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Tough Spending Environment a Challenge to Casinos | News

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Tough Spending Environment a Challenge to Casinos
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LAS VEGAS -- There are more visitors coming to Las Vegas, but a new report shows Americans are in no mood to spend money. The reports shows consumer confidence at 60.8 percent, far below where Las Vegas needs to be according to a local gaming expert.

Tourists are still gambling, but are not gambling as much. So local casinos have had to get creative to get people through their doors to play.

At the Tropicana, President and COO Tom McCartney says they have found a way to give gambling guests a little more confidence, thanks to their Trop Plus program.

"If you lose up to $200 in the first day, we rebate 50 percent of that to you in that first trip in free play or credits back on your machine, and when you return 30 days later, we give you the other 50 percent along with other incentives to play in the casino," he said.

McCartney says it's all about gaining new guests and loyalty, which is very much needed especially when consumer confidence is down.

"While you may have a smaller-wallet customer, you have more customers and that helps make up for the shortfall," he said.

They're not the only casino with this sort of aggressive marketing. Cosmopolitan is offering a similar deal to get tourists and locals through the door.

Gaming expert David G. Schwartz say gaming in Las Vegas will continue to struggle, but this kind of aggressive marketing will get local casinos through.

"Once they get them in there and get their name in their database, they need to figure out how to market to them and say, 'Keep coming back. We want you here and we will give you an offer that you want to come here for,'" he said.

Schwartz believes older casinos might struggle more than others.

"They're not newly renovated, charging the same room rates as newer places. So really the burden is on them and that is where we are seeing a lot of pressure on the market these days," he said.

It's one of the reasons why McCartney says Tropicana's recent transformation couldn't have come at a better time.

"Visitation has been up for the last 14 months, so we are positioned very well to provide visitor with a new experience," he said.

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