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SERVER-BASED GAMING
Betstone claims to run The firm’s Chief Innovation Officer Larry Pacey
the largest multi-game says: “The CEATL is neither WMS’s starting point for
server-based gaming making the benefits of networked gaming more
platform in the world, tangible to our customers nor the ending point, as
handling installations this unique lab will continue to be updated with new
that range from the and differentiated products.”
smallest with just one
machine, to another that
processes more than 6m
transactions daily. Says
All game activity can be
Betstone: “Our flexible monitored in real time and
platform allows us to be
transactions can be fed
hardware-agnostic. In real
terms this means that we
straight into accounting
work with our operators
systems
to deliver hardware
solutions that meet their
needs.” Among the technologies featured in the lab from
its opening are a number of server-based gaming
Earlier this summer, systems built on WMS’s Wage-Net platform: Remote
WMS opened its Casino Configuration and Download, Account Based
Evolved Advanced Wagering, Networked Gaming Enablement, and
Technology Lab (CEATL) Patron Services.
at its technology centre
in Chicago. The research Also essential to the lab’s projects are WMS’s
and development facility Central Game Controller technology, which serves
will concentrate on applications to gaming machines to add new features,
developing applications and the company’s FreedomPort, which allows gaming
that demonstrate server- machines to display personalised elements,
based gaming’s promotional messages and the like.
contribution to the
bottom line through improving player engagement. Inspired Gaming Group’s route into server-based
It’s not just about games…
S
erver-based gaming has ramifications beyond the casino's core business of offering games to players.
Once the infrastructure is in place to link machines to a central server and to communicate in both
directions, it's a relatively simple matter to use the same system for delivering marketing and
informational messages as well as games.
In effect, the gaming machine itself can be used as a vehicle for a form of digital signage, already familiar
on dedicated TV-style screens in an increasing number of casinos, but now deliverable in a much more
intimate and personalised fashion right in front of the player's eyes.
Among the more obvious applications are promotions of the casino's catering and hospitality offers, and
of special events. All these can easily be scheduled so that they are shown at appropriate times of day, and
also made relevant to the likely characteristics of the individual player – for example, it's a reasonable
assumption that the customer at a low-denomination slot will be more interested in the budget food
options than the top-of-the-range restaurant.
Eventually, as server-based gaming spreads through entire casino estates, it will be possible to build up a
picture of individuals' patterns of gaming activity that will give further clues to the kind of messaging likely
to interest them and cross-sell them on other casino offers. Are they high risk-takers, or cautious players?
How often do they take a break? Are they regular visitors, or is the casino an occasional treat?
Messaging can also promote other games that might appeal to the player, although as with all promotions
of this kind, it will be important not to distract them excessively from the game they're engaged with – over-
use of server-based marketing could backfire on the operator badly by interrupting game play and irritating
the customer.
28 SEPTEMBER 2009
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