Once you make a designated video gaming area in your establishment, find the right terminal operator, and the slot machines are installed, the hard part is over, right? Well, not quite.
Fortunately, your terminal operator handles a lot of the work in this process, but there are still some video gaming-related mistakes that should be avoided.
Breaking the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) Rules and Regulations
If you are a licensed by the IGB to have slot machines, there are strict rules you must abide by. There is no way around these rules. Always ask your terminal operator (or Account Manager here at Lucky Lincoln Gaming) if you have any questions about compliance. To make sure you are following the rules you should:
- Enforce the 21 and older rule. Always check IDs. This type of situation can be easily avoided with proper staff training and signage. Having underage players in the gaming area is one of the most common violations for which the IGB will issue a fine. Make sure staff is checking the gaming area regularly.
- Update your contact information as it changes. Tell your terminal operator immediately if you have changed ownership, names, address, etc. Hefty fines and in some cases, revocation of your license can occur when failure to do so.
- If a VGT stops working, you need to call your terminal operator ASAP to not only avoid a possible decrease in revenue, but to also stay compliant with the IGB.
Negligence of Your Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs)
You hired a great terminal operator to take care of most of the preventative maintenance related to your VGTs, but there are things you can do to keep them running smoothly, thus maximizing play time during your open business hours.
- Always wipe down any spills or fingerprints with a clean, soft cloth lightly dampened with warm water. NEVER use a chemical cleaner on the VGT screens.
- Chairs should also be wiped down with a dampened cloth and mild soap
- Keep your video gaming area no more than 75 degrees
- Under no circumstances should you allow smoking. Not only will it ruin your machines, it is also illegal in Illinois.
Not Getting to Know Your Players
Taking the time to get to know your patrons can go a long way. Players are more inclined to return and potentially bring in more customers if they feel that they are appreciated at your establishment. Create small talk. Do they like to talk while they play, or be left alone? What’s their favorite drink or food from your establishment? Not only will players have a great experience playing, but also feel more welcomed when getting to know the establishment staff.
Poor Staff Training
Although your staff is trained in many aspects of the food and beverage industry, they also need to be trained in the video gaming industry as well. Provide them with information on:
- What to do when a VGT stops working
- When the machines may be in play (only during the operation provided to the IGB)
- Who may be in the gaming are and when (card hard)
- How to properly close and open your establishment to eliminate any security issues
- How to fix a voucher issue
These mistakes are all avoidable. Reach out to your Account Manager for tips and suggestions on how to better train your employees in caring for the slot machines in your establishment.