The Canadian Gaming Summit is drawing nearer and the opportunities to learn from industry experts will be better than ever.
One such opportunity will be a Masterclass from Electronic Gaming Academy’s Lucien Wijsman. Over the course of three hours, Wijsman will cover how to approach slot operations, how to classify casino customers, and a deep dive on product.
Wijsman spoke with Canadian Gaming Business to offer a little more insight on what attendees can expect from the event.
I’m sure everyone who intends to attend your masterclass is curious about your journey. Would you mind sharing a bit about yourself and your experience in the industry?
My journey in ‘Casinoland’ started in the nineteen eighties at the monopoly casino operator in The Netherlands, Holland Casino. That’s where my gaming roots are. I was lucky to spend 12.5 years with this wonderful company, in various positions. From Slot Attendant to Slot Shift Manager to Slot Manager, I finally became an Assistant to the General Manager of Slot Operations, working closely with a man with a vision whose credo was ‘slot operations are NOT screwdriver operations; they are marketing operations’.
That was when I began traveling for work. I have fond memories of the summer and winter I spent in Regina, Saskatchewan. First, I opened a temporary slot machine casino at the Buffalo Back premises, and later I was involved in the pre-opening of Casino Regina, a beautifully converted train station. It has been 25 years since that first international experience, and it changed my life.
From Holland Casino, I ended up working internationally, advising casino operators in Europe, Russia, and later also Latin America, South America, and Africa, and finally, some projects in Asia. Over the years, my travels brought me to the USA and Canada as well. The training I executed was part of the UNR Gaming Management Series for a long time.
What inspired you to create a training program for industry professionals? Can you tell us a bit about your vision for the Electronic Gaming Academy?
I was based in Moscow, Russia for a couple of years on a full-time commitment and decided to stay in touch with the managers of the various companies I had advised prior to my Russian adventure.
To this end, I formed a company called the Slot Academy, which allowed me to run courses for managers at a central location for a couple of weeks a year. The Academy became a significant part of my work after I left Russia. I ended up traveling the world (except Australia) to consult and train.
The Slot Academy got a sister called the Slot Summit (a conference tailored to the audience of the Slot Academy), and that’s when 24 hours in a day became too little.
Luckily, Clarion Events came to the rescue; they bought both companies and gave me my life back.
Unfortunately, The Totally Gaming Academy (as it was rebranded) did not survive COVID-19. However, I missed training, so I continued executing trainings under the name of Electronic Gaming Academy.
In that capacity, I provide in-house and open training, both online and face-to-face (where I must admit that I prefer the face-to-face version). The trainings attract both gaming operators and gaming suppliers, mainly land-based, but lately also from online casinos and platform providers.
Your Masterclass is on maximizing Electronic Gaming revenues through analysing RTP (return to player). Please give us a sneak peek into the understanding that the attendees will gain after attending the class and how it can benefit their work in the industry.
The Masterclasses are deep dives into topics that I cover during my regular trainings.
The introduction to these masterclasses is always more or less the same: casino operators should understand that THE player does not exist. There are, at least, seven different casino visitor categories (or player profiles); they are different because their expectations from all the areas of the extended marketing mix for the services industry differ. (In many cases, they do not just differ, they are diametrically opposed.)
Casino operators need to understand the expectations of all the player categories they cater to in order to be able to meet (and try to exceed) these expectations. That means that each category of players needs a bespoke strategy when it comes to product, price, placement, promotions, physical environment, personnel, and process management (the 7 P’s of the extended marketing mix).
The Masterclasses typically zoom in (after the introduction of the player profiles) on one of the areas of the extended marketing mix.
Let’s talk about the topic choice — could you tell us a bit more about the pain point you’re trying to address and why you think this topic is important for professionals in the industry to understand?
So, during the Masterclass in Toronto, I will zoom in on the P of product. The house hold percentage and/or RTP are recurring topics during discussions between electronic gaming managers (and manufacturers alike), where I notice everybody holds strong views. Quite often these opinions are not fully fact-based; they are more beliefs.
I think the discussion is healthy; what I try to achieve with this masterclass is that all parties to the discussion are equipped with the same understanding of what house hold and/or RTP is (definitions) and how we cannot look at house hold and/or RTP in isolation from a number of other parameters of a game.
I would hope that the masterclass will help attendees decide what the best settings will be for their different player categories in their competitive environment.
Could you give us some insight into the specific audience that this class is targeted towards?
This Masterclass tailors to all layers of management in the Electronic Games Department (both Operational Management and Product Management), but also to marketing managers and casino managers.
The three-hour masterclass session will be held on each day (June 14 and 15) to increase accessibility to the interested parties. Upon completion of the Masterclass, attendees will receive certification from the Electronic Gaming Academy.
This event is perfect for all layers of management in the Electronic Games Department, including operational and product managers, marketing managers, and casino managers.
The Masterclass is open to all attendees of the summit. However, please be aware that this is a limited-capacity event, with only 100 spaces available each day.
Please RSVP to secure your spot at the event (first-come, first-served).