Most people shop for apps through Google or Apple stores.
Acres Manufacturing has created a similar concept for gaming operators and innovators. The Las Vegas-based casino loyalty and technology developer launched the Foundation App Store Wednesday, allowing developers to showcase slot machines or table game applications using Acres’ Foundation casino management system technology.
“There’s a lot of smart people out there in the world that have ideas for applications and products,” says Acres CEO and Founder John Acres, “but they don’t really want to build that full business that sells and supports and collects (payments). We feel, just like Google and Apple, we can relieve some of these innovators of those responsibilities so they can then create even more innovative products.”
The launch of Foundation App Store features tested applications from 17 different developers. The first products using Acres API (application programming interface) include technology for analytics, bonusing, cashless gaming and reporting.
Acres says the API also will support accounting, analytics, regulatory approval software and loyalty software.
One of the outcomes the company is hoping for is an increase of innovative products.
“We believe that a robust industry is way better than a slow-growing one,” Acres says. “When we look at the tremendous growth of the internet, and things like iPhones, compared to the growth of the casino business … a big part of that is because of the technical limitations we face today. Our system has just not kept up with the modern world, and we don’t provide the personalization and excitement and immediacy that consumers have come to expect and demand.”
Casino operators that use Foundation will benefit from the Foundation App Store because it’s akin to one-stop shopping. If an operator needs new analytics or cashless payments technology, Acres will likely have it.
Because developers haven’t consistently implemented modularity in their systems, casinos need different versions of software to suit their needs. Casinos can now try out new software and applications instantly through electronic downloads and trial periods through the app store.
“They can make sure it works before they pay for it,” Acres says. “And that makes the innovators’ business a lot easier too because presuming their product works, (operators) have a very easy way to try it and install it.”
Acres admits that encouraging innovation may create competition for some of his company’s products. But he believes any innovation that boosts the gaming industry as a whole will benefit Acres Manufacturing in the long run.
“If you have something better, we will help you promote it, absolutely,” he says. “We feel like we win when the casino wins, and if we can’t create the best app, let’s find the person that does because there are plenty of other things for us to do.”
To support innovators and increase awareness of the Foundation App Store, Acres Manufacturing is doubling the size of its office on South Tenaya Way in Las Vegas to include a demo and testing lab. Developers and innovators will be able to install their products at the lab for viewing and testing by casino operators.