Casino innovation is rare these days in the casino industry. Unfortunately our industry has been labeled as a copy cat industry since we tend to copy more than we create. There is nothing wrong with that as long as it is legal and everyone benefits. However, there is still plenty of room for creativity and innovation in casinos. This month’s kudos for casino innovation goes to Gianfranco Scordato, CEO of Gran Casino Costa Brava in Spain. Gian and his team at Gran Casino Costa Brava are the first casino management team that I am aware of in Europe to make an innovative decision to private label an energy drink for their casino.
It is an intriguing concept which required further investigation because they focused on their Poker Players. It is quite interesting when one considers that the beverage industry in the United States alone is now a U.S. $60 billion per year industry. Energy drinks are the fastest growing segment of this market. Ten years ago energy drink sales in the United States were only $12 million for the year. Last year, energy drink sales topped $12.5 billion and are increasing rapidly. That represents phenomenal growth for any industry and a good opportunity for casinos around the world. According to the “Energy Drinks and Shots: Market Trends in the U.S.”, sales of energy drinks and shots will grow to a value of $21.5 billion by 2017.
So, why a private label an energy drink in a casino? According to Gianfranco their casino currently gives away or sells a huge number of cans of energy drink every month to either customers playing Poker or playing on the casino floor as well as in their various restaurants or lounges. His investigation revealed that the energy drinks were being consumed by younger casino customers and also by their Asian casino customers. Both of these market segments are very high on their list of priority markets in their strategic marketing plan. They want to increase the percentage of younger players and have started to vary their entertainment as well in an effort to be more appealing to them. Gianfranco also commented: