“And you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin… “– Bob Dylan
To remain competitive in an era of unprecedented technological change, every business must adapt and embrace innovation. Unlike many other industries, the resort casino business has thrived without having to rely on technology advancements.
Although there are some enlightened properties out there testing and using some form of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), it is time for the resort casino business to recognize, understand and embrace the immense potential of AI/ML to enhance revenues and optimize operations. In this article, we will outline why the resort casino business should embrace AI/ML, despite current balance sheets and general resistance to change. But first, I want to relate a personal experience regarding change
Several years ago, I was hired (along with two others) by one of the largest resort casinos in the U.S., as perhaps the first casino Data Scientists. Senior leadership had the vision to instill a more data-driven operations. Despite this vision, the first year for the data science group was difficult. We initially addressed the “low hanging fruit” that would benefit by incorporating AI/ML. So prototypes were built and we modeled the ROI potential. I still can recall the many pats on the back followed by, and I am paraphrasing here, “We have been running our business this way for decades and look at the money we are making.” The resistance to change was palpable. Nobody knocked on our door, even though we had C-Suite support.
It was not until we embedded ourselves with a few key profit centers and had them describe their workflows. We then demonstrated that AI/ML and basic analytics could return to them about half of their day, by automating manually intensive tasks and push information to them wherever and wherever they needed it. After deploying these techniques and demonstrably seeing the ROI, our project list grew to the point where we had to prioritize them based upon their ROI. I recall our CFO closing our G2E presentation saying, “this stuff works.” The genie could not be put back in the bottle.
The lesson is that when integrating a new technology into a relatively status-quo environment, one needs support from “the top,” but perhaps more importantly from the staff who will benefit and be impacted the most; – middle management and line workers.
Unlocking New and Existing Revenue Streams:
While it is true that casinos have been profitable without AI, the implementation of AI technology can unlock new and existing revenue streams and enhance profitability. AI-powered systems can analyze vast amounts of data that is being collected every second, enabling insights into customer behavior, preferences, and spending patterns. By leveraging this information, casinos can tailor their offerings, personalize experiences, and target customer segments more effectively. This targeted approach can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, higher revenues.
Enhancing Operational Efficiency:
In many industries, AI is already delivering on the potential to revolutionize operations, streamlining processes, and optimizing resource allocation. AI-powered systems can automate routine tasks, such as customer service inquiries, reservations, potential VIP research and even security monitoring. By automating these processes, casinos can free up human resources to focus on more complex and value-added tasks, ultimately improving overall operational efficiency and staff well-being.
Improving Customer Experience:
In a business where customer satisfaction is paramount, AI can play a pivotal role in enhancing a customer’s casino experience. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide instant and personalized responses to customer queries, ensuring a seamless and efficient interaction. AI can analyze customer data to predict their needs and preferences, enabling casinos to offer tailored recommendations, promotions, and rewards. By leveraging AI, casinos can create a more immersive and personalized experience, fostering customer loyalty and attracting new visitors.
Strengthening Security Measures:
The resort casino industry is no stranger to security concerns. AI can bolster security measures by analyzing real-time data, identifying potential threats such as money laundering, and alerting security and surveillance personnel promptly. By adopting AI-driven security systems, casinos can mitigate risks, protect their assets, and maintain a reputation for providing a secure and trustworthy environment.
Embracing AI is not about replacing human interaction but rather augmenting it with intelligent systems that can optimize operations and drive profitability. The resort casino industry must shed its resistance to change and seize the opportunity to revolutionize its operations through the power of artificial intelligence.
That’s it! We hope that you learned something. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.