Making the traditional thrill of slot machines more accessible via digital platforms will help casinos to cater for a 21st century audience, according to GTECH vice-president Charles Cohen.
Speaking at ICE Totally Gaming 2015, Cohen said that such a move to digital would tackle a key problem facing casinos – that younger players are not being interested in slot machines. “Lots of these machines have reached the limits of their capacity. Yet the cost of having more of them and optimising your floor is just too high,” Cohen said.
GTECH believes it has come up with a solution by developing an OnPremise mobile system, which is to be installed at MGM’s casinos in Nevada, US. “The concept is quite simple. You just walk into a land-based casino and instead of playing at a dedicated slot machine, you can do it through your smartphone. It is like having a slot in your hand,” he said.
All the devices are connected via the wireless internet at a venue, and through to a local game server. “If you do have a real-money option for your customers, you can extend it outside,” he added. The next step is to get your customers to download the app by making it as accessible as possible. “To make that happen you need to follow three rules. First, make it easy. Second, make it easy. And third, make it easy,” Cohen insisted.
“There should be only one log in, one balance, one customer support and a one-click process of registration. “If you are from interactive world, you have actually become used to paying with your debit or credit card online, but casinos are all about cash, which means that you need to have slot vouchers where customers can easily top up their gaming credit.” According to Cohen, casinos can no longer ignore mobile.
A recent study by GTECH indicated that 97 per cent of players bring their smartphones to a casino floor. Moreover, three quarters of people use the phone while gambling at least as much when they are not gambling. “Our customers said that they liked the idea of one-stop shop app and the fact that they can still play if all slots were full,” Cohen added. “Basically, that is a way to generate more gaming without having more gaming machines.”