ow important is DR Gaming Technology's attendance at G2E Las Vegas 2018?
Our attendance at G2E Las Vegas is driven by the fact that as a global supplier, we believe that, combined with G2E Asia (Macao) and ICE Totally Gaming London, it provides us with the best possible spread of global customers, across equally well spread times of the year. That said, we continue to spread our exposure elsewhere too, and again attended the Irish Gaming Show in March, Juegos Miami at the end of May, and the Peru Gaming Show in Lima in June.
We have enjoyed significant success over the last 5 years in Europe and Africa, and more particularly Latin America, and the Caribbean, where over the last 12 months, in addition to our regional office in Lima, we have opened a further three offices in Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay. G2E Las Vegas provides the perfect location and event to showcase our products and entertain new and existing customers from the Americas.
Would you consider this a swift expansion process, considering that DRGT's Lima office operated 'alone' in the greater region for just over 4 years?
It is indeed, and I think it talks volumes about our commitment to, and confidence in, the markets there.
What I need to emphasise 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 operators.
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 not only installation assistance, but also any support that they may require in order to provide the best possible player experience. That means not only, fast, simple and smooth installations, but also 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.
Speaking of products, what can visitors to this year's show expect to see from DRGT?
My view remains that despite the fact that our customers are gaming operators, the end-user; the actual player, is ultimately who we both serve. So, in keeping with our development mantra to always design solutions for operators that put their player first, we will be proudly showcasing two new customer-focused solutions that will not only make the player's life easier but also allow operators the ability to service their players better.
Hot off the back of the launch of our drSelfRegistration raffle ticket and loyalty card solution, which provides a quick, simple and easy way to register players, and then provide them with a user-friendly and fast way to redeem raffle tickets at the push of a button, comes the launch of our drRoamingCashier.
This application loads straight onto any android mobile phone and allows operators to engage and transact with players anywhere on their gaming floor, providing them with the exact same service offering as at the casino cash desk or cage, but from the comfort of their favourite slot machine or table game. Operators are able to provide players with the ability to 'buy in', 'cash out' and redeem hand pays and ticket vouchers all via drRoamingCashier, in so doing providing a quick, simple and user-friendly access and exit point to any gaming session.
Furthermore, in order to provide an even quicker and easier way for operators to communicate with their players, our drMediaManager affords gaming and marketing managers a simple an easy to use tool to send direct advertising material to overhead displays like TVs, jackpot displays, and all player tracking devices and EGMs with on-screen functionality. It's as simple as selecting the device/s to which you'd like to send the communication, defining who and where you'd like to send it to, scheduling the event, and then 'attaching' the relevant piece/s of communication, whether it be an upcoming concert, raffle, drinks specials or bonus sessions, and 'hitting enter', it really is that easy.
So drMediaManager caters for broader advertising collateral, so to speak, what about loyalty rewards and personalised offers? Consumers are becoming more and more demanding, what can you offer operators to assist them in putting their individual 'players first'?
You're quite right, what we have seen, as a constant at many of the shows we have attended and exhibited at over the last 3 or 4 years, 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, and/or easy to use devices.
I have mentioned in previous interviews that in my view setting up the customer loyalty and rewards programmes is the simple part, actually getting customers/players to join, maintaining the programme's relevance and integrity, and then using the data captured in the best way possible is the real challenge.
Our drSelfRegistration for example, that I mentioned earlier, provides a quick, simple and easy way to register players, and then provide them with a user-friendly and fast way to redeem raffle tickets at the push of a button. Then in respect of using that player data, to reward each player in a relevant manner, 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, at a service desk in the casino, or via our drRoamingCashier.
What sort of player rewards are you talking about?
Loyalty points have been around for a long time, and are not new to our industry, or the general entertainment sector, retail and consumer markets. What I'm referring to is the ability to offer varying point award increment percentages per loyalty tier based on player value; we are able to offer 8 tier options in our drPlayerTracking module, but also loyalty based promotions like additional player-specific cash rewards, points bonuses, and promotional credits.
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. The simple and easy to use interface affords operators the ability to decide who gets rewarded with free-play, as well as how individual bonuses are issued, and then also provides the ability to select the way in which the free-play is redeemed, for example: only once the initial buy-in has been played, or perhaps only once the free-play has been played through 5 or 10 times, the options are literally limitless. What is key though is that the operator is afforded the opportunity to easily reward players, and as a result enhance their playing experience.
Rewards and bonuses are all good and well, but as management thinker Peter Drucker said: “you can't manage what you can't measure.”
Whilst the ability to provide players with a wide variety of rewards outside of the standard slots or tables games themselves is novel and creates added excitement for the player, reports will always be a key management tool for operators due to the simple fact that unless promotions and rewards successes are defined and tracked there is no way of knowing their value (or not).
We all know that any gaming floor generates literally millions of pieces of data on a daily basis, and as such report structures need to be relevant and exceptional, rather than all-encompassing. Our Promotions Overview report, I believe, is a good example of how we have managed to cluster specifically promotions data into an easy to read, 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.
We've spoken quite a lot about players and their rewards, but management systems and jackpots is where it all started for DRGT 15 years ago, your core products will again surely be a significant part of your exhibition space?
Yes, without a doubt! When Jurgen (De Munck, CEO) and Michiel (van Dam, CTO) founded the company in 2003, their vision was simple: to develop and deliver the best gaming technology that puts the player first, and that is exactly what we've done ever since.
Despite our growth, which now sees us operating our jackpots and systems on in excess of 50,000 gaming devices across more than 50 countries, this focus has never waivered. Our teams of developers in Malta, Belgium, Austria and South Africa, work daily on ensuring that we continue to deliver state-of-the-art gaming management systems, tools, and jackpots, that are robust and easy-to-use; and that always use the latest technology, in order to reduce costs and ensure simple system installation and implementation. It's a mouthful, I know, but its the backbone of our success, and I believe a testament to the legacy we have started to create in the industry globally.
With arguably the world's largest current selection of jackpot configurations, (our biggest client operates our wide-area jackpot technology across 5,000 EGMs and over 100 locations), as well as our simple, fast and easy to learn BlackJack11s tables side-bet game, which by the way can now award double loyalty to points to players through our tables management system, and the largest player tracking interface in the industry today (at 8.8'' and a resolution of 1,280 x 320), I believe we are well placed, for the foreseeable future, to remain the world’s fastest-growing independent gaming systems and jackpot supplier.