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The technology behind one of the most successful computer-based loyalty schemes allows the company to know everything about you and your gambling habits.
Hundreds of the moms and pops feeding quarters into the slot machines appear to be attached to their illuminated one-armed bandit or video poker partner by some sort of umbilical cord.
It is, in fact, the only visible sign of one of the most successful computer-based loyalty schemes ever seen.
The Total Rewards scheme has not only transformed Harrah's fortunes - it's now America's biggest casino operator - it has made the chain one of the 10 best places to work in IT in the US, according harrahs casino loyalty program ComputerWorld magazine surveys.
Last month, it won an IT award from Ziff Davis's CIO Insight magazine, and many more will follow.
Indeed, the scheme is well on the way to becoming a classic business school story to illustrate the transformational use of information technology.
This is entirely appropriate because the man most responsible - 43-year-old president and chief executive officer This web page Loveman - was, until he joined Harrah's in 1998, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard, where he taught MBA courses.
It's a great example of business school theory working in real life.
Harrah's favourite gamblers do not, of course, attach themselves to their slot machines.
The curly black cord is attached to the thing they really don't want to lose: their Total Rewards loyalty card.
When they sit at the machine, they insert their magnetic stripe card in the slot so they can earn points on their spending, just harrahs casino loyalty program though they https://n-club.info/casino/casino-operating-agreement.html in link supermarket.
The points can bring them a stream of "comps" - small complimentary gifts, such as meals and free hotel rooms - or they can save up for the big ones.
According to Harrah's public relations, Total Rewards II members can travel in a private jet to the destination of their choice, ride a float in a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, or have a horse race named after them.
They can even get a gambling holiday that includes visits to three of Harrah's casino's - Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and New Orleans - in six days.
The Harrah's gambler may see a darkly seductive world of flashing lights, revolving cherries and lucky 7s, but the IT department has a completely different view of the casino floor.
Those slot machines are actually a string of dedicated PCs attached to an Ethernet network, collecting data that eventually gets pumped into a giant database in Memphis.
Plug in your card and Harrah's knows who you are, your average bet, how much you spent gambling and when you spent it.
It knows how many slot machines or gaming tables you used, which of Harrah's two dozen casinos you visited, how often you visited them and how far you travelled to get there.
Then there's the good bit.
Take the data from more than 25 million gamblers, analyse it and you can profile your customers.
Within a few minutes of a Total Rewards member starting to play, you can get a pretty good idea of the probable total future value of that customer.
At the very least, you can identify the people who are likely to be worth the most, and target them with special offers.
Harrah's now has about 90 market segments that it can target with the sort of direct mail it thinks will work - and direct feedback from the slots as to whether it worked or learn more here />This process has helped boost Harrah's share of its customers' gaming budgets from 36% in 1998 to 43% in 2002, and last year, the company said "revenues from customers who carry a Total Rewards card have increased 9% year on year".
Having spotted the cords while staying at Harrah's as a paying non-gambling customer, I took a cab to a pleasant office block on the outskirts of Las Vegas, to talk to Heath Daughtrey, from Harrah's IT department.
The customer is incentivised to have a card: it governs what comps they get, and how they are rewarded for what they play.
At the end of the day, what we do is about understanding the desires of our customers, tn harrahs casino near chattanooga creating the experiences that our patrons respond to.
We're using what we call our decision science tools to better understand our customers and to inform how we market to them.
An analyst put it something like this: 'Harrah's is a technology-enabled marketing company that happens to be in the casino industry'.
When it launched Total Rewards, "its success was that it was a national loyalty program with a national distribution footprint", says Daughtrey.
There are plans to expand overseas, and Harrah's is also launching on the web.
Harrah's announced last year that it was working with Gala Group to open casinos in the UK, depending on what happens to British gaming regulations.
In the future, data mining and more new technologies are expected to make more impact on the way casinos work.
For example, Daughtrey points out that you harrahs casino loyalty program necessarily increase your "coin-in" by installing more machines, but sometimes by taking some away.
It's also clear that more could be done with slots.
We could use these to market to customers beyond the gaming experience," says Daughtrey.
He's talking in terms of sending real-time messages to gamblers about things like "comps", or that they have just been upgraded from, say, a platinum to a diamond customer.
Gold is where you start.
But a modern slot machine is not much different from an ATM, so it could be used as harrahs casino loyalty program banking terminal.
And rather than taking money out and then feeding it back in, the cash could simply be transferred from the gambler's harrahs casino loyalty program to Harrah's.
Daughtrey says "coinless wagering" is a major initiative, and "there are numerous benefits associated with it from an operations perspective".
However, the company is using focus groups to find out where coinless gambling is attractive and where it isn't.
Probably the most exciting thing that happens in a casino is when one of the really big slots pays out.
Lights flashed, buzzers buzzed, cowboys whooped, and there was the almost irresistible sound of tons of coins cascading on to the floor.
I didn't stop to count, but attendants were shovelling them into buckets.
Well, perhaps that was yesterday's industry.
Tomorrow's is being driven by the numbers that can be zapped across a network and crunched in an enterprise data warehouse in a different state, or even a different country.
🤩VIP 7 Stars Lounge Tour! At Caesars and Harrah’s!!
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