Each day operators are faced with the decision of where to install their newest games. Many factors enter the calculus: current underperforming slot product, merchandising capabilities, as well as recommended base denomination are just a start. Sometimes it’s easiest to backfill low-performing product with whatever games just arrived without second thought to optimize for location.
With Eilers & Krejcik Game Performance database (GPD), we offer more data-backed guidance in conjunction with qualitative recommendations thanks to our novel Attributes dashboard. The GPD now tracks over 400 casinos and over 350,000 slots primarily in North America. Using historical zone data, we estimate what zones are the strongest real estate on a given operator’s floor to analyze which games are most sensitive to location.
Some of the results are unsurprising: Keno and video poker performance are inelastic relative to the location. In other words, putting keno or video poker in your “A” locations yield the lowest relative ROI. The upside from whatever additional play you get on those game types is eclipsed by a top new Video theme in their place. The takeaway here is that the worst location should carry video poker/keno.
Proprietary-branded premium themes (Dragon Link, Prosperity Link, Ultimate Fire Link) are highly sensitive to location because there is a large upside to the revenue from placing in an “A” location. Further, multi-level linked progressives are player staples so they should be front and center. We recommend these premium products go in an operator’s best location to optimize revenue especially for fixed fee or capped fee units. This is not to say that these games underperform in “C” or “D” locations. We see Dragon Link command on average over 2.5x vs House even in the worst locations.
Some other proprietary-branded premium themes are more flexible with respect to floor placement. All Aboard (Konami) and The Vault (Everi) maintain steady performance despite different location scores. Opining on these results, The Vault has towering, dramatic hardware and engaging visual/audio cues that pull players in like a magnet.
With respect to licensed premium themes (Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune, etc.), the data suggests these are less sensitive to location relative to proprietary premium themes. There could be several reasons for this. Monopoly and Wheel of Fortune are long-running themes often equipped with distinguished sign packages or WAP meters. The timeless branding of Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune, etc. is fully distinguishable in the sea of crimson video portrait cabinets.
Finally, we can apply this methodology to a finer level of detail. For example, looking at game families with performance that are highly location-sensitive, a few games stand out: Fu Dai Lian Lian (Aristocrat), Ultra Rush (Incredible) and Cash Falls (LNW). These games’ performance depends on persistence techniques that are functions of high foot-traffic… or at least more so than the average non-persistence game. This suggests that games with close-proximity visual persistence (either true or perceived persistence) should be considered for “A” or “B” locations. If the game doesn’t perform well in those locations, it’s probably not worth having. “C” or “D” locations for these games may result in unintended low performance for these types of games.
With seemingly infinite combinations of themes, configurations, and location placement options, we’ve developed to tools support decision-making. Operators with premium subscriptions can access these functions. See Figure 1 from our Game Configuration Dashboard to see our recommendation for Aristocrat’s Bao Zhu Zhao Fu Red Festival.
Figure 1: Eilers & Krejcik Premium Subscriber Game Dashboard
Source: EILERS-FANTINI Game Performance Database