InfiGifts, Passport reimagine casino loyalty programs

December 5, 2022 7:06 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
December 5, 2022 7:06 PM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States

Two companies are teaming up to make gift-giving and gift-getting more rewarding for casinos and their customers.

The partnership between InfiGifts and Passport Technology sets the groundwork to “fundamentally change the way in which loyalty is delivered to players,” said Azam Husain, founder of InfiGifts and of the data-analytics firm Casino Science. InfiGifts, which began offering its service in June 2022, allows players to choose their casino loyalty gifts through a process similar to online shopping.

The partnership, formalized in October, makes InfiGifts available on Passport’s line of Lush kiosks. Passport was established through the January 2021 merger of Passport Technology Inc., a worldwide provider of payment technology to the gaming industry, with Automated Systems America Inc., which handled gaming payments and other services for casinos in the United States. The combined company is used in more than 125 casinos in six countries, processing more than $3 billion worth of annual transactions.

Passport’s Diallo Gordon, principal consultant for digital wallet, loyalty, and innovation, said that although his company and InfiGifts work in the background, their services “make a casino customer feel special.”

InfiGifts streamlines a casino’s “continuity-gifting” program, which rewards players with items that traditionally include crockpots, luggage, and the like given weekly or monthly to reward consistent play and encourage additional casino visits. With InfiGifts, players can choose from a variety gifts, picking their color or size, and the gift is delivered to the player’s home by shippers including FedEx and UPS. That relieves the casino of the headaches of buying, storing, and distributing gifts, while increasing the variety of merchandise and offering multiple tiers of rewards.

The partnership with Passport greatly increases the universe of gifts that players can be offered.

With the Lush kiosk, “There’s a literal catalog of thousands and thousands of products,” Husain said. “That allows players to select exactly what they want, then have it delivered to their homes.”

In addition, InfiGifts has partnered with TransAct Technologies, a top provider of printing equipment in the gaming industry, with an eye toward producing a TITO ticket offering uncarded slot players the option of ordering a gift upon reaching a specified level of play. InfiGifts also has an app that allows eligible players to choose and order gifts from their phones. A geofencing component ensures the player must be on casino property to claim the gift. Husain said that with the Passport partnership, players now have four ways to access awards offered through InfiGifts: a casino’s cashless wallet, the TITO printer, kiosks, and the app.

“We want to meet the guests where they’re at,” Husain said. Some prefer using their phone, while others are more comfortable at a kiosk, and a few might want a face-to-face transaction. “We want to come up with all these different mechanisms for essentially creating an omnichannel approach to managing the loyalty of the property.”

Gordon said a one-size-fits-all approach is effective for neither operators nor their customers. “We see different behaviors in our verticals from state to state or in different countries. People have different ways of doing things.”

He said Passport’s partnership with InfiGifts helps operators with player acquisition and retention, while increasing a customer’s lifetime value to the casino. Promotions could offer products from InfiGifts or, using Passport’s proprietary technology, prizes of casino amenities, such as golf course times or services from franchise affiliates.

“We’re giving casinos an option to tailor and personalize the reward experience for each individual guest,” Gordon said. “You’re rewarding them for your play, but you’re also respecting their individuality and giving them things they want.”

Husain said InfiGifts is studying more ways to personalize gifts, including being able to offer perishable and nonperishable food items, such as a holiday ham or Valentine’s Day chocolates, which aren’t typically part of continuity gifting. The items would be delivered to players’ homes. He related the story of a Midwest casino’s “terrible experience” when it gave away frozen turkeys that people had to claim in person. Many wound up carrying their prizes throughout the floor, leaving drippings on the carpet and tables. Having the turkeys delivered to their homes would have prevented that.

Another addition in the works would allow players to “gift the gift” by having it delivered to another person. Husain expects that to become available by the end of the year.

Mark Gruetze is a veteran journalist from suburban Pittsburgh who covers casino gaming issues and personalities.