Ergonomic Casino Furniture – Casino Journal February 2016
Written By: Joan Mantini
Casinos are increasingly aware of the benefits ergonomics bring to their facilities, and manufacturers are responding with product that improves comfort for both visitors and employees.
Few would argue that customer comfort is of paramount importance to the modern, land-based casino enterprise experience, and in response gaming operators and suppliers are more eager than ever to integrate ergonomic principles into seating and other high-use items.
But this use of ergonomics within casinos is not confined solely to patron-facing products; it now extends to hardware used throughout the property, with the goal of providing increased comfort and injury prevention to facility employees as well as visitors. Simply put, ergonomics focuses on the prevention of discomfort as much as providing comfort.
Integrating ergonomic design into various casino products can be a challenge however since people tend to come in many shapes and sizes. As a result, a design that may be comfortable for one person can be unpleasant for the next. Clothes and shoes come in different sizes to accommodate these differences, but chairs and hardware have quite the complex task when it comes to gaming properties because they will have more than one user in their lifetimes.
In addition, ergonomic products must be designed with facility differentiation in mind and feature the flexibility and technology needed to integrate with the latest gaming advances to ensure customer comfort and foster increased play.
“Often casino architects and designers emphasize that products look good when they should focus on customer satisfaction in the broadest sense of the term,” said Lucien van Linden, CEO of Gaming Support, a Netherlands-based supplier of services and products for land-based casinos. “[A gaming customer] should feel good, sit well and play easy in a clean casino environment.”
Basic ergonomic concepts that should be considered by manufacturers when designing new products—and for casino operators when integrating them onto their casino floor—are aesthetics, comfort, the ease of use, performance management, productivity and, of course, safety. “The DNA of every one of our seating products begins with ergonomic principles,” said Ed Abadie, design engineer at Gary Platt Manufacturing, a Reno, Nev.-based supplier of casino seating. “The design insures there is a good lumbar support, the correct seat and back molded foam densities for the surface areas are used and the alignment of back angles to seat are correct. Base designs should also have ergonomically correct seat to footrest ratios for comfort and provide the user stability at all gaming heights offered.”
Casino ergonomics continue to evolve and with the help of research and development suppliers are better able to integrate the health benefits of ergonomic theory into their products. One of the main objectives of ergonomic seating and hardware is to ensure the subtle yet important aspects of user comfort are merged into the product’s proper function. Let’s face it… people who are comfortable are likely more beneficial for the operation over longer time periods; this applied to employee productivity as well as increased time on device from the patron.
For example, Gaming Support studied how cards were being dealt at blackjack tables. They came to realize that repetitive strains and injuries to dealers could be lessened if cards came out of the shoe easier. They also discovered that table game cloth that allowed for easier handling of cards was beneficial for both dealers and players. “We maximized the ‘reach-radius’ for customers and dealers, so playing live games isn’t tiring,” van Linden said.
Of course, Gaming Support is not the only casino furniture and hardware provider embracing the science of ergonomics. Below you will find a brief roundup of other companies that have realized added value and benefit to their customer by integrating ergonomics into product design.
GARY PLATT MANUFACTURING
Gary Platt Manufacturing has been designing and building seating for the casino business for over 40 years and has focused a keen eye on customer comfort from the start.
“From its beginning, Gary Platt has put a premium on using the highest quality materials in its seating, as well as beingone of the pioneers in insuring ergonomic principles are used in every design and style we offer,” Abadie said. “It has, in many cases, allowed us to be in the forefront of design and certainly in seating comfort. From our contemporary designs to the more classic designs, ergonomic comfort is the primaryconcern. Our customers have trusted us with the development/design of custom seating products, knowing that our ergonomic criterion extends to our sound chairs, benches and many other custom seating solutions we have designed for them.”
According to Abadie, the company’s classic Gazelle line of seats introduced the gaming industry to the benefits of ergonomic design, a concept the company continues to evolve and grow. “From our X-Tended Play products to the newly developed X2-Tended Play seating, the Gary Platt Classic series has been ergonomically updated,” Abadie said. “The newly introduced and ergonomically designed LIDO series is proving to be a best seller along with several newly designed base options such as the Epic Base.”
“The key to the success of our products is the focus on seating comfort, and the interchangeability of seat head style and base designs,” Abadie added. “This offers the customer the ability to develop a look unique to their property. We also feel that because the focus of our seating is to extend the users ‘time-on-device’ by using correct ergonomic design, it sets us apart from our competition.”
Click here to read the entire article on Casino Journal’s website