Tracey Chernay joined TransAct in May 2005 as senior vice president, marketing, bringing in-depth understanding and extensive experience in global marketing strategies to the company, which produces market-leading ticket printers, as they expanded international initiatives and implemented growth strategies across the entire business. In May 2007, Chernay moved to Las Vegas and assumed responsibility for product sales and marketing for the casino and gaming industry. She was promoted to her current position in June 2010.
What was TransAct’s product that really made your name when ticket-in/ticket-out (TITO) was introduced?
For TransAct, the product that put us on the map was the Epic 950 printer. We brought that out to be the next-generation TITO product that would meet all the needs of the casinos. We did a lot of research to find out what the needs of the casinos were, what they wanted from a technology standpoint. Our first installation was at Wynn Las Vegas when it opened.
The Epic 950 has been our flagship product for all these years, but we recently launched the Epic Edge. We’re excited about the performance of TITO in the marketplace for the player and the casino, and how the Epic Edge will improve performance. And every customer has the ability to upgrade to add couponing to the ticket. The Epic Edge offers a higher-resolution print. It’s a 300 dpi vs. 203 dpi with the Epic 950 and all its competitors. It gives us better-looking coupons and better read rates on the bill validator. But the Epic 950 isn’t going anywhere. It remains our flagship.
How have the printers improved over the years?
The 950 has been enhanced with firmware changes and minor alterations, but overall it had the right set of features, and has the upgradability that has been very popular. We have over 15,000 games with the 950 installed. The addition of real-time couponing has been the biggest change. It’s all about more time on device, creating loyalty and growing your revenue by offering a better experience.
With the convergence between gaming and lottery, TransAct’s role in lottery is interesting. How do you work there?
We are very active in the lottery space. Our Epic printers are in lottery terminals manufactured by IGT, Novomatic and other companies. They have to be extremely reliable. If you think about Powerball, in one weekend they may have to print tens of thousands of tickets. They are highly reliable, high-volume and very professional printers. In addition, our Epic 950 is installed in many video lottery terminals.
With no more coin-out slot machines, reliability is critical. How do you ensure that your printers don’t go down?
It is a critical function. It’s something neither casinos nor VLT operators want to think about. They don’t want to have to worry about down time. We’ve got an excellent quality control department that monitors all the components that go into the printer, the manufacturing process and the reporting process once they’re in the field. For the Epic 950, less than three printers out of 10,000 are returned for any failure in the warranty period. That’s extreme reliability. Even once they’re in the field for longer periods, they are very reliable. It’s all integrated with our quality group to ensure that reliability.
Tell us about your applications for table games.
Table-game technology is a big trend in the industry, and TransAct is part of that. At G2E this year, we brought out two new products that will assist operators in their pit games. The Epic 950 TT, for tabletop, and the Epic Edge TT. We had a number of table-game innovators showing the Epic products in conjunction with their table games. The idea is rather than have them take their chips away to the cage, they turn them in at the table and receive a TITO ticket to take to a kiosk in return for those chips. That will save time for fills and depleting the chips on the tables.