Pechanga Resort & Casino Transforms Patron Experience with Bally Technologies Solutions

Business Challenges
Pechanga Resort & Casino, an AAA Four Diamond resort located less than 60 miles north of San Diego and 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles, in the heart of California’s South Coast wine region, had been searching for a systems technology partner that offered the highest levels of security; was able to provide scalable solutions for the casino’s inevitable growth; and most of all; provide the infrastructure needed to deliver a better guest experience.

The Solution
That’s why, in early 2007, Pechanga chose to replace its system provider with Bally Technologies’ solutions and went live with Bally’s SDS™ slot-accounting system; CMP™ player-tracking, bonusing, promotions, and cage and pit accounting solutions; and TableView™ real-time table-management technology.

At the same time, Pechanga made another important investment. They implemented a fully networked casino floor with Cat 6 Ethernet cabling to every game, EMC SAN for high-speed data mobility over their high-speed network, and a Cisco® Unified Computing System (UCS) EMC VMax SAN to power their network and ensure the highest levels of data security and uptime.

With a high-speed, full networked casino floor in place and the industry’s most powerful and reliable slot and casino-management systems, Pechanga then implemented the iVIEW Technology Suite™, including iVIEW™ player-user-interface devices in every game. They used the Bally Command Center™ application to update the iVIEW casino-marketing content across the floor from a central location.

In a dramatic example of newfound efficiency, that single upgrade allowed Pechanga’s marketing department to download and display new, interactive promotional content and videos to all of its 3,750 in-game iVIEW displays in minutes – a process that previously took nearly three days and the commitment of several employees to visit each gaming device swapping out software chips manually. And today they are downloading videos across the entire floor every two weeks.

After the iVIEW displays were installed, Pechanga didn’t waste any time using the iVIEW network to launch Power Millions, the world’s largest mystery jackpot which re-seeded at $750,000 and offered a guaranteed win before hitting $1 million. The increase in play was immediately evident.

Pechanga also implemented the Bally CoolSign® resort-wide mediamanagement system to enable them to update more than 100 displays at the resort and even update displays on freeway billboards. Pechanga used CoolSign to its full advantage as well, becoming the first casino to stream live Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) content on its casino network using Bally CoolSign. During the 2010 New Year’s Eve celebration, American Idol winner David Cook performed in the Pechanga Showroom. The casino resort was able to stream part of the concert in real-time throughout the gaming floor. The following month, guests playing in one of the gaming pits were able to watch the Super Bowl on the surrounding monitor screens – also driven by CoolSign.

With its solid floor network in place and new ways to communicate and market to patrons using iVIEW and CoolSign, the management team at Pechanga took what it believes may be its most significant competitive step forward by adding Bally’s groundbreaking Business Intelligence (BI) solutions to the casino’s rapidly maturing arsenal of analytical and marketing tools.

Bally BI gave Pechanga powerful insights into all of its profit centers including casino, food and beverage, hospitality, spa, and golf, through an interface into Pechanga’s SQL Data Center warehouse. Today, they are using BI to tailor customer offers, customer communications, and slot-floor management in ways never before available.

Using BI, Pechanga’s Vice President of Slots Buddy Frank has been able to run a weekly analysis report of his casino-floor performance, showing zone, denom, manufacturer, and cabinet type, and extract that into a pivot table in just 20 seconds. Before BI, Frank said it used to take him four hours a week to create the same report. Using the Reporting Dashboard, the Pechanga team can present reports visually, with cutting-edge graphics and charts, in minutes. And the Campaign Management tool enables the operator to analyze the ROI of a promotion in the middle of the event, allowing them to make changes on the fly if necessary. Using Visualization Profiler, Frank has been able to move games on the casino floor and replace games that are starting to drop in performance much faster than before − to protect or enhance revenues.

Moving to the Next Level
Bally quickly became a proven strategic partner to Pechanga, with a record of successes in leveraging innovation to solve business challenges and increase the operator’s return-on-investment. “We tend to give Bally a lot of feedback – honest feedback – and they listen to it. That’s one of the things we like about Bally, one of the reasons we selected them as our systems partner – unlike other companies, they get out there and work with us to fix any issues,” Frank said. “Ultimately, it is about delivering a better guest experience, and they understand that.”

With their sophisticated new networked floor in place and a strong partnership with Bally, in late 2009, Pechanga moved forward with the next evolution in improving its guests’ experiences – adding the award-winning iVIEW Display Manager™ (DM) on games from multiple manufacturers. Pechanga became the first casino to complete a widespread implementation of iVIEW DM, a picture-inpicture- style player-user-interface that is backward compatible on almost any gaming device with a touch-screen display and provides a way for casino operators to present bonusing applications, selfservice applications like player-account access and beverage ordering, and casino marketing messages – without interrupting play. The casino currently has 1,200 of its 3,500 gaming machines on iVIEW DM running on Aristocrat, Bally, IGT, Konami, and WMS games, and plans to expand the footprint significantly this year.

Pechanga’s investment in the high-speed network, the centralized floor-wide download of content using Bally Command Center, the CoolSign media-management tools, and their commitment to iVIEW DM all reached the tipping point in early 2011 when the casino resort implemented Bally’s Elite Bonusing Suite™ (EBS) to provide events, promotions, and tournaments on the casino floor, to hundreds of slot players, without interrupting their base-game play.

The casino resort conducted their first official community-gaming experience using iVIEW and iVIEW DM and the Elite Bonusing Suite in February and March 2011 on all of their gaming machines using the Virtual Racing™ app. Their goal: to increase the percentage of rated play, increase coin-in, and promote excitement on the casino floor with minimal investment and labor usage.

On select days, they ran a “Pechanga Classic” horse race game which allowed players to pick one of eight horses to win a $15,000 per day purse during the virtual-racing event. Pechanga also broadcast the sights and sounds of the horse races on its CoolSign media network throughout the resort, adding to the experience and increasing levels of interest and anticipation.

In March 2011, during Bally’s Systems User Conference 8 held at the property, Pechanga offered another community event using Bally’s EBS U-Spin Bonusing™ game on all iVIEW DM-enabled machines. Participants were able to touch the game screen and spin a virtual bonus wheel to win one of the prizes available on each wedge of the wheel.

“The combination of iVIEW, Elite Bonusing Suite, and CoolSign is a powerful way to deliver an exciting community experience to your players without interrupting your revenue stream…when you see it on a busy floor, it’s really gratifying to see the guests get into the whole experience,” said John Kenefick, Pechanga’s Vice President of Information Technology.

The results of these promotions were immediately evident – increased coin-in, an uptick in usage of player’s club cards; more market data about the players themselves… and most importantly, smiling, happy, excited players. Using their Bally BI tools, Pechanga was able to track which games were played, which areas of the floor drew the most players, when the players visited the casino, and where they came from.

And they’ve recently started using Bally’s EBS DM Tournaments™ app to conduct slot tournaments on the iVIEW DM window. In an article in the September/October 2011 Slot Manager magazine, Frank said, “The dream always was, why couldn’t I just take a section of the floor with a mixture of machines from multiple manufacturers, have them instantly become tournament machines, and then go back to normal. I am doing that today on over 80 games from Aristocrat, Bally, and Konami with DM .”

Pechanga’s casino staff no longer has to allocate space for 70-80 of the same games to go unused during non-tournament hours or warehousing them in between tournaments. Huge labor savings are realized when multiple situations of installing and uninstalling machines into tournament areas are no longer required. With DM Tournaments, once a tournament is over, the machines are automatically returned to revenue-generating status. “That’s just really cool, and something I wish I had years ago,” Frank said. In summing up the power of the Pechanga-Bally partnership, Frank said. “Pechanga has worked side-by-side with Bally Technologies to harness the latest server-based technologies and make a state-of the- art gaming experience for our guests.”