Some good news coming out of the Bay - Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is conducting a Golden Goals promotion where more than 5,000,000 of prizes and cash will be given away from 27 April - 9 July 2010. Though many other brands are riding on the FIFA World Cup for their promotions, the Golden Goals promotions represents one of the largest prize give-outs by any particular brand. How important and effective are such marketing tactics in Customer acquisition and loyalty?
Singapore has one of the strictest rules on the planet for casino promotions (arrived at as the compromise after much national debate about moral decline). It is also unique in having its citizens pay a levy of SGD 100 per entry to play (or an annual levy of SGD 2000). In spite of this, more than SGD 70 million has been collected by both casinos as of May 2010, since their opening. It appears that despite such a financial and psychological deterrent, Singaporeans are still turning up in droves to ‘invest’ time and money for intended returns. At the same time, visitor arrivals to Singapore have increased, with at least a trickle down effect to the IRs, even as a large number have come specifically to visit the Integrated Resorts.
Subtly, subtly, the way to be
Whilst the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) has defined strict rules of conduct for casino promotions, it appears that marketing to and attracting audiences based on other key value propositions such as Musical entertainment (The Lion King by Disney in MBS, and Voyage de la vie in RWS), and other non-gambling based forms of entertainment remains a key strategy.
This may be stating the obvious but whilst any marketing that expressly promote gambling is taboo, a highly cautious ‘wait-and-see’ attitude prevails. It takes a detailed understanding of the CRA’s Regulations and Guidelines on casino promotions to help draw audiences without incurring any undue attention from the authorities.
As always, good ol’ word of mouth remains important, especially for high rollers (‘Hey, the service and atmosphere is so much better at… ‘). Whilst that’s usually completely under the radar, such WOM can cause a bigger blip if they go online to become viral. Ultimately, going online may be the best means of getting engaging more customers for the casinos.
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