Toronto-listed bingo solutions firm, eQube, provides the only regulator-approved system in the world capable of operating, optimising and managing multiple bingo venues – so capable, in fact, that even Canadian gaming regulators use it.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he 17-year-old company is now expanding its scope, making this all-encompassing and highly customisable bingo system available to any venue, in any sector. eQube CEO John Purcell speaks with Casino Review about the strategic benefits of bingo, and how eQube’s solutions empower operators to retain customers and offer the quintessential social game on their terms.
CASINO REVIEW: What is eQube?
John Purcell: We’re a bingo company. Everything you can do with bingo – we do. From traditional bingo right through to the digital eBingo variants. We provide a complete suite of products to run a bingo hall or, in fact, bingo to complement any other style of gaming or hospitality venue, such as casinos, AGC’s or pubs. With customisable caller modules, programmable POS, advanced back office systems, enterprise level accounting, player tracking, loyalty system, and management reporting; it is a data driven system to empower operators to run a business the way they want to with quantifiable benefits. It’s the first time that a complete bingo system has been offered in Europe for many, many years.
CR: Why would bingo appeal to anyone but a bingo operator?
JP: We want to throw a light on the fact that bingo is not just for bingo operators. Casinos, AGCs and other forms of gaming are trying to entice varying demographics. Bingo is a very effective way of doing that as it has tended to sit at the softer side of gaming, making it more socially acceptable with broader appeal. For example, in North America we’ve found that while bingo was seen as providing ‘oxygen’ to slot floors, it used to be a loss leader as a result, until we demonstrated bingo can be profitable in its own right, as well as supplementing other revenue streams in a gaming and hospitality environment. Bingo is a habitual game, and if you can get patrons in one or two nights a week playing bingo, that allows you to cross-sell and up-sell other forms of gaming and entertainment.
CR: How does your system keep players coming back?
JP: We concentrate on data. We’ve got enterprise class accounting and customer relationship management software, which gives our customers a single view of their customer. You know what their spend per head is, their frequency of visit, which particular promotions work for them, and which don’t. So this is as much about customer analysis rather than just providing bingo. We also integrate this to the leading CRM systems in the market including IGT, Konami, Ballys etc. for a true closed loop view of your customer’s journey.
As we provide so much data, we find our customer’s retention rates to be extremely high. Additionally, with online integration, symbiotic feeds from online to offline and vice versa, can be as much as 50 percent cross sold either way. Online players can be incentivised to play offline in a specific venue, whether it’s a bingo hall, casino or arcade, and vice versa. When you see up to 90 percent of customers churn in an online only offering, our system is allowing operators to have a true online/offline bridge of customer activity.
CR: So where would eQube’s system work best?
JP: Our system works anywhere that regulation permits it. We cover the entire spectrum from community halls through to AGCs, casinos, bars and big bingo itself – we’re in locations with 3,000 plus seats and locations as small as just five rugged eBingo tablets in a bar.
For arcades and casinos, or even betting shops that want to make a decent profit, we have our “Lounge System.” You can manage the system actively through a point of sale in venue or manage it passively with a self-service kiosk, and you can schedule passive or active games, paper or electronic, to play every ten minutes, once a day, once an hour. However you like.
Operators can also connect that to our HomePlay system, which means their customers can buy bingo cards in their venue and play on their phone, at home, on the TV – wherever they are. That’s where “omnichannel” really comes to the fore. You’re empowering your customers to carry on spending and gaming ‘in your premises’ with their eWallet when they’re not even there.
And the key to that is we’re not sending them away from our operators’ premises. They still cash up in the premises, and they have to cash out in the premises, so operators still retain control of their customers by maintaining the bricks and mortar venue as a focal point for the customer. And, as mentioned, this is all done with a single view of the customer, so they know what they’re doing, and how often.
The whole point is we empower operators with the technology to do things the way they want to; so they can adapt bingo to fit their business, rather than adapt their business to provide bingo.
eQube representatives will be showcasing their system at ICE 2017: Stand N1-255 and N1-150.