ow does Location Aware Technology impact this particular industry? What was the feedback from Latin American customers regarding this technology?
Location Aware Technology is big for employee operations and efficiency. At Bally, we show the casinos how this technology is going to be applied in the gaming industry. There was a pretty good response in Latin America. People told me that this technology is very relevant to this market. Of course, as with any new technology, people are still trying to figure out how it would apply to their business. How can one make the business better? If you knew that you high-value patron had just walked in the door, wouldn’t you like to know it? Wouldn’t you like to send a host to that person and deliver a proper service? Today, the only time we know people are on the floor is when they put their card in, or when they go to the cashier cage. Location Aware allows us to know the second they come on property.
What kind of technologies is Bally interested in?
What we ask ourselves is this: What can we do to make sure that the right employee is going to be at the right time and right place to deliver the right service? These type of things are the ones we’re interested in. We link that into all of our courses and to all systems that help run the casinos. If we turn everything into Location Aware, this phenomenon is going to change the way we do business.
How are these types of technologies evolving?
Today most slot machines have touch screen. Going forward, you’re going to experience new forms of interaction with slot machines, more skill interaction. The technology we generally show in our Innovation Lab is less then a year away. Some of our technologies may take several years to get to certain markets because it depends on the market’s ability to accept innovation, if they’re willing to adapt to change or not. We find some jurisdictions are very slow to adapt, that’s why Regulators have to accept change. Most of the technology I talk about will be going commercial in about two years.
What does Bally do in order to attract young customers without losing existing ones?
Our philosophy is “You have to build a technology so that the existing customers continue to interstate to the game the same way they did before.” For example, one can choose to use Mobile Credit Technology, but if you don’t want to, you can still use a cash ticket. 15% of our transactions at Starbucks are using the mobile payment, but they can still pay with credit or debit card. Eventually, all these cash staffers will be gone, because Apple Pay is going to change the world. People need to be ready to adapt to new technologies.
Do you believe that some day everyone at home will be able to access all of these latest technologies?
A lot of this technology is preparing the casinos for the eventual day where they can offer this type of games and experiences for consumers at home. We’re taking slot machines to tablets. The other day, for instance, I was having lunch in California and I logged into a machine down in Vegas and remotely played it. That’s what streaming technology can do. This technology is real. We’re spending lots of time on understanding streaming technologies. Streaming games are rendered live, which means they change every second. We have to take that and code it and send it up over the internet to mobile devices.
How did Argentine customers respond? Can this technology be applied in the Latin American market?
Take ‘n Play technology had been very well received. They said we should definitely go work on that. What we have to do at Bally is to work hand-in-hand with customers and regulators to support new technologies. In this region, the feedback was extremely positive and it was a great opportunity to hear customers concerns. What we do in the Innovation Lab is something we call “Voice of the Customer”, which consists of getting early feedback on development so that we can change it to meet customers needs.