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Establish a Holistic Guest-Facing Mobile App Strategy

Extend the boundaries of physical and digital through “phygital.”

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  • A mobile app is a transformative disruptor, especially with the accelerated pace and direction for digital transformation.
  • Mobile development is fast paced and is continually evolving and therefore, any pain points in the project will create a domino-effect from employees to guests.
  • Your organization doesn’t know where to start when it comes to a mobile program or have tried mobile development with little success.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

A mobile app is key to building an omnichannel hyper-personalized platform business as it becomes the glue that holds the phygital experience together; housing and supporting functionalities and content that serve the entire guest journey ecosystem and your various lines of business on-property and online.

Impact and Result

  • Transform organizational objectives into key drivers when selecting and prioritizing mobile app functionalities for your mobile app roadmap.
  • Choose the right mobile app deployment approach, taking into consideration business and IT complexities and capabilities.
  • Evaluate the mobile app developer landscape to ensure that your organization is prepared for the selection and implementation phase.

Establish a Holistic Guest-Facing Mobile App Strategy Research & Tools

1. Establish a Holistic Guest-Facing Mobile App Strategy – Extend the boundaries of physical and blur the lines of “phygital.”

An insightful report that identifies gaming and hospitality functionalities, examines app deployment approaches, and evaluates the vendor landscape.

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Establish a Holistic Guest-Facing Mobile App Strategy

Extend the boundaries of physical and digital through “phygital.”

Analyst Perspective

View a mobile app as a product rather than a feature.

To truly accomplish the ideal “phygital” mobile app experience, operators must first understand the time and resources required to enable, develop, and maintain a mobile app. Developing a mobile app is like building a house. It requires such organizational objectives as a solid foundation, a design that makes sense, intuitive and user-friendly curb appeal, tight security, and the feeling of "home" (or behavioral intention). Time spent on initial strategy is neglected. This report focuses on Info-Tech’s approach to establishing a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy for the gaming and hospitality industry.

Photo of Monica Pagtalunan

Monica Pagtalunan
Research Analyst, Gaming & Hospitality Research Center (GHRC)
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

A mobile app has become a competitive product as a disruptive technology, especially with the accelerated pace and direction for digital transformation.

Mobile development is fast-paced and continually evolving therefore any pain points in the project will create a domino effect from employees to guests.

Your organization doesn’t know where to start when it comes to a mobile program or has tried mobile development with little success.

Common Obstacles

Operators sit on the extreme ends of the scale, either implementing functionalities without a future-forward strategy or attempting to carry out all desired functionalities at once.

Operators struggle with the overwhelming number of moving parts and refresh cycles that often don’t align.

Deployment decision points and approaches are not properly considered but are required to ensure a mobile app initiative does not fail.

Info-Tech’s Approach

Transform organizational objectives into key drivers when selecting and prioritizing mobile app functionalities for your mobile app road map.

Choose the right mobile app deployment approach, taking into consideration business and IT complexities and capabilities.

Evaluate the mobile app developer landscape to ensure that your organization is prepared for the selection and implementation phase.

Overarching Info-Tech Insight

A mobile app is key to building an omnichannel, hyper-personalized platform business. As the glue holding the phygital experience together, it houses and supports functionalities and content that serve the entire guest journey ecosystem and your various lines of business on-property and online.

Mobile provides convenience, flexibility, and personalization

A mobile app is a downloadable digital solution for mobile devices. It serves as a key touchpoint between the operator and the guest to elevate the customer experience depending on the services that are being provided (hotel, casino, integrated resort functionalities).

Offering mobile technology differentiates the gaming and hospitality industry in sustainability efforts. The mobile app enables convenience, ease of access, flexibility, personalization, and omnichannel.

A mobile app requires strategic choices in feature functionality and user experience (UX) design, making it a valuable initiative that must be well-thought-out.

Guests’ digital expectations are disrupting the industry

Consider Hospitality Technology’s 2022 Customer Engagement Technology study results:

Customers consider these technology features important when selecting one operator over another.

73%: Ability to make reservations and check-in and out from a mobile device
73%: Texted important information about your reservation before your stay
50%: Operator provides personalized service based on purchase history
48%: Operator offers contactless payment
— Hospitality Technology, 2022

These guest expectations can be delivered through a mobile app.

Mobile app usage surged during the pandemic. According to ‘s 2020 report, mobile app usage increased by 40% alone during the month of April 2020 (, 2020). It has dramatically altered the lifestyle of many.

Digital native shifted to digital adaptive. All consumers adapted to the mobile app ecosystem, no matter the demographic, and altered their own lifestyle to adapt to the increasingly digital environment they’ve grown to live in. With greater adaption comes greater expectations. The gaming and hospitality industry is no exception. As other industries adapt to digital preferences and expectations, the industry can’t be left behind or customers will face a disconnected experience. In fact, as highlighted above, customers in the space have been vocal in their technology requirements.

Operators can meet guest expectations through mobile app enablement. A mobile application is an added digital touchpoint to the operator’s portfolio, acting as the umbrella that delivers the various functionalities a guest looks for. Asking guests about the importance of various technology features is not much different than asking them about the importance of the provision of a mobile app.

A mobile app enables a phygital platform strategy

A mobile app is one of the key catalysts in digital transformation as a phygital enabler, developing interactions that can jump from physical to digital, and vice versa. A mobile app keeps the identity of the customer intact in both environments by curating content, delivering seamless interactions, and orchestrating value across the ecosystem.

A diagram that shows the relationship between guest journey ecosystem, digital experience functionalities, on-property experience platform, and mobile app interaction.

Mobile supports digital transformation goals.

Goal: Enhance guest experience

  • Shift from paper to digital communications.
  • Seamless, omnichannel guest experiences across devices.

Goal: Increase workflow and efficiency

  • Use of data to improve process efficiency.
  • Use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) for intelligent automation.

— Broadridge, 2022

The industry is optimizing digital experiences

A graph that shows different digital experience functionalities enabled by hospitality organizations.


Organizations are seeing the value of digital experiences. The digital functionalities mentioned above provide the guest with an optimized experience, either providing personalization, convenience, or overall increased engagement. Based on the numbers, these capabilities do exist but are not as apparent.


More must be done to realize the value. There is opportunity for more organizations to optimize their digital experiences since numbers are not as high. COVID and prevalent digital guest expectations, preferences, and demands are key drivers for these functionality implementations to grow further.

Organizations have difficulty starting a mobile app strategy

Developing a mobile app is not as easy as it sounds.

Mobile app challenges have a massive impact on success. Any one of the following areas will lead to low success rates or in other words, high mobile app uninstall and abandonment rates.

  • Difficulty understanding the scope of the project. Operators don’t take the “bigger picture” into consideration.
  • Having multiple verticals in this industry causes competing priorities for departments.
  • Organizations still see the digital and physical environment as two distinct realms which discourages and limits an omnichannel, hyper-personalized experience.
  • Choosing the wrong development approach will lead to shaky back-end support and maintenance and poor UX design and testing.

of surveyed operators state they have a fragmented approach to marketing and customer experience technology.

— Adobe, 2021.

mobile app abandonment rate after one session.

— Upland, 2015.

of surveyed consumers notice glitches and bugs in the apps they use.

— Qualitest, 2017.

No matter your mobile app state, (re)building a proper strategy is necessary

52% of surveyed casino operators do not have a mobile app but are evaluating options. – G2E, 2022

Current state #1: Your organization does not have a mobile app but is ready to engage in strategy.

Your organization is keen to make this initiative a business priority for the future but has no idea where to start or is overwhelmed with the number of moving parts in a mobile app strategy.

Establish a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

Result: Planning before engagement helps address potential risks up-front (proactive rather than reactive), find opportunities for optimization, and communicate with the business to ensure tight alignment and determine future roadmap.

41% of surveyed casino operators have a mobile app. – G2E, 2022

Current state #2: You organization has a mobile app but is dealing with its complexities and must reassess.

Time and money is wasted on unnecessary or erroneous activities. Additionally, you’ve developed people, process, and technology gaps due to your mobile app initiative.

Establish a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

Result: Learning from your past attempts gives you insight on the opportunities and impact changes will have on a properly documented mobile app strategy and its people, processes, and technology.

Establish a holistic mobile app strategy

Info-Tech’s approach

A mobile app is key to building an omnichannel, hyper-personalized platform business. As the glue that holds the phygital experience together, it houses and supports functionalities and content that serve the entire guest journey ecosystem and your various lines of business on-property and online.

A diagram that shows a holistic mobile app strategy; questions include: Why does your organization need a mobile app?, What functionalities would be included in your mobile app to achieve organizational objectives?, How will your organization deploy the desired mobile app?

Case study

Logo of Union Bank

Hyatt Hotels

  • INDUSTRY: Hospitality
  • SOURCE: Slalom

Why did Hyatt need a mobile app?
A mobile app initiative would accomplish three key organizational objectives for Hyatt:

  1. Increase engagement and improve guest experience from booking to post-departure.
  2. Gain better insight into guest needs and preferences and use this to enhance their future experiences with Hyatt.
  3. Build a flexible, scalable, digital platform that enables industry-leading features.

What functionalities would be included in Hyatt’s mobile app to achieve organizational objectives?
The functionalities of Hyatt’s mobile app were well-thought-out with the sole purpose to accomplish these objectives as stated below.

How did Hyatt deploy their mobile application?
The company pivoted from using outsourced technology to a build model, knowing that they could develop a self-sufficient, fully staffed, 24/7 in-house development team.


Hyatt knew a build model would require the proper resources, skills, and staffing levels. After building the team, they were able to deliver 18 releases in 12 months.

With organizational objectives in mind, in-app booking revenue increased by 80% since its launch.

World of Hyatt mobile app product

Step 1: Book a stay

  • Search hotel and info in multiple languages and currencies
  • Book your stay

Step 2: En route to property

  • Online check-in, mobile key, and room ready notification
  • Hotel directions, activities, amenities
  • Request Uber

Step 3: During your stay

  • Order in-room dining, request items, and make dining reservations
  • View room information, room charges, and local weather
  • Chromecast integration

Step 4: Departure and retention

  • Express check-out and digital folio
  • View loyalty account, redeem reward nights, rebook

Info-Tech’s methodology for a strategic loyalty management selection process

Phase steps

1. Align organizational objectives.

2. Adopt the right deployment approach.

3. Evaluate the mobile app developer landscape.

Phase outcomes

Transform organizational objectives into key drivers when selecting and prioritizing mobile app functionalities for your mobile app road map.

Choose the right mobile app deployment approach, taking into consideration business and IT complexities and capabilities.

Analyze the vendor landscape, focusing in on vendors that support your designed deployment approach and satisfy current functionality and fill functionality gaps.

Phase 1

Align organizational objectives.

A diagram that shows the 3 phases of a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

Establish a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

This phase will walk you through the following:

  • Consider the need for mobile.
  • Sync website and mobile app strategy.
  • Examine hotel and casino functionalities.
  • Build an iterative road map.

Consider what “we need a mobile app” really means

“Just because” is not a sufficient answer. When business stakeholders say, “we need a mobile app”, it’s important to ask, “why do you feel like we need a mobile app?”

The mobile app needs to fulfill an end-user or guest need. A mobile app should solve an issue that the business is experiencing and/or an organizational objective that needs to be accomplished.

Align organizational objectives to your mobile strategy. Leverage your organization’s objective, categorizing it in four major areas:

  • Business Context: How does a mobile app align with the organization’s vision and/or mission statements? Does it help accomplish any major stated goals or targets?
  • Business Ecosystem: Do our competitors have a mobile app? What capabilities are they implementing to reach new markets or demographic groups? How can we fend off competition?
  • Internal Capabilities: Will a mobile app improve the workflow of our staff? How does a mobile app impact our departments (e.g. marketing, operations, etc.)?
  • Guest Demands: Do our guest visitation patterns warrant a mobile app? Do our current and target demographics want a mobile app? What do they want to use a mobile app for?

Sample Organizational Objectives

Business Context Desire to build a digitally integrated casino brand and face, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) for real-time data to make informed decisions.
Business Ecosystem Compete with our incumbent and disruptive competitors by implementing sustainability and differentiating innovative technologies.
Internal Capabilities Must improve internal capabilities due to pandemic-induced staff shortages by leveraging technology to optimize productivity, efficiency, and workflow.
Guest Demands Based on feedback, guest demands have increased with specific callouts for freedom of choice, self-service, personalized experiences, and information transparency.

Don’t go mobile if you don’t have to!

If you build it, will they come? Gauge mobile’s appropriateness for your organization.

Web App

Mobile App


Mobile web applications are deployed, executed, and optimized within the mobile web browser.

When does it make sense?

  • Desire to maximize current web technology investments.
  • Access to mobile application is not a high priority for guests and the business.
  • Focus on information delivery/content-oriented.

Mobile apps are developed and deployed to specific devices (iOS, Android, etc.) and must be downloaded through an app store.

When does it make sense?

  • Access to mobile application has become a high priority for guests and the business.
  • Strong need for high performance, security, and device-specific customizations.
  • Engage, interact, and communicate with guests to drive loyalty and retention.


  • Greater access for largest amount of devices.
  • A web app can still meet some desired experiences with the use of popular web languages (e.g. HTML5).
  • Common codebase is easy to maintain.
  • Available offline access.
  • Faster customer experience than the web app.
  • Greater array of functionality (e.g. camera, GPS navigation).
  • Targets individual device limitations and abilities.


  • Requires internet/online access.
  • Slower than mobile apps.
  • Advanced functionality limitations.
  • Different programming language for each operating system (OS).
  • Requires app store approval and investment.
  • Increases application-specific support, deployment, and versioning, form factor refactoring, and platform-specific extensions.

A single-property destination operator is the perfect example of a business that must gauge mobile’s appropriateness since this type of market is frequented by guests once or twice a year. In a case like this, it will be difficult to develop a mobile app value-proposition.

Look to the data for app demand evidence. Who are you targeting? How frequently do these guests come to your property?

If a mobile app isn’t appropriate, consider a web app as it can still accomplish a variety of mobile-friendly functionalities. Some functionalities, like camera, geolocation, calendar, and NFC, may be limited or slow and require work-arounds.

Info-Tech Insight

A mobile application as a disruptive technology has been hyped in this industry. Its usefulness will vary by organization. Gauge appropriateness or else face the pitfalls and cost of failed mobility.

Sync up your website and mobile app strategy

Context optimization is crucial.

Optimize the mobile experience by leveraging its unique form factors, power, and device advantages. A website should not be the same experience as a mobile app. For the most part, operators already have a website as the digital foundation. A regular website is bound to have different use cases, features, and experiences than a mobile app. It should never have the same experience. Replicating the website experience on your mobile app to make a copy for a smaller screen is simply not enough.

Seamless design should stay intact in all environments. You want both your website and your mobile app to live up to the same standards and allow your customers to interact on both touchpoints with no effort.

Potentialize and accept the different channels for what they are. Take the central experience and adapt it to suit the channel in question, playing to its strengths. A mobile app should be offered for specific purposes that one might not otherwise be able to complete through a website.

Align functionalities with objectives

What functionalities map back to your organizational objectives? This thought process will help make a solid case for a mobile app functionality because you have an understanding now of why you’re doing the initiative and how it delivers value.

Examine functionalities available to the gaming and hospitality industry.

Concierge Service

  • Online chat
  • AI chatbot
  • Hyperlinked customer support Phone number/email

Self-Service Control

  • Room, event, and reservation booking (pool, dining, spa, etc.)
  • Mobile check-in and check-out
  • Mobile room key
  • Room and in-room technology controls (e.g. temperature, TV)

Community Tools

  • Social sharing links
  • Community/posting boards
  • Gaming leaderboards

Loyalty Functionality

  • Point/reward transactions with partners
  • Tier or point information/balance
  • Loyalty discounts
  • Personalized offers, incentives, promotions, and bonuses
  • Gamification

Virtual Wallet

  • Cashless wagering
  • Digital wallet
  • Mobile ordering
  • Payment processing


  • Indoor GPS
  • Maps, directions to property or within property
  • Augmented reality

Information Delivery

Non real-time:

  • Hotel/casino directory
  • Virtual room tours
  • General information


  • Push notifications/SMS for alerts and reminders (e.g. bill information, weather updates, trip, service issues)
  • Real-time marketing

Gaming Content

  • iGaming
  • Sports betting
  • Social casino
  • Tournaments

Objective alignment measures the success of functionalities

Your mobile app metrics should tie back to your organizational objective metrics. Use these metrics to ensure your strategy and implementations are on the right path while avoiding productivity loss and unintended consequences.

Organizational objective metrics

Mobile app strategy metrics

Increased # of returning guests

# of returning guests on the mobile app

Increased guest engagement

# of active guests and increased time on device

Increased guest satisfaction

User rating/satisfaction (i.e. app store rating) on mobile app

Increased guest service and convenience

Time to task completion and # of tasks completed

Increased revenue

In-app revenue

Decreased business operational costs

Reduced operational costs due to in-app service

Increased business reputation and image

Share of voice; perceived positive digital image

Iterative growth is good

Leverage your objective-aligned functionalities to guide your mobile app roadmap.

A road map creates balance. Avoid attempting to implement everything at once or implementing a functionality without a holistic future-forward strategy.

The prioritization of functionalities will be based on your organizational objectives. The mobile team will be challenged with balancing a defined scope of work while managing high stakeholder expectations. Stakeholder requirements and requirements around delivery of features will conflict with each other, especially when you’re dealing with several verticals (hotel, loyalty, marketing, gaming, etc.). A compromise is needed. To manage disagreements, avoid communicative silos and introduce group facilitation to keep the teams focused on the “bigger picture.”

The “build-measure-learn loop” is the ideal method to achieve mobile success. The loop relies on minimum viable products (MVP), which focus on a small set of functions that involve minimal effort to deliver. It’s designed to satisfy the user while maximizing learning and evaluating its acceptance.

You will enable adaptability. Iterative growth means you’re ready to alter the mobile approach when new insights and issues arise before, during, and after the delivery of mobile functionalities.

Differentiating functionalities require this iteration. The essence of gaming and hospitality functionalities can be beyond what we currently imagine. Find ways to further differentiate your mobile app. As you iterate, you will learn who your guests are and can use this data to develop unique value propositions and can work with the team and vendors to discuss feasibility. Iteration means the risk accumulated will be minimal.

Communicate the following in your road map:

  • Why is the work being done? Organizational Objective Alignment.
  • What is the work being done? Mobile app functionality.
  • Who is doing the work? Include impacted business stakeholders.
  • When is the work being done? The first version may not have dates. Consider a prioritization scheme: Now, Next, Later.

Read Info-Tech’s Choose Your Mobile Platform and Tools for more information

Value chain and journey mapping advances your mobile app strategy

Understand that each app functionality has its own unique impacts.

Value Chains

Determine which departments and processes will be impacted by the mobile app functionality, and how.

Develop the functionality’s value proposition or benefits that it promises to deliver.

Consider inhibitors or dependencies early so your organization will reduce risks and reactive responses. For example, the addition of a mobile room key requires a cloud property management system and the upgrading of all locks, which requires time and money before implementation. Consider the following questions:

  • Will I have a significant performance bottleneck?
  • What new technology dependencies must I account for in my architecture and operational support capabilities?
  • Do my legacy systems have the capacity to support mobile?

An example of Cashless Functionality Value Chains
Sample: Cashless Functionality Value Chains

Journey Maps

Describe the desired mobile experience, especially as your organization adds functionalities to the mix.

Position IT to meet both end-user and guest needs with appropriate solutions.

Further break down functionalities by the guest experience flow and touchpoints.

An example of Cashless Functionality Journey Map
Sample: Cashless Functionality Journey Map

Read Info-Tech’s Integrated Casino Industry Reference Architecture Guide for more information

It is necessary to consider a holistic approach for integration purposes

A diagram of mobile app integrations.

Your mobile app will likely be integrated with other systems to expand service offerings and optimize performance and user experience. Your enterprise integration strategy ensures all systems connect against a common pattern with compatible technologies.

Integration is especially important in the context of an integrated resort. Hotel and casino functionalities vary in complexity. Ensure you map out your casino management system (CMS), property management system (PMS), and loyalty system, and bring them along for the ride. Key providers must be with you during vendor evaluation of functions.

The first version of your road map will not accommodate everything because of changing business and guest needs. You must make room for the evolution of trending mobile functionalities and features and be able to add them to your pipeline.

Growth of features equals growth in complexity. The ability to provide all the data and service capabilities your mobile apps need to operate is key. Focus efforts on the maintainability, reliability, and scalability of your application programming interface (API) to enable availability, reusability, reliability, and security.

Read Info-Tech’s Build Effective Enterprise Integration on the Back of Business Process

Content optimization through a hyper-personalized, omnichannel experience

A mobile app plays a huge role as a digital touchpoint that can converge the online and physical footprint. Functionality is not everything. Your mobile app should be balanced with optimal user experience (UX) and content to improve personalization even in the on-property experience.

The role of mobile for omnichannel, hyper-personalization online and offline:
A diagram that shows personalized content optimization of online journey and on-property journey.

Phase 2

Adopt the right deployment approach.

A diagram that shows the 3 phases of a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

Establish a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

This phase will walk you through the following:

  • Consider a single app vs. multi-app approach
  • Gauge a buy, build, or mixed model
  • Understand security risks and digital trust implications

A single-app approach is not always possible

Single-App Approach

Multi-App Approach


A single app to house all products, services, and functionalities.

Creating different apps for the different products, services and functionalities that your organization offers.


Consistency of experience - keeping customers engaged without having to switch from app to app.

The internal capacity of managing one app is less constrained and speed to development is quicker.

Drives more loyalty and ability to cross-sell with a central app.

Enhance retainment and capacity to deal with a large volume of customers.

Distinctive user experience for each app to please target segments, installing only what they need.

Developing and analyzing relevant marketing content becomes easier with product-focused apps.


The more functionalities you fit in one app, the increased risk of negative UX such as longer loading time, poor navigation, and too much perceived content.

More expensive than single-app approach.

Internal management and development of multiple apps is time-consuming and difficult especially in the context of code changes, releases, and compliance scope.

Fragments the guest experience and may cause guest confusion as to which app to download.

A single-app approach is ideal for consistency. Seamlessness is a term used often because that is what guests demand from the industry. Based on this logic, a single-app approach is ideal. In fact, the approach makes perfect sense for hotels when we think about the typical functionalities offered.

A multi-app approach is forced onto casinos. Separation of gaming functionality can be cased by regulatory issues or business-to-customer (B2C) partnerships such as those seen with FanDuel and DraftKings. However, the blessing in disguise is the ability to focus on different customer segments (online players, on-property players, and hotel guests) with highly varied demands and preferences when it comes to mobile app functionalities.

A multi-approach makes sense when:

  • Regulatory challenges limit a service per app (e.g. iGaming and social casino cannot be on one app).
  • Your organization wants to be flexible in brand identity. This is common among large enterprise companies (e.g. Penn Interactive vs. Penn Entertainment).
  • Distinct customer segments with diverse needs (e.g. by property, geographic location, or functionality).

Info-Tech Insight

Choose customers over internal capacities when choosing this approach. The development team should not dictate how many apps can be developed. Instead, focus on the customers and what approach satisfies them and limits confusion.

Buy and build take on multiple forms

#1 Full Mobile App Development

Build in-house: The entire mobile app, including its functionalities, is built in-house. However, technologies used for mobile app development are built by external organizations (e.g. React, Ionic). Operators that go this route believe that it’s easier to enhance with in-house teams.

#2 Full Mobile App Enablement

The entire mobile app, including its functionalities, relies on third-party systems to operate.

Buy single-source: A single source means the application/system and the functionalities are bought from one vendor only. This is possible for hotel-only or casino-only properties since all-in-one functionality exists for some vendors.

Buy best-of-breeds: A best-of-breed sourcing structure means an application/system is purchased, and its functionalities are integrated from various third-party vendors based on their specializations. This is common among integrated resorts.

#3 Mix of Mobile App Development and Enablement

Build mobile application & Buy vendor add-ons and integrations: The aggregation of features are developed by external vendors while the app itself is built in-house. Add-ons and integrations are meant to enhance the existing vendor’s offerings.

Consider delivery throughput and quality metrics as you weigh mobile app approaches.

  • Frequency of release
  • Lead time
  • Request turnaround
  • Escaped defects
  • Test coverage

Comparing mobile enablement (buy) versus development (build)

Resource and capacity drive the decision between a buy vs. build. App performance is complex. In many cases, app performance fails because of coding issues, bandwidth restrictions, and lapses in network protocols. Does your IT department have the resources, staff, skills, and funding to sustain this going forward?

Buy - Mobile Enablement

Build - Mobile Development

Technical Skills

Little to no mobile delivery experience and skillsets are needed, but teams must be familiar with the supporting system to understand how a mobile interface can improve the value of the system. Have good UX-driven and quality-first practices in the mobile context. In-depth coding, networking, system and UX design, data management, and security skills are needed for complex designs, functions, and architectures.

Architecture and Integration

Architecture is standardized by the vendor or enterprise with user interface (UI) elements that are often minimally configurable. Extensions and integrations must be done through the system rather than the mobile interface. Application stack and integration is customized to meet the specific functional and non-functional needs. It should still leverage web and design standards and investments currently used.

Functional Scope

Functionality is limited to what the underlying system allows the interface to do. This often is constrained to commodity web application features (e.g. reporting) or tied to minor configurations to the vendor-provided point solution. Functionality is only constrained by the platform and the targeted mobile devices, whether it is performance, integration, access or security related. Teams should consider feature and content parity across all products within the organization portfolio.

Standards and Guardrails

Vendor or IT manage quality standards and technology governance with limited capabilities to tailor them to be mobile specific. Mobile delivery teams manage quality standards and technology. The degree of customizations to these standards and guardrails is dependent on the chosen platform and delivery team competencies.

Consider GHRC organizations’ 2022 state of Application Development

An image of application development throughput and quality.
Gaming and hospitality organizations must evaluate process due to low importance and low effectiveness of these IT capabilities

3.7%: share of staffing

72.9%: process and procedure effectiveness

77.4%: technology effectiveness

76.2%: skill effectiveness

A mobile app heightens security through increased risk

A diagram that shows threat vectors, attack targets, weak security impacts, and mitigation tactic.

Example: 2021 OLG auditor follow-up on 2019 report - the need to strengthen security in customer-facing mobile application

Auditor Issue
Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG) had not performed a penetration test of the OLG Lottery Mobile App, which was developed by an IT vendor and stores customers’ personal information. A potential breach via the app increases the risk that customer data, including customers’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers, could be compromised.
Auditor Recommendation
In order for OLG to more effectively protect itself from the risk of cyberattacks, safeguard personal information, and have continuity of services, we recommend that OLG regularly perform penetration testing of all critical IT systems. We noted that OLG performed penetration tests of the OLG Lottery Mobile App in February 2020 and in April 2021.

Digital trust is required for the guest experience

57% of surveyed executives reported at least one data breach in the past three years.
— McKinsey, 2022.

Digital trust concerns your mobile app users. Adding digital touchpoints becomes risky. Overall, consumers tend to have a critical view of digital trust, never truly feeling “safe”. At the same time, however, they do believe there is a moderate degree of digital trust put in place for consumer protection. How do we increase and maintain this trust?

Trust must be earned. According to Swiss Digital Initiative, three levels of digital trust exist. In the context of a mobile app:

  1. Reliability – the mobile app’s reliability (i.e. stability, usability, etc.) is the basic requirement.
  2. Security and Privacy – as the mobile app becomes more complex with the need for customer information, security measures and responsible data management and protection is crucial.
  3. Social and Ethical Responsibility – the organizational objectives of the mobile app should align with know your client (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML), and responsible gambling responsibilities.

Ensure continuous trust. The measures and guidelines you put in place are just the beginning. You must continue to gain and maintain trust and confidence with your guests and players while you set more digital trust goals and have mitigation tactics for digital risks.

Digital trust benefits the operator too. The way your organization ensures trust will increase consumer confidence, while also enhancing the organization’s KYC, AML, and security capabilities and reducing promotional fraud, chargebacks, and member account takeovers.

A diagram that shows the relationship between Mobile App Reliability, Security and Privacy, Social and Ethical Responsibility.
Adapted from Swiss Digital Initiative, 2019.

Phase 3

Adopt the right deployment approach.

A diagram that shows the 3 phases of a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

Establish a holistic guest-facing mobile app strategy.

This phase will walk you through the following:

  • Analyze mobile app vendor criteria
  • Measure strengths and weaknesses of mobile app vendors in the industry

Define your mobile delivery vendor selection criteria

Focus on the key vendor attributes and capabilities that enable mobile delivery scaling and growth in your organization.

Read Info-Tech’s Choose Your Mobile Platform and Tools for more vendor criteria

A diagram that shows different qualities under typical and differentiating criteria

CMS/PMS mobile app solutions exist but some operators are looking elsewhere

Consider a best-of-breed vs. bundled suite approach.

Diagram of two app strategy approaches. Best-of-Breed Modular Approach. Pros: Best-of-breed capabilities would be procured, offering maximized value and solution functionality. Cons: Increased complexity level during integration and ongoing operations; Increased vendor management and support required to maintain and operate systems; and Increased vendor costs. Bundled Suite Approach. Pros: Decreased level of complexity; Improved ability to manage single vendor relationship; and Decreased costs as a result of bundling. Cons: Capabilities and integration can be limited by vendor’s prerogative.

Casino and property management system mobile app solutions likely exist (e.g. Light & Wonder’s Scientific Games Universe mobile app).

As organizations scale overtime, they are typically more inclined to selectively source a best-of-breed mobile app module from a third-party vendor that integrates with a casino management system (CMS) and property management system (PMS) instead of procuring a bundled suite of modules.

A best-of-breed approach is often selected due to a mobile app solution’s limitations, against CMS/PMS vendor’s own prerogative, especially when it comes to capabilities, functionalities, and integrations. Further, these vendors usually lack developer focus in supplementary products which can cause risk and dissatisfaction among end-users and guests.

Major mobile app solution providers

Info-Tech identified 9 platforms applicable to the use case, specifically SMEs in the corresponding type of organization: Gaming and Hospitality.

A diagram that shows gaming vendors, hospitality vendors, and gaming & hospitality vendors; and where the 9 platforms belong.

Vendor Quadrant

This quadrant is an unbiased overview of the landscape. The results are based on the expert opinion of the analyst and detailed secondary research.

A diagram of vendor quadrant that measures mobile app functionality & vendor footprint


Vendor Functionality: Does the vendor have a strong breadth and depth of capabilities in the payment processing space?
Vendor Footprint: How big is the vendor? What’s the viability of the vendor? And do they have a valid road map?

Experiture product highlights

Logo of Experiture

  • Headquarters: BK, NY
  • Employees: 51-200
  • Presence: Private
  • Set-up fees and monthly fixed cost.


Clear upgrade path: operator can use their services and single point of integration without the need for multiple vendors.

Most casino and hospitality functionalities are in-house built micro-products/software development kits (SDK), excluding gaming content. They are integrated across the ecosystem (PMS, CMS, kiosks, ticketing and reservation systems, loyalty, etc.). This gives the ability to pull data from all systems to trigger real-time messaging.

Offers pre-built design and templates for time effectiveness using best practices.

Integrates directly with the Experiture platform, crucial to omnichannel and personalization. Its integrated features include push messaging (SMS and app), content updates, and real-time marketing based on proximity, locations, and preferences.

Areas for Improvement

Experiture uses the Ionic framework. Although it’s considered one of the best and its relevance remains high, its performance lacks suitability for native applications because it renders elements via browser. If your mobile app requires heavy-lifting such as a camera, augmented reality, or graphics-heavy games/rendering, this may not be a suitable choice.

Push message deployment is manual which could be considered time-consuming and mundane, especially since automated engines exist. If operators don’t have the resources to manage, they would have to use a managed services team to manage deployment.

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2014.

Offers solutions across various industry verticals including gaming, hospitality, FSI, education, retail, not-for-profit, healthcare, and automotive.

Ute Mountain Casino Hotel, Viejas Casino Resort, Paragon Casino Resort, and Gulfstream Park Casino are notable clients.

Gambyt product highlights

Logo of Gambyt

  • Headquarters: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Employees: 11-50
  • Presence: Private
  • Time and material rate/firm fixed costs.


Acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the vendor focuses on native custom app development (no templates) to reflect regulatory constraints and unique value propositions.

Exceptionally strong “discovery process” (including player feedback loop) that can illuminate minimum viable products (MVP) and iterative growth.

Performs the integration work (or creates middleware layers) for seamless app and web experience which can be viewed as a pro and a con.

Does not pitch on conversion kits (Flutter, React). Although these kits are time effective, usability becomes ineffective.

Areas for Improvement

The vendor specializes in the lottery industry and has not transitioned to the casino and sports betting business yet. Although many processes and hurdles are different, lottery is a regulated gaming product and migrating focus may not be too difficult.

Only offers gamification, loyalty, and payment systems as key functionalities. They do not offer other gaming and hospitality functions required to be successful and would require extensive integration work.

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2016.

Extensive retail and digital lottery experience.

Michigan Lottery and Massachusetts Lottery are recognized clients.

Joingo product highlights

Logo of Joingo

  • Headquarters: LV, NV
  • Employees: 11-50
  • Presence: Private
  • Pricing information is not publicly available.


As a no-code solution, the benefits include marketing self-reliance with built modules, reduced mobile app costs, and ease in making functionality changes.

Offers a number of features like geo-fence/time gate activation, gamification, targeted offers and messages, and social gaming and challenges.

Includes a cloud-based management console to send messages and offers, locate patrons, and view advanced analytics.

Integrated features to hyper-personalize the experience include push messaging (SMS and app), content updates, and real-time marketing based on proximity, locations, and preferences.

Recognized for their customer support and relationships.

Areas for Improvement

As a no-code solution, challenges include rigid templates that limit what you can build or customize and lack of code-control which could lead to security risks.

Does not include hotel functionalities and would require integrations with hotel mobile app developers/functionality providers such as Intelity, Zaplox, and Runtriz.

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2010.

Sightline Payments acquired JOINGO in 2021.

Nearly 100 casinos in the US alone have implemented the solution, including Foxwoods Casino, Desert Diamond, and Sky Casino.

Venuetize product highlights

Logo of Venuetize

  • Headquarters: Tampa, FL
  • Employees: 51-200
  • Presence: Private
  • Pricing information is not publicly available.


Offers casino-specific functionalities like mobile wallet and ordering, information and directory (live calendar, ticketing, parking), navigation (interactive maps, wayfinding), concierge services, and sports betting content.

Ability to personalize the experience based on location, play, and availability to push offers and promotions to players.

Vendor-agnostic to easily integrate to an operator’s existing technology partners including casino management systems.

Includes managed services team to provide 24/7 monitoring.

Areas for Improvement

The gaming and hospitality product does not have as much focus on research and development as the sports side does. However, the acquisition of Everi could mean increasingly blurred lines between casino, gaming, and entertainment

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2014.

Specializes in the professional sports industry but is also well-versed in hospitality, casino, and entertainment spaces.

Memphis Grizzlies and PGA TOUR are recognized clients.

Intelity product highlights

Logo of Intelity

  • Headquarters: LA, CA
  • Employees: 51-200
  • Presence: Private
  • Pricing information is not publicly available.


Their reliance on technology partners makes the vendor more suitable for mobile application programming interface (API) clients that already have a homegrown app and need a functionality embedder.

Offers web-based HTML5 apps.

At the end of 2022, Intelity released the R5 platform, their fifth generation platform. It includes two differentiating functionalities:

  • 1-Click Mobile Check-In (skip front desk, account creation, and reservation codes).
  • ID Capture and Verification (guests can use their phones with automated verification).

Areas for Improvement

No integration with casino management systems, only existing casino apps (Joingo, Ivoree).

Relies heavily on pre-design templates and shells. No custom building which makes differentiation difficult. Further, managed services does not exist.

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2007.

Specializes in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Recognized clients include Wind Creek, Marina Bay Sands, and Outrigger Hotels.

iReckonu product highlights

Logo of iReckonu

  • Headquarters: Amsterdam
  • Employees: 51-200
  • Presence: Private
  • Pricing information is not publicly available.


iReckonu uses a white label app solution which is considered cost efficient and time effective with lower maintenance risks and full brand identity.

Offers the typical functionalities like mobile check-in and check-out, digital keys, self-service room controls.

Their iGreetU mobile app is a small part of the entire iReckonu product. Consider implementing its other parts for a holistic approach.

  • iKnowU: customer data platform
  • iInformU: real-time reporting
  • iAssistU: marketing and personalization
  • iRewardU: loyalty program integration

Areas for Improvement

Limited product feature and architecture documentation and therefore difficult to determine areas for improvement.

With a white label app solution, there is limited customization and scalability challenges.

Lacks differentiating/complex hotel functionalities.

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2015.

Recognizable clients include Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Citizen M.

Built a 200+ partner ecosystem with vendors like ASSA ABLOY, Shift4, and Oracle.

Runtriz product highlights

Logo of Runtriz

  • Headquarters: LA, CA
  • Employees: 11-50
  • Presence: Private
  • Pricing information is not publicly available.


Offers web app functionality which is advantageous for operators that don’t think there’s a good enough value proposition for a mobile app. Web app functionality includes: 2-way text messaging, location-based services, in-app chat functionality, guest services, custom QR codes, hotel compendium with QR code, mobile ordering pre-registration, and TV remote link.

Offers all necessary hotel functionality such as mobile key, mobile ordering, push notifications, loyalty program, mobile check-in, etc.

Offers multiple property functionality.

Areas for Improvement

Mobile key is not included in the web app. Vendors like 4SUITES have proved that web app mobile keys are possible.

Although they state their focus on the casino vertical, casino-specific functionalities are lacking in product documents.

The solution is broken down into three levels for purchase: essentials, elements, and evolution. The vendor is developing the operator’s roadmap by forcing what functionalities are included in the app based on the level of choice.

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2006.

Specialized in casino and gaming mobile app development.

Recognized clients include Caesars Palace, Flamingo, and Virgin Hotels.

Stay product highlights

Logo of Stay

  • Headquarters: Madrid
  • Employees: 11-50
  • Presence: Private
  • Pricing information is not publicly available.


Greater focus on back-end system using front-end data. For example, service request systems such as room service, laundry, issues, housekeeping, amenities, and inquiries.

Offers web app functionality which is advantageous for operators who don’t think there’s a good enough value proposition for a mobile app. Guests can access content through URL or QR code scanning.

Their reliance on technology partners makes the vendor more suitable for mobile API clients that already have a homegrown app and need a functionality embedder.

Areas for Improvement

Support may be a challenge for operators in North America since customer service is not 24/7 and is stationed in Madrid.

Vendor Strategy

Founded in 2012.

Recognized clients include Hilton Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, Hard Rock, and the Ritz-Carlton.

Next steps:

Additional insight into mobile strategy, approaches and road map building:
Choose Your Mobile Platform and Tools

Optimize your software delivery process:
Modernize Your SDLC

Develop mobile app metrics:
Select and Use SDLC Metrics Effectively

Understand how mobile fits with your current architecture:
Enhance Your Solution Architecture Practices

Close the mobile app security gap:
Strengthen the SSDLC for Enterprise Mobile Applications

Create an API-centric integration strategy:
Build effective enterprise integration on the back of business process

Make user experience (UX) the standard:
Implement and mature your user experience design practice



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Establish a Holistic Guest-Facing Mobile App Strategy preview picture

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