1 July 2019
A recent industry report values the global amusement parks and arcades market around $62 billion in 2018. The industry is expected to further grow at a CAGR of 8.8 percent to touch more than $87.2 billion by 2022. While this comes as a harbinger of good tidings for players in the amusement sector, it also underscores the need for the industry to evolve in order to cater to a much faster paced customer. “Customers are looking for compelling entertainment options to spend their money at. As an industry our long-term advantage will be the ability to have guests interact with each other. Most other forms of entertainment are isolating the experience, while as an industry we are connecting people at a heightened state of emotion. Keeping our guests entertained while having them connect to their loved ones is our greatest goal,” says Mike Abecassis, CEO, GameTime.
GameTime is Florida’s premium entertainment brand known for its indoor amusements and full service experience targeted at the whole family. It operates and owns family entertainment centers featuring “dine and play” arcades, restaurants, full bars, and party venues in Fort Myers, Miami, Ocoee, Tampa, and Daytona.
Speaking about market trends driving the amusement industry, Abecassis says that over the past few years, machine costs have been increasing at a pace that outruns inflation. He adds that this trend requires operators to make more informed decisions and be able to pass along increases to their players.
Abecassis acknowledges the versatility of the Semnox system in enabling amusement center operators to do this. “The Semnox system provides an operator the flexibility to manipulate pricing and payout at a real time pace. Having this ability is paramount to a successful operation. Other industries have used this flexibility for many years now; the amusement industry will find this more impactful as we find better ways to apply it,” he says. Abecassis goes on to elaborate further, “A good example of this is demand pricing. Rental car companies for years have used demand pricing to control and manage their inventory levels and pricing at a real time pace. This is apparent anytime you search for a rental car. You will find that by changing the time of pickup by as little as 30 minutes, the price can change drastically.”
Having opted for Semnox’s cashless operations solution as a function of game play at his organization, Abecassis stresses the need for amusement ventures to make the switch in order to have a competitive presence. “Based on the sophistication of our guests, cashless operations are the only way we can operate. Our guests expect to be able to start a game, receive payout, and track their play with a single solution. The days of being able to have guests carry coins, count tickets, or track their own tickets are gone. Without a well-managed cashless solution, the survivability of an amusement venue would be questionable,” he says.
Lauding Semnox for keeping pace with evolving market needs, Abecassis concludes, “All other industries have adopted their own technology platforms to evolve and stay connected with customers. The amusement industry has fallen far behind in this as there has been no single industry leader who has developed something like this for their needs. The Semnox platform is the first one offering us the ability to build and maintain a direct connection with our guests. Over time, as we better utilize these tools, we will most certainly find that we can no longer survive without them. These tools will need to evolve as our guests demand better experiences. The Semnox platform and development team have proven to us that they are the “best of bread” for our needs.”
The Amusement Parks and Arcades Global Market Opportunities and Strategies to 2022 report echoes the views expressed by Abecassis and suggests that amusement centers and arcades turn to digital solutions to enhance user experience and maximize reach among other strategies.