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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Harrah's East Chicago a Marketing Guinea Pig

21 July 2004

Gaming industry giant Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., which owns and operates casino properties worldwide, has chosen its East Chicago, Indiana, location as the site for a pilot program which is designed to completely revolutionize the way the company utilizes its Total Rewards player's club.

Gary Loveman, CEO for Harrah's, spoke about the innovation at the Gaming Technology Summit conference which was held last week (May 25) at the Green Valley Ranch Casino & Hotel in Henderson, Nevada, north of Las Vegas.

Harrah's is putting new computer technology in place that will allow them to collect real-time data on players and issue comps and other perks on the spot.

Virtually every casino company in the country uses player's club programs to accumulate a database of customer profiles. Direct mail offers and other rewards are then issued to customers based upon their playing history.

This new concept, which Harrah's has called "Marketing at Slots", introduces the practice of marketing to slot players while they are actually gambling, even to the point of being able to target people who are on a losing streak and offering them a comp.

Knowing that the casino will be capable of tracking your wins and losses on the spot, and then sending a customer service representative to a player to offer a reward, may pose intimidating feelings for some. To some, it may sound like a casino marketing "big brother" invading the privacy of your slot play.

There are a staggering 28 million people enrolled in Harrah's Total Rewards program, which is linked to all of the gaming properties the company owns.

Company executives did a thorough review of the pilot program before giving it a test flight at Harrah's East Chicago to ensure it isn't in conflict of interest with the responsible gaming policy to which Harrah's is totally committed.

The program will be introduced to all Harrah's properties, including its casino and hotel in Joliet, the second half of this year.

Harrah's also is formulating its own "ticket-in/ticket-out" coinless slot technology that will allow the company not only to track individual play but to have comps and rewards issued to players in paper voucher form right at the slot machine.

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