When we visit a grocery store these days, 9 out of 10 times we’re asked by the cashier if we have our ‘club card’ with us. Without this membership card, we don’t receive the discount sale prices that ofgten attract us in the first place. The same goes for most casinos. Only gamblers with a branded ‘Player Club Card‘ are able to take advantage of special promotions, based on how often they visit the casino, and how much they wager.
TransAct Technologies, which specializes in ticket-in/ticket-out printing services for electronic gambling devices, including slot machines and table games, has developed a product called Epicentral. It’s already being used on machines throughout many regions of the world, and now Macau casinos are showing great interest in installing the Epicentral technology.
Epicentral is a printing system that can deliver special promotions to players who don’t use a loyalty card when playing slots and other electronic gambling amusements. It’s also capable of displaying available promotions to card-holding players, giving them the option to print them instantly.
TransAct exhibited its Epicentral printing technology at this year’s Asian Global Gaming Expo (G2E Asia), hosted in Macau. Considering the dwindling revenue generated by Macau casinos of late, and the number of players who travel in and out of the region’s gambling resorts without bothering to sign up for a card, the new system is seen as a potential catalyst for player retention.
Tracey Chernay, Senior VP of Global Casino, Gaming and Lottery for TransAct, spoke with GGRAsia during the G2E conference and trade show earlier this month, explaining that Epicentral technology is compatible with all sorts of gaming devices. Slot machines, video poker machines and electronic table games are compatible by default, and even live table games equipped with ticket-in/ticket-out utilization can use the system.
“We have had a lot of interest from Macau operators during G2E Asia regarding these capabilities of Epicentral,” said Chernay. With the casino floor changing drastically in the region, she said, “they were looking for the right solution for Macau right now.”
She noted that the product has been available in Europe and North America for a while now. Based on the current changes in the market, TransAct is just now introducing the concept to the Asia Pacific region, and what they quickly learned at G2E was that “many players… haven’t become a loyalty club member. Epicentral can really help with that,” Chernay said.
She went on to describe how the technology works. Operators “can set up promotions with Epicentral as the player begins to play: to make that player an offer through the slot machine printer, to become a carded player. That could be a free play incentive or some other kind of incentive.”
Another advantage, said the SVP, is the ability for casinos to communicate with players through the printing system. Traditionally, a casino rep will walk the floor and approach players with special incentives. With this system, Macau casinos can reduce overhead by managing fewer floor staff dedicated to promotional offerings.
Chernay said operators would be able to use the Epicentral system for “cross-marketing to the other aspects of the property, like entertainment, food and beverage, shows… and you can do that by setting those promotions up in the system, and they are delivered automatically to the player at the game, without the need to have a great deal of staff involvement.”
Implementing the system in Macau casinos could have a huge impact on player turnover and retention, and could help to resolve the current crisis the region’s gambling resorts have experienced since the decline of its most precious, high-rolling clientele.