Giving players what they want but don’t necessarily expect will encourage extra casino visits, Azam Husain and Karl Kamb agree.
“Casinos are in the business of marketing hope. The hope is that the experience will glean for people either more money or more value or more excitement,” said Kamb, founder of Concept:3, a casino merchandise company based in Las Vegas.
“The player experience is actually a consequential part of driving people to make incremental trips,” said Husain, founder of InfiGifts and the data analytics firm Casino Science. “When you get that player to make that incremental trip, they will spend more at the casino.”
The two companies recently partnered to provide a “refined” player-reward experience that includes easy redemption of premium-brand gifts intended to spur additional casino visits.
InfiGifts, which started in June 2022 as an offshoot of Casino Science, allows players to pick their casino loyalty gifts through a process similar to online shopping. Players can choose and customize their gifts through a casino kiosk, an operator’s cashless wallet, or a phone. The gifts then are delivered to their home by shippers including FedEx and UPS, relieving the casino of storage costs and giveaway-day staffing headaches. Players also may regift the items by having them shipped to someone else.
Concept:3, a 7-year-old company focused exclusively on the gaming industry, sells $50 million worth of casino merchandise a year, Kamb said. The company designs, manufactures, and packages home goods, apparel, electronics, and other products for casinos to incentivize players. It has licenses with numerous celebrities and companies, including Wolfgang Puck, Greg Norman, Gloria Vanderbilt, and collegiate and professional sports teams and leagues.
Kamb said an effective awards program needs to generate more excitement than the prototypical gift of a slow cooker.
“Nobody has just a generic casino,” he said. “A casino is a branded experience. Players believe in and invest in that brand. If you are going to offer somebody a casino incentive, you want it to be branded with the property itself or with something parallel or superior.”
Kamb said the company’s core strategy is to create a high return on investment for the casino. For example, a casino could award a gift costing $25 to a player with a theoretical per-visit value of $150.
“What we do is to create the products that drive player engagement, and that engagement results in higher gaming activity,” Kamb said. “We promote the idea that it is good to play at a casino, that it is good to come in for a promotion.”
Vicki Baggett, players club manager of Win-River Casino in Redding, Calif., an early adopter of the InfiGifts service, said it is a hit with players. “We’ve had great feedback from the guests,” said Baggett, who oversees all player offers and loyalty reward gifts. “Even if they do not qualify for gifts, they’re downloading the InfiGifts app to see what gifts are available that they can play for.”
Win-River had been using InfiGifts for rewards to top-tier players but recently began using it for monthly gifts to other player levels as well. “We’re going to be using it for promotions, too, especially with the Concept:3 signature items,” she added. “Guests can’t buy those online or get them at the casino down the street.” She said that in addition to awarding guests with a piece of Wolfgang Puck cookware, for example, the casino can get advertising with Puck encouraging players to visit the casino to redeem their gift.
While the InifiGifts app has a geofencing element that ensures customers are on casino property to redeem a gift, Baggett said she appreciates the option to turn off the on-premises requirement for some promotions. She also cited labor-cost savings with InfiGifts and said Win-River no longer has to find space to store gifts.
Justin Woodard, executive vice president of marketing and business development at Concept:3, said the initial offerings of the InfiGifts-Concept:3 partnership are “just the tip of the iceberg.”
He said the two plan additional options to be announced soon.
Both companies will have booths at the Indian Gaming Conference Tradeshow and Convention March 27-30 in San Diego.