Did you ever catch yourself saying “That will never happen in casinos?” Be honest – I have. I thought that a complete non-smoking casino would never fly, and yet all casinos in Massachusetts gaming expansion will have non-smoking casino floors. I also said I thought coins dropping would still be expected from players instead of paper receipts (TITO), no casino in their right mind would offer 6:5 blackjack and nightclubs were a passing fad….wow, how wrong could anyone be?
The same can be said about Electronic Table Games (or ETG). I never thought they would make such a resounding boom in the casino. The fact is electronic table games, a traditional table game that has been converted into an electronic format, have arrived in abundance……..but, why?
The Reasons for ETG Popularity in Today’s Casino
According to Joan Mantini of Casino Journal, there are four reasons for the army of ETGs on the scene:
- These machines are convenient for customers, especially those whose are intimidated by the real live dealer/player experience. Players are able to learn new games at a pace that suits them and without the pressure of making wrong choices in a group environment.
- They cut costs for the casino by, (unfortunately for live dealers) saving on labor costs for the casino’s operator.
- Regulatory issues in certain U.S. gaming markets allow ETGs as the only allowable form of table games on casino floors. Slots only casinos can offer ETG’s as a viable option for their patrons.
- Electronic table game products are attractive to this younger demographic because they have a short learning curve. ( in other words, less patience – “I want it now.”)
The ETG Player Portrait
Mantini also commented that Interblock, one of the world’s finest electronic table games company with over 25 years of experience, “commissioned The ETG Player Portrait, its first-ever ETG player segmentation study. This report defines who EGT players are and why they are critical to gaming businesses. The results of this independent study clearly showed that ETG users play more often and longer, they have larger gaming budgets, spend more and are more likely to play games across the entire operation.” “These findings reinforce what Interblock has been sharing with casino customers: ETGs are crucial to building successful casino revenue streams and that would not be changing” said Colleen Stanton global vice president of marketing at Interblock.
However, is it worth it for the casino financially? Not yet. According to Megan Clemens also of Casino Journal, wrote “Gabriel Baron, general manager and senior manager of electronic table systems for Scientific Games, commented ‘…..most ETGs, so far, only attract low-stakes gamblers and wagers, at least when compared to live table games. “We know players like to play they’re favorite games, and we like to present players with their favorite games in electronic format,” he said. “So the challenge we have is to continue to come up with side bets, progressives and other original ideas that leave the main game itself available for players, but also attract slot players and younger players who are willing to accept the volatility of a wager that has a high pay out.”Betty Zhao, chief operating officer for LT Game, said in Clemens’s article, “Electronic table games help provide this by introducing a table game product in a less intimidating environment, with a lower minimum bet and [allowing] more people to participate in the game.”
Basically, they are here to stay. What may have been empty slot space could be filled with more electronic games. ETG’s are here to stay, and trending towards an evolutionary future.