Shawn McDaniel, director of gaming operations, Three River Casino, Florence, Ore.:
Since initiating system-wide bonusing technology, we’ve so far been pleased with the results. Using the Lucky Coin system, we began offering a floor-wide mystery bonus. The first was the monthly ExtraCash bonus that offered one customer playing slots with his player card plugged in a $20,000 bonus. This was later changed to a five times a month mystery bonus with the randomly selected player getting $5,000 and all other customers playing off player cards getting $25 in free play. Since creating the ExtraCash Mystery Bonus, carded play on our floor has gone from 74 percent to 92 percent, which also is up from about 50 percent carded play under the old TITO system. More recently, we added sound so that as the mystery bonus is about to be awarded one hears an announcer say, ‘Gentlemen, start your engines,’ followed by revving of race car engines. This brings customers not currently playing slots onto the floor.
Steven Mink, slot shift manager, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Miss.:
System-wide bonusing plays an integral role in both our casino marketing and guest loyalty initiatives. It affords us the opportunity to incentivize our players at the machine level. We are not only able to create jackpots for our carded players, but also games they can participate in through displays on their machines. This allows us to generate and maintain a high level of energy and excitement on the slot floor. Because our guests are aware of the progressing jackpot amount and all of them are eligible, whether they are playing pennies or high denomination games, the point of celebration becomes a community event. We had a very successful run with our Fire Jackpots promotion and that excitement is continuing with our new FreePlay Speedway promotion. All players with validly inserted players club cards are eligible for this jackpot that begins at $5,000, must hit before it reaches $20,000 and is guaranteed to hit at least once a week. When one guest wins the jackpot, we award a celebration prize of $25 in FreePlay to all other carded players. Because we can target the bonusing to specific banks, we are also having great success with our RevvedUp promotion. Guests playing specific banks have the opportunity to win an Audi or Camaro, which are on display. We will continue to utilize system-wide bonusing as a way to drive carded play on our slot floor and increase revenue and we are extremely satisfied with our success thus far.
Chuck Hickey, VP of slot operations, Barona Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.:
My off-the-cuff answer is that it [systemwide bonusing] is as important as you want it to be and as important as how much effort you put into it to make it successful (important). At Barona we started off two years ago with Power Payout two years ago, a systemwide three-level mystery payout that was moderately successful. I say ”‘moderately” only because of the successes we have had since then. Following on the heels of Power Payout was our first version of Rapid Fire, where we gave out smaller amounts more often. In this case we were very successful and continue to offer versions of Rapid Fire on an as needed basis. Since that time we’ve continued to develop the capabilities of Bally iView product and come up with some great new ideas including the Barona Lotto. This month we have ‘Off to the Races’ where we distribute $10,000.00 an hour to carded guests who have picked the correct horse for the hourly horse race. Average payouts have ranged from around $65.00 to $165.00 for each guest who selected the right horse. We start the event off with the traditional bugle signaling the start of our racing season (every Saturday in July). This lets our guests know that it is time to begin the first race of the night and lets our employees know to get ready to have some fun. We broadcast the races over almost 2,000 iViews and across the casino on over 100 TV sets and giant screens. I can tell you that the energy and excitement generated by almost 2,000 guests rooting their horse on – along with spirited support from the slot staff as well as housekeepers, hosts and even the occasional security guard creates quite a scene on the casino floor.
Wade West, director of marketing, Island View Casino, Gulfport, Miss.:
We create our own bonusing promotions which, while they may not be floor-wide, have generated much additional business. Our talented IT guys are continually working on new bonus programs that, while they do not award cash, offer multipliers on points that a player has won during the hour prior to the bonusing action.
Our most successful program is Storm of Points, which is offered periodically throughout the year, usually on a Friday between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. At the top of each hour, overhead announcements backed by the sound of thunder and a deluge of rain inform slot players, ‘Get ready for the Storm of Points,’ after which the exact multiplier is announced and earned points are added to persons with player cards currently inserted into slot machines on our floor.