Blog: The Future of Casino Entertainment


The most frequently asked question of anyone affiliated with casino entertainment is about future trends, and the answers are usually the same;  to attract a younger audience and to sell more tickets (comp less). Although both answers are true, they are hardly new.  Younger audiences are the predominant ticket buyers. Back in the 80’s casinos booked some of the hottest acts of the time such as Chicago, the Doobie Brothers and David Copperfield. Those acts booked in the 80's are still popular today, but the young retail demographic they helped attract is now the core comped casino audience. Every year casinos across the nation add more current names to the list so they can draw the core customer of tomorrow. However, the way we do it is changing rapidly.

The future of casino entertainment is in mining data about the type of audiences that each show attracts and then methodically using that data to increase revenue streams beyond ticket sales. Although each casino finance department has very in-depth reports by day and by hour, comparing and analyzing those lengthy reports can be time consuming, not to mention confusing for most non-accountants. It is also significant that only having data for one casino does not create a broad spectrum for accurate analysis and may not be a reliable representation of artist performance overall. Having access to easy-to-understand national casino benchmark data makes all the difference in the approach to analyzing and booking the appropriate artist to meet the casino’s marketing goals.

The days of booking artists based on guesses and assumptions is over. We live in an era of technology that has enabled us to collect and analyze overall performance data for every show we book. We compare artist performances at each casino by looking at overall ticket sales, box-office revenue, comps vs retail, and rating level of comp players. We get information about the traffic generated by the show and how it impacted gaming, beverage sales and casino business in general. By doing this each show takes on a new profile that allows talent buyers and marketing heads to strategically and safely plan how the casino entertainment budget is best invested.

Danny Heller

Talent buyer at and partner