casino Conference will take place at Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, London on Monday, February 2. For more information, visit www.icetotallygaming.com/international-casino-conference.

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