MRI Casino Marketing Blog
The Vinyl Word on Gambler Experience

Record Store Day

“You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.” – G. Marx

It’s now more than three decades since the CD first appeared in stores. I still remember the sound of my first CD, Boston’s Third Stage. The clarity was amazing compared to my LPs. For me, and many guys my age, we even wax nostalgic about the good ol’ days of buying vinyl records. Today, we barely even buy music anymore — we stream it. Music is delivered across the Internet in seconds, giving us access to millions of songs via a single, wireless gadget we hold in one hand. But for many of us, there’s something elemental missing — and that certain something is just one of the reasons why we celebrate Record Store Day on the third Saturday in April every year. 

Since 2008, vinyl album sales have been on the rise and, on occasion, even surpassed digital download sales. So what's happening here? Is nostalgia winning out? Why is an outdated, cumbersome method of listening to music so popular in the digital age? I’ll admit, the “good ol’ days” bring back fond memories for me, but it isn’t the old tech I necessarily miss. I don’t miss the snaps, crackles and pops a dusty phonograph needle created, or my record collection and stereo equipment needing its own room.

For those who say they do miss those things, I might say they’re full of Duck Soup!

What I miss is the experience; gazing at the artwork, reading the lyrics, studying the liner notes. I used to take the time to stop and smell the Guns ’N Roses. The ritual of buying and listening to music bred anticipation and excitement. The exploration through the racks, picking up the album I came for and then hunting for my next favorite new band. I might gamble on a purchase, sound unheard, because it had really cool cover art, or consult the record store clerk who was a friend and someone’s opinion I could trust because I was a regular and he knew my tastes. I could also converse and debate music with other regulars hanging out in the store. And lastly, the anticipation of having to wait until I got home before I could hear it. This emotional, tactile experience is almost impossible to reproduce, which is why the vinyl record has never gone away. 

Giving Gamblers That “Vinyl” Experience

These same emotional attachments conflict casino enthusiasts in a very similar way. Just 20 years ago, the idea of playing roulette, blackjack or poker for real money on a mobile device was unthinkable. Today, casino apps are the lifeblood of the industry — but that doesn’t mean that convenience is all that matters to the average casino customer. To understand the psyche of the true gambler, think of the experience in terms of the vinyl record.

There is no getting away from the fact that technology is here to stay, and casinos must embrace it. However, there are endless opportunities to deliver that tangible “vinyl” experience to customers. Yes, the casino host is now a kiosk, or an account page on a mobile app, but that doesn’t mean it has to be impersonal and generic. 

Most gamblers don’t just want the opportunity to win money; they want that feeling of excitement only casinos can create — to be part of a community. These are people who love the click-clack of chips and the sound of dice bouncing on felt. Just like vinyl lovers, true gamblers revel in the escapism their pursuit provides.

To be successful in the age of Internet gambling, casino marketing has to capture the essence of what motivates people to try their luck in this unique environment. Big sign-up offers and glossy ads only go so far. If you can tap into that visceral desire to get involved at the tables, you can probably persuade the gambling enthusiast that your casino brand is home. 

If Record Store Day serves as a reminder for anything, it’s that technology alone just isn’t enough to win the emotional argument with consumers. Tap into the emotional attachment gamblers have with their favorite casinos, and your brand will stand out as something that transcends mobile technology.

This Saturday, April 22 is Record Store Day. A day founded in 2007 to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store. A day designated to reunite music lovers, music makers and music sellers in the real world and not alone behind a computer screen.

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