What are the major issues when it comes to designing optimal customer seating?
Skip Davis: The primary challenge always remains the same for seating manufacturers: To design seating that will be comfortable for the wide variety of customers seated at a specific game. This, along with an endless selection of game cabinets, placement of touch screens and buttons, various heights and widths of table games, all combine to create an opportunity for our team to design and manufacture seating that satisfy the majority of players. Creating the right balance of comfort, serviceability, design and durability has always been extremely important to us.
Roger Gasser: Customers are concerned about comfort and durability. Gasser molds its own seat and back cushions. This allows us to adjust cushion shapes and the firmness of cushions. Once the seating is in use, the customer will need maintenance parts from daily wear. Gasser is able to supply these parts since we are a manufacturer and not an assembler who must wait for third parties to fulfill parts requirements.
What to do you see as some of the most exciting things on the horizon for the casino seating market?
Skip Davis: Excitement in many cases is created through our partnerships with slot and game manufacturers. The next new and exciting interactive chair is always in development and ideas are brought to our team regularly. We are recognized as the leader in comfort and innovation, which is why the overwhelming majority of slot manufacturers turn to Gary Platt as a partner. For the casino direct market, we recently introduced the next generation of X-tended Play Seating, the X-2 series. We are widely recognized as the leader in ergonomically designed casino seating and this X-2 series continues and enhances this popular line.
Roger Gasser: Casinos are facing increased competition for players. They need a product with an attractive price point for budget. There is also high demand for ergonomic design for player comfort and a quality of products that will handle 24/7 use. Gasser’s new Quantum Series fills all of the requirements for slots, table games, and poker seating.
What are the biggest challenges when it comes to designing and manufacturing casino seating?
Skip Davis: Ensuring safety, serviceability and longevity, while maintaining pleasing designs and comfort. Our entire team is dedicated to providing this delicate balance for our customers and it shows by the popularity of our X-tended Play Seating line, interactive seating and our new X-2 line. Our goal remains the same: To satisfy operators/owners, design teams and ultimately the customer, hence the player sitting at the game. If we keep each vital part of this in mind, we are confident we will continue to provide the ultimate casino chair.
Roger Gasser: Ergonomics will continue to be of interest for player comfort. Management is also concerned about movement of slot stools by players and staff. Gasser offers a new Halo circular patented base. The Halo’s round “floating” disc base is designed with edges slightly raised off the floor so it doesn’t dig into the carpet and a proprietary finish that actually glides over carpet for easy movement.
Which international markets offer the biggest opportunities for business expansion for seating companies and which ones have the biggest competition?
Skip Davis: In the last several years, we have partnered with some of the finest distributor groups in several international markets including Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and others. We’ve experienced robust growth in every market we have entered and consider all of them a valuable part of our business as we compete for additional market share.
Roger Gasser: The Asian market offers opportunities due to continue increases in player activity. The competition is very active in Asia. The casino operator has many manufacturers to choose from and the customer needs to investigate the quality of products and service being offered.