zebra logo

The Visible Value Blog

OEM Gaming – Betting on Hybrids

Posted by Garry Reichert

March 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM


Over the past decade, the auto industry has been placing big bet investments on hybrids. 

As defined, a hybrid is something combining two different sources to take advantage of the best characteristics of each. For automobiles, that usually means a blend of an internal combustion engine with a fuel-cell battery to deliver strong performance, reliability and efficiency at the lowest cost. But there’s another industry that is betting on hybrids as well: the gaming industry. For the last several years, our industry has been recognizing the reality that both casino gaming and resort amenity spend combine with operator marketing effectiveness to make up the hybrid Integrated resort’s bottom line success or failure. As such, a complete view of an Integrated resort visitor’s incentives offered/earned and measured spend both in-venue and outside venue has quickly become necessary to measure marketing effectiveness.

For years, companies in gaming technology have been evolving and combining the method of cash, loyalty and reward delivery for their guests. Cash, chips and coins were largely replaced by T.I.T.O (Ticket In>Ticket Out) delivery. Guest and player recognition and rewards were standardized on customer loyalty cards.

But one technology presents the potential to improve both the guest’s experience and the operator’s marketing efficiency with a today and reliable technology: barcode scanning. You see, scanning presents an invaluable complement to both the data analytics offered by gaming technology companies and the consumer’s everyday fundamental understanding of the barcode as an authentication vehicle. Combine the fact that a barcode today has the capability to be displayed on 100% of all mobile phones on the planet, barcode reader technology has now become the obvious Hybrid technology to include in CMS and payment systems.

The advantages of barcode scanning in the integrated resort hybrid casino/hotel ecosystem include:

  • The capability to track and redeem both paper-based and electronic guest incentives at the point of presence (slot machine/table game/poolside/club/tableside POS)
  • The ability to tap into marketing efforts outside of the resort with location based delivery of barcoded marketing incentives on barcode on receipts, lottery tickets, mobile displayed coupons
  • And closed-loop, measurable reporting via barcode scan modules that can be easily embedded within gaming machines, tables, mobile POS devices

Loyal resorts guests and potential visitors can be attracted to the resort with special incentives - discounted rooms, food and dining credits and matched game play – that can be distributed in-person (through vouchers at check-in), via direct mail (paper format) or through electronic distribution (electronic direct mail, web or social media offers). Regardless of the delivery mechanism, the guest’s activity and redemption can be tracked as they engage throughout the resort and outside venue through connected CMS and POS reporting.

While guest magstripe loyalty cards have become the standard for resort loyalty, they are disadvantaged by the cost to produce, load and distribute plastics. In contrast, barcodes deliver in any format at a lower cost.

Recently, we showcased our own hybrid at the 2016 G2E gaming summit. Understanding that casino operators are already invested in smart card technology (with over 8 million slot machines worldwide), we demonstrated that integration of inexpensive scanning capabilities could deliver the best of both tracking mechanisms to technology providers and the casino resorts they serve.

Our solution incorporates both a magstripe reader and a bezel barcode scanner integrated into the slot machine, all possible with nominal upgrade investments. Now casino guests can take advantage of offers extended to them, whether they’re carrying a magstripe loyalty card or not.   That $25 match play offer that a guest received in the mail or at check-in can be used across the casino. A paper voucher or digital coupon on their mobile device can be scanned for immediate redemption.

So, what are the advantages of this hybrid approach to guest loyalty and rewards:

For the casino operator – They can fully integrate their marketing efforts outside the property to the guest activity and spending inside the resort. It provides them a closed loop eco-system of marketing investment and ROI. Plus, with digital distribution of offers, this solution can eliminate the need for paper (or plastic) in guest loyalty efforts and helps operators cross the digital chasm to mobile. 

For the resort guest – They can take advantage of comps and offers extended to them before they arrive at the resort and redeem them seamlessly once they’re on property. A guest can walk up to any gaming machine, shop or restaurant, scan the reward bar code on their mobile device screen they received in/outside venue, and enjoy their personalized benefits across the property. No paper, no plastic, no problem.

Our innovative hybrid solution gives gaming technology providers an advantage in delivering more comprehensive guest incentive, tracking and analytic capabilities to their resort clients, who in turn pass on the benefits to their resort guests.

Hybrids are in the house and they’re a safe, smart bet for the integrated resort of the future.  Just like cars they can offer stronger performance, reliability and efficiency at the lowest cost. 

If your company is in the business of smarter technology solutions for the casino and resort industry, consider Zebra as your OEM partner.

For more information on the advantages of working with Zebra OEM technology, visit zebra.com/oem

Topics: North America, OEM, Hospitality, Gaming