Sponsored Content by Ainsworth
What would you say is one of the most underutilized resources in the gaming industry for operators? Top on my list are the suppliers that we use! And, when we’re specifically talking about slot data … are we really taking advantage of the knowledge and information they can supply?
Join me in today’s interview as I speak with Alex Piper, Product Analyst at Ainsworth Game Technology. Why not view your slot vendors as a partner? If their games do better, you’re going to keep their games. And if that happens, your property is winning!
Listen to what she thinks operators should be looking for today for overall performance with the myriad of different opportunities with class two, class three, HHR and online. Is there anything that operators are missing that we could improve floor performance or guest experience?
Finally, at our recent conference, Raving NEXT, a huge number of our casino attendees said that they didn’t have the analytics person or internal resources to access and analyze all of their data. So, why wouldn’t you reach out to those analysts at the slot companies for some extra help? As Alex mentions in her interview, ask your slot product team to go onsite along with your sales folks, bridge the gap, find out what your casino operators need!
Edited Transcript for Raving On Air: Deana Scott with Alex Piper, Product Analyst at Ainsworth Game Technology
Deana: Hi, Ravers, Deana Scott here with Raving On Air sponsored by Tribal Gaming and Hospitality Magazine. Visit www.tgandh.com for all your operational insights. And boy, are we gonna’ get some insights today with Alex Piper! She is the product analyst for Ainsworth Game Technology. Alex, thank you so much for joining us.
Alex: You are so welcome. Thank you for having us. Thank you for being a wonderful partner to Ainsworth. We just appreciate you guys.
Deana: Well, we are so interested in your story for sure. Let’s start off with your journey. How in the heck do you become a product analyst for a slot company?
Alex: Oh, I’ve heard that question from quite a few people. It’s a random story. Right out of college, I found this little company called Rocket Gaming out Oklahoma. They’re not “Rocket” anymore. It’s now Aries. I slid in to their compliance department, just learning the ins and outs of gaming, real slow, a perfect little match. From there I went to the sales department. I was able to branch out and really meet everyone in the industry that way. After about two years at Rocket, I ended up at GLI. I was able to combine sales and the compliance back background. From there having that class two experience at Rocket, Ainsworth contacted me and said, “Hey, we’re purchasing Nova gaming, and we’re expanding our class three product into class two, and possibly HHR … come on over here.” I started as their class two specialist and ended up pulling their data and was the only one doing that. So they said, “Hey, now that we have class two and HHR, online, why don’t you go ahead and do this for class three?” So I fell into the spot by chance. I don’t have any advice for anybody trying to get into it.
Deana: Well, it definitely is a passion and there is so much data. We’ll talk about that in a little bit where we’re lacking in data; but let’s face that slot performance is the core of our business and it’s become so much more complicated. You touched on class three, class two, HHR, and even online now. What is it that operators should be looking for today for overall performance with all of these different opportunities?
Alex: Operators only want to better their floors, and we only want to better our games for them. In order to do that we need that data. We’ve become a really good partner with EiIlers. Eilers has done a fantastic job at reaching out to all of the properties; bridging that gap and becoming a true partner with them. So they’ve been a wonderful assistance in that. Just knowing Ainsworth and specifically, we’re small enough, we’re nimble enough that when we use their data, we’re able to construct our games in a better way for them.
Deana: And that really is the key, right? Looking at the player performance and then analyzing that play, the time on device, the game type, the denom, you’re able really to go back and improve the experience for that guest.
Alex: Really truly. With some new hires on our Australia side, our game development, we’re really taking a new turn at that. You know, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We can take product that did really well. You know, it might have fallen off, but we can revamp that with our new knowledge of our product. We can take deeper dives into the line counts, what works, whether it’s a certain feature or if it’s a progressive, you know, it, it could just be simple to the players aren’t chasing progressives.
Deana: So you have an advantage in that you get to look at data across game types, properties, jurisdictions. Is there one thing as operators that we’re missing that we could improve floor performance? If we just did that one thing …
Alex: I wish I could say this for an operator on the Strip and this for a Tribal property over here in Oklahoma. I found the biggest thing is invite your vendors to your property, let them walk your floors, learn the floors, even show them numbers. Blur out the names and all that, but show them the true data of what’s happening and teach them what they don’t know!
Deana: Right. Because we have a shared win in this situation, correct? If, if your games do better, they’re going to keep your games. And if that happens, the property is winning. To some degree we have so much data. It’s also hard to determine what is important to look at. Are there key measurements that you think operators should be really honed-in on?
Alex: Yes. Theo win, coin-in, of course, you can take your net win. And I found a lot of properties focus on that net win, but they don’t dive deep enough into it, “Hey did a progressive just hit,” maybe the coin in is through the roof, but it looks like the game’s not doing very well. So there are zone analytics. We’ve taken a deeper dive into zone performance rather than as a whole. Ainsworth is a company that specialize in high denom products. So that really comes into play whenever we are looking at our class three denom. Whenever you compare it to house our games, doing 10 times house average, that makes us look phenomenal, but really they’re doing six times house average. We need to know that, and the property needs to know that the games are doing wonderful, but you can’t just base it off of one single number.
Deana: You mentioned it, every jurisdiction is different. Every property is different and it’s no longer just one piece of data that people need to look at to optimize the floor and higher experience.
Alex: Correct. There’s so many features out there now, in class two, HHR, you’re a little more restricted with those bingo cards when you’re developing a game, but class three, we have hold and respin, and perceived persistent state. I’ve found so much value going out in the field. I just got off a trip in Kentucky with our HHR partners and learning what they need, learning what we don’t have that they might have been asking for but not knowing who to ask for, or who to ask that question to. It really bridges the gap whenever you can have your sales team out there and you have your product team out there as well.
Deana: Absolutely. We are no longer silos. We have to communicate and get help from our vendors as well. Alex, thank you so much for joining us and sharing some insight on slot performance.
Alex: You’re so welcome. Thank you for having us, Deana!