Raving Consulting released the results of its Indian Gaming Marketing survey. It is the first quantitative study designed to provide a comprehensive industry overview as well as cover specific areas affecting tribal casino marketers.


Fifty-three tribal casinos from across the US participated, including some of the largest properties to the smallest. Participants answered questions about reinvestment percentages to entertainment costs to director salaries, and a variety of other topics. This survey was designed to help tribal casinos determine how their marketing program and department compare with other casinos. Until now, there has been no industry-wide marketing data to use as reference points. It also offers an overview of the casino marketing tactics and challenges in Indian Country. 

The survey results were announced at Raving’s 19th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference, at Choctaw Casino Resort, Durant, OK on January 29. The report is available by request this year. 

Raving CEO Deana Scott says, “The research is perhaps the most comprehensive Indian Gaming Marketing Research project ever. It provides valuable nationwide information about the trends and challenges of marketing in Indian Gaming. We want to grow this survey into an increasingly important tool that provides measurement and comparison benchmarks to the industry.”

What do casino marketers and operators think? 
 “The information compiled from the results of the Indian Gaming Marketing Survey can only increase the strength of marketing programs in Indian Gaming and reinforce that the knowledge gained in this highly competitive arena has been working. From advertising to big data, I find that by using this type of research we can determine whether we are competitive in our markets, if we are improving or if we need to make changes. Thanks Raving, job well done!” shared Melanie Chase, assistant general manager, Indigo Sky Casino/Outpost Casino
 
Results snapshot:
•    All casinos offered a player’s club with 53% having tracked play of 54% or higher.  Twenty-six percent of respondents do not know what their club reinvestment ratio is for points earned by players. 

•    Why are tribal casinos operating – what’s the philosophy and how do casinos differ? About a quarter of casinos responded that they are in business primarily to fund tribal programs, another quarter are primarily interested in making a profit, only 7% are primarily in business to develop tribal business leaders, another 14% are primarily in business to provide jobs for the tribe, and a little over a quarter—29% are in business to achieve all these goals. In the “other” response, answers were geared to community contribution.

•    In regards to marketing and advertising, although properties will be increasing spend on social media, direct mail was still rated the most effective communication channel. Traditional advertising will see the largest decreases in planned spending. Only 7% of casino respondents ranked their advertising programs as “very successful.” 
 
The study was conducted by Raving Senior Research Partner, Deb Hilgeman, Ph.D. “The survey looked at a broad range of topics important to casino managers and marketers. The information will become a foundation for analyzing marketing operation trends in the coming years.”

Hilgeman added, “I think we have just crossed another mountain with this survey. Looking at the knowledge in this survey is a very specialized tool; it really pulls together what has been happening in tribal casino marketing since evolving in the early 90’s.”  Any revelations? Deb added, “I was surprised that now 81% of our respondents have a tiered club.”

Interested in receiving a copy of the report? This year the report is available at no charge to tribal gaming organizations on request. “We ask that any tribal casino that would like to take advantage of the information in the report register to participate this next year,” shared Scott. Email industrysurvey@ravingconsulting.com for more information. 

Raving is the most experienced full-service resource for the gaming & hospitality industry. Raving produces numerous educational conferences and publications including the aforementioned Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference. The company partners with casinos and gaming companies worldwide to strategically improve overall operations and profitability.