Foxwoods' new slot system to focus promotions

Mashantucket - You could be playing a slot machine at Foxwoods next month when it kicks out a promotion for your favorite casino restaurant, a reminder about an upcoming poker tournament (assuming you're a poker fan), or, if it happens to be your birthday, a coupon for a gift of some kind.

It could happen if you're playing one of the 300 machines Foxwoods is equipping, on a trial basis, with a highly sophisticated printer system developed by a Connecticut-based company, TransAct Technologies of Hamden.

The system consists of a device that attaches to TransAct printers already installed in some 3,000 Foxwoods slots and links to software that tracks players' gaming preferences and buying habits - information collected on the magnetic strips of player's club cards. The modified printers will be able to print out promotions tailored to the player who's playing the machine.

Foxwoods, the first casino to feature the system, will expand its use to more machines if the trial run goes smoothly, according to casino executives.

"We believe it's a slam dunk," Kevin O'Sullivan, Foxwoods' senior vice president of gaming, said Monday. "We believe we'll be making plans to equip more machines before the (120-day) trial period is over."

TransAct, a global firm that makes transaction printers for the gaming, lottery, banking and hospitality industries, worked closely with Foxwoods in developing the print system, Bart Shuldman, TransAct's chairman and chief executive officer, said.

"We already know it works," Shuldman said. "Clearly, we're very glad Foxwoods signed up for it. If the trial goes well, we'll be rolling it out to all 3,000 machines."

Foxwoods Resort Casino, including MGM Grand at Foxwoods, operates about 6,650 slots.

While Foxwoods did not disclose terms of the deal with TransAct, Lou Rosa, the casino's vice president of slot operations, called the new print system "very cost-affordable" and said it would not involve any upfront investment of capital. "Going forward," he said, "it'll be figured into a daily fee per unit (slot machine)."

No specific date has been set for next month's introduction of the system. Rosa said the machines that are equipped for the trial period will be clearly identified and that customers' reaction to the system will be closely monitored.

"We do believe it's going to give us an edge against our competition and enhance our ability to serve our customer," O'Sullivan said.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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