In the world outside of casinos, ATMs and kiosks have taken over all or most mundane, but vital, financial tasks. The machines have evolved to the point that they can multi-task, handling everything from withdrawals, deposits, bill payments, loan requests—the list is truly endless. Indeed, most people are probably hard-pressed to think of the last time they physically stepped into a bank to handle a non-ATM financial transaction.
But even in gaming facilities, where personal service if often the factor that differentiates successful from unsuccessful properties, ATMs and kiosks are slowly but surely taking over, especially among the young, who are more than willing to trade the personal touch for convenience, speed and the chance to satisfy multiple tasks at one stop.
Kiosk and ATM manufacturers that supply the gaming industry are aware of this trend, and are busily upgrading existing systems and introducing new machines to better meet casino customer demand. Here is a rundown of some recent new gaming-oriented ATM and kiosk product introductions and placements:
One of the companies leading the charge into new generation casino kiosk technology is Birmingham, Mich.-based Atrient. The company’s PowerKiosk is an extensible workflow engine designed to provide operators with the ability to reward players in new and exciting ways.
For example, PowerKiosk can serve as a promotional stand, with the ability to offer casino patrons swipe-and-win games, virtual draws and sports promotions in either two- or three-dimensional graphics. The machine can be programmed for almost any entry criteria, and to run simultaneous promotions if required. The company is constantly creating new promotion content for the PowerKiosk—as older promo games are retired, Atrient develops graphic-rich, statistically optimized and exciting new replacement games for its clients.
Atrient also offer the ability to brand promotional games with a property’s logo and customize promotions around a specific event. The PowerKiosk control panel also allows operators to easily update graphics and rotate idle screen messages to ensure heightened exposure, reduced advertising cost and support brand continuity.
In addition to offering promotions, PowerKiosk can also be used as a self-service tool for account management, allowing guests to spend less time at the player’s club line and more time gaming. One of the most powerful and unique features of PowerKiosk is the scalability and flexibility of its system. PowerKiosk integrates directly into patron management systems developed by Bally Technologies, IGT, Aristocrat and Konami. This lets the the kiosk take gaming machine information and integrate it into its Wayfinder, allowing the user to navigate to the location of their favorite machine without having to enter and exit multiple screens. Atrient has designed the application in an intuitive and logical way that helps patrons find information quickly and easily, so they get seated faster.
Much like Atrient, Las Vegas-based Micro Gaming Technology has produced a promotional kiosk and support system designed to better meet the marketing needs of a modern casino resort. The company’s MGT Promo Suite is comprised of four components: Promotions Manager (MGT Promo), Offer Kiosk (OK), Kiosk Manager (KMan) and MGT Control Entry Import. The MGT Promo Suite essentially gives the casino management the tools to create, design, qualify, and schedule multiple promotions on a self-serve touch screen kiosk. The promotion automation process creates an environment-friendly electronic alternative for the issuing of marketing offers, which can save a property thousands of dollars every month in reduced labor and printing cost, according to company literature. Here’s how it works:
• MGT Promolets the casino design an unlimited number of promotions with pre-defined demographic qualifications, player tiers and prizes. By completing a few easy to follow screens, MGT Promo allows the casino to quickly set up a wide array of promotion types. The system allows the definition of casino promotions for special days (like birthdays, anniversaries, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, New Year’s, any holiday or special event). Additional options specified during the promotion design allow the user to create promotions for specific groups such as invited guests, bounce backs, bus groups, check-cashing participants, seniors, men-only, women-only, zip code groups and many others. The prize types for these promos include printed voucher, point add, comp add, point multiplier, comp multiplier, slot free play and electronic drawing entries.
MGT Promo allows the user to easily schedule and control when promotions are active. The scheduler provides options that allow promotions to be active during any ranges of time and any ranges of dates within a 365-day window.
• OK software turns a touchscreen kiosk into an employee; responsible for reading the player tracking system database together with the MGT promotions database. After the reading the databases, the kiosk will issue promotional rewards based on qualification criteria designed in MGT Promo. Promotional rewards can be issued in three ways: the kiosk can print bar coded coupons for merchandise, food, beverage, hotel rooms, concert tickets, gaming tournament offers, direct mail offers, or cash prizes; the kiosk can electronically post additions or subtractions of comps and/or points to a players account; or the kiosk can electronically post free slot play and ticket-less drawing entries to the players account.
• KMan is a frontline customer service tool primarily used by the players’ club staff. KMan gives employees the ability to reconcile, redeem and even reprint lost or accidentally discarded vouchers. All promotions can be reviewed to see who played, what they received, and when the offer was redeemed.
• The Controlled Entry Import module allows operators to easily “mass enroll” a group of players into a kiosk promotion. Only players who are “enrolled” see the controlled entry promotion at the kiosk. The promotion can still be tiered and have multiple dynamic prizes per tier, but only the players you have enrolled will be able to participate.
PACE OF CHANGE
Cummins Allison, a Mt. Prospect, Ill.-based provider of coin, currency and check handling solutions, is also improving its casino kiosk products, specifically its Money Machine self service coin counter. According to the company’s website, the latest iteration of this product includes:
• High speed processing—Using industry-proven, heavy-duty coin processing technology, the Money Machine self service coin counter processes up to 4,100 coins per minute, providing the fastest coin counting and sorting in the industry.
• Advanced debris management—Debris such as paper clips, screws, bolts and bent coins are diverted and captured for easy disposal.
• Continuous suspect coin detection—Suspect coins are not counted but diverted to a coin return cup, while maintaining unmatched counting and sorting speed.
• Transaction memory and reporting—As many as 65,000 coin counting transactions are stored in memory. Daily reports can be easily obtained at any time by authorized employees.
• 15-inch color touch-screen display—An intuitive touch-screen display guides customers through the coin redemption process. Customized graphics can be placed on the initial customer greeting screen and certain text and thank-you messages can also be customized.
• Customizable transaction receipt—Casino logo or message can be printed on the top and bottom of the customer receipt.
In addition to upgrading and improving kiosks/ATMs, some providershave also streamlined and consolidated operations, with an eye toward offering gaming operators a one-stop shop for financial equipment needs. One such company was GLORY Group of Japan, which officially launched Glory Global Solutions, one of the largest international cash management solutions providers in the world, with more than 2,500 direct employees and a distribution network spanning more than 100 countries globally.
Glory Global Solutions was formed out of the acquisition of Talaris by the GLORY Group last July. Combined with GLORY Group, the total global business now has more than 9,000 employees and revenues exceeding $1.5 billion per annum.
Glory Global Solutions unites the knowledge and expertise from both GLORY and Talaris, two long-time leaders in cash handling solutions. The new company combines a 280-year heritage with state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing facilities, global consultation capability and comprehensive service delivery for a broad range of cash handling solutions across banking, retailing, vending, and gaming markets worldwide.
“Both GLORY and Talaris have a long and distinguished track record in innovation, technology and process design with a complementary service and maintenance offering,” said Paul Adams, CEO, Glory Global Solutions. “The combination of our respective expertise and longstanding experience will further strengthen our solutions portfolio and our service delivery—enabling us to perform better for our customers in every area of our business.”
Glory Global Solutions will retain the full product and solutions portfolio from its two predecessors through their complete life cycles, with parts and service support to be provided across the range. Glory and Talaris international distribution partners continue to be partners of the new Glory Global Solutions.
Offering improved kiosk products has led some companies to ink installation deals with new casino clients. For example, Global Cash Access (GCA), a Las Vegas-based provider of innovative cash access, cash handling solutions and business intelligence services for gaming establishments, has signed agreements with Station Casinos to provide redemption kiosks, software and maintenance.
“Station Casinos is always seeking ways to improve our guests’ gaming experience, while maximizing both operational efficiencies and flexibility for growth,” said Dan Roy, senior vice president of gaming operations for Station Casinos. “With GCA’s CXC4.0 kiosk platform, we can both maximize our existing business and integrate traditional businesses with emerging markets, while comforted by GCA’s commitment to the industry’s finest service and support.”
“We, at GCA, are so excited to extend our existing relationship with Station Casinos by providing our CXC4.0 redemption kiosks for all major Station properties,” added David Lopez, president and CEO of GCA.
Meanwhile, Solaire Casino and Resort in the Philippines, the first casino to open in the Entertainment City project along famed Manila Bay, has chosen the QuickJack2 ticket redemption kiosk and associated Cash Handling System back-office solution from NRT Technology Corporation, an Ontario, Canada-based provider of ticket redemption kiosks and payment processing services.
In total, Solaire Casino has 10 QuickJack 2 kiosks operating at the property to ensure customers have access to ticket redemption, bill breaking and TITO ticket printing services via NRT’s world-class functionality.
“The NRT Quickjack2 kiosks have been very well received by Solaire patrons and staff, many of whom have never used a ticket redemption kiosk,” said Art Ayow, NRT’s vice president of international sales.