Ticket it, ideas out
Praesepe’s CEO Nick Harding explains how the a wholesale commitment to the TITO during 2015 has paid dividends for the operator, and urges the rest of the industry to embrace the possibilities created by ticket play.
Coinslot: Were there any major new investments Praesepe made following EAG 2015? If so, how has this technology been received on the gaming floor?
Nick Harding: 12 months ago we wrote to all of our gaming machine suppliers informing them that we would only consider siting machines which are TITO enabled or compatible. We took this firm stance as a result of the importance we place on TITO as a break through development for both operators and players alike.
There’s no doubt that TITO is ticking every box throughout the Praesepe estate and is on course to become one of the single most important developments in high street gaming. Its impact on maximising machine uptime, improving security and driving uplifts in income have been profound.
CS: Is there anything specific Praesepe will be looking to achieve or obtain at EAG 2015?
NH: I make no apology for this answer also being TITO related, but we want manufacturers to harness TITO in order to be more adventurous in their approach to game design and content.
Due to the fact that TITO has been so well received the length and breadth of the country, we believe that it’s exactly the right time to break free from the straight jacket of round pound payouts. We would like to see games specifically designed for TITO, taking the successful penny a line route favoured by many in US gaming and in the process enhance the gaming experience. I honestly believe this could be a game changer and we will be pushing this school of thought at EAG.
CS: How has business been throughout 2015? In what ways has this performance affected forward-planning for 2016?
NH: 2015 was a very good year for the business, during which we set new standards in customer service, enhanced further the player experience and in many of our venues, achieved new income records. The economic recovery has permeated its way through the country – albeit at different speeds – and I’m pleased to say Praesepe has succeeded in taking more than our share of the increase in disposable leisure spend. To remain competitive you have to continue to invest in the infrastructure and to continue to provide the levels of comfort that consumers of leisure expect in the 21st century.
CS: Does EAG tick all the boxes for Praesepe? Is there anything that could be improved upon to heighten operator engagement with the show?
NH: I think it’s essential for the domestic industry to have the opportunity to get together at least once a year to meet, exchange opinions, collaborate on the big issues of the day and to network. EAG has succeeded in reflecting the industry and meeting its needs. A lot of the opportunities for engagement, as you put it, develop organically and as a result of the industry coming together, which I am certain will happen at the ExCeL Centre in January.