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Best of John G. Brokopp

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Ameristar Gets Imaginative with Slot Floor

3 November 2010

A great deal of thought and marketing strategy is devoted to the slot machine floor plan of any casino, but Ameristar in East Chicago, Indiana has taken it to the next level.

The casino is making its vast inventory of slots a form of "shopping" experience for gamblers by utilizing target marketing to differentiate among the newest games, the most popular games, and even giving bargain hunters some perks with the older games.

Every slot director in the country arranges the games in such a manner as to make them attractive to play and visible to guests from various points on the floor in an effort to derive maximum revenue from each and every machine.

The amount of play the machines receive during any given period of time is closely monitored. Units that aren't pulling their weight in terms of making money for the casino are either repositioned or removed.

Ameristar's strategy is to market the newest games it brings in, generally those slots that have been on the floor 90 days or less, with signage that identifies them as such. The games are positioned prominently, making them easy for players to find.

It's kind of like a retail store unveiling a new product line. Shoppers always are attracted to the latest and greatest. In many respects, slot players are no different when it comes to wanting to experience the latest products.

Similarly, the slot games that Ameristar has identified as the most popular and fun to play based upon guest feedback and revenue reports are also clearly identified with unique signage. Like the new games, the most popular ones are also strategically positioned to attract the most attention.

Finally, the casino has applied the concept of retailers appealing to bargain hunters by adding marketing perks to its older games. The more vintage units now have signage that labels them as 2-times, 3-times, and 4-times Star Awards point multipliers for players who use their Ameristar player's club cards. The slots that may not be receiving the play they once did get a new lease on life.

Ameristar's initiative has the potential to be attractive to newcomers as well as established players.

Walking around a gaming floor deciding on which slot to play can be an aimless venture for first time visitors and people who are new to the casino. Reel slots and video slots are distributed by any number of manufacturers. Games, themes, and play action differs. What's more, the units come in varying denominations ranging from pennies to dollars.

Designing the floor to departmentalize slots and direct players to particular segments of games is something that veterans just may find convenient. By making point multipliers specific to certain games instead of the entire inventory is also a plus, especially by being offered all the time instead of just occasionally and then for only a day.

The results of Ameristar's new game plan to remain competitive in the market are certain to be scrutinized within the gaming industry. A specialized floor that experiments with advertising psychology just may give slot shopping a whole new meaning.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp