ould you describe in advance DRGT's presence at PGS 2018, and possibly share some insights into 2018 in general?
2018, to date, has been rather busy for us, and encouragingly so. In February we attended ICE Totally Gaming in London, we were then at the Irish Gaming Show in Dublin in April, G2E Asia in Macau in May, Juegos Miami earlier this month and now the Peru Gaming Show.
What we have seen, as a constant at all of these shows, has been the ever-increasing awareness from operators of how important technology is becoming in understanding customers, and then using that technology, whether that be customer data or through the provision of more user-friendly hardware, to drive revenue with bespoke targeted offers and rewards, or easy to use devices.
I think all businesses, not just the gaming sector, are fully aware of how important it is to ‘know their customer’, hence the massive drive over the last 20 years or so to develop and maintain customer reward or loyalty programmes. Setting up the programme though is the simple part, actually getting customers/players to join, maintaining the programme relevance and integrity, and then using the data captured in the best way possible is the real challenge.
To the above end, and in keeping with our development mantra to always design solutions for operators that put their player first, our drSelfRegistration raffle ticket and loyalty card solution, provides a quick, simple and easy way to register players, and then provide them with a user-friendly and fast way to redeem raffle or draw tickets at the push of a button.
In addition to drSelfRegistration, and in a concerted effort to provide operators with the best possible information in order for them to reward their players better, we have expanded our marketing and promotions reports quite extensively, as well as our bonus rewards.
The information and reports we provide, offer operators a simple way to manage, track, classify and cluster players in any number of different ways, and then reward them accordingly; whether that be additional 'time on device', a simple 'happy birthday' message, or vouchers or draw tickets they can redeem at their EGM, should they operate our drScreen touchscreen technology, or at a service desk in the casino, should they not.
Our new Charge Bonus is a good example of this. The feature now comes standard, with any number of parameters that allows operators to reward players with free-play as they see fit. Then with regards to the management of promotions, we now offer a single Promotions Overview report that provides operators with a single-view of all promotions, split across all reward options: cash, points, vouchers or free-play. The value in this is immense, and the ‘dashboard’ report provided by Promotions Overview really does give operators at a local, regional or Head Office level a simple quick and easy snapshot of what is presently being offered to players in terms of rewards, and the ability then to assess the value thereof to both themselves and their players.
In addition to the above new product solutions and reports, we will again showcase our world-leading range of standalone, mystery and wide-area progressive jackpots, as well as our Tables-specific jackpot games.
At last year’s edition of PGS, you highlighted drScreen Micro, mentioned drScreen Ultra, and showcased products from your partners: Alfastreet and Apex Gaming. Are these products still driving your success, or are there some new items we can look forward to seeing?
Our drScreen Micro player interface has been received very well and continues to be the logical entry point for any operator wishing to implement a player loyalty programme.
What we noticed, however, was that as operators and players became more and more familiar with the functionality, there was a need to offer players even more of it at the EGM itself. Here again technology assisted us in moving forward, and as you know, our world-leading 8.8” drScreen Ultra was born.
The drScreen Ultra now provides far more screen ‘real estate’, and as such provides the operator and the player with those additional functionality options. drScreen Ultra can now accommodate on-screen personal bonus games, funds transfers, points balances, live television streaming and food and beverage order placement functionality, not to mention the ability to drive personalised player communications by the operator that can include the aforementioned promotional videos, birthday messages, vouchers and free play.
At the Peru Gaming Show we will also be showcasing Alfastreet’s new Multi Touch, as well as their compact Lucky 8 Roulette Terminals and APEX’s Pinnacle Premium SL Slot Cabinet
The Alfastreet Lucky 8 provides a logical compact alternative to the existing R8, which as you know is a true classic on casino floors worldwide. This modern, compact solution provides a solid alternative to venues that cannot accommodate the bigger version. The Multi Touch, however, is a fully automated machine, that combines the experience of a live roulette table with the advantages of having an electronic setup.
Then on the Slots side; APEX’s Pinnacle Premium SL is equipped with three 27” screens, which allows for an impressive player experience, especially on some games, like ‘Dragon Egg’ that utilises all three screens to create an awe-inspiring single impression.
Are there any key expectations for PGS specifically, both in respect of your company and for the industry, or trends that may drive the sector in a specific direction?
I think as an industry we all need to appreciate the fact that in time, globally, we are all going to ultimately go cashless. Our CEO, Jurgen De Munck, has noted this on many occasions when asked this question, and I really do not see this being any different in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Hard currency is becoming less and less a part of everyday life, just look at how many more times you swipe your bank card these days, as opposed to using cash, when compared to even 5 years ago. Online casinos and sports betting operators have had to operate in a cashless environment from ‘day one’, and we see no reason why that migration would not happen at a live table or slot machine too. Operators must surely start to migrate to more intelligent forms of player tracking and rewards, and more user-friendly ways for players to start, end, and move their gameplay from one device (or venue) to another, and back again.
With the above in mind we believe we are extremely well positioned, and ‘ahead of the curve’ with our own RFID ‘Tap and Play’ cashless card solution and sector-leading 8.8” drScreen Ultra player interface.
Cashless functionality just makes sense; affording operators a significant reduction in player card costs with RFID cards costing approximately 50% (fifty) less than current Smart Cards, and for players it provides for a safe, quick and easy way to access to their funds.
What does your presence at PGS mean for you as a company? Sales are the obvious objective, but there must be other outcomes or expectations too?
The Peru Gaming Show is a key annual event for us, and provides a superbly professional platform for us to not only enhance our profile in the greater South, Central and Latin American market, but affords us a very real opportunity to entertain customers, meet new ones and showcase our core, and any new, products.
Does DRGT deliver products specifically designed for Peru or the region? Which criteria do you adopt in that sense?
Player registration and player tracking are becoming more and more important across the globe, and Peru is no different, especially for operators wanting to understand their players better, and in doing so, wanting to reward them better.
Our drSelfRegistration solution, referred to earlier, now makes this extremely simple for the player and easy to manage for the operator. Once completed, operators can create their own unique multi-tiered player rewards scheme, and then actively reward their players with anything from a personalised ‘welcome message’ when they commence their gaming session, to additional bonus games, free play, food and beverage vouchers and other offers and discounts. Our player loyalty products assist with this through very simple and user-friendly interfaces, and our reports then assist operators in making sure the best possible rewards are offered to each and every customer. The most recent implementation of this is currently in phase one of its roll-out at Spielbanken Sachsen and Spielbanken Saarland in Germany.
Whilst you have enjoyed significant success on the continent, and obviously in Europe and Africa too, what further inroads does DRGT™ hope to make across the Americas, considering your recent showing in Macau, and I assume your intention to pursue the Asia-Pacific region too?
DRGT Peru has now been operational for 5 years, and successfully so. In October last year we opened an office in Mexico and most recently regional offices in Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay. As you can see we are firmly focused on Latin America, South America and the Caribbean.
What I need to emphasize though is that whilst expansion is very exciting, we are constantly aware of the fact that we need to carefully manage the process in order to ensure that at all times we are able to adequately service our customers, the operator.
The end-user for us as the system solutions service provider, and for the operator, is always the player. As a result, we need to be there to complete the ‘loop’ and provide operators with any support that they may require in order to provide the best possible player experience. That means, fast, simple and smooth installations and an ‘always available’ team of support staff and product specialists. We will not compromise our service levels ‘just’ for the sake of expansion, our reputation is far too valuable to us to let that happen.