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Improving Casino Success Odds with Self-service Analytics

The gambling industry thrives on playing the odds. This holds true for players, resorts and casinos. In fact, just recently, Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn opened the long-anticipated Wynn Palace in Macau. This is despite the fact the industry itself is in a slowdown facing slumping revenues, increased costs and rising competition – not only from other casinos, but from online gaming ventures.

Time will tell how successful Wynn’s risk of opening a new business in a weak market is. For now, however, the gambling tycoon and others like him would be wise to continue placing their focus on big data to make strategic business decisions – particularly when it comes to improving the odds on their marketing efforts.

Big Data Decreases Risk, Increases Reward
As with any industry, the more that is known about current and prospective customers, the better your odds are at successfully getting them to buy into your marketing messages and increase spending. For casinos in particular, regular gathering of intelligence on customer preferences such as food, entertainment and gaming penchants not only enhances the gamer’s experience, it also brings in additional revenue for casino operators and guides future marketing dollar spend. Decision-making from how to lay out casino facilities to determining length-of-stay package offerings is all enhanced when all available data is used to provide insights to management.

Casinos are definitely in the black when it comes to the volume of data generated by the many systems used in gaming facilities. Things get dicey, however, when it comes to the processes in place to gather, prep and analyze that data. The casino that can handle the most information is likely to win the numbers game. Self-service data prep can make it easier to analyze all the data within casino operations – particularly through automated processes and improved auditing functionality.

Automated Processes
Casinos need to be able to turn disparate data, including structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, into dynamic reports for analysis and visualization. For facilities that need to manage racebook operations, having a platform in place allowing data automation is key. Many casinos for instance, receive daily reports indicating previous day activity from the Las Vegas Dissemination Company (LVDC), the industry leader for pari-mutuel wagering and race track simulcasting. This data is often used for detailed financial reconciliation. These LVDC reports – coming from proprietary software – are typically delivered in ASCII formats which prohibits easy analysis and reporting.

A self-service data prep solution solves this problem as it presents the daily, large ASCII files, and relevant data into easy-to-read spreadsheets. It also allows operators to send automated daily emails with targeted, specific data to finance, operations, and senior management teams. Comprehensive, meaningful reports could include player rating summary files and post player ratings to produce player rating reports and multiple racebook and accounting reports for income audit departments.

Improved Auditing Functionality
auditCasinos can also utilize a self-service data prep tool to facilitate comprehensive and trustworthy auditing. For instance, auditing departments within gaming facilities can consolidate and reconcile data from many different source systems – including core gaming systems, financial systems and HR applications – delivered in various file formats.

By obtaining the right data in an easy-to-understand format, they have a better view of overall operations and can zero in on specifics in order to identify trends and anomalies. In addition, auditors can easily mine reports from gaming, retail shops, restaurants and more for auditing and decision support vs. having to manually sort through countless individual records and depend on custom report programming.

Work Smarter, Play Harder
Today, casino operators are becoming more skilled and efficient when it comes to managing operations. Capitalizing on big data has allowed promoters to work smarter and optimize their revenues – gaming and non-gaming alike. In addition, they are better able to manage operations to adjust to changing market conditions. In a heavily competitive market with the odds stacked, that is not just a luxury, it’s a necessity.