Darryl McEwen

What slot players want from a casino

Slot players want a game that offers a reasonable return, but is predictable and understandable, according to Mike Meczka, owner of Meczka Marketing Research Consulting Inc.

Based in Los Angeles, Meczka’s company provides consulting services to gaming clients around the world.

Speaking to slot directors and marketing executives at a conference in San Diego this month, Meczka said, “Players want an escape from everyday life. They’re not thinking they’ll win $10,000.”

And even a quick smaller “profit” wouldn’t be enough to cause most people to quit playing if they’d only been at the casino for an hour or so, he adds.

“Players are buying excitement and time,” Meczka claims. “Players will give casinos more money if the casino’s machines allow them to play long enough,”

One important incentive to getting players into the casino is free play.

Meczka told the casino executives, “The more free play, the more likely the player is to visit the casino.”

The worst move a casino can make is to significantly cut their free play offers. That causes players to consider competitors.

“Our research indicates free play is a casino’s single most important marketing tool,” Meczka says.

However, another casino consultant who specializes in customer relationship management cautioned the casino executives to be sure that free play isn’t the entire reason for a person’s visit.

Also speaking at the conference, Mary Loftness, president of Profitable Customers, says, “Ideally (free play) should be 20 to 30 percent,” she says. “In order to protect the profit margin it’s important to only reward players who already plan to spend money out of their own pockets.”

In addition, free play is a good tool to fill the casino floor during non-peak hours.

“Offering enticements for someone to come in and play enlivens the floor and creates an opportunity for more play,” she adds. “If the casino usually runs at or near full capacity at night, for example, free play offers should be earmarked for use only during the day.”

Casino player card news

Ocean Resort Casino’s gift offers now can be picked up at the new Gift Redemption Center in the Shops at the Row.

Resorts Casino Hotel’s Paramount cardholders no longer receive a complimentary quarterly manicure. In addition, free play offers now are available beginning at 1 p.m. Previously they were available at noon.

Except for those who earned 500,000 or more tier credits last year or this year, Caesars Rewards Seven Stars cardholders now may bring only one guest into the Seven Stars Lounges at Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort. Previously they could bring up to three guests. (To avoid being counted as guests Companion cardholders need to check-in separately.)

Recreational gambler Darryl D. McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. Have a comment on this or a question specifically related to an Atlantic City casino, players club or other promotion? Email Darryl at MrACCasino@gmail.com and he’ll try to respond to you personally. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column. Visit his website, MrACCasino.com, and follow him on Twitter @MrACCasino. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column.

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