It's easy to be daunted by the complexity involved in the running of a successful gaming operation.

A plethora of highly technical decisions underpin any gaming operation, such as hold strategies, product mix, jackpot options and floor layout to name a few.  It's no wonder that many club managers often feel overwhelmed by this aspect of the business while also trying to juggle the day to day running of the club.

It's unsurprising then that many club committee's find it difficult to articulate a clear strategy in relation to gamin.  When asked, many will simply respond that the strategy is to grow revenue.

The problem with this is that revenue growth is an outcome; not a strategy for achieving that outcome.  That doesn't mean that the strategy should be a highly detailed business plan, quite the reverse.  In many respects, the simpler the better.  What follows is an extremely simply template for a gaming strategy.

Clear Vision

A good place to start is with a clear vision of what you want to achieve.  For example, a common vision is simply to be the first choice of gaming venue for existing members.

Strategic Foundation

A common mistake is to think that simply having the latest gaming product is a strategy for success.  Quality product is important, it provides the foundation upon which a successful gaming strategy can be built.

It's very difficult to obtain a significant competitive advantage through product alone.  Competitors inevitably have access to the same product, so a club can typically only be as good, or worse, than their best competitor.

Even where a club has a better gaming product it is something that is easily replicated and therefore the advantage is unlikely to be sustainable.

Think of quality gaming product as the bedrock on top of which you can built a strategy for success.

Strategic Pillars

Strategic pillars are the crucial elements required to support the vision becoming a reality.  Removing any pillar could put the vision at risk - if not, than mayne it shouldn't be a pillar.  These are also the areas where the club will look to differentiate itself from its competitors.

Typically, the pillars are arrived a through research, for example examining competitors and seeking customer feedback through surveys, interviews and focus groups.

Some common themes that often emerge as being important pillars are comfort, privacy, customer service, loyalty and responsible gambling.

Tactics

With a simple strategy in hand the next step is to have management layout a business plan that highlights the tactics that will be employed to realise the strategy.  That's a task best left to the management team.

With so much to think about the strategy will help focus management's attention on the things that are important, without undermining their expertise.

In many respects, a simple strategy is often better.

(SOURCE: Daniel Mitchell, ClubsNSW Manager - Gambling Policy, ClubLIFE, August 2018)