Commentary

Cuzco’s Casinos’ Missing Eats: When will these casinos begin to compete?

People come to Cuzco for a variety of reasons, be they to experience the wealth of culture that the region has to offer, or just to sit down for some delightful Peruvian dishes in some of the great restaurants in the area. However, what people often fail to realize is that Peru also has a growing gambling industry, which in 2008 had grown into an $80 million market, up from merely $10 million in 2005.

So why exactly are Cuzco’s casinos not making more of a name for themselves? It’s not because there aren’t any, as the area has several large casinos. However, the casinos in Cuzco are falling behind in terms of the technology being implemented in their gaming rooms.Last year, Casino Atlantic City in Lima implemented Bally Technologies, Inc.’s iVIEW Display Manager with Elite Bonusing Suite in an effort to provide much better services to their patrons.

This move can be traced back to a global effort to make land-based casinos more appealing to tourists, following a growing trend in online gambling. Bally Technologies, Inc.’s system is similar to the features Cryptologic put in place when they launched Intercasino in 1996, allowing for: easy maintenance of slot games, easy implementation of tournaments and events, as well as personalized promos and events that they can view at any time (achieved through Bally’s iVIEW Display Manager). Cuzco’s casinos, on the other hand, have employed no such system, and they’re lagging behind tech-wise.

Instead of playing catch-up, however, Cuzco’s casinos may be able to make a name for themselves by simply taking advantage of what people come to Cuzco for in the first place: great food. Many casinos have begun trying to appeal to potential patrons gastronomically, with the Crown Melbourne announcing that they have recently taken on celebrated chef Heston Blumenthal. The new restaurant, called “The Fat Duck Melbourne” is set to open in February of next year, and close on August of the same year.

The Crown Melbourne has said that they hope that, “This ground breaking culinary project will encourage diners from around the world to visit Melbourne”, and let’s face it: great food from a culinary genius is as good a reason as any to visit a casino. So why have Cuzco’s casinos failed to tap into the rich gastronomic culture of the area? If they really want to stand out, they’d best start cooking up great meals, aside from offering the usual casino fare.

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