Global Market Advisors’ subsidiary, Gaming Market Advisors, has been one of the premier consulting firms to the gaming industry since 2005. GMA’s clients include nearly all of the North America’s public gaming companies, state and tribal governments, and some of the world’s largest investment banks. Known for its in-depth knowledge of all gaming markets, analysis, marketing and operational knowledge of casinos and casino resorts, and contacts throughout the industry, there is no better firm to assist with a gaming venture than Global Market Advisors and its wholly-owned division, Gaming Market Advisors.
Members of GMA have worked in and made projections for nearly every market in the United States, Canada, Asia, Russia, and the Caribbean as well as in other overseas markets in Europe, Mexico and Central America. GMA’s studies are frequently used in bank financing, RFP submissions, and public forums such as gaming commission hearings. In evaluating a market, GMA first looks at historical market performance and past property performance (if available). GMA then compares that with proprietary and public data from similar markets. Next, GMA conducts an in-depth analysis of both existing and potential competition, giving it a detailed understanding of the competitive pressures in the market. Finally, GMA applies proven methodologies to forecast revenues and expenses.
In addition to gaming, GMA’s proprietary models allow it to accurately project the performance of non-gaming amenities including hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, bowling centers, golf courses, entertainment venues, retail operations and nearly any component associated with a gaming development.
Marketing and advertising often comprise the second greatest expense in a gaming enterprise and yet many properties operate without an annual marketing plan. Without a marketing plan the marketing team is forced to focus the casino’s marketing efforts by reacting to the competition. GMA believes in proactive marketing, allowing the gaming operator to define the marketing playing field. Developing a casino marketing plan is a comprehensive process that requires both experience and time.
In order to properly develop a marketing plan one must have a detailed understanding of the market and the capabilities of the property. In addition to bringing fresh insights into the market, GMA works with the marketing director, general manager and the marketing team in a collaborative manner, delineating achievable objectives, the strategies needed to realize them and tactical plans that carry out those strategies. Finally, GMA builds in measurement tools and a marketing budget that operates within the limits of the property’s business plan.
The Marketing Audit
Traditional audits of casino marketing departments, performed by accounting firms, tend to focus on internal controls, cash handling procedures and how marketing expenditures are accounted for. Rarely are they performed by casino marketing professionals with experience in gaming operations. They often do not question why certain promotions are conducted, only how they are conducted. They also do not address how Marketing allocates its expenditures across advertising, promotions, direct mail, comps and other programs. Most importantly, traditional audits do not examine a casino’s player reinvestment rate.
The marketing audits performed by GMA look at four broad areas: the alignment of marketing strategies and tactics, the marketing process, marketing measurement and the human element. The marketing audit qualitatively addresses strengths and weaknesses in current marketing strategies, quantitatively looks at the performance of marketing expenditures against revenue and EBITDA, and evaluates player reinvestment against revenue and EBITDA. The sum of these allows for an accurate evaluation of a casino’s marketing efforts and a roadmap to make marketing more effective.
Player Reward Programs
A well-designed player rewards program is essential to any casino’s success. Like most hospitality enterprises, customers frequent those businesses that recognize their loyalty and give them reasons to return. GMA has developed dozens of reward programs for casinos and resorts across the world. GMA designs programs that match the capabilities of the property, and incorporates both aspirational and attainable elements that meet the needs of the market and the needs of the business. In designing reward programs GMA determines the appropriate level of player reinvestment for each tier so that players are not over-compensated for their loyalty yet find it compelling to return.
As the hospitality and casino gaming industries continue to mature and new markets become scarcer, many of today’s opportunities lie in the acquisition or refinancing of existing operations. When setting out on either of these ventures, a responsible investor will need to consider four important elements:
- Physical condition of the subject property
- Financial condition
- Future potential
- Strength of the management team and staff
Global Market Advisors has the operational experience to provide an independent evaluation of the property, whether it is a hotel, casino or integrated resort.
Operational Reviews and Audits provide an unbiased, independent evaluation of the casino’s operations. By hiring an independent third party to complete an Operational Review, the client will enjoy a fresh perspective on an operation’s efficiency, marketing programs, and internal strengths and weaknesses. GMA views Operational Reviews as a three step process:
- Review of historical financial statements,
- Conduct an in depth site visit to meet personnel and get to know the property
- Shop the property.
Since members of GMA have operated numerous casinos and resorts throughout the United States and have completed Operational Reviews from both an internal and external perspective, our associates have the knowledge to effectively critique and provide guidance to improve service levels, enhance morale and improve bottom line performance.
Economic Impact Studies
An Economic Impact Study (EIS) is an independent research report that quantifies the economic benefits that a proposed casino project will have on the surrounding community. This analysis quantifies the number of jobs that will be created, wages paid, taxes generated and total output of a project on the region. The analysis measures the direct impact, indirect impact and induced impact. GMA further examines these impacts during two distinct phases: the construction phase, which is a one-time stimulus on the region’s economy; and the operational phase, which provides ongoing stimuli to the region’s economy on an annual basis.
Conducting the Economic Impact Study early in the development process, when the project is first revealed to the public, allows the development team to mitigate the concerns that will invariably arise from various constituents in the community. By being proactive, the development team can quickly dispel the myths associated with the casino development, address the concerns of the community and develop a project that is in harmony with its social and physical environment.
Internet & Social Gaming
GMA has assisted clients with Internet and Social Gaming globally. GMA understands the emerging industry and is able to position clients properly to grow and become profitable. This industry will not only continue to grow in Asia and other parts of the world, but will likely become increasingly important in the United States. Given GMA’s experience with this industry, combined with our extensive knowledge of North American gaming, GMA is in a unique position to advise clients throughout the world on how to capitalize on this growing market segment.