High-level gamblers are used to getting free offers to lure them back to a casino, whether it’s credits toward gambling, exclusive seats at a concert, or a free cruise.
The problem is, when that person visits another casino, they start all over with no comps or credits.
Craig Shacklett first noticed this a decade ago and he became obsessed with finding a solution. He worked for a casino on a cruise ship doing spreadsheets that calculate a player’s worth to just that one casino.
He noticed gamblers who were there on a free cruise weren’t spending as much as the ones who paid full price.
“I’d lay awake at night trying to figure out how to solve that problem,” Shacklett said. “Then it clicked how you could unlock it. Really, the key is the player offers. The offers that the casino sends that player tells the world what the casino thinks of that player. I had this epiphany that I need to build this business because somebody else is going to do it if I don’t.”
The recession delayed his idea for several years, but in 2014, he and co-founder Cale Sherry officially launched URComped. Sherry, who graduated with a computer science degree at the University of Texas at Dallas, designed the website.
ONLINE PLATFORM HELPS CASINO PLAYERS DETERMINE THEIR VALUE
“We’re the first site online to let players qualify themselves and establish their own value and we give them comps at new places.”
URComped has players share the offers they get from a particular casino and URComped uses that to establish what the player is worth.
“We’re the first site online to let players qualify themselves and establish their own value and we give them comps at new places,” Shacklett said. “We reverse engineer them and figure out what they’re worth. It’s an acquisition strategy. Our vision is that players should decide where they go based on the experience and their value. Not because one casino hoards their information and is the only one giving [them] free stuff.”
For the gamblers, there’s no cost to join URComped. Until now, the startup has monetized by getting a commission from its 60 or so casino partners such as Palazzo in Las Vegas, Montbleu in Lake Tahoe, and MSC Cruise Lines.
Shacklett said he’s sometimes received puzzling responses from partners on why he’s built a casino marketing business in Dallas. But, he said being in “one of the last places where people have to leave the state to gamble,” has helped his company better understand optimal marketing approaches for casino travelers.
This week, URComped is expanding to all casinos in North America. Players can take their offers from any casino, not just URComped’s partners, and it will carry over to other casinos.
URCOMPED HAS RECEIVED BACKING FROM REVTECH
URComped has received $425,000 in funding since 2014, the largest coming from REVTECH, the Dallas-based seed accelerator for retail, restaurant, and hospitality startups. URComped plans to raise another $75,000 in the next month or so, Shacklett said.
The company has its offices at REVTECH’s new location at Walnut Hill Lane and Central Expressway in Dallas.
“They had a premise that casinos were really good at retaining customers for repeat business, but not very good at acquiring new customers,” said David Matthews, managing director of REVTECH. “What they’re building is pretty valuable. The casinos were somewhat primitive in their customer acquisition models.”
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