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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Marketing books aim for attracting new customers

14 January 2010

You can own or operate the grandest, most expensive casino in the world, but flash doesn't always translate into cash. You need to get people in, keep them in, and keep them returning. There's an art to attracting regular, content, loyal customers, no matter what part of this country or any other country, and often, management misses the target. Sadly, sometimes casinos learn the hard way, after wasting millions haphazardly and being forced to change either architectural design or their approach to beckoning the hesitant player.

Fortunately, there are enlightened, experienced management and published books to guide the novice as well as the old pro to intelligent decision-making.

Here are several titles to shed light on the "secrets" or formulas that have worked in the past and are worth exploring with refinements in the future:

Kathryn Hashimoto's Casino Marketing: Theories and Applications (150 pages, paperbound, $61.80), published in 2009, is the freshest of all titles, with 11 chapters covering strategic planning; why people gamble; using player demographics; internal service quality (employee satisfaction, retention) and customer loyalty; revenue management, including identifying profitable guests; sales promotions; public relations and advertising. Well-indexed and packed with helpful references, this book is good enough that it could be used to teach a university course on the subject. It's a must-read for anyone planning a career in the gaming industry.

Michael McNamee's Understanding Casino Marketing (269 pages, plastic spiralbound, $39.95) was written and compiled by a casino veteran with two decades of experience, including stints at Caesars World, Park Place and Trump Hotels. A dozen chapters discuss branding; market research; creative elements of advertising; public relations, direct marketing, players clubs and promotions; player development. The author applies examples, asks questions and supplies answers and creates problem-solving scenarios. Overall McNamee creates a thoughtful atmosphere to guide newcomer and established veteran alike to new ideas to help a casino create or improve its image and bottom line.

Nick Gullo's Casino Marketing (155 pages, hardbound, $25) was published in 2002 and focuses on marketing, hotel sales, junkets, special promotions, invited guests, bus programs, establishing a casino marketing department and slot marketing, among other areas. There are some extremely helpful examples of reports, forms and record-keeping tables and charts, along with a formula to analyze players and comps.
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com