New casino resort technologies in place at tribal casinos
The Tech TOUCH
Tribal operators continue to be a step ahead when it comes to experimenting with and adopting new casino and resort technologies, as these case studies show:
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Black Oak Casino Resort implements a cutting-edge guest experience and staff management platform
INTELITY, the global travel industry’s first and most powerful enterprise guest engagement and staff management platform, has inked a deal with The Hotel at Black Oak Casino Resort in Tuolumne, Calif.
The property will be incorporating the INTELITY platform’s custom-branded mobile app and in-room tablets at its hotel, giving guests the opportunity to better manage their experience by placing them in control of their reservations, check-in and check-out, and restaurant bookings, while providing the ability to directly communicate with staff. Black Oak Casino Resort will also use INTELITY’s integrated back office dashboard to streamline their operations… the back office dashboard will allow staff to connect directly and efficiently with guests to share specials and promotions with more accuracy and frequency, while also gaining real-time visibility into service and delivery activity.
“We’re thrilled to be implementing the INTELITY platform at our resort,” said Amanda Silacci, guest service manager at Black Oak Casino Resort. “In our ‘always on’ business, it is really important that our technology provides a frictionless connection between guest and staff. We believe the INTELITY platform is incredibly valuable and look forward to using it to completely overhaul the way we manage the guest experience. We also plan to use the content management portion of the back office dashboard to concentrate our marketing efforts and create personalized offerings for our guests.”
INTELITY’s in-room tablets will replace the resort’s printed, in-room compendium and allow guests to order room service and make other service requests. Both the mobile guest app and in-room tablets will provide direct messaging between guests and hotel staff, allowing for better communication at any point during their stay.
On the operations side, Black Oak Casino Resort will use INTELITY’s back office platform via desktop and mobile devices to manage all staff activity on the property, from the front desk to maintenance. Service will be enhanced as staff will be able to manage work orders, delivery times and monitor all activity on property, while keeping the management team informed at all times. The back office platform will also allow the staff to communicate directly with the guests and give them updates on the status of their service requests and orders.
INTELITY’s back office platform also provides robust data analytics, which will give resort leaders deeper insights into their guest behaviors and preferences. The resort can use this information to further maximize efficiency, deliver exceptional guest experiences and make better business decisions.
“We are proud to add Black Oak Casino Resort to INTELITY’s growing casino portfolio and look forward to working with them on using our platform to great success,” said Benjamin Keller, senior vice president of sales for INTELITY. “With all of their offerings, I know every team—from operations to housekeeping and marketing—will see a positive impact in their day-to-day tasks by using the INTELITY platform. Black Oak Casino Resort is already doing great things, and we know that implementing the INTELITY platform will help them continue to scale.”
The INTELITY platform is scheduled to deploy at The Hotel at Black Oak Casino Resort in the third quarter of 2019.
INTELITY is an enterprise technology platform that bridges the connection between service industry workforces and their customers, providing service-on-demand to the hotel, casino and luxury residential markets. Visit www.intelity.com for more information.
Visual first impression
Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino brings augmented reality to the front door
As part of a multi-year expansion and beautification project, Buffalo, N.Y.-based Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino recently unveiled a new augmented reality (AR) display developed by award-winning experiential design firm Float4. The project combines a collection of interactive moments powered by Float4’s RealMotion media server and content creation platform with a Daktronics direct-view LED display to provide visitors with an interactive memento as they enter the casino.
“The first thing guests encounter when they walk through the doors of Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is a stunning LED canvas that stretches from floor to ceiling—you can notice the effect it has on them,” said Veronique Laperle, producer for Float4. “It’s a vibrant element that captivates attention. Using Float4’s RealMotion server and a collection of optical sensors, we use the visitors’ silhouettes to enhance their connection with the space.”
The result is a 15-foot tall LED display that features nine interactive content capsules, including augmented reality where a live camera feed is composited with pre-rendered assets to surround guests with unique characters and gesture driven visuals… where on-screen graphics and videos change and move based on a guest’s movements.
The AR capsule uses a video camera concealed beside the display to project a live image of visitors as they enter the property. Content is then composited over this feed to indicate a call to action and invite the audience to participate. The experience is triggered when a visitor stands in the designated location for a pre-defined interval. In one of the capsules, this makes a lifelike buffalo appear to graze at the visitor’s feet. An image is then captured and the user is asked to opt-in for sharing this moment on social media.
To enable silhouette-based interactions, the interactive developer relied on an infrared sensor and the computer vision capabilities of the RealMotion platform. Because of spatial constraints and requirements, it was decided against the use of a more typical 3D sensor which limited the control granularity of interactions. “The goal is to keep things simple and essentially eliminate the learning curve to make the whole experience more intuitive,” Laperle said. “Different interactive capsules required different designs and levels of collaboration. For instance, we worked closely with Indirap (a video production company) to integrate their live green screen footage of cheerleaders and a joker character. The end result is a multi-purpose technology experience that draws in guests and provides a vibrant medium for branding.”
For example, on one of the capsules, the participant has to hit moving targets with a ball so the joker will fall in a dunk tank. This typically implies the control of vertical and lateral movement (i.e.: x- and y- coordinates) as well as a trigger type interaction to fire the projectile at the desired moment. The Float4 design team compared it to “replicating the functionality of a steering wheel and a brake pedal, but you only have a lever at your disposal.”
In order to achieve this, the team came up with the idea of having the targets translate horizontally on separate rows. “By being able to control the intensity of the impulse, the player can decide which row they want to hit, therefore controlling vertical movement,” Laperle said.
The interactive visuals also react to motion to generate and affect a collection of five distinctive capsules with unique aesthetics, including branded gold particles that shower down and move around the guest’s silhouette; waterfalls that guests can part with their movement to reveal the casino’s logo emblazoned on a rock; dollar bills that flutter around the screen and attract to a guest’s silhouette; and playing card mosaics. Last but not least, a generative content capsule creates a continually altering prismatic cascade, which users can gently affect with their gestures.
The RealMotion server manages all the content and includes an easy-to-use scheduler which sets a daily playlist of interactive capsules, interspersed with videos or promotional content added by the casino staff. The main LED display, supplied by Daktronics, features a 4mm pixel pitch and a resolution of 612 x 1020. A second LED display is located at the top of the stairway, and mirrors the content reinforcing the casino’s desired messaging and experience, building momentum before guests reach the casino floor.
In terms of real-time capabilities, RealMotion is designed for maximum speed and pixel throughput for high-resolution video playback, interactive and generative content layers while capturing two 4K inputs. RealMotion also sets a new benchmark for reliable 24/7 performance with real-time monitoring—thanks to a design that empowers complex projects while allowing operators to be informed of hardware health status.
“We love the idea of creating a first impression through an interactive experience in the lobby,” Laperle said. “With this project, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino took what is often the most overlooked part of a casino and turned it into a memorable, shareable experience that requires no extra floor space.”
“Seneca Buffalo Creek’s expansion is one of many advancements across Seneca Gaming Corporation’s properties,” said Melissa Free, senior vice president of marketing for Seneca Gaming Corporation. “Continuous engagement and elevating our guest experience is a key goal—which is why collaborations such as this with Float4 are so exciting.”
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Montreal, Float4 is an award-winning studio of creative people who are passionate about weaving compelling digital experiences into physical spaces to amplify their identity. Float4 strives to redefine conventions by designing and producing innovative and compelling site-specific interactive multimedia installations that attract and engage with targeted audiences around the world. Visit www.float4.com for more information.
Mohegan Sun Pocono inks deal for online casino gaming, sports betting and a sports betting lounge
BY KINDRED GROUP
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based Mohegan Sun Pocono has signed a strategic partnership with Kindred Group for online and offline sports betting and online gaming in Pennsylvania.
Kindred will offer customers an online sportsbook and casino experience under the Unibet brand, as well as a Unibet sports betting lounge at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The initial phase of the strategic partnership covers five years with the possibility to extend the collaboration for two additional five-year terms.
Owned by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), Mohegan Sun Pocono offers guests an integrated entertainment experience from hotel, food and shopping to gaming and live performances. Combining Mohegan Sun Pocono’s full destination offering with Kindred’s digital customer experience and data analysis capacity will create a unique and strong offering in Pennsylvania.
“We’ve aligned with one of the best online casino and sport book operators in online regulated markets which will allow us to offer best in class experience to our existing customers as well as attracting new ones,” said Aviram Alroy, vice president of interactive gaming at MGE. “Introduction of the Kindred offering to the market is a great positive for Mohegan Sun as well as the state of Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania will be the second state that Kindred Group has entered, following its entrance in New Jersey. The partnership with Mohegan Sun Pocono, following regulatory approval, is part of Kindred’s process to secure regulatory approval in Pennsylvania.
“We are excited and proud to extend our U.S. footprint into one of the largest U.S. states to regulate both online sports betting and casino,” said Manuel Stan, senior vice president of Kindred U.S. “Finding a strong partner who shares Kindred’s dedication to customer experience and values has been critical, and I am delighted that we have found just that in Mohegan Sun Pocono. I am confident that Kindred and Mohegan Sun Pocono will offer customers in Pennsylvania a truly great online sports betting and casino experience.”
Kindred Group will continue to invest in growing its U.S. operations where market conditions support a sustainable business model.
Kindred Group is one of the world’s leading online gambling operators doing business across Europe and Australia, offering over 24 million customers across 11 brands a great form of entertainment in a safe, fair and sustainable environment. Visit www.kindredgroup.com for more information.
License to ease…
Morongo Gaming Agency goes live with automated employee licensing system
BY AZTEK GAMING SOLUTIONS
PermiTrak, a customized license management system from Aztek Gaming Solutions, has officially launched at Cabazon, Calif.-based Morongo Gaming Agency, which operates Morongo Casino Resort & Spa Morongo, one of the largest tribal gaming venues in the Western U.S.
With PermiTrak, Morongo’s vendors and its more than 2,500 employees can now apply and renew their licenses online from any computer, smartphone or tablet.
“PermiTrak has enhanced our efficiency and transparency with its easy-to-use system that has streamlined our employee and vendor process management, while helping us to be more environmentally conscious by saving on paper usage,” said Oscar Schuyler, executive director of the Morongo Gaming Agency.
PermiTrak is a paperless solution that allows the Morongo Gaming Agency to issue, manage, and track its employee and vendor licenses easily and within one system. “The days of filling out paperwork and tracking documents are over,” said Nitin Kamath, president and CEO of Aztek Gaming. “Our system allows employees and vendors to apply directly for a license, upload their documents, and renew their licenses anywhere and at any time. Morongo is now able to access license applications and applicant records with just a click of a button.”
The PermiTrak system is integrated with background check provider, AmericanChecked, and the partnership between Aztek Gaming Solutions and AmericanChecked delivers to Morongo a customized solution at every level.
“Integrating our background screening services with Aztek Gaming’s system provides users a seamless hiring, onboarding and screening process without requiring multiple logins and platforms,” said Julie Hakman, president of AmericanChecked.
Aztek Gaming Solutions (AGS) is a Louisiana-based company that offers a wide range of technical solutions, system integrations and services for the gaming and non-gaming industries. AGS provides innovative applications for tracking employee screening, licensing and day-to-day activities of a casino operation, while delivering smart, innovative solutions for non-gaming operations. Visit www.aztekgaming.us for more information.
Getting into the swing
Foxwoods Resort Casino opens technologically advanced golf suite
Foxwoods Resort Casino, the Northeast’s premier resort casino destination, has opened its highly anticipated Topgolf Swing Suite to the public. Located near the Fox Tower Casino, this interactive social experience features a one-of-a-kind offering in an upbeat and energetic environment, and is the next step towards Foxwoods’ continued transition into a full-service resort destination.
Foxwoods’ Topgolf Swing Suite will feature two simulator bays—which fit up to eight people each—that provide guests the opportunity to play the popular Topgolf Swing Suite target game, Zombie Dodgeball, Hockey Shots, Baseball Pitching, Carnival Classic and more, all paired with comfortable lounge seating and HDTVs. Guests will also have the option of experiencing throwback arcade games, a DJ booth, an ice bar, a selection of cigars and slot machines built into the suite’s bar.
“Our goal is to continue delivering a unique range of offerings all available at one destination, and the Topgolf Swing Suite at Foxwoods is helping us to continue pushing that mission to the next level,” said Jason Guyot, senior vice president of resort operations for Foxwoods Resort Casino. “This facility offers guests 21 years of age and older an unmatched, cutting-edge bar experience that goes well beyond others that primarily focus on golf. Alongside the vast assortment of simulated games, guests will also enjoy an unparalleled array of entertainment, craft beverages and high-end food options—truly providing all you need for an unforgettable night.”
The Topgolf Swing Suite will house a full-service craft bar with an impressive menu featuring cocktails inspired by speakeasy drinks reminiscent of the 1920s and 1930s (such as the White Negroni, Cucumber Elderflower Fizz and Smoked Old Fashioned), a variety of local craft beers and a delicious selection of food items prepared onsite in a brick oven.
“We are proud to team with Foxwoods Resort Casino to provide a new kind of interactive social experience, featuring Full Swing’s industry-leading golf simulators, that will entertain adult guests, golfers and non-golfers alike,” said Ron Powers, president of Topgolf Swing Suite.
With a worldwide fan base of nearly 100 million, Topgolf prides itself on its special blend of technology, entertainment, food and beverage and the inherent good that can be accomplished when a community of all walks of life comes together. Visit www.topgolf.com for more information.
NIGA Product Preview
Innovation in the tribal gaming space is not confined to gaming operators. Gaming equipment vendors and manufacturers play a key role in creating the technologies that are tested and eventually find homes in Indian wagering facilities. This spirit of innovation will be on display at the annual NIGA Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention, which will take place this year April 1-4 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. (Visit www.indiangamingtradeshow.com for more details.) What follows is a taste of some of the new products and technologies that various vendors will feature on the NIGA tradeshow floor, told in their own words.
WHO DOESN'T LIKE BACON?
AGS’ Rakin’ Bacon! Xtreme Jackpots for the Orion Portrait platform features a cherubic pig in a gold, coin-filled room. This five-reel game with a multi-level progressive is packed full of player-favorite features, including free spins, multipliers and scatter pays. As the wins add up, the Golden Pig gets fatter and fatter, until the player wins the Free Game Bonus and the Golden Pig explodes and reveals a pick screen, giving the player up to 3,125 ways to win.
www.playags.com | NIGA 2019 BOOTH #: 1651
The Allegro series from Gasser Chair achieves superior ergonomic support through the use of molded foam cushions and compound curved substructures to provide a truly memorable customer experience in comfort. The Allegro series is manufactured in the U.S. with the highest quality materials and superior craftsmanship and has multiple base options available for slots, table games, poker/dealer and ADA.
www.gasserchair.com | NIGA 2019 BOOTH #: 2243
AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Muso Curve-43 from Aruze Gaming America is a cutting-edge video slot cabinet that carries a vertical presentation with a 43-inch J-style curved LCD monitor. The unrivaled design of Muso creates a stunning light display with its 360-degree LED backlighting, large glass-table button deck with a 13.3-inch LCD touchscreen interface and the industry’s first wireless charger, keeping player comfort in mind as well as innovation.
www.aruze-gaming.com | NIGA 2019 BOOTH #: 1330
Everi’s new hardware innovation, Empire Arena, is in casinos today supported by the newly licensed Discovery Shark Week bonus game and four exciting Everi base games. Empire Arena enhances the already proven Empire 5527 and expands it to create a fully featured banked product with multiple unit configurations.
www.everi.com | NIGA 2019 BOOTH #: 1431
ON THE EDGE OF THE SEAT
Gary Platt Manufacturing’s products are unsurpassed in comfort, design, quality and value. For more than 20 years, operators of all sizes have chosen chairs from Gary Platt, and today the company’s chairs, including the Monaco, can be found throughout most areas of the casino including slots, table games, poker, bar-top, bingo and sportsbooks.
www.garyplatt.com | NIGA 2019 BOOTH #:2124
The stunning TwinStar 3RM from Scientific Games is one of the top-indexing stepper cabinets in the industry with eight out of the top 10 indexing stepper games in the industry including 88 Fortunes, 88 Fortunes Diamond and the Quick Hit Super Wheel games, according to a recent EILERS-FANTINI Central Game Performance Database report.
www.scientificgames.com | NIGA 2019 BOOTH #:1631