INNOVATIONS/INSIGHTS: Winning formula
For the past 25 years, Pam Butler and I have worked tirelessly to assist casinos in attracting, developing and enticing people to play the casino’s live table games of blackjack, craps and roulette.
Our product, WIN CARDS, have proven successful in acclimating beginners to the basics of how to play the casino’s live games. They work to reduce the intimidation factor that prevents many novices from trying out the live table games.
WIN CARDS are handy plastic cards with a dial and are specifically designed to provide beginners with just enough information to get them to become instantly confident and capable of playing properly. Due to the intentionally limited yet correct strategies that are offered, WIN CARDS will not increase the skills of existing players.
The WIN CARDS Program, which is designed to introduce new players to the live action of the table games, has been utilized at over 185 casinos, cruise ships, riverboats and tribal casinos,
worldwide. Over 10 million WIN CARDS have been sold and literally millions of new players have been created for the gaming industry.
We have overcome a number of obstacles on the way to becoming the leading product/service that helps casinos make table games more accessible to beginners. But challenges remain; not the least of which is the fact that most casinos still do not seem to recognize or care that there are multitudes of customers unfamiliar with how to play the live games. Indeed, it is estimated that over 90 percent of those staying in Las Vegas strip hotels do not know how to play the game of craps.
However, instead of introducing this pool of people to the excitement of table games, most properties concentrate on existing table game patrons, and market to them in the hope of increasing their frequency of play. The problem with this approach: As this existing customer base ages, table game revenues will inevitably shrink as attrition takes its toll. Filling the table game ranks with new customers insures this segment of casino gaming has a future.
And the WIN CARDS program excels at attracting new customers to live table games, either by being incorporated into any free gaming lessons format or as a “stand-alone” promotion that gets people to play the live games.
The WIN CARDS give the people who participate in the free lessons an ability to remember what they have learned and with a spin of the dial they can quickly and easily access accurate information on how to play.
For those who are not interested in taking the time or expending the effort involved in taking lessons, the WIN CARDS serve as a self-service lesson on how to play in itself. They are available and work on a 365/7/24 basis, unlike the small window of opportunity that characterizes the limited availability for classes.
WIN CARDS can also help with another type of customer-those that frequent table games but usually just watch the action rather than actually play. For many of them, their excuse is that they do not know how to play. Dealers and pit supervisory staff are trained and capable of providing gaming instructions to those who ask. The problem, though, is that most people are not interested enough or brave enough to “belly-up” to a live table game and ask the dealer to teach them how to play.
For a pro-active casino operator, this should be seen as an opportunity to market this customer rather than accept an excuse. The key is to provide a positive and enticing promotion that dispels their reasoning for not giving the live games a try.
Again, that is where the WIN CARDS program steps in. The cards provide these people with a “plastic security blanket” that gives them the confidence to play the live games. Instead of just passing these card sets out to all of those who enter the casino, they are offered exclusively to those who are really interested in playing the live games.
The cards create an “instant affinity” to the live games to those who acquire them. So, they are sold to casino customers for $20.00 per set. Those who opt for the “deal” receive $30.00 in special, free-play, non-negotiable chips. The promotion requires that the customer be a member of their Players Club, which assists in follow-up marketing efforts. The offer is strictly limited to one per person, every six months.
People who are not necessarily in the casino to gamble on the casino’s live games are attracted to the nature of this offer. Casinos have promoted the WIN CARDS Program with the tag line, “we will pay you to learn how to play.” This is how casinos can go from not addressing this subject or passively acknowledging it to becoming pro-active and actually work on enticing people to play the live games.
And remember-a new player doesn’t necessarily mean a low-end player. Everyone has to start somewhere. As their confidence in their skills grows, income and comfort with the casino increases, so do their gambling habits. This WIN CARDS Program is designed to get these customer’s “feet wet.” The handy instructional cards are “ice-breakers” that work to introduce them to the live games properly. The invaluable “first-time” marketing trial is accomplished when a casino offers this promotion.
Some casinos adhere to the “Parreto Principle” that professes that the casino receives 80 percent of their revenues from the top 20 percent of their customers. While that may be true, it does not mean the other 80 percent of their customers should not be coveted and marketed to. The truth is that not accommodating and marketing new customers is like putting a lid on the wishing well. The people are there to lose their money. What should be done is make the wishing well as attractive and accessible as possible.
The WIN CARDS Program is designed to create a “yellow brick road” to the casino’s live table games for these “newbies.” Casino revenues increase with the introduction of new players and the future of the industry are enhanced with the use of this casino marketing program.