As the Las Vegas version of the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the casinos get going.” And now’s the time to get going if we want to revive our tourism economy. It’s time for the tourism industry to get creative and come up with ideas to help what ails the Strip and Downtown.
While it’s clear that showrooms and buffets are out for now, and table games and slots are being adapted for social distancing, it makes sense to be proactive and come up with new casino games and promotions that can prosper in the current environment.
Here are suggestions for the gaming industry to help kick-start a new Las Vegas. First, games:
Just check into your hotel room and fire up the Zoom on the laptop or hotel TV. Deposit a bet in that box by the bed that used to power the built-in massager. Relax in your room and never worry again about rubbing shoulders with strangers or inhaling secondhand smoke.
Just point a laser at the screen button on the machine, watch the “wheels” turn and you could win a jackpot, which will then be sent to your phone. Then, if it’s a big jackpot (like Megabucks), you can take a picture with the casino rep and instead of holding up the big phony check, you just hold up your phone.
The Sports Book:
Casinos, taking a page from the Dodgers, will allow you to send in a picture of yourself, which they will attach to a cutout and put on a sports book seat. See, you’re sort of there. Ditto for the race book guys. Place the bets remotely.
The Big Six Wheel:
Feel important, since given the six feet rule of social distancing, there’ll only be room for one player.
Now for some great new promotional ideas:
Since most lounges are closed, casinos could record their players’ favorite entertainers and project them on the screens of slot and video poker machines. Players may still lose, but at least their favorite performers are entertaining them.
Players Clubs could offer unique and contemporary promotional items for their customers, including masks with a slot for cigarettes; club cards with a self-sanitizing surface; gloves for those times you have to shake hands with your casino host after winning a jackpot; free Covid test; and one free “get-out-of-being-86’d” card from the casino if you’re caught without a mask.
Some other ideas to consider: How about a virtual meet-and-greet with performers who are featured in the hotel, but aren’t allowed to perform?
How about a discount if you order a meal in the casino restaurant and take it to your room?
These are some ideas that casinos should be thinking about while Las Vegas works its way through the coronavirus. Some may be tough to execute, but it’s tougher to do nothing at all. If the resorts don’t like these ideas, it’s time they turn on the bulbs over their heads. Or, in a nod to the past, turn on the neon.