Casinos with Childcare Facilities Attract New Guests Who Spend More

Children ride Super Bikes on the Kids Quest game floor. (Photo courtesy of Kids Quest)

Adding childcare services to casinos is proven to increase gaming revenue and broaden a gaming facilities’ market.

Clientele of Kids Quest and Cyber Quest, interactive childcare facilities, game at a rate between 34 percent and 96 percent higher than the average player, according to numbers gathered by host properties, Troy Dunkley, COO of the companies, told Indian Country Today Media Network. “In addition, a 200-300 percent ROI can be expected in the first year of operation through incremental gain in gaming revenue.”

Kids Quest and Cyber Quest pay host casinos 50 percent of their profits. “It’s a simultaneous stream of revenue”—patrons spend money on the game floor, and the casino earns money through the childcare service, Ann Zenor, development team member, said.

Dunkley’s family founded their childcare business—New Horizon Academy, in 1971 in suburban Minneapolis and now owns and operates a total of 60 centers in addition to their Kids Quest facilities. In 1992, Lyle Berman founder of Grand Casinos, now Lakes Entertainment, contacted the Dunkleys to add childcare service to his casinos in order to attract a new guest base.

Thus Kids Quest, the brightly colored, fun-filled childcare service was founded. Of the 20 casinos now partnered with Kids Quest, 11 are American Indian-owned, and seven of those also include Cyber Quest facilities, which feature family-friendly “nonviolent” arcade games.

Kids Quest provides hourly care for children while their parents enjoy casino gaming and guest amenities. Kids enjoy karaoke, art, interactive video games such as Wii and Kinect for Xbox 360, indoor playground equipment, a gym for organized games and more while at Kids Quest. In addition to this there is a “tiny Tot” room for babies and toddlers from 6 weeks to two and a half years which operates at a 1-4 ratio of caregivers to children.

The program provides insurance and also backup childcare for casino employees when their traditional childcare falls through. “It’s great for employee retention,” said Zenor.

Offering childcare services can aid the casino’s marketing and public relations efforts. Kids Quest and Cyber Quest participate in community events and offer discounts to veterans. “In addition to being an outstanding public relations opportunity—the Kids Quest and Cyber Quest complex has proven itself to be a necessary amenity for parents concerned with the safety of their children when they visit our property—and it’s great fun for the kids themselves,” said Roland J. Harris, former councilor of the Mohegan Tribe, which operates the Mohegan Sun Casino in eastern Connecticut.