Top 20 most innovative gaming products of 2014
“Everyone loves a winner” is an old saying usually applied to sporting events and elections. But in its broadest sense, being recognized and lauded as superior has appeal beyond athletics and politics; it’s a cachet sought by businesses in a wide variety of industries, and gaming is no exception.
This may explain the ongoing popularity of Casino Journal’s annual Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products contest, in which gaming manufacturers enter their latest and greatest products and innovations, hoping to be judged extraordinary by a group of industry experts, and thereby securing bragging rights that can last a lifetime.
Now in its eighteenth year and one of the oldest and most recognized such contests in the gaming industry, this year’s contest garnered 53 product entries, each of which was judged by an independent three-person panel that ultimately selected 20 worthy products. We would like to recognize and thank the judges for their valuable time and the diligence of their analysis:
Warren Davidson, slot director, Coushatta Casino Resort; Donne Grable, vice president, gaming operations, VCAT LLC; and Claudia Winkler, president, G.H.I. Solutions.
Platinum, Gold and Silver winners will be announced at an awards presentation on the final day of the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference, which will be held July 14-16 at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. An Attendee’s Choice Award, which will be determined from votes cast by the people at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference, will also be unveiled at the awards presentation. These top four award winners also will be featured in the September issue of Casino Journal.
The Top 20, listed alphabetically by company, follows:
Double Arc Cabinet—ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES
Bigger is often considered better and Aristocrat is out to prove this point with its new Double Arc slot cabinet.
The Arc consists of dual 42-inch curved touchscreen LCD monitors that sweep up and then back toward the player to create an immersive gaming experience. At 84 total inches, the Arc’s sweeping screens provide the perfect platform for creative titles, features and game play. Arc’s first title is Britney Spears, during which players are likely to feel they are in the front row of a Britney Spears concert. Additionally, the dual curved portrait screens allow for unique interaction between the two screens.
Aristocrat invested heavily into ergonomic research, employing a research company to discover new ways to increase player comfort during game play. The research resulted in numerous structural design improvements—from button deck height to sound and light levels—that deliver the most comfortable player experience and optimizes player time on device for operators. The cabinet also features a new virtual LCD button deck and 5.1 stereo surround sound that enhances game play and makes the concert style experience of titles such as Britney Spears even more impactful. Double Arc games are powered by Aristocrat’s new GEN8 platform—a powerful platform that allows for upgraded graphics capabilities that delivers an immersive and highly impactful gaming experience to the player.
“I love this cabinet!” said one judge. “While other manufacturers have slowly increased display size each year, Aristocrat took a giant leap forward with the Double Arc cabinet.”
Boostchatter Social Media Loyalty Platform—BOOSTCHATTER
Boostchatter is a social media loyalty platform that lets resorts and brands identify their social fans and engage them across their social presence. This turn fans into brand fanatics that interact with social content organically over time, driving word-of-mouth marketing across the social sphere.
With boostchatter, companies can allow social fans to earn points each time they engage with their social media content. The more they engage, the more points these fans collect. Accumulated points can be cashed in for rewards like a free appetizer, buffet or stay at the hotel. So while a company sees huge increases in social engagement metrics they also see fans make their way through the door. There has never been a better way to activate a company’s social fans and maximize revenue generated through a company’s social efforts.
The platform simply connects to a resort’s existing social accounts and allows the resort to manage everything in-house. Further, resorts now have a way to incentivize fans to be active participants on social media and help drive additional social reach. These social fans feel more connected to the resort and look forward to visiting so they can cash in their hard earned points for exclusive perks. Resorts are now engaging their fans in a much more meaningful way that drives them through the door. With boostchatter, resorts can now utilize their active fans and see a return on their social media efforts.
“Boostchatter is a simple, uncomplicated way to help gain more social media activity from your players,” said one judge. “In today’s social media-driven society, this is the most effective form of marketing for casinos.”
The Duetto GameChanger solution was created specifically to transform the way casino hotels and gaming resorts price and sell their hotel rooms.
GameChanger was designed to meet the unique needs of casino hotels and the growing value placed on non-gaming amenities as well as transform how integrated resorts price/sell rooms with new technology and better access to web and social media data. The cloud-based solution is downloaded to initiate the infrastructure and easy-to-use dashboards that provide new web and social media info on customer shopping behavior and market demand needed by today’s hotel operators. Now armed with the right technology and the data, casino properties can maximize revenue opportunities and optimize profits with not just another revenue management solution, but with revenue strategy.
Duetto GameChanger also dramatically improves forecast accuracy by providing the ability to price by individual customer channel or segment based on historical demand, segment demand, competition and market compression. Additionally, it enables the ability to dynamically price individual patrons by both their gaming and non-gaming potential to build loyalty from every guest and maximize non-gaming revenue channels. Users can also conduct sophisticated price elasticity scenario testing, and learn and improve with Duetto’s transparent forecast accuracy reporting.
“In order to remain competitive, a major casino needs a powerful software tool to ensure that maximum value is being obtained from each available room,” said a judge. “The GameChanger from Duetto looks like a great product to do exactly that.”
As long as people have been playing card games, methods of cheating have been used to tilt the odds in their favor. A Google search of “marked cards” produces over 13 million results including websites that sell professionally marked cards, invisible ink, and many devices that allow the cheater to discretely see the markings during a live game. The market for cheating is a vast reality and rather technologically advanced.
Galaxy Gaming is bolstering game protection with the introduction of SpectrumVision, the most cutting-edge technology available to detect marked cards. SpectrumVision is a device that detects markings, otherwise invisible to naked eye, that are applied to the surface of the card. It is the only instrument in the world able to instantly detect markings, in virtually all parts of the light spectrum. Cards are simply placed in the device under ultraviolet, white, and infra-red lights to be viewed instantly on the video monitor. Markings or irregularities will be visible if present.
SpectrumVision can be used to serve several vital purposes. The most obvious is to investigate suspicious activity or behavior at the tables of casinos and card rooms. It can also be used by gaming officials in the prosecution of cheating cases. Poker rooms may also ensure their players of a fair game by checking the cards on a regular basis or at random. This will lead to deterring potential cheats, knowing they are likely to be caught. SpectrumVision can be used by card manufacturers as a quality control device, with the ability to recognize printing mistakes and inconsistencies which could be used for fraudulent purposes.
“The SpectrumVision product is a great tool for table game operators to increase the security of their games,” said one judge. “Just the appearance of the device alone in the pit area would certainly deter most if not all marked-card cheating attempts.”
Infor Talent Science—INFOR
Infor Talent Science is a cloud-based talent management solution that relies on predictive talent analytics to identify the right candidates for the right jobs. By leveraging large quantities of behavioral and performance data, Infor Talent Science creates predictive models that help organizations to better select, retain and develop the right talent across the employee life cycle. Infor Talent Science is a breakthrough innovation because of the way it utilizes Big Data. Many gaming organizations have already established technologies to effectively gather large amounts of information. But now they are asking the question—how can we use this information as a competitive differentiator?
Infor Talent Science offers a cloud-based Predictive Talent Analytics solution that helps organizations drive better business performance by hiring, developing and retaining the right people for the right positions. Although work history is relevant when selecting a new hire, the personality and behavioral makeup of candidates are much stronger factors in determining who will perform best in particular roles. While skills can be taught over time, core behaviors are the most reliable indicator of long-term success. By analyzing large quantities of behavioral and performance data, Infor Talent Science helps identify job candidates that are best suited to deliver key business outcomes.
Infor Talent Science provides the necessary tools to not only aggregate employee data, but also present insights that drive hiring and recruiting practices to ensure casinos select the right job applicants, and place and develop people in positions where they will contribute the most to the organization’s overall business objectives.
“The best feature of the product is the depth of the analysis, utilizing 39 different behavior, cognitive and cultural traits in order to get a good picture of the potential employee,” said one judge.
iovation Trust Services—IOVATION
Simply stated, TrustScore allows online businesses to identify who is a good customer. This insight allows “false positives” to be pulled out of review queues, saving time, reducing the cost of handling reviews, and eliminating delays for good customers. This unique data also allows immediate insight which new customers deserve preferred treatment that in the past would require months of time before determining who should qualify for special offers or status.
TrustScore is a numeric value calculated using a proprietary iovation analytic model. The score indicates the Trust rating of the device used for a transaction; the higher the score, the higher its likelihood that the transaction is good and will remain so in the future.
This product is particularly innovative when it comes to the benefits of automatically identifying trustworthy players engaging with iGaming sites. Not only has iovation been helping iGaming operators stop fraudsters trying to steal from their businesses, but with TrustScore, the company is also providing them a way to more quickly and easily identify their most trustworthy and potential VIP players.
The TrustScore can be enabled for any iovation customer using the most current API, and the TrustScore for the device is returned with the API response. The TrustScore is also visible in the ReputationManager 360 Administrator Console, so it can be leveraged from day one.
“Anytime you can make it easier for your best customers, it’s a great idea to implement that product,” said one judge. “The decrease in denials as well as ID verifications will make those customers even more loyal to the online casino.”
Neo Contra with Symphonik Sound—KONAMI GAMING
The recent debut of Konami’s Neo Contra five-reel premium video slot not only signals the historic introduction of Konami video entertainment IP to the world of casino gaming, it also welcomes a core breakthrough in 3D audio technology that vastly expands the scope and scalability of surround-sound delivery. Konami’s Symphonik 3D Sound is the industry’s most advanced, impactful audio system, able to harness all the power and awe of surround-sound while eliminating the need for separate in-chair or rear-satellite speakers. Using a single piece of output hardware, specially-engineered games such as Neo Contra give players a premium 360-degree depth of sound to provide life-like immersion into action-packed adventures of heroics and fortune.
Delivered in the form of a slim and seemingly unassuming horizontal bar atop Podium’s upper screen, Symphonik 3D Sound is specially engineered within the game software. Special mystery events such as the Neo Contra bonus, and Mighty Warrior feature have been custom developed to coincide with riveting sound effects that leverage the latest technology. When the military helicopter flies in for the Neo Contra bonus, for example, the player can hear it circle around their head, and when they happen upon the Mighty Warrior feature during primary play, they hear the gun cock, the targets zero-in and the bullets shoot down all the lower-value reel symbols to make way for the special symbols with higher rewards.
Symphonik 3D Sound ideally leverages Konami’s acclaimed KP3 platform, backed by a high-power CPU for optimal flexibility in creative design elements including audio components. Real-time 3D graphics artfully combine with Konami’s unprecedented application of 3D sound for a thrilling game experience spanning everything from whizzing bullets to powerful explosions.
In terms of technical use beyond its Neo Contra debut, the Symphonik 3D Sound bar—powered by Opsodis—cleanly attaches above an extended Podium top box for versatile game conversion options and continuing use.
“I like this product,” said one judge. “Anything that pushes technology forward to enhance the gaming experience and make it more fun is a plus in my book.”
While loyalty kiosks aren’t new or novel to casino gaming, Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system is taking the concept to new mediums, modes and manifestations that will change where and how casino gaming customers interact with their personal player accounts, promotions/offers and casino information for a more holistic and integrated experience. SYNKiosk is part of the SYNKROS product portfolio, introducing a new wave of casino loyalty kiosking functions to more channels than ever before. It delivers real-time, comprehensive loyalty program updates and benefits—such as promotional offers—directly to enabled slot machines, customer mobile devices, and to traditional standalone kiosk stations, achieving greater convenience and participation for valued casino guests.
Until now, kiosking has been limited to standalone kiosk stations. At casinos across the globe, customers spend time and effort locating self-serve kiosks and even enduring lines of people, in order to interact with the kiosk station—thereby displacing time and energy that could otherwise be spent enjoying paid casino activities. Konami’s SYNKiosk takes those kiosk functions and simultaneously puts them on actual mobile devices and video slot machines, so customers can complete targeted sales/marketing actions from anywhere. Kiosk features available through SYNKiosk carry the benefit of real-time player account data and the industry’s most advanced promotions and offers engine for precisely-targeted player marketing.
SYNKiosk can be deployed to the primary screen of any video slot machine using True-Time Windowing (picture in picture) technology. At any point during their visit, a carded player can pause their game play to easily access the kiosk from an icon found on the game screen.
The SYNKiosk mobile application gives players the option to login to the mobile app and interact with their account directly from their mobile device exactly like they would at the kiosk station, using their player account credentials. In addition, this app is completely brand-able to a casino’s corporate look and feel.
“I like this product,” said one judge. “Casinos compete in many ways for guests and guest satisfaction is always a top priority. SYNKiosk has the ability to enhance guest satisfaction by increasing the functionality of kiosks and increasing the access to kiosk functions.”
Apex V—MULTIMEDIA GAMES/GCA
Multimedia Games’ Apex V is the industry’s first scalable, multi-screen topper solution with synchronized content across a complete bank of machines.
Each screen is actively networked to a central content server, offering content flexibility as new titles are added to a bank. Whether casinos want to unite four games or 10, Apex V can accommodate them through its ability to present a panoramic video display on all screens or separate video content per the content management system and dual video screens atop each machine. Never before have casinos had the opportunity to present an entire bank to their patrons as a unified unit, thereby not only ensuring it stands out from the crowd, but also simultaneously encouraging play on every single machine included in the bank.
Apex V’s multi-screen video topper system finally gives casinos the product they’ve been looking for to attract attention to an entire bank on their floor with its ability to display synchronized video content. With the content management system and dual video screens atop each machine, casinos can upload still, full-motion video and mosaic video content into the system, and then watch as it gets displayed over all the toppers on the bank in a synchronous manner. When new titles are switched or added to the bank, the video content and display configuration can be updated via the content management system to accommodate the new changes. Casinos also can choose to have each set of dual toppers atop each machine display their own content, separate from the other sets of toppers on that bank.
Apex V’s ability to differentiate a bank from every other one on the floor through eye-grabbing, synchronized video content gives casinos the solution that will set their casino floor apart from the competition.
“I like this product,” said one judge “We are constantly trying to create more exciting atmospheres in the casino and make games stand out. The Apex V topper system gives a standard cabinet a more vibrant appearance.”
Twist & Win—MULTIMEDIA GAMES/GCA
Multimedia Games’ Twist & Win is a game-changing feature with its ability to alter a player’s fortune in the blink of an eye by taking a random rectangular or square section of the reels and rotating it 90 degrees, negative 90 degrees, or 180 degrees. Once triggered, Twist & Win will always result in a winner after analyzing all possible rotations on the screen and selecting the best possible section and rotation for maximum winnings. This rotating feature is the first of its kind that has an entirely “unknown” element to it, which means the players’ excitement never lets up, because at virtually any moment, their gaming fates could Twist & Win.
The smallest section available for rotation is 2x3 or 3x2, but the player can also watch as their entire screen rotates 180 degrees for an entirely new look of big wins. The days of player’s wishing that their vertical stack of matching symbols would become a winning horizontal combination are over with Twist & Win, as that very thing is possible with this innovative feature. Once the Free Spin Bonus begins, the thrill of the Twist & Win hunt for players will skyrocket, as the feature occurs much more frequently during the bonus.
With this ground-breaking gameplay feature, the anticipation factor of each reel spin reaches new heights, as players realize that what they see might not be what they really get, if they’re lucky enough to get the Twist & Win feature to trigger and create a whole new field of possibilities.
Twist & Win is currently available on Multimedia Games’ Sparkle & Shine video slot machine, but is scheduled to make an appearance on future MGAM video titles as well.
“The Twist & Win play mechanic puts ‘a new spin’ on video game slot play,” one judge said. “There is a lot of competition in the market for innovative new math models and this concept continues the trend.”
Omni-Table—NEW MILLENIUM GAMING
The Omni-Table is the first of its kind electronically controlled live dealer gaming table that allows a casino to change the gaming layout at the touch of a button on a tablet computer. The table can display any game, side-bet and background graphics at any time, all controlled by casino staff.
The table uses an LED video screen covered with an innovative proprietary felt cover that perfectly mimics the feel of a traditional gaming table. The friction of the surface allows for fanning and dealing cards in the exact same manner as a traditional table. The unique LED video screen includes an embedded rubber layer that adds cushioning and allows for cards, chips, dice and other gaming elements to be easily handled.
Using the tablet computer controller allows the layout to be customized right on the gaming floor. The table allows a floor manager to determine what games are available based on customer demand. A single pit can contain any variation of games reducing the need for staff in separate pits to keep specific games in those pits open. Games and pits can be consolidated to increase early outs or reduce floor personnel on each shift.
The table’s video screen can display over 10 million colors, including full motion color video. Table backgrounds can be customized to display events at the casino such as shows, convention exhibitors as well as special table themes similar to slot machines. Other elements like table limits, non-smoking signs, reserved spaces can be added on the fly. Since the tables can be configured to display any game, tables do not need to be changed out for tournament play or for special junkets.
“Omni-Table takes the first step into an exciting new era of table games,” a judge said. “This product is attractive to the players as well as economical for the casino.”
NICE Suspect Search—NICE SYSTEMS
NICE Suspect Search is a one-of-a-kind video analytics application that casinos can use to track potential cheaters and trouble-makers.
Suspect Search is a patent-pending video analytics technology that helps properties quickly locate and retrace the movements of a person of interest within a video surveillance network. It can scan an hour of video in less than a minute, automatically filtering out 95 percent of irrelevant images. Suspect searches can be initiated using a recorded image, an uploaded full body photo, or a suspect composite.
There are technologies on the market that can search for a specific color, but until now, none of them could search for a specific person, especially not in real-time. Suspect Search takes into account three parameters—a full body image, the unique human signature of a person (e.g. size and the way they walk), and the textures and colors associated with that person like their clothes, accessories, hair, or skin. The Suspect Search algorithm analyzes, tags, sorts and stores images in a database according to these parameters, increasing search accuracy. Furthermore, calculations are done in real-time. Video is analyzed as it is captured, so searches can begin immediately and results are available within seconds. Another differentiator is Suspect Search’s ability to simultaneously search across multiple camera feeds. Once the target has been located, Suspect Search’s geo-spacial capabilities allow operators to trace and retrace the suspect’s route to predict patterns of movement for quick apprehension.
“The ability to upload an image and then be able to track where they have been and where they are now is powerful,” a judge said. “And having it done in just a few minutes improves the probability the person will be found on the property.”
Pro Wave 360—SCIENTIFIC GAMES
The Bally Pro Wave 360 from Scientific Games redefines community-style gaming with its circular display featuring five ALPHA 2 Pro Wave cabinets, a striking curved video topper and 360-degree surround sound.
This latest addition to Bally’s cabinet portfolio is built on the award-winning Pro Wave, the industry’s first cabinet with a 40-inch curved LCD touchscreen monitor that delivers optimal viewing and increased player interaction. In this unique design, the Pro Wave 360 brings together five Wave cabinets in a circular pod configuration with a stunning 40-inch high-definition curved 360-degree video display for a towering centerpiece reaching 10 feet tall. Complete with the company’s 5.1 surround sound audio chair, the Pro Wave 360 is an engineering masterpiece that synchronizes audio and visual events throughout its components for a community gaming experience unlike any other.
The realms of possibility for community gaming are off the charts thanks to the Pro Wave 360’s powerful platform. By connecting each Wave cabinet, Pro Sound Chair, and the 40-inch circular video topper, graphics and sounds come together to create a true community experience where players share the joys of winning and bonuses together, while their play and coin-in stays separate.
When Bally demonstrated the Pro Wave 360 at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in 2014, the feedback from casino operators was extremely positive. Casinos were excited about this impressive cabinet with its unique presence, game play, and immersive audio and visual features.
“Bally does a fantastic job using the 360 degree display to create a spectacle on the floor that will draw players from all depths of the casino floor to join in the excitement,” one judge said.
“The Pro Wave 360 redefines the community gaming experience, offering casino operators more profit-potential and happier players,” added another judge.
DM Wagering—SCIENTIFIC GAMES
The Bally Elite Bonusing Suite (EBS) is a set of bonusing tools that enables casino operators to automate, strengthen, and personalize their promotions and player-loyalty programs in order to vastly enhance their guests’ experience.
DM Wagering is an innovative new application for the Elite Bonusing Suite that enables guests to wager on secondary games without leaving their machine, providing operators with a new revenue source while offering player an additional entertainment experience that is fun and convenient because it happens right at their machine. DM Wagering is a first-of-its-kind gaming experience in which players can use credits from their base-game credit meter to purchase tickets in a casino lottery game called Casino Lotto. This powerful floor-wide technology can be offered by operators with EBS and Bally’s iVIEW Display Manager (DM) player-user-interface.
DM Wagering is the only product in the gaming industry that allows players to use credits from their base game to purchase tickets in a secondary game. This floor-wide technology provides casino operators with a new revenue source while offering players an additional gaming experience, increasing excitement on the floor. This highly configurable solution enables operators to customize the game to best fit the needs of their property to ensure a strong return-on-investment and a thrilling gaming experience for their patrons. It is simple and convenient for players, making it more likely they will participate.
“Bally Technology should be applauded for thinking out of the box and creating new revenue opportunities for casinos directly at the slot machine,” a judge said.
Safe Bacc—SCIENTIFIC GAMES
Shuffle Master Safe Bacc is an innovative new product from Scientific Games that’s designed to increase profits, productivity, security, and flexibility for casino operators offering baccarat.
As the world’s highest-revenue generating casino game, baccarat is ripe for security breaches, advantage players, and requires labor-intensive, expensive procedures to operate. For the first-time ever, with Safe Bacc, there is a solution to these major operating problems. Shuffle Master has combined its best-in-class automatic shuffling, card reading, and scoring technology into one single solution that decreases costs and increases game security. This exquisitely engineered utility product verifies, shuffles and automatically loads cards into the detachable smart-reading shoe, as well as feeds updates directly to the iScore Plus trends display. Not only does this system increase game speed, but it also provides the ultimate level of security right at the table, making it the most productivity-enhancing solution ever developed for Baccarat.
Using state-of-the-art technology, Safe Bacc delivers remarkable cost savings by eliminating the need to purchase additional security features that quickly become outdated. It also completely eliminates the need for pre-shuffled cards or special markings, giving operators total freedom to choose their own card type and manufacturer. What’s more is Safe Bacc totally eliminates the need for the multi-layered security checks properties currently perform while delivering cards to the tables, freeing up staff to spend more time building customer relationships.
“Table game security is always important, but high wager games need even more focus and attention,” one judge said. “The Safe Bacc product from Shuffle Master has the ability to increase security and efficiency.”
Take ‘n Play—SCIENTIFIC GAMES
The Bally Take ‘n Play is a revolutionary new mobile-slot technology that allows players to leave the machine they’re playing, and take their game with them through the use of a hand-held tablet.
Take ‘n Play is the industry’s first technology that allows the same slot machine game to be played in more than one location. This innovative product streams the game content directly from the slot machine to a tablet. The game still takes place on the slot machine, with the tablet replicating the game screen. Take ‘n Play empowers operators to fully utilize the machines on their slot floor to generate additional revenue and improve the gaming experience for their guests who—for the first time—have the freedom to take their game off the casino floor and into other areas of the property.
Take ‘n Play offers many benefits to any casino, but it’s especially useful in jurisdictions with bans on smoking or alcohol consumption on the slot floor because their gaming machines can continue to generate revenue even when a player has left to smoke or drink.
The product easily integrates with existing game technology and currently works on select Android tablets. Any casino with a secure Wi-Fi network can utilize Take ‘n Play. It works on the Pro Series V22/22, Pro Series V32, and Pro Wave cabinets. When the player is ready to leave, they obtain the tablet from an attendant. In a few easy steps, the game syncs with the tablet, streaming the game content to the tablet screen, which replicates all aspects of game play.
“Bally’s Take ‘n Play gives players the ultimate flexibility,” commented one judge. “No longer is a player glued to their seat in order to get their slot experience. Whether they need to smoke outside, grab a coffee, or even use the restroom, the player can now simply leave their machine and continue their gaming experience.”
Sports Connection Prepaid Card—SIGHTLINE PAYMENTS/STATION CASINOS
The Sports Connection Prepaid Card is a unique and revolutionary new product for race and sports wagering. It is now available to all loyalty card members of Station Casinos, and represents the first solution approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission to enable remote cashless funding and withdrawals from a brick-and-mortar casino wagering account.
The Sports Connection Prepaid Card program is the next logical step towards secure cashless payments. The program is designed to be simple to join, allowing patrons to enroll online directly from www.sportsconnection.com. With the Sports Connection Prepaid Card, customers may securely add money to their accounts online from the www.sportsconnection.com website, and transfer funds for gaming in real time. After successfully funding the Sports Connection Prepaid Card, patrons may move part or all of their funds to their Sports Connection wagering account, and the funds transfer instantly. The open loop nature of the Sports Connection Prepaid Card allows patrons access to their own funds anytime, anyway they desire. Patrons can spend their funds at merchants, everywhere Discover is accepted, or make cash withdrawals at ATMs nationwide.
“Anytime you can empower the player, it’s a slam dunk,” a judge said. “Giving them 100 percent full access to their account funds outside the casino gives them a sense of comfort that can only help the relationship with their favorite casino.”
Mobile Connect Suite—SKYWIRE
The Mobile Connect Suite allows the casino to keep guests inside the establishment longer, maximizes their experience, and guides them to undiscovered areas of the casino that they may have never found themselves. The product interacts with the guest, knows the correct timing of when to send more offers, and can be tailored to each guest’s preferences.
The Mobile Connect Suite of products offers a variety of services such as polling, coupons and discounts, and alerting customers when their hotel rooms or restaurant tables are ready for them.
SkyWire has two patents for the Mobile Connect software that makes it stand out from all other SMS marketing providers. The first, Triggered Events, sets up a multi-message campaign to be delivered based on the redemption of a coupon or the answer to a poll. Second, Viral Coupons, where subscribers can share offers with as many contacts as they want and where those contacts in return can share with their own friends and family after opting in. These viral campaigns give the company the ability to track the origin and route that each individual coupon code has taken on its way to redemption.
“I really like the Mobile Connect Suite,” a judge said. “Many casino hotels are slow to integrate new technology so this is a great way for operators to get ahead of their competition.”
hostViz is a new evolution in player development that provides critical information to host managers and hosts to enable more effective player development and enhance a player’s overall experience.
The ability to easily analyze all player and gaming activity with hostViz allows hosts spend more time with prime VIP customers and can also reach out more proactively and earlier in the lifecycle of marketing campaigns. The tool allows the host to focus on incremental visits as well as producing new customers into the pipeline.
With hostViz, hosts and their player development managers now have a tool that allows them to create a clear contact management strategy aligned with the casino’s overall player development objectives. hostViz helps create road maps for identifying each customer to contact and what to offer them—in prioritized order, as determined by casino marketing management. Ultimately, hostViz allows hosts to be much more proactive in their interactions with customers. Instead of waiting for customers to enter the casino floor or constantly contacting them, hosts can interact strategically and in a way that entices customers with specific and targeted offers that boost sales performances and create incremental revenue.
VizExplorer’s hostViz is innovative in that it pools all casino player information with their activities across the entire casino property into one system. This allows hosts to plan and execute on player development strategies much more efficiently. hostViz is accessible via desktop systems as well as any mobile device.
“hostViz’s user interface is easy to use and understand for the host,” a judge said. “It gives them all the information they could ever need on one easy-to-read screen as well as an excellent mobile app.”
Mobility has transformed customers in the gaming space into walking kiosks with near limitless access to data and information. Furthermore as customers are interacting outside of the gaming space they have developed an expectation of real-time intimate communication and efficient processing of those communications.
The new revolution in marketing is reacting in real time to customer behaviors. vizActionFactory is a sophisticated real-time rules engine that enables real-time action by allowing customer facing events to be delivered through multiple channels. What is especially exciting is that the vizExplorer push/pull technology enables marketing events to be directly loaded into the gaming system. vizActionFactory can be applied to multiple products in the VizExplorer library, however the most innovative use occurs within its crmViz campaign management tool and hostViz player development tool. vizActionFactory triggers the generation of the offers (coupons, free plays, comps etc.) in crmViz and hostViz. These items can be used as mass communication and be sent to various places, such as e-mail, phone call or text. vizActionFactory also creates sophisticated records for campaigns, segments and offers, and allocates data against them.
“VizExplorer gives the operator the ‘set it and forget it’ option for the first time,” commented one judge. “Once you set the parameters, vizActionFactory will do the rest. It’s exactly what operators have been looking for; to take their marketing to a more modern medium than snail mail and hosts.”