Casino companies can leverage mobile advertising to lead to direct selling as opposed to far slower traditional marketing channels. When hot spots or geo-fences are located within a casino, patrons surfing that hotspot with their mobile device, or passing an i-beacon or geo-fence, can receive personalized marketing messages directly to their phone or tablet. When connected to an analytics platform, marketing messages can be tailored to the individual patron. Only analytically savvy marketers will be in a position to leverage the wealth of data available to drive real-time offers straight to the consumer’s device. To thrive in a world of smart devices, casino marketers need to be that much smarter.
In an effort to protect those vulnerable to addiction and make a positive impact to systemic gambling problems, casinos are stepping up to tackle the issue and analytics is proving to be a worthwhile tool to help identify problem gamblers early. Using predictive analytics software to understand player behaviour, an alert can be triggered when operators see that an individual’s behavior is becoming more risky. At that point, there is a range of interventions which are personalized toward the individual player, such as a pop-up that asks them to assess the amount spent all the way up to staff communication/intervention and even offer triggers that will entice the gambler to the property’s other amenities. While there is much work to be done in this area, many casinos are taking steps in the right direction with analytics proving to be a promising tool to fight addiction.
Slot Floor Optimization
When deciding which games to offer or replace, casinos may look at historic results and surmise reasons why games which were popular in the past will continue to be so in the future. Therein lies a missed opportunity. With mountains of invaluable customer data available, a growing number of casinos around the world are turning to advanced analytics to assist with slot floor planning to forecast the right mix of gaming choices, denominations, and machine placements to optimize customer interest and use.
While the traditional approach to decision-making around slots was limited to reports based on one variable exclusively using historical data, today’s forecasting looks at trends, seasonality, usage, location, machine drivers, game classifiers, time of day, day of week, etc., to truly understand customer preferences and factors that drive a machine’s success. With time, as databases become richer, predictions get stronger, providing a view of long-term gaming trend performance, and ultimately better decision-making.
Operators can now forecast at every dimension: by casino, by floor, by section, by denomination, modelling at every meaning level within the hierarchy and allowing operators to forecast how many plays a machine will see by customer segment. This allows casinos to understand best-case scenarios, what will happen next, what will happen if a trend continues, why this is happening and what actions need to be taken.
What’s more, based on this data, operators are also able to assess machines a casino has never seen before. Analytics provides operators with a sort of “shopping list” allowing them to buy machines based on data that will ensure their success when introduced into the overall floor mix. Using this technology, operators to look at multiple scenarios, from moving a machine, to reconfiguring it or to replacing it all together. Each of these decisions has a different impact on revenue and cost. Analytics can help decipher what impact the replacement of a machine will have on the overall floor performance.
Slot Floor Optimization is part art, part science. Managed effectively it helps casinos understand the relationship between machines and profitability. It helps managers determine the best mix of machines and how to optimize floor space use to maximize returns. When it comes to slot floor planning, bad decisions can mean significant losses, in both customer loyalty and potential revenue. By correlating the availability of the right games at the right prices with customer demand, the casino can generate incremental revenue increase, all the while improving the customer experience.
Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
As the gaming industry sees more stringent forms, there is also an increase in e-filing processes and requirements for capturing customer and transaction data. These changes require casinos to beef up how they capture and store customer and transaction information, as well as the depth and accuracy with which they report these details. As many casinos continue to largely rely on manual processes—that are time consuming and often less accurate than the new regulations require—these changes necessitate substantial staff training, changes in culture and upgrades to IT.
Information management and analytics technologies can greatly assist casinos in meeting these new requirements by providing the most accurate, complete solution for detecting, investigating and reporting on potential illicit activity, including customer due diligence, suspicious activity monitoring, watch-list filtering and case management.
Advanced solutions provide automated processes for detecting, investigating, and reporting suspicious behavior and apply a risk-based approach to monitoring customer behavior. Using high-performance analytics and multiple detection methods enables an institution to monitor more risk scenarios against very large volumes of data, in less time. Once suspicious behavior is identified, a seamless workflow increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the investigative function. Combining high-performance analytics capabilities with all the essential elements of a successful AML solution – including customer due diligence, suspicious activity monitoring, watch-list filtering, and case management— it allows casinos to:
- Monitor more transactions in less time
- Improve the quality and accuracy of alerts
- Enhance investigation speed and effectiveness
- Identify organized crime rings
This all provides casinos with more complete protection and the ability to meet compliance demands with greater speed and accuracy than ever before.
Big data can provide casino operators with a competitive advantage, but requires a well-planned approach to properly obtain, manage, analyze and leverage the information in a way that can improve bottom-line results. But many casino operators are applying analytics as a standalone activity isolated from everyday business operations and decisions, limiting its true value. 2015 is the year to operationalize analytics into all lines of business, enabling front-line, day-to-day business users and decision-makers – sales people, marketers, and business unit managers – to optimize their business outputs and decision making to become the analytically agile casino.
Natalie Osborn is senior industry consultant for SAS Institute’s Hospitality and Travel practice, and an 18-year veteran of hospitality and hospitality technology solutions development, specializing in analytics and revenue management. For more information, visit www.sas.com.