Just about all London-based commuters have noticed the Las Vegas ads in the Tube, informing the English their accent is an “aphrodisiac” in Sin City. Clearly the Vegas brand reaches far beyond the American borders and now casinos in the UK have the opportunity to partner with myVEGAS, a selection of social casino apps offering rewards to casino resort customers.
myVEGAS apps are available on Facebook, mobile and tablet, operated by PLAYSTUDIOS and funded by MGM Resorts. By engaging with myVEGAS apps, casino resort customers earn loyalty points and can “buy” rewards including complimentary cocktails, comped hotel rooms and even controlling the Bellagio fountains to a requested song.
Tom Galanis, a consultant for PLAYSTUDIOS & myVEGAS, has brought the myVEGAS offering to the UK by adding Hippodrome Casino and Resorts World Birmingham as rewards partners. Monday, February 22nd marked the official launch party date of myVEGAS’s debut in the UK and Galanis appropriately hosted guests in the Hippodome’s Matcham Room.
“The night was designed to balance educating those new to our game portfolio and the concept of earning real world rewards through social gaming, with meeting some of our VIP UK players who have been enjoying Las Vegas rewards for years, and with all the fun that the Hippodrome’s take on Las Vegas can bring”, Galanis shared.
Galanis’s guests ranged from existing players who loved the idea of redeeming their in-game loyalty points in the UK and new players who have discovered the social casino games and the rewards that come along with them for the first time. Overall, the reaction of everyone in attendance was overwhelmingly positive.
The reaction of rewards partners has also been positive as myVEGAS provides a digital performance marketing channel for casinos to acquire and reengage with customers.
“For me, myVEGAS is the zenith in digitally engaging casino resort customers with the properties they know, or aspire to visit or are perhaps completely new to”, Galanis shared.
He continued, “Social casino connects with not only a far wider audience than real money gambling but we’re not just talking gamblers here… it’s their partners who hit the spa, or their parents who may be heading to Las Vegas for the retail side, their millennial children who are looking for show tickets or bottle service at a club. Gamblers, clubbers, spa dwellers and shoppers alike are all driven by or respond inevitably positively to, one thing and that is value. Whether that comes in the obvious sense through rewards, or simply enjoying the games, or the social elements of the apps, I guess ultimately it’s the value that drives 2 million players to the apps every day.”.
London’s Hippodrome and Resorts World Birmingham launched their rewards programs towards the end of 2015 and according to Galanis, have already begun to reap the benefits.
“The [Hippodrome] owners are more than on board – they’re actually active in one reward – our players can earn a private tour with Simon Thomas. They’ve featured every part of the property in rewards – from burlesque lessons with Polly Rae, their leading cabaret act, to drinks with the Lola’s Girls and a butchery masterclass from their phenomenal chef in the Heliot Steakhouse”, Galanis revealed.
“Resorts World Birmingham as a new property have used a more measured approach, initially targeting local customers to the Genting Hotel and their amazing spa. They plan to roll out casino and food and drink rewards in the near future and widen their focus to an international audience”, he said.
The potential for such freemium model games apps for casinos is huge and Galanis predicts there will be growth into territories within Europe and Africa and even the Far East.
As the market swells, naturally the desire to move players from a freemium app to a real money app is still out there, but the opportunity isn’t as clear-cut as it seems.
“I think an awful lot can be learned from previous experiments of social gaming companies looking to converge their databases to the real money gambling model. Obviously there is an overlap but the mentality of a social casino gamer, whether they spend or not, is very different to that fostered by the online gambling experience and you risk cannibalising the player experience and belief in the games they love, and the company behind it”, Galanis explained.
However, for players who are interested in tangible rewards but also like to gamble online, there could be a natural transition from app to real money.