Throughout 2017, there has been much debate surrounding the gambling industry’s aim to enter the world of record labels. There’s no doubt that if casinos were to begin offering musicians record labels it would be incredibly successful, but for the rest of the music industry there’s the worrying reality that they simply wouldn’t be able to compete.

After all, record labels work completely differently nowadays when compared to the early labels. Back then, companies were preoccupied with profits generated from the music, while now the music is used as a marketing tool. All record labels must sell the music they produce to as many people as possible to survive, something that has been made significantly more difficult ever since the internet became a household necessity. As the gambling industry is already at the forefront of marketing and entertainment, there’s no doubt that the creation of casino-owned record labels would change the entire industry.

Still, why would casinos want to invest in music if they are already making bank around the world? Well, the truth is casinos – particularly those based in the United States – are approaching some hard times. Las Vegas, for example, receives millions of visitors each and every year, but the number of tourists visiting casinos is slowly but surely dwindling. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, gambling revenue in Vegas continues to drop every year so it’s time for casinos to start offering more and finding other avenues to try. This is possibly the main reason why Vegas casinos have started offering residencies to A-List musicians like Jenifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Bruno Mars, as they surely attract tourists that would otherwise pass by a casino.

Meanwhile, other casinos situated across the globe have started generating profits through online platforms. After all, online casinos are an enormous part of today’s gambling industry and don’t appear to be losing any steam at all. Even internet-based casinos without physical headquarters have unmatchable promotions and rewards for customers. For instance, Slots.io has a bonus offering that attracts huge numbers of players, while other casinos are able to run competitions for international vacations and other prizes. If these sorts of sites were to begin creating casino record labels for web-savvy musicians, there’s no doubt they would also overtake more traditional labels.

Of course, some casinos are ahead of the game and are already offering musicians a spot on their labels. In 2012, Wynn partnered with Ultra Music, a New York City-based indie label, to launch a number of EDM albums. Known as UltraWynn, the label has already released songs from Afrojack, Avicii, deadmau5, Lil Jon and Calvin Harris, all of which are played in Wynn-owned nightclubs and casinos.

Hard Rock Records also launched back in 2012 and now has six musicians signed on, including Hey Monea!, Rosco Bandana and The Carnabys. At the time of the label’s launch, co-head of A&R explained that the label is a non-profit venture that focuses entirely on artists. “We talk to artists and they’ll assume that there’s a catch, and there’s not a catch,” he continued. “You (i.e. – the artist) keep everything the whole time, and if labels come knocking we say we hope they sign you.”

This is where casino record labels will flourish when compared to more traditional labels. Casinos deal in marketing and entertainment as well as resorts, hotels, food, drinks and plenty of other areas - they don’t need to focus on selling as much music as humanly possible to as many people as they can to generate a profit. Instead, artists can sign with a casino record label and relax in the knowledge that as long as people turn up for their shows, they can keep on going.

Hopefully, as time goes on casinos based in the United Kingdom will also begin offering more record labels, but for now, we can simply watch how other countries deal with the new phenomenon.