Les Ottolenghi, EVP and CIO, Caesars Entertainment
Las Vegas is changing. It is always changing. And always in new and exciting ways! Recognized as the epicenter of gaming, hospitality, entertainment and fun, the city continually transforms itself to deliver experiences that exceed the dreams of its guests and patrons. However, the speed of change is getting faster, the expectations of customers higher and the demands for experiences more digital. With 3.5 million diverse visitors each month, Las Vegas faces new challenges to remain a global leader.
To succeed in today’s market, the gaming companies of Las Vegas are re-imagining their technology foundations by transforming and modernizing their software and systems, adopting modern cloud platforms, creating mobile strategies and enabling smart casino floors through IoT and unlimited connectivity. These new business models are emerging and creating dramatically new, seamless guest experiences. This is the beginning of a digital transformation in the integrated resort business.
Transforming Guest Experience
Caesars Entertainment is leading a digital transformation in thehospitality and gaming industry to put the guest’s journey first. Ivy is a 24-hour virtual concierge program. Powered by artificial intelligence, the program enhances the Caesars hospitality experience by providing fast responses to guest questions through simple text messages.
In gaming, the same level of enhanced experience has been made possible through custom smart watch applications that alert casino hosts when loyal guests arrive at the casino.
Putting guests completely in control of their experiences, Caesars also offers mobile sports betting and launched a first-of-its-kind mobile sports betting experience, The Book, at The LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Enhancing the traditional sports book model, The Book enables guests to take full control of their gaming experiences with innovative, socially-driven technology, mobile and self-serve opportunities and a mobile app that puts the sportsbook in the palm of their hand. Soon, it will also integrate additional technologies to further enhance the interactivity of guest experiences such as the transformation of drink coasters and napkins into triggers for augmented reality games with multiplayer functionality. These innovations empower guests to personalize their experiences and create their own immersive, uniquely-curated journeys.
The Future of Gaming
eSports is the fastest growing leisure pastime in the world. By 2020, competitive video gaming–eSports–will have achieved $1.5 billion in total revenue and over $129 billion in annual video game-associated revenue. Recent eSports championships have viewership exceeding 225 million people per month with more than 100,000 attendees and $25 million in top prize money.
To meet this exponential growth and consumer demand for eSports, Caesars opened the largest eSports video gaming lounge at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The Wall offers top-of-the-line eSports video gaming equipment and the latest games in a casual-competitive gaming environment where gamers of all skill levels and interest can compete in tournaments to win rewards and potential real-money payouts. The gaming lounge is equipped with self-service beverage walls, mobile food ordering and access to virtual reality and mixed reality experiences.
Early Adopters Win
Caesars is in the midst of a multi-million-dollar technology transformation that is cloud-based, mobile-ready and designed to drive growth in the company. This technology change is critical because it enables a completely enhanced guest experience as new and existing customers are demanding more technology and, ultimately, more control over their gaming and hospitality experiences.
The challenge every integrated resort faces is the degree and speed by which they can embrace the future. Caesars is up for embracing the challenge daily.