G2E 2017 proved to be very satisfying for Alfastreet, a company that is constantly expanding its product range and pushing the envelope as far as modern casino equipment is concerned. The most innovative product on the stand was the brand new Multitouch roulette table, a fully automated machine, that combines the experience of a live roulette table with the advantages of having an electronic setup, that eliminates the necessity for additional personnel adding to cost effectiveness and secure operation in a modern gaming venue. The product was unveiled at ICE earlier this year and it’s already gaining recognition in various casinos worldwide. The machine at the show represented a step further, being the first of its kind to offer the possibility to operate as fully automated or live – the dealer can spin the wheel manually!
The reactions exceeded expectations, the concept is appealing to many operators worldwide and the machine will soon be available in top gaming venues around the world. The stand theme was delightfully tied up with an attractive new colour combination of textured black finish and red inserts. All the roulettes were equipped with the company’s new wheel concept, where the lighted numerical board offers a big visual impact to the players. The new cross design complements the effect, making these wheels by far superior to any competition.
A year from the premiere of the Lucky 8, the 8-station electronic roulette, the latest evolution was displayed alongside the Multitouch. The machine has quickly won over all players and operators, providing all the technology in a very attractive and effective package. The machine at the show was on display with a dedicated signage superstructure which adds to the player excitement. The show boosted the orders for these cabinets which are rapidly conquering the hearts of the players and operators alike.
Royal Derby is a fixed attraction of any gaming exhibition, capturing the fantasy of players and visitors alike. The horse-racing machine was presented with best and latest in single terminal design, including two options; the WIKY has a 32” touch screen monitor, while a brand new Felix S boasts a 27” one. The latter will enter the operation by the end of this year, elevating the bar for everybody in the industry. The Table Top is a compact solution for alternative placement, such as bars or tight spaces, and has returned combined with a coffee table style base, emphasizing the virtually endless adaptation possibilities. The new unit has got a 27” touch screen as well.
Crane Payment Innovations (CPI) threw the spotlight on connectivity at G2E this year, showcasing ways the company enables formerly static, isolated payment system peripherals to communicate with each other – and with operators – so that data about each gaming machine’s health, performance and environment can be used to inform faster, smarter and more profitable business decisions.
An entire section of CPI’s booth was dedicated to connectivity solutions that link payment systems and gaming machines to networks, bring cashless transactions to life and empower operators with actionable insights into their machine data. Visitors had the opportunity to evaluate an array of cashless and emerging payment technologies, including potential solutions to automate payments at the tables games and bring even richer business intelligence to the gaming industry.
The EASITRAX smart cashbox system represented CPI’s main product highlight at G2E. Today, it works by collecting transaction and performance data directly from the banknote validator and then generating reports through its intuitive web portal. Reports are customizable and can be used to streamline the drop process, facilitate asset evaluations and improve maintenance programs.
Automated asset tracking through EASITRAX eliminates the need for dedicated cashboxes, helping operators reduce drop time by up to 40%. As a result, it regularly delivers a return on investment in less than one year – a payback made even stronger through the recently released Maintenance Alerts feature. Maintenance Alerts for EASITRAX allows operators to set their ideal banknote validator performance thresholds and receive automated email notifications based upon these critical metrics. This feature helps users save time and interpret data so problems can be identified and prevented before they even occur.
At the show, CPI unveiled its roadmap to enhance the EASITRAX product with real-time alerts and live bill validator health monitoring so operators can be even better equipped to prevent downtime and optimize slot performance.
Abbiati Casino Equipment is celebrating the increasing success of G2E 2017. “This year’s G2E went exceptionally well for ABBIATI in America. With many attendees from not only the US market, but many from Mexico, Canada, and Central America. We are looking to expand greatly in these areas over the next several months as gaming begins to grow and expand within the Americas,” announced Misty Rodda, Abbiati’s Business Development Manager for the Americas.
We also had had the opportunity of welcoming many of our customers from Europe including Italy, UK, Ireland, Greece and many more.
The Global Gaming Expo was the perfect opportunity for Abbiati to present its latest efforts in the American market through their new “Abbiati by Americas” line of tables, which is mainly dedicated for the main rooms/mass market. The new line still keeps Abbiati’s famous design and high quality materials and is enhanced by its competitive market prices. It can be integrated with the most advantaged hardware devices, not only limited to RFID technologies, but also with sensors and cameras, to name but a few.
Visitors also had the chance to admire Abbiati’s GLI-25 certified American Roulette Laser Wheel, which incorporates an upgraded patented invisible laser technology (Class 1A). Abbiati wheel can be connected and run to gaming terminals and live on-line Casino Operators. The laser wheel was connected to our displays, which include also the Luck Bonus Side Bet. Thanks to an open protocol, Abbiati’s American roulette wheels are installed and working in many casinos connected to the leading online gaming companies. The wheel was accomplished with a selection of high quality multimedia displays, run directly from Abbiati Laser Wheel or auto-setting overhead reader or camera.
As the exclusive worldwide distributor of Modiano, Abbiati has presented to the show visitors a complete range of playing cards, from paper plastic coated to 100% plastic. This high quality product is offered at a very competitive price.
That’s what Aristocrat and VGT bring to their customers, and at G2E 2017, the companies showed the gaming industry that it is truly all about what’s inside.
“It’s about hardware, systems solutions, artistry – it’s all those elements coming together in a strong design philosophy. That has been at the centre of what we bring to our customers, and that is how we help them succeed,” said Aristocrat Managing Director of the Americas Matt Wilson. “At G2E, we presented a deep and broad portfolio of products that gives our customers an integrated experience and allows them to speak to every type of player.”
Aristocrat’s best titles took a step up in Aristocrat’s new RELM XL reel spinner cabinet. Building on the success of the RELM cabinet, RELM XL features a dynamic topper wheel, a range of denominations to cover the floor, and games players love, such as the Buffalo and Britney game themes, to make it the hottest spin in stepper entertainment.
Aristocrat’s popular RELM cabinet is expanding with thrilling extensions of the Burning Spins and Forever Free game brands; new brands for the low and high denom space; and new Asia-themed games from the popular Lucky Destiny and Fortune Prosperity themes.
Aristocrat’s Arc Single cabinet entertains with titles including the global sensation Dragon Link game theme.
Aristocrat’s elegant and sleek flame55 cabinet entertains players with 55 inches of curved screen wonder. Aristocrat’s royally successful Game of Thrones slot game is back in an all-new version created specifically for flame55. Also appearing on flame55 is the Mariah Carey game theme, and a new version of the acclaimed Tim McGraw slot game. Additionally, Aristocrat debuted a completely new, globally recognized license on the cabinet at G2E.
Aristocrat’s The Walking Dead slot game is one of the most successful franchises in the company’s history, and now The Walking Dead 3 slot game presents all-new thrills and chills in Aristocrat’s new EdgeX cabinet.
Regulators, operators and suppliers in 475 jurisdictions rely on Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) to help them succeed with an unsurpassed portfolio of services and at G2E the company showcased products and services to further help guarantee success for their clients.
Success for regulators and operators begins by ensuring valuable assets are protected in real time. On the casino floor, products by Kobetron, including IRIS Enterprise, IRIS Online, Kobetron Handheld Equipment, and Verify+ by Kobetron, streamline processes while also tracking and certifying every asset on the casino floor, all in real time.
Behind the scenes, professional services from Bulletproof monitor, detect and instantly react to cyber attacks. Bulletproof President Steve Burns said, “In today’s digital marketplace, data and reputation are more valuable than money, and once a breach occurs, it is extraordinarily difficult to rebuild trust with consumers and business partners. That is why our Security Operations Center, or SOC, is always on, always scanning and always protecting, safeguarding against the constant attacks that are a part of today’s cyber landscape.”
GLI also has a broad portfolio of supplier services, from testing and certification to remote systems testing and easy transference of certification letters, each carefully designed to thoroughly test while also streamlining processes, speeding time to market and reducing costs and testing times. GLI Vice President of Global Services Ian Hughes said, “As you look around the G2E tradeshow floor, this is every supplier’s big moment. That is why we work so hard to help suppliers make sure their bright ideas go off with a bang.”
During the G2E 2017 show Euro Games Technology entertained more visitors than in previous editions of the event. The company welcomed customers and prospects all over the world, with open arms and delightful gaming innovations.
The team of Reel Games, the regional partner of EGT for North America, commented that visitors’ attention was mainly directed towards the Curved cabinets P-42V Up and St and the jackpot systems 3 Happy Hits, 4 Happy Hits, Cai Shen and Diamond Life with its new multigame mix “Multi-2”, based on the Exciter III platform. Many new installations in the country are upcoming not only in Florida, but also in other jurisdictions. The Fu Gui Rong Hua Chinese-themed jackpot is awaiting certification for the U.S. in near future, ready to enter several casino establishments as well. Super Premier and Super Premier 75 were definitely eye-catchers, having high sales potential, as well as the T-Line touch roulette table with 12 gaming stations and an automated wheel of EGT Multiplayer.
“Our clients from South America opt mainly for the P-24/24 Up cabinet, the P-27/27 St Slim model and the Curved models, equipped with the Collection series multigames, each of 48 titles. We are planning many new deliveries for Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile where we become more and more popular and G2E is a central event for our growth strategy in that region too,” shared Stanislav Stanev, sales and marketing director of EGT.
Busy was the schedule also of EGT Interactive and the Spider CMS teams, meeting with many current and potential customers and revealing other aspects of EGT’s product portfolio.
Belgian-based DR Gaming Technology (DRGT) continues to make serious inroads outside of its European base. Following expansions into South Africa and Peru, the company is proud to announce the establishment of its latest office in Mexico City, Mexico.
The gaming systems and jackpot developer announced on Monday that it had proudly secured the services of a number of key local gaming industry stalwarts to head up their new Central America operation. Former casino Chief Executive and Slots Director, Alfredo Moreno will operate as the company’s Managing Director, supported by Head of Operations Renato de la Peña, who is also a qualified Industrial Engineer, plus Business Development and Marketing Head, and MBA graduate Juan Pablo Garcia.
“The current opportunity in Mexico is around 100,000 slot machines,” according to Moreno, “operating out of around 420 casinos. We see the full potential in Mexico at around 700 casinos, so there is a lot of scope.” Furthermore, with a limited number of current gaming system service providers in the country, DRGT is extremely bullish that with its capabilities, and the service levels customers will receive from Moreno and his team, the decision to open a Mexican office will start to bear fruit almost immediately.
So keen were the DRGT Mexico team to get cracking, that they lined up a number of meetings and presentations with Mexican operators at G2E Las Vegas in early October, and received some very favourable feedback: “Already operators are counting the days to have the system producing more players at their venues,” said Business Development and Marketing Head, Juan Pablo Garcia.
This year at G2E Las Vegas, Zitro has hold its best show ever with the launch of a variety of breathtaking new innovations, such as the Fusion cabinet. Available as upright or slant, the Fusion cabinet stands out due its cutting-edge technology and its beautiful and ultra-slim design, occupying less space than any other gaming machine currently available on the market. The video slot progressive link Blazing Pearls or the transformation of the video bingo with Showprize. Watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTKcT4nEDq4&feature=youtu.be and find out how Zitro is one step closer to becoming one of the leading suppliers in the global gaming industry.
Aruze Gaming came to play at the 2017 G2E. A constant flow kept the booth filled all three days as attendees took in the variety of new content. The debut of their new concept craps table was extremely well received. This unique offering combines a dynamic, table-length LCD screen with player thrown live dice and a ticket in ticket out system. Aruze also included individual LCD player stations with a similar betting style to their wildly popular Shoot to Win Craps. This highly anticipated game is expected to be launched in Q2 2018.
Continuing the theme of using technology to enhance the best aspects of traditional table games, the new Lucky Roulette features a physical wheel with printed number ring and a physical ball. This is further enhanced using projection mapping technology and a high-speed-camera assisted ball tracer. With a Jackpot Chance side bet bonus, trending number displays and the benefits of individual player stations on the new X-Station, Aruze seems poised to expand their footprint in the roulette space.
Anyone that passed the booth was sure to have noticed at least one of Aruze’s new “Activ-play” concept games. The attention-grabbing Jackpot Hammer was continually busy with players testing their skills on this unique game with a carnival feel. Players attempted to use the hammer to strike the button at the ideal time to win one of several credit prizes or a chance at the Grand, Major or Bonus jackpots. The “Activ-play” series also includes a pachi-slot style game. During the bonus feature, players try to stop the bonus symbols on the payline to Level Up and increase their chances of a jackpot prize.
Aruze has also expanded their product lines to include RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) casino chips. Among the benefits offered by RFID chips are fraud reduction by preventing counterfeit chips, and integration with some tables to verify change and payouts.
Players will be amazed by the exciting range of new products Aruze is bringing to casino floors soon.
The results from G2E Las Vegas even exceeded the expectations from the APEX gaming team. This was truly the best G2E ever for APEX gaming.
The reasons could be seen on the APEX stand – ingenious solutions for such a large variety of applications. DRAGON EGG continued to be the talk of the show – just as it was when it was first released at this year’s ICE. This all-in-one jackpot system is wonderfully designed and consists of eight APEX slot machines in two banks of four. It is the perfect setting for the DRAGON EGG game. The fact that the integrated jackpot system can offer up to 16 jackpot levels over its four main pillars means that every type of player can choose the jackpot level according to his/her playing behaviour. “DRAGON EGG has truly landed in the States, Canada and Latin America,” noted Mr. Kubilay Özer, Global Sales Director of APEX gaming. “Players in North and South America can look forward to playing this soon as we have taken back a strong order book to Austria”.
For electronic roulette, APEX has a far-reaching solution called the APS (APEX PLAYER STATION). It can be connected with up to four roulette wheels (both automated and/or live) and the EVO games can run on it as well. The APS is available as an entire solution and flexible with separate electronic wheel and terminals.
G2E was the setting for a world première from APEX gaming: the iDROPs. The iDROPs takes the capabilities of the award-winning iDROP even further. Not only can cash and tickets be accepted directly at the live gaming table – and winning be returned in ticket form – the acceptance rate of these banknotes and tickets has increased to an amazing six notes per second. Dealers can enter these in a bundle of up to 250 at a time and the iDROPs does the rest itself. It is naturally SAS approved and integrates simply into the casino management system. Managers have instant information on the iDROP contents. Every note and ticket is securely checked and accepted – there is no room any more for any loss to the house.
Spintec celebrated a very successful debut at G2E Las Vegas, showcasing their new generation of the multigame solution Aura and a compact gaming solution branded Karma. Both solutions have a proven track record of longer gaming sessions, guaranteed through Spintec’s superior design, unbeatable comfort, attractive gaming features and user-friendly interface.
“The feedback we received from the visitors was extremely positive, hence we are excited to launch our gaming solutions on the US market. We had an opportunity to meet many important casino operators from North America, Lat Am, Asia and Europe, who were impressed by our gaming solutions. Last but not least, we already started the negotiations with strategic partners and distributors for the US market at the show,” said René Huibers, Regional Sales Manager.
The core role at the booth was given to Aura gaming terminals with a stand-alone display wall offering live, automated and virtual games in one multigame experience. The main highlight was a cutting-edge amphitheatre multigame solution offering virtual games which stood out for their feel of a live game as they offer the players the advantage to enjoy the company of an attractive croupier chosen by them. With a large screen and live footage Spintec virtual games feel extremely realistic.
Spintec showcased also their flagship product Karma Automated Roulette, which remains the best-known solution in the company’s product portfolio. Karma Roulette, engineered and produced by Spintec, has been holding a majority share in all new automated Roulette installations for the past three years in Macao.
“Spintec team strives for excellence in design, production, sales and after-sales services of our Electronic Table Games with one core goal – to offer players the best gaming experience, while providing a revenue increase for the operators,” concluded René Huibers.
Fresh from the company’s unbelievable 60th anniversary celebrations, Merkur was riding the crest of a wave into G2E and the products they unveiled were of a suitably high standard. 100 games displayed on beautiful cabinets such as the Evostar, the unique hybrid service-friendly upright slot with the added player comfort factor of a slant-top player position. Providing an added player attraction, Evostar also features a built-in USB port that allows guests to conveniently charge mobile devices, free of charge, as they play.
The many themes were grouped to make life easier for visitors into Random Lines, Asian themes, Fruits & Sevens, Egyptian and Space Age themes, alongside some brand new standout games that made their G2E – and indeed world – debuts.
The Merkur Gaming booth also featured displays from across the entire Gauselmann Group. Cash handling experts GeWeTe showed a range of innovations from across their range of solutions, sports betting maestros Cashpoint, the betting professionals, illustrated their many areas of activity and their established excellence in sports betting entertainment. Based in Hamburg, Germany, edict egaming GmbH is the online gaming arm of the Gauselmann Group, a market leader and true innovative trendsetter holding multiple licenses in various markets and who presented the edict Game Solution, via which the popular Merkur games are marketed internationally for online casinos and betting operators.
In keeping with the Gauselmann Group’s significant position on corporate social responsibility, specifically in support of the protection of minors and measures to deal with problem gambling, there were also on-booth demonstrations of the innovative Face Check, a contactless admission control system based on biometric facial features: currently the only system that allows youth protection without the need to present documents.
In conjunction with Merkur Gaming, GeWeTe once again had a number of change machines / bill breakers / ticket redemption machines on the stand at G2E 2017, showcasing part of the range from its extensive portfolio of cash handling solutions.
The range included the ever popular Cash Centre Compact – Casino with its large-volume banknote cassettes offering a capacity of up to 12,000 notes across four cassettes, which also features coin dispensing and ticket purchase/redemption, as well as a change machine and bill breaking, all in one secure machine.
GeWeTe also had two variants of the Cash Centre Compact on display, both of which are compact low-cost bill breaker, change machine, ticket redemption models.
The Maxi Bill Breaker machine on display offered bill breaking and ticket redemption with a capacity of 8,000 notes across four cassettes, but also comes with the higher capacity cas- settes, taking it up to 12,000 notes
In addition to the dedicated area of the stand for cash handling solutions, GeWeTe also had a Cash Center and Cash Center Compact for cash handling in the sports betting segment, demonstrating a fully automated, quick and discreet ticket redemption kiosk with live connection to its host system. This model can also be used as a change machine and bill breaker.
G2E has a greater importance for seating experts Patir, since the company now has a Las Vegas office for its many US customers. Dennys Patir explained to Casino International: “Now that we have our US office in Vegas, which we opened in 2016, it’s very different for us. We have much more booth traffic as a result too, thanks to our US customers. We have good business going on in the US, we are seeing good growth in tribal gaming for example, and in casinos throughout the country.
“The Vegas office has been overdue for a few years – we have had enquiries from the US many times over the years. Now we have a presence in the country, it is good for business.”
So was the 2017 iteration a good event for Patir? Dennys says yes, it certainly was. “We had a lot of visitors to our booth, so it was a good year for us.”
Stephen Turnbull, Director Technical Marketing, AMD, was proud to unveil the company’s newest set of product. He told Casino International: “We have announced the E9170 at G2E 2017, which completes our family of Polaris GPUs for the embedded market. We have a three-tiered set of products and the E9170 is our entry-level model. We’re giving designers the ability to run five 4K screens, and high performance, low power options with rich graphics and multimedia support at a low-cost entry point.
“We are also offering seven years’ longevity, to 2024 which is fairly unique; that’s rare when it comes to graphics.
“With the entry-level product, we find people are not looking for performance so much as functionality and this ticks a lot of boxes for customers.”
Stephen was also effusive about G2E, and the company’s success both in the gaming sector and in the US generally. He concluded: “It’s been a great show, we love this market and it’s a very good one for AMD. We have had great success with graphics products and you’ll find the vast majority of machines here are using AMD graphics. We’re doing very well in the processor space too, with significant wins with some of the major players in the industry.”
You can read more about this exciting launch on page 32.
Erik de Kat was philosophical about Cash Support’s presence in Vegas, using the time to see both international and domestic customers. He told CI: “We’re not here for the US market itself – not primarily. We wanted to see our overseas customers, and the show worked out pretty well. The quality of visitor was maybe a little lower than previous years, and our position was perhaps not ideal, but we still had a good event and people were genuinely interested in the potential of our CTM-ONE redemption terminal.
“We also showed our new CTM-DASH monitoring software, which allows our customers to monitor all transactions and technical status remotely.
“Feedback was very positive; CTNM-DASH makes our products even more attractive to the North American market.”
The trailblazers in skill-based slots, GameCo has really upped its game in the past 12 months, as the breadth of product on their stand showed. And perhaps best of all, their gaming platform not incorporates head-to-head play, so for example on their basketball title Nothin’ But Net, you can challenge another person on the bank of machines to a head-to-head for money, with the machine essentially taking a rake off the winner’s pot. It’s so simple, but competitive play should be the making of skill slots.
Blaine Graboyes was effusive about the company’s showing at G2E, telling CI: “This was our first year with a booth at G2E and the reception was tremendous. We were incredibly pleased with the results, and the consideration we received.
“One of the big factors for us was that our work over the last four or five years now is aligning with the market; I think it’s fair to say we were a little bit ahead of the market previously, and I mean that in the context of the consideration and acceptance of skill gaming, e-sports, and video games. E-sports and skill games were probably the biggest topics at the show, and because we have been doing this for a while we had a breadth of games to show, we had new products, new platform features… the investment in time and effort we have made over the last few years really shone through.
“We had many meetings set up, but we had a lot of drop-ins at the booth; the consistent response we got was ‘wow, you have come so far in a year!’
“Something I have been thinking about is the difference between the technology industries and the casino industry as it relates to innovation. One of the things that makes the tech industry so strong is that people innovate in public in a constant iterative relationship with their customers. Examples are everywhere. People release versions of products that they know are not optimal, and they get feedback and release new versions and make improvements; I think we are very much following that tech model, but that’s not the typical one in the casino industry. People typically show products in public when they believe they are optimised and otherwise they do not show them at all, or just privately. But I believe in innovating in public, even if that means taking a couple of punches along the way. We have released games we knew were not perfect, but we also knew we wouldn’t get the feedback we needed unless we released them.
“One of the most exciting things we had on the booth is Challenge Mode, which is a platform feature. That will roll out across most of our game library and you will be able to play those games in a multiplayer challenge. It addresses the main issue with multiplayer games in that it works on top of our single-player game; if you’re there by yourself you can still play, but some multiplayers out there you need two to actually play, and four players for it to be optimal.”
The company’s name is a byword for casino seating quality, and that’s something that is not lost on president Skip Davis, as he sat in the company’s biggest-ever G2E booth and summed up the company’s ethos to Casino International: “It’s about unsurpassed comfort. Players are going to come to the casino and bring their money to play, so you’re going to get them to gamble whether they are on a milk carton or a seat. But why not make that experience a good one? That’s really what the guys who understand the casino business are trying to do, they are creating a customer experience. That seat is really the only thing you’re constantly in contact with while you’re playing. We want people to sit down and say, ‘Wow!’
“It seems simple but it’s not; when I look at our competitors, who have been doing this a long time, you would think they would have it down to a science by now, but they can’t match what we are doing. It’s the pitch of the chair, the foam, lots of little things add up to the right chair. We hired the best guy in the world for seating comfort and he has designed some great looking chairs – but all of them sit really well.
“You might find a good chair from a competitor $30 cheaper, but how many times will you get that $30 back over the life of the chair, when people sit in it and play for longer? We are worth a little more.
“It’s all about comfort.”
It’s been a big 12 months for VizExplorer, with the company’s upward growth surely going to continue with the unveiling of tableViz, which combines ARB Labs’ ChipVue technology with Viz Explorer’s data dissemination brilliance. Jeffrey Hoss, VP Business Development, told CI at the show: “ChipVue technology from ARB Labs uses a chip tray setup that can be added to any existing table layout; the tray incorporates them positions and the cameras, eight cameras with lights to help illuminate the table and help with the bet recognition. This setup allows operators to generate slot-style analytics about table players, something previously only done in an imprecise fashion.”
tableViz provides accurate player ratings to help casino managers evaluate player worth and game performance by dealer and table, along with data about player behaviour and activity to inform marketing campaigns, player development initiatives, and gaming floor changes. Backed by ChipVue’s reliable optical data, tableViz insights can be used to properly assign player ratings, measure game and dealer performance, and even optimize staffing of the pit based on actual occupancy. The solution also generates accurate trends in the amounts bet by a player, including side wagers, opening up new possibilities for incentivizing players.
You can read more about tableViz on page 50 in this issue.
This company’s suite of products continues to expand its footprint globally, from mega resorts to smaller casinos, there is a place for Epicentral. That’s the couponing software setup that allows the operator to market direct to the customer’s hand in real time, at the slot machine.
Rob Denham, VP Sales and Product Management, Europe, told Casino International: “What a fantastic show. It was a great opportunity to meet all of our customers and work out where we are; we were also able to launch a new iteration of Epicentral and show customers what they were about to receive.”
On that note, the TransAct stand featured demonstrations of Epicentral 3.8 and the unique Epicentral SE systems version, both of which continue to gain traction with casino operators who benefit from the solutions’ ability to drive increased play and grow revenue. The latest version of Epicentral offers new capabilities and features including the ability to run multiple promotions at the same time, create games within games, offer multi-user/multi-site promotions, run different promotions on different slot game banks, segment players by tier, promote to different levels of uncarded players and leverage its real-time capabilities to improve operator decision making through detailed activity reports. Furthermore, by allowing for the redemption, printing and re-printing of bonuses at multiple locations, Epicentral 3.8 dramatically improves the overall player experience.
Printer Epic Edge was also prominent in its latest iteration, with full working samples for customers to see and enjoy.
Rob was also pleased with the quality of visitors at the show, concluding: “The quality was there and I would say there were a lot of international visitors. Every year there seems to be fewer and fewer time-wasters, which can only be a good thing; these days, everyone you speak to seems to be a decision-maker.”
IGT’s standout products were surely the expanded 4D range of slots. They are simply a thing of great beauty, with smart game design that treats the 3D/4D elements like they are an essential part of the game, not just a quirky add-on. People simply love playing these titles, they love the huge leap forward they represent and that there is just nothing else like them. The new Ghostbusters 4D slot is a great example of all of IGT’s slot strengths, from the cabinet branding all the way up to the 4D interface. It’s an utterly lovely playing experience and if you see it, I recommend you jump right on the machine to experience it for yourself. Of course, the new Sphinx iteration, Sphinx 4D, is still also completely excellent.
The new Sex and the City the slots incorporate PowerSight, which is an interesting addition; eye-tracking gear in the machine means your eye movement is now a part of play, so in bonus games for example you can use sight to pop bubbles, or you can look at an option on screen to select it. It took a little getting used to, but it’s a fun thing. Given how well the company’s designers have incorporated 3D and taken it a step further, it will be interesting to see where this goes in coming months.
Elsewhere, IGT’s PlaySpot mobile solution – the same setup that powers MGM Resorts’ playMGM mobile sports betting app – was front and centre, with its ability to put live table betting, casino games, virtual sports and more on players’ mobile devices; you’ll be able to read about this in a forthcoming issue of Casino International.
Gaming Standards Association
The Gaming Standards Association (GSA) arrived at G2E as the premier organization for technical collaboration in the gaming industry, aiming to bring together operators, regulators, and suppliers and talk about their latest initiatives in Europe, Online Gaming and Education.
GSA Europe is a Malta-based division of GSA focusing on better serving the regional needs of suppliers, manufacturers, online and land-based operators, and regulators outside North America. GSA Europe’s Managing Director, Mark Pace, will be available in the booth to answer questions.
In addition, GSA has recently partnered with iGaming Academy to provide greater access to education.
GSA also discussed and answered questions regarding the new series of Online Gaming Standards, including the Third Party Gaming Interface (TPI) and the Regulatory Reporting Interface (RRI).
Ever the innovators, Interblock had its most arresting product in a VIP area, where customers were treated to the good stuff. Global CEO John Connelly explained: “We had a VIP room where we introduced some products generating a lot of buzz at the moment, where we are rethinking what an ETG looks like and what it can be technologically, and how it can create hold and handle.
“One of the disadvantages of electronic table games has been historically is the ability to compete with other games segments on the casino floor. A slot machine can hold up to 10% and you are able to play every four seconds; you can get a lot of handle through a slot machine with a very high hold. An ETG by nature – and a lot of table games – the hold is 1%, 1.8% perhaps, with the best being double-zero roulette at 5.6%. So even the best table game is little more than half of what a slot generates. But that means you just have to have a lot more handle go through an ETG than a slot to be competitive; but when a slot is spinning every four or five seconds, and your ETG is doing once a minute, and you can only go as fast as the slowest person in those 16 or so seats. It creates challenges but we think we have found a solution that will allow ETGs to compete with a slot machine. The hold is not as high, but with side bets and the average bet being higher than a slot, we think the majority of those challenges are being met.
“We have really focussed on increasing the hold percentage with side bets and additional features on our products; from a handle perspective, we have come up with the concept of a single-seat ETG, meaning a player essentially has their own ETG machine and their own generator, and can therefore play as fast as they like without waiting for others. We demonstrated the single-player ETG concept at G2E for Baccarat, Craps, Blackjack and Roulette.
“The industry is finally understanding enough about ETGs here in the North America market to understand it’s not a slot, and should not be measured as such; it shouldn’t be measured in slot reports, it’s a different, incremental player segment, and it may be that product everybody has been looking for to drive new traffic onto the casino floor.”
As for the show itself, he was absolutely delighted. He concluded: “I think this was probably the best G2E show of the last five years, easily. The economy is stronger, there is the urge to do business, people saying they want product installed before December. Operators are feeling aggressive and understanding the value of what an ETG can give them.”
JCM Global’s award-winning line of transaction solutions has been helping operators make real connections with customers for decades. At G2E, JCM showed the bill validators, printers, promotional solutions, and digital media operators need to take customer connections to the next level.
Leading the way to the future is JCM’s revolutionary FUZION technology, which stole the show last year in a back-room preview. Now fully realized, FUZION is ready to adapt onto any provider of the casino management systems and address any regulatory challenges. When paired with JCM’s iVIZION bill validator and GEN5 printer, the transformative FUZION technology unleashes the power of what if.
JCM’s booth was also arguably the busiest at G2E, with a two-day esports tournament held during the event a particular stroke of genius.
Quixant enjoyed another exceptional showing at the Global Gaming Expo, showcasing the company’s high-end gaming platforms, monitors and button decks designed to meet the needs of the gaming industry.
Quixant introduced the QX-60, which features the latest AMD Embedded R-Series SoC processor. AMD offers unparalleled graphics performance combined with OS support for Windows Embedded 7, 8 and 10, as well as Linux.
Displayed at Quixant’s booth was the ultra-high-end, all-in-one gaming platform – the QMax-1 – that can run nine monitors independently. To augment the integrated graphics, it can be configured with a range of optional discrete GPU options using AMD’s Embedded Radeon E8870 or E9260 GPUs which are interchangeable.
Quixant’s field tested Gaming Ecosystem concept continues to play a crucial role within the company’s success, as it has been field tested and well developed over many years. The Gaming Ecosystem provides the same environment for the game software on all Quixant platforms, enabling easy transfer from system to system. It is an integral part of the Quixant proposition.
Quixant exhibited a Technology Area for game developers showcasing several areas of the Gaming Ecosystem. It included ALCE, a debugging and tracing tool to expedite development on Quixant’s platforms and diagnosis of faults, and the QxVDR solution, which combines an advanced hardware-accelerated video decoding engine with the ability to overlay alpha channel content and create bitstreams to drive external LED lighting.
The response at the 17th Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas for the newly combined NOVOMATIC and Ainsworth booth was outstanding, with guests from around the world attracted to the many gaming highlights on display. Sharing a booth for the first time at the principal US gaming show, both companies previewed a wide range of innovations with a special emphasis on two key products – From Dusk Till Dawn and Pac-Man.
Following a licensing deal with Miramax for the global rights to produce land-based and interactive casino games based on Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s crime and horror classic From Dusk Till Dawn, this brand new NOVOMATIC title made its debut appearance at G2E. Gaining maximum attention, the feature game is presented on the NOVOSTAR V.I.P. III and V.I.P. Lounge cabinets and delivers a dramatic slot experience.
As the cult film marks 20 years since release, From Dusk Till Dawn is resurrected as an entertaining slot game with an assortment of mini bonuses that can trigger on any base game spin, two highly engaging bonus features and a two-level standalone progressive jackpot. During the second day of the show, the Bartender character came to life as Danny Trejo attended the booth as well as the exclusive From Dusk Till Dawn after-show event.
The iconic Pac-Man character also played a major role at G2E, as Ainsworth launched Pac-Man Dynamic Edition – the second slot title based on the instantly recognizable arcade game that is part of a strategic partnership between Ainsworth and Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. The new game follows the success of Pac-Man Wild Edition and is presented on the A640 cabinet with exciting new bonus features and massive jackpots.
Other highlights of the exhibit included the Enchanted Fortunes linked progressive jackpot that was connected to new and proven NOVOMATIC themes attuned for the US market, such as Asian Fortunes, Goddess Rising and Book of Ra Mystic Fortunes. New games on show for the US market included Empire V Superior, JackPOP! and JackPOW!, and also presented for the first time was JACKPOT EDITION Deluxe, which can plug into NOVO LINE Interactive games and offer more frequent chances to win a multi-level jackpot.
On the Ainsworth side, the new Asian-themed linked progressive Hao Yun Dao garnered a lot of global interest, as well as new game series FirePower and Big Hit Bonanza. The full range of Ainsworth cabinets presented a total of more than 130 titles from the new development studio in Las Vegas as well as from Sydney, with titles proving popular amongst visitors including Nostradamus, Rumble Rumble Eagle, Desert Dawn and Desert Dusk.
Beat Square could prove to be an absolute jewel in Konami’s crown. We all know how strong the company’s back catalogue is in terms of arcade and console gaming, but porting that to the casinocould still prove tricky. Or so we thought, until we saw Beat Square in tournament mode at G2E. Tournament play is surely the beating heart of skill slots, and Konami have nailed it with Beat Square, we are delighted to say. Of course, an operator would still have to actually get players in to the casino, but the potential for that elusive younger player to become a regular is now huge.
Beat Square is a rhythmic gameplay skill-based release, which includes solo mode and comprehensive tournament functionality for teams and individuals to compete. Beat Square Tournament made its industry premiere during G2E, challenging gamers in a skill competition of rhythmic coordination to tap choreographed square buttons as they light up to the beat of the music. This landmark product release stands alongside an array of original Konami developments including its Frogger: Get Hoppin’ skill-based game, Crystal Cyclone community-style multi-station, premium Concerto Opus cabinet with a 65-inch video screen, and more than 100 different slot games focused on creative engagement and enduring entertainment value.
“The excitement surrounding Beat Square has been incredible. Crowds lined up to join the tournament, top players kept coming back to defend their high scores, and eSports-style competitors teamed up to attempt some of the most challenging songs,” said Steve Walther, senior director, marketing & product management. “We brought a full Beat Square Tournament installation to G2E as a glimpse into the potential for new gaming entertainment. The response has been widespread enthusiasm. Seeing the industry come together to experience this completely one-of-a-kind game has been unforgettable.”
Based on technology developed through iconic Konami creations like Dance Dance Revolution, Beat Square is equipped with a variety of new and recognizable tunes. After players enter their initials and the game begins, patterns illuminate across the button dashboard for players to tap with the beat to earn higher scores.
“Creative entertainment is at the core of Beat Square,” said Walther. “Leveraging proven technology from our amusement arcade division, Konami has introduced a skill-based tournament game unlike anything else the gaming industry has seen. It’s just one example of how Konami is pioneering future product to reach new and expanding audiences with novel creative development and gameplay experiences.”
The Strip casinos in Las Vegas have become the ultimate showroom for roulette specialists Cammegh. Having installed wheels with the most prestigious properties across the city, from the Aria to MGM, the Palazzo to the Bellagio and Venetian, the G2E show 2017 proved to be the UK-based family business’ most successful North American trade show ever.
“This year’s event has been a fabulous experience for the Cammegh team,” stated Andrew Cammegh at G2E. “Operator confidence in our product has never been higher and has proved the bedrock for the latest products we’ve brought to the 2017 show. Having our products on the floors of the major Strip Casinos brings instant recognition of the brand, credibility to the product range and massive interest in the latest innovations we are showing at G2E. The Triple Zero wheel is already proving to be a success and driving productivity at the Venetian. The response from other operators has confirmed we will see a wider installation base of the Triple Zero wheel.”
While product on the casino floor was performing exceptionally well, Cammegh’s new side bet Spread-Bet Blackjack certainly shone as well. Spread-Bet Blackjack is a licensed side bet for the industry’s most widely played card game. Working seamlessly alongside the traditional game, Spread-Bet Blackjack gives each player three new optional betting spots, allowing wagers to be placed on the sum of their first two cards. Each betting spot denotes a number range, 2-3,4-5 and 6-9 and players are paid if the sum of their first two cards lies within the range or ‘spread’ on which they have bet. By adding the chance to win on a low value hand, Spread-Bet Blackjack adds an exciting and rewarding twist to the game at an increased house edge.
“Spread-Bet Blackjack builds on Spread-Bet Roulette an increasingly established side game that has resonated with both customers and their players,” described Andrew Cammegh. “We have seen Spread-Bet Roulette integrated into casino table games at the international level, and having worked closely with Novomatic to install this innovative game onto their NOVO Unity II terminals, we’ve made the amazing game of roulette even more exciting and given a reboot to the EGT sector at the same time. We anticipate that Spread-Bet Blackjack will have the same impact on this world renowned card game and in combination with our Billboard Displays, have a product that will excite, entertain and deliver the rewards and results players and operators demand from Cammegh products.”
Everi demonstrated at G2E its positon as the only gaming technology provider that can deliver a comprehensive portfolio of payments and gaming entertainment solutions which help casino operators offer a winning experience for their players. Along with their largest ever line-up of games solutions, Everi Payments showed innovative cash access solutions that provide players with new options for managing their funds on the gaming floor, critical cash handling solutions that increase cage and enterprise efficiency, and data-driven solutions that promote insights into customer behaviour.
“As the clear leader for casino industry payments and compliance solutions, Everi continues to set the bar higher with our comprehensive portfolio of new and innovative offerings that improve the efficiency of our customers’ payments operations while enhancing their players’ experience,” said Michael Rumbolz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Everi. “Our customers know that Everi is deeply committed to understanding their changing needs for cash access and compliance solutions in a rapidly evolving environment. We believe that our range of Payments offerings on display at G2E 2017 will demonstrate the benefits of our ongoing efforts to develop products that ease operational and financial burdens while simultaneously offering a heightened guest experience which delivers more cash to the casino floor. We are excited to welcome our customers to Las Vegas in October where we will showcase the power of our integrated, industry-unique Payments solutions.”
Juliet Lim, Executive Vice President and Payments Business Leader, added: “The Payments team is dedicated to working closely with customers to understand their operating needs in order to provide them with solutions that help increase player access to funds on the casino floor from a growing number of sources, meet the increasing burden of local, state and federal regulatory obligations, and keep player data and financial information secure. As the gaming industry’s only provider of integrated Payments and Games products, our solutions are proven to deliver an ultra-reliable, seamless experience across the casino floor, cage and back office. We continue to innovate each and every day with our customers in mind and with an eye towards the consistent enhancement of our already unmatched Payments solutions portfolio.”
Casino Technology expanded its horizon on new markets after successful G2E 2017. The company’s new line products had an excellent inroad during the trade show with multitude of deals concluded. The new line slot machine EZ MODULO and the premium ARCH as well as the fully upgraded online platform LEOPARD gained the most of interest.
The new and enhanced LEOPARD online gaming platform of Casino Technology was eagerly accepted by the operators and the customers. They were fascinated by the fact that the platform offers a complete solution for online gaming business with all possible verticals available. The platform is accessible in a mobile version and very soon will be available in a multilingual version.
In the same time, the contemporary EZ MODULO slot machine gained attention with modern design and advanced ergonomics. Recognized by operators as a great solution for every casino floor, the new line cabinet is speeding up to more and more gaming floors with agreed multiple of installations in South America, the Caribbean region and South Africa.
The new luxurious ARCH TITAN cabinet made an outstanding impression as well. The machine with its powerful look, based on the 43” horizontally curved main monitor and 43” vertical top box, provides feel of the game with no comparison. The one-of-a-kind slot machine is offered with the latest multilevel progressive game of Casino Technology – FIVE BLESSINGS DELUXE.
“We are very pleased with the interest our portfolio of new line products has generated during G2E, alluring many customers which resulted in tying up even more successful partnerships. Casino Technology introduced its latest gaming solutions with a vision of the current trends, defying the gaming industry and in the same time with our eyes turned to the future, foreseeing the new tendencies that are yet to come and dictate the business”, concluded Milo Borissov, Founder, President and CEO of Casino Technology.
The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) has released its May 2017 Global Gaming Supplier Industry Economic Impact report. The gaming supplier segment continues to reflect consumers’ expectations for innovative technology and products. Industry growth has also required continuous research and development investments.
AGEM reports that key 2016 business performance metrics increased 5-6% over 2015. Adjusted for 2017 inflation and U.S. dollar values, these statistics mean:
• Gaming suppliers directly generated $18 billion in economic output in 2016, with a ripple effect of $48 billion.
• Direct employees wages totaled almost $5 billion, or more than $14 billion in overall earnings.
• Direct gaming supplier jobs category totaled more than 55,000, with a multiplier effect of 212,000-plus global positions.
Suppliers with Nevada headquarters or branch operations account for significant industry-wide activity. Statewide, these companies generated $9.2 billion in direct global economic output, plus $6.7 billion in salaries for more than 100,000 workers.
As a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, Agilysis introduced LMS 7.4, its upgraded Lodging Management System (LMS) software. The LMS 7.4 adds new functionality for mobile devices, including SMS text messaging, mobile pre-check and check-out, mobile housekeeping and enhanced security for guests’ financial information. Users of the earlier 7.3.5 version may access LMS 7.4 without upgrading.
The LMS 7.4 also includes an improved ACSC integration that eliminates the need to shut down to upgrade to LMS. Enhanced integration with multiple Casino Management Systems eases customer functions like billing and adding keys.
Also available are Agilysys’s improvements to its rGuest Buy point-of-sale (POS) self-service kiosk. These are especially effective for multi-use cafeteria “Grab N Go” sales where employees may have credit totals loaded on their payment card. For guests, the Grab N Go kiosk provides menu choices that ease selection and payment, expediting the purchase process.
The latest InfoGenesis POS v4.4.10 version has been released with improved P2PE integration to maximize the user experience. It upgrades casino management system integration that enhances player transaction management and tracking across systems.
Specific new updates include PIN authorization, vouchers redeemable for less-than-full-credit amounts and tips, filtering comps and vouchers by eligibility and comp/voucher refunds at the point of sale. The new integration framework enables accelerated development of innovative CMS/POS interactions.
InfoGenesis 4.5 plans for future capabilities to allow global hospitality chains and multi-brand companies to manage their complicated POS configurations and deployment needs. This process lowers costs and improves flexibility across all locations.
Gasser Chair, which recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, displayed both high-end lounge and main casino floor seating in two adjacent spaces.
The slim new ergonomic Venturo series chairs have a curved backrest to relieve spinal pressure and gleaming bases and foot rests with rounded edges. The waterfall seat improves comfort and leg circulation to maximize customer time. The back wood construction has less inner foam. The chair is available in three base versions-a four-legged chair and two foot rest designs.
President Mark Gasser says, “The four bolts on this chair expedite service and cushion replacement, with the under-the-seat finger groove allowing faster chair movement. We have added sophisticated stitching to surround the fabric.”
The Gasser GE158-ALF01-Custom accommodates all sizes by mixing a wrap-around back with a player-adjustable seat height from 20.5” to 25.” The GE158-ALF01-Custom has a silver FG10 finger grip for easy movement and separately upholstered “accent patches” at the exterior side edges of the back. Geared for higher-stakes game areas, these seats have a self-return swivel and silver powder coat base and footrest.
According to Gasser, “High-end customers typically order between 100-200 of these premium chairs. They and their customers are not usually as price conscious.”
Gasser Chair’s new fabric resource center displayed samples so customers could learn about their present fabrics or those under consideration. Gasser described a trend towards more frequent refurbishment, which reduces the chair’s traditional eight to 10-year lifespan down to five to seven.
“The more visible the venue, the more they need to keep it fresh. Our team does such a good job that when completed, there is no difference in their appearance. We also quote a trade-in and purchase price,” says Gasser.
Gasser Chair invites customers to visit their manufacturing plant in Youngstown, Ohio to better understand their capabilities. Their separate wood and metal manufacturing plants are on a single campus. Gasser also encourages customers to compare their products and prices with their competitors to ensure that everyone is happy in the end.
Nanoptix has used its PayCheck brand to develop multiple applications. The PayCheck Connex offers interconnecting hardware and infrastructure to link casino management systems and the casino floor.
PayCheck Terminal, the world’s first TITO printer-powered kiosk is available for gaming, lottery and retail applications. Global Director of Sales & Marketing Rejean “Reggie” Belliveau says, “Due to a PC-based infrastructure, the kiosk and printer are small enough to avoid taking up space and losing revenues. It has great potential for player loyalty program and coupons, promotions and marketing.”
The PayCheck NextGen PC-based printer sits within a slot machine and has multiple USB ports, MicroSD reader, HDMI and Bluetooth connection points. The universally-accepted terminal can add a bar code reader or scanner or a card/chip reader. It offers easy access to all components for fast plug-and-play replacement.
The printer also saves money by reducing paper jams, being able to customize ticket fonts and its artwork. The NextGen is “future proof” and will adapt to all software upgrades or connectivity requirements.
Zytronic is a leading supplier of durable, high performance Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT and MPCT) touch sensors to the gaming industry. At G2E, the company announced a policy requiring very low or no minimum orders, which offers greater design creativity.
Sales and Marketing Director Ian Crosby stated that as games become more skill-based, touch screens are necessary to attract a Millennial generation that is accustomed to an immediate response. Zytronic’s 40-85” touch screens offer the same reliability as a small tablet device.
Zytronic exhibited its concept Bubble Pirate machine that will soon be available. Crosby said, “Bubble Pirate ‘crams’ in all our technology and combines a 49-inch curved touchscreen with a highly customized button deck. To make it more attractive, our curved screen features frameless ultra narrow borders that enhance the visual appeal. The wrap-around screen makes the player feel more immersed in the game.”
Video button decks are growing more popular and are starting to replace traditional rectangular buttons on many machines. Crosby says Zytronic has applied for a patent on its floating dialing technology that replaces joysticks. It may be built as a button, slider or dial.
Zytronic prioritizes customization and, because it is a glass processing firm, can manufacture an almost limitless choice for glass sizing and thickness. The glass may also be treated to be anti-reflective, mirrored and anti-microbial.
Advances ease the human and machine interaction. Zytronic has also built in a wireless phone charging point technology. “By charging phones on the spot, players don’t have to return to their rooms. Instead, they can stay on the casino floor all day long. Bubble Pirate has also built in a Near-field communication (NFC) reader that can be used to take information from NFC-enabled player tracking or loyalty cards,” said Crosby.
TCS’s Qorex electronic gaming solutions range has grown, with a new terminal unveiled, a smaller 23” cabinet in addition to the existing 27” version.
This new 23” cabinet incorporates all the features of the original larger terminal, but has been designed to provide a more compact footprint – ideal when space is at a premium or there’s a restriction on the number of tables.
Steph Nel, TCSJOHNHUXLEY General Manager for the Americas comments, “Our original Qorex terminal has one of the largest HD screens available on an EGT, providing unrivalled graphics and clear live video of wheels or intelligent shoes. However, we realized the benefits of being able to offer a smaller, 23” terminal for casinos that may have limited floor space and would benefit from the space saving footprint. We have been able to pack in all the same features to the smaller terminal, illustrating how flexible the range can be.”
Also, debuting in the Americas was the latest design Qorex Fixed Tablet Table, featuring integrated note acceptors and ticket printers that have been cleverly designed with interlocking modules, so they can be configured easily to fit any space or requirement. This also allows them to be easily integrated into custom furniture or bars. Displayed as a 6-player unit with a built in SaturnTM Auto Wheel, Qorex Tablet Table features fixed tablets that incorporate the same consistent User Interface found in all Qorex products. This allows the player to navigate easily from game to game as well as transitioning from terminals to tablets.
The company also had a table games showcase at G2E, with Lucky Ball Roulette making its debut at the show as the newest game in the TCSJOHNHUXLEY portfolio after an agreement was signed with Gaming Entertainment Systems Pty Ltd (GES) to distribute their side bet system across the Americas, UK and Europe. Lucky Ball Roulette is a suspense building side-bet for the traditional game of Roulette. Easy to play and with no impact on the base game, players bet on any or all of the coloured Lucky Ball Roulette bet options that are each given a randomly generated number for each game. If the base Roulette games’ number matches with one of the randomly allocated coloured Lucky Ball Roulette numbers, the player wins, it’s as simple as that.
Following the launch in Asia earlier in the year, three new proprietary and side bet innovations from Crown Resorts games were introduced to the US market. Nutz, Dice Duel and S7REAK, designed by CLUB Gaming Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crown Resorts Limited, have all been developed and tested in-house leveraging Crown’s first-hand experience to monitor performance and effectiveness, which reduces the risk when placing new games.
GEOFF FREEMAN OPENING SESSION
AGA President Geoff Freeman opened the G2E keynote on October 3 with a moment of silence, only 36 hours after the October 1 Mandalay Bay massacre. He scrapped his original presentation and, instead, introduced former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.
Davis shared his experiences leading the police department after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. He complimented the regional Las Vegas police response, describing how each trained police department and first responders team knew exactly their course of action. Similar to Boston, quick, efficient responses helped Las Vegas officials contain the carnage, as did the voluntary acts of everyday people who risked their own safety to save others.
Everyone later received the AGA’s “Strategic Plan 2020” brochure. It outlines the AGA mission as seeking to “Achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.”
When Freeman joined the AGA in 2013, he and the professional staff developed a strategic three-year plan. The 2020 program will focus on strengthening processes and address issues impacting the next generation. These include legalizing sports betting, reinforcing gaming’s positive corporate impact within legal jurisdictions and creating new jobs. Freeman said the 2020 plan’s three core objectives will promote gaming’s successes by cultivating a favorable federal-and-state-level policy and regulatory environment.
“We must highlight our industry’s enormous economic and social impact with key stakeholders and continue to remove barriers to our members’ growth. The critics now only live where we’re not doing business,” says Freeman.
Freeman also advocates for tribal casinos, now part of the AGA membership roster. By telling their story, the public will understand the differences between commercial and tribal gaming.
The AGA wants the federal government to raise the taxable winnings threshold, stagnant for decades, to at least $2,500. When adjusted for inflation, Freeman claims the figure should actually be closer to $5,000.
Industry members cannot accomplish these goals alone. From a four-prong strategic framework and guiding principles, each pillar will focus on a specific category:
Shape a Favorable Federal Policy Environment for Regulated Gaming- The AGA must cultivate Congressional champions to assist in facilitating industry anti-money laundering compliance, off-reservation gaming, stop illegal gambling, legalize sports betting and develop favorable tax policy. Congressional action must protect the industry’s key business tax, healthcare, labor and travel/tourism issues.
Promote the Social and Economic Value of Gaming- The AGA’s research must prove the industry’s value as it prioritizes responsible gaming. High-quality AGA communications campaigns will educate policymakers and regulators.
Create a More Favorable Business Environment in the U.S.- A unified gaming “voice” can shape sound policy, drive an efficient regulatory reform process and steer informed expansion discussions.
Leverage Industry Power to Build Member Value Beyond Advocacy- An expanding gaming industry must support daily activities to educate, inform and coalesce members. The G2E brand should go beyond a an annual event to a daily global focus. Building partnerships with experts will secure external financial and resource opportunities.
SPORTS BETTING AND SECURITY ISSUES
The huge interest in legalizing sports betting filled multiple rooms for several seminars. Focusing on different perspectives, topics ranged from its impact on tribal gaming to state responses to the legal arguments to be made before the U.S. Supreme Court this session and more. The issue will receive more extensive future explanation.
Esports, a catch-all term for gamers’ tournaments, offers yet another enticement for new and existing casino players. Esports may either be top-tier titles that draw viewers or organized competition around video games. Five key genres make up esports: First-person shooters (FPS); Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA); Sports simulation/recreation; fighting games and casual games.
Research from 2016 revealed that 10 live events in North America each hosted 10,000; the largest North American prize pool for an esports event was $20.7 million, with a future projection of $275 million total. Esports wagering totaled $5.5 billion.
Who is playing? The player base is primarily male except for the more casual games, or those played on a mobile platform. The age profile breaks down to: under 20 (24%); 20-35 (49%); 36-50 (23%); over 51 (4%). Players have higher-than-average incomes to cover the sizable costs involved for hardware, entry and peripheral fees and equipment.
The Luxor in Las Vegas is building a 30,000 square foot arena. Their diverse marketing strategies will highlight different games’ appeal to each fan base. Downtown, the Grand has hosted dozens of local events, all with a local community focus.
JCM views esports an an enduring activity, especially for younger players with more participation opportunities. Studies reveal almost all U.S. households have a device-phone, tablet or computer-that is usable as a gaming device. More than 50% own a console device specifically designed for gaming. JCM will spend substantial money to perfect its program because they claim growth activity of 500% month over month.