Tangam Systems President Maulin Gandhi thought it was a nearly impossible task. With slot machines already producing copious amounts of data, he found it a a challenge to take a deeper dive into the information and yield even better results.
Could slot machines possibly benefit from the same rigorous analytical approach that Tangam applies to blackjack, baccarat, and other table games?
“We thought it was a problem that had already been solved, because you have everything you need on a slot machine to make decisions,” Gandhi says. “It’s not like table games, where you have a lot of manual entry.
But the more Gandhi and his team at Tangam looked at slot floors, the more they saw an opening.
This week at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Tangam, based in Ontario, Canada, will feature its new software, Slot Optimization and Data Analysis, or SODA. Designed to look at the configuration of slot machines on gaming floors and maximize their locations, SODA uses available data that might not be obvious to operators.
The software is currently deployed in six casinos in North America.
“We learned early on, it’s not the software, it’s how the software is used,” says Gandhi. “There’s so much data available, it’s sometimes hard to make simple decisions.”
Slot machines, because they are static and don’t rely on human staffers, yield more reliable data than any other casino games. SODA takes into account the placement of games, the foot traffic nearby, proximity to other slot games, and other information often overlooked by operators.
If slot cabinets with certain themes are underperforming, SODA can recommend swapping those games out for other themed games.
“Performance is relative,” Gandhi says. “It’s not just about how much revenue the machine is making, but how players are interacting with that game.”
SODA measures such metrics as player loyalty to games and how often they’ll play a certain slot machine. Gandhi compares it to how grocery stores display goods to maximize sales of certain products. That same philosophy can be applied to now slot machines are grouped in a casino.
“They might be different themes, but the way players interact with those machines is how you want to place them together for optimal player experience,” Gandhi says.
Gandhi notes that every operator has a unique philosophy about slot machine deployment. Some group popular games in one section, while others spread them throughout gaming floors.
SODA helps operators make better informed decisions about some of the “smaller changes they can make that will make a significant impact to the guest experience and to their profitability,” Gandhi says.
It can be as simple, he adds, as moving furniture to areas where popular games are busy during peak times, so players don’t leave.
“It’s a lot about running all the different combinations and permutations to make changes based on player behavior,” Gandhi says.