After two successful years of HOT products, CEM is at it again! Our third annual run of the Hospitality Operations Technology (HOT) Awards brings you a lineup of some of the most innovative and recognition-worthy products for the hotel, casino and resort industry. One of the categories resulted in a three-way tie for the first time, a testament to how tight the competition was this year.
The HOT Awards honor eight outstanding products that make a positive difference in the gaming and hospitality operations. Nominations were divided into six different categories, with one winner selected from each (with the exception of the guest experience enhancement category, where there is the three-way tie). The categories were: employee productivity and efficiency; revenue generation; guest experience enhancement; self-service products; media and content management; and Internet services.
A panel of judges was assembled and tasked with combing nomination materials to decide the winner in each category. They definitely had some tough decisions to make, but in the end they chose winners that have contributed greatly to the industry and are clearly worthy of this award. These select judges were Bob Ambrose, professor and independent gaming consultant; Stephen Keener, assistant vice president casino operations, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino; J.B. King, CIO, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Donald Kneisel, vice president of information technology, Resorts Casino Hotel; Sheleen Quish, senior vice president of human resources and IT, Ameristar Casinos Inc.; and Wendy Reeve, director of casino operations, Sycuan Casino.
Read on to learn more about these HOT products and what amazing benefits they could bring to your floor.
The 2012 HOT Award winners are, by category:
Employee Productivity and Efficiency
Service Tracking Manager™ (STM)
PromoNet® Intelligent Promotional Couponing Solution
Bally iGaming Platform
Guest Experience Enhancement
Elite Bonusing Suite™ (EBS) – Virtual Racing™
Bally Mobile Platform
Media and Content Management
Bally CoolSign® Video Wall Controller
Employee Productivity and Efficiency
Bally Technologies—Service Tracking Manager™ (STM)
Have you ever wanted a tool that could improve casino operational efficiency and productivity, while allowing you to provide excellent customer service at the same time? Bally Technologies’ Service Tracking Manager™ (STM) is the cutting-edge rule-driven automated dispatch and alert system that can provide just this. Interactions with customers have never had this level of speed and efficiency.
Casino service goals are met and exceeded with STM. Also, ROI is increased by providing the proper information needed to ensure proper staffing. A player can receive their drink orders faster while service requests and failures, jackpots and patron enrollment are prioritized and assigned automatically to technicians. Staff and players are also able to interact quickly and efficiently.
STM automated dispatch system creates and assigns duties to casino staff by catching messages from players through Bally’s suite of systems products and any third-party systems. STM was developed directly for use on handheld devices like the iPhone or iPad. Assistance at a game, or even with a drink order can be relayed from the iVIEW or iVIEW Display Manager (DM) touchscreen player-user interface on the game screens. Casino operators can now direct tasks based on a player’s level and location, thanks to STM’s prioritized rule-based configuration.
The closest attendant can now be dispatched to assist a player, achieved through automated algorithms that streamline this targeted service. Priorities and duties are allotted to staff, based on numerous variables, and then STM alerts the employees of player orders by way of smartphone. Players can now see the length of time it will take for the closest attendant to fulfill their order right on their smartphone. Requests can even be cancelled or rerouted right at the game after they have been submitted, allowing the player the freedom to card-in at any game they want when they want.
Floor management has never been this convenient for an operator, and it’s all thanks to STM. From jackpot processing to printing slips on mobile devices, STM makes overall efficiency a breeze on the casino floor. Ordering and delivering beverages is efficient and convenient for a player. STM also aids in the areas of managing the slot floor, reviewing table game alerts and automatically enrolling patrons for promotions. Provide your players with a superior level efficiency and service with STM today.
FutureLogic Inc.—PromoNet® Intelligent Promotional Couponing Solution
What does a casino operator dream about? There could be numerous answers to this question, but when thinking about revenue generation, FutureLogic’s PromoNet® Intelligent Promotional Couponing Solution is the winning answer. Part of every casino’s goal is to find their most valued customers, while improving their gaming experience at the same time. Some of the largest obstacles that a casino can face are real-time identification of non-carded players on their floor and differentiating the most valuable players from the others. The solution to overcoming these obstacles and achieving that goal is found in FutureLogic’s PromoNet Couponing Solution.
The PromoNet Couponing Solution can assist a property on countless levels. Valuable players can be identified, non-carded players are just as easily targeted as carded players and it connects promotions with game-play to deliver a tailored promotion when and where it is needed. The behavior of the player and the metrics of game-play and slot promotions are linked with each other, thus helping the number of individuals signing up for the player’s club, the amount of time spent playing the game and slot revenues to increase. Targeting patrons at slots, hotels, shows and many other locations is now a breeze with the PromoNet Couponing Solution. It has the ability to be used as an integrated solution with other systems, as witnessed by the recently announced certification with the Bally Slot Mangement System (SMS) and Casino Management System (CMS®).
Both automated and host-assisted coupon issuance is offered from real-time, game-play metrics, and the company says that PromoNet Couponing Solution is the only intelligent couponing system to utilize such a combination for this purpose. It can be used to influence players’ movement throughout the operation by giving operators the ability to tailor coupons to players, enticing them to move where they want them. Campaigns and coupons can easily be created based on “total happiness promotions” to increase the number of new carded players by offering an incentive for a limited amount of time.
In the area of promotions, the solution gives operators complete control over customizing what type of coupons they would like to create. This level of customization is possible by utilizing a vast amount of adjustable SAS and retail issuance triggers. Electronic gaming machines can also have promotions approved and downloaded directly to them, along with the operation’s stand-alone printers. The locations that a player can redeem their promotions can be easily manipulated by the operators with this software, giving the player an array of choices with redemption. Players can choose to redeem, exchange, accumulate or progress in playing with their own reward program with the PromoNet Couponing Solution software.
The software is currently available, and its acceptance is growing in the gaming industry. Redemption rates at the properties that it has been installed—South Point Casino and Casino MonteLago, both in Las Vegas—are up 60 percent.
Now, casino operators can experience the dream that is the PromoNet Couponing Solution without even having to fall asleep. That sounds like a dream come true to us!
Bally Technologies—Bally iGaming Platform
After launching its interactive division in 2011 and becoming licensed as an online gaming supplier in June 2012, the next logical step for Bally Technologies was launching an i-gaming platform. While many companies now have i-gaming platforms, Bally has developed one worthy of a HOT Award.
Bally’s iGaming Platform is the core component and product offering of Bally Interactive, and allows casino operators the ability to immediately enter the online gaming space with free-play and wager-based gaming as it is legalized in their jurisdiction.
The iGaming platform offers casino operators the ability to augment their land-based casino gaming with mobile, social, and online play-for-free and wager-based games.
Much like Bally’s proven selection of land-based games, the interactive versions offer enhanced bonusing, proven play mechanics (such as the award-winning U-Spin™), progressives and other features.
Bally’s iGaming Platform allows operators to choose content from a multitude of producers, not just Bally content. It’s also designed for mobile integration and is ready to accommodate online wagering beyond poker, such as casino table games, video slots, bingo, keno and sports betting when authorized.
Other benefits of Bally’s iGaming Platform include the opportunity to reach new players and obtain new valuable player data through online marketing tools; a custom, branded look and feel; full operational technical and customer service support; security features including geolocation and age verification; payment processing and built-in player account and game-history analytics with customer relationship-management capabilities.
Bally’s iGaming Platform is now live and powering a free-play poker website in partnership with the Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Guest Experience Enhancement
Aristocrat’s nRich product is a dynamic bonusing solution that caters to every individual carded player on the casino floor. nRich stands alone, due to the fact that static triggering mechanisms are not used, allowing bonus offerings to be achieved by a large majority of players. Every player on the floor has the opportunity for growth with nRich, based on individual historical play and worth, while simultaneously making profitability for the property soar. Players will have a personal bonusing experience that will increase visitation and loyalty, while simultaneously increasing players’ share of wallet.
“nRich is a technically complex system, yet incredibly easy to use, intended to evaluate the worth of a player over an extended period of time, which is then used to establish goals or milestones a player can aspire to,” said Kevin Spence, IT director at Sycuan Casino.
John Dinius, director of slots there, is excited with the results he has already received from testing out the product. “We have tested various scenarios utilizing nRich and have experienced incredible results, both financially and through direct player feedback,” he said. “Throughout the testing scenarios, we had a team comprised of ATI engineers and developers along with our internal team members here at Sycuan walking the floor gauging player reaction to the nRich thermometer. We spoke with a multitude of players and each expressed positive reactions to the new method of bonusing.”
Dynamic triggers and reward amounts are what the nRich bonusing engine gives to its players, based on a historical analysis of how that individual has played. Player loyalty bonuses will then be awarded to that individual player based on evaluations done in real-time on that current day or trip. Players will always know how close they are to achieving their bonus from the visual goal meters that are utilized by nRich on the media window or LCD.
Individual players will be very pleased with the nRich bonusing engine. The ability to dynamically reach every player individually is used to determine the bonus offered increasing a player’s anticipation and the time on device. “I personally spoke with one of our highest-tiered players to gain his feedback on the nRich testing we were conducting that day,” Dinius said. “He was thrilled with the application and thanked me for continuing to improve the entertainment aspects of the gaming experience here at Sycuan.”
nRich is definitely an advancement when it comes to traditional bonusing products. Instead of concentrating on reaching a large group of people, nRich is geared toward the individuals and their play habits. Calculations are done automatically based on an individual’s daily play amounts and trips, and the rewards are distributed accordingly while a player’s anticipation rises with the mercury in the goal-tracking thermometer.
Dinius adds, “Over the next several years and beyond, the goal is to utilize this knowledge to drive player behavior, which is precisely what nRich allows us to do.” And who wouldn’t want that on their floor?!
Guest Experience Enhancement
Patrons at your property can now be rewarded in fresh and enticing ways, thanks to Atrient’s PowerKiosk™. PowerKiosk can be directly connected to your casino management system and allows for new promotional rules to be loaded with ease. PowerKiosk is not just used by operators for promotions; it is also an easy-to-use account management tool. Players can now spend more time at their game of choice rather than waiting in line at the player’s club. PowerKiosk also lets the operator completely customize an interface, allowing for stellar brand promotion.
The control panel is where PowerKiosk’s multiple modules can be managed. Operators can now arrange modules based on their importance. Content does not have the chance to go stale. Operators can give patrons the latest, most relevant content through the control panel, while staying steady with their brand.
When it comes to promotions, PowerKiosk can provide an operator with swipe & win promotions or give an operator the ability to create a completely customizable, more advanced promotion, including limited entries that will in turn increase the amount of time a player will spend gaming. These promotional games from Atrient will decrease overhead and let operators manipulate promotions in real time and run them simultaneously. The graphic elements of these games are under complete control of the operator. The control panel allows the operator to add static graphic files or flash assets to a promotion. Modifications can be made to the multi-dimensional and entertaining graphics without any custom programming or advanced training. Promotions can also be adjusted through the control panel as they are running based on detailed analytics on the activity of the promotion.
Players often inquire about their status, and update information at their players club. With PowerKiosk, players can now get their tier status, update demographic information and make vouchers from available comp awards. Atrient also has the ability to upgrade the standard feature of redemption directly to a patron management system by interfacing with a POS or management application.
Slot machines can be searched for either by name or denomination with PowerKiosk’s slot machine concierge. A patron can select a machine and get the quickest path to that machine all in one application. All the machine’s information is updated and maintained through PowerKiosk as well. Custom connections can be made to an operator’s slot management system, creating the most accurate and efficient map that players can take advantage of.
Any part of your property can now be highlighted with interactive content. Whether it is poker, bingo rooms or hotels, any of them can be offered by operators in the form of video or static images consistent with your property’s brand. Your events can also be effectively directed right to the player with a powerful calendar tool that allows an operator to embed static and video files as well.
Atrient’s PowerKiosk enhances an operator’s custom promotions while also offering numerous other tools that a player can utilize to make their gaming experience that much better—and powerful!
Guest Experience Enhancement
Bally Technologies—Elite Bonusing Suite™ − Virtual Racing™
Fasten your seat belts! The race is on with Bally Technologies’ Elite Bonusing Suite™ – Virtual Racing™. This community bonusing race event is a floor-wide experience that is leaving others in the dust. Virtual Racing, part of Bally Technologies’ award-winning Elite Bonusing Suite (EBS), takes the player’s experience to the next level.
Virtual Racing engages players, while also producing top-notch quality of service right at the point-of-play and avoiding any hiccups in the slot revenue stream. This powerful tool puts the player behind the wheel on an adrenaline-pumping bonusing event. Virtual Racing is proven to increase coin-in and carded play. Casino promotions are enhanced through a new and exciting secondary bonus game that completely satisfies the player.
Through the iVIEW and iVIEW Display Manager, player-interface displays the type of race that is totally customizable by the player. On the machine, players have the option to saddle up a horse or burn rubber in their favorite car. All of the iVIEW and CoolSign®-managed displays on the property show the race right when it’s happening. The thrill is at its peak when racers cross the finish line and a winner prevails, being awarded a prize. This prize is chosen by the operator, and can consist of anything from free play to food and beverage comps. Virtual Racing is a promotional event that can be offered on virtually every slot machine on an operator’s floor.
Server-based technology allows customers the ability to tailor and automate their promotions. Player loyalty is the focus when it comes to the combination of Bally’s iVIEW picture-in-picture player-user-interface and EBS Virtual Racing, allowing operators to create enthralling promotional events.
A casino near San Diego began using Bally’s Virtual Racing and it has been nothing short of a success. An executive from the casino had this to say: “The benefits of this promotion and the technology with it are that players actually get to participate in it, and they are not just a passive participant. It was unique, fun, and players loved it!” And clearly so did our judges.
Bally Technologies—Bally Mobile Platform
The Bally Mobile Platform has revolutionized casino-customer interactions, enabling casinos to interact with their patrons in real-time via custom mobile apps and mobile websites. These apps work natively across multiple devices including iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, Blackberrys and more.
Bally takes a very different approach toward mobile technology. Other mobile developers build an app, charge a single fee and then leave the rest up to the casino operator. Bally, however, offers ongoing upgrades, ensuring that the apps function across many different devices; ongoing technical support; weekly analytics reports and the ability to quickly delete content and replace it with improved content.
Bally Mobile Platform offers many benefits, but the greatest is the amazing self service it provides for the casino operators and staff who manage the applications. Bally’s cloud-based Mobile Platform features a robust one content-management system with 24/7 access that operators can use to be sure the appropriate features and content are served up to the appropriate device.
The powerful self-service features also enable casino guests to provide immediate feedback to operators. Guests can rate everything from the front desk check-in process to meals at restaurants. Thus, operators can see how much a guest is enjoying their experiences in real time, and can take immediate action to resolve any issues.
The analytics component of the content-management system is available at all times. It allows casino employees to log in from any browser to run instant reports or check analytics results. The platform also enables casino operators to create and easily update special content and offers, and immediately distribute the information to targeted potential customers. This results in savings for the casino because it can manage content for the apps, rather than outsourcing.
Operators can target content in countless ways, including a player’s age, club card level, month of their birthday or their proximity to the property. They can easily input their information directly into the content-management system and Bally’s Mobile Platform will translate the information into multiple smartphone applications, or even into a mobile website that can work across hundreds of devices. From there, operators can track patrons’ reactions to the targeted content and analyze their response patterns.
With a host of self-serve features for casino personnel and casino guests, the Bally Mobile Platform is a feature-rich solution that truly increases efficiency, improves customer service, can augment revenue and keeps patrons connected to the casino at all times. Bally has built the most top mobile apps for premier casinos, which is only one of the many reasons they’re clearly deserving of this recognition.
Media and Content Management
Bally Technologies—Bally CoolSign® Video Wall Controller
It’s no wonder that Bally Technologies’ CoolSign® Video Wall Controller was named a winner in its category. The newest feature under Bally CoolSign—a HOT award winner on its own last year—this high-performing product facilitates the management of all media content and information across multiple screens with flexibility and ease.
The Bally Video Wall controller provides casino operators with a more cost-efficient system for managing video walls from a wide array of sizes. It fully integrates with Bally systems and other third-party conference scheduling software; thus, operators can fully capitalize on their technology investments.
Bally CoolSign Video Wall Controller works to link all message devices throughout a casino property and provides real-time alerts to players about promotions, winners and last-minute specials for items such as show tickets, dining and even discounted rooms. Casino operators can even program content to be played only when preset conditions are met; for example, swimming pool facilities will only be advertised if the temperature is more than 90 degrees and the weather is sunny or discounts on hotel rooms will be shown if the occupancy rate is below a minimum threshold, but stopped once a target is met or exceeded.
CoolSign is fully integrated with Bally’s Elite Bonusing Suite™. This enables operators to boost the effectiveness of their bonusing promotions as it helps them tie slot data (such as jackpot amounts) to predetermined messages and triggers, remind players of jackpots and tournaments, direct players to targeted property areas, display real-time jackpot amounts and winners, integrate sound and lighting products to bring dramatic theater effects, and set triggers that tie to recent big wins, pre-selected jackpot dollar amounts, time limits and more.
The Bally CoolSign media and content-management systems push content to all message devices across the property, eliminating the need to create multiple versions of the same information. This allows casino marketers to drive consistent messages throughout the property with a single output.
Using Bally CoolSign Video Wall Controller casino operators have complete over content management and messaging throughout their casino resort, and maximum flexibility. Imagine doing all this with just a few clicks!