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Big Data Download

How casinos are betting on big data

Althea Chang

Billions of dollars are lost by gamblers every year along the Vegas Strip, but some casino operators are taking strides to soften the blow of serious gambling losses and leveraging big data to keep customers coming back, according to one company executive.

"They could win a lot or they lose a lot or they could have something in the middle. … So we do try to make sure that people don't have really unfortunate visits," said Caesars Entertainment Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman on "Big Data Download."

Caesars and other casino operators offer loyalty programs. As gamblers spend, companies gather data on those spending trends. Customers also receive tailored incentives for gambling and spending.

"We give you very tangible and immediate benefits for doing so. So we give you meals, and hotel rooms and limousines and show tickets. You share with us information on what you've been doing, what sorts of transactions you've made," said Loveman, whose company is the biggest U.S. casino operator.

Gambling revenue in the state of Nevada, which includes revenue from Caesars as well as its competitors like Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International, fell about 8 percent in July from a year ago to $926 million for that month, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. And that's partly why casinos are turning to big data.

Caesars in particular employs about 200 data experts at its Flamingo Hotel alone. They scour through data on the types of games customers have played, what hotel they've stayed at and where they've been dining, Loveman told CNBC.

"We use that information to model what it is that might interest you for future visits and future purchases with us and then we offer that to you to see if it's enticing," Loveman said.

By Althea Chang