Posted on December 12 2017
Technology can offer a great deal to the amusement machine operator - if the amusement machine operator is prepared to take a close look at the options and work at it to get it to work for him/her. Much more needs to be made of the player-tracking facilities that come with debit card operations. More and more operators of fun-oriented amusement arcades and family entertainment centers are getting rid of cash and using debit cards. Why is that? Those debit cards come with a host of highly useful applications, not just the ability to validate play. Player tracking is only one of them, but one that we think can be very useful. Not all players want to be tracked, of course, but discounting those, about 25 per cent of them don’t have a problem with being tracked as such.
But the operator has to give something back to the player in exchange for that personal information – which of course he can use to his advantage going forward. Even more important than player tracking, is what we call the ‘bounce back’ promotion, which really gives added value. Some operators are stuck with two old concepts: impulse play and credit play. The impulse play, or casual coin, is money played on impulse just because it is jingling around in the player’s pocket. The credit play is a very old-fashioned way to operate. Tweens just don’t think that way anymore. When a teen or a younger kid is playing with an iPad or smartphone he/she is basing the game play on time, so why don’t operators charge according to the time used? It is not such a strange consideration. There exists a tool called Play Time, which was created 20 years ago as a result of a request from major US operator Main Event. You could buy a 30-minute card and play games for that period. An operator could even select which games could be played during those 30 minutes and limit the number of consecutive players at the same game.
Timed Play Has Great Opportunity in The Middle East Too
The concept is not a crazy one. In the Middle East, which these days is a great innovator of fresh thinking in family amusement and entertainment in FECs, there is strong evidence to suggest that timed play is a real possibility. Big operators in Dubai are heading in that direction, charging by time. They give one hour or two hours unlimited play access in some of their locations.
And not just FECs, this applies to all forms of entertainment, even outside the ambit of amusement centers. When people go into a bar, a restaurant or even a movie theatre, their entertainment is also measured in time, not in credit value. Operators in the region should seriously consider time-valuing their machines….it is more profitable than they can imagine.