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When the oldest slot manufacturing company in the world says it’s going ‘Interactive’ you’d better pay attention, as Matt Broughton discovers…
Very few of today’s big online players can say that they’ve been around since 2002 let alone 1932. Such is the history and legacy of Bally Technologies, inc. who, in October of this year, announced a new business division – Bally Interactive. Through this new division Bally would offer casino operators the ability to augment their land-based casino gaming with mobile and online play-for-free and wager-based games. At the time of the announcement the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard M. Haddrill, said: “As gaming expands outside the casino floor, our technologies will enable casino operators to reach their patrons wherever they are, bringing the casino to the players, and bringing players back to the casino.”
Casino International Online caught up with Bally Technologies’ Senior Director of Business Development, Mike Daly, to talk about this exciting new development for the global giant.
Casino International Online (CIO): How long has the new division been ‘under construction’?
Mike Daly (MD): We’ve been developing our interactive strategy for some time now, watching the industry and the trends, discussing with our customers, and being very thoughtful in our decision making. We decided to announce the week of the 2011 Global Gaming Expo because the time was right and we were going to be showcasing some of our interactive products at the show.
CIO: What will the new division be responsible for?
MD: Bally Interactive will encompass the company’s Mobile, Internet, and Social initiatives, complementing our traditional games and systems business lines and supporting our customers as they expand their marketing and gaming offerings to the online world.
CIO: What was the catalyst for this new division’s creation?
MD: The catalyst was the acceleration of mobile and online gaming, and gaming-related online marketing across the globe, and our desire to give gaming operators a “single view of the player” and enable casinos to deliver a powerful experience to their patrons, giving them a “single view of the casino” across all platforms, whether they are on the casino floor, at home or on the move. We’ve been developing our interactive strategy for the past couple years, watching the industry and waiting until the time was right for us to announce. Part of our Bally Interactive strategy was the acquisition of MacroView Labs, a company we bought last July. MacroView was - and Bally Mobile is now - the world’s leading provider of custom mobile apps for the casino industry.
CIO: What do you see as the most exciting repercussions of this move?
MD: We’re obviously thrilled about Bally Interactive. Through this new division we’ll be able to offer casino operators the ability to augment their land-based casino gaming with mobile and online play-for-free and wager-based games, as well as online social experiences that keep their players engaged with the casinos when not on property. And we’ll be able to integrate our mobile and Internet solutions with our core casino-management systems, player-tracking systems, and business-intelligence solutions to give our customers a single view of their patrons.
CIO: Why hasn’t this happened sooner?
MD: Bally has been very strategic and thoughtful in the way we launched Bally Interactive. We wanted to make sure that internally we were ready for this. With the acquisition of a mobile company, the completion of some key technology milestones, and some other important steps we took regarding getting personnel, resources, and structure in place, we felt like we were ready to formally launch.
CIO: What do you think Bally brings to the interactive sector that isn’t already fulfilled in the market?
MD: We are one of the world’s leading gaming systems companies, and as such our systems provide the back-end accounting, slot monitoring, and player tracking for some of the world’s largest casino operators. We feel this is really a true differentiator when it comes to Bally Interactive versus other providers. We can integrate our mobile and Internet solutions with our core slot-management and casino-management systems and Bally Business Intelligence to give casinos a single view of their player. This integration will enable casino operators to reach their patrons wherever they are, bringing the casino to the players, and bringing players back to the casino. It’s very exciting.
This integration will enable our customers – the casino operator – to stay connected to player trends and behavior, as well as give their patrons access to player’s club accounts when they are at home or on the go.
CIO: What are the first products people can expect to see from Bally Interactive?
MD: Well, the mobile facet of Bally Interactive is already going full steam, providing custom apps and complete mobile-marketing solutions to casinos for a number of different mobile platforms. This market-leading, cloud-based solution will soon be integrated with our slot and casino-management systems to offer players 24-hour access to their player’s club accounts, and to also offer play-for-fun versions of popular Bally casino games.
Over the next year you’ll see us offer a complete cross-platform solution to casino operators that will encompass land based, mobile, online and systems. This will include both online and mobile play-for-free as well as wager-based versions of popular Bally casino games that we’ll make available to casino operators to offer their patrons. We will never compete with casinos, but will be here to provide them the ability to offer such solutions to augment their land-based offerings.