Knowing your customers is important to every business — and that goes double for casinos

Posted On February 6, 2020

Most casinos have similar characteristics. They’re relatively dark, with few or no windows – nothing to distract the paying customers from the lights of the slot machines or the cards on the tables. They’re owned by large companies that run casinos in multiple markets. And they’re typically fairly secretive about their clientele.

The Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Mississippi, couldn’t be much more different, however. In its fifth year of operation, it’s a family-owned business operated by a family that is new to the gaming industry. Its floors are flooded with natural light. And its CEO isn’t bashful about sharing with us who her typical customer is – a woman over the age of 50 who plays slots.

“It does differ casino to casino and market to market, but we are 87 percent slots,” says Scarlet Pearl CEO LuAnn Pappas, our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston.”

Pappas’ knowledge of her customers informs many of the unusual characteristics of this award-winning casino. Cleanliness and safety are top priorities, making the unusually bright environment actually a bonus instead of a drawback – as well as a strong HVAC system and the use of scents.

How does she know her customers appreciate this environment? Because she talks to them.

“I always knew the value in this business of building relationships with your employees and your customers, because that’s how they understand who you are,” said Pappas, a 35-year veteran of the industry. “But I don’t think I myself realized that actually the higher you go, the more time you’re doing that.”

Pappas shares with us why she took a chance in leaving a 30-year career in an established company to take a chance on the Scarlet Pearl, shoots down some common misconceptions held by casual gamers, shares the value of player’s cards in collecting information about their customers, and tells us why she can’t see automation ever completely taking over the gaming industry.

“If your tendency is to gamble – whether that’s social, casual or frequent — you don’t do it just because of a machine in front of you,” she said. “You do it because you’re interacting with people.”

Join us for a lively discussion about gambling and why it’ll always be a people business.

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