Focus on Everi: Supporting casino operators through the digital and mobile transformation

October 13, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
October 13, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States

A year and a half into embarking upon an ambitious company-wide “mobile-first” growth strategy that was designed to broaden its range of mobile capabilities for the gaming industry, Everi Holdings, Inc. put its eye-opening solutions on display at G2E in Las Vegas.

Fortified by an October 2022 agreement to acquire certain strategic assets of Venuetize, Inc., a leading mobile platform provider in the sports, entertainment, and hospitality industries, and empowered by a major investment of capital, time, and talent, Everi showcased the mobile/digital transformation among its products and services.

Everi’s strategy in this sector, according to Darren Simmons, executive vice president and FinTech business leader for Everi, has been specifically formulated for operators going through the digital/mobile transformation. Initiatives developed by the company were designed to make the process smooth and seamless.

“If you’re not focused on, and investing in, a mobile/digital channel, it will be more difficult, in my view, to be successful as far as it relates to engagement with your customers as well as attracting new customers,” he said.

“Looking back five, 10 years ago, casino operators and different entities created informational applications simply to make their web page mobile friendly. There was a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality, something that doesn’t apply today.

“The capabilities of mobile and digital channels have evolved over the years, making them more powerful and a real necessity. It is imperative for operators to invest in this technology and have a real strategy around it.”

Everi’s BeOn mobile services platform is optimized for patron engagement with applications that continue to be built upon and improved, including Everi CashClub Wallet, the standalone public wallet BeOn Wallet, loyalty, content management, marketing, and self-service convenience.

Everi, Simmons reminded, began building the foundation for the future as early as 2019 by making fairly significant investments into loyalty, starting with a couple of acquisitions. It was done in response to overwhelming demand from customers to provide mobile applications and digital engagement services.

Complemented by the Venuetize acquisition in time for G2E 2022, sizable product, mobile engineering, and digital engineering teams were assembled, which, according to Simmons, placed Everi “at another level in what we are able to provide”.

Everi places a special emphasis on the “user journey” in context with the digital/mobile transformation. Simmons said that his team has done an amazing job in creating a user journey, a very critical component, so that the experience of guests is the best it can possibly be.

“It is great for an operator to say that they have a mobile/digital strategy, but you also have to make sure the user journey is really nailed,” he emphasized. “It has to revolve around continuous improvement, which is germane in our DNA for all of our products and services. We believe it is all about KYC (know your customer).”

This is where the BeOn mobile services platform takes on special significance. Simmons believes Everi can assist operators in segmenting their player tiers through a variety of tools which will allow them to better get to know their customer base.

“There is much talk about this capability, but only through Everi’s 360-degree view in relation to bringing all of these great tools together within a very powerful platform can it be efficiently executed,” he said.

Simmons acknowledged that in regard to emerging technology, casino operators have had to go disparate reaching out to vendors who can put everything together for them. This results, he said, in labor and skill set challenges.

“Everi can provide a turn-key platform for them that executes and helps simplify the entire process,” he explained. “Digital, the mobile wallet, loyalty, the players club sign up and all the marketing technology associated with it, becomes a very powerful tool for them.

“The key is that we’ve brought all of these systems and platforms together and integrated them, which I believe is something that is unique in this space. Operators think they have a lot of mobile/digital applications already ‘buttoned up’ but that may not be the case.  We have taken a different approach and it has really resonated.”

Casino operators, Simmons observed, have invested millions of dollars into platforms and teams, and various integrations in regard to mobile ordering, rewards and other incentives. He said they are very powerful for a casino operator in terms of the efficiencies they create and the ability to manage their businesses.

“Take a look at what we’ve built within our mobile/digital platforms and capabilities,” he said. “There is tremendous value in how it integrates with the rest of our ecosystem.

“The core foundations of everyday business from a fintech standpoint…whether it is payments, loyalty, AML compliance…we have extended digitally with wallet loyalty and mobile applications. This is quite powerful for a casino, and it is this which differentiates us from the competition in the market.”

Earlier this year, Everi debuted its Vi technology, an all-in-one, on-property mobile gaming solution, at IGA. Vi mobile technology combines Everi’s digital games, CashClub Wallet, and the company’s mobile technology.

Everi has also introduced a product called FlexRewards, which Simmons describes as a unique engagement platform that is tremendously beneficial to their casino customers.

“Essentially what we have done is build out a platform that eliminates the need to have a gift card program,” he said. “It will bring tremendous savings to casino operators and dramatically improves reach, capabilities, and engagement opportunities. At the end of the day, that is the key.

“Guests will have the ability to activate promotional vouchers, effectively a gift card, directly to a guest’s bank card. This creates an exchange of value as a casino operator with a multitude of extended retail partners.”

Simmons believes that self-service journeys are increasingly dominating the player experience. Everi’s BeOn platform and the ongoing mobile/digital transformation process gives casino guests the power of self-service in all aspects of their property engagement.

“We are very excited about what we will have on display at G2E,” he said. “The feedback from meetings with customers has been fantastic.

“Everyone is enthusiastic about the investments that we have made, and we are anxious to see our products gain traction as we move them into the marketplace.”