ICE365_EUROPEAN-LANDBASED-REPORT_JULY2021 - Page 6

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Part 1 : Ron Goudsmit on the state of play for casinos today Building an omnichannel future for European casinos

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to play table games will only return
step by step , as restrictions slowly
disappear . Once that is the case ,
and people are allowed to be closer
together , then you ’ ll see the table
games coming back .”
Whether this leads to more
innovation around products , he ’ s
not sure . There may be a degree of
experimentation among players , trying
the physical versions of games they
played online , and sports betting could
gain a bigger presence at a time when
the US market is booming .
“ Whether the actual product is
drastically going to change , it ’ s hard to
tell ,” he adds . “ People are looking at
new games all the time , and with slots ,
you get some great new titles . With
table games , you don ’ t see that much in
the way of new products .”
It ’ s in ancillary services that
Goudsmit sees the biggest scope
for change , namely through cashless
technology , something he says “ was
coming anyway ”.
“ Having gone through the Covid
experience people don ’ t want to
touch things , so that accelerated
it . You ’ ll see that more and more in
casinos but also elsewhere .” It ’ s for
this reason that Goudsmit is watching
Resorts World Vegas , the property that
opened on the Strip on 24 June , with
interest . It ’ s announced that it will go
entirely cashless .
Though it may prove a pioneer with
a cashless casino experience , it appears
that Resorts World Vegas may be an
“ What will probably happen is that some customers will come back wanting to play online also , and that is why it ’ s important to have a [ digital ] presence . They learned about online , played it , and now , while they want to come back to you , if you don ’ t have an igaming offering , you can ’ t stay in touch with your customers ”
RON GOUDSMIT
outlier . Companies are unlikely to make
the sort of billion-dollar investments
seen in pre-pandemic days , without at
least some sort of reassurance that there
will be returns .
“ I think you ’ ll see new investments ,
though probably not of the sums
they ’ re talking about in Japan – and
even there they ’ re trying to reduce
budgets ,” Goudsmit says . “ There will
definitely be new projects in Europe ,
also Eastern Europe , and in Asia , but
not for the huge amounts people talked
about previously .”
NEW AUDIENCE , NEW CHANNELS
Instead , that investment may increasingly
be split between the physical property
and its digital counterpart .
“ The whole convergence between the different channels will only increase ,” Goudsmit says . “ The Americans – even at Sands , which of course was impossible in the Adelson days – are a bit more focused on sports betting online , with online casino secondary .
“ Here in Europe , I think the casinos will look more and more at online . Companies are looking to spend their money wisely in order to get the best revenue and find the right balance between investing in the property and to have an igaming presence .
“ I think the combination of the two will only enhance a casino ’ s business and help with customer retention .”
After all , following a year in which online has been the only way for the vast majority of European players to gamble , it ’ s hard for the brick-andmortar sector to ignore online gaming in 2021 .
“ What we have seen , of course , is that more people have gone online because everything was closed , so people have got used to it ,” he explains . “ It ’ s difficult to say at this stage whether it will actually change the demographics of those visiting the casinos .
“ But undeniably , people have been playing online . What will probably happen is that some customers will come back wanting to play online also , and that is why it ’ s important to have a [ digital ] presence .

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Building an omnichannel future for European casinos