Interblock founder Joc Pečečnik has, along with CEO John Connelly, adapted the company to compete on the modern gaming floor globally. Casino International spoke to Joc to find out the details.
The top people at Interblock have been hinting at a radical evolution in product and attitude for a few years – and finally, visitors to G2E will see the fruits of the company’s heavy investment in research and development. Casino International caught up with founder and chief innovator Joc Pečečnik to find out how and why this evolution occurred.
Casino International: Tell me about the new direction of the company…
Joc Pececnik: We are now in the third quarter of our plan. Initially we were trying to do a state-of-the-art job on electronic table games – mechanical and video – and we now have a wider range of product, with quality and segmentation. I believe that the electronic table games division is well serviced and we are very happy right now; it is giving us great business results.
The second quarter of development was eTABLES, a new product we presented last year at G2E. It was our first product where you could connect the table online and the player is effectively playing online, so you can implement that with an online gaming license, for example.
The third quarter of our trip is to show our Universal cabinet at G2E, which is the first time ever that electronic table games are represented by a single station, with mechanical generators on top. You will be able to see that we have dice, Sic Bo, Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat – for single players, with a mechanical generator on the top. It’s beautiful and exciting to play. Each cabinet has its own games; we have physically made a mechanical generator with cards, dice, and roulette wheel – for a single player.
With this, we are covering the kind of location where performance perhaps has not been enough to justify a larger, multi-station machine. This will be a big segment for us.
The final quarter of the plan will be seen next year where we plan to improve live table gaming, and we will try to implement a new philosophy on live table games to give more control; you will see a lot of new things when we do that.
CI: Have you shown the new Universal cabinet to any operators to get feedback?
JP: Last year, we brought this to G2E and kept it in a dark room behind the booth, and showed it to our top 30 or 40 customers. The response was, they were shocked. They loved that we had invested so much time and money to finish the product, and to be able to bring it to them.
CI: Three-quarters of the way through your grand plan, can you tell our readers what you have planned for table games next year?
JP: It’s a redesign of the traditional table, with a table management system on the table, and a new way of automated dealing; more than that I can’t share at the moment as it is confidential, and not quite finished. We will try to really bring the table into the future, to refresh the entire live table game side of the industry.
This will be for G2E 2019, it won’t be ready for ICE; we are expecting a big splash with our Universal cabinet, so we will really need to focus on that for the first two quarters of 2019 in order to meet our customers’ expectations. After that, we will be able to focus on that more.
CI: With the Universal cabinet and the eTABLES, does that make it possible to bring in progressive jackpots, side bets and the like?
JP: Absolutely, there will be side bets, progressives, a wide-area, a mystery progressive and of course there will be a tournament mode where we can connect more individual units to the group game.
CI: How did your product line evolve to the Universal cabinet?
JP: There were many casinos around the world, I’m talking about smaller chains and casinos, some of them in perhaps less successful locations, and they would like to have individual games like Blackjack, Baccarat or Roulette but they don’t have enough players for a whole table or ETG. Now, putting one or two stations of each game on the Universal cabinet into these casinos allows us to cover up to 70% of the market, and it’s a percentage we were not able to supply before.
Now we can start with a single Roulette station, and if we can see that we are growing the market and there is more demand or more players, we can add more; when we have more than four in place, if the market is still growing we could replace that with an ETG. It is a vehicle to grow the markets that were not available to us previously. A typical installation will be three to four Universal cabinets, each with a different game. We will follow their progress and work with the operator to get the best results out of them.
You can see Interblock’s new Universal cabinet on booth 1239 at G2E.