Capitalizing on Sports Betting at Your Tribal Casino

Six strategic marketing secrets

I was recently at a casino that had just opened up a new sports book. This was certainly not the first time that I had participated in the wagering of a sporting event, but the feel was very different. What I noticed was the excitement and the conversations that were taking place that I had never witnessed before in this same property.

As I sat back and listened, I recognized the opportunities available and wondered how casinos would take advantage of this newfound gold mine. If you are familiar at all with sports gamblers, you learn very quickly that they all have opinions and are experts on all sports and teams. But this should only help you with attracting more gamblers on a regular basis, and that is where strategic marketing will pay off in the long run.

Build the database

By now, any savvy marketing director knows the value of a quality name added to your database. You have information on an individual who has a propensity to gamble and on what games. As always, make sure the information is accurate. Name, address, phone number and, most importantly, social media contacts. Email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A whole group of new players are coming to you to give you that information. Take Isleta Resort & Casino in Albuquerque; if you want to place a bet, you need a loyalty club card.

Sponsorship partners with vendors

There is a pretty good chance that during games there are opportunities where your players would like the chance to pick up a little something extra for nothing. As always, the marketing budget is stretched pretty thin as it is. The good news is you probably have a vendor that is willing to give these things to you. If you have a beer or alcohol vendor, I guarantee that they have shelves of these items in their warehouse looking for a new home.

Here is another little secret: you are probably that vendor’s biggest account.

Catering to groups

Support the home team. Regardless of where you are located, there is a team that is predominantly the favorite. Whether that be professional, college, local or regional, somebody is wearing those colors. Hang banners or flags of those groups, create partnership arrangements with those teams and throughout the season schedule events and specials during their games so that your facility is THE gathering place to watch them.  Who wouldn’t want to win a free buffet, a hotel stay or a gift certificate to the steakhouse or spa? The best news is that you get to give these away at wholesale, while everyone else is giving them away at retail.

By the way, the other advantage that you have is they can put $10 on their favorite team to win the game.

Specialty games or events

It’s no secret when it comes to sports betting that there are certain events that bring out gamblers of every age and background. The Super Bowl, the Final Four Basketball Tourney, Bowl Games and many others. This doesn’t mean that you can’t create additional events to attract players.

Rivalry games, Monday night games, all these events can be structured to do one thing, put more people in your seats than you had before.

F&B revenue

If there were ever three things that went together, it would be eating, drinking and gambling on sports. I spoke earlier about the atmosphere at a casino that had just added sports betting. If you have ever gone to a live game, the tailgating has become an event all on its own. It’s amazing to see the set-ups in the parking lots with the vehicles, the tents, the TVs and satellites dishes and oh, the food and drinks. There is no reason that a casino cannot create an environment similar to that.

From a casino perspective, at the end of the month the bottom line does not care where the revenue comes from. Profit on a blackjack table or a bottle of beer all spends the same. With the profit of beer or drinks at a 500% mark-up or more, most places will take that all day long.


To no one’s surprise, if you think sports gamblers only bet on sports, you would be shocked. You have been given a gift when sports betting was legalized in your jurisdiction, especially if the states around you have not yet done so.  But your profits will not just be coming from gambling on sports. These people will play blackjack, craps, poker and slot machines. Eat in your restaurants, stay in your hotels and go to your shows. Providing a total entertainment experience is what casinos have the opportunity to do.

If you are not analyzing that information, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. You need to be able to ask the right questions and interpret what the data is telling you.

Good luck, and put an extra $20 on your favorite team just for fun.

Dan Stromer 13 Articles