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The Time is Right for Online Gaming
Thomas Winter, VP/GM, Golden Nugget
In online casino like with any e-commerce business, data analytics is a key to understand consumer’s behavior, offer a tailor-made experience and focus on what will increase player satisfaction, therefore loyalty and share of wallet. For instance, it allows us to apply several levels of customer segmentation, based on the type of games they play, the payment methods they use, how often they play, and the promotions they like. It helps us to offer the right games, promotions and loyalty programs to our players and maximize their Life Time Value in a very competitive environment.
Ground-Breaking Innovation in Casino Industry:
This is an ever changing industry where innovation matters. In brick & mortar casinos, the games themselves have changed a lot over the years, with 3D games, electronic table games and skill games are coming, intended to answer the need of the new generation of player, what we call the Millennials.
Online and social casinos are another example of how innovation helps traditional casinos to grow their reach and revenues. Online real-money gaming is already allowed in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. A dozen of other states are expecting to follow course over the next 5 years. On Facebook and through mobile applications, there has also been an incredibly fast development of free-to-play casinos, where players can also buy virtual credits. This should generate more than $2bn revenues in the US alone this year. Beyond the revenue opportunity, these new forms of entertainment allow casinos to renew their player base with younger consumer and keep engaging their existing players when they are not on property.
Growing Parallel with the Latest Trends:
Any technology that will foster the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online casinos, starting with business intelligence solutions to answer consumer needs whenever and wherever they play.
Online and social casinos are another example of how innovation helps traditional casinos to grow their reach and revenues
Another example is the ability for players, from their computer, smartphone or tablet, to play games like blackjack or roulette video-streamed, live from the casino. Instead of playing an electronic machine that will automatically deal cards, you play in front of a real dealer, on camera, with whom you can chat. That’s a nice enhancement of the player’s experience and is a good illustration of convergence between both worlds.
Paradigm Shift for CIOs:
IT departments have become more focused on increasing productivity and now are far more user focused and committed to constant evolution. They are able to engage with product and marketing teams (and other) like never before because they now are able to speak a similar language. IT has shifted to real-time enabling that allows it to provide its organizations with devices and tools to work smarter, deliver quicker and learn in real-time.
CTO’s have become more visible across organizations over the years. They are now seen as leaders of innovation and able to quickly mobilize their resources to identify change and adapt. This is a major move from years gone by where CTO’s were protective and bogged down by process and procedure as it meant reengineering entire solutions. Now with more plug and play solutions, they can be bolder in their efforts to stay at the forefront of technology and be able quickly change when it moves.
Leveraging Technology to Mitigate Rising Casino Costs:
As far as online gaming is concerned, technology has enabled huge cost savings over the past ten years. Hosting and bandwidth for instance has become incredibly cheaper, while APIs allow operators to cherry-pick the best value-for-money vendors in various areas as opposed to going for a one-stop-shopping approach.
Ten years ago, the global cost of IT (hosting, software development, network operations) would account for 10-15 percent of revenues for an online casino. Today, it’s closer to 5 percent. And you have such great platform and technology providers (player account management, wallet, Know Your Customer, geo-location) that you can outsource most of it. Developing your own online gaming platform is not cost effective anymore, unless you generate $100m annual revenues or so.
In sports-betting, which is legal online in Europe, automation of odds compiling in real-time through complex algorithms has also allowed operators to offer more live betting events with lower workforce. 10 years ago, you needed one odd compiler per live game, now the same person can handled up to 50 simultaneous games, focusing on alerts and risk management and not anymore on the odds themselves.
Rising Importance for Internet of Things in the Casino Market:
For land based it simply enables the flow of information from all electronics so that more big data can be stored to understand breakage and efficiencies. It allows for information to be pushed to customers and give them a sense that you know them better than they know themselves. Present customers with messages and offers that are relevant and personal.