Slots and gaming technology giant International Game Technology PLC announced this week its Cardless Connect mobile technology will roll out at several Station Casinos properties in Las Vegas before the end of the calendar year.
Station Casinos go cardless
The technology has already been deployed at one Station Casinos property for testing, and was well received. The idea is somewhat brilliant in the simple way it allows players to do away with one of what is almost always dozens of different player’s cards they carry with them from casino to casino, and replace it with another thing most also bring with them: a smartphone.
With IGT’s Cardless Connect mobile technology, participating players in Station Casinos’ MyBoardingPass loyalty program just tap their smartphones on a slot machine card reader to ensure they earn comps the same way they did when they were previously inserting a player’s card into the machine.
Leash-free slot machine perks
Anyone who has ever left a player’s card behind at a slot machine can see the benefits of this type of technology right away. Those who have been attached by leash to their player’s cards for years will finally be free.
The IGT Cardless Connect technology was so successful in its first Station Casinos property, the organization plans to start using it at two more Las Vegas locations later this year. The rest of Station Casinos’ 20 Las Vegas-area casinos will soon follow. Plus, it seems like a no-brainer to say that other major US casino corporations won’t be far behind.
It turns out the program is also a smart way to get more people to download the STN mobile app.
Mobile apps required
The trick is, in order to use the Cardless Connect technology, players have to download the Station Casinos mobile app and sign in with their account. Only then can they tap the phone on a slot machine and start earning comps for their play.
Show me a US casino with a mobile app. I’ll show you a casino that wishes more gamblers would download it. Show me a gambler. I’ll show you a person who has yet to figure out one good reason they should.
While player loyalty clubs have emerged as the top way for casinos to market to customers, mobile apps have lagged behind. Finding a way to combine the two more effectively has to be seen as a great way for casinos that have poured a ton of money into mobile technology to finally start pulling some out.
A reason for gamblers to embrace the tech
Gamblers have had few reasons to embrace emerging mobile technology in the past. This certainly gives them one. Early adopters and the next generation of gamblers who have grown up attached to their smartphones should love this. Casinos, who seem to be endlessly looking for the best ways to attract them should as well.
Let’s not get to carried away. This isn’t the kind of technology that’s going to change the world. However, it is something that will ultimately improve the player experience. Plus, it will most certainly help bridge the gap between traditional casinos and mobile technology. A particularly important step for an industry that has yet to find many successful ways to do that.