Showing slot machine players – via animations on the casino floor – the style and features of a game before the player actually spends money on it, has been an important insight for the equipment suppliers as Asian markets have reopened since the pandemic. That is according to Michael Cheers (pictured centre, right), sales director Asia for International Game Technology Plc (IGT).
He was speaking on a Wednesday conference panel of leading executives from supplier firms, during the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia 2023 Special Edition: Singapore, held at the Marina Bay Sands resort in that city-state.
“We’ve certainly learned from our team’s perspective the importance of exposing the product on the casino floor in a ‘track screen’ mode,” he stated.
“In relation to players… around the floor or just being at the resort,” giving them “the ability to understand a little bit about the game” was an important marketing tool, added Mr Cheers.
The IGT executive noted it meant players “can see the features of the game without initially having to invest on the machine [game]. And that both goes from the standard slot to the topper as well.”
Mr Cheers also suggested that plastic ‘loyalty cards’ – that players registered with a casino operator were asked to insert in a machine before use, in order to register their presence – were “finished”.
He asserted: “People do not want another card in their wallet or their purse.” He added IGT had already moved to offer digitisation of those functions.
As a result, the operator’s loyalty programme could be “stored in the venue’s app and all of the promotional activities can… be fed through that,” said Mr Cheers.
Lloyd Robson (pictured centre, left), general manager of Asia at slot machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd, mentioned that his company was working with venue operators to provide “theatre” around how its games were presented to the customers, with such an approach tailored as much as possible to the individual operator.
Especially in the mass-market play segment, Aristocrat was working to create “a lot of theatre,” and a “lot of packaging around the product to really create that mass experience,” stated Mr Robson.
Ken Jolly (pictured, left) vice president and managing director – Asia at gaming equipment and content provider Light & Wonder Inc, stated gaming machines were getting “better” and more “attractive” to players, as the technology advanced.
“If I think back to what [casino] gaming looked like 10 years ago” compared to the situation today, the machine screens “are much bigger,” he stated. “We’re trying to immerse the player more into the game.”
Jim Preston (pictured, right), vice president of global innovation at electronic table game specialist Interblock dd, said that while consumer preferences in various markets might differ, there were common elements that were important for equipment suppliers.
He stated: “You need to create an immersive graphic interface that caters for all people so they can easily understand the table environment.”
Mr Preston added: “The key for us is replicating that live table experience”.
He referred to the habit of some Asian players at live-dealer baccarat games, whereby they like to ‘squeeze’ the back of a card dealt face down, before turning it over.
The Interblock executive stated how an electronic equipment supplier can “replicate that in a virtual environment”, and also the “unique nuances” of live-dealer game, were key things for the sector to think about and address.
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