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ISSUE 5 2019





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A new direction We’re excited to reveal the coming together of Australia’s leading gaming services providers, under the name MAX, to offer a complete solution platform for venues, government and industry. MAX is uniquely positioned to provide the most comprehensive suite of end-to-end products and solutions that enable our customers to operate and achieve success effectively, efficiently and sustainably. We’ll draw on 80 years of combined heritage and top talent, leveraging far-reaching scale and extensive resources to take an active role in our industry’s evolution. MAX is committed to fostering and supporting a healthy and responsible gaming industry for the benefit of every venue, every community, every day.

Contact us today to learn how MAX can help optimise your success /maxcomau

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Gaming Stools • Bar Stools • Dry Bars • Communal Bar Benches • Coffee Tables & Dining Tables • Chairs • Modular Lounges & Ottomans • Outdoor Settings

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20 FEATURE STORY Nadine Grinblat and Peter Burnett from the Australasian Gaming Council on the best ways to reduce the risk of problem gambling 26

32 STRATEGY FOR GROWTH Getting your beverage mix right


BEST PRACTICE Young Talent Time – how to attract and retain the next generation of hospitality workers

Suite 2.02, Level 2, 3 Bowen Crescent, Melbourne VIC 3004 Tel +613 9948 4900 Fax +61 3 9948 4999

General Manager Venue Services Paul Carew Head of Marketing Gaming John Ioane Marketing Manager – Content and Demand Generation Taylor Maher

STATE OF PLAY by Niche Media Pty Ltd ABN 13 064 613 529. Publisher Paul Lidgerwood Managing Editor Madeleine Swain Designer Norsham Husaini Digital Prepress Karl Dyer Production Alicia Pinnock Advertising Inquiries Nirma Ledford Email: Phone: 03 9948 4992 Contributors only Nikki Stefanoff, Dasha Romanowski, Susannah Hardy, Ben Ice, Stephen A Russell, Melissa Rymer, Josh Loh Chairman Nicholas Dower Managing Director Paul Lidgerwood Commercial Director Joanne Davies Finance Controller Sonia Jurista Cover Photographer Samara Clifford Printing Graphic Impressions For inquiries about Niche Media’s custom publishing please contact Paul Lidgerwood +61 3 9948 4902

STATE OF PLAY 2019. Published for MAX by Niche Media. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, internet, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publishers accept no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily endorsed by the editor, publisher, Niche Media Pty Ltd. Pty Ltd and its related bodies corporate. Stock photography courtesy of 123RF and Shutterstock.

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A new direction for us. A new level of delivery for our customers. We’re taking a new direction. A direction that’s designed to make your venue more efficient, more effective, and more productive than ever before. It’s a direction that’s all about making it simpler and easier to integrate services and delivery across your business; about offering truly end to end rather than compartmentalised success for you. So we have embraced full-service partnerships and seamless delivery by integrating all of our gaming services businesses into one. From here on in, eBET, Tabcorp Gaming Solutions, Tabcorp Field Services and MAX will all come together under a new and revitalised MAX.

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It brings together the skills, resources and insights your business needs. MAX is wholly focused on optimising and maximising business for you. If you have any questions about our new direction, or have any concerns we can help you with, please contact your dedicated representative. Alternatively, please email us at thenewmax@tabcorp. to learn more about our new direction. We look forward to exploring how the new MAX can deliver more for you and your business than ever before. Sincerely,

The new MAX offers a comprehensive suite of products and services for the gaming industry; from performance solutions, to systems and connectivity, all the way through to maintenance and technical services.

Frank Makryllos

It brings together industry leading integrity and innovation.

Managing Director Gaming Services

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09 Q&A Greg Haynes, Head of Venue Insights 10 NEWS 12 THE REEL DEAL Tips for a successful gaming floor layout 14 MARKETING MIND G20 Innovation and the concept of ‘design thinking’ 16

MARKETING MIND Tips from the most successful loyalty programs outside the industry

18 BEST PRACTICE Clayton RSL in Victoria gets a brand new look 24 BEST PRACTICE The importance of customer touch points 28 BEST PRACTICE Keno's new tools for 2019

30 STRATEGY FOR GROWTH Customer segmentation 34 EAT & DRINK Top chef Shane Delia and the rise of Middle Eastern cuisine

40 EAT & DRINK The best pop-up activations from around the globe 42 GEAR UP The very latest must-have gadgets

36 EAT & DRINK The top five brunch trends for 2019

44 EVENTS All the dates you need to mark in your diary


46 FIVE OF A KIND Light it up

LOOK & FEEL BSPN’s Luis Nheu on emerging interior design trends in venues


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elcome to the fifth edition of State of Play… The merger of Tabcorp and Tatts brought together leading gaming brands in the market, including MAX, Tabcorp Gaming Solutions (TGS) and eBET. Since the merger, we have operated these brands as separate entities. We have now made the decision to reorganise the business along functional, rather than brand, lines to ensure we continue to provide the support, systems and expertise our venue partners deserve, in order to help maximise their performance in a challenging market. Our customer facing businesses will be led by me as the General Manager – Venue Services and will be organised under the following lines: • Venue Solutions • Venue Systems • Venue Marketing, and • Venue Insights. The key focus for each of these areas will be how we add value to our customer base and work closely with each of you to deliver great business outcomes. Our network continues to outperform non-partner venues in Victoria and our commitment to this will only be strengthened as we leverage the opportunities that exist in our broader gaming services product suite. With this reorganisation of our business

comes new appointments. In what can only be viewed as well-justified reward for effort and performance, we are in the fortunate position of being able to fill a number of key roles from within: • Adam Floyd, promoted to Head of Venue Solutions (formerly State Manager – VIC) • Paul Malek, promoted to Head of Venue Systems (formerly State Manager – QLD/NT) • John Ioane will continue to lead as Head of Venue Marketing • Greg Haynes, appointed to the role of Head of Venue Insights, continuing our development towards being the leading provider of insights to our customer base in the gaming industry. In order to reflect this centralisation of our customer efforts and increased capability to deliver strong growth, we felt the need to create a new brand identity and signal a change in how we position ourselves in the market. I am extremely proud to present MAX – Australia’s leading gaming services provider. While our customer network may not notice too much change in how they interact with us on a daily basis, our new visual identity is a clear commitment to how we will continue to provide outstanding products and unique services that optimise our customers' success. Please take the time to follow our new MAX LinkedIn page, where you will receive business and industry updates, best-practice case studies and thought leadership articles, as well as a recaps of our ever-popular network of events. This issue of State of Play is packed with informative, educational and entertaining articles designed to help you run your venues more effectively and maximise their successful operation. We talk to celebrity chef Shane Delia about the rising popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and the role he and his signature restaurant Maha have played in this (page 38). Also in the food and beverage

space we look at some of the most intriguing and successful pop-up venues across the world (page 44) and explore the wonderful world of brunches (page 40). We’re especially proud of our cover feature – an in-depth article on responsible gaming, with words of wisdom from both the CEO of the Australasian Gaming Council, Nadine Grinblat and its chairman, Peter Burnett (page 24). Human resources is the backbone of our industry, and so we explore the sometimes thorny topic of attracting and retaining young talent. We talk to some of the standout performers in their respective fields and find out from the horses’ mouths what drew them to the industry and helped them decide to make it their career (page 30). As always we look at venue design, visiting the recently refurbished Clayton RSL (page 22) and talking to talented designer Luis Nheu from BSPN to glean some hot tips on trends in venue interior design (page 42). And for the marketers in our midst, we urge you to learn from some of the best loyalty programs in industries other than our own, while also picking up a few ideas in how to segment your customer base (page 34) and map their journey (page 28). We look forward to introducing you to the new MAX at the Keno Australasian Hospitality and Gaming Expo at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on 27 and 28 March. Visit us at stand 76 for all the latest updates from across our business.

Paul Carew General Manager – Venue Services MAX

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Q&A From living on soup to focusing on client performance and analytics, Greg Haynes’ journey has been an intriguing one. Meet MAX’s Head of Venue Insights. As Head of Venue Insights, what does a typical day at work look like for you? I like to get in early and work a few hours before any meetings and phone calls. I prefer to reserve this time for analytical work. It’s important to me to be aware of client performance, so I’ve developed the habit of checking our daily reports and seeing results each day. There are meetings and discussions every day with various stakeholders to ensure we’re constantly adding value to our clients and their customers. The team has a strong focus on delivering products and services for the long-term; however, a portion of each day is also ultimately required to handle queries. Some are more complex than others and can generate spirited debate. What do you find is the most rewarding part of your job? I enjoy being able to build tools, reports and insights that

assist our stakeholders in making informed decisions and make their work lives simpler. I take pride in knowing my team provides many of the tools that go into making decisions that will benefit our clients and, through that, benefit their customers.

When not at work, where would we likely find you? I have a two-year-old daughter who loves dogs and water, so my wife and I will usually take her and our Labrador down to Altona Dog Beach every week. Alternatively, I’d probably be watching the latest crime or historic documentary on Netflix. What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you? I travelled a fair bit when I was younger and enjoyed living rough. The toughest was spending five weeks on the TransSiberian Railway from Beijing to St Petersburg –sleeping on bunk beds, eating soup almost every meal and showering, on average, twice a week. Something I don’t think my mind and body would let me get away with today.



of all Australians 18+ have visited a pub, club or hote

l in the last 12 months


of all Australians 18+ have played EGMs in the past year


level of participation is highest (46%) among 18- to 34-year-olds


of all Australians 18+ have played EGMs in the past three months



of all Australians 18+ spend over $60 per annum on games of skill or luck

the 67% of Australians 18+ who spend over $60 per annum on

games or skill or luck, the average

expenditure is $2000 per annum

Sources: (1 to 4) Tabcorp Category and Brand Tracking FiftyFive5 Representative of Australians aged 18+ in NSW/ACT/VIC/QLD, and (5 and 6) Tabcorp Segmentation Study, Nature Representative of Australians aged 18+.


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| NEWS |

▼ MAXIMILLION$ FIRST JACKPOT WINNER AT SAWTELL RSL On Saturday 23 February, a normal night at Sawtell RSL turned into a night to remember, as one member won close to $950,000 on the new MAXIMILLION$ Statewide Linked Jackpot. The lucky winner recently moved into the area and is a new member of Sawtell RSL. They were visiting the club and decided to play MAXIMILLION$. Surprised club members were initially puzzled when the jackpot went off, however soon realised that one of their very own would be the first person to claim the MAXIMILLION$ top prize. “It took a while for the winner to realise, then there was a lot of shock and hugs.

Staff shook their hands and congratulated them, but they didn’t want to make a fuss,” said Steve McDonald, Gaming Manager of Sawtell RSL. Sawtell RSLs General Manager, Greg Agius added, “We are incredibly proud that the largest poker machine jackpot in Australian Club history has gone off for the first time in our small seaside Club. We congratulate the winners, and welcome everyone to experience our Club.” ABOUT MAXIMILLION$? As the exclusive supplier of Statewide Linked Jackpots for gaming machines in NSW, MAX is excited to be able to

offer the largest linked EGM jackpot to NSW Clubs. The new MAXIMILLION$ Mystery Jackpot game will offer a top jackpot prize of between $900,000 and $1 MILLION dollars! WHY MAXIMILLION$? • Largest linked EGM jackpot in Australian clubs •

Gamevision media platform with full high definition graphics

Media synchronised over multiple screens on Gamevision 3.0

$900,000 start-up with a maximum $1 million mystery jackpot

Greg Agius, General Manager and Steve McDonald, Gaming Manager of Sawtell RSL

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▼ REACH CUSTOMERS MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH ALVEO Alveo, the new customer marketing tool offered to Queensland and NT venues, allows clubs and pubs to take their customer marketing to the next level. From mass marketing to strategic targeting, Alveo lets you create and deliver email and SMS campaigns that integrate seamlessly with existing loyalty and customer programs. Previously, venues used MAXconnect to understand the value of the data and send targeted communication to increase visitation and revenue, through special offers, automated birthday messages, event promotions and more. Alveo was developed to replace MAXconnect and build upon its traditional offering in bigger and better ways, with greater insights into the preferences of different customer segments, so promotions can be tailored to meet their specific needs. Alveo Lite launched in January, with Essentials, Advanced and Ultimate to follow later in the year.

BIG PICTURE BREAKFAST Tuesday 5 February saw the fifth edition of Tabcorp Gaming Solutions’ Big Picture Breakfast, held in Collins Street Melbourne. This events series is designed to bring together industry professionals and showcase thought leadership and best-practice insights across the gaming and hospitality industries. Over 120 venue partners had the exclusive opportunity to hear from awardwinning interior designer, Shaynna Blaze, who discussed current and emerging trends in venue design, and Nikki Williams of Milk Bottle Projects, a PR and digital marketing agency specialising in the hospitality industry. The next Big Picture Breakfast will be held in Brisbane to coincide with the Keno Australasian Hospitality and Gaming Expo (27-28 March).


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A LAYOUT FOR SUCCESS There’s no doubt that a well-designed gaming room can be the key to a club’s success. Gerard Kinsella, MAX Project Manager, explains how to get the most out of your floor space.


hen Gerard Kinsella started as a gaming room designer with Tabcorp over 15 years ago he noticed that too many of the gaming floors relied on rows and rows of long, rectangular banks of games. “Gaming floors were filled with gaming machines, which offered little in way of customer comfort or product differentiation. Venues seemed to be filling up as much floor space as they could with as many gaming machines as possible,” he says. In Kinsella’s experience working in the Victorian market, the real shift in gaming floor layout design coincided with the State Government’s introduction of smoking regulations in gaming venues. Kinsella points out that while revenue took a huge hit during this time, the shifting around of the gaming floor was the launch point for a more modern approach to floor design and machine layout. “We were able to capitalise on

the additional space available and we took full advantage of it,” he says. “We started building greater player spaces, creating smaller banks of machines, using irregular banks of machines and utilising more end of bank options, as well as creating both private and communal spaces and designing maze-type layouts. All of which allowed the venues to not only maximise the customer experience but also meet performance targets with fewer machines.” A focus on maximising the customer experience has gone on to shape all future redesigns of Victorian gaming rooms. “Gaming floor design has evolved into what we call maze-type layouts, which use traffic paths and points of interest to encourage the customer to explore and participate in the gaming room experience,” says Kinsella. “The maze-type layout encourages the customer to explore the entire gaming room, while creating more of the intimate

areas preferred by many customers. It does this by using smaller banks of machines at perpendicular or irregular angles. “More recently, the concept of greater playing spaces has become the main focus when it comes to designing a gaming floor. Long gone are the days where customers would sit on stools facing long banks of machines, so close to their neighbour that their elbows would almost touch! Instead there are increased machine base widths, which allow for a comfortable distance between each stool. This not only creates greater comfort for the customer, but also gives them ease of access to and from the gaming stool. The extra space also allows two or more players to play one machine. Carousel banks (round banks of four to eight machines) have also made a resurgence for the same reasons, plus they bring a casino feel to the gaming floor.” ■

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What to consider when designing a gaming floor Gerard Kinsella’s first step is to identify the orientation of the gaming room, angles of walls and entrances, thus the traffic flows. With these traffic flows in mind he begins to design the floor to suit his main focuses, which are: ► defining the bank configuration in terms of line of sight, numbers of machines on banks, their orientation, amount of island banks, banks on walls, jackpot sign positions and POS opportunities ► identifying the product types that will be placed in these locations with particular focus on the types of machines, denomination mix and physical sizes and shapes of the machines, and ► creating a comfortable environment – as important as the design of the gaming machine layout is, the environment also needs to satisfy the customer. They need to be comfortable and feel like they are being looked after. Physical comfort is an important factor. If the customer is physically comfortable, there is more chance they will stay. The gaming room design should always provide: • comfortable seating, especially the stools • a comfortable level of lighting • good ventilation and climate control • privacy areas and communal areas • background music • ambient aromas filtered into the venue.


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DESIGN THINKING For innovation agency, G2 Innovation, using a mindset and tool set that promote a fresh approach will ultimately lead to the ideal solution.


hese days, every company is looking to improve their services or products and provide their customers with the best possible experience. But how do we approach problems that arise, solve them and achieve outstanding results? Andrew Jones, co-founder of G2 Innovation, works with all manner of companies, helping them identify and solve problems with an approach known as ‘design thinking’. Offering more than just a process, design thinking, or human-centred design, is a mindset, skill set and tool set that drives innovation, and allows organisations to dig deeper into what’s really going on for customers. “Its fundamental difference is that it focuses on falling in love with the problem and not the solution,” says Jones.

WHY IS IT SO EFFECTIVE? Traditional processes have always concentrated on finding a solution, a new product or service, and presenting that to the market. Design thinking, however, delves into the actual problem and its many challenges, gaining insight into how customers are reacting, and what they’re actually thinking and feeling. “By understanding that, and using human focus skills like empathy and ethnography, you ultimately create a better solution,” says Jones.

WHY NOW? According to Jones, design thinking is having a huge resurgence due to the fact that, driven by our industrial heritage, we still


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tend to approach innovation with traditional methodologies, which focus on quality, cost and delivery. Customers now have access to so much more information and we need to look further afield – and not just at our existing competitors, but also those in other industries or our ‘indirect competitors’. Plus, there are significant customer trends to consider, not driven by any one particular industry; for example, personalisation, trust or transparency. “Design thinking allows us to understand that we live in a highly integrated, complex, chaotic world where we’re getting access to and bombarded by stimuli, information and offerings all the time,” says Jones. “What is an exemplar experience in one industry needs to transcend into all industries.”

HOW DOES IT WORK? G2 Innovation offers workshops on design thinking, resetting the mindset towards innovation and problem solving by providing practical tools, broken down into four phases.

Discover This first stage involves really looking into the problems faced by your customers. “Once we start digging deeper and putting ourselves in their shoes, using empathy, then we start seeing things,” says Jones. Once the problem is identified, it can then be considered in a different light while moving into the more creative phase. “Most organisations jump straight to creativity, believing that innovation is about new ideas,” says Jones. “But the secret is falling in love with the problem, not your own ideas.”

Design Once you understand the problem and have gained greater insight, then ideas will come quickly. According to Jones, creativity is a skill set that can be taught, and involves taking that insight into your customers’ wants and needs and then looking for stimuli in other places, other trends and technologies, both here and overseas. “Take these as sparks and put the two together and there’s creativity,” says Jones. “Just like a jigsaw.”

Develop The development stage is about prototyping very quickly to gain further insight. Known as low fidelity prototyping, this is fast, basic and cheap, in order to get it out in front of people and continue the learning process. Any new idea can be prototyped, such as a menu option or payment system, and can be done economically in just a few hours. “The value is in the quality and type of data you get back – that’s the key,” says Jones. “You’re not worried if it doesn’t work because that’s a valuable piece of insight.” Naturally, many people experience fear of failure; however, for Jones, changing the mindset makes all the difference. “By having a mindset of discovery, then every discovery is a win,” he says. Low fidelity prototyping also means testing multiple solutions concurrently and comparing the differences, which puts you in better position for the final delivery stage.

Deliver This is a form of rollout, where you test the service or product more widely, and continue building and adapting on a far greater scale. And the beauty is that this flows straight

back to the first phase. “Some people just stop, whereas by adopting design thinking, our mindset is that we have built it, launched it and want to keep learning,” says Jones. “It goes back to the discovery of seeing problems, falling in love with them and making them better.” For Jones, this is how you build a culture of innovation within an organisation. “You’re in a better place; you’ve got all the insight and data for solutions with a higher chance of success.” Every organisation needs a strategy for innovation, which goes beyond brainstorming a few ideas. Design thinking provides a positive and inspiring approach to the ongoing journey of innovation, applicable for solving not only customerrelated problems, but also any issues within an organisation. “We’re all about delivering growth through innovation,” says Jones. “Not only that, but also growth on a human level, preparing people for the future world of work.” ■


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THE QUEST FOR LOYALTY Looking at the loyalty programs of these top performing brands may inform your approach to customers, brand and product.


n the last two decades, customer loyalty has been redefined. A range of factors including online shopping – which opens them up to choice and gives customers the power to compare products and pricing – and social media, which lets customers call out unsatisfactory practice and hold businesses to account for their behaviour, has ushered in an economy where the consumer is in control. As their options and power increases, many are quick to shift brand choices, prompting some business commentators to declare the death of brand loyalty. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest loyalty remains alive and well; however, it is just a little harder to secure in increasingly competitive markets. To help us rethink our definition of patron loyalty, let’s take a look into other industries where loyalty programs, both classic and innovative, are securing longterm business from long-term customers.

1. COLES FLYBUYS – TRIED AND TRUE The supermarket giant repeatedly makes it to number one spot in ‘For Love or Money’, an annual study by customer loyalty consultancy The Point of Loyalty, which asks consumers to list ‘loyalty programs doing a very good job’ in their opinion. Users gain points every time they shop at Coles, which, once accrued, can be spent on household items, tickets and retreats, grocery or gift vouchers. flybuys points can be used and accrued at a range of partner companies like Kmart, Target, Adidas and eBay, making the loyalty program a powerful one in terms of reach.

2. GENERAL MOTORS ONSTAR (US) – ALWAYS ON HAND OnStar is an in-car paid subscription service

connecting GM drivers with a network of advisers and capabilities designed to provide customer service in real time. Add to this app capabilities like remote start, remote locking and unlocking, and driver recognition. Customers can check their fuel levels, oil, tyre pressure and more via the app, which is in turn connected to OnStar’s advisers. OnStar’s live advisers can be called directly from the car in cases when assistance is required. The solution enables GM to provide excellent customer service beyond the point of sale, and adds a revenue stream to the business. As fewer people own cars and fewer still remain loyal to one brand as they upgrade throughout their lives, OnStar helps GM realise its new approach to loyalty, which is maximising its ‘share of miles per lifetime’ of a customer, as opposed to the number of cars purchased.

3. PATAGONIA – TRUE LONGEVITY While not a loyalty program per se, Patagonia’s famous Worn Wear Wagon repair program enables the brand to live by its ‘lifetime guarantee’ values and maintain loving customers for years. The Wagon traverses the country, repairing the clothes of delighted customers, delivering extra value for their old purchases. Further adding to the

123RF's Jordan Tan ©

value and encouraging a new wave of customers, the Wagon has been a publicity hit, as TV news media has covered the campaign and consumers have shared the message – both posting shots of the Wagon repairing their clothes and also bringing their previous photos of happy memories spent in the great outdoors throughout the years wearing the outdoor clothing brand. Today, it’s evident that another way to secure consumers’ hard-earned funds is to give them a way to support causes they believe in through your product. Patagonia’s a great place to start if you’re looking for inspiration in this department.

4. NETFLIX – DEEP UNDERSTANDING Netflix is a fine example of a brand that uses the latest in technology to understand its customers and drive loyalty. By logging and tracking their viewing behaviour Netflix is able to offer an automated, sharply-curated range of program suggestions to viewers, minimising the need for users to switch off or return to TV, DVDs or the internet for their entertainment. Customers are hooked and Netflix’s stocks are growing.

5. QANTAS – BEYOND THE TARMAC For Qantas, a loyalty program has enabled the company to spread its product further into the lives of members. Its frequent flyer points program has partnered with a range of accommodation, hire car and experience vendors, retaining customer business in its network after they step off the aeroplane. Beyond travel, the loyalty program also includes banking, Qantas Money financial services, shopping and retail options, food and wine programs and even insurance. ■


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Take your customer marketing to the next level Drive results with powerful, effective customer communication. From mass marketing to strategic targeting, Alveo lets you engage with your most valuable customers and deliver SMS and email campaigns that integrate seamlessly with your loyalty and customer programs.



Learn and respond with enhanced campaign reporting

Drive visitation and improve ROI with smarter, targeted rewards



Achieve greater reach with multichannel campaigns

Target valuable customers with advance behavioural segmentation

To find out more information, visit: Northern Territory: Queensland:

Initially only available for QLD and NT venues with MAX loyalty. Currently Alveo Lite and Alveo Essentials are available. To view full T&Cs, visit Š 2019 Maxgaming. A Tabcorp Holdings Limited company. All rights reserved.

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CLAYTON RSL GETS REAL The famous Claytons non-alcoholic beverage may have been ‘the drink you have when you’re not having a drink’, but Clayton RSL found that a makeover and refurbishment has made it absolutely the real deal.


s times – and gaming legislation – change, the need for a more dynamic approach to venue layout and design becomes essential. For gaming venues, upgrades require more than just a talented architect and some tweaks to interior design. This is where MAX's Venue Design Services has become invaluable to many clubs, including Clayton RSL, which has recently completed a major transformation of its venue. “The project started in 2015 when, like any club, we were going through some major issues with gaming machines,” explains General Manager Gary Molloy. “We were reaching contract ends and the venue was looking very tired, with the last renovations dating back to 1996.” The first step for the club was to get advice from its accountants, and determine the long-term survival of the club in its current state. After assessing debt levels and cash flow, the club management team then sketched out what they thought could be done with their available resources and approached an architect to help bring this vision to life. This marked the start of a challenging time for the club, with external contractors struggling to implement the club’s vision and the specific needs of the venue. Further challenges were ahead too, with the Victorian Government removing nine level crossings and replacing the ground level Cranbourne Pakenham line with a $1.6 billion section of elevated track. The impact of this on the club was to be considerable,

with the train line in front of the club and major works to take place right outside its door. According to Molloy though, what could have been seen as disastrous for business turned out to be quite the opposite. “Construction started in November 2016 and was completed in November 2018. During that two-year period we had limited road access to the club, so it gave us more time to review processes.” This caused management to take a step back from the project to try to continue to trade and to re-evaluate their plans. In doing so, they noticed a shift in how the club was being used and by whom. “The closures started to highlight a lot of different areas for us, as we were now attracting more foot traffic and guests from different geographic locations,” says Molloy. The RSL (Returned and Services League) was committed to the floor plan that had been put in place from the beginning and knew that things weren’t going well with the team of architects and planners. It was around this time that Molloy met Angela Bambino, MAX's Venue Design Manager, Gaming at a contractor seminar. “We invited Angela’s team in to discuss our ideas and they concurred with our original views for change,” says Molloy. “By sharing our plans, everything shifted. They could apply their expertise and knowledge about gaming venues to the design.” The club has 1800 square metres of floor space and was previously divided by four main rooms. The focus was on gaming and,

L to R: John Saunders (Committee Secretary), Gary Molloy (General Manager)

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because of where things were positioned, the club was not user friendly for all of its guests. Bambino and her team were able to apply their expertise in venue design and gaming room layouts to dramatically improve the overall user experience of the club. The bulk of the work was completed in December 2018, with the new design including a central bar and bistro area, plus a 200-seat function space with a new upto-date bar. Equipment and fridges were upgraded and all the key drivers to the business are now in spaces that improve efficiency, make the venue more userfriendly and allow staff better navigation through the venue. Where previously guests had restricted access to family friendly zones such as the bistro or the function rooms, now the gaming zone and the sports bar have been moved away from the front entrance to the rear of the building and there are two entrance areas to the club, which also makes things easier for elderly guests or those with limited mobility. “The team from MAX were able to apply expertise to make sure we transformed in practical and sustainable ways. It was a whole of venue transformation, not just focusing on gaming. The layout is now more focused towards a whole venue experience for all of the community. It gives us open scope for what we want to achieve over the next 15 years and beyond.” ■


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INFORMING CHOICE State of Play talks to Nadine Grinblat and Peter Burnett of the Australasian Gaming Council, who say the best way to reduce the risk of problem gambling and minimise harm is for stakeholders to work collaboratively, listen and learn from each other and build on the positives.


nlike across the pond in New Zealand, where a national picture of gambling research and statistics is more readily available, Australia takes a state/territory approach to gambling regulation and the collection of data. A number of figures are published at state and territory level and collated nationally, while other reports may be the product of national, state and territory or academic research and reviews. Some state-to-state differences in regulation and regulatory requirements also exist. Navigating the results can be a bit tricky when seeking to provide up-to-date national figures. A Productivity Commission report in 2010* estimated that around 12 percent of Australian adults gamble weekly or more on a variety of gambling forms, with the prevalence of problem gambling within that group averaging around eight percent. Many Australians gamble less frequently and, in the period since 2010, most state and territory reports generally show declines in gambling participation rates, with the exception of sports betting. Nationally, problem gamblers make up less than one percent of the adult population at large with the most state and territory reports now showing figures between 0.5 and 0.8 percent.

Nadine Grinblat, chief executive of the Australasian Gaming Council (AGC), the national industry body aimed at supporting a socially responsible and sustainable gaming industry, says it’s important to look beyond that number alone. “Research and policy-makers are increasingly discussing harm and those at risk, not just those with an experience of problems at the pointy end of the scale,” she says. “That’s why responsible gambling and customer care is important across the whole spectrum of gambling activity. We don’t want people to progress along the scale from heathy play to problems. Responsible gambling requires a multi-stakeholder approach focussed on prevention, harm minimisation and safety net measures.” This three-pronged approach starts with education for consumers, providing information that assists in making informed choices. It underlines the importance of skills such as learning to set a budget and personal limit on gambling expenditure, dispelling myths and superstitions about gambling and reinforcing the crucial understanding that gambling is not about making money – it’s about recreation, leisure activity and discretionary expenditure. The AGC also works with industry leaders to address harm minimisation

efforts. This is a very broad area, ranging from legislative measures to responsible gambling codes of practice, to how best to interact with customers and provide them with information and assistance in venue or online. Lastly, there are safety measures for those experiencing problems, including self-exclusion initiatives, and referrals to counselling and treatment. “At the AGC we look at research, policy, regulation, industry practices and activity across all three key areas,” Grinblat says. “Our role is to assist. We’re here to help – with responsible gambling support and information for industry and, through our website, to the public.” That support includes a resourcerich website that helps to boil down all those disparate resources, reducing large reports to more accessible summaries and navigating interstate reporting with varying parameters to better communicate findings. There are plans afoot for a more simplified portal to be delivered, hopefully by the end of the year. “Our current website is now chock-ablock, because gambling research here and internationally is constantly evolving and growing, and our goal is to get that vast amount of information down to more readily

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Nadine Grinblat and Peter Burnett


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| FEATURE | digestible portions and introduce some great new resources and consumer tools,” Grinblat says. “It’s no small feat, keeping on top of all this information, but it’s worth it to best guide our members and consumers using the public resources on the site through all that is available.”

EDUCATION FIRST Education for consumers and young people is a key interest area with the AGC website providing links to invaluable programs produced by the states and territories. “We promote their availability on our website so that information, resources and assistance programs from various sites can be picked up by industry, by consumers, by schools and by the broader public. AGC publications and resources include our ‘Guide to Australasia’s Gambling Industries’ and a ‘Guide to Education Resources for Teachers

and Parents’ that provides an overview of education programs available for young people, as well as cyber-safety education resources available for parents with regard to online gambling,” she adds. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution when providing information to the public. “We really need to look carefully at the messages and mediums that resonate most with the way consumers want to be informed today,” says Grinblat. “We’ve seen a lot of progress in the work of the state-funded responsible gambling bodies. There’s movement towards messaging on social platforms and using differing messaging techniques to reach different audiences. Instead of making messaging all about problem gambling – and sometimes quite dark, it’s also about making sure that we cover off on messages to those segments of the market who are not experiencing problems. These

consumers may not reflect on a problem gambling warning message – they may not see it as personally applicable – but they may benefit from some useful information about understanding and implementing limit setting or how to adopt more responsible gambling practices. We also need to reach out even more with messaging to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.” The resources available and conversations about responsible gambling continue to grow. “The gambling studies field is still relatively young, but there’s a lot of good information and information products there. A part of our role is to assist the industry in knowing what research is saying, seeing perhaps what members could take from it to implement in their responsible gambling programs, or achieving a better understanding of particular community concerns members may want to address within their responsible gambling programs.” That involves constant conversation with member groups, meeting with regulatory and policy bodies, as well as learning from conferences and participating in responsible gambling stakeholder and advisory groups. “While there’s a lot of communication now, we would like even more. We want responsible gambling to be understood as a really positive part of the industry’s role.” A lack of longitudinal and evaluative studies can make it harder to assess the success of the multi-stakeholder approach to harm minimisation and prevention. “That is one of the challenges we face,” Grinblat notes. “It’s not just about what is being done. It’s also querying whether it works or if initiatives are working in the way anticipated. So, while the approach to responsible gambling is, in many ways, incredibly advanced in Australia – and that has been achieved in concert with governments, regulators and policy-makers – it is very much about how much more is still to be done, what are the new challenges and how can we, at the AGC, best assist?” One of the key strengths of the AGC, Grinblat argues, is that its board of directors draws on some of the brightest minds at the forefront of the industry’s innovations, including key leaders from Tabcorp, the ALH Group, The Australian Hotels’ Association,

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Aristocrat Leisure, the Gaming Technologies Association, The Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts. “We have the people from the top of the tree as our board, which is totally amazing, because it communicates that this commitment to responsible gambling starts from the top and has the support of corporate leaders.” There is a valuable strength in having this broad representation at Board level, adds the AGC’s Chairman Peter Burnett. “Despite leading differing sectors, when it comes to responsible gambling there is benefit in mutual learning, broad discussion and a collective approach to harm minimisation,” he says. “It makes sense to work together in undertaking research on the wider issues, participating in responsible gambling discussions, gathering statistics and data and assembling national information so when questionable statements are made about gambling (as they sometimes are) we can respond with facts about our industry.” Rather than focusing purely on addressing the negative impacts of gambling, another key plank of the AGC’s work is to communicate the positive role the industry plays in many areas. “The charitable donations the industry makes, the taxation and employment contributions, the opportunities for staff and the industry’s commitment to advancing diversity and sustainability – these are the things that sometimes go less mentioned in discussions of gambling,” Grinblat says.

COMMUNICATING THE BENEFITS Ultimately, successfully communicating both the societal benefits provided by key industry players and identifying bestpractice approaches to prevention harm minimisation and customer assistance is in the best interests of everyone involved, she adds. “I believe a commitment to socially aware sustainability does bode well for a really positive future and industry growth, but it’s a matter also of getting that message out to the whole community. It’s more than a mantra; it’s about action and furthering a responsible, whole of industry culture.” A strong customer focus centred on consumer well-being and supporting healthy gambling behaviours builds community

trust, Grinblat suggests, and it filters through to employees who also benefit considerably from a safe and supportive environment, increasing productivity and staff loyalty, encouraging ‘above and beyond’ responses from employees. Proud to head up an industry-led body that holds strong communication, education and the provision of responsible gambling as core values, and bringing with her a great appreciation for customer-focused solutions, Grinblat says impeccable customer service is at the heart of responsible gambling. “At the heart of it it’s all about understanding and anticipating customer needs – when customers are having a great time, and also when they’re not,” she says. “It’s one of the simplest things to appreciate, but it holds significant challenges as well.” It’s a goal worth working towards, and an industry worth championing, Grinblat suggests. “The gambling and hospitality industries employ thousands of people of all ages, experience and cultures. They also give many young people a start in their careers, providing jobs, training and opportunities for progression and development. That’s reflected in my own experience. My industry career began as a casual casino gaming machine attendant while I was at university. That first job led me to opportunities in

management, to responsible gambling and to this role.” Burnett agrees that a key part of the AGC’s work is in presenting both sides of the story. “We want to remind our customers and staff that the picture is not all negative,” he says. “It’s also important to celebrate the positive role we play, the hospitality we provide and the enjoyment experienced by that vast majority of our customers who gamble within budget and have fun.” It’s all part of the same story, as Grinblat sees it. “To me, responsible gambling is a big part of being proud of the industry in which I work. It’s really inspiring to hear industry leaders say, ‘What more can we do?’ We want to look at the research, at where new ideas may take us and we want to make the experience better for our customers and better for us as a business.” The efforts made to date in responsible gaming are paying off, says Burnett. “There are many measures in place as well as significant advances made in responsible service training for staff - in both wagering and gaming. The commitment made to customer care by the industry is enormous, and something to be proud of,” he concludes. ■

* Productivity Commission 2010, Gambling, report no 50, Canberra. See au/inquiries/completed/gambling-2010/report.


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TOUCH POINTS – FROM ROUTES TO ROOTS Gone are the days of the ‘customer journey wallpaper’; touch points of today must be understood simultaneously as branding tools and vehicles of experience.


nfortunately, things are not nearly as easy as they used to be. Cast your mind back to merely 10 years ago, touch points were understood only as passive, predetermined steps in a linear path to purchase. Not only has this model proven ineffective, marketers have also come to understand that it is impossible to generalise a single customer journey over an entire category and that touch points provide far more in the way of building a metric referred to as ‘brand love’. First of all, the customer journey is no longer a straight, lone road. In many ways, the customer has changed their approach to buying – where they buy, how they buy and why they buy. A ‘Customer Journey Road’ now includes filter lanes, late and unexpected exits, roundabouts and back alleys – all of which businesses and venues need to be equipped for. The service industry must therefore turn its attention to caring for the customer’s entire experience, at the risk of leaving individuals untethered from the brand while technically along the purchase journey. Second, touch points are not only nudges to further a customer down a silo, but can help develop a customer’s affinity and loyalty for a brand. Taking an experience-first approach – where touch points represent moments of business/ customer interaction – a touch point’s purpose can be measured along two axes: building customer experience (CX) and building brand.

BUILDING CX The benefit of adopting an experiencefirst approach largely arrives through the business being able to define and plan its interactions with the customer – be it in or outside of the venue. A good start for this is to know your customer inside and out, gain an understanding of how and why your customer chooses your brand, then develop an idea of what it’s like to be a customer of your brand. Critically, stay away from the one-way flow chart, it is hardly ever flexible enough and limits your understanding of the customer’s brand experience. Instead, break the customer journey down into decision gateways. Branching the customer journey like the roots of a tree helps illustrate the myriad potential routes each of your customers may take and ensures that you have designed their experience with the brand to be as smooth as possible – identifying the touch points customers use when moving from one decision gateway to another.

STAY ON YOUR TOES Though rigid, unidirectional internal processes may be the easiest to design, they are also a good way to risk alienating your customer. Brands of 2019 must realise that apart from customer journeys being decentralised, the best ones are also selfassembled. Freeing touch points from internally categorised silos allows customers an undisturbed and seamless experience with the brand. This means the unburdening

123RF's Marina Putilova ©

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touch points from narrow remits – CX touch points, shopper touch points and brand touch points – and building the foundation to a dynamic brand experience. Be prepared to do some listening and tweaking as customers feel out the breadth and extent of your new plan.

BUILDING BRAND Your brand is the story you’re trying to sell a customer. The reality is: price is, and always will be, the defining characteristic that differentiates homogenous businesses. The second and more workable frontier,

therefore, is how invested a customer is in your business’ identity – your brand. Touch points play a significant role in shaping your customer’s perception of brand, they are the instances of connection and conversation between you and your customer. Touch points across your business should be consistent, they should convey branding clearly and they should be memorable. Entering the building, sitting at a table, ordering food – these are the ways that your brand speaks, and it is of crucial importance that you control how your brand comes off at every point of the conversation. Developing healthy branding contributes to your customer’s likelihood of returning; recommendations to friends, family and online; and cultivating a long-term relationship with your business. ■

This abstract reframing of the customer journey is all well and good, but here’s what you can do in practical terms: • develop a customer profile • develop a comprehensive customer journey for your business – from discovery to post-purchase • identify the touch points along the customer journey • social media, website, TV advert, entering the venue, coin collection, interactions with bar staff, visiting the restroom, interaction with machine, leaving the venue – any interaction that may be viewed as a reflection on your brand or contributes to your customer’s experience • re-evaluate, consolidate and update touch points that hinder the customer journey or reflect poorly on your brand • measure which touch points are contributing most to building customer experience and brand perception, and • listen to responses and optimise accordingly.


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THE YOUNG ONES Hospitality venues are obviously attractive to young people, but how do you draw them behind the bar and keep them there? We speak to three young industry leaders about the realities and rewards on offer.


om Coulthard, 31, picked up a lot of real world experience while travelling Europe, the UK and Canada in his early twenties. “I’d saved up a good bit of money working on a factory line, but I soon learned that it doesn’t last too long overseas if you’re not responsible with it,” he chuckles. “I developed a lot of my communication skills on that trip, finding accommodation and working along the way.” Now the Gaming and Loyalty Operations Manager of the Wyong Rugby League Club Group on the Central Coast, Coulthard joined the business as a glassie at 23. Interacting with multiple departments including food and beverage, gaming, marketing, functions and events gave him a great start. “Even as a glassie, I saw so much opportunity for my own personal and professional development. There was always something to work towards, keeping me challenged.” The trust placed in him and the opportunities made available have only strengthened his resolve to keep on improving every aspect of the business. “Being given real accountability early on made me feel valued in such a way that I wanted to prove myself, to make my mark, from building new roles to introducing service initiatives, delivering game implementation and design of promotions,” he says. “My food and beverage offsider and I both worked from the ground up and we’re testament to the fact that if you work hard and dedicate yourself, you can really progress in this industry.”

Tom Coulthard

PASSION FOR PERFECTION Kat Jackson, 31, should know. She started out with McDonald’s as a teenager and still draws on many of the same skills as Venue Manager of The Club in Caroline Springs, Melbourne. “There was so much integrity around the training. Just the detail they went to, the shadowing, and it gave me such a strong platform.” The immediacy of venue management is one of its biggest appeals to a young recruit, she suggests. “You actually get to see tangible results every day, pulling whatever levers you need, whether that be maintenance, refining the business presentation or servicing customers. There

are so many moving components that are unique and it gives you so much variety.” A perfectionist who wants to see all in-venue marketing up-to-date, every light bulb working and no bins in sight, Jackson also worked overseas for several years, intending to join the police force on her return, but she was too enamoured by the hospitality industry to leave. Recently joining the team, she’s flattered that she has been warmly embraced by the existing crew. At the end of the day, for all the complexities of the role, the goal is simple, she argues. “Hospitality is definitely a passion job. With so many costs and moving parts in operating a business of our size, we need to stay focused on delivering the basics of hospitality and remember why we are here. “Our challenge is finding time to invest in the people. With a strong focus on wage control in our industry, we as managers cannot sacrifice the investment in our people. I see the industry struggling for good hospitality knowledgeable leaders; I make a conscious effort to be the manager that I always wanted. I believe this leads to retention of good people.”

‘WE MADE IT!’ Michael Sammut, 35, is Assistant Gaming Manager for Castle Hill RSL group’s three venues. He also worked overseas before taking up a finance role at Sydney’s Star Casino, aged 20. “I very quickly learned that any business that has the sort of extended operating hours that a 24/7 casino does is

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Kat Jackson


Michael Sammut

unique in the number of moving parts, the customer facing aspects. It’s very exciting.” No two days are the same at Castle Hill, he says. Keeping him on his toes, the ability to deal with whatever may come is part of the appeal for a young person with ambition, Sammut suggests. “Like a duck on water, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than it might appear from a customer perspective, and that’s the exciting part. We have 354 gaming machines and it takes a lot of skill to be able to service those as well as the customers’ requests, solving whatever problems might arise as quickly as possible.” That includes transformers overloading in baking summer heat, or trees bringing down power lines during the recent Boxing Day storm, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “The industry itself is extremely welcoming and very social. The team you work with ends up being like a second family. You’re put through your paces every single shift and there’s rarely any downtime, but at the end of the day you can say, ‘yes, we made it, good work everyone and see you again tomorrow’. It’s so rewarding.” The sky’s the limit, too, Sammut notes, pointing to Bankstown Sports Club’s Mark Condi. “He started out as a glassie on the gaming floor and 30 years later he’s the CEO, same with Don Meij at Domino’s Pizza, who started out as a delivery guy. It’s one of those industries where you can be rewarded with the very top position if you dedicate yourself to the career.” ■


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NEW TOOLS TO GROW KENO IN 2019 If your venue is looking for fresh ways to catapult Keno sales in 2019, a raft of trade improvements means there’s never been a better time to boost its turnover.


his is the year to grow Keno, as 2019 is certainly shaping up to be the easiest and most rewarding time to take things up a level. Four years on from the launch of the Keno Champions League website in 2015, Keno has invested significantly in improving its online trade site and reward program, now rebadged Keno Connect, and there are some real gems to be uncovered. As part of the revamp, the site houses some very practical sales and marketing tools that will support venues to increase Keno sales and enhance the way customers interact with the game as part of their overall in-venue experience. The standout of these is a customisable promotions solution that enables venues to build their own promotions – including choosing the prize – and schedule them whenever it suits. The Champions League trade incentive program has also been significantly bolstered to reward a greater number of venues than ever before with more enticing prizes, over a longer period (the first reward season started on 19 January and runs until 29 June).

TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF “Our aim is simple: we want to encourage venues and their staff to engage more deeply with the product to increase turnover,” explains Keno’s General Manager Terry Fowler. “The best way to inspire and assist our venue partners to achieve stronger turnover

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Keno Connect is a one-stop shop that supports delivery of best practice marketing.


is to give them more practical tools to lift and monitor their sales, and to incentivise them to do so,” Fowler says. “When venues equip their teams to sell the product through training and information sharing, and engage consistently in marketing and promotions activities, there’s strong evidence it leads to increased ticket sales and revenue for them.”

GIVING THE POWER OF CHOICE Perhaps the most exciting of Keno’s new tools is its Local Area Marketing solution, which empowers venues to customise and determine which promotions they want to run and when, providing better overall value. Venues are essentially able to ‘build their own’ promos, including selecting the prizes, entry mechanic, promotion dates, and point of sale items and print quantities, which they can even co-brand with their own logo. Importantly, this innovative tool gives venues the ability to plan ahead and slot in Keno promotions to fill promo calendar gaps. Programming flexibility has the flipside benefit of creating less conflict with other supplier promos.

The rebooted Keno Champions League is about rewarding venues that go the extra mile. Registrations are still open and venues can join at any time throughout the season (19 January to 29 June) and start earning Keno Champions League (KCL) Dollars. Leagues have been established in New South Wales grouping venues together based on turnover, with the top 20 ranked venues in each division able to earn KCL Dollars according to their rank position. “KCL will put venues on a level playing field, and reward those that achieve a pre-set qualifying activity during each period, not just reach turnover target,” says Keno’s Trade Marketing Manager, Jonathan Kendrick, who has worked to develop the new reward program. “Venues that score a top 20 position on the Leaderboard and qualify by undertaking the marketing prerequisite, will all earn KCL Dollars that accumulate and can be spent at any time in the Keno Connect rewards shop.” The new program has some fun aspects, including a Jackpot up for


grabs to venues that do the marketing qualifier, as well as Replay and Bonus wildcard activations.

CREATING A CONNECTION Keno’s trade-facing site has been renamed Keno Connect to reflect its repurposing as a one-stop shop that enables venues to track their Keno sales and deliver best practice marketing activities. It now offers venues even greater ability to monitor their progress against sales targets. The site has a fresh look, but the upgrades aren’t just skin deep insists Kendrick. “It’s a vital business tool for venues that their people can use every day.” Functionality improvements include a latest news ‘snapshot’ on the Home page, capacity to record greater information in My Venue, and enhanced Sales Tracking features. These include new graphs, ability to compare current month and previous month sales, and obtain year on year dollar sales and ticket sales, which can be categorised by product, week and month. The Keno Toolkit still contains the latest marketing material, but has a new search function and offers the ability to preview the most recently loaded and most popular materials. New simple navigation to the Toolkit is through a comprehensive Document Centre, containing training resources, forms, legal and regulatory information, plus Responsible Gambling and Compliance information. ■

For more information on the new trade tools and to register for the Keno Champions League reward program visit


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THE IMPORTANCE OF BECOMING A TRULY CUSTOMER-LED BUSINESS What’s best for the customer is best for business… understanding and engaging your customers is vital for your venue to grow and thrive. Tabcorp’s Insights and Research Manager Georgina Puli reveals why.

“There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman, down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”– Sam Walton (Walmart founder)


ccording to Georgina Puli, Insights and Research Manager for Tabcorp, successful companies are placing greater emphasis on providing a positive customer experience. Improving customer satisfaction needs to start by understanding the whole customer journey, and customer needs at different points. It has been shown companies ranked as customer experience leaders by the Forrester global customer experience index significantly outperform laggards. 1 To lead in delivering a successful customer experience, it is vital to understand who your customer is, how they interact with your venue products and services, and what delights and frustrates them. It is also critical to understand what motivates them to visit your venue and how you can best meet their varied needs and motivations. When dealing with your customers, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. They

all have their own reasons for visiting your venue or using your products or services. Many businesses develop a customer framework or segmentation based on people’s different underlying needs and motivations. It is a powerful approach that helps in developing products or services that truly meet individual needs and desires. Once the motivational segments are developed, they are overlaid with the behaviour and value of the customers to create a holistic view. Understanding the size of each segment, their value and, importantly, their motivations allows you to


clearly set your business priorities and tailor marketing activities. In 2017 Tabcorp developed a comprehensive customer segmentation (enlisting the help of its research partner The Nature). The research comprised a significant period of consultation with close to 9000 customers, with Tabcorp spending over 120 hours interviewing them to understand their involvement in gaming and other gambling-based activities. Nine distinct high-level customer segments, defined by their different motivations, were identified in the findings. “We set out to deeply understand what the key motivations were in the category we defined as ‘activities that allow you to win or lose money.” The results have now formed a customer framework we apply across all our businesses (e.g. Wagering, Media, Lotteries, Keno and Gaming). To capitalise on this framework and as part of their solution model, MAX has begun offering Customer Experience surveys as a value-add service. This will enable venues to engage with their member base, and gauge insights on the holistic customer experience, as well as benchmark their performance against the existing customer network. These Customer Experience surveys will help venue operators

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understand what their patrons think and feel at every individual touch point in and around the venue. As part of these surveys, Puli applies Tabcorp's segmentation to help individual venues understand the types of patron they are attracting. These insights will help to: • provide a view of customers that venues attract today • manage services or product plans to best meet customer needs to retain and grow the customer base • deliver more personalised CRM offers and communications • better tailor marketing messages, and

• identify prospective customer segments that may be potential sources of growth. Gaining such detailed information about their customers and what motivates them makes it easier for venues to find ways to attract and keep them. Such feedback provides venues important information about how they may need to modify or adapt their product and service offering to encourage customers to visit more often and/or increase the money spent during each visit. Getting to know their clientele, their tastes and interests, will help venues drive business performance and increase customer satisfaction. For

example, as well as catering to the electronic gaming machine (EGM) market, venues must understand their overall customer experience to ensure they are not focusing on one area at the exclusion of another high value segment. Venues may, for example, need to create different dining and entertainment options to appeal to this sector of the market. Understanding your customer is the way to shape the future of your venues and gaming. ■

Global Customer Experience Trends, 2017. 13 June 2017, l+Customer+Experience+Trends+2017/-/ERES136422 1


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BOTTOMS UP Mia Lloyd from Thirsty Camel, and GM at United Inn-Keeper Association, recently spoke to Tabcorp about 2019’s alcohol trends. Here she offers her hints, tips and industry insights to make sure this year is your best yet.


e’re all as guilty as the next person for following fashion trends (70s flares or 90s neon, anyone?) but what about following the latest trend when it comes to ordering that favourite tipple? Turns out, much like everything else, alcohol follows the hip crowd when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not. It’s why, if you’re going to thrive in 2019, it’s important to ensure your venue’s product mix is just right. Luckily Mia Lloyd knows just what’s making waves in the industry. “There are a number of consumer trends we’re seeing come through for 2019. The first being a continued move towards moderation where alcohol is concerned. This has come from consumers being more aware of their overall health and the effect alcohol can have on personal wellness,” she says. “Lighter styles of alcohol and the emergence of what we call LoNo (low alcohol/carbs, no alcohol/gluten/sugar) beer, wines and spirits are increasing in popularity due to consumer demand and show no sign of slowing down. Brands such as Great Northern, Smirnoff Pure and ‘Zero’ formats of ready to drink brands such as Canadian Club are leading the charge in this space and meeting the need of refreshment while they are at it. “The other big trend is tied in with the rise of Australia’s culinary culture, due to the popularity of shows such as MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. Across the country

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more and more people are embracing going out for breakfast, lunch or dinner as an experience rather than a way to simply grab a bite to eat. It’s turned dining out into the time when people are consuming the most alcohol and it’s becoming more common to kick off your Sunday brunch with breakfast cocktails such as Bloody Mary and Prosecco Spritz before your soy cappuccino. “Another trend, which shows no sign of stopping, is that of the local, boutique brands with real and authentic stories to tell devoid of hype. This current generation of consumers can see right through disingenuous marketing, can spot ‘spin’ from a mile away and are always on the lookout for products with a story that aligns to their own personal narrative, values and beliefs,” Lloyd says. “Local craft beer brands and artisan spirits continue to grow faster than the big brands, albeit off a smaller base, and are winning the hearts and minds of shoppers and consumers due to championing authenticity and provenance.” International brands continue to drive growth, with Japanese brands leading the way in growth across beer and spirits categories – it has never been cooler to jump on board anything from the Land of the Rising Sun. The moral to the story? Ensure the back bar, fridges and taps have the big brands to drive category navigation, as well as a balance of both local/independent and imported brands to drive engagement and discovery. The same could be said for wine, although, with Millennial focused brands and canned wine on the rise, 2019 is going to be the time to break those shackles of convention. “The interesting thing with wine is that five varietals – rosé, shiraz, pinot noir, Prosecco and pinot gris/grigio – account for just 23 percent of annual sales, but 102 percent share of dollar growth,” says Lloyd. “The next 12 months will still be all about rosé and Prosecco, so it’s imperative that these feature in wine lists, but sneaking up behind will be this continued experimentation with wine in pack formats, as well as the emerging trend for biodynamic and organic wine.”

With beer and wine covered, what about spirits? Well, Lloyd suggests staying focused on tried and tested favourites. “Light spirits such as gin, vodka and tequila continue to be the big ones to watch, particularly gin which has had a year-on-year growth of 22 percent,” she explains. “When it comes to spirits, something that was interesting to notice was the rise in popularity of the aspirational product. Over $61 million was added in annual sales from brands priced between $75 and $150 a litre. How this could translate to the venue space? Well, if your consumer is the right demographic, don’t be afraid of making something a little bit more expensive available. Aside from this, the serve is still key. The old days of a standard G&T with a slice of lemon are gone. Gin served in a wine glass with top quality tonic and garnishes such as berries and herbs can now command a premium price point. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget to have an Aperol Spritz somewhere on your drinks menu – it’s certainly cemented its global status as the go-to summertime refresher!” ■

Five ways to stay on trend 1. Widen the range of beers in your fridges to include local craft beer as well as imported brands. 2. While it may seem mind-blowing to a traditionalist, perhaps 2019 is the time to branch out a little bit and experiment with serving wine in, dare we say it, a can. Perfect for beer gardens and where glass is not permitted. 3. Think about how you can lengthen the dining experience. Start with giving your menu an update, and how about offering a beer pairing option as well as wine matching? It’s all the rage. 4. Stock up with ready mixed drinks with a low sugar content and high refreshment cues. 5. Learn how to make an Aperol Spritz.


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THE MIDDLE RISES If there’s one thing we know for sure it’s that the Australian food scene is ever changing and evolving. Whatever the crowds were eating last month, it’ll be something completely different next. It takes a chef like Shane Delia to stay ahead of the pack.


he key to pleasing customer tastes in the current food and beverage space is being flexible, adaptable and quick to amend offerings when necessary. Shane Delia is someone who knows all about this. He specialises in Middle Eastern food, but with that cuisine in mind he has tried different approaches and methods of offering it to his clientele, opening and closing restaurants and outlets with alacrity in order to respond to changing market needs. The highly esteemed chef and restaurateur is best known for his signature restaurant Maha in Melbourne’s CBD, but in the last year he tried out seven different outlets of his Biggie Smalls kebab chain. They were all virtual kitchens created to cater to the meteoric rise of home delivery platforms like Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Foodora. The timing wasn’t quite right, says Delia. “We pride ourselves on staying ahead of the game. We thought we’d try a concept that we saw some legs in. It did work, but for me it’s about return on effort, and I just thought for the amount of effort we were putting in, the actual profit margin was quite small.” So for now he’s concentrating on his main Biggie Smalls outlet, which he categorises as a “fast casual premium quick service restaurant” and his flagship, Maha. It is Maha that has really capitalised on the growing taste for Middle Eastern food and is at the forefront of this popular new dining

trend. But what is it about Middle Eastern cuisine that is causing its popularity to grow? And why has it taken so long for the word to get out? “Obviously, you can use the stereotypical responses and say, ‘Australia’s a melting pot of cultures, and we’re all looking for exciting new ways to experience food’,” says Delia, “but I think the reality is that Middle Eastern food could be, and probably should be, one of the most popular cuisines in Australia.” He believes the reason it hasn’t been up until now has much to do with stereotypical views of what the cuisine actually is. “There's no doubt that Asian flavours are massive in Australia, but the reason they are is because they’re exciting. There’s spice, there’s sweetness, there’s vinegar, there’s texture, and all those things create


a beautiful cuisine. Middle Eastern food has all that too, but the one thing that Middle Eastern food has in abundance is also health. It’s fresh, it’s healthy, it’s balanced, it’s not just sugar-driven.” At the same time, says Delia, it hasn’t moved with the times. “It hasn’t kept its relevancy,” he says. “It hasn’t evolved through the generations. We’re our own worst enemy in Middle Eastern food; we’re doing the same thing we were doing 2000 years ago. It works, but you need to move forward. The great cuisines of the world evolve. French food, Italian food, Chinese food – they’ve all got such a strong base, but they’ve also evolved over the centuries, over the decades, and really created a point of interest. Everyone thinks about the same thing with Middle Eastern food: hummus and fattoush and shawarma, and the three in the morning kebab, which just isn’t all there is to it.” But this perception is finally now changing, he says. And he points to a specific source for this evolution. “I think one of the best ambassadors Middle Eastern food has is guys like [Israeli/British chef] Yotam Ottolenghi. They’ve come out and they’ve pulled out these beautiful, modern Middle Eastern flavours. I think Israel's been great for Middle Eastern food. You want to talk about melting pots? You think about the breadth of where the Israeli population has been spread and then been brought back into the middle of the Middle East, to create

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this really exciting food, and for me that's what its all about. “It’s about fresh flavours, brought all together, and that’s what we try to do at Maha; we eat food without boundaries. We categorise our food as unrestricted Middle Eastern, because it’s unrestricted by race, religion, gender, sex. It’s purely liberated. We take flavours from Turkey, and infuse them with Lebanese cooking techniques, and an Israeli soul, and shake it up in a pot and end up with this cuisine that is really the new face of Middle Eastern food. Why Middle Eastern food is exciting to people is because it’s just got everything you need in one cuisine.” Delia’s success can be attributed not just to his agility, but also his attention to detail.

When serving great food, the experience is multiplied if you pay attention to more than just your diners’ taste buds, he believes. “If you go to a restaurant and you just want to have a quick tasty plate of food, don’t come to us,” he says. “We can do tasty food, but we want to give people a great sensory experience. We’ve invested heavily in the venue structurally, good acoustics, good sound system… Soft finishes, hard finishes, we’ve tried to make the venue very tactile. I’m very tactile; I touch everything, I can’t help myself. If I’m sitting at the table, I’m touching the table and I’m feeling the grain of the wood, I’m feeling the brass edge, the beautiful cloth seats. I want to have that sensory experience… and then the food is the undercard and that’s such a privileged position to be in.” ■

Shane Delia’s tips for making your Middle Eastern food offering a success: • Don’t rely on the same old kebabs or plate of dips and flat breads, mix it up with new and bold ideas. • Consider the other senses – play some appropriate music, work with ceramicists to get beautiful crockery made and, without overpowering the food, consider diffusers that will permeate the room with their aroma. • Decide what beverages should you be serving to best accompany the food.


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MAKE TIME FOR BRUNCH With brunch now (almost) officially the most popular meal option for dining out, State of Play asks our friends at Milk Bottle Projects for advice on the hottest trends in the space for 2019. Here are their top five picks:

as acceptable breakfast beverages. Gone are the days when brunch was just an hour-long food event; now you can spend all day sipping on mimosas and munching on bacon from the comfort of your local café!

3. MIDDLE EASTERN INSPIRED MEALS This trend is certainly the spiciest one of the year (see our interview with Shane Delia on page 38)! Although there has been a plethora of Middle Eastern restaurants opening up, only recently has the cuisine started appearing on breakfast menus. Middle Eastern spices and ingredients are changing the shape of the brunch game, sprucing up humble dishes like the all-time Aussie favourite, smashed avo and even just the basic eggs on toast with a smear of hummus and a sprinkle of dukkah. There is also now the option to go full Middle Eastern with traditional dishes like the scrumptious Shakshuka becoming a brunch menu staple.

4. BREAKFAST BOWLS The humble Acai bowl has been the star of every foodie’s Instagram over the past few years, but recently fruity smoothie bowls have expanded to include wholesome breakfast salad bowls. The idea behind any breakfast bowl is to just throw everyone’s favourite ingredients in a bowl and call it a meal! The usual culprits like avocado, kale, quinoa, halloumi and poached eggs are present in all the best savoury breakfast bowls, and the smoothie bowls would be incomplete without some berries, coconut, peanut butter and granola!

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1. DESSERT FOR BREAKFAST The good news is it’s finally acceptable to eat dessert for breakfast! Certainly, there have always been sweet options on the menu, but cafés have recently taken this to a whole new level. There seems to be a competition for who can create the most extravagant dessert breakfasts, with cafés rushing to serve up the most intriguing and sickly sweet dishes covered in ingredients such as Persian fairy floss, toffee popcorn, Tim Tams, pretzels and oh so much Nutella…

5. BRUNCH THEATRICS To really stand out, no longer can venues just serve up a tasty eggs Benedict and wait for customers to flock in. Now, it’s all about how Instagrammable your meals are because, if it wasn’t posted on Instagram, did it even happen? Some cafés have taken this extravagance to the next level with gravitydefying acts, such as towers of popcorn, ribbons of chocolate, and even coulis-filled syringes. Basically, if your dish doesn’t look like an abstract piece of art then you haven’t made it right! ■

2. BOOZY BRUNCHES Following in the footsteps of sophisticated cities like New York and Paris, Australia has finally accepted cocktails and mimosas

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LOOKING GOOD TODAY AND TOMORROW State of Play asks interior design expert Luis Nheu how the look of venues, big and small, is changing in a market that is constantly evolving and competing.


ome looks never go out of style, says Luis Nheu, a Brisbane-based partner of BSPN Architecture. A big fan of keeping things simple when it comes to designing new bar, hotel or casino spaces, his top tip is to stick with three to five design elements in any one space. “Otherwise the interior becomes confused,” he suggests. “Having a strong design language throughout that then has other elements that complement it tends to work for us.” BSPN has delivered sleek and stylish solutions like Brisbane’s striking Treasury Casino and Hotel, the birdcage-like dining area of the North Lakes Sports Club to the

Luis Nheu

north of the city and the undulating, pendant-hung ceiling of the Brothers Leagues Club Ipswich. A fan of neutral tones, intimate details and classic design elements like the sort of mosaic tiles you may find in a bistro in New York or Rome, he says he won’t lose sleep over the eventual passing of a current fad for whacky 60s flourishes. “You know, we went through that pared back mid-century look, and now we’re seeing a spate of venues with a lot of arches, a lot of pinks,” he says. “Flamingo is back, that Florida feel in the tones, but I think it will go away very quickly.” That’s half the battle when designers are working on projects that will take anywhere between one and three years to realise, Nheu says. “Trends date very quickly, so the important thing when I’m working with a client, whether it’s a pub, club, restaurant or casino, is to get the balance right between what’s popular now and marrying that with longevity.” Longevity tends to work for the client too. “They don’t want to spend money twice,” Nheu says. “Normally they’ll want a soft refurb, what I call a refresh, every three to four years; then you might look at doing a major shake-up after eight.” Each year Nheu travels to the Salone del Mobile Milano in Italy where he gets a good

Brothers Leagues Club Ipswich

Tingalpa Hotel

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North Lakes Sports Club

grasp of the latest developments, but one that has definitely been embraced in the last five years is the move towards enriching spaces with layered details. “They’re starting to feel a lot more like a home away from home, with knick-knacks, plant pots and little displays of the sorts of things you may have found on your travels. They add interest, and work on the subconscious.” Selling the subconscious approach isn’t always easy with clients, who may

see maintenance, cleaning and stealing as stumbling blocks. “They don’t always see the value, but these are the details that add up to a venue feeling good. It’s what I call the ‘five percent’, the finishing touches you need, but that sometimes get lost in the rush to open.” A far more common practice than even five years ago, with a much greater understanding of the value of interior design, Nheu says the smaller details, including the

introduction of real plants as opposed to plastic ones, is what adds soul to a venue. These essential touches should be factored in early, along with the cost of cleaning and maintenance, he suggests. “It’s become the norm, and we’re finding that is extending from casinos to small venues.” Style can never come at the expense of function in a working venue, however. “Every designer should make sure that [their design] works operationally,” Nheu insists. “There’s no point in designing a venue that looks great, but where the flow doesn’t work and it costs too much to run. You have to go through that tick list with the client to make sure you understand what they need, and what the location and local demographic is like.” He sees a possible shift in colour palette on the horizon too. “We’ve gone through the 60s thing now and what we’ve been seeing is a lot more layering of natural tones, ochres, milky colours, nothing too bright like the 80s. The only direction I see that heading logically is that it goes slightly darker, because there’s been a lot of white and cream, and that’s probably got another year or so before it moves on.” Whatever shade is en vogue, simplicity still rules, according to Nheu. “Natural tones will outlast bright colours, because colours come and go. You have to be careful with bold patterns too, because once you introduce them, that becomes a transient thing that can date a space.” As demand means that more and more venues embrace a bolder approach in their design, particularly in the capital cities, Nheu suggest that the trend can be easily managed by picking your battles in bigger spaces. “It only takes one or two people to do it properly and everyone follows, but you splash out a bit more on the lounge where people sit and drink and eat, and keep it simpler in a sports bar or gaming room. You just need people to feel comfortable wherever they settle.” ■


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POP-UP PEOPLE Visiting a long-established bricks and mortar venue for dinner is so yesteryear. Today’s discerning diners like to take their chances with a spot that may not even be there the next time they visit…


f you’re tired of frequenting the same haunts every Saturday night, there’s nothing like visiting a pop-up activation to breathe some excitement into your weekend. From food trucks to themed bars and dessert stations, recent years have seen some truly creative – and at times bizarre – temporary food and drink installations. Here, we take a look at five of the most notable pop-ups that have delighted patrons across the globe.

OUTSTANDING IN THE FIELD Since 1999, the creators of Outstanding in the Field have been bringing diners closer to the source of their food in the most literal way possible. The unique dining experience takes place under open skies in the very farm field from which its ingredients are sourced, and seeks to shed light on the story of the farmer. The roving caravan has visited all 50 states in the US as well as 15 countries around the world, and has seen hundreds of honoured chefs cook in its kitchen.

ICEHOTEL Sweden’s ICEHOTEL has cemented its reputation as one of the most breathtaking pop-ups of all time. Located in the village of

Jukkasjärvi, the 6000-square metre hotel and most of its furnishings are constructed entirely from ice taken from the local Torne River. Each year, the hotel is handcrafted by artists in preparation for the winter and melts away in the summer, allowing each iteration to be entirely original and showcase a new range of artists.

DEL POPOLO This mobile pizzeria has been taking San Francisco by storm since 2012. Del Popolo’s rustic Neapolitan-inspired pizza is crafted within a six-metre transatlantic shipping container that’s been repurposed and modified into a kitchen, complete with a traditional Italian-made wood oven. Customers can watch their pizza being prepared through the glass panels installed on the side of the container. Although the business opened a brick-and-mortar location in 2015, it continues slinging pizzas to ravenous customers on the streets regularly.

APEROL – THE BIG SPRITZ SOCIAL Aperol is renowned for its series of popup bars that appear everywhere from

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Bangkok to Brisbane, but 2018 saw its most ambitious event yet take place in London. The popular brand bedecked a venue with a bespoke wooden slide, ball pit and Vespa carousel that rotated slowly throughout the night. However, the star of the show was a canal filled with Aperol-orange water, complete with rowboats for punters to relax in while sipping on a Spritz. This event saw the creation of the UK’s biggest Aperol Spritz bar, which served the aperitif cocktail all week long.

PANTONE CAFÉ For lovers of design and colour theory, there would undoubtedly be few things as satisfying as visiting the Pantone Café. The pop-up appeared in three different forms throughout 2015 and 2016, unveiling its first version at Monaco and going on to Paris Fashion Week. Operating out of a Pantone 18-1763 Monte-Carlo Red shipping container, it invited café goers to enjoy a range of sandwiches, snacks and beverages that

were perfectly colour-coded to complement each other. In addition, the café incorporated a vibrant colour scheme into its food trays, napkins, folding chairs and coffee cups, creating a striking visual experience for visitors – the ultimate Instagram-worthy occasion.

SUGAR REPUBLIC The perfect pop-up for those with a sweet tooth, Sugar Republic is the self-proclaimed ‘sweets museum and house of fun’ – and it’s impossible to argue with that. The realworld answer to Wonka’s chocolate factory first launched in Melbourne with a massively successful eight-week run mid-2018 before hitting up Brisbane. Its operators have just announced their plans to partner with Myer to bring something big (and sweet) to Melbourne and Sydney in 2019. The exhibition features room after room of childhood lolly-shop fantasies, from massive gumball machines and birthday cakes to fairy floss swings and a pastel pink ball pit. If in doubt, press the confetti button. ■


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GEAR UP Six must-have products for work and play.


▲ SNAPSEED If you’re tired of standard Instagram effects and filters, Snapseed is an easy-to-use photo editor with a huge amount of settings that makes for a welcome alternative. Unlike Instagram’s filter presets, each one of Snapseed’s options can be finely tuned and perfected to the user’s preferences. On top of the seemingly endless settings, there’s an incredibly handy ‘Last Edits’ option if you’re doing a batch of photos that all need to look the same. Whether you’re in the mood for tasteful touch-ups or extreme filter fun, this is the smartphone photo editor that does it all. Snapseed is available for free download on both iOS and Google Play

Did you know that the ever-informative Australian Bureau of Meteorology has an app? It does, and it’s everything you hoped it would be: a clean and intuitive design that tells you all you need to know at a glance, with the nitty-gritty details available if you want to tap for more. There’s the classic rain radar feed on the same page as the current temperature, and live updates for state-wide warnings direct from the experts should anything come up. In terms of weather apps, this is the stripped down, bare bones answer for those of us who could do without the bells and whistles, and just want the correct information. Available on iOS and Google Play for free download


SHARE PHOTO PRINTER Want to bring physical touch back into your digital world? Turn any image on your smartphone into a Polaroid-style instant photograph with the Fujifilm Instax SP3 Share Photo Printer. The Instax SP3 prints high-resolution photos in 13 seconds with minimal noise, and features additional filters and templates for photo-editing fun. Connection is simple, using the free Instax Share app on your phone to pair with the SP3. Get the Fujifilm Instax SP3 from JB Hi-Fi now for $299

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ENABLED ROBOTIC BALL Don’t have a clue what this is? The Sphero BOLT Robotic Ball is a programmable device, which will roll and jump through any path you set out for it. On top of that, it aims to teach children the basics of coding, with JavaScript and Scratch capabilities. Although a lot of items are presented as ‘edutaining’, many will take a heavy liberty with the entertainment quota, which leads to a lack of education when children have little to no interest in continuing with a toy. The Sphero BOLT Robotic Ball, on the other hand, seems to embody the best of both worlds. The Sphero BOLT is available for $259 from JB Hi-Fi


With a lot of drones hitting the market in quick succession, it takes a lot to stand out from the pack. The FPV headset (or ‘Parrot Cockpitglasses’) that comes bundled with the Parrot Bebop 2 provides that special difference, allowing for complete immersion as you fly up to two kilometres high. At a low 500 grams, the Parrot Bebop 2 is lightweight and easy to take on any trip. With the fisheye lens shooting photography at 4096 x 3072p resolution and 1920 x 1080p for video, you can capture amazing sights in full HD and share them with the world. The Parrot Bebop 2 FPV Drone is currently available at Officeworks for $579

▲ GOOGLE HOME HUB The latest addition to the Google Home smart assistant platform is the Hub, which adds a seven-inch touchscreen display to the Home’s usual speaker base. With the Hub’s interactive visual component, Google Home is now more functional and intuitive than ever before. When asked for weather forecasts, traffic reports, or language translations, the answers are easier to decipher with words, numbers and graphics on screen. Compatible with most home automation devices (such as Philips Hue Lights), the Google Home Hub’s voice activation and touch-screen settings make these smart devices even smarter. Purchase the Google Home Hub for $219 directly at


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EVENTS Get your diaries out and make a note of all these industry-related gatherings and award ceremonies, plus the standout sporting and cultural events on the Australian calendar for autumn and winter 2019.

CLUBS QUEENSLAND AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Tuesday 26 March 2019 The annual awards feature 36 categories this year, covering every angle of club management and performance from best entertainment venue to the secretary/manager of the year award. There’s even recognition for the best community service by a licensed club and award for most outstanding safety. Last year, Carina Leagues Club was one of the big winners, along with The Waves and Mossman Memorial Bowls Club. To find out who will take home the prizes in 2019 visit the website and book your tickets to ‘Into the Woods’, the black tie Gala Dinner at the Great Hall in Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.

KENO AUSTRALASIAN HOSPITALITY AND GAMING EXPO, BRISBANE Wednesday 27 to Thursday 28 March 2019 The Keno Australasian Hospitality and Gaming (AHG) Expo at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is

Keno Australasian Hospitality and Gaming Expo, Brisbane

an absolute must for everyone involved in the hospitality and gaming industries, clubs, pubs, restaurants, cafés and entertainment venues. The Keno AHG Expo showcases the latest in gaming products, entertainment, food and beverage, technology, construction, education, furniture, and innovative design. This year’s event is preceded by the National Governance and Management Congress, with the event itself including the Club Plus Super AHG Breakfast on the closing morning.

NATIONAL RSL AND SERVICES CLUBS CONFERENCE, HUNTER VALLEY Sunday 14 to Wednesday 17 April 2019 A collective of RSL Licensed Clubs and RSL Licensed Sub Branches across the state jurisdictions of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria all share common themes, goals and challenges as contemporary RSL hospitality venues. At this year’s conference, delegates will come together to hear from business leaders and industry experts in an effort to

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Year, the National Restaurant Conference, Café School, Australian Pizza Championship, The Sweet Spot and the Aged Care Catering Summit.


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gain that competitive edge in an ever-changing hospitality market place. With a strong focus on community engagement, this engaging conference, held in the beautiful Hunter Valley, features fantastic social events, networking opportunities, as well as strong educational content. 

COMMUNITY CLUBS VICTORIA GALA DINNER AND AWARDS NIGHT, MELBOURNE Saturday 4 May 2019 The CCV Awards are designed to recognise the high performing individuals and clubs whose efforts contribute to the social and economic well-being of their local communities. CCV membership spans metropolitan and regional community clubs, delivering a vast array of programs, sports, dining and entertainment facilities.

GLOBAL GAMING EXPO ASIA (G2E ASIA), MACAU Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 May 2019 Renowned as a key gaming and entertainment business hub across the continent, G2E Asia is the must attend marketplace for the gaming-entertainment industry, offering a one-stop platform to the industry professionals to network, forge fresh connections, source new products and solutions, and gain a deeper insight into the latest global industry trends. Held in Macau – the heart of Asian gaming-entertainment, G2E Asia is the ideal hub where professionals network and conduct business.

VIVID SYDNEY Friday 24 May to Sunday 15 June 2019 Sydney’s festival of all things light and wonderful goes from strength

to strength with a wide-ranging program designed to dazzle and delight the senses. The musical part of the program features international guests such as Madeleine Peyroux, St Vincent and the Branford Marsalis Quartet, while homegrown talent participating includes Dreams (Daniel Johns and Luke Steele), Rebecca Barnard and that indefatigable duo Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier.

FOODSERVICE AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE Sunday 23 to Tuesday 25 June 2019 Showcasing the latest food, drink and equipment, over 400 exhibitors will come together for this event, which is being held for the first time at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Special events will include Chef of the

Promising amazing entertainment, great food and a room filled with the best of the best culinary leaders in the industry, this is always a standout night. All clubs are invited to celebrate this annual event, when the winners of the 2019 Chef’s Table Gold, Silver, Bronze and Apprentice awards will be revealed.

AUSTRALASIAN GAMING EXPO, SYDNEY Tuesday 13 to Friday 15 August 2019 This year’s three-day seminar program will take a look at the future of the gaming industry in Australasia, covering such topics as new technology, gaming, hospitality, service and the customer. All of these areas have been identified with one aim in mind – to assist attendees in getting more out of their hospitality venue. And those who register early will have the chance to win one of three trips for two to Las Vegas…


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FIVE OF A KIND State of Play has curated our top five picks when it comes to selecting lighting options for your venue.

► Peggy 9 Light Pendant The Peggy 9 Light Pendant from Vistosi features white, blown handmade glass together with the glossy black metal with a lead-effect treatment to interpret the polarity between material and finish. Peggy is perfect for feature lighting applications, with an impressive installation in the Museum Café at Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice. It is available in black and white or satin bronze and white finish.

▼ Entwine Pendant Lights

▲ Hadron-v Pendant Lights

The Entwine pendant light is a true statement piece, featuring glowing woven fabric rope. The illuminating rope elegantly loops and knots around the horizontal brass rod. Utilising LED technology, the lighting collection is energy efficient and dimmable on SwitchDIM, DSI or DALI systems. To make the Entwine light easier to install, the rope comes pre-set in its draped configuration.

The Hadron-v is designed to be a minimal light source, which can be used to showcase objects, be hung as a feature in a window and utilised in restrictive spaces. Using an LED strip, the Hadron-v is a lowwattage solution, perfect for cost sensitive projects. The Hadron-v ring is available in a black or white finish. Custom powder-coat colours are available upon request.

▲ Orion Tube Light

Recommended for larger spaces to create an amazing visual experience, the Orion comprises simple modular lights with opposing opaque and solid polished gold spheres, further highlighted by opaque and solid polished gold tubes.

◄ Mesh

These connect and expand both horizontally and vertically to create bespoke constellations of light with infinite adaptations.

When finished in perforated steel mesh rather than woven brass, Mesh immediately becomes more industrial in appearance. Designed and manufactured in Australia, Mesh is available in customisable sizes and in polished woven brass, powder-coated woven or perforated mesh.

From first sketch to the finished product, every Rakumba-designed piece goes beyond the ordinary. The Mesh spells sheer opulence in glimmering polished brass, effortlessly lending a touch of decadence with its expansive woven band.

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Profile for Niche Media

State of Play Issue 5  

State of Play Issue 5