Sycuan Casino installs IGT’s SPHINX 4D Video Slots | 2018-02-22



Sycuan Casino is the first southern California casino to receive IGT’s SPHINX 4D video slot machines. The SPHINX 4D game is the gaming industry’s first product to leverage mid-air haptic technology to bring an interactive experience to users. 

SPHINX 4D combines glasses-free TRUE 3D graphics with mid-air haptic and gesture recognition technologies to create a multi-sensory gaming experience. Gesture recognition technology enables players to use hand movements to move and manipulate the game’s graphics, while mid-air haptic technology gives players tactical feedback as they interact with the game’s 3D graphics.

“IGT is excited that our valued customers at Sycuan Casino can now entertain their players with the award-winning SPHINX 4D game,” said Toni Martinez, IGT vice president western region sales, gaming. “IGT’s SPHINX 4D features dynamic gameplay and leverages industry-first technology to create a truly immersive casino experience for Sycuan Casino players to enjoy.”

“We’re pleased to be able to offer our guests new cutting-edge technology,” said John Dinius, general manager at Sycuan Casino. “IGT is changing the gaming industry and we’re thrilled to be the first casino in Southern California to have the SPHINX 4D game.”



Sycuan Casino is the first southern California casino to receive IGT’s SPHINX 4D video slot machines. The SPHINX 4D game is the gaming industry’s first product to leverage mid-air haptic technology to bring an interactive experience to users. 

SPHINX 4D combines glasses-free TRUE 3D graphics with mid-air haptic and gesture recognition technologies to create a multi-sensory gaming experience. Gesture recognition technology enables players to use hand movements to move and manipulate the game’s graphics, while mid-air haptic technology gives players tactical feedback as they interact with the game’s 3D graphics.

“IGT is excited that our valued customers at Sycuan Casino can now entertain their players with the award-winning SPHINX 4D game,” said Toni Martinez, IGT vice president western region sales, gaming. “IGT’s SPHINX 4D features dynamic gameplay and leverages industry-first technology to create a truly immersive casino experience for Sycuan Casino players to enjoy.”

“We’re pleased to be able to offer our guests new cutting-edge technology,” said John Dinius, general manager at Sycuan Casino. “IGT is changing the gaming industry and we’re thrilled to be the first casino in Southern California to have the SPHINX 4D game.”

Jungle Wild progressive slot — SCIENTIFIC GAMES | 2018-02-22



Jungle Wild features the magic and mystery of the ancient Mayan’s jungle world. During the captivating Jungle Wild Bonus that awards players up to 20 free spins, Jungle Wild Reels will magically appear ratcheting up the excitement and increasing the chances of big wins. Also, Mystery Progressive Jackpots can be randomly awarded in the base game, building anticipation with every spin. The Major and Minor Progressive may be awarded randomly, with the chance of winning the progressive increasing with the amount bet for that spin, and the Jungle Wild Bonus – triggered by three, four or five scattered pyramid symbols, awards five, seven or 20 free spins respectively. During the bonus, Jungle Wild symbols will randomly replace all positions on two different reels on each spin. 



Jungle Wild features the magic and mystery of the ancient Mayan’s jungle world. During the captivating Jungle Wild Bonus that awards players up to 20 free spins, Jungle Wild Reels will magically appear ratcheting up the excitement and increasing the chances of big wins. Also, Mystery Progressive Jackpots can be randomly awarded in the base game, building anticipation with every spin. The Major and Minor Progressive may be awarded randomly, with the chance of winning the progressive increasing with the amount bet for that spin, and the Jungle Wild Bonus – triggered by three, four or five scattered pyramid symbols, awards five, seven or 20 free spins respectively. During the bonus, Jungle Wild symbols will randomly replace all positions on two different reels on each spin. 

Duetto closes record investment in hotel technology | 2018-02-21



Duetto, hospitality’s only revenue strategy platform, recently announced the closing of an $80 million Series D financing round led by funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The round is reportedly the largest ever non-acquisition investment in a software company serving the hotel industry.

“As the pace of change has accelerated and the threats of digital disruption have grown, so have our efforts to help this industry we are so passionate about. We are pleased to have the support of Warburg Pincus, whose extensive experience in building SaaS businesses of scale will help drive our growth and provide solutions to more hoteliers worldwide,” said Patrick Bosworth, co-founder and CEO of Duetto. “For more than a decade, hotel companies have been looking for ways to compete more effectively with online travel agencies and drive more direct business. By unifying data across the tech stack, our platform has become the single source capable of delivering true personalization to consumers. Hoteliers now have the ability to increase conversion and drive more direct engagement with consumers by personalizing pricing and merchandising at the point of booking.”

“Duetto has established itself as the market leader in the hotel revenue management space, providing its customers with next-generation solutions to optimize demand, maximize rates and minimize costs,” said Ashutosh Somani, managing director, Warburg Pincus. “With its strong domain experience and deep cloud SaaS technology leadership, Duetto is uniquely positioned to bring new capabilities to the hospitality industry. We look forward to supporting Patrick and the Duetto leadership team in their next chapter of growth.” 

Duetto’s Revenue Strategy Platform brings together all core technologies and data to make them accessible through multitenant cloud architecture using AWS and MongoDB, enabling future innovations and new applications. The company’s intelligent reporting application ScoreBoard forecasts and analyzes performance, delivering key insights to stakeholders across the organization. BlockBuster brings Open Pricing to contracted group business and enhances collaboration between the sales and revenue management teams. PlayMaker, the industry’s first application to personalize the booking experience in real time, customizes merchandising content and offers for known and unknown guests.

“We want to modernize ecommerce in the hotel industry with our Revenue Strategy Platform at the center of the new hotel tech stack,” said Marco Benvenuti, chief marketing and strategy officer of Duetto. “Our cloud platform is open and agnostic and we look forward to partnering with other technology companies to unlock new ways of driving efficiencies and more revenue for the hotelier. With our agile development process, we will continually improve our core applications while looking to develop new products when there is a crucial industry need not being served.”

Duetto is backed by investors Warburg Pincus, Icon Ventures, Accel Partners, Battery Ventures and Spectrum 28.



Duetto, hospitality’s only revenue strategy platform, recently announced the closing of an $80 million Series D financing round led by funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The round is reportedly the largest ever non-acquisition investment in a software company serving the hotel industry.

“As the pace of change has accelerated and the threats of digital disruption have grown, so have our efforts to help this industry we are so passionate about. We are pleased to have the support of Warburg Pincus, whose extensive experience in building SaaS businesses of scale will help drive our growth and provide solutions to more hoteliers worldwide,” said Patrick Bosworth, co-founder and CEO of Duetto. “For more than a decade, hotel companies have been looking for ways to compete more effectively with online travel agencies and drive more direct business. By unifying data across the tech stack, our platform has become the single source capable of delivering true personalization to consumers. Hoteliers now have the ability to increase conversion and drive more direct engagement with consumers by personalizing pricing and merchandising at the point of booking.”

“Duetto has established itself as the market leader in the hotel revenue management space, providing its customers with next-generation solutions to optimize demand, maximize rates and minimize costs,” said Ashutosh Somani, managing director, Warburg Pincus. “With its strong domain experience and deep cloud SaaS technology leadership, Duetto is uniquely positioned to bring new capabilities to the hospitality industry. We look forward to supporting Patrick and the Duetto leadership team in their next chapter of growth.” 

Duetto’s Revenue Strategy Platform brings together all core technologies and data to make them accessible through multitenant cloud architecture using AWS and MongoDB, enabling future innovations and new applications. The company’s intelligent reporting application ScoreBoard forecasts and analyzes performance, delivering key insights to stakeholders across the organization. BlockBuster brings Open Pricing to contracted group business and enhances collaboration between the sales and revenue management teams. PlayMaker, the industry’s first application to personalize the booking experience in real time, customizes merchandising content and offers for known and unknown guests.

“We want to modernize ecommerce in the hotel industry with our Revenue Strategy Platform at the center of the new hotel tech stack,” said Marco Benvenuti, chief marketing and strategy officer of Duetto. “Our cloud platform is open and agnostic and we look forward to partnering with other technology companies to unlock new ways of driving efficiencies and more revenue for the hotelier. With our agile development process, we will continually improve our core applications while looking to develop new products when there is a crucial industry need not being served.”

Duetto is backed by investors Warburg Pincus, Icon Ventures, Accel Partners, Battery Ventures and Spectrum 28.

Cher-Ae Heights Casino selects Agilysys solution suite | 2018-02-20



Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, recently announced that the Cher-Ae Heights Casino in northern California has chosen Agilysys InfoGenesis POS, rGuest Analyze and rGuest Pay solutions to upgrade technology at the property. The casino will reportedly secure guests’ financial data with rGuest Pay, while InfoGenesis POS will help optimize food and beverage operations to deliver an exceptional guest experience. rGuest Analyze will allow management to utilize POS data to provide key operational insights and act on them in real-time to boost profitability and improve efficiency.

The partnership with Cher-Ae Heights Casino extends Agilysys’ track record of success with tribal gaming operators that depend on Agilysys solutions to successfully manage their operations and customer interactions.

“We see so many advantages for our casino with these Agilysys products, and we are excited to have them be a part of our operations,” said Ron Badouin, general manager at Cher-Ae Heights Casino. “InfoGenesis POS will help us streamline food and beverage operations while rGuest Analyze provides us with real-time, detailed key performance metrics, eliminating the need for manual reports and spreadsheets. We are particularly excited for the security that comes with rGuest Pay, giving us peace of mind with complete, secure payment processing for our guests.”

Cher-Ae Heights Casino chose the following Agilysys solutions:

  • InfoGenesis POS is an award-winning, comprehensive point-of-sale system that combines easy-to-use terminal and tablet touchscreen applications with industry-leading offline capabilities. Its strong reporting and analysis features, enterprise-grade menu and item configuration capabilities, and multi-language support drive service flexibility and increased operational efficiency.
  • rGuest Pay is a payment gateway that enables complete and secure payment processing. rGuest Pay leverages one of the few payment offerings that includes: validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE), which securely encrypts cardholder data while drastically reducing annual PCI audit costs; a Payment Information Proxy (PIP) that secures data arriving via e-commerce interfaces; robust tokenization, which eliminates storage of cardholder data; and a full range of fixed and mobile EMV-ready payment devices that ensure compliance with new card security regulations.
  • rGuest Analyze is a groundbreaking business intelligence solution that allows managers to identify key performance metrics — such as sales trends, table turns and product mix — and act on the insights in real time to boost profitability and optimize operations. The made-for-hospitality application highlights revenue opportunities and improves business processes, and its out-of-the-box reporting and dashboard capabilities eliminate the need for error-prone manual reports and spreadsheets.

“We look forward to helping Cher-Ae Heights Casino drive operating efficiency from day one with comprehensive and feature-rich solutions,” said Sridhar Laveti, vice president of products and customer support at Agilysys. “rGuest Pay is an ideal solution for properties that want complete security of guest financial data, and InfoGenesis POS will increase efficiency across the property and allow staff to deliver world-class guest service.”



Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, recently announced that the Cher-Ae Heights Casino in northern California has chosen Agilysys InfoGenesis POS, rGuest Analyze and rGuest Pay solutions to upgrade technology at the property. The casino will reportedly secure guests’ financial data with rGuest Pay, while InfoGenesis POS will help optimize food and beverage operations to deliver an exceptional guest experience. rGuest Analyze will allow management to utilize POS data to provide key operational insights and act on them in real-time to boost profitability and improve efficiency.

The partnership with Cher-Ae Heights Casino extends Agilysys’ track record of success with tribal gaming operators that depend on Agilysys solutions to successfully manage their operations and customer interactions.

“We see so many advantages for our casino with these Agilysys products, and we are excited to have them be a part of our operations,” said Ron Badouin, general manager at Cher-Ae Heights Casino. “InfoGenesis POS will help us streamline food and beverage operations while rGuest Analyze provides us with real-time, detailed key performance metrics, eliminating the need for manual reports and spreadsheets. We are particularly excited for the security that comes with rGuest Pay, giving us peace of mind with complete, secure payment processing for our guests.”

Cher-Ae Heights Casino chose the following Agilysys solutions:

  • InfoGenesis POS is an award-winning, comprehensive point-of-sale system that combines easy-to-use terminal and tablet touchscreen applications with industry-leading offline capabilities. Its strong reporting and analysis features, enterprise-grade menu and item configuration capabilities, and multi-language support drive service flexibility and increased operational efficiency.
  • rGuest Pay is a payment gateway that enables complete and secure payment processing. rGuest Pay leverages one of the few payment offerings that includes: validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE), which securely encrypts cardholder data while drastically reducing annual PCI audit costs; a Payment Information Proxy (PIP) that secures data arriving via e-commerce interfaces; robust tokenization, which eliminates storage of cardholder data; and a full range of fixed and mobile EMV-ready payment devices that ensure compliance with new card security regulations.
  • rGuest Analyze is a groundbreaking business intelligence solution that allows managers to identify key performance metrics — such as sales trends, table turns and product mix — and act on the insights in real time to boost profitability and optimize operations. The made-for-hospitality application highlights revenue opportunities and improves business processes, and its out-of-the-box reporting and dashboard capabilities eliminate the need for error-prone manual reports and spreadsheets.

“We look forward to helping Cher-Ae Heights Casino drive operating efficiency from day one with comprehensive and feature-rich solutions,” said Sridhar Laveti, vice president of products and customer support at Agilysys. “rGuest Pay is an ideal solution for properties that want complete security of guest financial data, and InfoGenesis POS will increase efficiency across the property and allow staff to deliver world-class guest service.”

Pragmatic Play adds Summerfield to management team | 2018-02-20



Pragmatic Play has strengthened its executive team with the appointment of Melissa Summerfield as chief commercial officer. Summerfield joins from Microgaming, where she served as VP of operations for Gibraltar, Spain and Latin America, holding responsibility for commercial strategy and operational growth.

Beginning her career in the gaming industry 15 years ago with BetVictor, she played a key role in establishing the operator’s casino offering. She went on to hold positions at Party Gaming and bwin.party (now GVC), with a senior role working as bwin.party’s head of gaming operations for more than four years, overseeing the running of more than 50 prominent gaming brands.

“We are very pleased to welcome Melissa to Pragmatic Play, and the depth and quality of her experience from both a B2B and B2C perspective will prove invaluable as we continue to expand our operations,”  said Yossi Barzely, chief business development officer at Pragmatic Play. “We have grown our global footprint with a number of significant operator and supplier integrations in recent months, and we will build on this progress in 2018 backed by an accomplished team filled with talent and know-how.”

“Pragmatic Play’s track record is of the highest quality, with a growing selection of excellent games,” said Summerfield. “I am delighted to be joining the business at such an exciting time, and look forward to contributing to the company’s huge potential.”



Pragmatic Play has strengthened its executive team with the appointment of Melissa Summerfield as chief commercial officer. Summerfield joins from Microgaming, where she served as VP of operations for Gibraltar, Spain and Latin America, holding responsibility for commercial strategy and operational growth.

Beginning her career in the gaming industry 15 years ago with BetVictor, she played a key role in establishing the operator’s casino offering. She went on to hold positions at Party Gaming and bwin.party (now GVC), with a senior role working as bwin.party’s head of gaming operations for more than four years, overseeing the running of more than 50 prominent gaming brands.

“We are very pleased to welcome Melissa to Pragmatic Play, and the depth and quality of her experience from both a B2B and B2C perspective will prove invaluable as we continue to expand our operations,”  said Yossi Barzely, chief business development officer at Pragmatic Play. “We have grown our global footprint with a number of significant operator and supplier integrations in recent months, and we will build on this progress in 2018 backed by an accomplished team filled with talent and know-how.”

“Pragmatic Play’s track record is of the highest quality, with a growing selection of excellent games,” said Summerfield. “I am delighted to be joining the business at such an exciting time, and look forward to contributing to the company’s huge potential.”

Gaming the System




Compared to other casino technologies, game management systems have come a very long way in a very short period of time, according to many industry observers.




Compared to other casino technologies, game management systems have come a very long way in a very short period of time, according to many industry observers.

Engaged Nation sports gamification program giveaway | 2018-02-13



Engaged Nation recently announced two unique online sports programs that leverage college basketball and professional football to drive customer acquisition, engagement and bottom-line revenue through its Sports 2-Pack Giveaway contest. The programs are worth $37,000 combined and will be customized to the business that wins the free contest.

“We’ve developed two new and exciting game platforms specifically designed to capitalize on our national obsessions with college basketball’s March Madness tournament and professional football,” said Jerry Epstein, CEO of Engaged Nation. “Both games–the Million Dollar March Mania Challenge and Pro Football Pick ‘Em Frenzy–are part of our 2018 REACH 30 turnkey promotional library and are absolutely unique in how they incorporate two of the year’s biggest sporting events to activate and engage customers.”

Using the REACH System of customer engagement, players of both games participated in daily activities that earned them instant rewards and drawing entries for grand finale events held either online or at a brick and mortar location. Players got to show off their sports knowledge by picking winners of games and answering sports trivia and other questions over the life of the basketball tournament or football season. The more correct picks the players made, the more rewards and drawing entries they earned.

“The reaction we’ve received has been tremendous, and we’ve already had several businesses add our programs to their promotional schedule,” said Epstein. “We couldn’t think of a better way to continue to introduce these programs than to let decision makers play the games for free and then give a free 2-Pack to one of them.”

The Sports 2-Pack Giveaway winners were announced February 12. In addition to the contest, businesses were able to secure the packages for their properties at a reduced rate until the end of the contest.



Engaged Nation recently announced two unique online sports programs that leverage college basketball and professional football to drive customer acquisition, engagement and bottom-line revenue through its Sports 2-Pack Giveaway contest. The programs are worth $37,000 combined and will be customized to the business that wins the free contest.

“We’ve developed two new and exciting game platforms specifically designed to capitalize on our national obsessions with college basketball’s March Madness tournament and professional football,” said Jerry Epstein, CEO of Engaged Nation. “Both games–the Million Dollar March Mania Challenge and Pro Football Pick ‘Em Frenzy–are part of our 2018 REACH 30 turnkey promotional library and are absolutely unique in how they incorporate two of the year’s biggest sporting events to activate and engage customers.”

Using the REACH System of customer engagement, players of both games participated in daily activities that earned them instant rewards and drawing entries for grand finale events held either online or at a brick and mortar location. Players got to show off their sports knowledge by picking winners of games and answering sports trivia and other questions over the life of the basketball tournament or football season. The more correct picks the players made, the more rewards and drawing entries they earned.

“The reaction we’ve received has been tremendous, and we’ve already had several businesses add our programs to their promotional schedule,” said Epstein. “We couldn’t think of a better way to continue to introduce these programs than to let decision makers play the games for free and then give a free 2-Pack to one of them.”

The Sports 2-Pack Giveaway winners were announced February 12. In addition to the contest, businesses were able to secure the packages for their properties at a reduced rate until the end of the contest.

Cirque Du Soleil Kooza progressive slot — SCIENTIFIC GAMES | 2018-02-14



Scientific Games welcomes you to the magical, mystical world of Kooza. A world created by The Trickster for the Innocent and ruled by the King of Fools and his court of clowns. Based on the hit circus production by world-renowned Cirque du Soleil, the Cirque du Soleil Kooza stepper game will thrill players with engaging game features and spellbinding acrobatics. Add in the chance to win a life-changing Reel Adventures WAP link progressive jackpot and a magical game experience awaits.

The thrills never stop when playing this captivating stepper game where Trickster Respins are randomly awarded in the base game bestowing four free spins, each resulting in a guaranteed win. Or line up three Wheel watermark symbols and be awarded the Wheel Bonus where players can win credit prizes, a progressive jackpot or a spin of the famous Kooza Wheel of Death – a spinning double sided wheel apparatus that awards two credit prizes with each spin.



Scientific Games welcomes you to the magical, mystical world of Kooza. A world created by The Trickster for the Innocent and ruled by the King of Fools and his court of clowns. Based on the hit circus production by world-renowned Cirque du Soleil, the Cirque du Soleil Kooza stepper game will thrill players with engaging game features and spellbinding acrobatics. Add in the chance to win a life-changing Reel Adventures WAP link progressive jackpot and a magical game experience awaits.

The thrills never stop when playing this captivating stepper game where Trickster Respins are randomly awarded in the base game bestowing four free spins, each resulting in a guaranteed win. Or line up three Wheel watermark symbols and be awarded the Wheel Bonus where players can win credit prizes, a progressive jackpot or a spin of the famous Kooza Wheel of Death – a spinning double sided wheel apparatus that awards two credit prizes with each spin.

Xtreme Dragon’s Fortune Class III slot — ARUZE | 2018-02-14



Two Xtreme new titles have joined the Cube-X Vertical lineup, Expand the boundaries of cuteness and destiny with Xtreme Dragon’s Fortune and Xtreme Panda. These five reel, 30 line titles offer multiple multiple progressive jackpot awards, expanding reels and multiple wild features.

Both games have highly animated and engaging characters perched atop the reels. After any game, the reels may expand up to nice symbols high, raising the number of paylines up to 120. When the reels are expanded, the dragon or panda may add wilds through one of multiple wild features. Free games, progressive jackpots and credits can all be awarded through the symbol-triggered vertical wheel. 



Two Xtreme new titles have joined the Cube-X Vertical lineup, Expand the boundaries of cuteness and destiny with Xtreme Dragon’s Fortune and Xtreme Panda. These five reel, 30 line titles offer multiple multiple progressive jackpot awards, expanding reels and multiple wild features.

Both games have highly animated and engaging characters perched atop the reels. After any game, the reels may expand up to nice symbols high, raising the number of paylines up to 120. When the reels are expanded, the dragon or panda may add wilds through one of multiple wild features. Free games, progressive jackpots and credits can all be awarded through the symbol-triggered vertical wheel. 

Total Team Effort Essential for Successful Casino Customer Journey | 2018-02-15



According to a recent study conducted by Forbes, 82 percent of consumers do research online before they ever venture into a retail establishment to make a purchase decision. Additionally, a study by GE Capital Retail Bank found consumers are spending an average of 79 days gathering information before purchasing a major item.
What happens after the research when the customer arrives? Let me give you an example:
Recently I spent hours researching online for a new running shoe. Once I determined the shoe I wanted, I made a special trip to visit the store that carried the brand. I was sold on the customized sizing process that included measuring stride, width, etc. Now, this might sound excessive, but for me, finding the right shoe meant the ability to run or not. My experience was fabulous from the moment I walked into the store. The on-property experience exceeded the expectations I had created before arriving. The welcome, the personalization, the purchase and the warm departure all met my expectation.
Because of this experience, I insisted that my husband try this shoe. I had built up this shoe so much that he had no choice but to try it so I would stop talking about it. (The reality: the shoe is okay, but it was the personal attention and a product selected based on my needs that sold me.) After months of talking about it with him, I took him to a different location and retailer, but one that carried the same product and technology to custom fit this shoe. We entered the store and found the brand. When the clerk approached my husband, he asked to try on the specific shoe. She asked his size and proceeded to the “back” to grab it. I couldn’t stand it. What was she doing? This wasn’t the process or experience I bragged about for months.
I blurted out, “Excuse me, aren’t you going to measure his foot? She looked at me puzzled and said, “Sure, if he isn’t sure of his size.” To which I replied, “I thought with this shoe you do a personal measurement to determine width and arch type.” To which she replied, “Yes these shoes run wide.” And to my horror, she pulled out the same shoe measurement device I used when I was a kid. The one scattered under the seats at every shoe store. I knew something had gone horribly wrong. How could I alert the person who invented this process? It wasn’t that the sizing machine wasn’t available. In fact, it sat at the checkout counter with a large monitor above the desk showing the attributes of this fancy system.
Really? She was going to “grab the shoes from the back?” If this was the experience, we could have saved the hassle and the time by just purchasing the shoes online.

EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE
How does this experience translate to our casino and hospitality properties?
If our guests know more about what to expect at our property than our team, we are in trouble. Properties that recognize the importance of creating a consistent and quality customer journey will continue to give their customers a reason to visit. This journey must start before our guests ever step on property and continue long after they leave the parking lot.
After hours of researching online and maybe even receiving a direct mail piece and e-mail from us, our guests show up, and their first experience is with a team member who didn’t know the name of the new buffet, much less where it was located. Yes, this happens.
Savvy marketing teams now have the tools to customize our patron’s offers, down to the type of concerts they desire to attend and even the games and restaurants they prefer. Organizations devote millions to acquiring this data and analyzing it to deliver targeted offers. But again, I ask you, do you deliver consistently on what you promise your guest? If not, you may be vulnerable to losing them.

DELIVERING ON THE HYPE
The more the property experience reinforces the pre-arrival promise, the better the opportunity to win over the customer. They know you before they arrive? Do you know them and do you know your product? The more personalized the visit and the fewer barriers to service you can create in the overall experience the more likely you will delight your guests. A key component of this experience is how they are treated by your team. The Forbes study also pointed out that team members who act as experts are one of the biggest reasons for in-store visits. Therefore, ensuring that your employees understand their role in the customer journey can set you apart from the competition.
Take a second and third look at your guest service training program—from all levels of contact points. What are the obstacles preventing your team members from giving your guests that seamless experience? Who has created your brand and the promised experience you want to deliver to your guests? Has your marketing department been a huge part of that and have they been included in your overall training efforts? Success comes from making sure all departments understand their role and deliver on it.



According to a recent study conducted by Forbes, 82 percent of consumers do research online before they ever venture into a retail establishment to make a purchase decision. Additionally, a study by GE Capital Retail Bank found consumers are spending an average of 79 days gathering information before purchasing a major item.
What happens after the research when the customer arrives? Let me give you an example:
Recently I spent hours researching online for a new running shoe. Once I determined the shoe I wanted, I made a special trip to visit the store that carried the brand. I was sold on the customized sizing process that included measuring stride, width, etc. Now, this might sound excessive, but for me, finding the right shoe meant the ability to run or not. My experience was fabulous from the moment I walked into the store. The on-property experience exceeded the expectations I had created before arriving. The welcome, the personalization, the purchase and the warm departure all met my expectation.
Because of this experience, I insisted that my husband try this shoe. I had built up this shoe so much that he had no choice but to try it so I would stop talking about it. (The reality: the shoe is okay, but it was the personal attention and a product selected based on my needs that sold me.) After months of talking about it with him, I took him to a different location and retailer, but one that carried the same product and technology to custom fit this shoe. We entered the store and found the brand. When the clerk approached my husband, he asked to try on the specific shoe. She asked his size and proceeded to the “back” to grab it. I couldn’t stand it. What was she doing? This wasn’t the process or experience I bragged about for months.
I blurted out, “Excuse me, aren’t you going to measure his foot? She looked at me puzzled and said, “Sure, if he isn’t sure of his size.” To which I replied, “I thought with this shoe you do a personal measurement to determine width and arch type.” To which she replied, “Yes these shoes run wide.” And to my horror, she pulled out the same shoe measurement device I used when I was a kid. The one scattered under the seats at every shoe store. I knew something had gone horribly wrong. How could I alert the person who invented this process? It wasn’t that the sizing machine wasn’t available. In fact, it sat at the checkout counter with a large monitor above the desk showing the attributes of this fancy system.
Really? She was going to “grab the shoes from the back?” If this was the experience, we could have saved the hassle and the time by just purchasing the shoes online.

EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE
How does this experience translate to our casino and hospitality properties?
If our guests know more about what to expect at our property than our team, we are in trouble. Properties that recognize the importance of creating a consistent and quality customer journey will continue to give their customers a reason to visit. This journey must start before our guests ever step on property and continue long after they leave the parking lot.
After hours of researching online and maybe even receiving a direct mail piece and e-mail from us, our guests show up, and their first experience is with a team member who didn’t know the name of the new buffet, much less where it was located. Yes, this happens.
Savvy marketing teams now have the tools to customize our patron’s offers, down to the type of concerts they desire to attend and even the games and restaurants they prefer. Organizations devote millions to acquiring this data and analyzing it to deliver targeted offers. But again, I ask you, do you deliver consistently on what you promise your guest? If not, you may be vulnerable to losing them.

DELIVERING ON THE HYPE
The more the property experience reinforces the pre-arrival promise, the better the opportunity to win over the customer. They know you before they arrive? Do you know them and do you know your product? The more personalized the visit and the fewer barriers to service you can create in the overall experience the more likely you will delight your guests. A key component of this experience is how they are treated by your team. The Forbes study also pointed out that team members who act as experts are one of the biggest reasons for in-store visits. Therefore, ensuring that your employees understand their role in the customer journey can set you apart from the competition.
Take a second and third look at your guest service training program—from all levels of contact points. What are the obstacles preventing your team members from giving your guests that seamless experience? Who has created your brand and the promised experience you want to deliver to your guests? Has your marketing department been a huge part of that and have they been included in your overall training efforts? Success comes from making sure all departments understand their role and deliver on it.