Unlike airline seats, but like many Americans, casino chairs are getting wider.
“We definitely see a little bit of a trend toward larger seats,” said Joe Esposito, CEO of Gary Platt Manufacturing, whose chairs are used in virtually every U.S. casino. “A lot of the seats have been 19-inch seats for a long time. We’ve definitely seen a trend toward more 21-inch seats.” In comparison, economy-class seats on a dozen U.S. airlines range from 17 to 18.4 inches wide, according to an October report in Conde Nast Traveler.
The move to wider casino chairs is not necessarily because of expanding waistlines, Esposito added. Some casinos want them to provide more personal space in high-limit rooms. Looking for a “really cool” touch, one client opted for some 26-inch-wide chairs, he said.
Regardless of width, Esposito said the chairs accommodating hundreds of thousands of slot and table-game players for years and years can provide a return on investment for casinos.
Comfortable, ergonomic seats can increase a user’s playing time and overall bet total, he said, while advanced engineering and materials can make chairs last well beyond the next redecorating project.
Earlier this year, the company touted results of a comparison of players’ use of Gary Platt chairs and a competitor’s product at Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nev. With the casino’s cooperation, Gary Platt’s model was placed at one slot bank, and a comparable chair from another manufacturer was placed at an adjacent bank with a similar slot theme. After three weeks, the placements were reversed. The test ultimately involved six types of chairs over nine weeks.
Esposito said players using the Gary Platt chairs showed 3 percent more time-on-device and 11 percent more cash-in than those using the competitor chairs. While the Atlantis test is the only formal comparison, he said the findings weren’t a surprise because, for several years, numerous clients had provided anecdotal accounts of players staying longer and spending more than with the previous seats.
Gary Platt, founded in 1996 and based in Reno, manufactures and sells numerous models of chairs for slots, table games, sportsbooks, poker, bar-top, and bingo. It also does customizations. The Aurora line, initially designed for Resorts World Las Vegas, includes a player-adjustable pedestal base, rear seat vent, and a quick-change seat for fast repairs when needed. The Sportsbook Club, with a 21-inch-wide seat, features flat tablet arms, and a removable stainless steel cupholder that fits inside the tablet or directly into the arm.
The company also makes chairs, some with built-in speakers and rumble effects, for slot manufacturers.
A comfortable “sit” is the most important thing in considering a chair, he said. “Lumbar support is really key for us. The other thing that’s not talked about as much is a comfortable foot rest, where you can rest your feet at a height that makes sense for you.” Adjustable-height chairs also are popular; Esposito said Resorts World’s slot chairs all have that feature.
Gary Platt has added a line of “healthy play” fabrics that can be cleaned with bleach. A no-burn option is available.
Esposito said the company’s proprietary Platt-foam is the secret to the comfort and durability of its chairs. Even after 16 to 18 years of use, the foam can retain its original shape and condition, he said.
Esposito said casinos typically change chairs after seven or eight years, but that is a design choice rather than the chair wearing out.
“More often than not, chairs are getting (replaced) by a style change,” he said. The casino might want a new pattern or an upgraded model, “but the chair is as good as new.”