New product delivers targeted advertising right at the slot game

A John Wayne-themed slot machine showcases an advertisement for the Moon nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort.

Walk along some high-traffic casino areas at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and you might see more than the characters and symbols you’ve come to expect on slot machine screens. You’re likely to see advertisements for the Moon nightclub, restaurants or other amenities inside the Palms.

It’s all courtesy of Reel-TV, a Las Vegas-based technology-advertising company that serves the gaming industry. Its server-based advertising platform delivers powerful real-time messaging to Palms patrons on the casino floor.

“Reel-TV truly transforms the casino floor into a versatile advertising medium,” said Reel-TV principal Keith Atkinson, a longtime technology developer who has worked with gaming innovators such as Acres Gaming and International Game Technology. “With this technology, we have created a way to make idle slot machines an added visual attraction for companies.”

Reel-TV’s patented technology allows high-resolution video to be scheduled, delivered, and reported in real time to slot machines on the casino floor.

After a machine is idle for 60 seconds, an advertiser’s message will display for 15 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of game display and then a 15-second commercial. Once a guest starts to interact with the machine, the advertising video will end, allowing the patron to experience uninterrupted play.

Eric Kovac, Reel-TV vice president of sales, said it’s not surprising that the Palms is the first casino to showcase its in-house amenities across its 95,000-square-foot casino floor. “Unlike most mediums, Reel-TV allows the advertising message to be replaced almost instantly and creating a versatility never before seen in a casino,” he added.

Through the Reel-TV platform, an advertiser’s message can play between hundreds of thousands of times per month and can deliver millions of impressions, making Reel-TV a cost-effective advertising medium with measurable results, the company said.

Reel-TV founder Keith Atkinson

Atkinson may be familiar to slot executives for his work developing such important innovations as the Mobile Data Access product and the Merlin, the casino visual slot performance tool.

Atkinson said he believes Reel-TV has several things going for it, including its server-based platform, which operates independently, and its marketing versatility.

Another plus, he said, is the cost of the system. “We basically pay for the install, and we do a revenue share” with the casino operator from outside advertising, he said. “Without any investment to the operator, they get a new revenue stream.”

Reel-TV also is hoping to be able to print coupons right out of the ticket printer at the slot machine. These could be used to cross-brand between casino properties owned by the same company, or off-property venues such as a local liquor store or restaurant.

Casino operators who have seen product demonstrations are interested, Atkinson said.

“Everybody has been very positive. I had one guy practically want to crawl across the desk and kiss me,” he said.

Players seem to accept the advertising. “What we’re really trying to do is have the players have a very pleasant and fun experience seeing the ads,” he said.

When they see the ads, they often stop and check them out, Atkinson said. “It’s fun to watch people and see how they’re attracted to these things,” he said, noting that the casino has seen no ill effects from the slot accounting end.

And if patrons enjoy the ads they’ve seen to date, just wait until they see what Palms President George Maloof Jr. has in mind to publicize the Playboy Club at the resort. Maloof reportedly wants to create a splash by running Playboy ads on all the machines across the floor, while actual playmates sashay through the casino walkways.