Gambling Insider: The Importance of Distinction

When marketing table games such as EZ Baccarat, casinos should follow the example of luxury retail brands

The casino floor can be a very homogeneous place. Seemingly endless rows of gambling tables, that can look extremely similar to the passing glance, make the convincing of players to bypass every other gambling opportunity in favour of taking a seat at one particular table through anything more than random chance a difficult task.

There are, however, a number of ways to stand out from the crowd. The first is presentation. Making sure your product is
eye-catching, in the right way, will give you an advantage over your competitors. The second is differentiating your gameplay, so that once you’ve drawn the eye of casino patrons you can legitimately offer them something they can’t find elsewhere. Baccarat is one table game where you can see these principles being put into action.

Branded pits: A new trend in marketing baccarat
Any effective marketing strategy starts from understanding who your customers are, what they want from your product, and how you
can use this information to position that product accordingly. This is what EZ Baccarat has done with its baccarat tables to draw in the crowds.

Keeping a target market in mind clearly makes sense when looking to freshen up a table game product such as baccarat. After
conducting research on Chinese lore and tradition, EZ Baccarat arrived at the color orange for its tables and marketing materials, which was calculated to be the optimum color for appealing to Chinese and Asian punters, the largest group of baccarat players in the world. In certain cultures it is believed that orange indicates change, adaptability, spontaneity and strengthens concentration. Mandarin, orange and kumquat trees are often given as Chinese New Year gifts because the pronunciation of the word orange sounds like “luck” and “wealth” in many Chinese dialects. It’s also why Hermès boxes, a favorite luxury brand of Chinese and Asian customers, are orange.

Orange is such a powerful component of EZ Baccarat that distributor DEQ Systems has trademarked and registered it worldwide
as the color of the brand. Now, Palace Station is propelling the brand concept forward by creating an EZ Baccarat pit in the color and icons of the brand inside the casino. This is an industry first and offers a new way of marketing baccarat games.

A breakthrough in the industry
To make an apt comparison, the creation of branded pits carved out of a larger casino floor space is the equivalent of Chanel or
another luxury brand creating a boutique inside a department store such as Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus. The model involves a
designated space in the store with physical separation, signage, furniture and display. The store benefits by creating a better in-store experience for its customers and from the halo effect of the luxury brand. This distinct separation, while still remaining part of the overall offering of the casino floor, gives branded pits special status amongst the sea
of the similar games of competitors.

The “EZ” Experience
In 2015, Palace Station (the iconic property of powerhouse Station Casinos) had a banner year of baccarat revenue when compared
to much bigger, newer and more expensive Las Vegas Strip casinos. This was accomplished by attracting local baccarat players with the largest offering of EZ Baccarat games in Las Vegas.

Palace Station has gone all-in on EZ Baccarat by decorating the entire Asian pit in the color and icons of EZ Baccarat, and
this branding has not gone unnoticed.

To create the branded pit, Palace Station first rearranged its floor to create a “neighbourhood” of EZ Baccarat tables. Then it outfitted the pit stands in the brand’s orange colour and decorated the stands with the Panda 8 and Dragon 7 icons. Overhead the casino has installed artwork representing “The Flowers of the Four Seasons,” a group of flowers in Chinese art and culture that will be rotated throughout the year.

“The neighborhood concept emulates a Chinatown – a place where Chinese people come together to conduct business, shop in small, authentic stores and eat their favorite food,” said Francisco “TJ” Tejeda, brand maven of EZ Baccarat. “Palace Station has created a neighborhood where players
come to socialise with friends.”

It is this sense of distinction, and the importance shown by the operator in carving out a whole area specifically for the baccarat playing community that is so valued by regular players. This philosophy can, and should be applied to other casino games.