The 21st Century as we know it, as absolutely steeped with technology and over-run with various different software which can enable businesses to have direct dealings with their customers, through no more than a mobile phone screen. We are consistently hearing about tech and retail giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and even … all looking to generate new, profitable means of being able to interact with the consumer, whilst acquiring invaluable sets of data and insights, and simultaneously (and quite unknowingly) targeting their products to larger and wider audiences. All at the click of a button too!

So when it comes to the gambling industry, just how are casinos using these kinds of applications to their own advantage?

A change in communication

Although many casinos currently rely on things such as SMS, email campaigns, and third-party advertisements to communicate their offers these days – such a billion-dollar industry can certainly afford to splash out on something a bit more modern and technically advanced. Already, we know certain Smartphone apps have the potential to alert users about a multitude of different things, and all they need is to be within close proximity of a signal in order to receive it.

An illustration of mobile concierge app menu

These message/notifications can range from receiving an alert for a discounted lunch at a restaurant, a pop-up banner for a particular activity, traffic updates, weather warnings, bankroll management, suggestions on things to see and visit – the list goes on in terms of the scope these apps can extend to; creating an endless amount of possibilities for the companies using them.

How other industries use the technology

It’s not just casinos taking advantage of these virtual concierge applications either. The system has proven to be very welcomed in sectors such as banking, retail, hospitality and public health too; allowing them to deploy product information to customers, advertise amenities, navigation and wayfinding, promote vendor relationships and affiliate schemes, and even allow these industries to conduct their own live streams too. Not only that, but it gives the customer to have full access to information themselves, without the need for assistance. Something that saves them time, and that of the company’s employees.

The big boys reaping the benefits

When it comes to the big-shot gambling dens like Caesars or Foxwoods – these kind of apps can put them in a position of even more power than they already are. MGM Resorts in Las Vegas are a prime example of just how this technology is being fully utilized, when they began using a cloud-based app designed by MacroView Labs.

Their guests don’t even having to leave the comfort of the gaming floor or their hotel room, they’re able to explore nearby attractions within the resort, as well as make exclusive dinner reservations within an array of its restaurants. They can also enjoy promotions on the facilities other amenities, as well as check their player club points and view other promotions and offerings, such as concert schedules, spa details, theatrical itineraries, golf courses and shopping outlet information.

An illustration of hotel front view through mobile screen“The response has been phenomenal,” said Lou Ragg, vice president of Internet operations and marketing for MGM Resorts. Even though they have been using the technology since 2010, it is said they are incredibly pleased with the opportunities it has brought and the appraisal it has received since they began using it as a multi-purpose platform for connecting with their customers.

“They allow you to see certain information you can only see at the properties, which is different from the information you can see if you’re at the airport,” said Aron Ezra, vice president of mobile technology for Bally, who led the team that worked to develop the MGM apps.

Other casinos adopting similar apps

An illustration of a concierge mobile appSome companies specializing in apps such as MicroLabs, include Control4; an app more tailored to hotels for its distinctive abilities of being able to control the majority of the amenities within your room; opening and drawing the curtains, temperature control, setting your alarm clock, ordering room service, and even displaying the “do not disturb” notice.

It’s hard to imagine one tiny little app could power so many things! But, that’s just the start of it the potential opportunities it creates for casinos. Some apps even allow you to signal for your car to be brought up from valet, schedule wake up calls, pay for your meals, book entrance to shows and event tickets, AND, you can even hold your place in the line at a nightclub!
The only cause for concern some have over the concept, is the fact that you have to download separate apps for each property, as opposed to one that is compatible with all casinos and resorts on the Las Vegas strip. By having individual ones for each establishment, they are not only able to display heaps of their own content, but can better target their offers to different clients too – an action which a shared app simply wouldn’t be able to perform.

A costly conclusion

All things considered, this app technology sounds tremendous and really is nifty marketing at its finest, but it also poses the question as to how much it is all expected to cost. Although we can’t evidence it with actual figures, you wouldn’t be wrong in believing that this kind of technical sophistication is in fact stupidly expensive, as it can take extensive periods of time to actually perfect all of its uses, before it finally makes it to the point of becoming a solid, full-proof, guest experience. Resources, funds, design, time, testing, and regular feature upgrades – are all necessities that need to be taken into account before it can be fully put into practice, and used in real-life scenarios.

Janae Johnson is a staff writer who loves old movies, meeting new people, exploring the great outdoors, and learning with her hands. After graduating from the College of William and Mary, she applied her degree in English to an ever-expanding industry. She has spent years searching for thrills and fulfillment in her work, until she finally found her home at Planet 7.