Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Social Networking and the Slot Player

CM Comment: Good article in this month's edition of Slot Manager ... especially worth keeping an eye on are the initiatives by slot manufacturers to weave at-home social networking directly with the in-casino game-play experience.

March 1, 2009: summarized from Slot Manager Magazine -- WMS keeps close tabs on what's happening in the social networking space as part of its ongoing research, said Rob Bone, vice president of marketing. WMS' research shows that 70 percent of the gaming demographic has access to the internet, and 90 percent of those people have access to broadband. "Casino people are already online. They're a lot more capable and a lot more knowledgeable about the internet than the average population." The very nature of gaming is changing. While gaming traditionally has been a private, solitary experience, players are embracing new experiences. "Gaming has become more communal, and it's become more social, and it's being enhanced," Bone said. He likened it to the experience at an exciting table game. "The experience is still whether you win or lose, but it's drastically enhanced by the people you meet, and the experiences you share." Social networking is "a way to identify what's important to you and what type of experiences you want to have." One thing Bone stressed was that WMS' goal with its Web strategies is not to compete with customers. "We're trying to give a solution that enhances their brand and extends their brand. We're trying to enhance their ability to connect with their players." Over the next 12 to 24 months, Bone said, the industry will see WMS deliver more games and strategies to help casinos leverage the player experience.

Bally Technologies also is paying close attention to social networking, said Bryan Kelly, Bally vice president of technology. "Clearly Bally is interested in how we can communicate directly to the casino to drive new players to casinos or retain players," Kelly said. "We are interested in that market and how we could help link those sites and those experiences to hopefully drive some new consumers to the floor. As a systems provider to the casino industry we could enable the linking of those sites and those technologies to our CMS, our player tracking system, to help create those bonds," he said. Like Bone, Kelly cited the advent of community-style games. "As the casino industry moves toward community-based gaming, we are working on that effort," he said. Tournaments are a natural for community-style events that are more customized to the players. "The consumer may want to create his own community. I might bring my buddies to the casino and want them to play with me in these community-type events," Kelly said. "Clearly this is happening in the portal-based gaming world, [and] will migrate into the casino gaming world."

Full story at: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=bnpl4ycab.0.0.o7uw4wcab.0&p=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fdc3y9c&id=preview

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