In many ways, the previous 18-month period had one distinguishing characteristic for most major casino venues – the drop in VIP gaming. This was particularly felt in the casinos that cater to the Chinese section of the same market. For them, no matter if they are in Asia, Australia, or even parts of Europe and the Western US, there was a clear shift in consumer behavior.
In Macau and Singapore, the same shift led to a hub-wide drop in profits. The Chinese gambling enclave took a hard hit after the same development. Now, many casino operators are trying to do two things, choosing either both or one of them.
These include getting the VIP customers back and (or) trying to pivot their business to the broader markets. The second alternative is especially popular and it showcases trying to attract middle class and family guests. In this market segment, the casino and gambling offer is on the table, but it merges with the general tourist and entertainment experience. But, there are still plenty of those who want to see the Chinese high rollers back in their casinos.
Attracting Big Money
The problem of reaching the VIP market in this demographic is not only tied to the crisis that the Chinese economy is facing. Instead, there is also an element on the side of operators that is causing some problems in attracting those players. In many ways, the casino industry still sees the VIP customers and high rollers in rigid generational terms.
This is the focus group that Macau junket operators pursue with their lines of credit and other benefits. This is essentially providing the traditional whale approach with big finance and money-flow perks. However, this still goes after a certain type of high roller. They might still be most numerous, but they are not the only ones. Here, the casino operators forget that the Chinese economic boom took place almost 30 years ago. Since then, several generations have grown up in China.
Many of the same individuals moved away from the well-known place of gambling in Chinese culture. They also merged it with numerous Western influences. For them, the appeal of a casino is likely much more fused with general travel and leisure patterns they harbor in their lives.
Here, a VIP version of the broader appeal is likely necessary. This would equate to the efforts of casino operators like Melco in reaching the mid-tier market, but only here, it would be targeting the young high rollers. Without this, casinos basically can only hope they will be able to getting back old customers. The slot market shows what happens when operators rely on a single demographic.
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