Focus on Acres: Ticket-In/Bonus-Out (TIBO) lets casinos offer personalized bonuses to players in real-time

August 18, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
August 18, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports

Nearly a quarter of a century ago, the development of Ticket-In/Ticket-Out (TITO) technology revolutionized the gaming industry by changing the way people play slot machines.

Released at a time when the expansion of tribal casinos and state-sanctioned gaming jurisdictions was sweeping the nation, TITO paved the way for manufacturers to concentrate on developing low denomination product that captured the imagination of players and quickly dominated gaming floors.

Some 25 years later, the technology remained basically unchanged until Las Vegas-based Acres Manufacturing began to reimagine the possibilities. The result was Ticket-In/Bonus-Out (TIBO), a truly game-changing invention that harnesses the power of ticketing at machines and drives it into 21st century dynamics.

According to Noah Acres of Acres Manufacturing, the driving force behind TIBO is the company’s Foundation Technology, which “provides casino operators a direct, real-time interface to each slot machine’s data and commands, which allows casinos to deploy bonuses based on real-time, in-game events.”

“TIBO is one method of deploying the bonus. TIBO bonuses are printed via the machine’s ticket printer and include cash or free play prizes that can be inserted right back into the machine,” he continued.

“Virtually every slot machine uses a ticket printer. External bonuses can be hugely popular, but without investments in signage and sound systems, players can have a hard time understanding when, why and even if they’ve won a bonus. By printing a tangible, customizable ticket, TIBO allows casinos far greater ability to communicate effectively with players as they play.

“Legacy CMS technology that’s widely deployed in casinos today can only use the ticket printer to print cash-out vouchers. Through Foundation and TIBO, Acres gives casinos wide and creative usage of the ticket printers to create more effective promotions.”

TIBO gives operators the advantage of processing real-time personal data to dispense targeted, data-driven bonuses through the slot machine’s ticket printer. It leverages the personalization of entertainment experiences with heightened communication capabilities, the very qualities players under the age of 50 thrive upon.

“Younger audiences desire a multi-level interaction,” Acres maintains. “They don’t want to just play a single game and zone out. They crave personalized experiences and chances to win, which is precisely what TIBO enables…another dimension added to the game, because a bonus can pop out of the ticket printer at any time.”

TIBO technology will encourage casino marketing divisions to revisit the traditional tier-level structure of players clubs, which, according to Acres, are not in step with what motivates the target audience properties are seeking to attract.

“The younger audience wants personalization,” he explained. “They don’t wish to be part of a tier or part of a group. They are motivated by individual awards, which is where TIBO delivers.”

Acres looks upon TIBO as the “Holy Grail” of casino marketing because of the power it is capable of unleashing in respect to planning promotions and personalizing the gaming experience for individuals instead of groups.

“Every player has their own threshold for spend. Before Foundation, casinos had no way to discover player preferences on an individual level, but now we can see clearly the tolerances for each and every player,” he explained. “With TIBO, it is possible to track and bonus a player who is approaching their personal threshold. The timing and size of the bonus is customized to individuals and not groups or tier levels. This is much more in tune with what modern consumers want.”

Another benefit of TIBO is the capability of interfacing external events, such as data from sports events, which casino marketing divisions can utilize in their efforts to make properties inviting as destinations where guests gather to watch local sporting events, or to put it in Acres words, “what better way to create interaction than with actual game play?”

“TIBO can print community bonuses when the local team scores – like the Raiders or Golden Knights in Las Vegas. We will be deploying TIBO community sports bonuses in 2024, making casinos a fun destination to catch the game,” he revealed.

TIBO gives marketing divisions the convenience and advantage of a configuration website which is controlled by the department itself. Customizations such as what games are participating in the promotion (bonus), which players are eligible, and specific times of the day can be accessed.

“A wide variety of TIBO promotions can be going on simultaneously,” Acres added. “The casino marketers will have the ability to ‘trigger’ the events.”

Similarly, gifting and the issuance of tickets for on-site concerts and other entertainment events can personalize the guest experience through the power of TIBO.

“If a property has a target list of players who are eligible to attend an event through a ‘comp’ to a specific show, TIBO can print out the concert ticket right at the machine when the guest inserts their player’s club card or meets a minimum spend requirement.

“With TIBO, properties can deliver through the ticket printer a wide variety of bonuses that can motivate a player at the individual level rather than the group or tier level. This what we call the Holy Grail. We think we have discovered it with TIBO.”

Acres observed that players have three budgets: A monetary budget, a time budget, and, incredibly enough, a boredom budget.

“When a player first sits down at a machine, they are enjoying the graphics, the sounds, and the thrill of pursuing the top prize,” he explained. “But as time goes on and the credit meter begins to dwindle, the player begins to mentally detach from the game. TIBO identifies the moment when that boredom starts to escalate and issues a bonus.