Anticipating this year’s ICE London event, which will be held on February 7-9 at ExCel London, Yogonet spoke to the DRGT team about what the global supplier of gaming solutions has prepared for the major industry expo.
In this exclusive interview, Jurgen De Munck, DRGT CEO; Allwin Language, MD Africa; Andreas Duller, MD Austria; and Jean-Michel De Busscher, MD DRGT Online, discuss returning to ExCel, post-pandemic recovery, current operator demands, cashless gaming, and more.
DRGT will be participating in the upcoming edition of ICE London. What does this represent for the company?
Jurgen De Munck: Yes, we will. Our first trip back to ExCel since 2020; I can’t believe that 3 years have passed so quickly. Understandably the past 36 months have been challenging for every business sector, and the land-based casino sector and I guess hospitality too, perhaps more so than many.
That said, we remained resilient and were able to weather the proverbial storm, using that time to consolidate, review our position, re-assess our objectives and then action what we believe was required to meet those objectives.
Jean-Michel De Busscher: Jurgen is so right. What I’d like to add to that is the fact that it also gave us time to engage with our operator-partners and undertake a very similar journey with them, in so doing providing us with a full 360° view of the status quo, and what gaps and opportunities there were for us and our partners.
DRGT’s stand in G2E 2022, in October Attendees to ICE are mainly operators. What should they expect to see when they visit Booth N2-240?
Allwin Language: Our system remains our core product, and the key outcome from any system is the insights and reporting it provides operators in respect of efficiencies and player engagement.
Now granted our reporting has always been a unique selling point, and something we have built much of our success on; however, as referred to by Jean-Michel, many operators during engagements with them were after a cleaner and more contemporary user experience and interface. We listened, and at ICE we will proudly showcase our new-look reporting.
Andreas Duller: …and then, of course, off of the gameplay data garnered by our system we are able to tailor jackpots and offer an amazing array of extremely stable ‘system-driven’ jackpots; tailored offerings to individual players, groups of players or an entire casino floor or estate (wide-area jackpot) each individually configured based on the insights from our reports.
It’s powerful stuff, and something operators of late have begun to adopt even more vigorously. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ jackpot model is simply no longer good enough. It has its place, of that there is no doubt, but players also want tailored offerings and if you can’t deliver those you’re already ‘on the back foot’.
You’ve noted your updated reports (and jackpots) as one of the ‘current demands’ from operators. Surely cashless is right up there?
De Munck: It is without a doubt, and always has been, I just believe that the adoption thereof has really now started to speed up. The momentum that is currently building is doing so at a rate never seen before and I am of the view that it is both technology and again player demands and expectations that are forcing operators to adapt and adopt. Those that don’t run the risk of literally becoming dinosaurs.
Duller: At G2E in October last year we launched an addition to our cashless offering that allows players to top-up their account/wallet without having to leave their EGM. This was very well received by our American customers, my Mexican colleague Alfredo Moreno can attest to that.
De Busscher: The process is very simple and follows what I guess is pretty much a retail point-of-sale model, where once a player selects ‘Top-Up’ on their drScreen player tracking unit, a unique QR code is generated which the player then scans with their smart phone. That QR Code then re-directs the player to a selected secure pay gate (e.g. HiPay) where the ‘Top-Up’ payment is affected, and then verified by the player through their personal banking App. It’s really that ‘player friendly’ and doesn’t take more than a minute to do, if that.
DRGT CEO Jurgen De Munck Nifty, and what about an app? It seems the logical evolution. One only has to see where banking and the online gaming sector have gone to see that land-based has to go there too, surely?
Language: You’re so right, and yes we now have a DRGT™ App. It will make its debut at ICE 2023. Jean-Michel noted our operator-partner engagements earlier, and as was to be expected an App was something that came up in almost every conversation. What was noted though, and often too, was that the App needed to offer the same functionality as our drScreen player tracking units, anything less than that would really just be paying ‘lip service’.
Duller: So what our CTO, Michiel van Dam, and his development team have done is exactly that: develop an App that affords players the full functionality of our touchscreen drScreen player tracking unit in their back pocket. It similarly affords operators the operational and communications functionality they’re used to along with push notifications for anything from new promotions and tailored bonuses to birthdays and event advertising.
Language: Players can obviously also checkpoint and cash balances 24/7, as well as update their contact details or any other info without having to queue at a reception or cash desk. It really is quite cool.
De Munck: Let me jump in with a last word, and because I am still really a developer at heart. Our App ‘sits on top of’ some new properietary, and highly secure, middelware called drMobile. Michiel (again) has spent considerable time and effort, and correctly so, to ensure all relevant Personal Identifiable Information (‘PII’), General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) and a number of other compliance and regulatory standards are strictly adhered to within the software.
And then, notwithstanding the security it offers, it also affords operators amazing flexibility in that the DRGT™ App can be themed and skinned as required, and furthermore, due to our open standards it can be made available to 3rd party App developers to design bespoke UI and UX ‘front-ends’. I really am proud of this latest development in our cashless offering and can’t wait to showcase it at ICE.