With spades of experience in the industry, Leisure Electronics’ Chris Shipley knows that suppliers in the UK gaming industry can never stand still nor rest on their laurels. Hence, Wexel and Leisure Electronics launching a pioneering new membership system VANTAGEplus this month in order to help operators face the new challenges of 2020 and beyond. Chris talks to Coinslot about their plans.
Launching VANTAGEplus onto the market this month, Wexel and Leisure Electronics have demonstrated their continued evolution as suppliers of future-facing gaming software and hardware.
Starting almost 30 years ago as a business that installed bingo furniture and electronics, the company listened to the needs of its customers and adapted to offer innovative gaming products as it still does today. However the market never stops changing, a fact that is especially true as 2020 comes to a close, and as such Wexel and Leisure Electronics have again listened to the needs of its customers to launch VANTAGEplus, a cloud-based membership system that uses an app – custom built for each operator – to push out promotions and notifications to customers.
“VANTAGEplus is different to other app-based systems, which only send out notifications to smartphones. It offers more by interacting and engaging with the customer on premises,” explained sales and projects manager Chris Shipley. “On visiting the premises, the customer swipes the barcode on the self-service kiosk, and the first action after swiping in is a “Track and Trace” tool, which is designed to help the whole community. Customers can also be rewarded for their visit with points, which show up on their app and they are then able to redeem any of the promotions that they’ve received via the app, which can vary from additional points, free bingo, or playing one of the many kiosk games.” He added: “For sites that are TiTo enabled the kiosk can print off a ticket that can be played on other machines in the venue.”
Importantly, while VANTAGEplus gives players extra value for their membership, it gives operators important data. From this data, reports are produced to determine which customers have taken up the promotions as well as identifying those who haven’t, creating a secondary promotion list for those players.
In a challenging and fast-changing market, Wexel has identified that keeping the loyalty of customers is more important than ever, and VANTAGEplus gives operators more tools to do that than ever before.
Ticking all the right boxes
Coinslot: Social responsibility is at the heart of new promotional ideas within the industry, how have you managed to shape VANTAGEplus to incorporate SR into its framework?
Chris Shipley, sales and projects manager at Wexel and Leisure Electronics: What we believe sets us apart with VANTAGEplus is the “in venue timer” option on the App. We’ve looked at what machine manufacturers have done with machine messaging and taken it a step further. It doesn’t matter what machine is being played. Players can set the timer up in the app’s personal preferences so that when they scan in on the site membership kiosk on arrival, the predetermined settings on the timer are activated. When that period of time has elapsed, an alarm is triggered to notify the player to take a break or review their machine play interaction. We see this as an additional tool that helps to relieve in part the total onus on the operators and machine manufacturers in terms of the social responsibilities.
Coinslot: How does VANTAGEplus contribute to the important shift by the industry to becoming a recognised part of the retail entertainment sector?
CS: Membership systems are nothing new to our industry, they make players feel wanted and part of the family in the venues. However, the real strength of VANTAGEplus is its 20+ interactive soft games built into the kiosk that will further engage with the customer when swiping in at the venue, so it’s a membership system with a full blown suite of soft free to play games attached, adding an element of entertainment to the membership.
Coinslot: From a members perspective, how will it make the player’s experience more engaging and more informative?
CS: We’re all becoming more reliant on smart phone devices, enjoying the benefits that these devices offer. For members, VANTAGEplus adapts these benefits to a gaming environment, creating a seamless experience for players from receipt of notification right through to benefiting from promotions in venues via the kiosk. With the High Street retail landscape changing and the current Covid 19 pandemic, never before has it become more important than now to engage with the customer to keep them abreast of what’s happening in your venue. With our new technology and easy to send push notifications directly from a desktop PC to your customers, gone are the days of expensive text message packages.
Coinslot: This year it’s all about the review of gambling legislation in the UK. What changes to the regulatory framework do you think the government should be looking at to improve the Gambling Act going forward?
CS: Premises licences doesn’t seem to work.. if is an over 18 venue, why can’t the offer be all inclusive with betting, Bingo, Gaming, drinks… the only exception being Casinos gaming…it would give more freedom to manufacturers and help them to be more creative with the content.. The National lottery need to increase the age limit to over 18’s.. Its can’t be right that a 16 / 17 year old can go into a petrol station or any other outlet and buy a scratch card with £250,000 prize for a £2.50 stake/purchase.
Coinslot: These are challenging times for the industry. Looking ahead at Leisure Electronics and Wexel, what plans are you making for 2021?
CS: LE and Wexel have always been businesses that are constantly evolving, we are coming up to our 30th year in the Bingo and Gaming industry and started off installing Bingo furniture and electronics. Over the years we have evolved into a formidable software house and supplier of desirable looking hardware. We are constantly investing in our development skills and personnel, 2021 will see this bear fruit when bring to the market some new ground breaking Bingo developments that we are extremely exited about.