There are experts in our industry that specialise in designing your gaming floor to ensure that it promotes comfort for your players, and an easy flow of customers through the space you have available. Once that footprint is designed, knowing where to locate your machines on that floor, is just as important.
$1 Dollar Areas
Many clubs and hotels are losing quite a number of their mid and high denomination games these days as multigames (which have 4 – 5 games in the one machine including all denomination options), and multidenom machines (a single game that can be played in any denomination), are blurring the lines between product groups. There is still a requirement in any medium to large club, to have the remaining high denom games, ($1, 10c and 5c generally), in a quiet low traffic area where your bigger gamers can play without people looking over their shoulder or trying to squeeze past them. Many of these players are regular and can be quite social, as they see each other all the time, so setting out the machines in this area so that they can chat if they feel like it is a good option. A U-shape will be a better fit for this than a long line of machines. You can also pad out this area, if you only have a few high denomination games left, with a couple of multigames so these players can switch from $1 play to 1 cent play for a break.
Premium Space = Premium Product
By now most clubs and hotels have a comfortable outdoor gaming area and generally the outdoor areas are earning more than the indoor areas. While expanding the outdoor area is not always possible, (and can be expensive), it is a valid choice to treat this area as a “premium” space. You can definitely break the rules when it comes to an outdoor area and fill it with a far larger number of higher denomination games that you could get away with inside. I would also include strong performing 1 cent games and multigames, but all your best machines should be in this area. All the reps want their machines in this area because they know that the result will be better, but it is not a testing ground for manufacturers’ games. It is an area for tried and true strong products, and your best avenue for increasing your clearance results when you get it right. Be mean about this space. If a machine is not performing, move it back inside.
Don’t Sit on Top of Me….
The ideal bank size for clubs and hotels, after analysing data for years, are clearly 3 or 5 machines long, in either double or single banks, depending on floor space available. It is the optimal length because players don’t like sitting next to each other and will fill a bank from the end machines first, and then in the middle on a 5 machine bank. It makes sense then to place your most popular machines on the ends of a bank of 3 machines, and on the ends plus the centre, of a 5 machine bank. You can fill the other positions with less popular machines until you have an opportunity to either covert them to a better game or trade them out. You should never have a poor performing game on the end of a bank.
Humans Turn to the Right…
In the same vein, people naturally enter a room and turn to their right: a fact that shopping centres and department stores have been using to their advantage for years. The more entry points you have to a gaming floor the better, but if you only have one entrance make sure your best performing machines are generally on the right hand side of the gaming floor.
Match ‘em Up
It doesn’t matter what size your gaming floor is when it comes to making it look appealing for players. One of the most important factors that can easily get out of hand over the years as you make changes to your gaming is to ensure machine heights and styles are as similar as possible in each bank. With machine heights it’s fairly obvious that you need to ensure the casino top machines are banked together, but many forget about the different machine product lines. Your floor looks neater and more comfortable to players if all your Aristocrat Helix or IGT Crystal machines, for example, are all together. If you do have a double bank of casino top machines, and two spare lowboy machines that don’t fit anywhere else, situate them along a wall or back-to-back on a bank so that they don’t stick out.
Fill It Up…
Most clubs, and some hotels, have very different markets when comparing their daytime and nighttime trade. The daytime players tend to be the smaller but regular players, and they can make your gaming floor look busy even at 11am on a Monday morning if you situate your machines correctly. The games designed for the smaller players who like to play for time are the best ones to place near an entry point as long as it doesn’t block access to your room. Old favourite links such as Cash Express and the popular 1 cent games (5 Dragons, etc) can always be placed in these areas to make your venue look busy.