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Betting on the Future- Digital Transformation Trends Shaping the Future of Gaming
Just like any other business, casinos and gaming industries have been increasingly impacted by digital transformations. Gone are the days of traditional casino experiences; today, jackpots have found a new home – right in your pockets – with the rise of digital casinos.
Read on as we dive into the future of entertainment and explore the electrifying world of digital casinos.
Growth and Adoption of Digital Casinos
The casino industry has experienced explosive growth over the last few decades. In 2022, the global casino industry was valued at $287.02 million and, while the online gambling sector is following closely behind the traditional brick-and-mortar casino space, with an industry report projecting the online gaming market will reach USD 477.9M by 2031 at a CAGR of 5.9%. As tourism demand returns to pre-pandemic levels, casinos are on the lookout for innovative strategies to maintain their competitive edge.
Innovation is the lifeblood of the gambling industry, enabling casinos to deliver more engaging, immersive, and personalized gaming experiences to their patrons. Digital transformation and technological advancements have been pivotal in driving this innovation, empowering casinos to offer gaming experiences that were once inconceivable.
Technological Advancements and the Gambling Industry
The landscape of the gambling industry is rapidly evolving, driven by recent changes in legislation and the influx of tech-savvy players. With over 33 American states legalizing sports betting and relaxed regulations for games of chance, the market has seen a surge in new entrants focused on the digital realm. This shift has intensified competition, compelling established players to adapt and innovate.
Amidst these changes, many traditional casinos need help to retain customer loyalty and capitalize on industry opportunities. Adapting to evolving customer behavior is crucial, particularly with millennials emerging as a dominant economic force. Casinos must undergo a significant transformation to cater to the digitally savvy consumer.
From integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and customer loyalty programs to utilizing cloud technology and data analytics, casinos are embracing a wide array of cutting-edge technologies to deliver personalized and engaging gaming experiences.
The overarching objective for casinos in the industry is to gain a competitive edge, elevate customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and usher in a revolutionary era of revenue generation. This collective commitment to digital transformation underscores their determination to succeed in the evolving landscape of the gambling sector.
A compelling example of this digital transformation is Caesars Entertainment's success story. It demonstrates the power of big data and AI in crafting customized loyalty programs and offering virtual concierge services. Explore the details of Caesars Entertainment's remarkable digital journey in the following sections.
Digital Transformation in Action– A Casino Case Study
Caesars Entertainment traces its history through two famous properties: Harrah’s Bingo Club and Caesar’s Palace. Both were combined in 2005 and adopted the household name Caesars in 2010. Leveraging big data, AI, and ML, Caesar’s has become a technology leader and digital-first company.
Early in Caesars’ digital journey, an integrated analytical approach was implemented across the organization. Data was used to analyze customers’ behavior through econometric models. By analyzing customers’ behaviors and preferences, Caesars created customized reward programs. The company developed a sophisticated loyalty program called Caesars Rewards, which has garnered incredibly high customer ratings. Additionally, Caesars pursued its digital expansion by investing in cutting-edge technologies such as IoT, AR, and VR to design digital services that would make guests’ lives easier and build customer loyalty. The company invented Ivy, a 24-hour virtual concierge program that’s powered by artificial intelligence and enhances Caesars’ hospitality experience by providing fast responses to guests’ questions through text messages. The same level of personalization has been made possible through custom smartwatch applications that alert casino hosts when guests arrive at their property locations and allow team members to provide guests with personalized recommendations. Giving guests more control over their hospitality experience has powered significant growth across the company.
Additionally, Caesars implemented a strategy of continuous technology and service delivery. To achieve this, the organization developed a cloud-first technology stack. They started by replacing legacy systems with cloud platforms for general ledger and accounts payable functions. They also replaced disparate systems for human capital management with a common cloud platform that allows employees to engage with Caesars, whether in Las Vegas or one of their 50 locations worldwide. With a globally available common platform supported by a secure, resilient infrastructure with high availability, Caesars expanded its business rapidly.
To ensure a seamless digital transition, Caesars implemented a change management strategy across its organization to gain buy-in. They built a senior IT leadership team with communication skills to create a compelling strategy vision and help employees adapt to their new software systems. Proper training was an important part of the digital transformation rollout, as some employees were reluctant to develop a more positive disposition towards the company’s new master data management system. The change management strategy was incredibly beneficial, as it provided a crisp statement of the company’s digital vision and strategy and enabled employees to understand the new software system comprehensively.
Latest Trends - Staying Ahead of your Game
The future of casinos is digital. The gaming industry is shifting to the online world, and businesses must adapt to survive the competition. Casinos should ensure the right content reaches their target audience in real time to maximize visibility, customer engagement, growth, and revenue. From investments and technology implementation to changing customer expectations – digitization is making its mark on the industry. The future of digital transformation in casinos will focus on modernizing guest experiences and rolling out innovative solutions, such as online gaming platforms, VR/AR experience loyalty programs, and gamification. This comprehensive section will cover digital transformation trends across the gambling sector.
AI prevails in the casino industry. It helps improve the customer experience – for example, it can solve queries, recommend games, provide guidance, and even assist with promoting new events. AI can also play a critical role in detecting and tracking fraud by spotting players who are behaving suspiciously and encouraging responsible gambling.
Sports betting was legalized in the US in 2018, and investors are predicting the fast-growing industry could be a $7 billion to $8 billion business by 2025. Traditionally, sports bettors have relied on a mix of statistical analysis, intuition, and luck to make their picks. However, the introduction of AI in sports betting has changed the game. This innovative technology allows sports betters to analyze data, such as player statistics, past results, and team histories to make more accurate predictions, giving them an edge over their competitors.
Now more than ever, customers want an easy and convenient user experience with a straightforward interface. With online gambling exploding in popularity, online gambling platforms are flourishing, and companies are going to great lengths to provide diverse games and rewards for their customers. Mirroring a brick-and-mortar casino, players can play in gaming rooms, against friends, or attend private games. Many larger-scale casinos like MGM Resorts offer Free to Play (F2P), with a wide assortment of slot and table games. Incentives such as rewards and bonuses are also provided to maintain customers’ interest.
Digital Payment Enhancements
Casinos are always looking for ways to enhance the customer experience. One of the areas they’re continually improving is faster and more secure payment methods, which is why many casinos have started offering higher-digital payment models with technologies that enable enrollment, funding, recording, and the closing of transactions without the traditional tokens, chips, and cash counters. Casinos are also reshaping the gaming landscape by utilizing virtual currency for in-house prizes, enabling more rewarding experiences for guests. Facial recognition technology is also rapidly growing within this sector to secure all transactions between the player’s device and the casino’s servers.
With data analytics, casinos can better understand customers’ preferences, behaviors, purchase histories, gaming tendencies, and loyalty program participation. Additionally, with the compilation of predictive analytics, casinos can derive winning strategies to increase player acquisition, engagement, and retention. For example, MLCV’s grand casinos leveraged data analytics to streamline its player and guest experiences on the portal. Initially, the organization was struggling to provide personalized experiences to end users due to complex data silos. As part of their growth strategy, they underwent a complete digital transformation to unify data across different touchpoints to serve diverse needs of its customers.
Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies that use blockchain technology. Blockchain allows for better control of additional currency and helps to identify who a single unit of currency belongs to. For casino operators, cryptocurrency payments offer much less risk because once payments are made, they cannot be undone. Credit cards, however, allow owners to trigger a chargeback if they feel there was a problem or mistake with the transaction. Blockchain also has fraud prevention built into it from the ground up, making cryptocurrencies a much more secure payment option.
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
Some casinos have started offering VR and AR experiences, immersing customers into new digital worlds entirely. For instance, VR can be utilized to create virtual online casinos where users can participate in tournaments or partake in gameplay by assuming their avatar while wearing a headset tailored explicitly for the gaming environment.
Augmented reality has also been introduced in online casino environments to bridge the digital world with the physical world. Live dealer games can also be played by using smartphones or tablets. Through AR features, players can interact with elements of the real environment. As adoption of VR and AR continues, casinos will continue to identify the critical benefits of implementing these immersive technologies.
To Wrap Up
Nowadays, online casinos are partnering with traditional casinos to offer cross-platform gaming experiences, where players can enjoy online and offline gaming in one place. These collaborations allow traditional casinos to attract a Gen Z audience and expand their customer base as the online market continues to increase and cutting-edge technologies evolve.
If you’re also ready to take the next step in improving your gaming experience, start conversation with Icreon's digital transformation experts.