In this episode, Nick & Don welcome industry consultant and slot management guru, Buddy Frank, to discuss the symbiotic and often strained relationships between the industry's operators and vendors.
At ReelMetrics, we collect and analyze a ton of slot data, and we’re hit up frequently for insights, tips, and tricks. So, we decided to do a podcast in which we present, discuss and otherwise, nerd out on our work. Coming to you from our offices in lovely Leiden, the Netherlands, welcome to ReelCast.
Good morning, Don. How are things with you today?
Fine, Nick. How are you?
Not too shabby, thank you. Here we are in the back half of August. We took a short break in July in order to accommodate some vacations, my own included. Now, it’s time to climb back on the old data science horse.
As you know Don, I just returned from the US where I’d been for about a month. In mid-July, we flew out to Reno for Ravings Consulting’s Casino and Technology and Marketing Conference. It was a great event. We did a small booth there. I spoke on a panel and then we spent several days meeting and mingling with marketing folks from around the industry. That was very cool. Lots of new contacts and perspectives and really happy I made the trip over. And then with that wrapped, I drove over to San Francisco and picked up the wife and kiddos who flew in from Holland for a bit of a family truckster tour of the American West.
We zipped around California, Nevada, Arizona, checking out the sites, letting dad log the occasional casino visit, and just listening to all the uplifting life-affirming commentary that two teens in a backseat can produce. How about you Don? What’d you get up to during the period?
I actually moved from one part of the city to another, and enjoying this massive heat wave we’ve had this summer. It’s only supposed to be 103 today.
It’s been a brutal summer and it’s supposed to cool off starting next week for a little bit at least. But heck, we’re getting it almost to September, so it better start cooling off soon.
Well, at least you’re not as soggy as the people in the west today. It’s lots of upheaval over there. Palm Springs is pretty much underwater it looked like.
Oh, that’s terrible.
Yeah. Okay, so let’s see. For this episode, we thought it would be interesting to tackle a topic that’s been proposed by a couple of different listeners over the past several months. It’s a bit delicate, but hey, we like that kind of stuff.
Before we dive in, we’d love to tackle any questions that anyone listening may have. So if you have a question about what we’re presenting or something you’d like us to present, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, that is R-E-E-L-C-A-S-T @reelmetrics.com. Our policy is to keep all questions anonymous, so please speak directly and don’t worry about us revealing your identity. We do not do that.
Today’s topic covers the symbiotic and often rather strained relationships between the industry’s operators and vendors. In preparation for this, we pulled a number of people on each side of the fence.
I must say, we did hear a fair bit of bitching. So I thought we could lay out a few complaints from each side, discuss them a bit, and then see if we can whip up some guidance helping our listeners to navigate this stuff.
In tackling this topic, I thought it would be a good idea to invite a guest who throughout his long and very distinguished career, always seemed to have these relationships down pat. Now, this gentleman is a familiar name to most listening today.
Raised in northern Nevada, he’s been obsessed with gaming since he used crayons to mark his mom’s keynote tickets while dining at local casinos. Eventually, he covered the gaming industry as a TV journalist after graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno.
After a decade of reporting, he moved into casino marketing and eventually slot operations. And after 30 years with various casinos and senior executive roles, he retired from full-time work at Pechanga Resort and Casino back in 2016. He now runs a consulting service, BF Slot Strategies where his focus is on slot performance systems, analytics and team training. And if that’s not enough for a man in semi-retirement and a big emphasis on the semi there, he also edits the Frank Floor talk column and contributes as a writer to CDC gaming reports and teaches classes on gaming and marketing at UNR.
With that very condensed and abbreviated summary behind me gives me great pleasure to introduce Mr. Buddy Frank. Buddy, how are you today?
That’s like the longest intro I’ve ever heard. Thank you very much.
Well, it’s a very distinguished career, lots to talk about. I would say it’s an abbreviated summary, but since we were on the weather, are you soggy out there in Reno today or how are things there?
Everyone here, the governor declared the state of emergency. Everybody filled up sandbags, everything else and Hurricane Hillary turned out to be a little like misting in Reno. Apparently it was just hit-and-miss across the west. Some people got drenched and others were going, “Hey, where’s that hurricane?”
We got spared. We had a couple of cloudy days, which is unusual for Reno, but other than that it was pretty mild. No complaints here. We’re just all preparing for the next storm that’s coming called Burning Man [inaudible].
But at least this year actually, you’re not contending with any smoke though, which is a nice thing. I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Reno this summer and no smoke.
Knock on the wood.
Yeah, really terrible. We were up driving a bit in the Trinity Alps there in Northern California and came across Lassen Volcanic National Park. AndContinue transcript