A Unique Marketing Strategy

By now everyone in the least interested in the gaming industry knows the bloom is off the rose in Atlantic City. For most of its thirty plus years as a gambling destination, Atlantic City was second only to Las Vegas, second in revenue, second in popularity and second in prestige; never first, but way ahead of everyone else and a solid second place in the gaming world.  However, the last few years have  been hard on AC as gaming has spread into its traditional feeder markets.  The worse blow to its revenues and its prestige came when Pennsylvania legalized slot machine casinos; Pennsylvania had been home to some 60 percent of Atlantic City’s customers, needless to say, as slot revenues in Pennsylvania have increased they have decreased in Atlantic City.

Now AC has almost become what it was before gaming was legalized, a tired, aging resort that has lost its customers, its glamor and image as world-class resort and each year slips closer to oblivion.  Atlantic City’s casinos will probably not disappear completely, but some will certainly close; four properties are in bankruptcy and the last year has seen all of the projects that had been planned leave town, only one Revel, is under construction, but construction has stopped on Revel while the developer seeks another billion dollars to finish the project.

To add insult to injury a legislative committee  is giving serious thought to allowing a racetrack to install 5,000 slot machines, [Press of Atlantic City] putting another barrier between the casinos in Atlantic City and its customers.  With all of the assaults on their revenue stream it is no surprise that the casinos in Atlantic City are desperate for ideas, events and attractions that will stimulate gaming revenues.

The Atlantic City Hilton has an entertainment idea that is truly unique, at least it is the first time I have ever hear of it and I have heard of many, many special events; car shows, naked dancers, Broadway shows, slot, keno, sports and blackjack tournaments, rib and chili cook-offs, street fairs and even tic-tac-toe playing chickens, but never ex-presidents on tour.  The Hilton is featuring Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney and following them up with Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck. [Press of Atlantic City]  I’ll bet Steve Wynn wishes he had thought of ex-presidents instead of Frank Sinatra when he was running the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City; but those were the good days and he didn’t have to bring in the heavy hitters, so maybe Frank was good enough; he did after all have a loyal following of high-rollers willing to go to AC for a private party with Sinatra at the Golden Nugget.  Can you imagine all of the high-rollers that will follow Bill Clinton around as he tours the top casinos in the world?

2 Responses to “A Unique Marketing Strategy”

  1. 1 Shu April 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Hi, Ken. Very interesting perspective on the gaming industry as always. It’s not too much to say many, if not all, got the same contents but got very different ideas of selling their contents. Some do unique promotional campaigns while others build eye-catching structures. One thing they always share is that they all try to get as much share of the market as possible. Or, they cannot survive and have to close their doors.

  2. 2 Ken Adams April 28, 2010 at 11:53 am

    You are right, they do need as much of the market as they can get to survive; however over the years the industry has learned the type of event that works for casinos and types the generally do not work for them. So, for example, the casinos in Reno support large conventions, as most conventioneers also gamble while in town, the bowling conventions are particularly good for casinos, but religious conventions are not; they take up the hotel rooms, but do not gamble. There are other examples, but that was my point, Bill Clinton and Bill O’Reilly may even draw big crowds, but the are not likely gamblers; people like Frank Sinatra are the exact opposite, their followers are gamblers and spend many times as much as other people.

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