The casino industry is on the precipice of something big. Both land-based and online casinos have already begun to harness the power of M2M communications, and IoT is peeking around the corner. The potential of these technologies combined will have a significant impact on the industry. We’ll see changes in advertising, individual marketing and the consumer experience.
Land-Based and Online Casino Pioneers
First of all, how do we define these two technologies? M2M (Machine-to-Machine) communications refers to two machines communicating with each other across a wired or wireless network, with the goal to basically eradicate the necessity of human intervention to perform a task. This communication is the basis for IoT (Internet of Things), which uses a wireless network for communication between devices. The general goal of IoT is to collect data for analytics and to enable smart devices to make decisions. IoT involves M2M communications, but on a much larger scale and with more connectivity. What does this have to do with casinos?
Land-based casinos have been using M2M communications for a while now. In the crudest form, the technology would record and transmit data gathered from slot machines and send it to the casino’s server. The server would process the information, allowing it to be collected and analyzed. This was the birth of data collection in casinos. Though the information gathered was rudimentary, it was still enough to influence management in their day-to-day operations.
It wasn’t long before online casinos hopped on the gravy train. M2M allowed early online venues to communicate directly with the consumer and adjust the product according to their general behavior. With advancements, data became more and more crucial. This led to the rise of data analytics, which dominates the market we see today.
The Role of IoT in Casino Data Analytics
Data analytics has been around since advertising became widespread many moons ago. However, the introduction of M2M and the subsequent rise of the Internet of Things allows for data to be collected on a scale never seen in our history. Each device connected to the IoT is in communication with other devices, consistently transmitting data to be recorded and analyzed. For online casinos, this means tracking players’ behavior every time they log in to play, both on a macro and micro level. For land-based casinos, it means introducing new connective technology and tracking methods. How is that?
At an online casino, players, of course, add their data to the system at sign-up. Automatically, this creates a profile, which is used by the provider, resulting in data collection. Venues consistently track and use profiling to create general ads for specific groups based on age, interest and other demographic information.
The process is taken to the next level with mobile gaming. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, which are built to support it, each newer model is linked even more intricately with that technology. Mobile devices have a variety of sensors, which record motion, temperature, pressure and even photographic evidence from which providers can gather much more personal information.
Which mobile casinos could benefit from this tech? All of them. The consumer-driven marketplace of today demands a personalized experience, and this technology revolutionizes the way companies can achieve this. However, it’s the large-scale companies which have the biggest incentive as well as the ability to deliver the benefits. Established mobile venues with a large user base (and good financial backing) like 888Casino stand poised to make the most of new and emerging technology, using data analytics to offer the tailored experience which will sustain and support their customers.
The IoT provides these casinos with the platform through which data is collected and transmitted so that it may be analyzed and utilized. Land-based casinos also have their chips in the game. With the rising popularity of mobile devices and the commonplace usage of applications, it’s easier than ever to collect data from customers via a variety of programs.
These include land-based casino apps, which are used to survey customers and entice them with offers. Based on their reception and the data collected, land-based casinos can create campaigns that could potentially turn a one-time visitor into a loyal regular. Loyalty cards also go a long way in data collection at land-based casinos. Information is gathered every time you swipe, and is sent to servers to analyze your decision-making process.
RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips are also fast becoming the norm in casinos. This tech allows the casino to track the chips throughout the night. This helps to both prevent theft (security gets regular alerts from chips) and monitor customer behavior, such as where the money is being spent on a particular night. Of course, you’ll be monitored in more ways than that. Facial recognition technology will snap a picture of you as you enter the casino and analyze it. The tech will flag both suspicious characters and notorious high-rollers, so the casino knows who to look out for and who to cater to.
Before you even walk in the door, smart casinos are using M2M communications with geofencing and beaconing to draw in business. With this technology, the area around the casino is marked by a virtual barrier network. Once you enter this area (the geofence), GPS is used to locate you and send contextual marketing messages to your smartphone. Once you enter, the beacon registers your presence and prompts more targeted messages to your phone, also alerting staff to your needs.
Once inside the casino, customers make use of IoT with automated rooms. A/C, heat, lighting, room service, and other aspects can be controlled via tablet or smartphone. This all contributes to the enhanced experience. Nearly all the machines inside the casino are constantly communicating with each other, aiding in the quest to become the hottest destination by anticipating customer needs and behavior. This in turn has shaped the market into what it is today: a consumer-driven force working day and night to improve consumer experience.
Marketing Made for the Consumer
So, how does the data collected by casinos translate into the marketing campaigns they use to draw in so many customers? It makes sense that people tend to trust tailored marketing rather than seemingly random pop-ups. Casinos have taken that idea and run with it. They begin targeted advertising as soon as data is collected, but over time, that advertising becomes more and more specific.
By monitoring your activity, casinos can guess what you’ll play next as well as the offers you’ll respond to. They can infer even more about you and your needs based on sensory data. They use this information to send you the top promotions, bonuses and offers for you personally. If you only play poker, you won’t be interested in a slot machine promotion. So, they won’t present you with one.
By eliminating useless and irritating advertising, companies have the undivided attention of the customer. This helps promote loyalty the same way the cook in your favorite diner does. You walk in, and they already have your usual on the counter, piping hot. Why would you go somewhere else? They know what you like here. You’re a satisfied customer. Likewise, the casino industry is a service provider, which must be trusted to fully harness the power of tech to attract and sustain its user base.
What we’ve seen so far, stemming from early M2M communications, has already vastly improved marketing. It’s transformed the early transaction-based exchange into a service industry experience, and it only stands to get better. With the advent of new tech to aid IoT utilization, optimization and security, casinos will be able to harvest more data and process it even faster. We are perched on the brink of total connectivity and a user experience never seen in the industry.