Building confidence in customers post-COVID-19 imperative for gaming facilities
Data shows Canadians eager to return to regular life – but not too eager
By Rachel Debling
June 24, 2020
On June 23, as part of the Canadian Gaming Summit’s 2020 webinar series, Mike Colledge, Ipsos’ president of Canadian public affairs, spoke on the current overarching beliefs of the Canadian public, offering insights on how their choices today compare to before the pandemic and what it means for the gaming industry as facilities begin to reopen.
A new world
Colledge noted that prior to the pandemic Canadians reported they were concerned about the rapid social and economic transformation around them, with disappointment from what was interpreted as a lukewarm return following the 2008/2009 recession compounding this belief. Perhaps unsurprisingly, another area of interest, especially amongst younger demographics, was the importance of environmentalism and sustainability.
Fast forward to 2020, and the pandemic has adjusted many prevailing opinions. Colledge reports that some Canadians are skeptical about the benefits of tech, for example, citing privacy issues and fears that certain technologies may not “be the panacea [they were] made out to be.” For gaming operators, increasing or fine-tuning messaging around the digital security measures in their facilities could be one way to mitigate this growing attitude.
When it comes to consumers gauging risk in once-normal activities, Ipsos’ numbers are bleak. Fifty-five per cent of those polled consider travelling within Canada risky; 38 per cent believe the same of getting together with groups of family and friends.
Still, there are some positive takeaways from Ipsos’ data. For starters, 78 per cent polled said they would not be comfortable going on vacation this year (for economic and health reasons), which could add to the appeal of “staycations” at local gaming establishments. As 77 per cent also reported that they would be more likely to “buy Canadian,” a campaign highlighting the economic benefits casinos offer communities could appeal to the majority of the population.
Convincing people to re-engage post-COVID-19 may be difficult but not impossible, Colledge explained. Incentivized first-time experiences, simplified processes, anxiety-reducing offerings, and clear, concise information on precautions being taken, offered well in advance, are ways gaming facilities can build confidence in their customers.
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