Who wouldn’t find a glimpse into the future valuable?

I know I always do, which is why I’m on the lookout for the “what to expect over the next year” articles which wend their way to me about now, when the weather starts to cool and thoughts of planning for the next 12 months come to mind. This year’s crop of submissions should be very interesting, considering the challenges COVID-19 offers any prognosticator.

As has been the case since 2005, Spectrun Gaming Group rose to this occasion and recently released its “Top Trends to Watch for 2021” report. What follows are some excerpts from that report that I found particularly insightful and interesting:

  • The world’s largest gaming destinations will continue to feel the effects of COVID-19 throughout the coming year. Travel-related impediments—combined with a possibly lengthy recession brought on by small business closures throughout the U.S.—will slow the economic recovery in Las Vegas.

    No doubt, things look particularly bleak for Las Vegas until the travel, hospitality and convention industries are revived, which may take a COVID-19 vaccine. The same goes for any gaming region with a heavy MICE trade, such as Macau and Singapore.
     
  • Retail gaming operators that have revised their business models during the COVID-19 pandemic have learned that they can generate significant revenue with lower labor costs by focusing more of their marketing efforts on more valuable consumers, which makes it less likely that those operators will revert to pre-pandemic staffing levels in a post-pandemic world.

    Indeed, this will likely be the case at many regional casinos that have surprisingly prospered during COVID. That said, it will be interesting to see if resorts that emphasize service as a market differentiator will keep staffing levels low when the situation returns to normal and competition stiffens.
     
  • The pandemic will advance efforts to authorize and encourage new forms of cashless wagering at retail casinos. Cashless wagering has become a priority for operators, particularly in the U.S. 

    Actually, the industry was heading this way before coronavirus hit. But no doubt the pandemic tossed a substantial amount of proverbial gasoline on this fire.

For Spectrum’s full list of predictions, visit www.spectrumgaming.com.