With the competition constantly growing casino player tracking data analysis becomes more important than ever. To get ahead of others, casinos keep offering more and more incentives to acquire new players and earn their loyalty. Players get their flight tickets paid for, home – airport – airport – casino/hotel transfers, luxurious accommodation, fancy meals in or out of the casino, concert/show tickets, free cigarettes and cigars, and some players are even assigned personal butlers.
Additionally, casinos offer various loyalty programs with bonus points, Jackpot systems linked to slot floors and live gaming tables, free play on arrival (complimentary chips), and rebates (“discounts”) on losses – whatever it takes to keep the players on the gaming floor as long as possible and make them come back again.
Although most of the efforts to gain players’ loyalty are pretty straight forward they all come at a cost. It is extremely important to have a clear understanding of total cost of all offers made to players and create a reasonable rating system to evaluate players according to their play volume, i.e. to estimate players’ theoretical losses per visit/session.
I remember reading in old casino marketing books (I consider books that are published in 1990’s and 2000’s on this subject old) that the usual amount that casinos were giving players as comps – flight tickets, accommodation, and meals were somewhat around %20 from players’ theoretical losses. Today it is a lot more than %20.
Globalization has created more competition, forcing casinos to spend greater amounts on marketing. The availability of new technologies (casino player tracking systems), on the other hand, are allowing casino managers to optimize those expenditures so the most valuable players get the best offer.
The Importance Of Casino Player Tracking Systems
There are many casino management software programs on the market. Some offer just basic casino player tracking and CRM functions, some have more bells and whistles. However, even the most sophisticated casino management software will not be good enough if casino personnel does not use it properly.
Slot player tracking systems have less possibility of human error and, depending on the system, we get either general data on total playing time and turnover or very detailed data. We can even find out a player’s theoretical loss on any game within a multi-game machine. Although some might think this is too much information, I believe data like this can be important in decision making because there could be even a %3 difference in the RTP percentage between game titles.
Player tracking at table games in most cases is a more complex task. If your casino is using chips with RFID technology or bets are placed with non-negotiable chips, then tracking players’ turnover is easier than if all you have are regular chips and the accuracy of data depends on how precise and timely it is entered by casino staff. I have seen inspectors watching roulette games and simultaneously trying to find names of players on their tracking system’s screens.
Imagine 3 players coming to a Roulette table from Blackjack because they want to play during shuffle time. If the software allows, the inspector can “copy” player names from the other table but even then there is a great chance that some tracking data will be missed and bets either not recorded at all or recorded on some other players’ names.
Casino Player Tracking – The Human Factor
Correct tracking data entries are essential to data analysis and decision making.
Here are the main situations that can be caused by wrong tracking data entries or miscalculations:
- If the tracking report shows player having less chips on hand than he/she actually has and if the casino is giving rebates on losses in chips (this means it is important to make sure players do not pass chips to one another), there are 2 possible scenarios:
- the transaction during the cash out at the cage might take longer because the cage personnel will suspect that the chips do not belong to the player and will call security/surveillance asking to check the issue – resulting in customer waiting and possible dissatisfaction with his/her casino experience.
- The cashiers will promptly exchange chips for cash without checking with security/surveillance – in case the chips belonged to a different player who previously lost and received a rebate (discount), the casino pays out more than it should have.
- If the tracking report shows player having more chips on hand than he/she actually has, the cashiers might refuse give a rebate on loss claiming that the player still has chips to play with – resulting in player dissatisfaction.
- If the tracking report is incorrect and player evaluation is misleading, a player who deserves more complimentary services might get less and leave unsatisfied. This case and the opposite, when a player gets more complimentary services than he/she is entitled to, influences the casino’s profitability in the long run.
From my personal experience (with casino player tracking applications like the ones by Logismos, Novomatic/Octavian, DRGT) – the better the casino player tracking data and analysis, the more aggressive marketing campaigns can be, resulting in more satisfied customers and shareholders in the long run.
If the casino management cannot be sure about the accuracy of the tracking data, better not to go over the top with spending on players’ complimentary services – in the long run it can leave a negative impact on the casino’s bottom line.
Know your numbers and make intelligent decisions.