Casino's look toward future influenced by election

Nov 6, 2012 3:09 AM

The sounds of optimism were generally muted, but they came from all directions as top gaming company officials discussed recent results and looked toward a future that will be influenced by this week’s election results.

No one needs a repeat of the last four years, a grim time that had resort strategists treading carefully on thin ice in more ways than one. So most quarterly reports of the last week or so tempered signs of an economic turn-around with the need for continued caution because, hey, no one is taking anything for granted at this point.

Caesars CEO Gary Loveman spoke of the impact of new marketing strategies even as he referenced “challenging macro economic conditions.” He sounded like the business management professor he was in a previous life with his explanations of the big money being spent to “expand” the Caesars “distribution network.”

Possible translation: Caesars is adding bright and shiny new bells and whistles, so to speak, all of the effort aimed at whetting the appetites of prospective consumers for some serious spending.

Since the re-launch of the company’s successful Total Rewards marketing program this past spring, the percent of non-gaming revenue has nearly doubled as Caesars improves its ability to peer over the shoulders of customers at their spending patterns.

And what’s more, Loveman boasted, Caesars now has more than a quarter-million Twitter followers, giving a “speed of life” feel to the ability of marketers to reach potential customers with attractive reasons for ratcheting up their levels of discretionary spending.

Who even knew what Twitter was four or five years ago?

In the same vein, Caesars has added more than 41,000 new names to its Total Rewards program since the opening of the casino in Cleveland several months ago. Still ahead in Ohio: A Cincinnati casino in early 2013 that will create more than 1,700 new jobs…whoever the “job creator” in the White House may be at that time.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. He can be reached at [email protected].

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