Bally’ Technologies’ 10th annual Systems User Conference was held at Mohegan Sun last month. Some 450 people attended the conference, including 327 casino operators. The conference was highlighted by hands‐on training, technology and product sessions, real-world customer case studies, workshops, a partner expo and exhibits, and multiple networking and social events. Organized around the theme of “Driving Innovation,” this year’s conference showcased how Bally’s technology solutions connect the invitees’ entire gaming world. Here are some highlights:
“There are more ROI success stories in the last 18 months than in the previous 10 years combined,” said Ramesh Srinivasan, president and CEO of Bally Technologies. One is from South Point, which ran Bally’s virtual racing on Thursdays in June, July and August 2012 and realized close to 28 percent increase in coin‐in. South Point ran Power Winners in March 2013 and the increase over March 2012 was about 7 percent. And during a recent NASCAR Vegas weekend, coin‐in increased by about 18 percent. “Arguably, the best success story of them all is with El Dorado Reno. Power Pennies was a combination of Bally’s EBS [Elite Bonusing Suite] product and their player tracking, an example of software-to-software integration working well. It increased coin‐in by about 40 percent. A lot of those success stories are building up with the user systems products now.”
“We now have a very tightly run product plan where we capture every single game development that is in our system and we drive those game developments,” said Jean Venneman, vice president of development, games and licensing. “The goal is to make sure that for every cabinet that you have on your floor, there’s a consistent and steady stream of product for those cabinets that meets jurisdictional requirements. We also have focused on bringing a small, but interesting, brand portfolio that makes sense to the players. We want brands that the players know and love and that also make sense in a gaming experience.”
Srinivasan identified Vice President of Strategy and Customer Consulting Bruce Rowe, who spent many years on the operator side, as the leading voice of the casino within Bally. “Bally’s principles are, ‘Is the technology practical, can it be implemented, and is there a migration strategy that’s sensitive to the operator’s previously invested capital?’” Rowe said. “It’s totally irrational to think that anybody would replace every slot machine on their floor to order a drink.”
Bryan Kelly, senior vice president of technology, heads up Bally’s Innovation Lab, which is working to bring the benefits of augmented reality applications such as Google Glass to the slot floor to provide faster and more personal customer service; a mobile payments solution that can be utilized alongside the Bally Power Bank solution without adding any hardware; and helped develop Challenge Connection, which links a casino’s Facebook site directly to slot machines to take advantage of the viral nature of Facebook, merging online and land-based gaming.