As Boyd Gaming Corp. racks up awards for the online, mobile and social media features of its casino customer loyalty club, the Las Vegas company appears poised to be a force in the emerging social and online gaming sectors.
Boyd has recently won significant marketing awards for its "B Connected" program from business organizations such as the American Gaming Association and Internet Marketing Association. Most recently, it took home top honors in the Ninth Annual International Business Awards with a Gold Stevie Award for its website.
"We have beat out several Fortune 500 companies, so obviously we are doing something right," Boyd spokesman David Strow said.
The work is done locally at Boyd's headquarters. A small group of in-house technology staffers — the company won't say how many — developed and runs the e-commerce portion of the company's loyalty program. That's notable because many companies outsource the work to technology firms in the Silicon Valley and beyond.
One advantage to doing the work internally is that Boyd can quickly adjust its electronic marketing efforts and swiftly bring products and offers to customers, said Brian Best, Boyd's vice president of e-commerce.
''We are very nimble,'' Best said.
Boyd already has more than 650,000 registered users of B Connected Online, the Internet portal for its land casinos’ loyalty program, and 135,000 downloads of its B Connected Mobile application. The loyalty program, like that of its competitors, rewards players with perks based on how much they bet and spend in Boyd casinos.
Its database likely would be tapped for any social gaming or online poker platforms Boyd pursues.
The company already has stated its intent to compete in online real-money poker. Unlike some competitors, however, Boyd hasn’t launched a play-for-fun social casino application, such as an online slot machine or card game. It and its online poker technology partner, bwin.party, are in the interactive gaming licensing pipeline at the state Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Boyd executives said they’re well aware of the exploding popularity of social casino gaming. But they wouldn't say if or when the company will enter that space.
If and when Boyd launches a real-money online poker site, that business not only would tap Boyd’s existing player database but also would seek to attract new customers, Strow said.
Boyd’s B Connected social component already includes features that reward users for using the company's website and mobile applications and for sharing offers and events via social media — in essence making customers marketing agents for Boyd.
Boyd is best known in Las Vegas for downtown casinos such as Main Street Station, as well as suburban properties such as Sam’s Town. It also has a growing casino business in the Midwest and the South. In all, its B Connected program covers 15 properties in six states and likely will grow once the acquisition of Peninsula Gaming is complete.