First came safety on the gaming floor.
And then came the emphasis on contactless transaction points, from restaurants and spas to lounges and hotel rooms. The online gaming world spiked the dynamic, as customers became comfortable with automated gambling, room and show reservations. These are permanent relics of a rapidly decreasing pandemic.
Covid may have morphed into the rearview mirror, but the hyper-competitive market shaped by its footprint remains.
Hotel and hospitality software becomes more vital in the age of combined hotel-casino operations. An operator’s credo: be safe, friendly and efficient, but also be fast.
Companies enhancing and delivering one-stop-shop products have a tremendous opportunity in this sector.
One company poised to embrace this type of reality is Global Payments Gaming Solutions. It has been a leader in the gaming industry for the past 20 years. “Throughout the past year, mobile funding has been pivotal in the hotel and hospitality software realm,” says Christopher Justice, president of Global Payments Gaming Solutions.
“As patrons are increasingly preferring mobile funding in every aspect of their daily lives, industry experts expect to see more developments in the ways that these solutions can power funding beyond the gaming floor,” he adds.
VIP Mobility remains one of the company’s star players in this sector.
Global Payments is enhancing the VIP Mobility app to create a complete resort experience for patrons by providing them a single-source solution for the entire casino property, including restaurant, hotel and casino transactions, according to Justice. By implementing Global Payments’ solutions, operators will have a bird’s-eye view of where guests are spending their time, enabling them to create an enhanced gaming experience, he says.
Operators grasping customer preferences can tailor specific offers to them. Global Payments provides hardware, software and strategic expertise to casino operators, empowering them to deliver an enhanced experience to patrons, Justice adds.
Casino operators look to their suppliers more than ever for insights and solutions to help them navigate the dynamic gaming industry landscape, Justice says. The pandemic created the need for cashless, contactless gaming options to meet the evolving needs of patrons.
“Throughout the past year, we’ve continued to see interest in VIP Mobility and VIP Financial Center,” Justice says. “VIP Mobility is the industry’s first mobile solution enabling true cashless gaming and VIP Financial Center is our full-service solution that provides convenient self-service TITO ticket redemption, bill breaking, e-check, ATM and cash advance capabilities to casino guests. With Global Payments’ suite of solutions, casinos can meet the needs of all players, regardless of their preferred method of funding.”
Traditional forms of wagering leave casino operators and their patrons with an inconvenient and insecure experience, he asserts. But Global Payments delivers a suite of payment solutions with hardened bank-grade security for casinos’ complex gaming environments, creating a seamless and secure gaming experience.
More than 400 North American land-based, mobile and online gaming locations rely on Global Payments Gaming Solutions for simple, safe and responsible play, according to Justice. And the company’s star player in this space is VIP Mobility.
The product is the culmination of efforts since 2018 to leverage mobile technology to transform the gaming experience for patrons and operators. VIP Mobility officially launched in 2020 as the industry’s first mobile solution enabling true cashless, contactless gaming.
Throughout the past year, Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California and Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma successfully implemented VIP Mobility into their operations. As patrons continue to use VIP Mobility, their level of trust in the app, as well as transaction volumes, continue to grow.
“It is the industry’s first mobile solution enabling true cashless gaming from funding through cash-out,” Justice says. “VIP Mobility was designed to solve several problems for patrons and operators alike. For patrons, a common pain point is waiting in line at the ATM or cage to fund their play.
“By harnessing the flexibility and ease of Global Payments’ groundbreaking VIP Preferred account network, plus functions like Check and Choice 4 deferred settlement, patrons can directly transfer funds from their VIP Preferred balance to their favorite casino game with the touch of a screen. The solution’s intuitive user interface takes the legwork out of the funding process, ensuring that playing is never interrupted.”
VIP Mobility also empowers operators to tap the flexibility needed to overcome the limited capabilities of legacy technology to establish a true, consumer-centric approach to gaming on the casino floor. Traditionally, maintaining and updating the gaming environment has been an expensive and cumbersome process for casinos, but VIP Mobility combats this by leveraging casinos’ existing infrastructure to create a simple and affordable solution.
“Unlike other cashless solutions, VIP Mobility does not require extra technology certifications on the floor, creating a seamless transition to cashless gaming for casino operators,” he says. “As the only omnichannel funding solution in the market, VIP Mobility connects brick-and-mortar and online gaming environments to deliver a frictionless user experience. Once registered, VIP Preferred members can game at casinos throughout the country or switch to online experiences without having to inconveniently re-register their account.”
To increase the usage of VIP Preferred’s products and services, including VIP Mobility, Global Payments released an enhanced version of its Partner Assist Program with Engaged Nation. The Partner Assist Program provides direct marketing assistance to help clients create greater value and bottom-line return for operators, including a customized, branded website that offers patrons daily chances to win entries in cash drawings.
While VIP Mobility enables quick funds access, Justice touts the company’s responsible-gaming practices, which gained additional focus during Problem Gambling Awareness Month.
“Global Payments has made strides in developing solutions that embrace the latest advancements in responsible gaming,” Justice says. “VIP Mobility provides patrons with an enhanced gaming experience while also delivering more effective consumer protection for responsible gaming. The solution incorporates the latest responsible gaming measures, including configurable spending limits, ‘pre-set cooling-off’ periods, self-exclusion and more.”
The Power of More
Cendyn also is in an excellent position for this space.
The recently announced merger between the cloud-based software and eCommerce giant with Pegasus, a leading provider of revenue and distribution solutions, strengthens its overall presence.
The deal continued a company pattern of timely moves.
In 2019, Cendyn had acquired Rainmaker, whose revenue management system (RMS) had been prominently used in the gaming industry for nearly 20 years. Today, that RMS is called Guestrev and provides revenue managers a complete picture of their revenue opportunities to make data-informed decisions. Three years later, Cendyn has again enhanced its industry reach.
“The recent merger between Cendyn and Pegasus truly establishes the company as a full-service technology provider for the gaming industry,” says Kevin Duncan, senior director of strategic product initiatives for Cendyn.
“One of the big opportunities we have now is developing a direct integration between our RMS and our CRS products to create a complete revenue solution for hotels and casinos. This is the goal for how all global chains try to operate in that they move all rate decisioning ‘above property’ and not just rely the age-old integration with the PMS. This is really valuable for groups of hotels and brands that want to streamline and optimize brand promotions and pricing.”
The Cendyn and Pegasus merger will unite Cendyn’s customer data platform, Starling, and Pegasus’ CRS, to give hoteliers and casinos an unparalleled system of record for guest profiles and rates.
Leveraging the alignment of these key data points will enable brands to personalize and optimize the guest experience, drive direct bookings, enhance brand loyalty, and boost profitability.
The combination yields an array of innovation.
“Cendyn is the first technology platform to connect an industry-leading central reservations system (CRS) with an industry-leading RMS,” Duncan says. “Bringing these two platforms together gives hoteliers access to unite, transform, control and distribute data from the master guest profile in real time. In addition to this, the Cendyn Hospitality Cloud combines the booking engine, RMS and online loyalty portals on our website CMS, providing casinos with the ability to share personalized offers and pricing with every guest.”
A major component in this lineup is the Cendyn Hospitality Cloud (CHC), a vertically integrated, cloud-based platform that empowers revenue, e-commerce, distribution, marketing and sales teams.
Within the CHC, casinos will have to ability to unite, transform, control and distribute data in real time. This data-first approach puts Cendyn customers at the forefront of digital transformation, positioning them to drive guest loyalty and profitable revenue growth across their business, Duncan asserts.
This application will enable hoteliers to personalize their website using cleansed, de-duped, first-party data. Instead of one-size-fits-all content, the website application will serve tailored messaging to personalize every interaction a customer makes on an operator’s site.
“We are very excited about the evolution of the Cendyn Hospitality Cloud launch,” Duncan says. “The platform offers a unified view of every guest, and a system of record for rates and reservations. By combining these critical data elements in one platform, teams across the business can act on their data to automate, personalize and transform the experience for every guest at every step in their journey.”
The Value of a Nerd
What’s a data nerd?
Possibly the fuel to drive an efficient gaming car. That’s one interpretation of the nerd role espoused by Andrew Cardno, who runs Quick Custom Intelligence along with fellow gaming veteran Dr. Ralph Thomas.
“If you are not comfortable with working with a group of data nerds, you should not talk with us,” Cardno laughs. “We are dedicated to having fun and doing creative things that drive value and enable our customers to execute on their brand promise.
“The industry is growing and diversifying rapidly, and in today’s volatile world we strive to be your business partner that can help untangle this complex data sewerage problem. Here at QCI we are proud of our products, and even more proud of the QCI culture and team members that deliver it.”
Against that backdrop comes one of the company’s newest innovations.
“We are very excited to bring a new way of doing loyalty to the market,” Cardno says. “QCI Loyalty has an innovative patented way of enabling every touch point in the resort to interact in a special way for each customer and to tie this with player loyalty.
“We have one location where around 1,000 sites have integrated loyalty without a player card or any loyalty device in the machine. This innovation extends to specialized restaurant food service, table games ratings and the tracking of unrated players. Imagine a world where you can see and respond to every interaction your players want to in an appropriate and targeted way across the entire resort—that is QCI loyalty. What is more exciting is that our technology innovation is fast, modern, and low risk to deploy.”
QCI delivers flexibly of action and insight, with unique patented algorithms that are delivered in a modern interface, providing a unified ability to act across the business. The QCI platform is a powerful solution based in a reality that can only be born from experience.
Throughout the industry, the battle to annex and retain customers regains full speed. Suppliers who can make operators go faster will flourish.