Vegas casino Twitter adoption

I’ve been absent from blogging for a few days because of a few projects I’ve been working on. One of them is complete, and available for your perusal: the Casino Twitter Adoption study. Here’s the executive summary:

Like other businesses, casinos have begun using the social network/information sharing service Twitter. The pattern of Twitter adoption by casinos sheds additional light on their implementations of new technologies more broadly. This study found that casinos generally did not take risks with Twitter, adopting it slowly: it took more than a year from the first experiments with the network for more than half of the casinos in the survey to begin using Twitter.

Essentially, casino Twitter adoption makes a bell curve, with a few early adopters followed by the majority signing up at about the same time, with a declining number of late adopters afterward. This bears out the assumption that, in general, casinos do not rush to innovate, but rather make use of new technologies after they have been thoroughly tested by others.
In addition, the present survey indicates a basic metric in Twitter usage that operators can refer to as industry standards: all told, Las Vegas casinos average just under three tweets per day, with the majority of properties either tweeting far more or far less than that.


Basically, that says it all. This is an area that’s interesting to study not only because of what it says about Twitter, but because of what it suggests about casinos and innovation.

The study includes all kinds of fascinating stuff. I’m pleasantly surprised that the Twitter adoption pattern was such a (near) perfect bell curve–it provides a sense of order, no matter how illusory.

And if you don’t care about innovation and all that, you might just want to gawk at the list of the Top Ten Vegas Casino Tweeters. It has some surprises.

Author: Dave

Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and author of several books, including Roll the Bones: The History of Gaming. Also Gaming and Hospitality editor for Vegas Seven magazine.

9 thoughts on “Vegas casino Twitter adoption”

  1. Interesting study, not sure if it backs-up your conclusion of casinos adapting only proven technology, and by implication more resistant to technological innovation. As you mention, most US companies adopted twitter in late ’08 to early ’09. This makes casinos, most adopting in the same period, about average for other companies (see your chart). Thus using the logic, casinos are no more in a rush to innovate than your average US company.

    Or am I confusing something?

  2. I think that it shows that they weren’t ahead of the curve, and that they didn’t jump in. Harrah’s which had the most coordinated response, waited nearly a year, then took about 9 months to get all of their properties signed on. If casinos were more willing to take risks on new tech, we would have seen more most adoptions in early 2008, with progressively fewer as we went on.

  3. I found this study of Casino Tweeters to be very interesting. I consider myself to be a modern and cutting-edge kind of guy, but I too was late in entering the World of Twitter. I only joined after Dave joined (sometime last Spring…I think due to the recomendation of his fellow Podcasters).

    For a long time I felt that Twitter was simply for personal use and for people talking about trivial personal matters.

    When a person signs up on Twitter they need to know who to follow in order to receive information that’s relevant to their interests. Luckily for me, I found certain casinos and Las Vegas related companies and people by looking at who Dave and his webhost co-horts Hunter and Chuck were following.

    After that I started finding other LV people and places to follow by looking at Twitter Directories under the category of Las Vegas. Eventually, one following leads to another – and now I have most sources of info I need…though I still keep my eyes open for anything new.

    There are certain things about the way people use Twitter that I don’t especially like. Many companies and people follow too many people. By this I mean…there are certain people (like a well known casino chef) that follow everyone that follow them. In this case, this person has over 3,000 followers and likewise seems to follow all 3,000 people who follow him (probably intended as a goodwill gesture).

    I doubt if he even reads his Twitter Stream…and if he does, his stream would be very thin and diluted from all the non-relevant postings flowing thru it. Casinos do this too. They seem to think they should follow all their followers. When I see these ‘over-followers’ I look at them as having a one-sided relationship with Twitter and merely using the site as an advertising broadcast tool (which is fine).

    Some people seem to only use Twitter as a one-way device for making announcements…instead of using it as a two-way learning and feedback tool.

    As for me, I get a lot of benefit from using Twitter as an info and news gathering source and I only follow about 30 Tweeters who can steadily provide good news.

    I’ve placed about 250 other Tweeters into about 20 categorized lists. This way I can chose to see the type of relevant Tweets I might currently be interested in (such as Technology, Photography, Culture, etc). And my various Twitter Stream remains useful and undiluted and polluted.

    I have one list I call Best Vegas Sites that contains 70 good sources of news, deals and bargains that are relevant to things that are happening here in Las Vegas.

    As for following Casino Tweeters I use another account all-together to do that. I’ve grown fairly tired of reading most Casino Tweets because many of them seem to go into a cycle of repeating things they’ve said many times before (in the exact same way as before too).

    There is one Twitter account that is called CasinoHost. It’s supposedly run by Dominick Crane (Director of National Casino Marketing for Caesars and Harrah’s Casinos). As fine a fellow as he may personally be….his Twits go into an automatic-repeat cycle…where the exact same 8-10 announcements show-up every week.

    I take offense to things like that. As a market director for a huge company…it would seem he could have much more to announce.

    The few casinos I now regularly follow are O’ Sheahs, Gold Spike, Miracle Mile, 9Group, and El Cortez. They at least give good info on their daily & nightly events, in a way that (to me) seems more personalized and less automated and seeming less like ‘pure advertising’.

    The place where I see the most innovative use of Twitter (in the Las Vegas area) comes from some of the local bars and pubs which take time to think of special bargains….such as Reverse Happy Hours and Specials where they cut prices by as much as half during slow hours…or that offer special codes for free drinks and hotel room discounts (like Rumors Hotel, Lolita’s Cantina etc.).

    I think casinos should likewise (for their own benefit) use Twitter to get customers in their doors by offering similar discounts and Happy Hour announcements, etc.

    I noticed one unusual Tweet that was posted by the Riviera in July, where they announced that a customer had just won $20,000. It would seem (to me at least) like a good idea if other casinos made similar Winning Announcements about things that are happening on their casino floor. (Although, maybe such announcements might actually show how rare jackpots really are. haha).

    There is one casino that I feel is really under-utilizing Twitter. It’s Twitter account is titled Cosmopolitan_LV. They usually use their own logo to re-tweet things like “It’s National Potato Month”.

    Meanwhile, there are probably hundreds and thousands of people who are more interested in what is actually happening during the Cosmo’s Pre-Opening phase. Even if the tweets only said things like “we just ordered 800 couches from Gucci”…or…”our jackhammer workers just installed three more plastic palm trees near our 2nd floor cababna”. These types of Tweets would at least hold people’s interest and be better than them talking about the new release of a Back-To-The Future game.

    As for the Cosmo’s head man, John Unwin. 99% of his Tweets simply talk about what he ate at the Tennis Open or at some beach nightclub in Southern California.

    The Cosmo has an audience that’s eager to hear some relevant news from the company….and they definitely are not sending any new-news out.

    But back to the subject of casinos and their late entry and slow use of Twitter. I beleive they are definitely under-utilizing a great, new (and 100% FREE!) marketing tool.

    20 years ago such an “instant announcing service” like Twitter (if invented then) would have been worth using…even if they charged $20 per Tweet. In actuality…Twitter offers an ‘instant telegraphic community bulletin board’. I don’t think most casinos are aware of the huge benefits such a modern tool provides them.

    Twitter is a wonderful tool, but (like everything else) the use of the tool needs innovation from the people using it. I don’t yet see much innovative Casino-Use of Twitter just yet.

    As for the casinos that join Twitter and let their accounts nearly lie dormant. Well, that definitely shows (or implies) a huge degree of laziness and lack of thinking on their part. I think they’d be much better off if they eliminated their Twitter Accounts all-together.

    Look at this list of Casino Tweeters who have only posted less than 100 Tweets: Bellagio, 4 Queens, Vegas Club, Plaza, Red Rock, Fremont, Sam’s Town, Orleans (127), California, Main Street, Golden Nugget, Treasure Island (151).

    THAT is BAD!!


  4. Planet Hollywood used to be very active with Twitter and Facebook when Brandie Feuer was working for them. She was very personable and answered almost every question anyone asked. She has since moved on since Harrahs took over and now PH uses a generic Harrahs ‘social media department’. You don’t know who is doing the posting these days.

  5. Hi Dave. I just read your tweet about the news articles on your study. That’s really good. I posted a tweet saying so, but just deleted it. I don’t want you to get associated with a renegade like me. haha.

    Good one though (AP & Sun). I’ll check Channel 8 again later to see if they have a video story.

  6. I’m not really a twitter user, just an occasional twitter searcher. I found one web site that listed some casinos twitter-names but the list contained several errors. Some casinos seemed very active others did not. I soon lost interest in keeping up with tweets by or about casinos.

    Sure some casinos jumped on a marketing bandwagon. All those pool party goers and nightclubbing types are surely on Twitter and Facebook and such things.

  7. Yes. I’m an older user of Twitter too. I might have joined much earlier but I thought it Twitter was just for people like Ashton Kuscher & Demi Moore.

    Twitter has side-tracked a lot of my time. There’s a lot of info out there in the world and I like to keep pace with changes…especially about high-tech devices and computer usage etc.

    One mistake I made was in adding Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller – at Rio) to my list. I try hard to let people speak and rant without interfering…but Penn bugs me bad. He thinks people that have any sort of religious beliefs are idiots who believe in ‘imaginary friends’ and ‘fairy-tales’.

    His new book is about being an atheist. Fine. But he holds big Twitter gab-fests and tries debating people using bad debate techniques.

    So, I figured I’d say my piece to him, and did. He ended up blocking me…which I felt was very un-sportsman-like. It’s a good thing he did…for his sake. I would have easily won the debate just by using scientific facts (without even having to use the word “religion”). But he wasn’t up for it or open to it.

    He’s a very closed-minded fellow who uses bully-tactics on some very good people. Odd that he didn’t do that with me.

    It might have been the first debate ever held…just using tweets…about whether or not there’s a higher form of intelligence in the universe other than man.

    I know I’ll eventually see him on the street somewhere (I have 5 times before). If I do I’m gonna introduce myself as VegasPhotog from Twitter.

    If I do I’ll report about the encounter.
    Other than casinos, I mainly like seeing how various Vegas businesses use Twitter. I root for the food-truck guys. They use Twitter well.

    BTW: I’m curious about Dave’s Vegas7 article on The Cosmopolitan. I look forward to that one very much. I think the Cosmo might even bring life over to City Center. It sure needs it.

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