After Hess decided to focus on its banking business, Erik de Kat and Martin Grandia saw a gap in the market – one they have filled with the formation of Cash Support, a company developing its own voucher/card redemption terminal while also servicing the needs of Hess’s former customers. Erik spoke to Casino International about the new project and their exciting CTM-ONE and its rental agreements.
Casino International: How did Cash Support evolve?
Erik de Kat: I worked for over ten years for the Gauselmann Group, with the Hess brand, which did cash systems. I marketed the Scorpion casino redemption terminal for Hess, among other things. That was doing well worldwide, with big installations in South Africa, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK. Hess moved in another direction, away from gaming, as the main business for Hess was always banking. Sadly, Gauselmann decided they would rather focus on the banking side of the business, and they wanted to sell the gaming side.
I have been involved with the casino market for almost 30 years and I wanted to stay in that side of it, so I made an exit plan and sold the casino side of Hess to REAC, in Rotterdam. They were our biggest distributor for Hess, with over 200 machines installed in the Netherlands. The owner of REAC, Martin Grandia, was open to a new idea, and I convinced him to buy the whole Hess casino line of products from Gauselmann, and start our own business. In September last year, Cash Support was born in Rotterdam, owned by Martin and I am a partner in the company.
Cash Support is now manufacturing a new casino redemption product, the CTM-ONE, and the product, which is based on the Hess hardware platform, has completely redesigned software so it is future-proof. We are manufacturing the first 40 machines to be ready for the end of August. From there we will sell the machines all over the world and also maintain the service and warranties on the existing machines around the world, which was also part of the deal.
CI: What is Cash Support doing that makes the company different?
EdK: We are offering direct rental now; it’s something that has become more common among slot machines, to lease or rent and revenue share. At Hess there was no plan for that, but our new company, Cash Support, offers this. The customer has one monthly fee which includes the machine, service, maintenance and all of that. We have had a positive reaction from the industry about this because the operator doesn’t have to invest heavily in the machines, it’s just a monthly fee.
CI: Is CTM-ONE ready for a cashless environment?
EdK: Our biggest installation in the Netherlands is based on a cashless system, Magic Pay. It’s a smart card system, with contactless. Payouts are done on the same cards, and you cash out at CTM-ONE. The machine can also sell cards to players, and much more.
The next step would be a mobile wallet or similar, and technically, we are ready hardware- and software-wise, it’s just a matter of a customer wanting a trial with that.
CI: Will you be at G2E in Las Vegas?
EdK: Absolutely – we will be on the Casino International stand with you! You can find us both on booth 5235.
Cash Support’s new VRT, CTM-ONE takes centre stage
Cash Support has developed a new VRT called CTM-ONE to offer around Europe and the world, this time free from any constraints and with no need to fit in with a wider portfolio – Erik de Kat is heading the marketing and sales department.
Mr. de Kat said: “While Hess is a fantastic operator, there is always the issue of focus. With the casino market being a tiny part of what Hess offers worldwide, I felt that there was a better way to service the casino market and I’m delighted to be able to develop this product specifically targeted at casinos, using our 25 years of specific experience to make sure it ticks all the boxes a casino operator might need.”
Servicing has traditionally been somewhat difficult for the casino VRT machines, again, from a global perspective, the small size of the sector makes it difficult to offer a dedicated servicing solution. However, once again Cash Support will be in a great position to make sure sales are followed up with well tuned servicing arrangements, and Mr. de Kat is in position, with Hess’ blessing, to take over servicing of all existing Hess casino equipment as well as new sales of his CTM-ONE product.
He added: “I’m very excited to be able to offer the CTM-ONE to the casino market, operators can be comfortable in the knowledge that it’s designed by professionals, and made with the end user very much in mind, with a servicing support network that I am happy to stand behind.”