By Lauren Wanko
“Gambler’s Wanted.” That’s Revel’s new marketing theme. Today the Atlantic City mega resort launched a new promo called “You Can’t Lose.” It’s all part of an aggressive marketing campaign set in motion just over a month since Revel emerged from bankruptcy.
Here’s how it works. You have to use a Revel card at any slot machine on the casino floor. You can lose anywhere from $100 up to $100,000. But the refund doesn’t kick in until the beginning of August, and it’s spread out over a 20-week period. Each week you come in more cash is added to your card. The goal? To keep customers coming back through the casino doors. The question is, will the marketing strategy work?
“I think it’s not a question of will it work or won’t it work. I think the question is how much business will it attract in the casino and how much that investment will cost, how long it will take,” said Dr. Israel Posner, executive director of the Levenson Institute at Richard Stockton College.
The promo enticed New York resident Marlene Ferrara to Revel’s casino floor.
“We’re staying at Resorts, but I said to my friends, ‘Guess where I’m going?’ First thing when I woke up this morning, headed here,” she said.
“I thought it was unbelievable, that offer. I know what the catch is, you have to spread it out over time, but still if you live in this area, and you gamble anyway, if you lose, hey, I think it’s great,” said Norfolk, Va. resident Cynthia Kurtz.
When Revel first opened last April, the management was focused more on the resort aspect and less on the casino. Critics insist it wasn’t the right marketing move. Others say they didn’t feel welcome on the casino floor.
“I think it had bad publicity when it first opened cause it said it was going to cater to the high rollers, so that kept a lot of people away,” said Doylestown, Pa. resident Gail Peruggia.
“I’m not crazy about walking in and seeing that the casino is not when you first entered but the big escalator. It’s a little too far out of reach,” said Ledgewood resident Lori Atieh.
When asked if the new marketing strategy should have been done from the get-go, Revel Interim CEO Jeff Hartmann said, “Well I can only go forward. The resulting approach to the company ending up in bankruptcy, I was brought in to take the company through bankruptcy and we believe the strategy going forward is to balance the casino-goers with leisure and group business.”
The resort also changed it’s name to Revel Casino Hotel.
“I think we want casino folks who like to gamble know we’re a casino and that was really the motivation behind it. Very simple,” Hartmann said.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Revel opened more than 33,000 square feet of casino floor to smokers and this month Revel is matching any slot offer from any other Atlantic City casino.
“We are looking to grow market share and in a declining market, unfortunately such as New Jersey is, you have to steal share to grow revenue,” Hartmann said.
Casino officials are betting on Revel’s new marketing strategy and promotions. Whether or not that attracts customers remains to be seen.