SBG: Evolution

Luke Alvarez, CEO & Founder, Inspired Gaming Group explains their innnovative, exciting server-based technology…

Server-based technology was once limited to a small number of countries, but now demand, modernisation and legislation are driving the adoption of server-based technology in the big growth markets of the US, Italy, Greece, Latin America and Asia.  
Inspired’s expertise lies in what is increasingly being called “Distributed Gaming”. Put simply, Distributed Gaming is the delivery of gaming content across multiple segments – slots, electronic table games, bingo and rapid draw lottery games – to any device, cabinet, tablet, cell phone or home PC. To the player a distributed gaming endpoint looks and feels like a traditional gaming product, but under the hood it’s highly customised depending on who the player is and what game is hot that week.
This focus on modernisation and player customisation has made Inspired the biggest supplier to UK Licensed Betting Offices, one of the top three VLT suppliers in Italy and a growing supplier to several Latin American and South-East Asian countries.
For us, gaming has come a long way since the unintelligent, single game, first-generation of machines, which have no game download or connectivity. Our fourth generation of VLT and SBG machines are highly intelligent, customised devices that change the stakes, player presentation, rewards and feature levels depending on the operator’s scheduling and/or the player’s preference.
We operate around 35,000 fourth generation gaming machines – a figure that is set to grow and is driven by our understanding of operator and player needs. For analogue operators it is hard to calculate how much money their machines make and they are likely to only be popular for six months before players tire of the game and the income drops off. This is bearable in a big resort casino with high footfall, but in a small local venue – where you cannot move machines around – this is a real issue. With SBG technology, it’s possible to control payment and update the machine with new content, increasing player excitement and securing income.     
From a government point of view, server-based technology allows operators to send data for tax purposes, which shows how much money is going through the machines, and proves the operator is using approved content and not taking advantage of players. It’s a win-win situation for players, operators and the government alike, which is why we’re very optimistic about the future of server-based gaming.

NOVOLINE: from server-based ready to server-based gaming

Novomatic’s NOVO LINE system comprises all aspects of modern server-based gaming. Three winning applications are available on just one powerful platform: NOVO LINE INTERACTIVE, NOVO LINE VLT and the world of NOVO LINE Novo Unity II electronic multiplayers in an unique combination with video slots.

NOVO LINE INTERACTIVE
NOVO LINE INTERACTIVE is the first choice for casino operators who plan ahead: Server-based ready, this stand-alone solution can be connected to the NOVO LINE VLT system via plug ‘n’ play, whenever the operator is ready for true downloadable and fully server based gaming.
NOVO LINE INTERACTIVE allows operators to design a future proof gaming floor at every location. It offers a vast range of gripping single games and sophisticated multi-game compendiums which comprise all games available in individually color-coded categories –Classic Lines (10 lines), Multi-Lines (20 lines), Power Lines (40 lines), Fruit Games and Specials (such as Poker, Roulette, Bingo) – for user-friendly player orientation. Furthermore, all games and categories are individually selectable per machine.

NOVO LINE VLT
NOVO LINE VLT is the entry into the world of downloadable and server-based gaming. Novomatic’s server-based solution is tailored for operators in selected international markets and their respective local regulatory requirements. NOVO LINE VLT is based on a two-server-model, consisting of a central server and local servers. At the core of the system is the central server that hosts the RNG – the physical true random number generator. It also hosts the games management for an infinite number of local site installations as well as central accounting, audit & monitoring, jackpot management and central reporting. The system architecture is complemented by local servers monitoring the cashdesks, local accounting, machine management, safe ticketing and local reporting.
NOVO LINE VLT is therefore the key to the world of high-tech multi-gaming. Operators can select and design their own game mixes – based on the requirements of every location – by simply selecting the games that ideally meet guest preferences. The growing game library comprises Novomatic’s top video slot all-stars, best-performing 20-line games, powerful 50-liners, fast-paced fruit games as well as selectable specials such as Roulette or Bingo games. Choose from the best – all via the control of the server based operator menu.

NOVO LINE  Novo Unity II
The unique new feature of the NOVO LINE Novo Unity II system is the flexible interconnection of a great variety of electronic live games and slot games on a virtually unlimited number of individual player stations. This multi-game functionality allows theoperator to link any chosen number of terminals to different games such as Roulette, Baccarat, Bingo, Black Jack, Poker and Sic Bo as well as a great slot games offering all within one installation: choosing the best from server based slot gaming solutions and electronic live games.
Novomatic has been, and remains, right at the forefront of true ‘server based ready’ and server based gaming, giving operators not just the ultimate in gaming floor flexibility but also guaranteed future proofing for those locations that aspire to full server based gaming as a future objective but are not yet ready or able to fully commit.
For server based gaming Novomatic represents ‘tomorrow’s technology, today’ with all the technological safeguards that operators have the right to demand.

A new server-based gaming solution

Server-based gaming has been discussed and developed for years, but it has yet to be executed in a cost-effective way.  Leap Forward Gaming (LFG) of Reno, NV has taken an innovative approach in providing the value sought by the gaming industry.
Current gating factors:
Scale:  The majority of gaming machines must be converted using existing server-based solutions before the benefits outweigh the complexity and cost of the systems.
Economy:  Few operators can afford to do full-floor conversions.  Instead of replacing their floors, operators are seeking new and creative ways to leverage their existing investments.
Flexibility:  Operators require flexibility to adapt to changing times.  Players’ needs change, thus business needs change and ultimately the technology that satisfies those needs must evolve as well.  
Standards:  New hardware, software and communication protocols that are foundational to existing server-based offerings (G2S) are only fully supported by a small subset of gaming machine manufacturers.
LFG has analyzed these factors and created a solution for today, while defining the path for tomorrow.

How LFG does it:
Scale:  SaffariNet is machine agnostic – the gaming machine does not need to be reconfigured.  SaffariNet can readily be installed on any legacy or new gaming machine.
Economy:  SaffariNet provides server-based functionality and features for a fraction of an existing solution’s cost, eliminating the need to replace existing gaming machines.
Flexibility:  SaffariNet facilitates the gaming machine to become an all-purpose, flexible device, allowing for future evolutions.
Standards:  SaffariNet utilizes gaming industry standards and allows for additional cutting-edge innovations and lets those standards lead the way.
In summary, SaffariNet allows casino operators to convert existing gaming machines into all-purpose entertainment devices via a scalable server-based platform. Additional information on SaffariNet is available at www.leapforwardgaming.com.

Mark Matthews looks at what’s the next ‘big thing’ in SBG… TruServ

Server Based Gaming (SBG) has long been described as the next big technology shift for the gaming industry as it combines dynamic game control, floor management and configuration into a single solution. Mark Matthews, Director of Product Management for Online and SBG at Aristocrat, said the TruServ Server Based Gaming platform is strategically important to Aristocrat as its accessibility in our traditional casino markets is the next step in moving beyond existing deployments of the TruServ VLT Lottery system at Norsk Tipping in Norway and the Cogetech route operation in Italy. “Aristocrat has invested heavily over the past three years to enhance the TruServ system and have had it tested and approved by GLI for class 3 casino gaming. Harmonisation of TruServ in the casino environment has included extensive trials at casinos in Asia to validate TruServ’s reliability and game performance,” Mr Matthews added.
The TruServ SBG system aims to help revolutionise casino gaming by breaking the traditional fixed ‘game in a cabinet’ paradigm. The advantage to the industry is TruServ provides a more dynamic networked gaming environment, with a library of iconic games served and deployed across connected gaming machines within a venue, across a country or even around the world.
These techniques are already deployed in the entertainment and online gaming markets. TruServ’s client-server architecture is important as it supports advanced player analytics and player interaction in the same manner as online and social gaming platforms. This server interaction enables Aristocrat’s game designers to create new and innovative networked casino games delivering unprecedented levels of gaming excitement and involvement and supporting next generation casino gaming and new player demographics.
Today casino operators will benefit from the ability to dynamically modify and tune available games on gaming floors to better meet changing player profiles. Dynamic floor changes will result in higher machine utilisation and deliver new levels of player service. “Imagine if a regular player comes into your venue and their favourite game isn’t currently available, the player could ask you to reconfigure an idle machine with the required game in their preferred denomination,” Mr Matthews said.

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Avron Goss, Director, BetStone explains what makes them stand out…

BetStone delivers cloud based solutions through our Server Based Gaming platform to operators globally, providing premium gaming content and powerful management solutions. Our management software, the XGS System, can be accessed via the Internet from desktops and mobile devices allowing operators retrieve data on their gaming floor without the requirement of large investments in additional hardware to run applications.  An operator can grow their business and leverage centralization of all data through virtualized resources enabling BetStone to bring cost effective solutions to operators of all sizes.  
BetStone’s XGS System which encompasses a complete set of management tools, provides cash management to monitoring and real time reporting to floor analysis.  With XGS Marketing it is now possible to analyse player behaviours and game-play to deliver tailored marketing strategies for players.  XGS System is completely modular allowing individual modules to be integrated onto existing back office platforms enabling operators to avail of powerful, sophisticated management tools without large investments.
BetStone has been assisting operators in the implementation of Server Based Gaming solutions for almost a decade now.  The advantages of Server Based Gaming include – keeping the gaming floor dynamic with new and refreshed content, quick deployments of new games and software, improved performance of the gaming floor with reduced downtime, increased reporting capability and greater analysis of the gaming floor.
Players also benefit from this technology as the overall player experience is enhanced through greater game distribution where all gaming content is available on single machines which are easy to use with simple menus and touch screens and allow venues to quickly respond to player requirements.  
BetStone offers a wide and diverse array of games from its library of over 150 games including Video Slots, Video Poker, Table and Bingo games as well as Progressive Jackpots.  There is something for every player which is one of the benefits of the BetStone platform.

The industry leaders have a superb product library

This is a very exciting time for IGT.  We are creating innovative systems solutions that create fans. The industry’s response to our server-based gaming solutions has been extremely positive. IGT’s systems turn possibilities into performance. Our server-based gaming and casino management systems provide operators with the tools to simplify operations and maximize performance across the floor, while simultaneously enhancing player experience to boost loyalty and generate incremental revenue.
IGT offers the award-winning and industry-leading sbX, which delivers a server-based experience with unmatched flexibility and connectivity. Take advantage of open Gaming Standards Association Game-to-System (G2S) and System-to-System (S2S) protocols for optimum interoperability by transitioning to a server-based environment. From delivering game content via the game library to providing dynamic two-way communication with players, with sbX, operators are able to configure the right floor for their players, based entirely upon G2S data.
IGT Advantage is integrated gaming software that assists in streamlining casino operations such as management of the floor and customer attraction and retention. IGT Advantage integrates with sbX and DynamiX to make casino play more dynamic in an attempt to heighten player excitement and entertainment. GSA approved protocols are utilized to provide immediate statistics, allowing for more innovation to take place over an open network.
Casinolink is another one of our core server-based gaming products. Supporting every facet of gaming operations, Casinolink joins the management of slot machines, table games, account-based wagering, marketing and the cage into one flexible and comprehensive system.
IGT embraces ‘plug and play’ by enabling best-of-breed systems and games to communicate seamlessly.  With the Universal Game Adapter, IGT bridges the gap between the games that work and the systems …

Bally’s beliefs are firm – that server-based gaming should be all about the custome

We see the future direction of server-based technology being planned innovation that combines all of the once-separate systems under a unified business intelligence and analysis tool set. Some of the examples of these innovations include:
• Player-Specific Gaming that recognizes a player’s preferences and tastes and delivers a custom gaming experience for them.
• Community Gaming using the floor-wide network to bring new levels of player competition and community that maximizes enjoyment and the casino experience.
• Ubiquitous Player Experience combining hardware and software that presents the player with a familiar and inviting gaming experience across all manufacturers’ gaming platforms and devices.
• Centralized Management of decisions by allowing one user interface for the administration of promotions, marketing, game offerings, game settings and yield analysis
Bally does not believe – and our customers are telling us – that the casino need not be transformed overnight with every feature that can be conceived. Server-based innovations deliver specific, identifiable solutions today that can justify the infrastructure investment.

Server-Based Systems
SBS provides operators with downloadable systems player content through a combination of Elite Bonusing Suite marketing applications, and iVIEW DM technology. This combination provides the powerful “This is it” factor the industry has been waiting for.
SBS demonstrates proven results that generate the type of player excitement that keeps them playing longer, and the technology to recognize and immediately reward them for their loyalty. This winning combination not only drives coin-in and ROI, but is simultaneously changing the player experience – one player at a time.

iVIEW DM
Until now, system-based content has been confined to either a two-line display or the 6” x 2” player display. In conjunction with technologies enabled through iVIEW Multi-Media Management tools, gaming operators can choose where on the game they want to display things like player name, session points, jackpots, promotional credits, casino and hotel specials and promotions, and any other systems content.

Bally Command Center
Command Center is currently deployed in multiple jurisdictions downloading and installing media content and operating systems on the iVIEW. Instead of physically removing chips from each individual iVIEW device on the floor, Bally Command Center allows casino operators and marketing managers to download content to the iVIEW displays and iVIEW Display Managers on your entire gaming floor simultaneously in minutes – with a touch of a button.

Huge success in the VLT market gives Spielo International a solid base in server-based systems

SPIELO International is at the forefront of technology and gaming concepts to support the newest gaming titles that need more complex jackpot calculations in the backend. We are committed to supporting server based gaming with all of our systems solutions. As a platinum member of the Gaming Standards Association, with representatives on a number of GSA committees, we strive to ensure that open-standards protocols are updated, allowing more flexibility for VLT operators, while maintaining a common standard that can be implemented consistently across each vendor in a network.
In VLT markets, SPIELO International is a leader in the VLT industry with our INTELLIGEN system. We provide server-based gaming, allowing VLT operators to configure jackpots to be available to all the games across the VLT network irrespective of the vendor. This allows the player to play their favourite game and still have access to the linked jackpot.
Similarly, in casino markets, server-based gaming is all about providing more flexibility and control to the gaming floor through network technology. This will remain fairly invisible to the average player. Players are interested in the game and in the excitement of winning the jackpot!
The new server-based gaming standards allow jackpots from different vendors to be on the same floor without concerns about hardware compatibility. The casino operator has wider vendor selection, which will in turn encourage the vendors to be more innovative with their product offerings.
SPIELO International brings excitement to players and profits to operators with products like our GALAXIS range of STAR modules which offers a full range of solutions for all areas of casino operations. Our Star JACKPOT module includes the system for Local Area Progressive, Local Area Mystery as well as Wide Area Progressive jackpots. Our unique offering of turnkey jackpot solutions for gaming venues means we can provide an entire system including slot machines, WAP solution and WAP administration through the network cloud.
Our Wide Area Progressive jackpots are installed at casinos in 16 different countries, and they include some of the largest WAPs in the world. The MAGIC CASINOS JACKPOT in France, managed by GIE JACKPOT MULTISITE, links approximately 100 casinos, including the 4 largest casino groups and 21 independent casinos. In France, it generated a record jackpot of 9,428,902 Euro in March 2011.
This experience has translated into top-performing WAP systems, which we can provide as a stand-alone or turnkey solutions, managed entirely by SPIELO International, as is the case for the MAGIC CASINOS JACKPOT.

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