Vegas’ Rio Casino Gambles on Mobile Marketing

Casinos are always up to trying ways get gamblers to part with more of their money. To that end, the Rio is testing an opt-in mobile marketing campaign that sends customers text message alerts for real-time promotions to their cell phone during their stay at the hotel-casino. It’s similar to campaigns utilized by other casino-hotels like the MGM Grand.

The Rio campaign is run by interactive marketing firm Acxiom Corporation (ACXM) and Acuity Mobile, a mobile-marketing company based in Washington, D.C.

The pilot program sends text messages that alert hotel guests to special deals, like drink, food or show tickets at a discount. According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, “Text Sells.” Katrina Lane, vice president of channel marketing for Harrah’s Entertainment, Rio’s owner, said the company is trying to find a more direct way to communicate in a more real-time fashion and strengthen the property’s relationship with the customer.

Nearly 3,100 Harrah’s customers have signed up for the program since it was launched in December. Harrah’s Entertainment is testing similar programs with different technology companies in different jurisdictions in which the casino owner operates.

In November, MIchael reported that Harrah’s rolled out a mobile coupon pilot as part of its customer loyalty program. It tapped mobile marketing services provider bCode for the mobile marketing pilot program. In-venue signage asks consumers to join Harrah’s mobile loyalty program by texting keyword ‘Harrahs’ to a five-digit short code. The mobile program, branded T.I.P. for Texting Important People by Harrah’s, is currently being tested at three of Harrah’s properties: Harrah’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s New Orleans and Showboat Atlantic City.