How to build the ultimate distribution technology strategy for a casino resort
Casino resorts face unique revenue challenges that often result in silos between gaming and room revenue – including the use of separate technology platforms that do not communicate with each other. Even after the dips in reservations and demand during the pandemic, the first quarter of 2022 has already exceeded the year-over-year trend in gaming revenue, and the casino resort landscape is rapidly expanding. This means the demand is there and continuing to grow, as long as casino resorts have the technology in place to optimize their revenue and meet guest’s increasing expectations.
We’ve seen that consumers have a strong wallet and people are traveling again, but less so internationally. This opens the door for regional gaming markets to pick up a bigger share of that spend and nurture long-term loyalty for valuable guests. The opportunities are tremendous, but to get there, casinos need to implement the strategies that can push them forward and get rid of antiquated systems that are holding them back.
There are three major technology challenges modern casino resorts need to address for future success:
- Moving away from fragmented technology platforms that do not communicate
- Utilizing the right APIs and integrations to create personalized experiences throughout the customer journey
- Adopting automation and other time saving measures to increase efficiencies during staffing shortages
Fortunately, each of these problems is solvable by putting the right technology and processes in place to optimize results. More often than not, the biggest technology challenge for casino resorts is relying on disconnected technology platforms (CMS, CRS, RMS, etc.) that keep vital guest information separate and therefore unactionable. Each of these systems contains unique guest information that together forms a complete picture of that guest. However, when those systems are not integrated, your organization only sees part of the customer’s total revenue potential.
That same lack of integration may also be preventing your casino from creating the personalized guest experiences that modern consumers demand. Guest expectations around personalization and omnichannel communications are increasing exponentially and only expected to grow as consumers become more accustomed to transacting online. To prevent guests from becoming discouraged and booking elsewhere, the same care and superior hospitality you put into your on-property experience must extend to your digital presence as well.
Distribution technology trifecta
To face these challenges head on, casinos must invest in the right distribution technology: a robust central reservation system (CRS); a powerful revenue management system (RMS) with specialization in gaming; and a high converting internet booking engine (IBE) that can facilitate comp online reservations. When the three of these technologies are integrated seamlessly and used properly, the property will quickly begin to recognize a return on investment.
Your RMS is designed to supercharge profit by looking beyond room revenue to unlock the true value of each guest, including bookings and all ancillary spend from gaming, spa, F&B, and other profit centers. When your RMS partners with your CRS and booking engine, you can start optimizing total profit, such as generating dynamic pricing, which creates specific pricing recommendations for multiple segments and room types based on real-time data from guest profiles and current market trends.
For example, if Guest A has a value of $1,000+ per night, that player is put into Segment 1, and they get a comped room for being a high-value guest. If Guest B only has a value of $50 per night, they are placed in a different segment level that is served with a nightly room rate instead of a comp. By running that guest value through an RMS that can also consider real-time demand trends, you can determine the true value of every guest and create the right pricing for each room type and segment on a daily basis.
This is how to price strategically for every segment and each room type, every day.
With the right intelligent rate management tools, your CRS can distribute rates and inventory across multiple channels, offering guests a seamless booking experience on mobile, desktop, or through your call center. It’s also important to ensure your CRS has robust multi-property features that scale as needed if you plan on expanding over time.
Flexible APIs and integrations are crucial for gaming, especially when it comes to integrating with your loyalty system. This integration allows a player to log into your system during booking and have the platform instantly know what their segment is, any prize IDs associated with this guest, and deliver specific comps or specials in real time.
With all these new capabilities, it’s easy to think that once everything is up and running, you can go into autopilot. Unfortunately, the right tech stack isn’t ‘set it and forget it’, rather, it’s a ‘set it and refine it over time’ investment that should continue to be optimized for new opportunities. From digital marketing purposes like abandoned cart and retargeting campaigns to allowing guests to create their own custom packages and add-ons, the goal is to utilize technology to deliver a compelling experience through every stage of the guest journey from the discovery phase and booking to on-property experiences and post-stay communications that promote future visits.
At the end of the day, the biggest winners in the casino resort market are the ones that can reduce customer effort while delivering the best possible experience both digitally and in person. With a modern, integrated tech stack and a creative team ready to put in the work, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.