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LAUNCHING IN THE PANDEMIC VIRGIN VOYAGES PREPARES TO SET SAIL


“Passengers can use the wearable, which is like a bracelet on the wrist, to tap a slot and download cash to the machine, or via tablets if they want to play a table game, to access their cash. The limit prior to sailing is US$1,500 per day, per passenger. We also provide kiosks, which are similar to ATMs, throughout the casino to withdraw cash, and have a cash desk.”


Konami Gaming was selected by Virgin Voyages to provide its Synkros casino management system for its founding fleet of luxury cruise liners. Te Las Vegas subsidiary of Konami Holdings Corporation, which designs and manufactures slot machines and casino management systems, stressed that “Synkros’ agile architecture, real-time open integrations and dependable performance is ideally suited for operating in the open seas.


Delivering the system, alongside its newest titles via the KX 43 cabinet, Synkros’ combined marketing capabilities and bonusing engine strives to deliver an elevated experience throughout. “Virgin Voyages is focused on delivering irresistible vacations that are uniquely transformational and rejuvenating for sailors,” said Frank Weber, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations for Virgin Voyages. “Our Scarlet Lady is Adult-By-Design, which means that we are building a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveller, complete with epic experiences for our Sailors to enjoy.”


Virgin Voyages has also signed up with URComped, a player comping service that specialises in cruise ship and destination casino complementary packages for tiered players. Free to join, the service includes the M Resort, Tropicana Vegas, the Venetian Las Vegas, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity cruises and Resorts World Bimini Bahamas Resort within its client roster.


A DIFFERENT TACK Te Scarlet Lady’s casino is located on deck 6


adjacent to the nightclub. It is around a third of the length of the deck and only runs on one side of the ship. Guests are not allowed to smoke within the casino and Virgin Voyages have strict rules about where smoking is allowed. Tere is a smoking room within the casino with six slots and four poker machines and smoking areas are provided throughout the vessel. A guest found smoking anything, including vaping, in their room (and balcony) or other non-designated areas onboard, agree to a US$1,000 fee to be added to their onboard account, and may be disembarked from the voyage, which may be at a port of call.


Virgin Voyages have ditched the traditional cruise cards and have instead replaced them with aforementioned wearable technology. Te wearable comes in the shape of a bracelet, ‘Te


Band,’ and is used when embarking/ disembarking the ship, for onboard expenses, opening cabins and for play at tables and slots in the casino. Te Band is made from recycled sea- plastic and will be delivered to guests pre-cruise.


Virgin Voyages’ Casino Player Programme Manager, Jennifer Wengert, explains how Te Band works: “Passengers can use the wearable, which is like a bracelet on the wrist, to tap a slot and download cash to the machine, or via tablets if they want to play a table game, to access their cash. Te limit prior to sailing is US$1,500 per day, per passenger. We also provide kiosks, which are similar to ATMs, throughout the casino to withdraw cash, and have a cash desk with a Cash Advance option as well.”


Passengers will receive their wearable no later


than two weeks prior to sailing as this escalates the check-in process, whereby guests scan their wearable against a check-in tablet, present their passport and onboard without any check-in lounge. If passengers want to be rated in the casino it’s the same process, as the casino provides tablets at the tables and directly at the slots where you tap in and tap out.


Ms. Wengert is working to build a casino loyalty programme to provide additional benefits to passengers, whilst pre-booked passengers in balcony rooms and above have all their drinks within the casino provided as part of their package. “Virgin Voyages is a different experience in that we don’t charge for wifi or gratuities. We don’tcharge at any of the 20+ restaurants or the diner onboard. We include dining at Michelin star rated chef restaurants as


P48 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


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