Cha-Ching! Caesars' Casino Employees Go Mobile, Decrease Downtime

From the lights to the sounds and overall energy on a casino floor, the atmosphere is filled with fun and festivities. But the technology needs necessary to keep slot machines and other equipment running without downtime are great as well as instrumental in positive customer experience.

One of the industry’s oldest and most well-known casinos, Caesars Entertainment, is focusing on mobile technology internally to create the best user experience possible across 40 of its properties in the U.S.

Overseeing its latest mobile initiatives is Kristine Huff, Sr. Architect of Mobility, who has rolled out 700 mobile devices to casino floor employees that will expedite and, in time, hopefully eliminate help desk tickets and increase machine functionality.

Over the last six months, Huff’s team has distributed Samsung’s Note 5 device to casino floor employees, used on a shift-by-shift basis. Workers can use the device as a handheld, wrist-strapped wearable, or around the neck via lanyard connection.

“The initiative was in the making for more than three years,” Huff told Enterprise Mobility Exchange. “We were facing issues that included machine malfunctions, no payouts, no credit slips printing, and so on with our slot machines.”

While deployed as an internal initiative, the mobile enhancement was created to help employees further the guest experience, Huff said. “If (slot machine players) push the service call button on the slot machine, the alert is sent to the Note 5 that will trigger a slot attendant to come and assist the user. This can be anything from a malfunctioning machine, to a jackpot payout, etc. The alert also recognizes our high rollers with their player card and allows our slot attendants to go over and greet them.”

Huff says they chose the Android-based Note 5 for several reasons.

“We considered Apple devices, but they just didn’t integrate well,” said Huff, whose enterprise utilizes MaaS360. “With the Android there was a sticky API and was easily integrated with our new EMM and could be used in so many formats.”

So what kind of results has the labor intensive effort wrought?

While the Note 5s are still being rolled out across the company’s properties and casino floors, measurable data is in the early stages as the initiative is less than a year old. The focus, however, is to eliminate machine downtime and increase customer experience all through enterprise mobility and the internal solutions architecture created by Caesars.

From a security standpoint, Huff and the IT department at Caesars are able to have full visibility into the devices – which never leave the casino floor. If a device is lost or stolen, it can be wiped remotely, Huff said, and each one must be signed out by an employee during his or her shift.

Overall, Caesars facility team has roughly 2,000 mobile devices, which is expected to grow under its new CIO Les Ottolenghi. For a company that saw roughly $3.88B in revenue in 2016 – up 2.8-percent from the previous year – digital transformation through mobility will be key to continuing its success. On the casino floor, revenues paced ahead of overall profit growth, increasing by 3.2-percent from Q4 2015 to Q4 2016, the company reported earlier this year. The final three months of 2016 was the launch period for the Note 5 deployment.

“Mobility is exploding in the casino industry,” Huff said. And she’s more than happy to accommodate that growth.