I think we all know that smoking, drinking and gambling tend to go hand in hand with casinos; even if anti-smokers, teetotalers, and anti-gaming zealots would disagree.
Then there are a number of other offerings that have thrived in casinos, like the true pig-out buffet, video poker bars, Krispy Kreme Doughnut franchises, free pulls on Megabucks, and entertainment lounges and showrooms.
However, there is another category-things that have been successful elsewhere that, I believe, would work well in a casino environment. I call this category Casino Offers in Waiting, although I suppose some of these ideas may have already been tried in casinos and no one has told me about it yet.
So without further ado, here is my latest Casino Offers in Waiting list of old and new offbeat attractions/revenue sources for casinos:
• Strip Clubs-Ladies, don’t get mad at me about this one (I didn’t say the dancers couldn’t include men). And I’m not implying this is meant for every casino. I’m just sayin’…
• Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise-Fun place, chicken wings are popular, and I think these restaurant-goers would have a propensity to gamble. And it would be a great venue to watch sporting events.
• Street Corner Tacos for a Buck Apiece-Serve ‘em on the casino floor, put a kiosk in the fast food court, or drive business to an out of the way bar. Just make sure they are authentic and inexpensive. They will get eaten in prodigious quantities.
• Massage Chairs-Hey, they get used in airports, don’t they? Plus, it might make for a time-extending stay in a VIP slot room.
• Offbeat Impersonators-I think we know that “tribute shows” for Elvis, Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson will draw crowds. But what about the new or the offbeat? Is there a Lady Gaga tribute? Or a Stephen Colbert imitator? I know there is a pretty damn good Obama look-alike working casinos.
• Sales of Used Dice and Cards from Table Games-Why wouldn’t you?
• A Gift Wrap Service During The Holidays-Charge for it or use it promotionally. And your gift shop would be a good location for it.
• Sales of Paintings, Portraits and Sculptures from Local Artists-Of course, it goes without saying that these items should be displayed tastefully throughout the casino property.
• Fortune Teller Sessions-These can be four-walled agreements for unutilized space in some dark corner of the casino.
• Weddings in Closed Table Game Areas-Some of these pits are only open during evenings or weekends. Get a wedding stage set, a minister, some cake and champagne and start booking appointments!
• Oxygen Bars-These would work well as standalones (especially near a casino nightclub), or as part of the experience at a blackjack table or one of those banks of “community” slot machines, where players share in certain slot bonuses.
• Photo Areas-I’m thinking of those “old time photo” places, where subjects dress up in 1800’s costumes. But maybe in this case, photos can be taken in dealer, security officer, cocktail server, and a variety of other casino-specific uniforms.
• Back of the House Tours-Regulatory agencies might get worked up about these, but tours of count rooms, surveillance areas, back of house food prep areas (“look how we serve 5,000 buffet meals a day!”), and other fascinating casino areas hold great interest for guests.
• Good Luck Charm Sales-Who wouldn’t want to have a four-leaf clover, rabbit’s foot, miniature horseshoe lapel pin, or other such luck symbol before going into battle with the gods of chance?
• Calendar Sales-These can be made of photos of casino property landmarks, department employees, tribal history icons, even best customers. A charity angle would probably work well here.
• Caps, T-Shirts, Mugs, Bumper Stickers with the Casino’s Logo-Feel free to augment this stuff with any other cool logoed items that players “just gotta have.” Not only will you make these customers happy, you also get free promotion for your casino every time they wear or use them.
Casinos are interesting environments. If you think of them as just tables and slot machines, you may miss some excellent opportunities to drive additional revenue with promotional-style products and services. Be observant and willing to experiment with fun ideas or concepts you think will work in your environment.
I’ll leave you with one more idea-how about offering low-priced casino scents? You could call it Scents for Cents.
In my mind, that would make a lot of sense.