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Gaming and Concerts – An Unlikely, Yet Effective Partnership

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 14: DJ Deorro performs on stage during the Mextour Live Concert at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 14, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Casinos and entertainment have intersected for decades. For decades, the gambling industry played a part in the evolution of the entertainment sector. Music is one area where casinos have made a significant impact. Cross-promotion is the main reason for the collaboration between these two industries. Brick-and-mortar gambling establishments served, and keep serving, as venues for live shows, concerts and a myriad of other events. The purpose of such partnerships is to broaden customer bases in both areas. Casino goers can enjoy concerts, and maybe become fans of the performing acts, while concert attendees might want to try gambling activities.

Even in countries with strict gambling laws, like New Zealand, such deals are not uncommon. Music is a big revenue driver, and casinos are quick to leverage that. You would assume that the rising number of online casinos in New Zealand upset this dynamic, but no. In fact, they continue to contribute to it. Gambling operators still use concerts as marketing strategies to attract players. With online casinos not being able to advertise directly to potential players, working with music artists, recording labels and talent agencies provides unique marketing opportunities. Understanding these partnerships offers insights it how they benefit the two sectors, and why they continue to be a major part of doing business.

Music and iGaming

09 December 2023, Berlin: Player Johannes Werner aka Fun K3Y (r) from Eintracht Spandau plays with his teammates at the e-sports show event Red Bull League Of Its Own. Photo: Carsten Koall/dpa (Photo by Carsten Koall/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The relationship between music and gambling is not new. Game manufacturers and casinos use music to make gambling more interesting. Pokies are some of the games where music comes alive. If you have ever played a slot machine, then you know the soundtrack is a big part of the design. Online pokies took the use of music in casino gaming to a whole new level. Modern games feature exciting soundtracks that add character. Developers use music to complement themes. When telling a story using animation, sound helps sell it. For example, you might find a pokie with a Nordic mythology narrative and the music to match. Some pokies even feature specific musical acts.

Physical casinos use music to provide a more conducive environment for players. Not so long ago, some establishments would hire musicians to play for guests as they gamble. Of course, this practice might not be common now, but the role that music plays in the casino sector hasn’t changed much. So, the relationship between concerts and casinos may not be as unlikely as most people would expect.

Concerts for Marketing

The chief purpose gambling operators partner with the music industry for concerts is to promote their brands. Marketing plays a significant part in the popularity of the gambling industry. Both the offline and online gambling markets are highly competitive, forcing operators to come up with ways to attract prospective customers. Concerts are an effective way to do that. Why? For one, entering partnerships with non-gaming-related fields allows operators and other shareholders to reach audiences that might otherwise not be interested in gambling. Sponsoring a band whose fanbase is largely young professionals, for instance, presents a casino with the chance to penetrate a new market.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 21: RZA (top) and Raekwon (L) and Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan perform during a stop of the N.Y. State of Mind tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 21, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Concerts are an effective branding tool because they allow casinos to increase their visibility. For example, an operator can send ads to its target audience while selling tickets for a sponsored event, which keeps its name out there. Even people who might not have heard of a particular online casino can find out through an upcoming show of their favorite artist. A gambling website looking to attract players in New Zealand can reach many potential users by partnering with a local band. A concert by a beloved artist would allow an operator to capitalize on that reputation. Whether it’s a new gambling platform looking to establish its name in the field or an old brand undergoing a revamp, live music shows go a long way in sending the intended message.

Inspire Loyalty

Another huge benefit for casinos that use concerts for marketing is increasing the probability of customers returning. Online casinos use loyalty programs to encourage players to keep spending money. By partnering with musical acts to put on live shows, casinos can get even more loyal users. Some operators reward VIP members with free tickets to such events, thus creating an air of exclusivity. So, players who want to be part of the experience spend money to be eligible. Music lovers who might not be very familiar with gambling may start using a certain casino because it hosts some of the best concerts. Such events attract big spenders to gambling websites, leading to more sales.

Some of the world’s biggest music stars have performed at a casino at some point in their careers. The collaboration between casinos and concerts goes back a long way. Caesars Palace’s and Choctaw Casino’s partnerships with Live Nation are examples of this type of deal. In such a case, the gambling brands intend to grow sales and customer bases by investing in live performances. Online casinos benefit as much as physical establishments with such partnerships through branding. Concerts are an opportunity to tap into new markets and convert leads, consequently, increasing revenue.