Trendy, fun, ready for new experiences. This, in short, is the world of star-spangled casinos.
A world that is certainly different from that of casinos in Europe and in Italy, where it is often considered synonymous with traditional gaming, and where, with a few limited local exceptions, the concept of gaming and entertainment district is not implemented, as it happens instead in Las Vegas, first of all, but also in Atlantic City (and leaving aside the other world capital of gambling, Macao).
A world, that of US casinos, which is so trendy and fun to collect attention from real influencers, who lead fashion to their followers on their social channels, also taking the opportunity to launch important messages. About responsible gaming, just to say the most important one on a global level, but also on the opportunity, or need, for casinos to become totally smoking free, a goal that is now consolidated in Italy, but which is still to be achieved in several US states.
Brian Christoper, founder of BC Ventures, together with the Italian Marco Bianchi, a company based in Palm Springs, California, dealing with influencer marketing in the world of casino games, with relationships with millions of fans in the US and beyond, and which mixes content, tailored community building and experiential events, tells about this world to Gioco News.
How was your passion for casinos born and through what experiences did you come to be an influencer?
“I have always enjoyed playing slot machines and gambling in casinos from the age of 19. I never planned to be an influencer, in fact it was never a career prior to my starting. The videos I created took off quickly, and my channel grew fast. I had to just figure out my career path as it was happening”.
How can people get closer to casino gaming and is it also important to convey a responsible gaming message?
“I always promote responsible gambling to my followers. "Only gamble with an entertainment budget" I say. I encourage them to watch me play with my own money as I win and lose. I also always share the 'IN' and 'OUT' for each video, and don't hide my losses. I want to show the true life of a gambler”.
What do you think about the American casino market and which direction, in terms of gaming and non-gaming offers, are they taking?
“The American Casino Market is stronger than it ever has been, and it is growing at a rapid pace. They recognize that offering concerts and other engagements, alongside hotels and excellent food offering help to lure in customers to gamble. With sports betting also growing, we will continue to see more and more sportsbooks in casinos”.
What must and can a casino do to be trendy and guarantee a generational change?
“They must go smokefree. 13% of the population of the US smokes, so it is long overdue. If they want to attract newer, younger generations to both gamble but also work at their establishments, (and remember, they have never been inside a smoking building in their lives!), then they have to cut out smoking completely and join all other first world nations who have banned it long before. That is why I took the pledge in 2023 to only partner with smokefree properties”.
In your opinion, traditional games, such as roulette, chemin de fer, blackjack, are on the decline?
”I cannot comment on this, as I strictly play slots and am not aware”.
Do you think that online gaming will cause the end of land-based gaming?
“Nothing will ever replace the brick and mortar casinos. Having the ease of playing at home is great, but it will never replace the excitement of physically being in a casino”.
As you already said, you recently embraced the cause of smoke-free casinos, a usual situation in Italy and in Europe by now, where cigarettes have been banned for some time. How is the situation in the US and how are you supporting this fight?
“There are currently just over 1,000 smokfree casinos in the US, but far too many are still smoking. They are way behind other countries on this matter. The way I see it, during Covid casinos all stated they took extra precautions as the safety of their guests was their utmost priority. Well that doesn't seem like the case if they continue to allow smoking which harms all guests and staff. Just like when they removed smoking from bars: everyone complained it would put them out of business, but it didn't. And it won't for casinos either”.
Have you ever been to Italian or European casinos? What did you think of them?
“I have had the pleasure of going to Monte Carlo once. It was exceptionally gorgeous, but felt very small to me. Nothing compares however to the amount of options and exciting titles in American casinos. They truly have a stronghold on this category. However, I would love to be invited by European operators to visit and promote their properties: the possibilities are endless!”.