Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For Casino Industry, Server-Based Gaming Still In The Cards

February 3, 2009: from CNET News -- Industry executives say, the time is finally right for server-based gaming, and the first signs of the technology--albeit a new form of it that has been reworked considerably from what it was originally--may actually be on the horizon. The next great thing may at long last be here.

That means a host of new slot machine-based innovations could be on their way. Among them, said Rob Bone, the vice president of marketing for WMS Gaming, one of the casino industry's big-four manufacturers, is a community-gaming system that will allow multiple people to play games across a series of machines. And another, known as "adaptive gaming," will make it possible for the machines to keep track of a player's progress and let them rejoin their game, even at a different location.

These days, a big part of successful casino operations is best figuring out how not only to get a player to bring his or her money onto your floor, but also how to get that person to join your loyalty program and return to one of your properties again and again.

For companies like MGM/Mirage, for example, that kind of customer acquisition and retention is key, especially in a city like Las Vegas, where the giant already owns ten major properties--including Bellagio, the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Luxor and others--and will soon open up City Center. Making it possible for its customers to play games and feel welcome and valued at all of its casinos is just about the most important thing MGM/Mirage or any of its competitors can do.

And that's why, while an IGT machine still won't run games from Bally--at least not any time soon--the four manufacturers seem to have come around to the idea that their technology had to give the casino operators much more control over the messaging players would see on those machines.

Additionally, Saenz said, the gaming machines will need to be able to access the casinos' databases of customer names and information, regardless of who made the machine, in order to serve up information that is individual to each user.

Full story at: http://tinyurl.com/ac9588

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