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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.


Comments & Discussion:

Yeah, this really surprises me actually. One of the things about WLV was the use of a lot of new software running pretty much every aspect of the operation.Hotel and casino management software until recently was all really old, green screen based stuff that run of AS400s in the back room. WLV used a bunch of new tech but none that had ever been used in a hotel that big.I know that WLV and Wynn Macau are interconnected via a VPN - a lot of the IT stuff is handled in Las Vegas. Makes NO sense that they can't be integrated.

I emailed the MGMMirage folks in Macau and they said that the players club card you get in Vegas won't work there either. You gotta sign up again. I can somewhat understand this in the case of MGM Grand Paradise, because its a partnership between MGMMirage and Pansy Ho (who provided their subconcession through Dr. Ho's SJM).Maybe there is some kind of gaming regulation that requires this, but I'm not particularly interested in reading a thousand pages of rules to dig it out.

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