Innovation is Making Waves in the Gambling Industry



As the gambling industry continues its unprecedent expansion throughout the world, the competition among gambling operators is becoming fierce. That applies to both online and land-based operations. As competition increases, gambling operators are looking for ways to protect the bottom line. If a casino operation is struggling to increase revenues, it has to consider lowering its overhead for survival.

Last week, MGM Resorts announced it was looking at the possibility of eliminating jobs through the use of new automated technologies. The new 2020 plan would seem to be in response to the company’s stock taking a significant hit in 2018 when the company saw its shares plunged from $34 to $25, a 26 percent decline, in spite of a nice spike in revenues.

The decrease shook investors who believe the gambling industry is poised for growth as country after country has been passing the needed legislation to legalize certain forms of gambling.

Stock price rising
The stock has ticked up in recent weeks due in large part to the company announcing strong Q4 revenues totaling $3.052 billion, topping the forecast from analysts of about $2.98 billion. Full-year revenue totaled $11.76 billion with the company’s two Macau resorts being responsible for $3.2 billion.

Still, MGM Resorts has a responsibility to its stockholders to create value. If rising revenues aren’t enough to get the job done, the company has to look at lowering costs. Automation of certain positions could certainly help. Among the possibilities is using automation to fill drinks orders going to customers on the casino floor.

These drinks are usually prepared by “back of house” bartenders who do not interact with the public. Preprogramed automated machines have the ability to prepare drinks to order for waiters and waitresses. There’s also new technologies that allows patrons to pay at the table instead of a cashier. All told, MGM’s initiative is to eliminate 2,100 jobs by the end of the year 2020.

In Las Vegas, the MGM will have to work around the powerful Culinary Union to get approval for such changes due to union contract obligations. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno.

Gambling Growing Online and Offline
The announce certainly got the attention of union representatives. According to Culinary Union Secretary Geoconda Argüello-Kline, “Contracts have innovative automation and technology language, which set clear goals for worker retention, job training, advance notice of implementation, and severance package based on years of service if workers are laid off.” She added that the union “will be monitoring the situation closely … to ensure that the company follows the contract.”
Additionally, MGM’s proposal is receiving less than optimum support from investors. According to Union Gaming analyst John DeCree, “We found very few investors giving credit to the MGM 2020 initiative, and many questions were asked about timing and examples of cost saves.”

These kinds of changes are not likely confined to the US or land-based casinos. Certain innovations could affect online operations, like the ones found here at, and land-based casinos all over the world. Online gambling sites are getting more and more popular for every year.

All gambling operators are in a battle for customers. At the same time, profitability is still the number one concern. As the gambling industry exposes itself to new technology and innovations, jobs are going to be put at risk.