The Wynn Macau Red Card
When I left for Macau, I brought my Wynn Las Vegas Red Card with me. Mind you, I bring it with me everywhere because it's in my wallet, not attached to the dorky Stardust branded slot card waist clip elastic thingy that I've got 20 other cards attached to. That thing - including my Venetian players card - stayed home. I figured that I'd probably spend some time in the casino playing slots or vp and why not maximize my coin-in and accrue some points toward some crap at Wynn Las Vegas. Lord knows I wasn't going to be gambling enough to register the smallest of blippage on the Wynn Macau casino marketing radar, but I've wagered enough loot at WLV to get offers, discounts and the occasional freeb.
I rolled up into Wynn Macau's casino, did a coupla laps to get a feel for the joint then located the previously mentioned bank of video poker machines (what I really wanted was a Triple Diamond, but...). With a large smirk on my face I opened my wallet, whipped out my Wynn Las Vegas Red Card and HK$500 and inserted both into the machine. The cash went in without a hitch, the WLV Red Card on the other hand blinked a coupla times, then turned yellow. The screen on the front of the machine seemed to acknowledge that I was there but it had no idea who I was and didn't display any accrued points.
"Welcome [Chinese character]".
I wish I had taken a photo so someone could translate what the character was. My hunch is "DOUCHE" but I could be wrong. I pulled out my Red Card, played for about 10 minutes then went over to the Red Card sign up desk over by the miniature Gift Shop. I asked the lady behind the desk if they could connect my WLV and Wynn Macau Red Card accounts and she said that it wasn't possible. So much for being a good global customer and giving the resort the ability to track all of my play.
I'm pretty surprised by this for a number of reasons. With Wynn Macau - and other joints that have operations in both Macau and Las Vegas (or Australia in the case of Crown) - why would they separate their player databases completely instead of just flagging playing sessions with different property names. You can bet that when, not if, Harrah's gets into the Macau game, they'll have everything hooked up to a global Total Rewards program. It takes just as much effort - if not more - to build and maintain a separate player database than it does to retrofit the current one to capture more and different information. It's frighteningly simple actually. Pre-Macau opening, add a field to the data tables for 'location', tag all location records as 'WLV', then upgrade the software in all locations to be able to specify the location the player is gambling at - WMA for Macau, WCO for Cotai, WEN for Encore, WAC for Atlantic City and so on.
A lot has been written in the financial reports of the various gaming companies with Macau operations about cross marketing different properties to gamblers who, based on play, location and other factors, may be coaxed into taking a trip to Macau, Vegas or otherwise. If Wynn Resorts' player tracking systems are location independent, how the hell do they crunch the numbers, find cross references, compare, contrast and make their algorithms work? Its like two boats sharing one tackle box.
I'm no math wizard, nor am I experienced in large scale business operations, but I do manage databases and write a little code that deals with information storage, retrieval and computation. You might figure that +/- US$4 billion dollars might buy a kick ass database team plus a whole lot of fancy carpet, fountain and mountain shows and hotel full of 1000 thread count sheets.