Betting Big on Music


(from Billboard Magazine, September 8, 2012)  After hitting an all-time low in revenue, casinos have started focusing their strategy on something else–entertainment.   Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that the total income in the country’s casino capital, Las Vegas, has dropped more than 10% from that in the ’90s.  An increase in the entertainment industry has casino resorts relying on DJs and artists to bring in more revenue.

People’s attraction to casinos is no longer based solely on slot machines and card playing, but rather for the concerts and DJ shows.   Revel, located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has built its foundation on this idea.  When the resort planned its purpose, they placed their chips on entertainment, focusing mainly on nightlife and concerts.  On the opening weekend, Beyoncé performed four shows.  Kayne West and DJ superstar, Avicii, have performed there as well.  All performers have  brought huge crowds to the resort.

The concert bookings themselves aren’t a scheme, they are more of “short-term marketing play, a launch,” states Concerts West/AFG Live President/co-CEO Jon Meglen.  Meglan says that businesses are willing to pay a high price if that means that the great talent will be there for them when they open and help set the brand identity for the place.  By drawing in artists,  it helps promote the business and establishes a good reputation.  It also provides the entertainer to up their profile and bring in more revenue.

Not only is Revel using entertainment as another option, but many other casinos in Las Vegas are doing the same.  Lisa Marchese, Cosmopolitan Chief Marketing Officer says,  “Entertainment is always a core part of the strategy.”  Booking the right artist can make a big impact on your place.  As the casinos are starting to adapt to the entertainment sector, they are still focusing to improve on the game activity and trying to increase the revenue to where it should be for gambling.