This week’s Las Vegas Business Press column takes a closer look at the game of baccarat, which is becoming more and more important on the Strip:
At the level of the individual casino, there are even greater swings of fortune. Unlike Nevada, New Jersey discloses separate results for each of its casinos. This allows analysts an eye into what can happen in a given month.
You can read the original baccarat longitudinal microstudy here, if you want to see the numbers behind the column.
One question I sometimes get is what the value of all of these statistical studies are. The answer is that they add a very important dimension to understanding what’s happening around us, which gives us better insight into how to change it for the better. Becoming more reliant on baccarat–as its currently played in Nevada–has definite consequences for the industry and the state, some good, some bad. It’s important to talk about this as the trend is unfolding, rather than waiting until after it’sp already arrived. If everyone had been looking closer at the revenue jumps in 2005-2006, we’d probably had reacted much better in 2007 and 2008.
But numbers never tell the whole story, which is one of my issues with the “purely empirical” approach outlined by Gary Loveman in this Bloomberg profile. Gambling and tourism are hospitality industries, which start and end with customer interaction and creating an experience for the guest. Metrics are an important part of running the business, but they should support, not define, the approach. Whether you call it action, fun, or excitement, that’s what your “core message” should be.
In other words, it’s not “gamble at our casino, because we’ll offer you a competitive package of comps to get your $529 theoretical loss per trip.” It’s “come here and have fun.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this angle because I spent much of the week at the Star Trek convention at the Hilton, where I was able to really immerse myself in fandom and talk to the people running the show. I’ll be spinning Vegas Seven and Business Press pieces out of my observations, which will also relate back to the “empiricism vs customer-centered” argument.
There were really a ton of great stories there, from both the fans and the actors.