As London’s ExCeL closed its doors at the end of yet another record breaking ICE, Merkur Gaming and the entire Gauselmann Group reflected with pride on a show that had seen the German gaming powerhouse set records all of its own.
On the largest and most impressive booth space ever for the Gauselmann Group, teams from around the world came together to present a wide range of gaming products and solutions. None more so, of course, than the real stars of Merkur Gaming: the games! With more than 140 games available for ICE attendees to see and try for themselves the booth was a magnet for visitors from the moment the doors at ExCeL opened to the show’s close, three days later. Standout game attractions were Arctic adventure, Snow Wolf Supreme and the wilds of Africa as portrayed by Savanna Stampede. In Snow Wolf Supreme the base game is presented on 40 lines but, when the bonus feature is triggered, that play phase transforms to be run on 80 lines. The great savanna plains of Africa provide the backdrop for Savanna Stampede, where the randomly triggered Bonus Reels bring Lions, Buffalos, Zebras, Wild Boars, Flamingos and Meerkats into action on the game’s up to 25 lines.
Great games demand great cabinets and, alongside Merkur Gaming’s world famous Avantgarde and Avantgarde Trio, Evostar and Merkurstar ranges was the new and elegant Allegro Curve cabinet that proved to be such a success on its international debut at the recent G2E in Las Vegas. Allegro (the name is derived from an Italian music notation that means ‘to play briskly and brightly’) is a stunning development. The cabinet features are a 43” curved Ultra HD monitor plus the latest Gforce Ultra HD multigame technology platform, an attractive lighting concept, a player perfect ergonomically assured seating position and its optional video touch button panel. Allegro is sleek, it is curvy and it is gaming entertainment ‘made in Germany’ that gives an exciting new dimension to the Merkur Gaming product range.
Brand new at ICE was the launch of the Merkur Roulette. This is the product of the recently concluded Strategic Technology Alliance between Merkur Gaming and Spintec of Slovenia. Built in Merkur style and of the highest quality the Merkur Roulette is a premium product that marks the Gauselmann Group’s proud entry into the multiplayer electronic table games market. Given its own dedicated space on the ICE booth the Merkur Roulette 8-player unit attracted both visitor attention and praise in equal measure and was an undoubted star of the show in its own right.
Another brand new development was the announcement that the UK Gauselmann subsidiary Blueprint Games is to enter the UK casino market with a range of B1 category games that, immediately post-ICE, would go on location trial with some of the UK’s leading casino operators.
In addition to games and gaming machines from its international sales brand Merkur Gaming, adp Gauselmann GmbH once again used ICE as a platform for showcasing various products for the German market. At the Gauselmann stand visitors were able to experience the latest multigamers for national arcades and the gastronomy sector, an exciting new additional feature and a new add-on in M-BOX design – all in compliance with the Technical Directive (TD) 5.0 implemented since November 2018. The M-BOX, adp’s most successful German multigamer was be presented in three different versions: the M-BOX Buzzer in a TRIO cabinet, which was launched in 2018 as the first buzzer AWP machine in the German arcade market, as well as the M-BOX SEVEN and the M-BOX EXPLOSION, each with its own exciting additional feature.
Filling the huge Gauselmann Group booth at ICE were the subsidiary companies that extend the famous laughing sun brand to every sector of today’s gaming landscape. Having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, GeWeTe is the company that is responsible for cash handling solutions. This German company has amassed a wealth of experience in the realms of cash handling systems. GeWeTe offers a vast range of machines for many applications and market sectors – from compact to high-end, PC-based machines that master both cashless and cash handling requirements. All hardware and software development is carried out in-house. Thus, GeWeTe not only provides complete solutions to the market but is able to adapt and create cash handling solutions to match individual customer requirements. The success of GeWeTe is best seen in the home market of Germany. Even though the German street market (AWP) is very competitive, GeWeTe commands over 70% of the market share and has sold over 60,000 systems worldwide. GeWeTe is rapidly expanding in more European countries and has invested heavily in setting up subsidiaries to support key markets, such as in Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy. The ‘all-in-one’ solutions have enabled GeWeTe to offer a range of machines and options for all gaming sectors – casino, AWP (street market), VLT/SBG, bingo, redemption and sports betting.
Betting operator Cashpoint was presenting its extensive product portfolio at ICE London for the 20th year. At the company’s completely redesigned exhibition stand, sports betting fans from all over the world had a unique opportunity to discover the latest sports betting highlights from the Gauselmann Group. Cashpoint took advantage of the enlarged Gauselmann booth and designed a rotunda that allowed visitors to see the different products and more easily explore the connected world of Cashpoint. They soon found that the Cashpoint product portfolio encompassed much more than sports betting alone. The system platform designed by Cashpoint now also offers casino, games and virtual products in addition to classic sports betting, that B2B customers can optionally select and manage centrally. All platform solutions are individually tailored to the needs and wishes of the B2B partners and are available for all bricks-and-mortar, online and mobile channels.
Online gaming specialists edict egaming presented a new set of HTML5 table games at this year’s ICE. In the past edict already had a strong passion for the details of classic casino games due to the company’s long history with land-based casinos in Germany. In 2019, aside from several roulette and blackjack versions, the company launched Sic Bo and Craps also. Edict also added significantly to their online games portfolio. With several decades of experience in developing games, edict egaming have been translating this land-based experience to the online world for ten years now. New releases coming soon this year, African Mask, Flame of Egypt, Salmon Catch and Eastern Lights, will for sure match players’ expectations as they combine unique mathematics and in-game features. Edict is especially looking forward to the launch of Zentaurus, as this game has been long-awaited in the online market. Additionally, edict is expanding into new markets, as well as carefully watching the regulatory scene in Europe. A new data centre will soon enhance the gaming experience for players in South and Latin America. Furthermore, edict is looking closely at the development in Germany and expects the federal states to make a huge step in the right direction by setting a regulatory framework to allow online gambling all over Germany and thus give players a safe environment.
Euro Payment Group (EPG) presented its product portfolio at ICE London. The payment service provider from the Gauselmann Group was present at ICE in two exhibition halls at the same time: not only on the expansion area of the Gauselmann Group but also with a stand in the area of payment providers. In almost all spheres, business done on the Internet has become part of everyday life. As a result, electronic payments are also becoming increasingly important. EPG acts as an interface between payment providers and online merchants. Based in the financial metropolis of Frankfurt am Main, the internationally active payment service provider is an experienced expert for online payment and gateway services. On behalf of its customers, it coordinates and authenticates all processes relating to the integration of payment methods and the processing of payment transactions in online business. The entire cash flow is handled by the subsidiary and the licensed financial institution EPG Financial Services Ltd., based in Malta. At ICE the EPG team presented a new payment method in the versatile product portfolio: the innovative cryptocurrency bitcoin. In response to the increasing demand for bitcoins as a payment option – especially in the areas of online sports betting and online gaming – EPG is now also offering online merchants tailor-made solutions for this type of payment. At the twin EPG stands, ICE visitors were able to gather information about standard payment methods via credit cards and online bank transfers, as well as the payment options PayPal, paysafecard, Skrill and Neteller, all of which are popular in the gaming industry.
At the conclusion of ICE Athanasios ‘Sakis’ Isaakidis, Chief Executive of Merkur Gaming International and Head of International Product Management, stated: “I can say for certain that this edition of ICE has been a tremendous success. Not just for Merkur Gaming but for all the participating subsidiary companies of the Gauselmann Group also. I want to thank everyone that attended as a team member for their hard work and dedication. Everyone played their part: from the build-up and breakdown crews that made the new and enlarged booth so special, to the catering and booth hostess staff that ensured the standards of hospitality for which the Gauselmann Group is famous were fully met and, of course, to our dedicated commercial and technical teams. They all contributed to the success that was created here in London. Merkur Gaming has much to achieve in 2019 and I can say without doubt that the new contacts that we have made here at ICE and the existing friendships that we value so highly will go a long way to ensuring that our targets for the rest of this year will be met.”