On March 31, Station Casinos expanded its Boarding Pass loyalty program with the introduction of STN Charms. This new feature rewards loyalty program members with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for playing retail slots at Station Casinos properties.
The digital tokens will be divided into categories based on rarity and luck. In addition to earning and upgrading the charms, players can trade with or even sell them to other players.
Details On The STN Charms
All loyalty program members will receive a default Shamrock charm upon starting their first play session since launch. Players will have additional opportunities to collect STN Charms while they play, with new charms being released monthly. Each Charm has three attributes:
- Category: Charms fall into themed categories, like lucky pennies, shamrocks, horseshoes, and pandas.
- Rarity: Common, uncommon, rare, epic, or legendary.
- Luck Level: This is an upgradeable trait, which players increase by winning slots prizes while having the charm “equipped.”
Station Casinos developed the STN Charms in partnership with Mintable Pte. Ltd. and Intergalactic Agency Inc. Mintable provides the platform for rewards members to buy, sell, and display their NFTs. Meanwhile, Intergalactic is in charge of the technology and design of the tokens.
Station Casinos says the goal of STN Charms is to create “a game within the game” and a more engaging experience. Also known as gamification, that’s a marketing concept that has received a lot of attention within the casino industry as it attempts to find ways to appeal to younger generations.
Tom Mikulich, Senior Vice President of Innovation at Station Casinos, said:
We are thrilled to be launching this innovative program to create a more engaging way for our guests to earn unique rewards and customize their play. Through our patent-pending, game-changing technology, we believe STN Charms will reshape the casino gaming landscape and modernize loyalty programs making for a more rewarding and fun gaming experience for our guests.
The time may be right for such a move. A recent study showed that the average age of Las Vegas visitors is dropping. Casinos must become more creative to compete for those younger visitors’ attention.
What are NFTs?
NFTs are digital assets that are unique and non-tradable. NFTs have a variety of potential uses, from art to event tickets or even virtual real estate. However, most early implementations have been collectibles akin to digital trading cards.
The tokens use blockchain technology similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. That ensures that each NFT is unique, attached to a particular owner, and can’t be duplicated. The idea is that they can represent one-of-a-kind digital items with a verifiable origin.
Station Casinos Are Not The Only Operator To Introduce NFTs
NFTs have caught the attention of many casino operators as they offer another opportunity to create value and award prizes. Several brick-and-mortar and some online casinos have unveiled NFTs.
Circa Casino in downtown Las Vegas was the first casino in the city to introduce NFTs in March 2022. Shortly after, MGM Resorts International, co-owner of BetMGM Casino, launched an NFT-enabled live performance in Vegas. A few months later, MGM applied for a trademark for NFTs. Elsewhere in Las Vegas, Allied Esports Entertainment Inc., which owns the HyperX Arena at Luxor Casino, introduced a rewards program with NFT prizes.
Outside of Vegas, DraftKings Casino & Sportsbook introduced NFTs for purchase at the operator’s marketplace. DraftKings now offers hundreds of digital tokens in many categories, including sports. Moreover, for horse racing fans, a company called ZED Run has created NFT Horse Racing, where people can purchase digital horses and race against each other.
Is There Still a Future In NFTs?
Station Casinos began developing STN Charms two years ago. That’s precisely when NFTs peaked, with products like Cryptopunks and Bored Apes selling for six-, seven- and sometimes even eight-figure prices.
Since then, however, the total volume of NFT trading has slowed down by a factor of ten. Does that mean that Station Casinos is too late to the party? Maybe, but not necessarily.
The current economic climate, including high inflation, has hit cryptocurrency hard and NFTs along with it. But both trends are still well alive. NFT trading volume may not be in the billions anymore, but it’s still in the hundreds of millions. Popular NFTs like Bored Apes are still in high demand, with one having sold for almost $1 million in November.
Many non-gambling companies are likewise still exploring the potential of NFTs. For example, Nike is expected to launch a line of NFTs this year. The ever-controversial Elon Musk is another big fan, and rapper Snoop Dogg is a significant influencer in the community where he goes by another alias, Cozomo de Medici.
A crucial factor in the growth of digital tokens is the interest of young investors. That is also the same demographic Station Casinos is aiming its new loyalty program. So far, younger people have not turned their backs on NFTs, so STN Charms could be a winning strategy for the casino operator.