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Experts at ASEAN Gaming Summit share role of technology and AI in creating a better player experience

A panel discussion on how to create a more engaging land-based player experience highlighted the role of AI and technology in understanding and entertaining customers better.

Moderated by IDX Games CCO Peter Johns, the panel of experts first examined the differences between online and land-based customers. Online players are used to a quicker experience that focuses more on the pure game play, while land-based facilities operate at a different pace and can enhance the stay with additions such as food and drink.

The need to make the experience more immersive is increasing as land-based players become more demanding. Products such as large screen ETGs are being deployed to attract a younger crowd that operators are still learning to understand. A lot remains to be learned about the behavior and psychology of today’s new generation of land based customers, with cultural differences in various jurisdictions complicating things further.

Making games more interactive helps to keep this demanding crowd entertained, as was demonstrated by some operators in Macau in recent times. Changing products to be more engaging by adding additional cameras and features can also help to keep players happy. Light & Wonder’s Ken Jolly mentioned that his company does as much research as it possibly can to better analyze its customer base.

AI is becoming increasingly important, too. Where player journeys were often mapped almost manually in the past, as an operator tried to understand a customer slowly and over time, Artificial Intelligence now allows companies to gather vast amounts of data in a very short period of time. This leads to a much deeper understanding of player behaviour and data is being mined at a much earlier stage and in much bigger quantities.

Balancing the player experience with factors such as AML regulations can be challenging, as operators attempt to keep hurdles low and the gameplay seamless, all while working within ever tighter AML and general gaming regulations. The topic of social media influencers was mentioned as an example. Streamers have become popular and a key asset in any marketing mix, yet it is usually not permissible to have a live streamer enter a gaming floor and record video for instant broadcasting. Regulators will have to look at scenarios like this and potentially adjust rules to accommodate activities such as YouTubers and other influencers.

The panel concluded the discussion by agreeing that operators should attempt to create an emotional experience for their customers. Such an approach will go way beyond mere gaming transactions and the closing question summed up the topic of player loyalty and understanding in a powerful way: When is the best time to tell your customers that you love them? Before someone else does.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.

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