When you walk into a slot parlour, you might think that one looks like any other – it’s just some slots, placed all over the room, not much philosophy around it. If you’re merely a player, then I might not blame you, you have your eyes on the prize. If you’re an operator, and think this way, then you are naive and you might want to ask yourself if you’re putting the success of your business in the hands of Lady Luck.
Clarion Events, Totally Gaming and the Slot Academy’s mastermind Lucien Wijsman got together in Leiden’s beautiful Belgian beer café Olivier, and organised an intensive 4-day course in how to make sure that your slot machines are working for you. The “simple” decisions on which slots to buy and when, where to put them, what are the recommended minimum bets for each set of slots, when to give what types of prizes etc are not in any way random – Lucien uses his extensive experience and teaches us what mechanisms lie behind those messages exactly.
The goal of the Academy was primarily to teach how to optimise the profitability of your slot machines. However, I personally suspect that Lucien had another goal on top of that – to bring back the fun into the casinos and slot clubs.
Coincidentally, one goes with the other.
The attendees were mostly from the world of the land-based gambling, only a few people came from the online side of the business. The content of the course was, in some instances, only applicable to the land based gambling, but most of the time, the knowledge shared could easily be applied to any of the two sides.
So let me take you through the days:
Day 1 – How are you doing? (In terms of your game and cash meters)
Day one started by breaking things into pieces and then slowly moved onto building them into a big picture. The first question for the attendees was “How do you know if your games are successful”?
The true answer for Performance Analysis is not in any way subjective, but is a consequence of results in carefully defined measurements. Here’s a little teaser into what we were told: the success is measured in KPIs, which are results of calculations of different operations between the game and the cash meters.
Towards the end of the day, the group got to do their own calculations by reading the slot meters and applying the newly-learned complex formulas.
Once we learned what the different measurements for the slot machines are, we were ready to move onto the user profiling and how to combine those measurements into one of the profiles.
If you’re like me, this is the part of the Academy you’ll find extremely interesting. It involves neuro-marketing, personality dissection, user types, based on the groups of features and finally, what are the motivators, needs and preferences for each of the user types.
As soon as you got that figured, you will know exactly how to lay out your content to maximise its utilisation, either online or land-based. If you want to know more about this, I definitely suggest attending one of the next courses.
Fun fact: Did you know that Book of Ra is so popular precisely because it can be tailored to fit the two biggest, but completely different user types?
Day 3 – Are you talking to me?
The third day of the Academy brought a guest speaker, Arjan Korstjens, who spoke in detail about the communication between the operators and the players. Information overload, and not recognising the players’ needs, means that we are making it harder for those that want to play to actually do so, and you would be surprised just how hard we make it for them. Arjan walked us through some of the examples of the successful campaigns that he ran in the past.
Day 4 – Floor layout
All that knowledge was a good foundation to try and create a plan for an ideal floor layout for a casino. Honestly, for this part it was a bit hard for me to find an application in the online world of gambling, since that’s where my background is, but it was nevertheless fun and inspirational to hear and see what are the things that one floor manager has to take into a consideration for planning the area. As I already wrote – it’s not a game of chance.
Now, I have intendedly left some of the points from the training out, and for obvious reasons. But I can tell you one thing – I have been working with betting and gambling for years. The highly competitive market created an atmosphere of reluctant information exchange. And it’s completely understandable.
However, the Slot Academy is a rare gem of unconditional knowledge sharing, and if you’re in the line of business of luck, I would definitely recommend you sign up for the next one.
As for Totally Academy, the scope of the offer will get wider in the future. There are a couple of very interesting events ahead:
- Course in iGaming
- Odds compiling