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www.CasinoReview-Online.com • January 2011 • 099

Hidden Treasure: Troia set for NY opening

Playboy Ahoy: Macau warms to US casino club

Conventional Thinking: G2e says bye to LV Convention Centre

NEWS4

NEWS12

EXHIBITIONNEWS23

Levelling out points to 2011 recovery There was only one main question on the lips of attendees, delegates and exhibitors at this year’s Global Gaming Expo held November 16-18 in Las Vegas; just when will the recession relinquish its two-year grip on the US casino industry? Respondents to a survey on the health of the sector believe recovery will take much longer than they previously hoped but there are signs it might be loosening. Phil Martin reports. greenneonshoots UNITED STATES

Industry experts at Price Waterhouse Coopers believe a recovery for Las Vegas’ casinos is just around the corner, earmarking the last quarter of 2011 as being the time when the long awaited green shoots will begin to flourish. Whilst opinion was split from the exhibition floor and conference halls at the 2010 edition of the Global Gaming Expo, industry analysts at PwC believe that Nevada revenues will decline by 2.9 per cent for 2010 as a whole, with a recovery beginning in late 2011 and mid-single digit gains projected for 2012 to 2014. Frank Fahrenkopf, chief executive of the American Gaming Association, revealed a leveling out of earnings in his address at the Las Vegas exhibition pointing to an increase in Gross Gaming Revenues in com-

mercial US casinos of 1.3 per cent in the third quarter to just over US$8bn. There is, of course, as always a spin. Whilst this increase equates to a US$100m increase in casino earnings compared to the same period last year, several states have dramatically increased their gambling offering over the year. This might have led to five states recording increases in GGR ,but states such as Pennsylvania, where table games were introduced this year sending GGR up by 27 per cent in the third quarter, have eaten into the profits of others; most notably Atlantic City, where GGR has been savaged and has dropped for 26 consecutive months. “I hope this is the beginning of things bottoming out and looking up,” Fahrenkopf said in his address.“We’re still dealing with depressed consumer confidence. The outlook is decidedly mixed. The impact of the recession

Cancun hits the Playboy jackpot Model Carmen Electra welcomes the Playboy bunnies to Cancun where Mexican slot operator Palmas group has hit the jackpot by launching South America’s first Playboy club. The gaming group has teamed up with Playboy Enterprises to offer not just the first Playboy club in the region but also the first fully fledged casino with roulette, poker, Caribbean poker and blackjack tables alongside slot machines and a sports book. FULL STORY PAGE3

has been deeper and the recovery slower than nearly everyone predicted. Consumer discretionary spending has been significantly depressed throughout most of the year, which means that the gaming industry, and others like it, have continued to struggle. The slot companies are all asking if casinos are ready to refresh their floors and buy new games. That’s what we’re waiting to see.” Mary Lynn Palenik, director of gaming practice at PwC

US, believes that improved economic conditions will trigger a recovery in US gaming revenues in late 2011, although 2007 gaming revenue levels will not return until 2012. “The gaming industry is facing an evolution, which presents both challenges and opportunities for the industry’s established players and those considering entering the market,” she said. “The explosion of entertainment choices for consumers will make it vital for the industry

to produce an offering and experience that consumers want to spend money on.” PwC is predicting that US gaming revenues will increase to $68.3bn in 2014 from $57.2bn in 2009, a 3.6 per cent compound annual increase. Eric Tom, chief operating officer of International Game Technology, said:“Everybody would love it to be back to where it was in 2007. But no one is sure when the players are going to come back and start spending more.At some

point in the next three or four quarters, somebody’s going to want to take that first mover advantage, and then everything cascades from there.” Former IGT chairman Chuck Mathewson added: “It’s going to be a long recovery, and we’re starting to see some traction. The industry won’t be as robust as it was but it will recover. We just need to continue to provide the entertainment options that people want.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

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CR99-p01-News1:SJC-Casino Review

20/12/10

12:58

Page 1

www.CasinoReview-Online.com • January 2011 • 099

Hidden Treasure: Troia set for NY opening

Playboy Ahoy: Macau warms to US casino club

Conventional Thinking: G2e says bye to LV Convention Centre

NEWS4

NEWS12

EXHIBITIONNEWS23

Levelling out points to 2011 recovery There was only one main question on the lips of attendees, delegates and exhibitors at this year’s Global Gaming Expo held November 16-18 in Las Vegas; just when will the recession relinquish its two-year grip on the US casino industry? Respondents to a survey on the health of the sector believe recovery will take much longer than they previously hoped but there are signs it might be loosening. Phil Martin reports. greenneonshoots UNITED STATES

Industry experts at Price Waterhouse Coopers believe a recovery for Las Vegas’ casinos is just around the corner, earmarking the last quarter of 2011 as being the time when the long awaited green shoots will begin to flourish. Whilst opinion was split from the exhibition floor and conference halls at the 2010 edition of the Global Gaming Expo, industry analysts at PwC believe that Nevada revenues will decline by 2.9 per cent for 2010 as a whole, with a recovery beginning in late 2011 and mid-single digit gains projected for 2012 to 2014. Frank Fahrenkopf, chief executive of the American Gaming Association, revealed a leveling out of earnings in his address at the Las Vegas exhibition pointing to an increase in Gross Gaming Revenues in com-

mercial US casinos of 1.3 per cent in the third quarter to just over US$8bn. There is, of course, as always a spin. Whilst this increase equates to a US$100m increase in casino earnings compared to the same period last year, several states have dramatically increased their gambling offering over the year. This might have led to five states recording increases in GGR ,but states such as Pennsylvania, where table games were introduced this year sending GGR up by 27 per cent in the third quarter, have eaten into the profits of others; most notably Atlantic City, where GGR has been savaged and has dropped for 26 consecutive months. “I hope this is the beginning of things bottoming out and looking up,” Fahrenkopf said in his address.“We’re still dealing with depressed consumer confidence. The outlook is decidedly mixed. The impact of the recession

Cancun hits the Playboy jackpot Model Carmen Electra welcomes the Playboy bunnies to Cancun where Mexican slot operator Palmas group has hit the jackpot by launching South America’s first Playboy club. The gaming group has teamed up with Playboy Enterprises to offer not just the first Playboy club in the region but also the first fully fledged casino with roulette, poker, Caribbean poker and blackjack tables alongside slot machines and a sports book. FULL STORY PAGE3

has been deeper and the recovery slower than nearly everyone predicted. Consumer discretionary spending has been significantly depressed throughout most of the year, which means that the gaming industry, and others like it, have continued to struggle. The slot companies are all asking if casinos are ready to refresh their floors and buy new games. That’s what we’re waiting to see.” Mary Lynn Palenik, director of gaming practice at PwC

US, believes that improved economic conditions will trigger a recovery in US gaming revenues in late 2011, although 2007 gaming revenue levels will not return until 2012. “The gaming industry is facing an evolution, which presents both challenges and opportunities for the industry’s established players and those considering entering the market,” she said. “The explosion of entertainment choices for consumers will make it vital for the industry

to produce an offering and experience that consumers want to spend money on.” PwC is predicting that US gaming revenues will increase to $68.3bn in 2014 from $57.2bn in 2009, a 3.6 per cent compound annual increase. Eric Tom, chief operating officer of International Game Technology, said:“Everybody would love it to be back to where it was in 2007. But no one is sure when the players are going to come back and start spending more.At some

point in the next three or four quarters, somebody’s going to want to take that first mover advantage, and then everything cascades from there.” Former IGT chairman Chuck Mathewson added: “It’s going to be a long recovery, and we’re starting to see some traction. The industry won’t be as robust as it was but it will recover. We just need to continue to provide the entertainment options that people want.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

®

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CR99-p02-03-international:SJC-Casino Review

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internationalcasinoreview Caesars conquers with name change Harrah’s Entertainment has now completed its name change to Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The Harrah’s name will continue to be one of the company’s primary brands, along with Caesars, Horseshoe, Total Rewards and World Series of Poker. Gary Loveman, chairman, president and CEO of Caesars, said: “In recognition of Caesars’ status as the world’s pre-eminent and most respected casino brand, we have changed the name of our parent company to Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The change reflects our evolution as the industry’s leading provider of branded casino entertainment. While our name is changing, our dedication to who we are as a company will remain the same. This re-branding of the corporate name can open exciting new opportunities for us in the future.” The company also announced that it was not pursuing its initial public offering of common stock at this time due to market conditions.

News INTERNATIONAL

Something happened in mid-December that people in Las Vegas may not see again for some time; a new casino launched. Owned by a bank, the US$3.9bn Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas says it will do something different from the rest of The Strip. Its rivals say it will have to. Phil Martin reports. award-winning dining collection, unparalleled service and gaming, we know we are With some analysts claiming giving guests an experience there won’t be any new Las that’s been missing in Las Vegas casinos for a whole Vegas and harkens back to decade, the December an era when guests felt conopening of 2,000 of The Cos- nected, inspired and mopolitan’s 3,000 hotel engaged by their resort. It’s rooms generated plenty of accessible and fun. People have this vision of Las Vegas interest. Launched as having‘polish as being almost a caricature without pretence,’ and for of itself. This is not more of the ‘curious’ coming to Las the same.” As such there are no Vegas, the venue’s prelaunch marketing campaign has formal eateries although it seen half dressed bellboys will offer culinary concepts and white rabbits dominate from some of the country’s TV commercials as the prop- top chefs and restaurant erty tries to set itself apart brands, each opening for the from its neighbours. The first time in Las Vegas.There’s immediate differences are also no headliner luxury fashion retailers such as there to see immediately. The Cosmopolitan’s struc- Gucci, Prada or Armani. ture sees two 50-storey sky Instead, the resort’s retail scrapers, ringed by wrap line-up features brands not around balconies, spring up seen elsewhere on The Strip between CityCenter and Bel- including British-brand Alllagio on the west side of the Saints and Beckley “You can still buy Strip. The Cosmopolitan’s CEO US$10,000 items in those John Unwin said:“The Cos- stores but they’re much mopolitan is about creating more accessible.You can feel a resort experience that is comfortable exploring on truly different than anything your own,” Unwin said. else that exists right now in “Same with the restaurants. Las Vegas. When you You don’t have to be an combine spacious suites, urban sophisticate to enjoy high design from talent like them. They’re not highbrow David Rockwell, a curated in the sense of what’s been polishwithoutpretence

prudent investor, we will continue to evaluate all of our options. We are extremely pleased with the final result. Deutsche Bank concluded that building a new brand, with a unique identity and guest experience, was central to the overall vision for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. As a result, rather than partnering with a existing hotel brand, the bank brought on some of the best executives in the gaming and lodging space to form a highly experienced management and operations team. We’re confident that this team will help The Cosmopolitan become a premier feature of the city’s business and entertainment landscape.” The 100,000-square-foot casino has 83 table games and 1,474 slot machines, along with a Cantor Gaming run race and sports book, expected to open in the first quarter of 2011. It’s a standing start for Deutsche Bank and The Cosmopolitan in terms of customers although an agreement with Marriott International will give The Cosmopolitan access to a database of potential visitors. Some believe its opening Bank to ‘wait until the envi- comes at the wrong time. ronment fosters a reasonable Mike Leven, president and return’before putting it open CEO of Las Vegas Sands, said: “I don’t know how Cosmofor sale. “Gaming is not its priority politan will play out, but it or a part of its future strat- can’t be helpful obviously. More capacity in an already egy,” Lerner said. Deutsche Bank difficult market can’t be posspokesman John Gallagher itive for the market. How big commented: “Like any a negative? I just don’t know.”

Cosmopolitan opening could be Vegas’ last for a decade

UNITED STATES

done.“I think there will be a lot of customers that come to Vegas to see what we are all about. Some people who are not just pure gamers, but want to come and stay in a cool hotel, eat in new restaurants, do some unique shopping.” Its resort layout will also be different to other Strip hotel-casinos with the vertical design of its two 50-storey towers seeing shops and restaurants on multiple floors throughout. It is, of course, not owned by one of North America’s gaming giants or by an independent but by a bank. Germany’s Deutsche Bank took over in 2008 when Ian Bruce Eichner and his company, 3700 Associates, defaulted on his loan.The bankers had loaned Eichner $1bn and then had to invest a further

spent $3.9bn to complete construction. Union Gaming Group analyst Bill Lerner said The Cosmopolitan would need to generate cash flow as soon as possible to reduce the burden of costs associated with opening the property. He said he expects Deutsche

Tabcorp triples Queensland investment firforaqueen AUSTRALIA

Tabcorp Holdings will invest AU$625m, three times as much as originally stated as it strives to make its Queensland casinos world class resorts to take on Australia’s best. The state government has granted the company an additional 500 poker machine and 50 gaming table licences. The company in October announced plans to spend $175m upgrading its Jupiters casino on the Gold Coast, but has now doubled the investment to $350m with plans to build a new 200-room hotel by 2018. Tabcorp will also spend a further $260m expanding its Treasury casino operation in Brisbane, adding a new 400-room hotel, events centre and upgrades to the existing hotel and casino by 2015. Another $15m will

2

January 2011 • internationalnews

be spent upgrading the Jupiters casino in Townsville. Tabcorp chairman John Story said that the investment shows confidence in the long term future of the Queensland tourism market. “We see Queensland as one of the premier destinations for interstate visitors and tourists. Our investment will create world class destinations with a wide range of entertainment and

leisure choices for our customers. This will put Queensland in a stronger position to grow its tourism market and compete successfully with new destinations in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region. “The Queensland investment follows the redevelopment of Star City in Sydney. Together, these investments will make the casinos an attractive growth business following the proposed demerger from Tabcorp,” he said. Tabcorp chief executive officer Elmer Funke Kupper said that the investment builds on the good progress being made with the expansion of Star City casino in Sydney. “The investment in Queensland is consistent with our strategy to create attractive international entertainment destinations. The Queensland project will commence in 2011 as the investment in Star City is nearing completion. We

now have secured attractive growth options for the entire casinos business for the next five to seven years.” In total, Tabcorp has 3,136 slot licences and 265 gaming table licences. With the state government also looking to review the classification of multi-terminal gaming machines, which offer electronic versions of games such as roulette and blackjack, but currently require a separate pokies licence for each terminal, Tabcorp could potentially install multiple electronic roulette or blackjack terminals using a single table game licence, greatly increasing the number of electronic gaming machines it is allowed to operate. The operator said the expansion would boost earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by $90m by 2018, representing a 25 per cent increase on last year’s figures.


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internationalcasinoreview

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Green shoots CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE

Buoyed by growth in racetrack casinos, Palenik believes regional casinos will be the fastest growing category during the next five years as investment in new and improved offerings and facilities continue to re-direct visitors and revenue. Over the five year forecast, Nevada will increase at a 4.1 per cent compound annual rate to $12.5bn in 2014 from $10.2bn in 2009. According to the report, Atlantic City is the only market where revenues in 2014 will be lower than in 2009. The region is most impacted by the economic downturn and intensifying competitive pressures from regional casinos (i.e. Pennsylvania and New York). Casino revenues in Atlantic City fell by 13.2 per cent in 2009 and revenues are not expected to pick up again until 2013, with 2014 levels still well below their 2006 peak. According to PwC’s report ‘Playing to win: The outlook for the global casino and online gaming market to 2014,’ the US will remain the largest gaming region in 2014, although Asia Pacific will be the fastest growing with a projected 23.6 per cent increase compounded annually to $62.9bn in 2014 from $21.8bn in 2009. Respondents to the American Gaming Associations’ second survey on the state of the industr y gave similar responses to last year when asked to compare their business activity from the previous year with 48 per cent believing the business was getting better compared with 47 per cent in 2009. However, only 11 per cent thought the industry would bounce back in one or two years.The bulk of the 2010 survey respondents, 44 per cent, said it would take the gaming industr y three to four years to rebound.

totally gaming

Playboy takes first mover advantage in Cancun If you’re going to be the first fully fledged, legal casino in a resort, you might as well do it in some style. Congratulations go to Palmas Group who has teamed up with Playboy for the first Playboy Club in South America. Phil Martin reports. latinflair MEXICO

Playboy Club Cancun, a boutique gaming and entertainment venue that features a restaurant, nightclub, casino, sports gaming and sports lounge,opened in the famous Mexican holiday resort on December 4. Owned and operated under licence by Entretenimiento De Mexico, a leading Mexican casino company that operates and licenses over 18 gaming venues throughout the country under the Palmas group, it has also achieved the status as Cancun’s first casino.The company and its subsidiaries serve over 2,500,000 players a year and also own and operate two restaurants. Entretenimiento De Mexico was established in 2005 and is headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico. The new property is located in the renowned hotel zone district of Cancun, Mexico and launched with an invitationonly VIP party for Playboy Club members and a redcarpet celebrity event,which included a star appearance from Carmen Electra. Hugh Hefner, founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said:“I am pleased to bring the

Playboy Club to Mexico for the first time and to combine the sexy sophistication of the Playboy brand with the international allure of Cancun.With the opening of Playboy Club Cancun and the arrival of the Playboy Bunnies, nightlife there will never be the same.” The 12,000 square foot property, designed by Archon Design, incorporates influences from the original Playboy Club in Chicago with the jet-setting ambience of tropical Mexico. The

venue’s intricate custom design details include an authentic Mexican handpunched metallic wall featuring the iconic Playboy Rabbit Head Design; select pieces from Playboy’s multimillion dollar art collection; and a specially commissioned illustration of the Cancun Playboy Bunny by famed pinup artist Don Lewis. The new property integrates gaming with contemporary nightlife, and will showcase an international mix of DJs and musical enter-

tainment. Playboy Club Cancun also boasts a restaurant with a tapas menu offering flavours from around the world. Playboy Club Cancun features the world famous Playboy Bunnies, who will be making their debut in Mexico. Bunnies at the Playboy Club Cancun will work as hostesses, cocktail servers, and Bunny dealers and hail from countries including Argentina, Cuba, Canada, Russia and Mexico. Scott Flanders, CEO of

Playboy Enterprises, said: “With the opening of this striking new venue, both Cancun residents and international visitors alike will now be able to experience the energy and excitement that the Playboy brand generates. By working with this calibre of strong local partners we have at Playboy Club Cancun, we will continue to grow our successful licensing and location based entertainment businesses around the world. We look forward to bringing the Playboy brand to life at additional Playboy venues in select global markets.” Ex playmate Electra cut the ribbon that inaugurated the venue. “I am happy and enchanted to be in Cancun, which is a marvellous place,” she said. Jared Dougherty,vice president of marketing and licences of Playboy Enterprises, said that Cancun is one of the most famous and appreciated places worldwide. “We are sure that this new casino will be very attractive for men and women that like to have a life full of style,fun and class.” Playboy Club Cancun joins Playboy Club Las Vegas at The Palms Casino Resort, Playboy Club Macao, and future properties in development in Miami and London.

Hard Rock casino fights back against Seminole claims counterclaim UNITED STATES

The Las Vegas Hard Rock hotel-casino is fighting a trademark lawsuit filed by the owner of the Hard Rock brand head on, with a counterclaim that the cafe business is interfering with its business in Nevada and other states. The cafe business, owned by Florida’s Seminole tribe, has rights to develop Hard Rock casinos east of the Mississippi River. It said that the reality TV show ‘Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel’ was damaging to the worldwide Hard Rock brand. In its counterclaim, the Las Vegas casino said: “The (Las Vegas) Hard Rock defendants have done nothing wrong and, in fact, are victims of systematic legal and business harassment by the cafe, which today’s countersuit seeks to remedy. The Cafe complains about a range of alleged trademark abuses that in many cases it has long known about, tolerated or even approved. Most notably, the Cafe claims to be shocked and disturbed by the popular reality

television show ‘Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel,’ filmed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas - despite the fact that this show and the lively behaviour it portrays have already been on the air for two years; depicts an event similar to the ‘Detox’ party held at one of the Cafe’s properties (Biloxi, Miss); and has brought enormous positive publicity to the Hard Rock brand.” Attorneys for the Las Vegas casino claim that the Hard Rock Cafe has interfered with its agreements to sublicense the Hard Rock name to two tribes: Cherokee Nation Enterprises which built a Hard Rock hotel-casino in Catoosa, Oklahoma in 2009, and to the Pueblo of Isleta for a renovated and newly branded Hard Rock hotel-casino in Albuquerque in 2010. Attorneys argued: “In breach of its obligations under the licence agreement, the cafe has pursued a campaign of engaging in hotel-casino business development in the (Las Vegas) Hard Rock defendants’ exclusive territories and interfering with the Hard Rock defendants’ sublicensees and potential sublicensees.” January 2011 • internationalnews

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internationalcasinoreview Casino del Mediterráneo takes employment levels higher Spanish operator Casino del Mediterráneo is to hire 100 new workers, 50 each for its Alicante and Torrevieja salons. The closure of the company’s Villajoyosa Casino resulted in the group making more than 100 workers redundant last year. Eventually, an agreement was reached between the company and most of the staff, which included a ‘relocation plan’ lasting two years. However, none are believed to be in the new batch of workers will allow the operator to increase its tournament offering and ‘cover other points of interest’ in the Alicante and Torrevieja salons.

News WEST EUROPE

Amorim Turismo to open Troia as 2011 chimes newcheer PORTUGAL

The narrow sand-strip of Troia has been one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets,boasting 18 km of white sandy uninterrupted beaches and some of the cleanest bathing conditions. The New Year will see it open Portugal’s first casino since Lisbon opened up to gaming five years ago. Amorim Turismo Group will lift the curtain on the long awaited Troia Casino as the clock chimes over to 2011. The E156m casino has been built alongside the Tróia Design Hotel, a 5-star resort with 61 luxury rooms and 144 residential suites where design is present in every detail. The hotel includes a Spa, several restaurants and a lounge bar, an entertainment centre and a conference centre. Amorim Turismo forecasts that the gaming floor inTroia will raise E10m in revenue in 2011, with a daily influx

of 500 to 1,000 people. Jorge Amindo, president of the group Amorim Turismo, said: “There is an intrinsic reason for this date: we have a 20 year licence to operate casinos, and to open before the end of 2010 would be a loss of one year of the concession.” The casino aims to be one of the most modern in Europe and opens with 224 slots and 16 gaming tables. Around half of these machines will be serverbased. Amindo said:“I have pioneered many successful technologies in Portugal and I cannot open Troia without sbX and a majority f loor share of IGT’s games if I want to stay ahead of the game. Instead of changing machines, the players can change the game within the same machine. The Troia casino is innovative by being the one of the first in the world to have such a large concentration of serverbased games machines. For

Bilbao Grand to replace Nervión

Warmed by the long Mediterranean sunshine and washed by the tranquil waters of the Atlantic, Troia resort has been taking shape on the Tróia Peninsula on the west coast, 30 miles to the south of Lisbon for the last few years. Now, finally, its casino is set to open with no expense spared.

us it was not worth doing more of the same.” Amindo believes the casino will help boost tourism and revitalise the peninsula and heralds the casino as a ‘new centre for cultural events’, where the music and theatre must not be missed. He also has faith that the river connection between Setúbal and the peninsula (which cost E4 for the round

trip) will be appealing to potential players and that the casino will help address the seasonality that has reduced the demand for the new tourist destination in the summer months. With the casino not shutting until 3am, a new ferry service will leave the Adoxa pier for Setúbal at 4am, and is seen as a much needed service for local, casino customers and tourists alike.

newhatoldhat SPAIN

“Troy needs to be commercialised,” said Amindo. The Mayor of Grandola agreed.“The newTroy casino is a milestone that greatly excittes us, that gives us responsibility, and moreover it warms the heart and the soul. For all that we’ve developed, we have the highest hopes and confidence, in employment, quality of tourism and business opportunities,” he said.

Las Palmas Gran Casino celebrates port move portogoodhope SPAIN

Following 23 years of operation in the Hotel Santa Catalina, Las Palmas Gran Casino has now celebrated its E7m move to the port area of Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria. The venue, which is joint owned by Cirsa and local businessman Juan Padron, has long wanted to move to the high footfall of the busy port and has complained of the high rents it has had to pay at Santa Catalina in excess of E670, 000 a year. The casino had lost E2m in the last three years, Padron saying itwould have been forced to close had it not moved. The relcoation was com-

4

pleted to the Saba building next to the Santa Catalina Park of Las Palma in Gran Canarias in November giving the venue a bedding in period before its official inaugura-

January 2011 • westeuropenews

tion in mid-December. It now has 1,400 square meters of space, 120 workers and hopes to attract up to 80,000 visitors every year, 20,000 more than the old

venue due to its proximity to the tourist zone of the capital and the cruise liners that dock there. The president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Paulino Rivero, inaugurated the new facilities located in the first floor of the Saba building which provides it with more space, a barrestaurant and the latest in casino technology. “Any business initiative is welcome in times such as this,” Rivero said at the inauguration. “I hope that this gamble is a success that provides jobs because we need activity, we needed employment and we need innovation.” Padron believes that moving the establishment will act as a stimulus to the business.

“The casino should always be on the main street of the city and where we were previously was too isolated,” he explained. “I always had the idea to bring it to the Port. It is a great project and we have made a great casino. I went with my architects to Las Vegas so they could see the casinos and understand what I was talking about. This is going to be a place of gaming, entertainment and business. But my objective is that this Port area will be revitalised because a casino adds value to the area.Today due to the economic crisis there is no security in anything, and an investment like this has to be thought about. I have employees and I have to make sure they continue to work.”

Bilbao Grand Casino was due to open its doors in the middle of Christmas to take advantage of the attraction of the holidays. The new venue, which replaces Nervión Grand Casino, will more than double its number of slots which is now up to 75.The gaming floor is located on 1,800 square meters of the ground floor along with a bar and aVIP area. Poker tournaments will also be offered at the new venue where they will be housed on the top floor. It will also be the first in the region to offer electronic Texas Hold’em and Black Jack tables for ten people The relocation of the licence and redevelopment of the Alameda of Urquijo, itself a former cinema, has cost E25m with the aim being to create one of Europe’s most modern casinos lavished with ‘the latest technology.’ Before the crisis hit fully, Circuito Coliseo, owner of the emblematic building, and the company which operates the Nervión Grand Casino agreed to comprehensively refurbish the property opened in 1916.Spanish hotelier Sercotel will open a four star hotel with 97 rooms although the hotel’s opening will now have to wait until well into the next year. The venue will also boast a 400 seat restaurant. The investment in gaming equipment alone has exceeded E2m, according to Maria Ortiz, general manager of the centre. “This will not be LasVegas,” she explained, adding that the name change was made to make use of the city’s name and strengthen the brand Table felts will be in grey but the venue will be lit up with ‘islands of light’ in blue, pink, green, purple, red and orange tones in a look fused from the 1970s with Italian designer lamps hanging from the ceiling. Ortiz said that almost nothing will remind people of the image most have of traditional gaming rooms.


THE NEW

AT IGT WE’RE TURNING THE GAMING WORLD ON ITS HEAD, WITH NEW RULES, NEW REALMS AND NEW REALITIES. We’v We ’ve ’v e go gott a lot lo ot to sho h w fo forr ou ours rssel e ve vess at a IICE C . Li CE Like ke tthe ke he e exc xclu lu ussiive ve pre emi mie mier erre re of of ove er 70 70 new w games am mes f at fe a urin urin ur ing g so some m of th me the e mo ost s p pop opul op ular ul ar tit itle less in le n the wor orld ld d. We W ’r ’re e ex exte t nd te ndin ing in g th the e pl p ay ayin ing in g fie field ld d witth ga g me m s sp pec ecia iall ia lly ll y de desi sign si gn ned for the e onl n in ne an and d mo mobi b le are bi rena n .  Yo na You’ u’ll u’ ll wan antt to check he eck outt our u lat ates e t sb es sbX™ sbX™ ™S Ser errvi vice W nd Wi ndow ow app ppli liica cati t on o s th that att can n inc ncre r as re a e pl play lay yerr loy loy oyal alty al ty y and and dri rive e play. la ay. y We’ e’re re e eve ven n sh how owca c ssiing ca g Ree e l Edge Ed ge™, ge ™, a ski kill lll-b -bas ased as ed dim dim men nsi s on to to ga ami m ng g tha hat al hat allo lo ows p pla la aye y rs tto o st stop op p ree eelss as th eels they ey att ttem em mpt tto o cr c ea eate te te wiins ns.. Itt’ss a who hole le e llot ott of amaz o am maz zin ng. g.

See for yourself. Visit the IGT Stand and look into the future of gaming. For additional information, contact your IGT Account Manager at +31 23 568 7100.

IT’S A WHOLE NEW GAME. © 2010 IGT. All rights reserved.


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internationalcasinoreview Third E Casino opens in Liverpool Grosvenor Casino opened its third E Casino on December 16 after investing £1.3m (E1.5m) in a brand new 253sq m custom-designed venue in Liverpool. It offers 14 electronic roulette terminals, 18 Cat B1 £4,000 jackpot slot machines all fitted with TITO and a one-rake poker table. In the lounge, sports events will be screened while customers can have a light snack or a drink. It will employ 13 people managed by Cate Rodden (pictured).

News WEST EUROPE

Grosvenor brings the G brand to Birmingham

ECA backs European Council approach to online regulation

The G Casino concept has brought a new vitality and vigour to Grosvenor Casinos and much improved revenues to its parent, the Rank Group. Its 13th incarnation in Birmingham, which opened in December, will be followed by the 14th in nearby Walsall in January. Hugh Sorrill went to the Birmingham relaunch. all about giving people a great alternative for a night out and the new BirmingFollowing a £1.2m (E1.4m) ham casino does just that. refurbishment, the existing We’re working hard to Grosvenor Casino at the remove some of those barriFiveways Leisure Complex ers often associated with in England’s second city casino and believe the newBirmingham, was look venue offers a fun and relaunched as a new G friendly atmosphere which will be welcomed by the Casino on December 9. The casino now boasts people of Birmingham.” That barrier removal prohighly stylish décor, a plush new 46-seat dining area, gramme means staff offermusic lounge and cocktail ing and being able to help bar, along with state-of-the- nervous newcomers learn art gaming equipment. It has how to the play the games brought an extra 20 jobs to before spending money. Grosvenor Casinos has all levels of the business, adding to the 100 already in also instituted a highly sucplace - all staff have under- cessful programme of busigone a rigorous training pro- ness development, with gramme to ensure that sales people offering, for guests receive the highest example, poker opportunistandards of customer care ties or casino experience packages to groups through and service. The enthusiastic general such outlets as hotels and manager Adrian Frost said: wedding planners. That is a “We’re delighted to have business in itself, but it can made the transition from a also help to demystify the Grosvenor Casino into one casino environment for a of the new generation of potentially large number of stylish contemporary G people. G Casino Birmingham Casinos, now the 13th in the UK. The G Casinos brand is covers more than 1,900sq m

The G Casino transformation occurred while the Birmingham venue remained open

BELGIUM/EU

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and offers 20 slot machines with the maximum permitted top prize of £4,000 (about E4,700).The majority (11) of the machines are SuperGaminators from Novomatic, with four IGT games attached to the Fort Knox progressive.There are a couple of other IGT machines, including one of the first Multigames in the UK, with the remaining three games from WMS -

Lucky Landings, Jewels of Africa and The Monkees. De rigueur in almost every British casino now are NovoRoulette terminals, 38 in Birmingham, attached to three wheels. The casino boasts 15 gaming tables, of which six are roulette and the remainder a mixture of blackjack, poker and mini-baccarat. Frost insisted that the card tables were reversible in

order to be able to offer as many games as possible to the players and to change them quickly and easily as required. The 100-seat poker room will open in the new year for cash games, with tournaments coming along soon thereafter. Both novices and experienced players will be catered to. Slightly off the main f loor, the space can also be used for events.

Tax changes aid Partouche revenue growth patchyinparts FRANCE

France’s biggest casino group, Partouche, saw its net revenues increase by 5.6 per cent in the 2009/10 financial year, thanks to strong second and third quarters which both saw hikes of around 15 per cent. Partouche’s final quarter of the year to the end of October saw revenues drop back 4.8 per cent, however,that was due in large part to a favourable tax change implemented in the last quarter of 2008/9. Revenues were fairly consistent throughout the year: E115.8m in Q1, E122.3m in Q2, E122.8m in Q3 and E117.2m in Q4 for an annual total of E478.1m. Casino revenues account for 90 per cent of generated revenues of E431.6m, up 6.3 per cent group’s net: the 51 casinos and ‘Pasinos’ together on the previous year.The 14 hotels in the group, 6

January 2011 • westeuropenews

separatelytogether

however, saw a slight fall in takings of 2.1 per cent to E31.9m. Although gross gaming revenues at the casinos fell by 2.1 per cent to E701.8m, an amendment to gaming tax legislation came into force in the year, which saw the tax bill fall by 5.7 per cent against last year, to create total net gaming revenues of E341.5m, up 2.1 per cent on last year. In a trend also seen elsewhere, there was a resurgence in interest in table games, which saw a 7.6 per cent increase in gross gaming revenues at E88.2m. GGR from slot machines while many times that from their traditional counterparts at E613.5m was, however, down 3.3 per cent on 2008/9. GGR from the 44 domestic casinos was E596.2m, while the four Belgian and two Swiss casinos and the Tunisian Pasino generated E105.6m, down 4.9 per cent.

The European Casino Association has warmly welcomed the unanimous agreement by EU member states about how to tackle effectively the global challenges posed by online gambling. At a Council meeting in Brussels on December 10, ministers decided that the best approach was strict supervision through national authorities combined with enhanced co-operation and share of best practice between member states. In a statement, the ECA said: “The set of conclusions…on the framework conditions for gambling and betting sets an important political signal, as for the first time ever all EU member states have clearly stated that regulatory solutions for online gambling must be found.” The ECA congratulated the Belgian presidency for deploying particular efforts in brokering the agreement and welcomed the acknowledgement that online gambling is a global issue requiring strict regulation and supervision by the public authorities of each member state in their respective territories. Ron Goudsmit, chairman of the ECA, commented: “We absolutely endorse the view that stronger cooperation between countries is required both to improve the regulatory environment and to establish effective law enforcement. The council conclusions are indeed a milestone for future discussions at EU level.” The ECA added that it hopes that the European Commission, whose Green Paper on Online Gambling will launch a broad public consultation and is now expected for March 2011, will recognise this unanimous decision by the Council.


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CR99-p08-EuropeCECIS1:SJC-Casino Review

20/12/10

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internationalcasinoreview Bremen casinos under one roof WestSpiel have opened a new casino in the north German citystate of Bremen that brings its table games and slot machines under the same roof for the first time. The 1,000sq m venue represents an investment of circa E10m by the company. Casino director Thomas Schindler wants to attract in theregion of 100,000 visitors annually (up from 80,000 at the separate venues) and has relaxed the dress code somewhat in order to appeal to younger people.

News

EUROPE CENTRAL, EAST & CIS

June launch for Austrian tender process The starting gun has not quite been fired yet but the Austrian minister responsible for gambling, Reinhold Lopatka, has laid out a preliminary timetable for the award of the 15 casino licences that will completely transform the landscape of the country’s gaming industry.

earlypaces

Lopatka said on December 10. “We also want to consider the pending European The process for awarding Court of Justice decision the new licences in Austria on lotteries.” The only thing that is will begin in June, according to the finance minister fixed, he said, is that the responsible Reinhold licences that are currently Lopatka.The final decisions solely in the hands of on at least the first nine - Casinos Austria will not be six of those currently in auctioned off in the same operation, which come to way as they are in the UK, an end in 2012, plus three even if the state has to miss new ones - plus a poker out on a windfall. “In an auction the casino and a lottery licence will be made around the highest bidder would win end of 2011 or early the fol- out, which does not absolutely guarantee the lowing year. “There are a lot of tricky highest levels of player proaspects to consider,” tection,” said Lopatka. AUSTRIA

Each applicant will have to pay E10,000 in document fees to enter the bidding process, and the licences themselves will cost E100,000 each. Under the rules laid down by the European Commission, backed up by European Court of Justice, the tender process will have to be opened to the whole of the EU. However, in an amendment to the 2010 Gambling Act, the government has stipulated that only those companies already in possession of a full casino licence elsewhere in the EU will be

gamesupremacy

Dr Franz Wohlfahrt, general director of Novomatic, has strongly welcomed the new gaming law in Austria

Austrian state secretary for finance Reinhold Lopatka, who will be overseeing the bidding process

allowed to take part. Dr Franz Wohlfahrt, general director of Novomatic, has been fulsome in his praise of the law. “It’s the greatest innovation in this sector for decades, one that has set down a milestone.” The company is confident that it will gain some of the licences to be offered and is prepared to invest at least E100m to create thousands of jobs in Austria in the next three to five years. Meanwhile, the difficult economic conditions continue to bite at the existing 12 casinos. Casinos Austria

GERMANY

announced in December that it was shedding another 150 jobs from its 1,710-strong workforce as part of its restructuring programme. The company has already made 90 people redundant. Of the latest tranche, 26 have already accepted redundancy terms, with the remaining 126 to follow in the coming months. The company has stressed that the departures are voluntary. When the award of the licences is decided, there will be many more redundancies, this time compulsory.

New casino approved for Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens fairytaleend

want to create an international standard venue to include both tables and slot One of the oldest and most machines and a restaurant. The Danish government famous theme parks in the world, the Tivoli Gardens in signalled back in February the Danish capital Copen- that it was looking to issue hagen, is to get a casino one or two more land-based after the Justice Depart- casino licences. Tivoli ment awarded a licence in Gardens applied and has been successful. It will be mid-November. The casino is likely to be the eighth casino operating located in the Hans Chris- in Denmark. Lars Liebst, CEO of Tivoli, tian Andersen palace by the Copenhagen City Hall said: “Denmark and thereSquare and should open fore Tivoli has experienced early in 2012. The owners a significant decline in DENMARK

8

January 2011 • europecentraleast&cisnews

foreign tourists in the past few years, the opposite of what has happened in other EU countries. Copenhagen has a need for new, exciting and high quality offer that will help support its effort to become a metropolis in line with Europe’s other big cities. And for Tivoli, the casino gives us an opportunity to develop our business in keeping with the 100-yearold tradition of offering entertainment and games of all kinds.”

German casinos ‘must offer table games’ says association

The new Tivoli Casino is likely to be located in the Hans Christian Andersen palace on the edge of the pleasure gardens

The Association for Private Casinos in Germany (BupriS) has called for a new legal framework for licensing casinos. Martin Reeckmann, chairman of the association, said: “Whoever wants to offer casino games legally must not confine themselves to operating just slot machines or an internet site. A move away from table gaming is neither desirable nor politically acceptable for the perception of the attractiveness of casinos. Therefore licences to operate casino games should only be awarded to gaming operators who also offer the traditional games.” He added: “Roulette and card games like blackjack and poker characterise the essence of casinos, however, traditional games with their high standards of customer service and player protection is both labour- and costintensive. In order to maintain this highly quality offer of regulated games, access to the modern gaming products and the internet must remain open. In addition, the classic casino games must be protected against unmatchable cheaper offers made by those offering casino games without these table games.” Reeckmann concluded: “In order to implement these regulatory requirements, the licences for casino games must be coupled with the active provision of table games. Casino operators who offer only slot machines or just internet games, should be excluded from licensing.” The BupriS position has been welcomed and supported by the main union representing casino workers, Ver.di, which wants to see greater respect and better pay especially for croupiers and dealers. No response is yet forthcoming from the rival casino representative of the German Casino Association (DSbV), which speaks exclusively for publicly owned casinos. The former industry association split along publicprivate lines in early 2010.


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CR99-p10-EuropeCECIS2:SJC-Casino Review

20/12/10

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internationalcasinoreview No slot proposal has no hope of working A proposal to bring casinos back to Ukraine has shocked those looking to invest in any new sector with an apparent ban on slot machines. The Ukraine finance minister is considering expanding a list of zones where casinos will be able to operate. Whilst the proposal could now also allow casinos in Bukovel, Crimea, Morshyn, Mykcheve, Slavsk Carpathian and Truskavets, it also aims to ban sports betting, internet gambling and slot machines. It will only allow lotteries, card games, dice games and roulette. Industry insiders have been quick to say that the business would not be viable without slot machines.

News EUROPE CENTRAL, EAST & CIS

Moscow to get tough with 800 illegal casinos

Long gone: the legitimate, slightly more transparent, high-end of Moscow’s former casino industry.

With estimations of there being 800 underground illegal venues in the city, Moscow’s government has formed an inter- departmental alliance between its municipal authorities in the capital to ramp up their campaign against illegal casinos masquerading as lottery clubs. Gambling Compliance’s Andrew Gellatly reports. illegaleagles RUSSIA

A recent meeting of the central administrative district (CAD) of Moscow agreed that heads of councils, law enforcement authorities, prefecture specialists and the inter- departmental commission of the Moscow government on gaming business would combine to form a new task force against underground casino operators. The resolution, made at a meeting held at the city’s dis-

trict emergency operations centre, will create 24- hour mobile enforcement units empowered to tour the city and seize gambling equipment and will begin as soon as next week. A federal ban on gambling came into effect in Russia on July 1 2009. The draconian statute demanded that gambling facilities be closed or relocated to four geographically remote zones, but even before that time Moscow had been a central battleground in the fight against illegal gambling.

The then-mayor Yuri Luzhkov waged personal crusades against slots parlours for many years,banning them from locations nearby to Metro stations, and curtailing their neon advertising hoardings. Since the countrywide ban came into effect, legitimate operators such as Moscow-based Storm International, have closed their casinos, or reconfigured them into luxurious retail and restaurant facilities. Others continued operat-

ing, first with more legally ambiguous poker clubs and, when those were outlawed with ambiguous lottery clubs that use machines akin to lottery terminals usually as a front for casino operations. Mayor Lushkov was sacked by Russia’s president Dmitriy Medvedev in September for presiding over a culture of pervasive corruption in the city, but far from heralding a softening of approach, the new mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin has apparently now been

ordered by Medvedev to shutter the city’s underground casinos once and for all. “Recently I have been receiving a lot of information that underground casinos are becoming wide spread in Moscow,” said Medvedev at the meeting with the mayor of the capital city The president tasked the mayor with “taking all necessary actions,raids,to see who is breaking the law. Those who run this business should go to prison,” said Medvedev. Sobyanin assured him that “the required checks will be done as soon as possible, together with the law enforcement authorities.” Observers in Moscow say that beefing up the resources dedicated to policing Moscow’s thriving underground casino industry may now allow the overstretched city police to impound and store the gambling machines and equipment they seize - a task which until now has not always been possible - but they also note that casino managers are very experienced in their chosen business. British-born entrepreneur Michael Boettcher, president of Storm International, observed that the operators of Moscow’s underground casinos are “nearly all former operators with very few, if any, new ones.” There are, though, estimations that there are even more slot halls and casinos in operation underground then before the ban came in. Still, CAD prefect Sergey Baidakov, said he would take a zero tolerance approach to the underground clubs,

many of which operate with elaborate security protection: “Breaches are noticed, and even if they are covered not by the criminal law but by the Administrative Offence Code, material evidence should be seized anyway. Lottery equipment is evidence.“I think that,with their existing mode of operation, 90 per cent of lottery clubs break the law. If they operate in full compliance with the legal requirements, it means they are not profitable.” Last week, employees of the Economic Security Department raided two large underground casinos in Moscow’s Lokomotivny Proezd seizing poker tables, roulettes and slot machines. Russian lawmakers are also considering introducing a new law that will fine internet players found playing at offshore online casinos. Ivan Savvidi, one of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party members, revealed that the government is considering legislation that will fine offending players between $15 and $65 in an effort to curb the proliferation of‘computer clubs.’ Computer clubs, which are in essence internet cafes to allow gamblers to gamble online quickly sprung up to fill the gambling void. Despite attempts by authorities to shut down these computer clubs reports put the number currently operating in Moscow at 100 and this is probably conservative. “Previously, the law only concerned organisers of gambling and now the gamblers themselves will also be responsible,” Savvidi said of his proposed measures.

New government ends Caesar’s Metropolis tax relief axetaxrelief SLOVAKIA

The Slovakian parliament has voted to withdraw amendments which would have sweetened progress towards a Caesar’s funded E1.5bn casino development on the outskirts of the country’s capital Bratislava. The new coalition government in Slovakia has removed amendments which introduced inducements including tax rates lower than the rest of the gambling sector, for the ambitious project. The amendments were brought in by the previous government to attract investment to the country in the form of a joint venture between US giant Caesar’s (formerly Harrah’s) and Hungarian developer Tri- Granit, who are seeking to build a major casino development

outside of the capital Bratislava. The project, to be known as Metropolis, would have included a casino, five-star hotel, retail, leisure, Aqua Park, golf, cultural and congress facilities and would have been located on a 30-hectare site south of Bratislava, located at the intersection of the D2 and D4 highways that lead to Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Prague. It was hoped the finished Metropolis would attract 5m new tourists a year from across central Europe. It had been expected to create 28,000 long-term and temporary jobs. Although not ruling expressly on the development, the legislative changes - which were approved by parliament and will come into effect on January 1 2011 - will weaken the chances of the build going ahead. According to the government the

10 January 2011 • europecentraleast&cisnews

main motivation for these changes is the search for tax revenue as, like other EU member states, Slovakia struggles to avoid becoming the next Euro zone failure. The venue was expected to generate E600m in taxes for Slovakia annually. Finance minister Ivan Miklos told local press the tax incentives for the development were an ‘absurd’ and ‘wholly unreasonable step’ that were only brought in because of lobbyists. He added that last week’s vote was not to decide the fate of the casino, but instead to end the ‘mega casino tax relief.’ Martin Jaros, a spokesman for the minister, said: “The current government is not in favour of amendments tailored for one specific company and prefers a more systemic approach to shaping the business environment. Their

amendment just cancels this specific tax regime. It does not in any way prohibit any company from pursuing its enterprise goals in the country.” The build has been controversial with the public. In October, a petition with 125,000 signatures was submitted to parliament objecting to the casino.

This is not the first time Caesar’s plans for a grand casino development in Eastern Europe has hit bumps. Plans for a similar joint venture in Slovenia first won tax concessions from the government, but then fell apart with the casino operator and developer citing contractual differences.


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CR99-p12-AsiaOceania:SJC-Casino Review

20/12/10

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internationalcasinoreview Singapore to leapfrog Australia and South Korea by 2011 Singapore will overtake Australia and South Korea by next year to become Asia’s second largest casino gaming market after Macau, according to a new report from consultants PwC. It said Singapore’s revenues would hit US$2.8bn in 2010 and US$5.5bn in 2011, overtaking Australia’s US$2.8bn and South Korea’s US$2.5bn, to be the second largest in the Asia Pacific behind Macau’s US$28.4bn. Greg Unsworth, PwC Singapore’s Technology, Infocomm, Entertainment & Media Industry Leader, expects GGR to top US$8.3bn by 2014.“Singapore has made a dramatic entry to the casino gaming market,” he said.

News ASIA & OCEANIA

Sands Macao has spring in its step with Playboy launch Following the success of Playboy Club Las Vegas, the world’s most glamorous and established entertainment brand is determined to elevate Macau beyond its status as a gaming centre and to pioneer its move into becoming a high-end entertainment destination. timetoplay CHINA

Playboy Enterprises officially welcomed guests to Playboy Club Macao on the top floor of Sands Macao Hotel November 20. Influenced by the original Playboy Club which was first launched in 1960, Playboy Club Macao has been designed to reflect the latest Asian trends in high-end entertainment. The sophisticated entertainment and gaming venue will span 12,000 square feet and will offer stunning views of the city skyline. Hugh Hefner, founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said:“The opening of Playboy Clubs around the world proves the brand is more popular than ever before.Seeing the Bunnies in a global market as important as Macau shows that the Playboy Clubs are once again revolutionising nightlife.” Scott Flanders, chief executive officer of Playboy Enterprises, added:“We are thrilled to bring the Playboy brand to life in Macau with this dynamic new nightlife venue. By partnering with Sands Macao, a world-class operator with proven success in the market, Playboy is offering residents and visitors alike a completely new entertainment and gaming experience.” A spokesperson for Sands said: “Playboy’s entrance into Macau is a welcome addition to Sands’ offering for the region.The presence of the Playboy brand ensures further success and varied entertainment for everyone visiting Macau.”

The Playboy Club has historically attracted high profile members and the most sought after entertainers of the time, and Macau will be no exception. Confirmed celebrity members, who are called Key Holders, presently include Lisa S, Michael Wong, Terrence Yin and Patricia Cheung, among others.The Club’s Las Vegas counterpart Key Holders includes some of the biggest names in music and entertainment, such as P. Diddy, Kim Kardashian, Usher and Paris Hilton. Edward Tracy, president and chief operating officer, Sands China, added:“Macau is being positioned as the ‘entertainment hub of Asia,’ and the arrival of the Playboy Club in Macau will further strengthen this positioning. Sands China is pleased to spearhead this effort by bringing a world class entertainment and lifestyle experience to Macao.The arrival of Playboy Club Macao raised the bar in nightlife entertainment for people living in and travel to Macau.” With Playboy inspired décor, the club will be reminiscent of the 1960s Playboy Clubs.Guests will be able to enjoy high specification media rooms, live entertainment and private gaming. In tandem with the Playboy Club opening will be the return of the Playboy Bunny to Asia, an iconic mainstay of the Playboy Brand. On October 15, Playboy Club Macao held a Bunny Hunt event to initiate the recruitment of Bunny hopefuls to serve as the new Club’s brand ambassadors. Playboy received over 600 Playboy Bunny applications

from Macau, Hong Kong, Australia, Romania, Brazil, the United States, Canada, and other countries around the world.The new Playboy Bunnies will undergo the strict training required for the position. To celebrate the launch of Playboy Club Macao, internationally acclaimed Hong Kong fashion designer Pacino Wan has been chosen to add his style to the iconic Playboy Bunny Costume. Following in the footsteps of Roberto Cavalli, Pacino Wan will add Asian flare to the iconic Bunny Costume, originally created in 1960 by Hugh Hefner. “The Chinese think of us as an American fashion brand,” said Jared Dougherty, vice president of marketing license group at Playboy.“But we think they’ll be lured by the brand to the club.” Playboy Club Macao joins Playboy Club Las Vegas at The Palms Casino Resort and Playboy Club Cancun, as well as future properties in develop-

ment in Miami and London. In addition to Playboy Club Macao, Playboy and Sands China are also planning to open a 30,000 square foot Playboy Mansion in 2012. Integrating bars, lounges, nightclub, gaming and retail, the Playboy Mansion Macao will offer an entirely new nightlife experience capitalising on the allure and history of the legendary Playboy

Mansion.The Mansion will be developed on parcels 5 and 6 owned by Sands on the Cotai Strip.The Venetian’s executive vice-president for marketing operations, Kevin Clayton, said the attractions would ‘complement’ other entertainment offers already available in Cotai. “We, the gaming operators, have to work together to build Cotai as a destination,” he said.

Accor to provide hotel at Manila’s first racino startersorders PHILIPPINES

Accor Group will work with MJC Investments Corporation (MIC), a subsidiary of Manila Jockey Club, for the latter’s planned hotel-

casino project earmarked for the first racino in Manila at the former San Lazaro racetrack. The deal will see Accor appointed for hotel consultancy and management services in relation to a 250-room 4-

12 January 2011 • asia&oceanianews

star hotel to be constructed by MIC on a 1.4 hectare property within the PEZA-registered San Lazaro Tourism and Business Park. The Accor Group manages over 4,100 hotels worldwide with

brands including Sofitel, Mercure, Novotel, Pullman, Ibis and Etap. The Mercure brand has been chosen for the development Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and MIC had

earlier signed an agreement for PAGCOR to establish, manage and operate a casino at a hotel to be constructed by MIC. This will be the second casino MJCI will be leasing to PAGCOR. The first one, PAGCOR Club

San Lazaro (PGSL), is located at the Turf Club at the San Lazaro Leisure and Business Park in Carmona, Cavite opened in December 8, 2006. The racino will house over 250 slot machines and six gaming tables.


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CR99-p15-Africa&MidEast:SJC-Casino Review

20/12/10

13:07

Page 1

New outlets at Hemingways

News

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

The Mall at Hemingways Casino in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa saw ten new retail outlets opening in time for the Christmas season. Tsogo Sun has regained the Hemingways licence for another 15 years from next November and will invest around R400m (E44m) in the site.

The cost of the merger of two important South African operators could be the Silverstar Casino, if the authorities are not convinced that competition with the relatively close Montecasino resort would be impaired.

www.intelligentgaming.net

internationalcasinoreview

Gold Reef and Tsogo Sun want to retain ownership of Silverstar Casino

Tsogo Sun & Gold Reef merger decision likely in February decisiontime SOUTH AFRICA

The Competition Commission in South Africa, which is considering whether operators Tsogo Sun and Gold Reef can merge without having to sell off the Silverstar Casino in Gauteng province, has extended its hearing into January and February 2011. The Commission tribunal’s proceedings were due to be completed in the five days up to December 10, however, extra dates on January 13 and 14 have been called with legal arguments being pushed to February 9. This means that a year at least will have passed since the proposed merger was announced before it gains all the necessary approvals

to go ahead. With almost all the relevant Provincial gaming boards having given the deal the nod, the last major hurdle is the tribunal. In its original assessment, the Competition Commission said that while the merger presents no significant concerns in the rest of South Africa, it could lessen competition within the Gauteng market. Silverstar Casino, operated by Gold Reef, offers a competitive alternative to Montecasino, operated by Tsogo Sun and the merger would lead to the elimination of Silverstar as a competitor, providing an incentive to raise prices or reduce the product offering. The merging companies, however, believe that each casino draws from its own catchment area and does

not compete with the other. Tsogo Sun’s representatives told the hearing that casinos in Gauteng competed with other leisure options such as restaurants and cinemas and that in any case competition between casinos was strongly regulated with casinos serving specific geographical parts of the province. Jerome Wilson, the lawyer for Tsogo Sun, said that those with a weak propensity to gamble could be tempted away by other leisure options while more dedicated gamblers were already less likely to switch from the casino closest to them. He said:“While these players may travel to another casino, the distance between them may be an impediment to switching.” Silverstar and Monte-

casino are 25km apart as the crow flies and 30km by the best roads. Good news for the merger partners was that there was no objection from their main commercial competition, South Africa’s largest operator, Sun International. The first witness at the hearing, Tristan Kaatze, head of the Sun’s northern gaming operations, said: “Sun does not expect any major competition in Gauteng or in any other province resulting from the merger of Tsogo Sun and Gold Reef.” However, Leo Kok of Peermont Global said that his company’s Emperors Palace Casino, to the east of Johannesburg, had been significantly affected by the opening of Silverstar in 2008.

Peermont awarded Limpopo licence nosurprises SOUTH AFRICA

The Limpopo Gambling Board has awarded the last remaining casino licence in South Africa’s north-eastern province to Peermont Global. The company will build a resort in Burgersfort, 40km south of the Mafefe Nature Reserve and not far from the

Kruger National Park. In addition to a casino with 150 slot machines and eight tables, it will boast a 40room Peermont Metcourt three-star hotel, a 130-seat conference facility, a restaurant, showbar and entertainment facilities for teens and children. In a statement the company said: “The resort is to be constructed at an

estimated total cost of R236m (E25.9m), of which R24m (E2.6m) has already been spent on land and bid applications costs, leaving R212m (E23.3m) to be spent.” It continued: “Funding of the project is expected to be in the form of a R90m (E9.9m) senior project debt facility, R50m (E5.5m) raised as subordinated mezzanine

funding and the balance in the form of shareholder loans and equity.” Peermont was one of two companies to bid for the licence, however, the other applicant’s proposal was disqualified at an earlier stage, leaving Peermont as sole bidder. It must still now negotiate the terms and conditions of the licence with the Gambling Board. January 2011 • africa&middleeastnews

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internationalcasinoreview Missouri chooses Isle of Capri for Cape Girardeau The Missouri Gaming Commission has selected Isle of Capri’s proposed casino project in Cape Girardeau for prioritisation for the 13th and final gaming licence in the State of Missouri. The project is expected to include 1,000 slot machines, 28 table games, three restaurants, a lounge and terrace overlooking the Mississippi River and a 750-seat event centre at an estimated cost of US$125m. Paul Keller, Isle’s chief development officer, said: “This project represents one of the largest economic development projects in the history of Cape Girardeau. Our goal is to build a showpiece for southeast Missouri, enhance the historic downtown area, and bring hundreds of quality jobs to the community. We look forward to working closely with City and State officials as we prepare to begin construction in early summer.”

News NORTH AMERICA

Fernwood Hotel hopes Penn gets slots chance A resort casino at Fernwood Hotel and Resort operated by Penn National Gaming wants to put slots in the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania where gaming revenue will grow the economy, reduce unemployment and generate the greatest benefit for the citizens of the Commonwealth. penntopaper UNITED STATES

Fernwood Hotel and Resort in the Pocono Mountains recently appeared before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to present its case for a Category 3 Resort Gaming Licence. Spokesperson for Fernwood Hotel and Resort, Gina Bertucci, said: “With the expertise of our operator Penn National Gaming, we will deliver the most gaming and tax revenue to the Commonwealth. We already have

significant resort amenities, have continuously operated for over 80 years, and have the most rooms and annual visitors which makes us the most suitable of any applicant. We believe we demonstrated why we should get the licence supported by the fact that we will open quickly with the most revenue from out of state guests.” Fernwood’s easternmost Pennsylvania location puts the resort closest to the largest population of adult gamers in the country. Bertucci added: “We are

fortunate to have Penn National Gaming as our managers. They are funding the US$55m project and will operate the resort casino. Penn National prepared the revenue projections using their vast experience in gaming which includes owning and operating Hollywood Casino at Penn National Raceway in Grantville, PA - one of Pennsylvania’s most successful gaming locations.” Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming

Bellagio celebrates ten years of AAA awards

ateam UNITED STATES

The Bellagio in Las Vegas has been awarded the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award for the tenth consecutive year. With its service, worldclass dining and luxurious amenities, Bellagio is the first resort and casino in Las Vegas to ever reach this amazing milestone and the only hotel in America to have two AAA Five Diamond restaurants under one roof. “The AAA Five Diamond Award has been the most coveted symbol of excellence in the travel industry

since its inception in 1977 and we are incredibly honoured to be recognised for the tenth year in a row,” said Randy Morton, president and COO of Bellagio. “We could not have achieved this without our outstanding employees who work around the clock to provide superior service to our guests.” Bellagio continues to be the only resort in the United States to be home to two AAA Five Diamond restaurants. Joining Bellagio in making Las Vegas history, Julian Serrano’s renowned restaurant Picasso garnered its tenth AAA Five Diamond Award this year while Le

16 January 2011 • northamericannews

Cirque has earned the distinction for the eighth consecutive year. Further adding to its dining accolades, Bellagio’s Jasmine, Michael Mina and Sensi all earned the AAA Four Diamond Award. Ana Marie Mormandano, Vice President of Food & Beverage at Bellagio, said: “We uphold the highest standards for fresh ingredients, unique menus and worldly experiences that give our guests a culinary adventure unlike any other.” Bellagio was the first Las Vegas resort and casino to ever receive the AAA Five Diamond award in 2001.

and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The company presently operates 23 facilities in 16 jurisdictions. In aggregate, Penn National’s operated facilities feature over 27,800 gaming machines, over 500 table games, over 2,000 hotel rooms and over one million square feet of gaming floor space. At the November Hearings, each of the other applicants who presented their case had problems such as not enough guest rooms,

financial difficulties, overwhelming community objection, no amenities, desolate locations with small nearby populations, and no availability to access a diverse workforce. Fernwood Hotel and Resort was able to show that its market of 28m people in New York and New Jersey, when compared to the number of slot machines in the same market, gives it the lowest number of machines per person in the geographic market from which customers will originate. This means Fernwood will create

the least competition of any applicant to existing Pennsylvania casinos. Gaming Control Board chairman Gregory Fajt indicated selection would be made at either their December 16 or January 6 meeting. Bertucci concluded: “We think the facts dictate - put the machines where the people are and in a region of Pennsylvania where tourism will grow the economy, reduce unemployment and generate the greatest benefit for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

CityCenter gets two AAA Five Diamond Awards in first year doubleheader UNITED STATES

In its debut year, CityCenter Las Vegas has received the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award for both ARIA Resort & Casino and Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. While the award is bestowed only upon select properties deemed the finest in North America, it is even rarer for hotels to attain the rating within the first year of operation. “It takes an incredibly special hotel or resort to earn the Five Diamond distinction after being open less than a year.We congratulate CityCenter for accomplishing this feat with not only one property, but two,” said Michael Geeser, AAA Nevada spokesperson. “These properties deliver the ultimate in luxury, sophistication and exceptional service.” Bobby Baldwin, CityCenter’s president and CEO, said: “From inception to operation, our goal with CityCenter was to create a

resort destination that provides guests with services and amenities unmatched in the world.To receive the highest honour in the industry with the AAA Five Diamond Award is a reflection of our commitment to this promise and to delivering unforgettable experiences for each guest from arrival to departure.” Bill McBeath, president & COO of ARIA, said:“Receiv-

ing this recognition from AAA is the best possible way I can imagine to celebrate our first anniversary.This is a tribute to all of ARIA’s employees, who dedicate themselves every day to delivering wonderful memories to our guests.” The AAA Five Diamond Award is North America’s most sought-after symbol of excellence in the hospitality industry.


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internationalcasinoreview No bingo in Brazil

News

Legislators in Brazil have rejected a bill to re-legalise bingo halls and slot machines in the country, after their ban in 2004 amid corruption scandals. Some politicians have claimed they have been approached this time with offers of bribes. The result bodes ill for any swift move to legalise proper casinos in the country, which had been hoped for once the new president was elected.

SOUTH & CENTRAL AMERICA

SCJ expects huge growth to continue all next year While the markets in the US and Europe continue to struggle, there are a few that are thriving, not least Chile. The regulator, Superintendent Francisco Javier Leiva, who can claim some of the credit for solidity of the gaming environment there, is bullish about its future. latintiger CHILE

Chile’s 15 casinos are set to see a combined increase in gaming revenues of around 40 per cent this year, according to the regulator Francisco Javier Leiva.This despite the shock of the earthquake that

hit at the start of March and caused the closure of several venues, including the largest Monticello for several months. The casinos are set to generate gross revenues of around 152.67bn pesos (E242.3m) by the end of 2010. “We’re talking about 4.8 million visits by people with an average spend of around 33,000 pesos (E52),” said Leiva. “It’s an industry that continues to grow significantly and it is very difficult to estimate whether or not it has reached the ceiling.” The ceiling is still some way off:by the SCJ’s own estimations, next year will be even better with revenues Chile’s Superintendent of expected to be somewhere casinos, Francisco Javier in the region of 207bn pesos (E327m) for 2011 with the number of visitors expected and even that, said Leiva, is a how the operators and investor reacted in the wake to break the 6m barrier and “conservative estimate”. That prediction comes of the earthquake. average spend-per-head “The industry took advanrising to 34,000 pesos (E54) - after the superintendent saw

tage of the occasion to resize and reinvest and every month has seen an increase in numbers over the previous month, not only in visitors but also in how much they spend. We clearly see growth potential.” The law creating the new casino landscape in Chile and how well it has been implemented - does, however, create a wrinkle. The seven legacy casinos have been allowed to carry on under the old rules until the end of 2015. Their planned closure would create a significant financial problem for their municipal owners and the mayors have been pursuing a vigorous campaign to find another way to incorporate the casinos. Leiva does not regulate the municipal casinos. He said: “Obviously, those mayors are concerned; you can’t ignore the fact that

Slot attendants win 66 per cent pay rise in Buenos Aires jackpotwages ARGENTINA

Slot attendants in Buenos Aires are to get an increase in wages after the unions agreed with operators that from January 1, 2011 five per cent of machine revenues will be shared between them, up from the three per cent rate currently in operation. The spokesman for the Casino Employees Association, Jorge Baino, said: “Improving this area has been one of our objectives since almost five years ago.At that time were getting nothing for attending these machines, and had been doing so for free since 1995 when they were installed.” He said that previously the machines were looked after by gaming staff who were diverted from the tables, even though their salaries were generated there, which was unfair.After a round of strikes, demonstrations and working to rule, the previous agreement was reached, although

those workers, as it is stipulated in the tender documents. Baino said:“What we once did with marches and struggles, today we can do with negotiations. It was difficult but we are happy to be coming closer to our objective. Obtaining five per cent of slot machine product means that there is 66 per cent more in workers’ pockets. The union has also managed to obtain an increase of 20 per cent in relocation expenses for employees that have to work in another casino, including those further up employment structure. The union has achieved increases far ahead of the inflation rate in Argentina, which over 2010 has increased to around 6.2 per cent (up from 4.7 per cent in what has been lost at the tradi- 2009). However, the economy is never signed. The new rate is certainly an tional game tables with respect to expected to have grown by 8.4 per cent in the year. The unemimprovement but it is not what slot machines,” said Baino. When the Casino del Tigre ployment rate has also fallen from the Casino Employees Association ultimately wants, which is starts to operate, the seven per around 8.2 per cent last year to seven per cent:“We believe that is cent target will be achieved for 7.6 per cent in 2010. Workers at the Casino Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires will be among those benefiting

18 January 2011 • south&centralamericannews

those casinos represent an important contribution to their budgets. However, as superintendent, I have to apply the law, which is that on January 1, 2016 we initiate a competitive bidding process. My opinion is that the whole industry should be under the same regulatory framework regulated and supervised by the same body, that is the SCJ.” He continued:“A technical committee, where the seven mayors have held discussions with Regional Development Minister and the Treasury, is now considering which is the best solution. We are expecting that we will be called to give our opinion.There may be intermediate options on the table that can be explored, which adhere to the principle that regulation and enforcement are the same for all operators, regardless of where they are located.”

Chile authorises on-site server-based gaming remoteopportunity CHILE

The Superintendent of Casinos (SCJ) in Chile has announced that downloadable server-based gaming (DSBG) is to be permitted in the 15 new-style casinos operating in the country. After consulting the operators earlier in the year, the SCJ has settled on the original technical specifications, which state that the central server for the system must be located on the casino premises off-site locations are explicitly and firmly prohibited - and must have a secure connection to each slot machine that does not affect the outcome of the game. All the downloadable games that are stored on the server must have been previously approved by the SCJ and must comply with the current regulations, particularly that the game instructions and paytable must be in Spanish and the percentage return to players in prizes is not less than 85 per cent.


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internationalcasinoreview “The conference programme is packed with actionable advice and has been designed to help delegates overcome businesscritical challenges. Delegates can mix and match from all seven conferences, comprising 60 sessions, or choose to attend only one conference of special interest, depending on the pass they select. The programme has captured the imagination of the international audience which attends ICE and the response has been highly positive.”

Comment

Yeemay Huang of ICE Conferences

It’s a long way to Tipperary Journalists in the casino sector are in the fairly privileged position of writing about a huge number of breathtaking, ground-breaking, never seen before, billion dollar projects that never actually see the light of day. Phil Martin keeps the curtains only slightly open for another, this time destined for Ireland. longshot COMMENT

By its very nature of oneupmanship and the continual need to create must-see, resort casinos to take custom from the must-see, resort casino already in operation just down the road, the casino sector is one of the most creative in the property world. The previous 99 issues of Casino Review have illustrated the size and scope of some of the grandest of those not fortunate to make it past the planning stage yet. Land grab off the coast of Monaco, EuroVegas, Gran Scala, The Moon and, of course, a near infinite list of proposals kickstarted and then kicked into touch by the British government’s courting and then dumping of the ‘Las Vegasstyle super casino’ leap to mind. ‘Las Vegas-style super casino.’ I can still barely bring myself to type those ill-fated five words. They have, however, been appearing in headlines with increasing regularity in newspaper reports emanating out of Ireland in recent weeks. North Tipperary County Council have granted planning permission to local amusement and arcade magnate Richard Quirke’s large-scale, E460m develop-

ment called the Tipperary Venue in County Tipperary. The tick list for the proposal takes a familiar route, 2,000 jobs when complete, 1,000 jobs during construction, a 500-bedroom hotel and a 15,000-seat entertainment venue although there are a few added extras including an international equestrian centre, new turf and allweather horseracing track, greyhound racing circuit and a replica of the White House. Other features include retail outlets, helicopter facilities, oh and a church. Planning permission has even been granted making the project as newsworthy as anything that has gone before. Independent politician and advocate of the project Michael Lowry describes it as ‘a beacon of light, an infusion of hope, set against a background of economic crisis.’ The project has, though, been slammed by An Taisce, the NationalTrust for Ireland, as ‘an unsustainable development model of dependence on air travel from all over the world and car dependence for visitors from within Ireland.’ As much as I’d like the project to take place, the cynic in me says it is unlikely. It would be wrong to call such proposals premature despite the critical fact that the Tipperary White House would need a complete rewrite of gambling legislation in Ireland. First mover advantage is often crucial and whetting political appetite with economy boosting facts and figures is key to the opening up of any

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casino market. But surely we need some inkling of political reform on such a grand scale. The sceptics have labelled the White House inclusion as some sort of theme to the casino. It isn’t. It’s a tribute to Kilkenny-born architect James Hoban and will act as a banqueting suite to what is predominantly a racing-based project. Experience Stateside proves that racinos work, and if it does who’s to say the upper echelons of racing’s fraternity won’t make use of the heliport. Quirke has happily put his money where his mouth is with an investment already in the region of E30m to secure land. Both he and Lowry point to new legislation paving the way for the project in the New Year. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they know something we don’t but it’s going to have to be pretty radical reform. Justice Minister DermotAhern has confirmed the government will be drawing up a report on ‘reform right across the area’ but cleaning up the grey area of private members clubs acting as casinos, of which Ireland reportedly has around 50, and legislating Las Vegas are worlds apart both geographically and politically. I hope gambling reform comes. I hope Tipperary gets its White House. It would be a great project to write about and a kick in the budget to the UK government for the mess it made of its own gambling reform. I just won’t be holding my breath or the front page,even though I’d like it to happen.

Las Vegas will never grow as fast again Ten years before any new casino is built in Las Vegas? Whilst that might not quite be the case it will clearly never grow as fast as in years gone by, says Hugh Sorrill. thelongview COMMENT

Progress is never steady. The initial flowering of casinos in Las Vegas occurred in the 30s, grew considerably in the 60s thanks to Howard Hughes, and then shot through the roof in the 90s and most of the noughties, with significant lacunas in between. These things go in cycles, so the prediction, following the opening of Cosmopolitan, that there will be no new casinos in Las Vegas for the next ten years is not really a

surprise given the huge economic ‘adjustment’ we’ve probably just about come to the end of. But to be honest, I can’t see a point at which construction of casinos in Las Vegas will ever reach the same pace as it did in the last 20 years. The situation has changed so much in the US. When casinos were legal in only a very few places, it was natural that concentrated markets would develop; now only two states forbid any sort of casinos - almost every American has or will have a casino within just a few hours’ drive, so the demand is largely met. That does not mean that Las Vegas will wither and fail (as long as the water holds out). It has reached a critical mass: beyond the appeal of casino gaming, it is a tourist destination in itself. It will

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have to renew and refresh itself from time to time, but I think the days of such heady expansion are behind us probably forever. But no new casinos for ten years? A decade is a long time in any city; in Las Vegas it’s a lifetime. The Aladdin’s last reopening in 2000 was followed just seven years later by its Planet Hollywood redesign. Ten years will certainly be a long time for the 68-storey Fontainebleau to remain so close to finishing without some investor snapping it up for a fraction of its development costs so far and opening a bargain. The road to economic recovery is on the horizon and ten years just seems too long away, especially in Las Vegas terms. This is a city that will continue to reinvent itself, remarket itself and redesign itself.

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internationalcasinoreview

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Russia back to square one in future planning With the four zones unworkable and gambling appetite still high if somewhat underground in the capital, Lyubov Loginova, head of Alsart Group, believes Russia is back under starter’s orders when it comes to its gambling future. backtothefuture VIEWPOINT

“Everybody knows that gambling in Russia is banned to four approved zones for gambling and everybody knows that these zones are far from being started. The only hope, Azov City, established a precedent in relocating the zone with the help of good lobbying, so where are we now? Practically right at the beginning of establishing the new Russian gambling business, back to the point we were many years ago. It is relative easy to forecast the future of gambling in Russia through relevant world experience as there are only two possible development alternatives. The first scenario is when gam- government will end up bling is banned but exists in losing millions and billions a hidden form.As a result the of dollars.

Indeed, that is what we have at the present moment. Gambling in Russia exists

and functions on every street.A high level of bureaucracy gives fly-by-night businesses a great opportunity to develop and gaps in current legislation give way to semilegal or completely illegal gambling slots to emerge rapidly hiding under titles of internet or lottery clubs. Of course, the Russian government is aware of the real situation with the gambling business and the initiative to create four gambling zones was the first step in demonstrating its readiness to eliminate the drawbacks. It is obvious that the decision to ban gambling, though, completely was wrong and brought neither advantages nor profit and everybody realizes this was a mistake. The ban was aimed at protecting young and elderly people from uncontrolled gambling, and that is

absolutely right. But we understand that the main profit for casinos didn’t come from these social groups but from established people with a stable level of income who control their life and actions. But the main disadvantage of the gambling ban is the billions lost in taxation that the Russian government loses every month. From the moment of the ban the Russian government lost at least 30,000m rubles (US$960m). Participants in the gambling market were the most punctual tax payers in Russia. By comparison in 2009 tax revenue in Georgia has doubled from the previous year and gaming tax payments account for 25 per cent of the total income. There are now rumours circulating that a document signed by our Prime Minister will allow 12 casinos to

be opened in Moscow in 2012. On the other hand, new Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin has ordered the closure of all lottery and entertaining clubs in the territory of Moscow. He stated that all civil servants who are not aware of lottery of entertaining clubs at the territory of their districts will be dismissed. And indeed it took only two days to close all entertaining clubs at the territory of Moscow. The football World Cup in 2018 requires a cardinal decision on gambling’s future. Everybody realises that casinos, if allowed in huge hotel in big cities, will bring millions of dollars.And we suppose that in the near future some crucial changes in legislation will be made that will regulate gambling at a completely new level.

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internationalcasinoreview Casino Review to celebrate 100 International Casino Review will be celebrating its 100th issue next month with a bumper edition to be delivered on the first day of ICE Totally Gaming. Editor Phil Martin said: “It feels strange to be on the verge of reaching such a landmark issue as the months have really flown by since we launched with a 16 page edition back in October 2002. By absolute coincidence Playboy Enterprises was on the front of that magazine too! I’d like to thank each and every advertiser for their support since that first edition because it is only with their support that we’re closing in on our 100th issue.”

Events

http://www.wms.com

400 lead exhibitors to shape the future at ICE Touch, feel and embrace the future of gaming is the invitation being extended to the 20,000-plus visitors expected to attend January’s ICE show at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre (25th/26th/27th January). show in the world can come anywhere near the geographical spread of exhibitors The invitation to attend ICE present at ICE or the diverTotally Gaming could not be sity of the gaming experience more compelling with the that’s on offer; quite simply huge exhibition occupying all the evidence demonsome 20,000 square metres strates there is no other place of stand space from where in the world that gaming an expected 2,000 new prod- operators can or indeed should be come January.” ucts will be launched. The show’s reputation for Kate Chambers, ICE show director said:“We’ve got the being at the cockpit of biggest names in gaming, the gaming innovation is borne best innovators in gaming, out by the roll call of marquee and the smartest names in exhibitors which includes gaming. We know that there Abbiati,Advansys,Ainsworth, will be thousands and thou- Alfastreet,Amatic Industries, sands of new products Apex Gaming, Aristocrat launched – that’s why Technologies. Atronic Interexhibitors invest in attend- national, Bally Technologies, ing the show after all. We’ve Barcrest Group, Belatra, also got seven unmissable Betsoft Gaming, Betstone, Technology, conferences dealing with Casino crucial issues such as how Chartwell Games, Elektrongaming operators can use cek, Eurocoin, Euro Games Evolution social media to engage with a Technology, younger audience and retain Gaming, Gold Club, GPI, IGTcustomers. No other gaming Europe, Konami Gaming, ICEtotallygaming LONDON

Merkur Gaming, NovomaticAustrian Gaming Industries, Suzo, TCSJohnHuxley, WMS Gaming and Zest Gaming. Added to this there are more than 60 companies making their debut appearances at ICE, providing a perfect balance of seasoned and new exhibitors. Chambers added: “ICE exhibitors are coming to London in their hundreds, to do one thing and that’s win business. The 20,000 or so visitors who come to ICE each year from 100-plus jurisdictions know that this expo delivers an unrivalled opportunity to meet-up with old friends and see the brand new technology that’s shaping the future of gaming. ICE allows them to be at the vanguard of the gaming revolution.” As the most comprehensive gaming event in the world, ICE delivers business

opportunities for operators across all sectors and in every jurisdiction where gaming is allowed. The betting offering will combine the very best in traditional book making with gaming machines, sports betting and other technology-driven solutions. ICE betting will feature new product launches, networking opportunities and an extensive business-based learning programme. Bingo visitors will be able to see the latest technologies and marketing concepts which are enhancing prof-

itability. See how operators are working with smoking bans and how gaming machines,community games and bingo terminals are helping the sector. In terms of casino; the historic home of European gaming, ICE hosts all of the major innovators across slots, table games, serverbased gaming, electronic poker and more. Exhibitors and visitors alike consistently say it is the most important three days in their business calendar. The phenomenon of the Video Lottery Terminal takes

centre stage at ICE where every developer, game creator and many of the licence holders will be present. It’s a massive business opportunity for operators to source the very best solutions available. Mobile technology waits for no man and no sector has moved at a faster rate than remote. Attending ICE mobile is an insurance policy to protect against being left behind. This sector of ICE is a touch paper of innovation. Featuring the best products and services from the smartest creators using the latest technologies, ICE Online will ensure you are ahead of the game in this ultra competitive sector. There will also be a broad and vibrant sector comprising street slots, skill with prize games, touchscreen, novelty and other electronic entertainment. A great opportunity to meet with developers and talk to the people that matter about price, service, delivery and future games strategies.

Third International Casino Conference promises to inform Top executives from European casino groups will meet to discuss internet gaming, cross-border regulations and strategies for the ongoing recession at the third International Casino Conference, prior to ICE Totally Gaming. internationalcasinoconference LONDON

The European Casino Association (ECA) and Clarion Gaming will stage the Third International Casino Conference (ICC) to be held on 24 January 2011, a day before the start of London’s ICE Totally Gaming exhibition. The forthcoming Green Paper on Online Gambling announced by EU Commissioner Michel Barnier, ongoing regulatory changes in several European jurisdictions allowing casino operators to seek online gaming licences, the continuing struggle with the effects of the recession on customers’ spend and new casino design are amongst the top

issues to be discussed at this annual event. ICC’s convenient co-location with the world’s largest gaming exhibition, ICE Totally Gaming in London, and the full endorsement and partnership with the ECA guarantees the presence of high-level decision-makers, CEOs representing all major casino operators and suppliers in Europe and globally. Ron Goudsmit, ECA Chairman, commented: “The ICC offers a dedicated platform for ECA members and the broader international casino community to exchange views on the most pressing challenges facing the industry. This event will once again bring together industry leaders, European regulators and tech experts for top

level strategic and regulatory discussions and networking opportunities, to pave the way for building a sustainable future for the casino industry in Europe and beyond.” Setting the scene for the discussions, ICC 2011 will open with the CEO MegaDebate, featuring CEOs of Casinos Austria International, Spielbank SH GmGH, Olympic Entertainment and Svenska Spel’s Casino Cosmopol who will give their frank views on gambling regulations, casinos’ response to recession, CSR, innovations and new platforms . With Member States creating licensing regimes for new forms of gaming, including internet gaming and VLTs, recent ECJ rulings re-confirming Member State competence,

politicians discussing common approaches in the Council Working Group as well as the Green Paper proposal by the European Commission, regulatory questions will take the centre stage. The invited representatives of the regulatory bodies from France, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark and Germany will be available to explain their plans and requirements. Recognising the industry’s need to innovate, CEOs of Partouche Interactive, Sisal, Lottomatica Gaming Division and Evolution Gaming will explore the newest trends in technology and marketing, with particular focus on internet gaming and VLTs, both of which experience regulatory changes, allowing casinos to expand

the reach of their brand and customer base. The Casino Gran Madrid case study on the launch of an online gaming arm of the land-based operation will illustrate how casinos can specifically harness the power of their brand online and address the challenge of customer cannibalisation and competition against global brands. Another case study by Brussels-based Viage Entertainment Center will present the business rationale of implementing the Las Vegas style gaming in Europe. With plenty of networking time during the conference and at the subsequent evening reception, ICC 2011 promises to be an excellent start for continuing discussions during the following days at ICE Totally Gaming.

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ICE Totally Gaming to run Gaming Awards receive sector specific conferences 300 entries from 30 countries Conferences LONDON

A host of conferences from Mobile Gaming to Mergers and Acquisitions will take place alongside ICE Totally Gaming at Earl’s Court in London. On the Tuesday at West Brompton Conference Centre, the Seventh annual Combating Cybercrime conference will again deliver cutting-edge solutions to help operators and suppliers keep their customers and businesses safe. Also on the Tuesday but in the Cromwell Room, the Mobile Gaming conference will present a detailed roadmap for how gaming companies can take advantage of this new channel that has finally ‘come of age’ and multiply their revenues in the near future. Wednesday will see a conference on Monetising Social

Game take place in the Cromwell Room and will cover how consumers increasingly consume entertainment, social media, games and gambling via mobile access devices. It will show operators how to integrate the phenomenal success of monetised social games into their product mix so as to catch the next wave of revenue growth via a channel that is legal in the USA, China and other markets inaccessible to traditional online gambling companies. Payments in Gaming will take place on the same day in the West Brompton Conference Centre and will showcase the latest and most innovative solutions available to convert customers into depositing players, enhance security and remain compliant in emerging markets using payment technologies. Thursday will see CRM

and Retention hosted in the Cromwell Room and will help delegates better utilise their customer data and player analysis capabilities to deliver competitive advantage and cost-effectively increase revenues, improve player lifetime value and get better ROI on their acquisitions; while building loyalty through customer engagement and improved communications. The last day will see Mergers & Acquisitions for Gaming, held in the West Brompton Conference Centre. This is for CXO-level executives and senior corporate strategists to discuss the future of consolidation and the macro-economic landscape of the industry. From likely deals to valuating companies, it will provide an invaluable roadmap to successful acquisitions for investors, and to lucrative exit strategies for gaming entrepreneurs.

internationalgamingawards LONDON

The fourth annual Awards ceremony, presented by Clever Duck Media, is expected to bring together International Gaming Community, participants from some of the most exciting and fastest-growing companies in the world from land based and online gaming background. The most influential figures in online and land-based gaming will gather at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, London for this year’s awards in support of Care International and Children with Leukaemia charity. Taking place on 24 January 2011, the day before ICE Totally Gaming, the event will boast a growing number of participants from around the globe. The International Gaming Awards secretariat received nearly 300 entries in 18 categories from land-based and Online gaming operators and suppliers.The finalist’s list with some surprising results has been published on the official IGA website www.gamingawards.com. In total, the Awards feature 18 categories which cover: Casino Operator of the Year (Europe , Americas, Australia & Asia), Socially Responsible operator of theYear,Online Casino

Operator, Online Poker, Bingo, Sportsbook of the Year, Technology provider of the Year, iGaming Software supplier, Eco-Friendly company of the Year, Best Restaurant , VIP Room of the Year, Casino Interior Design, Slot manufacturer and Traditional Equipment Supplier of the Year. This year the Awards feature the new category the Best Customer Experience. Some of the biggest names in the industry will be competing for an Award, such as Celebrity Cruises, City of Dreams, Betfair and Full Tilt Poker.

www.ecp-usa.com

jalm@ecp-usa.com

john.malin@internationalbrandgaming.com

January 2011 • events

23


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ICE to host gaming exhibitors from a record 54 countries

V

isitors attending January’s ICE Totally Gaming exhibition in London (Earls Court 25th/26th/27th January) will have direct access to the most international collection of gaming exhibitors ever gathered at a single b2b event. A record 54 countries – more than double the 26 at November’s Global Gaming Expo - will be represented by exhibitors delivering the most comprehensive insight to the latest gaming innovations from every corner of the world. Kate Chambers, Show Director responsible for ICE Totally

Gaming said: “This goes beyond just exhibition statistics. In real business terms it means that whatever’s taking place in the entire world of gaming will be demonstrated by exhibitors at ICE, which of course is great news for our many thousands of visitors who themselves travel from in excess of 100 countries to be in London. The very clear message is ‘come to ICE and see the world of gaming’ – which combined with the breadth of gaming sectors on show represents an intoxicating business proposition and one not to be missed.”

Casino companies celebrate 21st anniversary ICE Show Director Kate Chambers

A

ristocrat Technologies, Cummins Allison, Eurocoin and TCS John Huxley will be represented at the official opening

ceremony to mark the 21st anniversary of high stakes gaming at the London show. The quartet were amongst the 16 pioneer companies who helped launch what has become the most complete b2b gaming exhibition in the world and which in January 2011 will welcome some 400-plus exhibitors and in the region of 20,000 visitors to London. ICE Show Director Kate Chambers said: “Our opening ceremony will celebrate 21 years of working in partnership to provide a source of product innovation and inspirational ideas for the international gaming industry. Few

could have thought some 21 years ago that a pioneering niche within an existing exhibition would flourish in such a way. “Most if not all of the groundbreaking, iconic gaming products to impact the sector over the last 21 years have been launched at ICE and I’m certain that the break through product of 2011 will also be found at ICE, which is why the exhibition remains the immense asset it is to the global gaming industry and a must-attend event.” The roll call of companies at the 2011 opening ceremony is completed by Barcrest Group, CMS and Funworld.

The historic home of European gaming, ICE hosts all of the major innovators across slots, table games, server-based gaming, electronic poker and more. Exhibitors and visitors alike consistently say it is the most important three days in their business calendar. The phenomenon of the Video Lottery Terminal takes centre stage at ICE where every developer, game creator and many of the licence holders will be present. It's a massive business opportunity for operators to source the very best solutions available. Technology waits for no man and no sector has moved at a faster rate than remote. Attending ICE mobile is an insurance policy to protect against being left behind. If there's one place you can't afford to keep at a distance, it's ICE at Earls Court, London. This sector of ICE is a touch paper of innovation. Featuring the best products and services from the smartest creators using the latest technologies, ICE Online will ensure you are ahead of the game in this ultra competitive sector. A broad and vibrant sector comprising street slots, skill with prize games, touchscreen, novelty and other electronic entertainment. A great opportunity to meet with developers and talk to the people that matter about price, service, delivery and future games strategies.

totally gaming


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G2e10 REPORT Slot players demanding greater interaction The balance of power is shifting in Las Vegas, not from one giant operator to another but in favour of the player who is demanding much greater control of how they play their slot machine. Phil Martin and Hugh Sorrill report on how the latest slots are putting the game very much back in the hands of the player. machine to machine scouring for the right game, the right denomination of play Despite all the hype involv- or the right volatility to suit ing new game licences and their tastes. Today’s slot product launches, it was dif- player demands choice but ficult to tell whether the bite more than that they want to really was back in Las Vegas interact with their machine at the Global Gaming Expo and feel some sense of control over how that held in mid-November. When pressed on the machine rewards them. Examples were everydownturn,some NorthAmerican manufacturers sug- where. Bally’s biggest ode to gested there was a twitching interaction came with USpin of the curtains from the oper- where players spin to win ators, a wait to see what the with touch screen precision neighbours were going to giving them a sense of control do. Invariably, as soon as one over their jackpot prize.They breaks the trend and opts to can even choose their own renew part of their floor, the risk and reward levels. rest will suddenly want first Atronic’s diversity multimover advantage and the game also comes with a range stampede for new slots will of player controls allowing players to select their prebe underway. An optimistic standpoint, ferred game types with difperhaps, but one that ana- ferent volatility levels, progressive lysts believe will ring true in standalone 2011. Since the recession, games, all in multi-line and R&D teams have been in multi-denomination format. This choose your way overdrive focussing on product creation in the hope format is featured on Aristothat technological interven- crat’s new Viridian WS tion will save the day. Previ- cabinet where players ous years have seen our wanting better control on vocabulary enhanced with how they play their game once unimagined terminol- will certainly feel at home. ogy; server-based gaming, Multi Mega Pay puts the network gaming,community multi-game experience gaming, transmissive reels firmly at the fingertips of the gaming, sensory gaming, player, who can pay to set up adaptive gaming. The year’s the game how they want and trend of player interaction play two, three or four base was much more palatable for game reel sets directly from the outset.Alongside this, the the non-specialist tongue. Alongside the plethora of Drag ‘n’ Drop capability blockbuster licences taking brings greater interaction the big screen to the slot between player and game by screen or slot screens as the allowing the player to choose case is today, this trend really and position key elements of stood out on the stands of games.Win Your Way is a masthe slot giants at G2e Las terpiece of complex matheVegas, and it was prevalent matics that puts the player on almost every slot manu- firmly in control of their facturer’s stand; players want playing experience. Players better control over the can select one of three pay machines that they play.Long tables to suit their personal gone are the days when they gaming style and play their move like sheep looking for way to win their way. The engagement of the greenest grass from technologicalintervention GLOBALGAMINGEXPO

26 January 2011 • G2ereport

Ken Jeong surrounded by the leading gaming executives as he officially opened the show by cutting the G2E 10th anniversary cake.

players is something that WMS has been looking at for some time with its community bonuses, especially those based on the successful Monopoly theme. Its new idea is that players can trigger the bonus games whenever they want; in the Mega Multiplier jackpot, for example, players are randomly awarded credits that they can store and then use to trigger the pinball-based top game, with the chance to multiply their stored credits by up to 100 times. Mega Multiplier is one of WMS’s Portal applications, meaning that it can sit on any machines linked to the central game controller.This

networked-based flexibility is another hallmark of what the company is doing, extending not only to its own games but also to those of other OEMs, such as Konami. It is also using a network the internet - to motivate players’ interest in its Adaptive Gaming stream of products. The first games were based on the original Star Trek series: the latest is based on Lord of the Rings. Players can progress through different features, bonuses and video content - player loyalty cards help them ‘keep their place’. Through WMS’s Player’s Life Web Services site, they can connect online to the game and progress

through the non-gaming content, including leader boards, practically guaranteeing they will return to the slot machine when next in the casino. IGT’s stand was a hymn to player choice but perhaps the highlight in terms of player interaction came with Reel Edge, which allows spinning-reel players to actually stop the reels to create wins and use an arcade-style joystick to control the outcome of the bonuses in the top box. This skill element is based on the enormously popular Pachisuro games from Japan and are designed to appeal to the 21 to 44 age group. The joy stick, more readily

associated with arcade games and consoles, was at the centre of perhaps the most visible example of player/slot interaction at the whole of the show. Aruze Gaming has built vibrating joysticks into its Paradise Fishing game allowing players to catch fish to win prizes and feel the pull of what they were catching as they were doing so. With the amount of innovation f looding the slot sector and a recovery targeted in late 2011, slot order books stateside must surely start to feel a similar kind of traction soon.The R&D guys have certainly done their bit. It’s time to see what bites.


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Clearing The Hangover with a whole new game With numerous new games from pop culture joining the IGT slot floor including Godzilla, Dirty Dancing, Ghostbusters, The Hangover and with new additions to the popular Sex and the City and Star Wars families of games, there was no doubting that the blend of new technology with well known film licences was pivotal to the vision for 2011. blockbusterbrands INTERNATIONALGAMETECHNOLOGY

As it continues to bring the big screen to the slot screen, IGT’s focus on blending bigbrand titles, synonymous with success, with the best player experience it has ever produced, was as evident at G2e as the long list of licences available. Clearing the economic hangover has never been so much fun. “IGT is bringing the most recognisable and powerful names in popular culture to the casino floor,” said Ron Rivera, IGT senior vice president of North America sales. “With something for every player and every casino floor, our line-up includes great brands that players will connect with and instantly recognise.” With its enourmous103inch and 70-inch Center Stage platform, The Dark Knight emerged as one of the stars of the show. Players can choose to play Batman or Joker, immerse themselves in both individual and group play bonuses and enjoy a thematic film experience and visit Gotham City as this explosive, good-versus-evil

experience unfolds. Kurt Quartier, vice-president of IGT’s international casino markets, said:“I think in terms of overall presence, The Dark Knight has been hard pushed to beat in terms of the attention it’s received. Visitors to the stand have loved the way it’s played as well as the fact that it demands to be seen. With something for every taste, it’s difficult to be certain on which game has generated the most attention. Certainly The Hangover which has proved such a massive film in so many countries has received plenty of attention, but then in just one year IGT’s Sex and The City has already proved immensely popular with female slot players all over the world.We’re hoping Sex and the City Big Diamonds will further whet their appetite along with our new Dirty Dancing slot.” The new MultiPLAY slot The Hangover features cast favourites Alan, Phil, Stu and Doug each with their own game, music and Progressive Pick bonus. Players can relive movie moments with the Stun Gun bonus, the Deal in the Desert bonus and the

28 January 2011 • G2ereport

Photo bonus. Adding to the gaming experience, Mr Chow pops in with his memorable sayings throughout the game play.Voiced by Ken Jeong, Mr Chow brings the game to life with his comical appearances during the game. “I truly enjoyed being a part of this unique project--to bring The Hangover to life in a slot game - and fans of the movie are going to be thrilled,” said Jeong.“Working on the voiceover and being part of this experience with IGT has been fantastic.” “There is no other game in the market likeThe Hangover Slots, with its wild antics and huge entertainment value,” added Eric Tom, IGT chief operating officer.“The game has all the characters, sayings and memorable moments from the movie, and it introduces a new level of comedy to the gaming market. It’s the complete package, and we are excited Ken Jeong provided his comedic touch to the game.” Karen McTier, executive vice president of Domestic Licensing and Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros, added: “The Hangover has

The Hangover actor Ken Jeong with IGT’s ode to the film

become synonymous with Las Vegas and gaming making this partnership with IGT a perfect fit.” In Godzilla, 3D animations take immersive game play to a level never before seen in gaming. Players will feel every earthshaking monster movement, every battle impact and every fiery explosion with IGT’s MEGAfx Surround Chair. Female players will be sure to get a lift with the new Dirty Dancing Slots featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. This MegaJackpots game is infused with nostalgia, famous songs and memorable dance clips. The symbol-initiated bonuses include two pick bonuses Mambo Magic and Time of My Life - and the Staff Quarters free games bonus. Sex and the City Big Diamonds features five progressive pick bonus levels, each one themed to one of the five main characters in the hit series. The Ghostbusters Slots family asks the classic question Who ya gonna call? and answers it in an entertaining MegaJackpots game. Paranormal exterminators Venkman,

Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore, along with The Keymaster Louis Tully, all appear in the game. But the true star is Slimer, who is up to even more mischievous fun. This iconic green ghost appears randomly and often, adding credit wins, wilds and multipliers throughout the base game. And all the fun action plays out in exciting 3D, showcased in an attractive two-machine configuration with a shared 55-inch LCD overhead screen that displays bonus play and attracts. Elsewhere,IGT was adding to two of the biggest families in slot history with Star Wars Droid Hunt, IGT’s new MegaJackpots Slot, and Wheel of Fortune continuing to evolve. “Players love our Star Wars games and Star Wars Droid Hunt is the biggest and best game to date,” Rivera explained.“Packed with huge brand appeal, engaging bonuses and fantastic graphics, this game is poised to be a hit on casino floors.” Alongside the Star Destroyer Wild feature, four interactive bonuses create a high-energy game with lots of action to engage players.

Three bonus symbols trigger the Droid Hunt feature, which then instructs players to press a red button that awards one of the following four bonuses: Droid Match, Astromech Free Spins, Ion Blaster or the Tusken Raider. There were also several new additions to the Wheel of Fortune slots family, which has paid out more than $2.5bn in jackpots since first launching, including Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin,Wheel of Fortune Triple Spin and Wheel of Fortune Experience 2. “Since the Wheel of Fortune slots family was launched in 1996, it has been named the top player favourite, year after year,” said Rivera.“Our newest Wheel of Fortune games take this proven favourite to new levels of entertainment and excitement.And most important, each offers players what they love most - more chances to spin the wheel.” New at G2E this year was Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin. With a unique machine configuration, this game combines two slant top machines with a shared top box bonus device and a 32-


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Epicentral

Central to your promotion strategy.

Kurt Quartier shows the latest in Wheel of Fortune slots

Kurt Quartier with The Dark Knight

™ inch LCD. This is the first Wheel of Fortune game to showcase three physical spinning wheels in the top box. This MultiWay game also has IGT’s Rapid Reload feature which locks in symbols and re-spins the reels for bigger wins. Players love to spin the wheel, and withWheel of FortuneTriple Spin, they have a chance to spin not just one wheel, but three wheels on the big overhead screen. Also on the Center Stage Series is the new Wheel of Fortune Experience 2. This low-denomination game combines the excitement of interactive group play puzzle and wheel-spinning bonuses with the chance to win a life-changing jackpot. Other notable stand out slots on a stand packed with creativity, included Build A Wheel Poker where, players are rewarded for continued play by earning slices in jackpot categories on a video wheel. This game offers the first-ever dynamic video wheel used in a video poker bonus. And when players fill in the wheel slices or are dealt a full house, they get to spin their wheel and

collect a big win. Elsewhere,Texas Hold’em Heads Up Poker showcased IGT’s original, out-of-thebox thinking, and as the first video poker game to use a neural net, a technologydeveloped mathematical model that simulates the operation of the human brain,brings unprecedented technology to the casino floor. Players will enjoy the interactive experience of going heads up against an opponent like no other: a computer program developed to be a dynamic decision-making engine. There was also a sprinkling of skill on the slot floor for the first time with the Reel Edge series, which allows spinning-reel players to stop the reels to attempt to create wins and use an arcade-style joystick to control the outcome of the bonuses in the top box.This is not a traditional slot,” said Rivera.“It’s no longer about feeling lucky.With Reel Edge, players can now ask themselves ‘how good am I?’ And because the bonuses are 100 per cent skill-based, we’re able to offer a truly cuttingedge gaming experience.”

Reel Edge allows players to decide when to stop each reel by pressing a button as they try to line up lit symbols to win credits. Modelled on the enormously popular Pachisuro games and designed to tap the 21 to 44 emerging demographic, each reel’s stopping position is selected independently of the other reels so the outcome of one draw does not affect the outcome of other reels. Themes available here include the vampireinspired Blood Life or the classic Red White & Blue Falling Stars as the Reel Edge game library continues to grow. In its preshow marketing, IGT promised a ‘Whole New Game.’ Eric Tom, chief operating officer for IGT, summed up:“Our participation at this year’s Global Gaming Expo will again prove that we’re the industry leader, now and for the future. We’re delighted to showcase and demonstrate for our customers the products that provide players valuable, thrilling experiences that will change the industry.”

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January 2011 • G2ereport

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CR99-p30-G2e3:SJC-Casino Review

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Bally bringing sexy back with Betty Boop and Playboy Hot Zone With groundbreaking floor-wide bonusing applications, the powerful New Pro Series Cabinets with Alpha 2 technology, new Play mechanics, the industry’s only touch-screen, interactive iDeck, there was plenty drawing visitors to Bally’s G2e stand. Perhaps first and foremost though was the old adage that sexy sells and Bally had that in abundance. Playmates Juliette Fretté and Tyran Richard launch Playboy Hot Zone

sexysells BALLY TECHNOLOGIES

Playmates Juliette Fretté and Tyran Richard were on hand to help launch Bally’s latest take on its Playboy slots with a patented new Hot Zone Play Mechanic, in which a Hot Zone overlay appears on the reels during the base game and free games, and all symbols under the overlay become Wild. Bally’s newest Playboy title, the Playboy Hot Zone video slot, harkens back to the Playboy of the 1950s and 1960s. Illustrated Playboy Playmates, wearing eraappropriate bunny suits, are animated over both of the 22-inch touch-enabled LCD displays for an incredible visual presentation. An illustrated version of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner even appears in bonus celebrations. This game features Bally’s award-winning U-Spin gesture-control play mechanic, first introduced on the highly successful Cash Spin game. With U-Spin, during bonus sequences, the player gets to touch the screen and spin the bonus wheel just as if it were an actual physical wheel. With its focus firmly on player interaction, Bally launched Hot Pick at G2e, the follow-on title to Cash Spin. In Hot Pick, players get to choose their own risk and reward levels by picking one of six reel symbols which determine how often they will get the U-Spin Wheel Bonus and how much they can win.A dynamic pay table means that the prizes on each wedge of the game’s giant touch-screen wheel change depending on which reel symbol is chosen and the player’s bet level. Other U-Spin games featured include the industry’s only double-wheel U-Spin games - Vegas Hits and Vegas Hits Road Trip. Bringing an

nets with a major focus in Bally’s exhibit being live demonstrations of the floorwide Elite Bonusing Suite applications through the iView Display Manager (DM) in-game player-user-interface. “The applications we’ll be showcasing with iView DM are truly remarkable, delivering amazing new ways to excite and reward players across the casino f loor, without interrupting game play,”said Ramesh Srinivasan, executive vice president for Bally Systems.“These are the ‘apps’ that will truly change the player experience, and deliver measurable ROI.” The Pro Series cabinets were at the heart of Bally’s offering, using the power of the new Alpha 2 platform. Alpha 2 features an Intel Core 2 processor; four gigabytes Bally’s Andres Chacon (left) showing Betty Boop’s Love Meter. Chacon demonstrates Bally’s U-Spin Wheel of dual-channel memory; Realtek high-definition entertaining, retro Vegas take on retro with the return depicted with dazzling on- successful Hot Shot theme audio; and leading video experience to the casino of Betty Boop. The sexy ani- screen animations, special to a new level featuring five technology. This powerful platform is floor, these games whisk the mated cartoon character effects, sound, and music. levels of Hot Shot patented player to a nostalgic time from the mid-1930s was back This bonus-laden game cap- game-in-games, 11 possible optimised for dual screen, where the thrill of 16 bonus in Betty Boop’s Love Meter, tivates and delights players progressives, and a giant multi game; uses HD video possibilities on two vibrant with a towering Love Meter with three base-game mini-game for maximum technology for exciting 3D wheels is a thrilling reality. top box where players can bonuses, and two “Wizard levels of player excitement. graphics, animations, and up Richard Haddrill, Bally to a four-monitor play expeCrowning the games is a win credits, free games, and a Bonus Bet” mystery bonuses. CEO, rience; supports both existtopper that closely resem- top award that starts at $1m. A whimsical wizard and his Technologies’ bles the famous “Welcome to There’s even a special “Love pet dragon cavort across the described the show as Bally’s ing and new game libraries; Las Vegas” sign, a Las Vegas Meter” feature called “How screen,activating these three ‘most innovative and tech- and is network and serverStrip landmark recognised Hot Are You?” in which mystery wheel, bonus-bet nologically advanced in our based ready. These sleek, sophisticated players put their hands on progressives which occur company’s 78-year history.’ worldwide. “From our industry- cabinets feature the iDeck Also capitalising on U-Spin the iDeck to get their “love every 13 plays on average. In the community-play leading iView DM and for compelling player interinteraction are Golden temperature” taken. Just like Pharaoh and Money Vault, an old-time Love Meter, the arena, Bally featured Meet systems technology and our action; custom four-speaker Bally’s first two games titles lights move from “Loveable” Me in the Middle and Hot new Alpha 2 Pro Series cabi- sound (24-bit); LED cabinet on the unique and high-profile all the way up to“Irresistible.” Shot Yours, Mine, and OURS!, nets featuring the amazing lighting and a Super Candle Pro Upright Hammerhead When the meter stops, the follow-on game themes to iDeck multi-touch button synchronised with game game cabinet. This cabinet panel flips to reveal an award Two for the Money on the deck, to a host of remarkable play; and improved serviceaDualVision cabinet, which video and stepper slots fea- bility. design features a jumbo-sized (credit value). “Our game developers The first Pro Upright game was designed to enable turing new and compelling 32-inch upper display with a Super Pointer. The U-Spin with a spinning wheel, Cash couples or friends to sit at game-play mechanics, we are and hardware and software Wheel is synchronised with Wizard utilises the power of the same bench seat and play delivering on the promise of engineers have outdone different games being ‘Your Partner in Inno- themselves and our operator the top-box display - making Bally’s Alpha 2 platform to its two feedback has been truly outevery bonus event an atten- full extent. Players delve into together, while sharing the vation.’” The majority of Bally’s standing,” said Gavin Isaacs, tion-grabbing celebration for a rich and visually stunning same credit meter. Hot Shot Yours, Mine, and game content was featured Bally Technologies’ chief world of magical potions and everyone to see. Bally continued its iconic mysterious spells, artfully OURS! takes Bally’s hugely on the new Pro Series cabi- operating officer.”

30 January 2011 • G2ereport


CR99-p32-G2e4:SJC-Casino Review

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Innovation from every part of WMS New and really enjoyable game concepts keep tumbling out of the development labs of WMS. The company is taking adaptability and flexibility to the next level with partnerships with other manufacturers, but also making sure its great ideas get full expression across its product range.

Marketing director Candace Lucas with the new Yahtzee game

The Mega Multiplier bonus, which works through WMS’s Portal application, invokes all the fun of a pinball game

board game. So we’ve come up with a game where players need to touch the As we’ve come to expect screen to shake the dice.” The version on display from WMS, which has built its recent reputation on was standalone, but it can be developing highly entertain- linked with others in a bank. “We’re giving that option ing games, its stand was packed with innovations on a lot of games now,” said and with operators coming Lucas, “and through the Portal application widening to look at them. Among the game high- the number of base games lights was a standalone pro- that linked bonuses can be gressive based on the played on. For example, on popular Yahtzee dice game. Pirate Battle, which is part of Marketing director Candace the Compete to Win stream Lucas said: “Last year we on the Bluebird xD platform, expanded our relationship that can go on our base with Hasbro and obtained games and now also on some more licences, includ- Konami games as well.” The ability and willinging for Yahtzee. Then the challenge was how to give ness to work with other manthe same play experience ufacturers is a direct result with something that’s not a of the drive towards more IntegratedApproach WMS

networked gaming, where content and protocols rule. Just before the show, that process was formalised as WMS announced an agreement with Konami to deliver integrated networked gaming capabilities.The integration of Konami’s products and systems with WMS’s WAGE-NET system means that operators will have access to both companies’ configuration and download options through a single user interface. The agreement will also allow both companies to deploy non-gaming products across each other’s machines, such as WMS’s Portal application and Konami’s Player Tracking and Advanced Incentives applications.

Another Portal technology application is the Mega Multiplier top box bonus also on the xD platform, which randomly awards players credits they can store and use to trigger bonus any time they choose by launching a pinball into the top screen. Where it hits determines the bonus: players can multiply their stored credits up to 100 times. “The f lippers on the pinball screen are controlled by the application,” said Lucas. “There are just too many pinball wizards out there to allow players to control them!” One of the biggest licences that WMS has managed to obtain is perhaps Lord of the Rings,

based on the amazingly successful trilogy of film adaptations of the JRR Tolkien novel. The game was seen backstage at last year’s G2E but has now been installed into many properties,including several operated by Harrah’s.” As part of the Adaptive Gaming stream, the game gives regular players the chance to unlock different kinds of bonuses as well as other content the more they play. “Some operators, including Harrah’s, have linked the game with the players club to allow players access to the game’s options across all their properties,” said Lucas.“And players can also play the game casually online through our

website or the operators’ in order to unlock the game’s later non-gaming features and to get on to a leader board. It’s an incredibly powerful tool to help build loyalty among customers.” Among its many new products, the company was also showing new progressive jackpots, including The Godfather. With two base games, the 243-ways My Daughters Wedding and the 25-line Corleone’s Office, this local area multi-level progressive allows players to win their way up the levels. Players triggering the progressive can wager portions of their progressive win for a chance to move up the scale to win “an offer they can’t refuse”.

Dallmeier to build its presence in the US

New marketing effort for Bonus Box

newdefinition

outofthebox

New Dallmeier USA president Joe McDevitt

DALLMEIER

For high definition, highly secure video surveillance, Dallmeier is among the first names that spring to mind in most of the world but less so in the US. The German firm has now appointed a new person to head up its operations there, Joe McDevitt, who becomes president of Dallmeier electronic USA. “The company has been in the US for about ten years but not in a huge way,” said McDevitt.“We’re now in the process of building our sales and support structure, throughout the US, which will bring it strength, and choosing high-end installation and support partners.” McDevitt and his team have a good tale to tell: in Macau, Dallmeier’s systems are in place in the world’s largest casino,The Venetian Macau, and across the road in Melco Crown’s City of Dreams, home the second

largest IP network in all of Asia. “We have the best system. Operators are largely persuaded of it, anyone who has checked the architecture and the quality. We’re

32 January 2011 • G2ereport

first on HD video and because we offer a scaleable system,we’ve made it affordable for casinos to install the best and latest technology where and when they need to.”

GAMING SUPPORT

Bonus Box, Gaming Support’s peripheral bonus idea, has been refreshed and has now, according to the company, cleared some regulatory hurdles. “We have also brought the costs down, and there’s a good size production run underway,” said Donald Baugh, general manager of Gaming Support USA. “We’re now able to market the Bonus Box aggressively. We have between 30 and 60 free trials coming up.” The BaseSys Navigator jackpot controller has now been placed in various jurisdictions. “They’re doing well,” said Baugh. “We expect to place quite a few more in the US in the coming months.” Gaming Support’s wayfinder module of the Jackpot Junction XL CasinoVIEW, which helps resort guests navigate the venue,

Don Baugh with the CasinoVIEW wayfinder and Bonus Box

was installed in City of Dreams in Macau last year. In May, the first five interactive touchscreen stations were installed in Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. “The number of stations there is working its way up

and will reach 23 by around next August,” said Baugh. “Guests are really finding it useful in locating not only restaurants and shops but also their favourite machines on the gaming floor.”


Œ


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Sun shines stateside for Novomatic Whilst Novomatic enjoyed a great show marked by a larger than ever before visitor contingent from South America, the lead up to the exhibition saw a number of key installs in North America, most notably in the two biggest casinos in the United States; Mohegan Sun Resort and Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut.

lowed up with a second order for 15 of FV623 models with the Ultimate 10XA game mix. All the games are performing better than expected. We followed up the Fort Hall installation with the installation of games at the Holiday Inn properties in both Ponce and Mayaguez Puerto Rico. Once again, the game performance was overwhelming with our games now the number one revenue generator on the casino floor. In addition, we also recently completed our first installation in California. The Augustine Casino accepted eight of our FV623 models which are sure to be a hit with locals.” Additional installations prior to G2e included Valley View Casino in California, Mohegan Sun Resort and Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut, Isle of Capri in Florida and the Marriott Emerald Casino in Curacao. Smith added: “This year’s G2E was amazing. Game Austrian Gaming Industries’ orders flowed from both US Max Lindenberg and Dave and Caribbean customers for Orrick (above) with Amazon several hundred new games. Treasures and Lions on the We were also able to assist NovoStar SL2. Fredy Fortuna on the jackpot system P-Box the Octavian Argentina team to sign up system sales for our Caribbean customers. The most compelling thing, together and openly discuss in my opinion, about both many matters that have the FV623CF 1+ and FV626 affected us all in recent CF II cabinets is the new months. We now look game mixes we are releasing forward to ICE 2011 in into our market. The FV623 London where we will con- cabinet will include the new Ultimate 10H game mix and tinue that process.” Novomatic has been the FV626 cabinet will working stateside with Reel include game mix 38 both of Games since 2009 with the which include three 40 line partner marketing and secur- games as well as the proven ing game real estate and lab twenty and ten line performapprovals for the rollout of ers. Ultimate 10H also the licensed product from includes a Bingo and Novomatic for North Roulette game. Both cabinet models are being released America and Caribbean. Sean Smith of Reel Games with 10 game banks and over said:“Our first install this year 30 new titles. Depending on was at the Fort Hall Casino in the customer’s budget, we Idaho. We initially installed also like to include a multi 30 FV626 games which level mystery progressive or included game mixes 25, 26 utilise the internal stand and 27.The performance was alone game mystery availa major success as it was fol- able in both models.”

functionality adds maximum comfort and convenience for the guest and maximum On the red carpet at the flexibility for the operator. Novomatic booth visitors Running on the server based found top star cabinets such Novo Unity II multiplayer as the NovoStar SL2 and the platform, it allows casinos to Super-V+ Gaminator with link any chosen number of the latest Coolfire II multi- terminals to different games game mixes. With up to 27 such as Roulette, Baccarat, games per multi-game mix, Poker and Black Jack to make up to seven player-selectable all those games available at denominations, multi-lan- every single player station. guage options as well as a This enables the guest to great choice of high/low line- switch f lexibly from one games (5 to 40 lines selec- game to another via fingertip table) these multi-game touch, without having to mixes offer maximum flexi- leave their favourite seat. Cash handling systems bility for the operator and demonstrated at the Novoguests alike. A further attraction in Las matic booth also included Vegas was the Ultimate 10 cashless and TITO applicamulti-game mixes XA-H: this tions. With the proprietary new and growing range of jackpot system P-Box, AGI multi-game mixes is based also presented the brand on the new Coolfire I+ new jackpot theme ‘Fredy gaming platform and is avail- Fortuna’ which has been able in the popular Gamina- developed through the close tor cabinet. The Coolfire I+ co-operation of Octavian platform combines the ben- South America and AGI. Jens Halle,managing direcefits of Coolfire II technology with the cost effective tor AGI, said:“G2E this year price structure of the former was a very good show for Coolfire I platform offering Novomatic and AGI.We saw a tremendous benefits for the welcome number of internamore cost-conscious cus- tional visitors; including many from South America tomer segment. Novomatic also displayed and we were pleased to be a comprehensive multi- able to conclude worthwhile player installation compris- levels of business. We look ing Novo Multi-Roulette, forward to next year’s more Novo TouchBet Baccarat, favourable date and to the Novo Flying Black Jack as change of venue for the well as Novo Flying Texas show. Meetings held here in Hold’em Poker, Novo Flying Las Vegas have gone a long 3-Card Poker and Novo way to creating a more ‘busiFlying Caribbean Poker - all ness-friendly’ dimension to in one system and all avail- the international show calable on each of the linked endar and I think all of the individual player stations. major manufacturers were This multiplayer multi-game glad of the opportunity to sit reelshine NOVOMATIC

Merkur debuts with Casinoline and slant top newslant MERKUR GAMING

Merkur Gaming debuted at this year’s G2E showing its brand new Slant Top cabinet with 26” monitor on top and 22” touch-monitor and Casinoline, a ten game multigame line for casino markets. Jens Stradtmann, CEO at Merkur, said: “The constant stream of visitors, in particular from Central and South America,

34 January 2011 • G2ereport

has exceeded our expectations. The exhibition’s visitors showed very strong interest in our casino slots and we were able to strengthen existing contacts to our valued customers as well as to fascinate the interested parties by our products made in Germany”. Frank Ziegler, director sales and marketing, added: “The casino market is traditionally characterised by single games. With our ‘Casinoline’ multi-games, particu-

larly in the innovative Slant Top cabinet, we offer maximum flexibility and comfort for casino operators and their customers.” Elsewhere, the Merkur Dispenser 100 is an innovative banknote recycler that consists of banknote reader, banknote stacker and banknote recycler. It has integrated three patented drums that can store up to 34 notes each, meaning 102 notes in total can be recycled.


www.gpigaming.com


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New applications and new approaches for RFID RFID is such a useful technology that new and ingenious applications tumble out of GPI’s research labs. A critical mass is building up where not having this functionality means you’re not getting the most out of your business. The company was also showing a prototype roulette float tray with readers that The range of products that combine with attractive and GPI is now able to equip with highly robust materials such RFID functionality is as Corian to provide the same growing all the time, demon- levels of security and funcstrating the advantages of tionality but also visual the technology across the appeal.The float tray is set on a stand above the table traditional gaming floor. At G2E, the company surface, creating more room showed a new version of its for the croupier. Additionally, the company f loat tray enabled with 13.56MHz RFID, this one was showing a portable chip double-layered to allow far reader for the first time. “This is something we more chips to be held at the table – useful in high-traffic imagine will be used by pit markets such as the baccarat bosses for counting and authentication at each table, tables of Macau. “The RFID technology saving a great deal of his or gives the operator complete her time,” said Woodard. In August, GPI announced knowledge of the chip inventory at any time,” said that it had entered into a Justin Woodard, vice presi- licence agreement with IGT dent of global sales for GPI. (which a few years ago “This double-layered version acquired GPI’s struggling is a totally new design made rival Progressive Gaming using non-conductive plas- International) that will allow tics with the sensors located it to develop certain other in the sides.There are plenty applications for high freof other security sensors quency RFID and to configinstalled as well, including ure the data for the Chip for the lid and the locks so Inventory System (CIS). The there is a complete record data can then be used in a wider casino management for security purposes.” tunedin GPI

system. “RFID is about the security of the currency, yes, but if you open up the technology to other systems providers it can do a great deal more,” said Woodard. “We aim to create a security and technology platform based on CIS for the whole industry.” This approach brings with it, for example, the promise at last of automated player tracking at tables, with RFID-enabled loyalty cards and amounts bet or chips bought being able to be reconciled. The technology has been there for some time, but until now the linking of the data to the wider system has been difficult to achieve cost-effectively. “We have also developed RFID enabled playing cards which will come out at some point,” said Woodard. “The reading of them is very fast and very accurate and will be great for poker especially televised or spectator games where you want instant displays. We also

GPI’s new double-layered chip float tray with the portable chip reader.

want to open CIS to the surveillance system, which can use the information, say about the stake, to instantly find the images they need.” The potential for RFID has always been a lot more than simply a fancy way to count gaming chips and make sure they are genuine. The reason for the relatively slow take-up is cost - but cost becomes much less of an issue if the functionality helps drive the business. Further extremely useful applications and new versions of the systems technology are on the cards, possibly to be seen at ICE in January.

The elegant prototype of the roulette chip float tray

Intelligent solutions for new systems

A different route to compliance

flexiblefriends

testingtesting

INTELLIGENT GAMING

BMM COMPLIANCE

Intelligent Gaming introduced its suite of casino management products to a global audience at G2E. Chris Dempsey, who joined the company in 2010 having been in sales roles in IGT, Progressive Gaming and EndX, said: “We identified a gap in the market for an agile system provider who can provide customised, enterpriselevel solutions. Our approach is simple. We work closely with each customer to understand their business and create a solution that optimises their existing investments. We have expertise in all aspects of casino systems and operations and are able to tailor solutions that connect to the operator’s current systems and equipment.” He continued: “We have developed a powerful and flexible system using decades of experience and

For any OEM in the gaming industry, compliance testing is an essential step before bringing products to market. It can also be a long, complicated and expensive process. Although all testing laboratories do essentially the same job, there are different approaches to the process that will suit some clients better than others. For BMM Compliance, that means one thing:“We’re really customer oriented,” said senior VIP for regulatory services Richard Williamson. “We work with the manufacturers to get the product approved, rather than look for the f law. It helps get the product to market quicker.We will deal with the regulator where manufacturers want to sell their new products and take the time to get them up to speed. We have a thorough knowledge of the whole process and of what everyone needs to know - and that

Chris Dempsey with Intelligent Gaming’s poker tournament module

the latest Microsoft technologies. Our product suite includes slot management, cashless, TITO, table management, poker, marketing, CRM and business intelligence. Each module is part of a single integrated solution but each component is readily detached and integrated with the operator’s existing systems. This open approach enables us to deliver quick business benefit with minimal operational disruption.”

36 January 2011 • G2ereport

The company, although young, (it was founded in 2009 by Martin Sykes, who also co-founded EndX) has already scored successes in Europe, Asia and Latin America. “Our success is built on listening to our customers and responding quickly and effectively to their needs,” said Dempsey. “Each casino operator has its own specific requirements and so each Intelligent Gaming solution is unique.”

Richard Williamson, senior VP for regulatory services with marketing consultant Wendy Anderson

works for the manufacturer, the regulator and the operator. We don’t represent anyone in particular, rather we help to facilitate the whole process.” In the company’s ten year existence, it has moved from its original Australian home into Asia, South America, Europe and the US, where it

is just finishing the licensing process. It now has its headquarters in Las Vegas. “It’s been a ten-year trek,” said Williamson. “You have to get licences from each and every jurisdiction – and that’s not just states but also individual tribes.That makes more than 200 separate approvals!”


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CR99-p38-g2e7:SJC-Casino Review

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Aristocrat builds momentum with American classics Aristocrat Technologies has been building for the future Stateside for some time, and now the company is building momentum with an impressive line up of games many with American themes launched at G2e. What’s more, a high percentage of these games will soon be available in international markets too. rience where players participate collaboratively in three community features. While From Tarzan to Alice in Won- some community style derland, from Mission games pit players against Impossible to the classic each other, in Crazy Taxi, the New York Taxi, everywhere players all benefit as a comcustomers looked on the munity. An immersion chair Aristocrat booth they would have felt submersed in Amer- shakes, rattles and rolls with the motion of the cab during ican culture. But the themes were just the bonus round. The all new Viridian ws the show side of Aristocrat’s creativity with three innova- 32-inch portrait LCD has tive new cabinets unveiled, given Aristocrat greater including the award-winning freedom and is the formula Verve hd, a sleek, cool, used for one of Aristocrat’s dynamic revolution in slots many odes to American that is totally hi-def.The Virid- culture with Tarzan: Lord of ian ws gives players a new the Jungle as based on the gaming experience with books by Edgar Rice Burbetter ergonomics, easier roughs. Also on view were new accessibility and two huge screens. The Vii slant has wide-screen transmissive incredibly hi-def LCD moni- steppers with bonus animators and is slimmer by four inches,giving players a better fit and a sleeker look. “We have created absolutely the most exciting and diverse G2E product line-up Aristocrat has had in 10 years,”said Aristocrat president Nick Khin.“Operators and players in nearly every gaming jurisdiction in the world know that Aristocrat games are more fun to play than games from any other supplier. The driving reason for that is our math - it’s just simply better and makes the game more fun. We have spent the last year creating new and even better math models. The simple truth is, our math keeps players engaged and having fun longer, which results in our games being strong performers for operators. I have no doubt that after taking just one glance at Verve hd,Viridian WS and Vii, attendees will be impressed with the overall design, presentation and use of leading edge technology such as our new full colour Nteractive LCD buttons.” The experience gets crazier with Aristocrat’s style of community gaming in Crazy Taxi - Fare 4 All. The slant top game is a fun expecaptainamerica ARISTOCRAT

38 January 2011 • G2ereport

tion over the reels.Aristocrat was offering games based on another American classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Mad Scatter, Looking Through the Glass, using this transmissive technology, whilst a more contemporary ode to the blockbuster film Mission Impossible saw a four level progressive fused around a futuristic carousel of video slots based on the motion picture series. The Verve hd cabinet and new player favourite game Michael Godard’s Rockin’ Olives take the player experience further than ever,with a sleek cabinet design, alloriginal artwork from America’s best-selling artwork, and player-driven features like player-

Daniel Lindsay, general manager at Aristocrat Europe, shows new player interaction with Drag ‘n’ Drop Wild

adjustable sound and an easyto-reach player’s card area. The second instalment of the Godard series Monster Boogie debuted at the show. Aristocrat also displayed entirely new game categories, including the advanced technology of Mega Pay, Remix and Win Your Way.Available on playerfavourite game titles More Hearts and More Chilli, in Mega Pay, when the multigames play during the free games feature, players get a Mega Pay, where one game can become four games. The fun,new Remix showcases Aristocrat’s unique shuff le feature, where

symbols or reels are rearranged randomly on the screen to award additional shuff les and wins are awarded. Don Quixote and Dragon Emperor are the first two products in the Remix category. Win Your Way allows players to choose their volatility: low (green), medium (yellow) and high (red). Players can easily identify their choice thanks to user-friendly buttons and onscreen images. Big Sky and Captain Cutthroat are the first 2 games in this new category. Additionally, Aristocrat will show more than 230

games, including: Cashman Fever, a feature-rich, highly entertaining gaming experience with four red-hot, highfrequency Cashman Fever bonus features and an exclusive Cashman Fever Progressive Link feature that offers up to 20 Jackpot pools. Players will have a swagger in their step after they saddle up to Reel Tall Tales, Aristocrat’s first triple standalone progressive jackpot product in the amazing new Viridian ws cabinet. Reel Tall Tales are incredibly animated and interactive games that bring to life great all-American legends including Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Bigfoot. Of course, tales as tall as these can only be told in a big way, and the huge Viridian ws cabinet with its 32” feature top box are the perfect big fit. Reel Tall Tales come alive with two biggerthan-life base games: Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. Towering over it all are three Bigfoot Bonus features, which come standard on both base games. On the systems side, Aristocrat was revealing powerful new features that make Oasis 360 even better. First is nVision which is the company’s new business intelligence tool. Using interactive dashboards and advanced reporting, nVision exposes the true value of the operation.Next is nCompass, the next generation of Sentinel, that has an advanced media delivery that empowers operators to connect with players in new ways. It all starts at players’ fingertips, literally, with Aristocrat’s new Nteractiv LCD Programmable Button Technology. These are the industry’s first colour LCD buttons, and they can rotate messages to attract players and to keep players engaged.


UNVEILING A MAJOR ADVANCE IN BILL ACCEPTORS. LITERALLY. The new MEI SC Advance™ CASHFLOW® SC has forever raised expectations for bill acceptor performance. Operators realize the impact enhancing note acceptance, security and jam performance—while simultaneously reducing ownership costs—can have on their bottom line. SC Advance is the next generation of CASHFLOW SC. A great product has become even better. Similar look. Same focus on critical benefits. Even better results.

To see firsthand how MEI has raised expectations yet again, visit us during IMA at booth 8A-D31, during ICE at booth 4060 or call +44 (0) 118 938 1100 to learn more.

Proven performance. Increased profits. MEI is ISO 9001:2000 certified. ©2010 MEI. All rights reserved.

www.meigroup.com meigroup.com


CR99-p40-g2e8:SJC-Casino Review

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G2e10 REPORT Atronic and Spielo’s commercial casino line-up included the launch of a brand-new cabinet and product range, as well as exciting linked, progressive, and community games, proven core game titles, three hot new family brands, and flexible systems solutions. But once again, its Deal or No Deal licence took centre stage.

Deal Or No Deal TV host Howie Mandel invites customers up for a live round of Deal Or No Deal

North America Joins ‘N Plays along with Atronic dealmeIn ATRONIC

Perhaps the biggest photo opportunity on Atronic’s booth came when Deal Or No Deal TV host Howie Mandel appeared to invite customers onstage to participate in a live round of Deal Or No Deal strategy, and was joined by the four Deal Or No Deal models. Mandel was at the booth to promote the North American launch of Deal Or No Deal Join’N Play, a linked community version of the game, and the first game under the successful licensed brand to feature Mandel. During the show, the Deal of No Deal Join’N Play linked community game operated non-stop as customers sampled this highly entertaining, fully-themed game. Offering a unique time-based Community Bonus that’s guaranteed for qualified players, an innovative multiplier sixth reel, the max-betactivated Howie Jackpot,and three base game Mystery Bonuses, Join’N Play is rich with features, challenges, and surprises that visitors found irresistible. The giant wall of five 46” LCDs created a big impact, while new Vu Slant cabinets provided optimal viewing angles and comfort for players. The brand-new Oxygen Upright and Oxygen Slant Top cabinets were a highlight of the show. Both cabinets feature a comprehensive range of core

and linked titles, as well as multigames. The new Oxygen cabinet features value-driven innovation and includes the new, powerful and robust sensys EP platform. Easy to service, sensys EP offers the highest level of security.With its G2Scompatible hardware, Oxygen is network-gaming ready, and supports all major casino systems and player tracking modules. Atronic’s latest four-level progressive link, Hot and Wild generated a great deal of interest at the show. Hot and Wild is available on the new Oxygen cabinet. Based on the wildly popular Cash Fever progressive link, Hot and Wild, offers exciting new features and even more bonus action. By activating the Bonus Bet, players can double their chances of entering the Cash Fever bonus during each and every wager. Combined with an attractive, flexible merchandising package, this combination will turn up the heat in any casino. Hot and Wild is also available for Wide Area Progressive solutions. Customers also enthusiastically greeted Atronic’s new multigame, diversity, which offers a variety of 10 games grouped into different categories that can be selected by players via touch screen. Presented on the new Oxygen cabinet, diversity allows players to select their preferred game types with different volatility levels, and is the only multigame on the market featuring proven,top-

40 January 2011 • G2ereport

Atronic’s Sylvia Dietz and Nadine Levermann show Doggie Cash, a multilevel progressive link on the e² cabinet

performing standalone progressive games, all in multiline and multi-denomination format. diversity provides variety in space-limited venues, extends play and profit-per-customer, and attracts new players. Available in single and double zero versions, Master Roulette offers the most comfortable and flexible bet handling, as well as a standard mode for casual players and an expert mode with race track layout, neighbour and French bets, and detailed statistics. In addition, a comprehensive range of new core games were presented on the new Oxygen cabinet. Games like Sphinx Wild, Goldify, Poseidon, Volcano Bay, Gypsy Magic, Princess of The Amazon 2 and others enhance the huge variety of titles in the Oxygen library.

Atronic’s new Doggie Cash multi-level progressive link on the popular e² cabinet features the cute canines from the internationally recognised brand, the Artlist Collection’s The Dog. Also available on the e² cabinet,Magic 5’s is the latest addition to Atronic’s multilevel progressive links, featuring no less than 8 progressive levels. Each level can be won during the base game or free games with any 5-of-a-kind win combination (requires playing max bet per line). While configured at G2E for Latin American markets, Doggie Cash and Magic 5’s are also available for North American markets. On the systems side, Atronic presented its comprehensive range of systems solutions, including the ecash terminal, which satis-

fies customers by reducing staff workload, improving security, and enhancing players’ experience. Atronic’s ecash Cash Redemption Terminal (CRT) is offered with Remote Monitoring Software (RMS) for live monitoring and management on the floor, and features an automated alert when the RMS shows a warning status, significantly reducing downtime. TournaMaster was on view for US customers, providing the ultimate remote controlled instant tournament experience, giving operators the flexibility to switch from a main game to a tournament with the push of a button. Available on the prodiGi Vu cabinet, the second screen LCD shows individual player name, ranking, and total points, which are also displayed on

a leader board, so players and spectators can follow the action moment by moment. Add an overhead display to show the current leader board information when the tournament is in play, and include your own marketing messages when the games are in regular play mode to maximise your investment. TournaMaster uses the GameBoss controller to enable remote configuration and remote access before, during and after the tournament. GameBoss, a networked gaming controller that uses the Game to System® (G2S®) protocol to connect multiple Spielo slot machines, features easyto-use secure web access and provides quality high-definition video feeds for leader boards and signs. New core games included hot new titles like Icarus, featuring an innovation spin on free games;Wild Orient,offering a new approach to the powerful potential of stacked wilds; Dragon’s Temple, with frequent expanding Wilds on all five reels; and Treasure Chest, featuring player-favorite Surrounding Wilds. Customers also learned how the Cashpot, Bigger Bet Bonus, and Cash Eruption brands of game families can enhance performance on their gaming f loor. A new Gaming Chair paired with Cash Eruption also enhanced players’ sensory experience with seven embedded speakers, including two in-seat subwoofers.


Games Unlimited More games, more passion! Explore unlimited pleasure with our various game packages of Games Unlimited! The wide range of games offers thrilling features, interesting win-line concepts and attractive animations. These innovative game packages will be available in the new stylish slant top cabinet as well as in the classic upright casino cabinet. The brand-new slant top cabinet will be a real eye-catcher for every location.

Its attractive design featuring special chrome covered frames and fascinating lighting effects creates a genuine casino feeling. The impressive 26“ monitor on top as well as the 22“ touch monitor ensure highest player comfort. Exclusive technology – made in Germany! Visit us at ICE 2011, 25.-27. of January 2011 in London, booth no. 4070.

11, ICE 20 070 .4 o n h t boo

Borsigstrasse 26 • D-32312 Luebbecke • Phone +49 (0)5741 273 6917 • Fax +49 (0)5741 90175 • sales@merkur-gaming.com ● www.merkur-gaming.com


CR99-p42-g2e9:SJC-Casino Review

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FutureLogic brings photo quality printing to PromoNet There’s no doubting that TITO has revolutionised world gaming. The next stage, PromoNet, now has the potential to convert every single slot machine into a marketing machine, generating repeat business and return visits. triggerhappy FUTURE LOGIC

FutureLogic was at G2e launching its GEN3 Evolution ticket printer which will become a pivotal part of its Intelligent Promotional Couponing Solution, PromoNet. A real-time, hands-on demo showcased the easeof-use, flexibility and effectiveness of the PromoNet solution on gaming machines from Aristocrat, IGT, WMS, Atronic, Spielo, Bally Technologies, Konami and Novomatic. The patentpending PromoNet solution offers casinos unparalleled advantages where game play metrics automatically trigger marketing campaigns based on game play activity with promotional campaigns designed and triggers established by casino marketing. PromoNet Campaigns can be downloaded via a secure network to the slot f loor, Players Club, bars, restaurants and hotel desks equipped with GEN2 Universal or GEN3 Evolution printers using standard Gaming Standards Association (GSA) transport protocols. The f lexible and feature-rich PromoNet solution is scheduled for field trials in several casinos beginning in December 2010. John Edmunds, vice president, international markets for FutureLogic, explained: “We’ve added more diagnostic tools to help monitor the success of individual couponing campaigns, enabling operators to identify which promotions are the most popular and customise them to reward their most valuable players. Couponing Triggers can be

based on a number of different events such as a set number of games played, total amount wagered, time playing maximum bet etc.

Unlike other solutions currently available, PromoNet can issue coupons to both carded and uncarded players based on how they play so it

allows casinos to comp 100 per cent of their customers, rewarding existing players and recruiting new members to loyalty programs. With

Cammegh set up for Shot at Nevada licensedtospin CAMMEGH

Cammegh was enjoying G2e like never before launching its Mercury 360 roulette wheel, the Double Shot RNG engine and sharing the news that it has applied for a Nevada gaming licence. The Mercury 360 has several mechanical and electronic features, such as its four discreet in-rim sensors, aiming to increase the security for roulette

wheels. The RNG ‘Double Shot’, meanwhile, brings an extra dimension to a standard manual roulette wheel by generating multiple results and providing a host of potential side bets. Perhaps the most exciting news, though, was that Cammegh was in the running for a Nevada licence. Andrew Cammegh said: “We’ve been exhibiting in Las Vegas for a number of years now and even though

42 January 2011 • G2ereport

the show provides us with plenty of sales leads, we’ve never been able to sell our wheels to operators based in Nevada. We’ve thought about applying for a Nevada licence long and hard and decided that now is the right time not just for Nevada but the other markets that the licence can help open including Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut to name but a few. We’re already on The Strip through our Billboard displays,

which Shuffle Master has installed in casinos such as Paris, Rio and Caesars, but to get our wheels out there too would really be a dream come true. We’re quite far down the application process. It’s been intense but I’ve got to say a lot of fun too. The Nevada Gaming Commission visited our headquarters in the UK and seemed very impressed with our production process. We hope to hear something by February 2011.”

PromoNet installed across their floor, casinos will be able to increase membership of their Players Club and their percentage of carded play as well as boosting revenues on slots across their floor. Whilst return on direct mailing is often said to be one per cent, return on PromoNet is significantly higher due to the ability to target promotions to individual players, depending on their behaviour. In essence, marketing promotions are directed to the right players in the right place at the right time - every game, redemption terminal and kiosk becomes a marketing machine. The campaign studio is really easy to use and enables the design of multiple coupons for different areas of the casino at different times of the day, and days of the week. What differentiates PromoNet from other Promotional Couponing Solutions is that it targets customer spending behaviour across the whole resort from casino slots to retail shops for both carded and uncarded players - linking together a complete end-toend solution. PromoNet is now being tested in a number of labs around the world and will go live in the next few months in America and Asia. Edmunds also explained FutureLogic’s need for a new printer.“The development of the GEN3 Evolution was driven by the need for dual processing capability of TITO Tickets and Promotional Coupons - something which is very important for regulators. We also wanted to provide photographic quality ticket printing to better market whatever was

being offered in the campaign,” he said. “We also wanted to be able to accommodate many more tickets and print tickets much,much faster.The GEN2 Universal is more than adequate forTITO, it does exactly what it needs to do,but with the GEN3 Evolution you get that little bit more and when connected up to PromoNet this has a noticeable impact.” The final product update from FutureLogic concerned the revolutionary TableXchange device which allows players to use TITO tickets at table games.It connects table games to a casino’s existing TITO network by scanning and printing TITO vouchers, creating a common currency across the casino and creating a bridge between slots and tables. Edmunds explained the further advantages and benefits of the product.“It helps casinos identify and target valuable crossover players who play both the tables and the slots and it helps to streamline table operations by virtually eliminating the need to replenish chips at table games. We’ve spoken to a lot of operators and based on their feedback we have increased the size of the LCD touch screen and redesigned the alphanumeric keypad to allow for easier use by the dealer and pit manager. We’ve demonstrated this product at exhibitions all over the world in order to get feedback from operators to ensure that when we release it for sale, we’ve got something that the market has already helped us perfect. We’re really excited about TableXchange and we look forward to trials next year.”


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DEQ dancing to the tune of Bad Beat JustBeatIt DEQSYSTEMS

Aruze’s Steve Walther with Paradise Fishing

Aruze hooks a winner in Paradise Fishing In terms of show stopping and headline grabbing, Aruze’s Paradise Fishing head both with crowds of people stationed around the spectacular game and a slot on the local Fox News channel. feelingthepull ARUZE GAMING

Aruze Gaming America, a rising global competitor as a supplier of gaming equipment, made a huge splash at this year’s Global Gaming Expo with its Paradise Fishing, a game packed with individual and competitive bonus events. This multimedia banked product from the company’s G-Link series puts the action of fishing right in the palm of the player’s hands with its Reel Feel Gaming Technology integrated directly into the bonus features. Players use a joy stick to hook virtual fish in a bonus that swims by in a flurry of activity and one that created a show stopping event at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Steve Walther, vice president of marketing for Aruze, said: “Paradise Fishing has proven a massive success for us at this show in terms of the interest it has generated. The six base games each feature a different character with their own individual personalities from the burly fisherman to the pretty,

petite girl. Depending on how the bonus is struck, players can either fish alone or together, either for the most fish or the biggest fish. The Reel Feel technology behind the joy stick used to fish with brings an interactive element to the game that makes it quite unique.When the player gets a bite, there is resistance, relating to how big the fish is, and ultimately the bonus. It feels like the players are really catching the objects they hook no matter whether it’s a great white or a boot. We feel that players love this tactile element and it really brings something new to the slot floor. The packaging for the game is breathtaking with three 60-inch, high-definition LCD monitors sitting on top of six Paradise Fishingthemed base games. Also on show were Aruze’s highly interactive G-Deluxe Multiple Bonus Games.These notable titles include Wheel of Pharaoh, Raging Eruption, Great Eruption, Oiran, Chinese Queen, and Cranky Condor. Each of these games features high frequency bonus events and play expe-

44 January 2011 • G2ereport

riences sure to entertain and engage players. In addition, Aruze also demonstrated the depth of its G-Deluxe portfolio with other popular titles like The Story of Cinderella, Bow Wow Buck$, Pretty Pigs and Beauty and the Beast. “With our G-Deluxe Multiple Bonus Games, Aruze Gaming has developed some unique and engaging products that are sure to receive notice,” said Kent Young, general manager and executive vice president of Aruze Gaming. “We continue to expand our presence around the globe and G2E Las Vegas provides us an excellent opportunity to continue our momentum.” Aruze also showed its new mystery progressive link game, Title Match, a boxing themed link that puts the player in the ring to fight for big winnings. In Aruze’s G-Series standalone product line, new games Howling Moon, 100 Saber Toothed Tiger, and The Last Emperor III were on display with a number of other various titles. G-Series games was shown in both the dependable G-Enex cabinet and the ergonomi-

cally designed G-Comfort slant tops. Additional GSeries titles on display included Lucky Samurai, Aztec Beauty and Best Fortune, which specifically target the repeat player with high grade graphics, sounds, and exciting game play. “For an up and coming competitor, our product portfolio diversity is definitely strong,” continued Young.“Our products are a fusion of classical gaming elements with innovative new concepts to bring engaging game play to casino patrons and provide value to our customers.” With Shoot to Win Craps, Aruze Gaming was presenting an innovative new twist to multi-station products by allowing players to ‘shoot the dice.’ This year, Aruze is looking to bring another innovation in its G-Station product line with the introduction of the Lucky Big Wheel.This unique product automates another traditional table game into a multi-station environment with unique player interaction that is sure to build excitement on the gaming floor.

DEQ Systems was at G2e announcing the release of Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive and the success of the two month trial test of 11 games at Barona Resort and Casino in California. Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive is an optional electronic side wager for blackjack. The side bet pays if the player gets a 20 and is beaten by a dealer 21. The more cards the dealer draws to beat the player’s hands, the higher the payout. A Seven Card Dealer 21 pays the progressive jackpot. “This is the first blackjack progressive side bet that turns the concept of insurance into a very opportunistic wager for the player,” said Max Rubin. The Bad Beat Blackjack bet takes the most agonising part of blackjack and turns it into a winning situation for the player. As well, DEQ’s G3 technology is simply a high performance delivery system for progressive betting and Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive will do that much better because of the multiple credits, the automatic rebetting and the linking of the tables. Bad Beat Blackjack is the first

progressive side bet I have seen in the market that has the legs to make it and the G3 will simply increase its chances.” “Our players love that the Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive offers them more ways to ‘win.” said Mike Patterson, vice president table games at Barona. “We’ve already had a major jackpot winner who won more than $50,000 on a ‘bad’ hand. This is just one more way we are able to tap the latest technology and creating more winning moments for our players at Barona. ” “We have done countless hours of research, focus groups and testing on many blackjack concepts over the past five years,” stated Earle Hall, president and CEO of DEQ. “Many companies have experimented and improvised progressive blackjack concepts and all have failed. Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive is quite different to all the others as it follows the same conceptual success that other great titles such as Caribbean Stud, Three Card Poker and EZ Baccarat have done; that is to mirror the base game with a side bet that inherently is part of the game.”

DEQ’s Paul Omonhundro deals Bad Beat Blackjack Progressive


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Shuffle Master puts new spin on i-table technology

Talaris flexes its MultiMechs

Shuffle Master's John Strickland and Sandra Renwick with i-Table Roulette

takenote TALARIS

Shuffle Master promised to ‘Change the Game’ pre-show, which it delivered with a new take on roulette and several proprietary titles for table games. pinching, capping etc possible. We think this table could be a great strategic fit for As part of its chip-less solu- smaller casinos perhaps in tions for the pit, Shuff le Europe as the footprint is Master was unveiling its exactly the same as for a latest i-Table, i-Table normal roulette table and Roulette, featuring a live much smaller than with semi-automated roulette table with an identi- other cal footprint to a traditional roulette products on the market. It also allows the table. The i-Table Roulette pro- dealer to act more as a host vides all the added function- as it automates many of the ality and benefits of dealer processes and allows electronic wagering with a a greater deal of interaction g r a p h i c a l l y - e n h a n c e d with the player.” Specialty games were also central display screen and virtual betting stations repli- being shown on the i-Table cating a felt layout but will platform. These offer multiall bets instantaneously and ple benefits for the operator, most notably the accurately resolved. “Based on the i–table and elimination of errors that Rapid Roulette, this technol- frequently arise on the live ogy allows operators to felt versions due to complex double their number of paytables and a high-transspins per hour whilst remov- action environment. The company was ing any opportunity for players to cheat with no showing much more depth reinventingthewheel SHUFFLE MASTER

in its proprietary table games. “Our games are growing in popularity across the globe,” said Roger Snow, executive vice president. “Our broad range of titles drive greater returns for our customers and we continue to introduce new content for compelling gaming experiences. This year at G2E we are proud to showcase the most extensive array of new content in our company’s history. In addition to showcasing Blackjack Switch, and Dealer Bluff Six Card Poker, Shuffle Master will unveil several new proprietary titles including Rabbit Hunter, No

Flop Pineapple Hold’em, Fortune San Lo Poker, and High Five Poker Progressive.” New content on electronic gaming machines saw the launch of two new titles: Circus Party, a 30-line circusthemed game where three tent symbols can trigger up to 12 free games, and Lakota, a 25-line native Americanthemed game where three, four or five tomahawk symbols can trigger eight, 12 or 16 free games. David Lopez, Shuff le Master’s interim chief executive officer, explained the overall theme of the booth. “Our theme ‘Changing

the Game’ represents a commitment to our customers to provide innovative solutions with a high return on investment,” he said. “This year’s G2E has a twofold emphasis for Shuffle Master - creating significant value for the customer and creating excitement for the player. In addition to focusing on value-add for our customers by offering increased efficiency on the new i-Table Roulette platform, we are also focused on enhancing the player experience by offering exciting new game content like Rabbit Hunter and Fortune San Lo Poker.”

Matsui signs up for PokerPro in Asia pokerace

and has an excellent reputation for quality and service.” “As PokerTek enters these high growth markets, we chose Matsui because of their outstanding reputation and leadership in table games,” commented Mark Roberson, PokerTek’s CEO and CFO. “Market conditions throughout Asia are favourable for electronic table games and we believe Matsui Gaming will play a significant role as gaming in the region expands.”

MATSUI GAMING

Matsui Gaming will enter 2011 in good health with a series of chip orders recently signed or completed in Macedonia, England and Argentina and a deal with PokerTek to distribute its products throughout Asia. “We are pleased to distribute PokerTek’s products,” commented Takashi Matsui, CEO of Matsui Gaming. “PokerTek is the industry leader

Talaris was exhibiting the newly-launched Talaris MultiMech, the compact multi denomination dispenser for self-service automation. Talaris’ Chris Halewood said:“As the leading supplier of OEM technology to the global ATM industry as well as the gaming and parking industries worldwide,Talaris exhibits at many different trade shows. G2E provides us with the chance to demonstrate how innovative cash management solutions and world class expertise can enable casinos to optimise their entire cash cycle. With 40 years experience in the business and over 375,000 shipments, Talaris has a proven track record of delivering end-to-end cash management systems for gaming establishments globally. The key application for gaming is ticket redemption, which is where our MultiMech dispenser comes into its own.” There was also the opportunity to see Talaris’ technology integrated with third party products such as CountR’s Caion.This demonstrates howTalaris’Notes and Media Dispenser technology integrates seamlessly into finished client-facing products, working to improve customer service and streamline gaming-machinery processes.

Talaris’ Ian Finlayson and Chris Halewood show the new MultiMech

New sector’s a Breeze for the Incredibles breezingin INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES

Having debuted at last year’s G2e, Incredible Technologies’ story at this year’s show was all about the progress made in transferring its undisputed expertise in the amusements sector over towards casinos. The thinkers behind ‘the world’s most successful arcade-style video games’ wanted to do something not already available in the casino industry, which is no mean feat given the creative talent that abounds, but it has achieved its primary goal with its R&D department producing two 46 January 2011 • G2ereport

Incredible Technologies’ Dan Schrementi with Upper Hand Hold ‘Em

strategic categories based on innovation and tradition. Magic Touch is the name given to its collection of Class III casino games, which have actually been five years in the making.The Innovation collection includes Versatile Volatility, where players can determine how they’d like to win with different volatility settings of Often, Steady or big,Angle Pay Lines meanwhile utilise angled symbol orientations to enable larger jackpot possibilities, Sidewinder Reels, where reels flip onto their side to break with the norm, and U-Play representing a bold move towards

more skill-based outcomes. Whilst refusing to be classed as ‘old hat’ the Traditional Collection is based on the most time-tested casino slot parameters featuring the most successful maths, graphics and bonus games. Both categories has a plethora of games available such as Money, Pin Up Girls, Cars and Carousel.There’s also new launches in Keno, Poker and Video Gaming Terminal all housed in the Breeze range of cabinets, so called due to their ease of service. This year has seen the Breeze Bar top added to the Breeze Upright, Slant 75 and Breeze Il VGT, so called because it

has been designed specifically for the Illinois video gaming terminal market. Director of gaming marketing, Dan Schrementi, said:“The goal is to get all these games rolled out next year following lab approvals. We’ve been selecting partners to field test with Illinois being an obvious starting place for us followed by many mid west States; Michigan, Mississippi, Indiana and Wisconsin. Places like Nevada will come later. Our games are so broad that it’s important we don’t overexpose ourselves but we feel we have plenty to offer.”


www.casino-technology.com


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G2e10 REPORT Interblock’s Irena Šik and Tina Ferko show Organic Virtual

Virtual and Live Organic enhance Interblock’s collection It’s hard to imagine a form of automated or semi-automated roulette that Interblock hasn’t covered. Further releases at G2e complimented the offering further alongside some exciting developments on The Strip itself. everywhichspin

be next. This success stateside was clear to see with a booth measuring some With successful Organic 5,100 square feet, the Roulette field trials at MGM company’s largest ever. Grand, Bellagio and Mirage, Fourth generation of Interblock USA could soon gaming devices included have a firm footing in the Organic Island, Organic Las Vegas Strip market after Live, Organic Virtual, a five year quest to obtain a Organic Dice Craps, Organic Card Blackjack, Nevada gaming licence. Performance in other key Organic Card Baccarat and US markets has been much Organic Roulette. Tomaz Zvipelj, CEO at easier to gauge with installs said: in Arizona, South Dakota, Elektroncek, Louisiana, Indiana already “Interblock not only and Connecticut looking to showed an amazing selecINTERBLOCK USA

tion of products including our first semi automated roulette with live wheel, but also offered a first ever true multigame experience, as every game on the stand could be played from any of the stations on the booth. One can only think what this can do to f loor performance and optimization with the same limited number of stations.” According to Interblock, Organic Island is the most feature rich multi-game, multi-player product avail-

able at the moment in the world. Tim Richards, VP of product management at Interblock USA, said of the show: “G2E 2010 seemed much busier with many more decision makers attending the show.The customers were very excited. They were happy to see our multi-game game ability along with our new games. Many North American customers have been exposed to electronic table games like Roulette and Blackjack

but when they visited the Interblock stand, the array of products that we offer and how cohesive the different type of games look together was a very powerful message.” Tom O’Brien, VP of sales at Interblock USA, added: “G2E 2010 was truly a coming out party for Interblock USA. In my 20 plus years of gaming shows this was one of the best.The customer response was outstanding. Many of our top corporate customers com-

EGT enjoying Great Adventure of international slot sales multitasking EUROGAMES TECHNOLOGY

EGT’s exhibit was focused on the release of a vast variety of hot new game themes, an attractive range of successful compilations of Multi-Game products and novelties in the company’s collection of multiplayer solutions and automated electronic roulettes. On the cabinet side, EGT's highlight was its widescreen Vega Vision+ Series Upright and Slant top cabinets, exhibited in combinations with multi-game solutions Vega Vision+ Multi-1 and Multi-2 as well as the premier of the latest video slots like 50 Horses, Mayan Spirit, Blue Heart, Great Adventure and many more. The main features of the Vega Vision+ Series include multi-denomination, multi-lan-

48 January 2011 • G2ereport

guage support, great choice of high/low line games (5 to 100 lines selectable), based on the technologically advanced gaming platform Exciter, a guarantee for high system stability, high game interactivity, exclusive graphics quality and perfect stereo sound. The proven Vega Vision Series Multi-game mixes numbers 1-8 was also on display, offering great entertainment with original, exciting and vibrant game content in power performance compilations of up to 17 games now in the Vega Vision Multi-8. In terms of automated roulette, all EGT roulette terminals can now send full, real time information to an EGT server, which can be accessed via a simple internet connection. This important operator benefit can be made possible

through any device, which has an internet connection and a web browser (telephone, mobile device, iPhone etc), without the need of downloading any additional software. This valuable real time information includes: Event Log (key in, key out, bet in, ticket in, ticket out, door open, diagnostics); Game History (unlimited number of games taped on the server, full game info, it can generate picture preview of the roulette monitor with the specific bets made, positions of chips and reports can be sent electronically); Accounting (full counters information). Nadia Filipova, PR and marketing manager, said of the year: “2010 might have been a challenging one for the whole gaming industry, but for EGT it also marked the approvals of several new

mented that we had the best booth by far and have the greatest and most exciting multi-player and multi-game products. We plan to continue our expansion in existing markets but also focus on execution and further growth in the North American markets. We feel that it is imperative to establish our strong brand and with our complete product line we are able to offer so much more to customers than what they have been offered in the past.”

EGT’s Nadia Filipova with Rise of Ra, 20 Super Hot and Great Adventure

markets where our products could be distributed. Peru, France, Monaco, South Africa and Greece are only some of our new destinations. We have also put into prospective an entry into the US market by the next G2E 2011. For the second half of 2010, the per-

formance of our products, based on reports from leading European casinos, has shown outstanding levels which make us very optimistic. Our main goal is to continue to deliver high quality products and solutions to our valued customers.”


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Bringing bonuses alive with movie studio expertise A raft of orders from its last exhibition, BEGE in Sofia, has seen Casino Technology ploughing into Hungary, Romani, Austria, the Czech Republic, Malta and Macedonia. With other work taking it into new markets such as The Philippines and Cambodia could G2e bring yet more territories? creativeedge CASINO TECHNOLOGY

Like many of the industry’s creative leaders, Casino Technology has been incredibly active in terms of R&D and new game production since the general downturn in the global economy. As such it had a great variety of new releases and innovations at this year’s Las Vegas show with the striking visual appearance of its new Game Suites really catching the passing eye. The crucial element for the Game Suites has been Casino Technology’s investment in developing its own, propriety ‘mini movies’ used in the game suites’ engrossing bonus screens. In total,more than 40 new game releases were showcased, all offered in themed groups or game suites.

Accommodated in a range of themed slot machines and multi-level progressives, the Game suites include Motormania, Falcon Heroes and Gamopolis - City of Games. All are supported by powerful jackpot visualisations, and enhanced with great sound and visual performance. Sonia Nikolova, chairman of the board of directors, explained: “The development of these game suites started over two years ago with the creation of an in-house movie studio.We aimed to bring a greater level of player interaction and entertainment to our games. A range of additional interactive applications helps the player to feel as if they are in a life time experience, whether it is as an action hero on the racing track such as

with the Motormania Game Suite or as an adventure character in a wartime movie as with Falcon Heroes.” In terms of products launched, California has provided rich pickings this year for Casino Technology with a number of installations scheduled for the next six to 12 months. The company’s planned investment in marketing and research for 2011 includes California, Oklahoma, Illinois and Ohio. This year’s show also opened doors for the company’s expansion towards strategic Latin American markets with a range of deals for upcoming installations being finalised at G2E with new partners in Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Argentina and Mexico.

Sonia Nikolova with Falcon Heroes

E-poker pioneer back with blackjack backtoblack POKERTEK

DigiDeal’s Table DROID is anything but robotic arethesethedroids DIGI DEAL

DigiDeal was demonstrating its newest platform: the X-table, a complete plug and play e-table solution and its Table Droid. The DTS-X Table is the ultimate all-in-one E-Table designed for eight players; each with their personal 15” LCD touch screen, bill validator and ticket printer. A large centre LCD screen displays all the game action for both players and spectators. Enhancing all the cost savings and security one

has come to expect on a DigiDeal electronic table, the X-Table requires no dealer or host and is powered by a robust client/server architecture delivering a rich graphical environment that intuitively leads players through game play. With its sleek, comfortable design and economical footprint, X-table is fully network compatible and compliant with SASenabled financial tracking systems; making it easy to integrate into any existing casino f loor plan and comes with DigiDeal’s

50 January 2011 • G2ereport

Classic Blackjack and Classic Baccarat, along with Texas Hold’Em Xtreme. Pit bosses looking for a way to increase profitability on existing tables, meanwhile, were drawn to DigiDeal’s Table Droid, a fully automated Digital Random Outcome Interactive Display. This product has been designed for use on any gaming table which requires a fun, fast and secure method of arriving at a random outcome. The Droid can display virtual dice cards, dominos, or standard playing cards.

Following its pioneering move into electronic poker, PokerTek has gone back to the drawing board devising its new Blackjack table game, Blackjack Pro. “Blackjack Pro offers the traditional game of Blackjack on our new ProCore automated table game platform,” said James Crawford, PokerTek’s president. “The development of the product has been demanded by our poker customers in the market who have asked us to do something similar for blackjack. Whilst there’s other blackjack products on the market, we believe Blackjack Pro has unrivalled game configurability and player interaction. Plus it is a much more economical solution with a small footprint that fits easily on the gaming floor.” In addition to following the standard rules of Black-

jack, Blackjack Pro allows operators to configure the game rules and payouts to meet their needs. The table’s large centre screen allows players to easily follow the action and encourages social interaction. The intuitive graphics, small-footprint and lowcost make it an ideal choice for operators looking to add automated Blackjack to their pit or gaming floor.

On the poker side, PokerPro was back with its newest Tournaments Plus+ software. PokerPro Tournaments Plus+ is a complete multi-table tournament solution, streamlining the process from registration to the final table. And the new Tournament Leaderboard gives players and spectators access to tournament status, player rankings and chip stacks.

PokerTek president James Crawford, left, at the launch of Blackjack Pro


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Confident innovation and strategic tie-ups for Konami A long process of game development by Konami has resulted in games that are really appealing to players and slot managers and which are helping to boost Konami’s profile on the slot floor. RevolutionaryGames KONAMI

There’s a new buoyancy apparent at Konami: the company’s machines, which combine quirky and interesting gameplay with attractive cabinets, are making significant inroads on to the gaming f loor as operators see the proof of their appeal to players in the cashbox. Leading the charge is the Podium cabinet and platform. “We did a lot of customer research and we’ve imported all the titles from the K2V platform,” said Leah Steinhardt, marketing manager.“They actually do a bit better in the Podium.” She continued:“We’re now shipping more games than many of our competitors.We have 18 per cent of the floor at the new Maryland Hollywood casino and at the Rivers Pittsburgh we had 100 per cent of their expansion. We’re also really gaining traction in Europe with placements in Croatia, Bosnia and Portugal.”

Several new games for the Podium (and K2V) platform were launched at the show, including Pirate’s Jackpot and Pharaoh’s Wish. Pirate’s Jackpot is a twolevel, standalone mystery progressive developed for both video and stepper reel platforms. The bonus round is triggered by a mystery Coin, with a higher chance of appearing the more the player bets.Players then have three chances to reveal the Key hidden behind one of 42 gold Pirate Skull symbols on a map. Finding the Key launches the Treasure Chest feature, where players can choose one of four chests to reveal either the Maxi or Mini progressive prize. If the Key is not found in the previous screen, the player receives a consolation Black Flag Bonus award. All skulls that have been chosen subsequently grey out and are unselectable in bonus rounds triggered later, increasing the odds of finding the key. Pharaoh’s Wish is also a two-level standalone

mystery progressive with the bonus round in the form of a matching game offering the chance to win the Maxi or Mini jackpots or a bonus prize. Again, the more the player bets, the higher the chance of triggering the progressive. For the Advantage 5 stepper reel and the Advantage Revolution platforms, the company has launched an entertaining new game Rock around the Clock. Another standalone progressive, this time with four levels. OnAdvantage 5,three,four or five scatter symbols trigger ten, 15 or 15 free games with Stacked WILD symbols boosting prizes.The progressives are triggered through the Mystery Rock Clock on the upper screen, which may randomly advance after a primary game.If it strikes BonusTime, the progressives are activated, each one represented as a record on a jukebox with the needle acting as an arrow. If the arrow lands on a jackpot area,the prize is won,

with consolation prizes of up to 300 randomly awarded. The version for Advantage Revolution sees the same Mystery Rock Clock which this time will trigger one of two bonuses on the revolving reel assembly. Rockin’ and Reelin’ sees two reels spinning horizontally in opposite directions with an arrow stopping on credit amounts that can accumulate until either Collect or Jukebox Jackpot is hit. Jukebox Jackpot, which can also be hit from the Mystery Rock Clock, sees a player choose one of three discs, which then reveal a colour pattern that is transferred to the physical reel below. The player then has one spin to try and hit the colour associated with the jackpot. Konami is now also shipping its community fourlevel progressive Top Track, first seen last year.The followup to Beat the Field sees a Grand Prix-themed community bonus game, in which eligible players compete for a progressive award, won by

notflattering PATIR DESIGN

Flexible One from Gold Club GOLD CLUB

Slovenian company Gold Club launched a brand new cabinet at G2E. Cabinet One features two 23-inch monitors and has chrome trimmings. The cabinet has been cut beneath the screen to allow it to be opened completely from the front,which means that less room is needed between machines on the gaming floor. Gold Club has been expanding its business across the world, so the

one of them, with all others receiving a Community Bonus Award. Players can increase the number of participants they have in the race by increasing their bet levels. An important tie-up with WMS was announced just before the show with both companies pledging to work to allow full interoperability between their networked game and systems. The integration of Konami

products with WMS’s WageNet system will see a full array of remote configuration and download functions available through a single system and user interface. But the move goes beyond just the games with nongaming systems also able to operate on each company’s machines, such as Konami’s Player Tracking and Advanced Incentives applications and WMS’s Portal application suite.

No imitating Patir quality

Regional sales manager Peter Zor (left) with customer support technician Luka Oblak

choiceproduct

Konami’s Leah Steinhardt with Pharaoh’s Wish and Pirate’s Jackpot

cabinet is manufactured in Mexico,while the games are devised at its headquarters in Europe. “We have a new Game Star multigame for this new cabinet aimed at the Latin American market,” said regional sales manager Peter Zor . “Players can choose up to nine games to play but by using a simple key, the operator can select which games to present from a library of 30 games that are all installed in the machine. It’s very easy to configure with a drag and drop menu.”

52 January 2011 • G2ereport

The system offers some of the flexibility and functionality of networked games without a network. Five new game titles have also been developed, one called Golden Reef and four with ever-popular Asian themes: 9 Dragons, Lucky Lions, Lotus Princess and Samurai Spirit, all 20-line games with free spins, bonus games and double-up features. “We have also installed player tracking from a Mexican company ACE Systems,” said Zor.

Even though the number of new openings in the last couple of years has been minimal and operators have held back on refurbishment plans, gaming chair manufacturer Patir Design has managed to hold its own. “It’s because of the excellent quality of our seats, their excellent design and the fact that people know us for our excellent service and swift delivery,” said founder Seref Patir. “The expansion of the machine market in Italy has been very good for us with lots of orders and lots more requests. Our main market is still Germany, where things are picking up. Mexico has been good for us too. So we didn’t really feel the crisis, even if business was a bit lower than normal.” One indicator of Patir’s reputation for quality is the number of companies - especially in China - who are not merely imitating but outright copying some of its products.

Seref Patir was less than happy to see one Chinese company just a few booths away from his own offering direct replicas of his chairs: not only that, it appeared as if they had copied Patir’s entire catalogue, photos and design and merely substituted its own name and logo for Patir’s.

L-R: Export managers Süleyman Yilmaz, Kinga Kajli and general manager Seref Patir

“The one page they didn’t dare copy was the 15-year guarantee that only we can provide,” said Patir. “There are Chinese companies claiming that they manufacture our products under licence. This is entirely untrue: only Patir makes Patir chairs.

x


www.ctc.lv


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G2e10 REPORT

International effort applied to new Suzo Happ products Working across time zones, international components manufacturer Suzo Happ has invested 24-hour research and development to come up with a range of innovative products across the spectrum of OEM requirements. we got there.” The Compact RGB Handle Mechanism devised by the Perhaps unsurprisingly team is an entirely externally given its long history, one of mounted unit with a very the sources of inspiration for slender profile. Because the machine and game design- mechanism is outside, it ers at OEMs is what latest allows increased space on innovations Suzo Happ has the inside of the cabinet.The come up with. In the last ball on the handle is illumithree years or so, by its own nated with two multi-colour admission, only a few ideas LEDs that flash,glow or make have made it into produc- patterns.When the handle is tion. As that has coincided pulled, an LED panel on the with the difficult sales envi- durable plastic mount lights ronment, it reinforces up with different colours on perhaps Suzo Happ’s posi- each of the six clicks in the tion as a barometer of the pull. “This can really add to the industry’s fortunes, which comes from its position in attract mode of a machine,” said Crossman,“and it’s quick the supply chain. This year it’s different. and easy to retrofit.” The team also looked at an Colin Crossman, director of global engineering, said: older product, a Flip Card “This year we decided to Unit, and decided to update bring five new products to it. This mechanical game G2E. We consolidated our device provides a full deck design and engineering of playing cards, including resources located in Las face cards and jokers, or Vegas, Chicago, Holland and alpha-numeric or custom, China, and pulled it together driven either from the host into a 24-hour operation. It board or a separate driver was a lot of hard work but board. Available in two sizes

Suzo Happ’s Colin Crossman with the handle mech and an array of the Flip Card units

newstyle SUZO HAPP

and in multiple configurations and featuring RGB LED illumination, it can be used in bonus games or used in displays or advertising. The Intelligent Reel Drive is designed to relieve OEMs of unnecessary work.“They don’t have to write any software; all the control systems for stops, speed, rotation and illumination are all integral,” said Crossman.“The software package will control up to

Borden offers strong themes to world markets

16 reels and offers 3,200 microsteps per revolution so it’s very smooth. All the peripherals can also be driven off the same board.” The company has come out with a new range of Casino Chrome-Luminescent Pushbuttons in six sizes. The polished chrome-plated bezel mounted on a translucent colour washer to give an edge-luminescent effect. The bezel is earthed straight

company says provides proac- millionth Cashflow SC to tive security by using trans- come off the production line: missive sensors that see all the to commemorate the mileVisitors to the MEI stand had way through notes in six or stone, the unit has been the chance to see the next seven light wavelengths. Its chrome plated and the generation of the company’s connection has also been company is using it in its marCashflow SC bill acceptor.The upgraded to USB 2.0, which keting effort,giving it the‘rock SC Advance, which is will help to expand the unit’s star treatment’.The unit is on tour to all the industry trade expected to go into produc- functionality in the future. All the improvements are shows;T-shirts with a list of its tion around the middle of 2011, see improvements to located in the head section of ‘appearances’ have been the acceptor head that use the the acceptor, which means printed and customers have latest technology to improve that the SC Advance can be the chance to be phothe acceptance rate, security easily retrofitted and also that tographed with it and a and reliability, says the it is possible to upgrade gradu- celebrity - at G2E actress, ally, the new version working model and TV star Holly company. Madison attracted a good deal “We still believe that the alongside the original. MEI also showed the one of people to the MEI stand. Cashflow SC is the best bill acceptor out there,” said marketing director Andy Reichlin. “We talked to our customers, who told us not to mess it up. So we’re using technology that wasn’t available when we developed the original product. So now it’s faster, with a 23 per cent uplift in billto-bill speed. It has an expanded memory with 100 notes stored up from 46. In response to requests from Asian markets, its barcode MEI’s casino sales manager recognition facility is now Europe Alan Humble (r) with four-way.” Andy Cotterell European There is also an improved technical support manager recognition system that the MEI

BORDEN

Taiwanese firm Borden came to G2E with a full range of its games, including two new titles, Jungle Island and Ancient Egypt. Jungle Island is a 25-line 15-reel game video slot with double-up options and two bonus games. “It’s designed for the US market,” said sales manager Claire Yang, “but we think the jungle theme will also appeal very much to the taste of Central and South American markets, where they like the graphics very much.” Ancient Egypt, mainly for the European market, is a five-reel 15 line game with winning lines from both left to right and right to left. There are two jackpots and the two bonus games. Three or more scatter symbols will award up to 50 free games with 20 winning lines. Three or more bonus symbols awards access to the other Scarab bonus, where players choose from seven scarabshaped jewels to uncover a

Claire Yang, sales manager, with the Royal Champion game, currently on test in Europe

bet multiplier of up to 100x. “At the end of the year we are also releasing Royal Club Roulette,” said Yang. “This video roulette game has very beautiful graphics and is a high class machine. Its rules run exactly according to traditional roulette but one motherboard can link up to 15 terminals, so it’s like a roulette multiplayer.”

54 January 2011 • G2ereport

The company was also showing its latest video horseracing game, Royal Champion, which can run up to eight terminals. “We are now testing it in the European market,” said Yang. “The operator has told us that players like the very strong graphics and the probabilities and that the income is good.”

devices. Importantly, it has a clean design with no external wires or level sensors. “The development of these products in a short period has really brought the company together as a group,” said Crossman.“The response we’ve had to these products has been terrific, so we’ll take this way of working forward to launch even more innovations in the next year.”

New technology leads to new Advance for MEI futuretech

visioninvideo

to the button panel, taking all the static.At the back, the units have a locking nut that fits over a snap-tab, making them easy to fit but extremely secure. For machines that still operate with coins or tokens, a new flow hopper has been designed with a payout speed of seven coins per second. Available with three bowl sizes, it is compatible with other popular hopper


www.cammegh.com


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Powerful new marketing tool from TransAct Giving operators the opportunity to interact directly with all customers, whether carded or not, and keep them engaged in everything the casino has to offer, the Epicentral system has a unique mobile element. onthemove TRANSACT

Peripherals are no longer quite so peripheral as they once were, with added functionality offering real opportunities for operators to make the most of their contacts with guests. Already known for its thermal printers, TransAct has developed a unique fourpart marketing system that adds to the core function of delivering cash-value tickets by allowing promotional coupons to be printed off. “The Epicentral Print System is a software solution that allows the operator to communicate directly with the player via the coupon,” said Tracey Chernay, SVP of sales and marketing. The four components of Epicentral include a coupon layout generator, an easy-touse design programme that allows the marketing team to create and save any number of promotional coupons.The design can be done in-house or farmed

Tracey Chernay with the iPad-based mobile host element of the Epicentral system

out. Logos and other graphics can be imported easily with different barcode types able to be embedded. The system also allows the parameters for the delivery of coupons to be set, say for a given lost amount, or a birthday gift for a loyalty programme member. The second element is the server manager, which allows the operator to manage the library of promotional coupons. It is loaded with the IP address or location of every slot on

the gaming floor allowing for targeted or blanket messages to be delivered. This connects to the third, vital element of the system, the Epic 950 printer, which has to be equipped with ServerPort. This small additional unit holds the IP address for the machine, rather than for the printer, enabling not only the Epicentral system to operate but also the easy swapping out of printers without have to change the IP address. The truly innovative

element of the system is the mobile host. Casino hosts equipped with an iPad or smartphone can give coupons directly to players on the casino floor either through the server manager or the ServerPort device in the machine, all this wirelessly. The marketing opportunities are vast, from controlled and targeted promotional campaigns, to drawings, to offers on entertainments, to inducements to sign up to loyalty programmes, to food and beverage rewards and slot tournament entries. “The entire solution is available on a daily fee model,” said Chernay TransAct’s very healthy financial position enables it to take on the capital expenses of the system. “We’ve got plenty of money in the bank and we’re debtfree, so this represents a good investment in our customers.” Operators can also offset some of the costs by selling advertising space on the coupons. “Casinos have told us that they don’t care what the price is if it generates a dollar more than it costs,” said Chernay. “Depending on whether the legacy printer needs to be upgraded it costs between $1 an $1.50 per machine per day give or take.” Launched at G2E, the company has already installed the system at Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.

Big hopes for iVizion Tom Nieman, SVP of operations with the iVizion validator

greatthings JCM GLOBAL

For more than two decades, JCM Global has been a big name in the global gaming industry and at G2E,to prove the point, its booth featured the world’s biggest bill validators, towering 13ft (4m) and were part of JCM’s celebration of its award-winning iVizion. Tom Nieman,SVP of operations, said:“iVizion forever changes the way the gaming industry sees banknote validation. It is the foundation of intelligent validation and sees better, thinks smarter and runs faster than any comparable product in the industry.” iVizion uses Contact Image Sensor (CIS) Technology, combined with transparency and ref lective sensors that scan 75 times more data points than com-

petitive products, says the company. The result is the most powerful sensor capabilities available, giving

56 January 2011 • G2ereport

protection. Each transaction is captured and stored on the RFID ICB cashbox, featuring encrypted and web-enabled data, 64 megabit f lash memory, a self-calibrating sensor package, modular component design, and the ability to read barcodes horizontally and vertically. iVizion has two highspeed processors, a sealed 85 mm banknote path, a patented and proven removable stacker mechanism, “Blind Mate”and“Hot Swap” design and complete compatibility with all gaming protocols. JCM also showed its Sentry 2.0 smart bezel that operators a more than 99 communicates with players per cent acceptance rate on in four languages and a wide valid banknotes and the range of other validation most diligent counterfeit solution equipment.

Innocore expands DPX board range Innocore’s sales director Koen Stomph with the new DPXS415 integrated gaming computer

graphicexamples INNOCORE GAMING

Having just announced its acquisition by Advantech, making it the largest supplier of PCs to the gaming industry, Innocore Gaming launched two new gaming computers in its DPX-S range at G2E. The DPX-S415 and S425 are backwards compatible with the existing DPX-S410 technology and so, says the company, offer existing customers a springboard to move to new higher performance technology and a leading edge platform on which new customers can base their products. Using latest chipsets and technology from Intel and AMD, the integrated singleboard computers allow game designers access to impressive multimedia and computing power. High performance graphics engines are included that offer 3D acceleration, multi-monitor support and dual core 64-bit CPUs, which allow optimal

use of the latest 64-bit operating systems and system RAM up to 8GB. The DPX-S415 is an AMD platform sporting ATI Radeon HD4270 graphics, a DirectX 10.1 engine, for high-end graphics performance, 3D visual effects and dynamic interactivity. The platform includes AMD’s latest HyperTransport technology 3.0 to boost system performance and supports the latest Athlon II Neo and Turion II Neo dual-core processors II. The DPX-S425 is an Intel platform based on Intel’s latest 32nm technology and including state of the art features such as Intel Turbo Boost and Hyper threading Technology to enable fourway multitask processing and automatic over-clocking to handle CPU demand. The integrated Intel HD Graphics offers sharper images, richer colour, and life-like video and audio. The CPUs supported are the state-of-the-art Intel Core i-5 and Core i-7 with Integrated Memory Controller.

Alfastreet hooks up

Albert Radman of Alfastreet: “We brought our bingo and blackjack machines here to show mainly to Latin American customers - and we’ve seen a lot of them, who appreciate our great pricing and local support. In the US our products are distributed by Atronic - it’s not really a multiplayer market, so it makes more sense to put our own effort into other markets.”


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Quixant prepares for huge January launch A new era could be looming for games designers with the launch of a new high-performance combined core and graphics processor from AMD. Quixant is the launch partner for the gaming sector. will be launching products based on Fusion just twoweeks after the worldwide Early in the new year,the chip launch at ICE. At G2E, it was manufacturer AMD/ATI will talking to developers to be launching a new chipset prepare them for the new called Fusion, a combination capabilities it will offer. “Fusion will vastly of both CPU and GPU to create a new APU - increase the levels of graphAccredited Processing Unit - ics performance available to its applications across the games designers,” said Nick computing world will be Jarmany, managing director manifold and will particu- of Quixant.“The first Fusion larly be used to create the product will have three times next generation of games for the graphics performance of current solutions. And it will home consoles. And that level of perform- be cost-effective as you don’t ance will very soon after be need to pay for separate and available to the gaming indus- expensive graphics chips. try. Quixant is the launch Stunning graphics at a very partner in this sector, and at competitive price level. It the moment has exclusive means designers will be able access to the technology: it to offer all kinds of things graphicimprovement QUIXANT

like 3D and HD streaming.” The Fusion chip removes the physical and software barrier between the GPU and the CPU: as the GPU has massive amounts of processing power available, it means it can be used for some of the core processing, for example encryption, which is particularly suitable function for the GPU. “There will be new generations of Fusion every year of development offering varying level of capability,” said Jarmany. Because all the processing power is in one place, the power requirements and heat generated are very low. “Green issues and cost to the casino operator are

Classically advanced ambitions from Abbiati

Quixant’s managing director Nick Jarmany (r) with sales director Gary Mullins

hugely important. People historically haven’t asked the question of how much it costs to run a machine, but typically, operators have had to provide between 2W-3W of air conditioning for every 1W of heat generated,” he continued. “And reliability goes down the more heat there is, and that’s particu-

US PLAYING CARDS/FOURNIER

designclassics ABBIATI

Spanish/American card manufacturer US Playing Cards/Fournier deals in more than just playing cards these days - although it holds some 35 per cent of the world market. It is using its unrivalled knowledge and network of customers to promote related products such as an intelligent baccarat shoe and durable layouts. “It’s been one-and-a-half years since we launched the intelligent baccarat shoe,” said Javier Berasategui, export manager.“It has done very well, not only in the

At the luxury end of the casino equipment market are the classic designs of Italian manufacturer Abbiati. At G2E it showed its latest creation, custom-developed for salons privés of certain casinos in eastern Europe. The white lacquered roulette and blackjack tables are decorated with real gold leaf as are the accompanying chairs and details on the roulette wheel. The design is echoed in the dedicated displays and other accessories such as the card shoe.

Abbiati may offer new iterations of classics, but it also pushes the boundaries with new materials and new technologies. Giorgio Abbiati commented: “Like last year, we have seen a growing interest in RFID chips and plaques. Even if RFID is still a new technology, we continue to receive a number of requests from our clients that show casino operators are starting to realise the value and the benefits of the technology.” He continued: “We have also received a very positive feedback from our customers regarding our new

58 January 2011 • G2ereport

ceramic chips line. As was foreseen, great quality and an attractive price have attracted a number of interested clients.” The company’s main goal for the coming year will remain the continual improvement of the product line, trying new designs and materials and looking for new technologies. “We will concentrate on looking for the best quality combined with the best price,” said Abbiati. “Looking for new partnerships and valuable collaborations will also be a part of the next year’s plan.”

the various markets have been pre-approved on the regulatory side. “We’ve seen huge interest in the upcoming launch,”said Jarmany.“Everyone is always after that extra bit of graphics performance and they will be blown away when we release the finished product in January.”

The business of trust cardsplus

Giorgio Abbiati (centre) with colleagues Reda Seiliute and Alexandrv Poplev

larly the case if a fan is needed; fans are notoriously unreliable - they need servicing and replacing and also make a lot of noise. With the Fusion boards,you won’t get the heat in the first place - performance without the heat.” Additionally, all the SAS protocols are the same and all the software models for

Javier Berasategui, export manager of Fournier/US Playing Cards

Asian markets for which it was originally designed, but also in the US and Latin America, anywhere where baccarat is played. That’s because of the additional security it provides - it’s impossible to introduce false cards. And there are fewer dealer mistakes.” He continued: “We just started earlier this year with our Dura+ layouts,which our customers asked us to develop. Their main advantage is durability but also their velvet touch. It comes complete with the Fournier service.” But cards remain the core business for the company:

“In the last year or so, we have made a big investment in manufacturing, with new machines and a new location in the US and more machines in Spain,” said Berasategui. He continued:“It’s a business of trust with ISO standards of manufacturing. We’re proud to say that we can deliver 100 per cent confidence to the industry - the message around the company is that we don’t print playing cards, we print money. We thought that maybe with the crisis, operators would try cheaper cards but they haven’t. Playing cards are not to be messed with!”


www.europeancasinoassociation.org


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internationalcasinoreview IGT produces slot number two million

Supplier NEWS

SECTION SPONSOR

International Game Technology has produced its two millionth slot with a Siberian Storm machine rolling off the production line to pass the landmark. Eric Tom, IGT’s chief operating officer, said: “This important milestone represents where IGT has been and where we’re going. We made the first video poker game, the first microprocessor-driven spinning reel game, and the first ever widearea progressive jackpot game. And along with the millions of machines we’ve produced, our innovative ideas have changed the way the industry thinks about gaming - from the first game that rolled off the line almost 30 years ago to our two millionth game today.”

http://www.ballytech.com

The VIPs Visited, they Indulged and they Played veryimportantproducts TCS JOHN HUXLEY

The second Access All Areas event hosted by TCS John Huxley was held in Las Vegas alongside the Global Gaming Expo and was once again heralded a major success. The Ghost bar at the top of the Palms Hotel was transformed into an upscale casino featuring a whole host of new and exciting innovations including the new e-FX Solo display, the Supernova Table Bonus system and 3 Dice Football. Customer response was overwhelming, with visitor numbers exceeding all expectations. Tracy Cohen, marketing manager, said:“Our pre-show marketing campaign proved extremely effective with visitor registrations to our website significantly higher than last year. We decided to stay open until 8pm to take advantage of the venue which is magical after sunset, and by the end of the first day we had almost as many attendees as the 2009 event, with final visitors numbers doubled.The event’s success is not solely down to the great location and showcasing superb products. Customers absolutely loved the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that they could spend time with the team away from all the usual distractions of a trade show. With extra indulgence treats such as signature cocktails, European candy store, memorabilia photos and mas-

The VIP - Visit, Indulge, Play theme for this year’s Access All Areas hosted by TCS John Huxley lived up to its billing. Guests were whisked to the event by exclusive chauffeur driven limousines, and were greeted by the VIP Valet Girls at the hotel entrance. But all the champagne, massages and cocktails didn’t get in the way of the real reason for being there: new products. sages, many visitors found it hard to leave.” Roger Hawkins, CEO for the Americas, added: “This year’s event has been an unmitigated success for us. Not only have we doubled the numbers, we have maintained high quality visitors who have enjoyed our hospitality and been able to spend time with our team, really seeing our product offering.” And there was plenty to see with a unique game blending American football with craps turning most heads. 3 Dice Football combines the excitement and companionship of Craps with the sport of football, to provide a non-intimidating and easy to learn dice game that is sure to revolutionise table gaming in casinos. The primary objective of 3 Dice Football is to score a

Touchdown.The outcome of each down is determined by rolling 3 dice (2 green, 1 red) delivering four possible outcomes: Yards Gained:Total of green dice minus red die, Penalty:Total of green dice is lower than red die,Trips TD: Instant Touchdown with any triple,Turnover: Red 6 rolled with Green 1-1 or 1-2. 3 Dice Football is simple to introduce to any pit. It is played with three standard dice (2 green, 1 red) and incorporates a layout that fits on a standard craps-sized table. Hawkins said:“The game of craps has never lacked excitement; however, it combines complex rules and procedures which can put players off. By introducing the proprietary game of 3Dice football it is now possible for a complete novice to grasp the game and enjoy the

excitement.” The SuperNova Table Bonus System, meanwhile, is a powerful progressive and game bonus system that drives increased revenues by adding higher levels of player excitement and loyalty to table games. Designed to be added to any table game on the gaming floor, SuperNova features multiple level progressive pools including both event based and mystery prizes to increase player appeal. SuperNova incorporates the wide screen Omni Progressive Display. It features multiple odometers and can be re-skinned and themed to integrate with the base table game and reinforce the overall property brand. An intuitive touch screen handset allows easy dealer operation and quick game

change configuration. Simon Witty, group product development director, said:“SuperNova is a table development that significantly increases player participation and revenues when compared to other tables. Not only does SuperNova boast a unique bet sensor that adds new levels of visual interaction with the player, but it also delivers a highly efficient platform from which to provide sidebets, bonus games, progressives and game variations to further stimulate player interest and involvement.” TCS John Huxley also launched a new extended range of e-FX Winning Number Displays with the eFX Solo,an entry level model, perfect for delivering a cost effective table solution with striking graphics on a single sided 21” screen. The new display fully integrates with Saturn and Gemini Roulette Wheels and Reader Heads, to deliver fast winning number results without human input. An optional touch screen dealer terminal is also available for operators needing manual input of data. Elsewhere, the e-FX Elite replaces the e-FX Insignia as the ultimate in casino displays. David Heap, group chief executive officer, stated:“The introduction of e-FX solo to the range gives an entry level model, perfect for delivering a cost effective table solution, whilst our e-FX Elite models are the ultimate

casino display boasting 29” and 21”single or double sided screens and unrivalled levels of customisation.” The group also launched a new cost effective solution aimed at recycling existing slot machines and to give them the power of Mazooma Interactive Games content. Mazooma Slot Content Upgrade is targeted at Central and South America gaming operators and delivers flexible conversion tools that are compatible with a wide range of popular cabinets from major manufacturers and offers total flexibility to connect with other OEM gaming machine peripherals. David Charnock,vice president of sales central and South America, said: “TCS John Huxley has established a strong foothold in certain regions of Latin America, however, there is no doubt that the new and emerging markets, such as Mexico, are more open to new technologies. We are developing a range of products specifically for these markets and MIG is one of the first such products that form part of this strategy. The ability to be able to provide our customers with high quality game content using a wide range of cabinet options, allows us to offer the latest games at extremely competitive rates. As it istailored purely for the Latin American market, we know exactly what our customers require.”

http://www.ballytech.com www.ballytech.com

60 January 2011 • suppliernews


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Apex set up in Mexico Apex Gaming has opened a new subsidiary in Mexico City to be headed up by Darek Borowiec. “As you’d expect, the Mexican mentality is unique in its own way,” Borowiec said. “Mexicans expect local service. They want to know that their contact is close by. Naturally, we respect such a demand and together with the great feedback from our Pinnacle slots, it has been a natural step to establish a local presence”. Johannes Weissengruber, founder and CEO of Apex gaming, added: “We have a great track record behind us and we were confident of having a successful ELA show due to the feedback from our customers far and wide on the new Pinnacle cabinet and games packages. This sends out a strong message to the market - that Apex gaming solutions belong to the Mexican gaming environment and that Apex gaming is 100 per cent committed to our Mexican customers.”

Atronic shows diversity with African installs intoafrica ATRONIC

Atronic’s new multigame, diversity, continues its enormously successful rollout with its first installations in Africa. In November two casinos in Kenya, Bollywood and Casinomax, were the first in the continent to install diversity with the Brilliant Blue game suite. Two South African casinos, Golden Horse and Monte Casino, have also followed suit by rolling out diversity with the Brilliant Blue and Pure Purple game packages. Offering a variety of 10 games, Atronic’s groundbreaking diversity multigame is the only product on the market featur ing proven, topperfor ming standalone progressive games, all in a multi-line and multi-denomin a t i o n format. Pre-

sented on the new Oxygen cabinet, diversity offers a touch screen that allows players to select their preferred game types with different volatility levels. For each game, players can choose their individual denomination and bet, while the paytable is conveniently shown on the top screen. The new Oxygen cabinet features value-driven innovation. Oxygen is powered by the robust new sensys EP platform, which is easy to service and provides the highest level of security by using smart card devices. With its Game to System (G2S) compatible hardware, Oxygen is n e t w o r k gaming ready, and supports all major casino systems and player tracking modules. With 22-inch dual screens, Oxygen’s reel strips are

larger and easier to see, while a new simplified button panel maximises player comfort and convenience. The Brilliant Blue and Pure Purple game suites have been approved in South Africa, while Royal Red is due to be released. Each game suite offers a variety of games in four categories. The categories include Line Action, featuring favourite core games such as Princess of the Amazon; Thriller Jackpots, featuring top-performing Cash Fever standalone progressive titles such as Deep Diamonds; selected Classic Slots, featuring traditional volatile low-line games such as Brilliant Fruits; and a No Limits game, offering the unique and extremely volatile non-reel option, Triple Way Hi-Lo. diversity gives operators a competitive advantage by providing multiple game options in space-limited venues, and extends play and profit-per-customer. Meanwhile, its technology includes few consumable parts, minimised boards, and does not use DVDs or graphics cards. As a result, diversity is durable, streamlines playability, and is userfriendly.

Slovenian casino takes two Euro firsts from Aristocrat firstup ARISTOCRAT

Grand Casinò Lipica, part of Slovenia-based Casinò Portorož group, has delivered two European firsts for Aristocrat Technologies, with the simultaneous launch of Viridian Lowboy (Chop Top) standalone games and Aristocrat’s Triple Standalone Progressive, Hillbillions. The package, which included a number of Double Standalone Progressives and standalone GEN7 games installed on the gaming floors in both Lipica and Portorož, also saw the first placement of Bank Buster Hyperlink in Slovenia. President of the board, Casinò Portorož dd, Marjan Bolka, commented: “We were the first group in Slovenia to purchase Aristocrat product many years ago and the first casino to have an online system. Aristocrat products always perform well above floor average for us, generating consistently good income. We are delighted to be the first hosts of this new technology, not only locally but across Europe, having no doubt that our customers will respond positively and that this will be reflected in performance levels.” Slot director Aleš Turk added: “The intro-

duction of TITO gave us the opportunity to upgrade our gaming floors with a new and varied suite of games, including the use of new Viridian games and Lowboy cabinets to open up the slot layout. The success we enjoyed with Zorro prompted us to invest in more standalone progressives whilst our existing Hyperlinks, Cash Express and Jackpot Carnival, have always performed well above expectations - so the introduction of Bank Buster, a new, multi-feature Viridian offering for our link players, was also an obvious choice.”

www.suzo.com

January 2011 • suppliernews

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FREE ticket registration for the world’s leading betting & gaming show at www.icetotallygaming.com earls court, london | 25th - 27th january 2011

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Atronic signs Mexican deal with Nalibic

With Portugal’s eagerly awaited Trio casino opening during the New Year celebrations, IGT finished 2010 how it began with an install of its sbX offering. Five European casinos have now installed the serverbased experience.

mexicoagogo ATRONIC

slotphwoar INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY

International Game Technology will install close to 160 games and a number of industr y-leading network systems products at the new Troia Casino located in Portugal. Operated by the Amorim Turismo Group, Troia Casino’s floor will include a majority share of IGT games, including the company’s M-P Series Roulette Evolution and numerous Premium Product games. In addition, Troia will install the sbX Experience Management System, the IGT Casinolink loyalty program and EZ Pay. “I have pioneered many successful technologies in Portugal and today I cannot open Troia without sbX and a majority floor share of IGT’s games if I want to stay ahead of the game,” said Jorge Armindo, Amorim Turismo’s CEO and president of the Portuguese Casino Association. Amorim Turismo Group will open the new Troia Casino in Troia, Portugal, a beautiful tourist destination located near Lisbon. This new resort casino will operate just under 230 machines, with 70 percent of the games from IGT. Troia Casino will boast state-ofthe-art games with IGT’s AVP technology. In addition, the casino will install a number of network systems products, including sbX, IGT’s Casinolink and EZ Pay.

IGT lands 70 per cent of Troia slot floor “We were very excited to work once again with the Amorim Turismo Group,” expressed Ali Civile, sales director of IGT Europe. “IGT has received 70 percent share of the casino floor at their new Troia Casino, and this presence is a testament to the successful relationship we have built together.We are honoured that the Amorim Turismo Group has once again put their trust in IGT to create the best player experience for their customers.” The sbX Experience Management System provides Troia Casino with a library of games through the sbX Floor Manager, including

more than 180 international game releases with multi-denomination and multi-percentage capabilities. sbX features the Floor Manager and Analytics modules, which are designed to allow casino operators to administer and monitor game selection to fit their casino’s needs. “As our players will certainly be from diverse demographics, the f lexibility of sbX guarantees us the ability to adapt to the needs of our casino floor as well as to stay fresh day after day,” said Jorge Calado, Troia Casino general manager. Over 20 different casinos have

partnered with IGT for the innovation and technology that delivers results to the bottom line. Troia Casino will be the fifth casino in Europe to install sbX. Additional installations in Europe include Casino d’Evian in France and Grand Casino Helsinki in Finland, as well as Casino de la Vallée and Casino di Venezia in Italy. The Troia Design Hotel opened this year with impeccable attention paid to every detail. The new Troia Casino will complement the hotel with its futuristic design and feel.The grand opening of the Troia Casino will be held during their 2011 New Year’s Gala Party.

TCS John Huxley completes Norwegian Epic epicinstall TCS JOHN HUXLEY

TCS John HuxleyUSA has supplied all of the live casino gaming equipment to Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative ship to date; Norwegian Epic. Launched earlier this summer, the 150,000 ton Norwegian Epic has a total 4,200 passenger berths, boasting a wide range of accommodation including the largest suite complex at sea, along with more than 20 dining options.The casino is the fleet’s largest and most elegant to date and features all the latest gaming products. Following more than four years of development and

result is a live-hybrid Roulette platform that requires no dealer or inspection, which is ideal for the casino at sea. In addition to the MultiPlay table, the casino incorporates 29 other gaming tables consisting of various blackjack games, LuminAR Roulette, Craps and Hold ‘Em Poker.The latest generation e-FX Insignia number displays and Saturn roulette construction, the team at install one of the latest inno- wheels complete the order. NCL Miami Head Office vations after seeing its All of the tables were custom decided they wanted the launch at the 2010 IGE show designed executive barrel bases incorporating luxurinew casino to offer the latest based in London. The fully automated Mul- ous laminates and materials state of the art gaming products as well as a range of tra- tiPlay HD Auto Roulette fea- specified by the NCL design ditional games.Working very turing the Gemini wheel team. “TCS John Huxley were closely with TCS John offers cashless gaming comHuxley, the NCL Executive bined with bill acceptors very attentive to our requireManagement decided to and ticket printers. The ments before, during, and

62 January 2011 • suppliernews

after the order was delivered making sure we were totally satisfied,” said Jim Abbas, Norwegian’s vice president of casino operations. “The tables look great with the robust and practical design that we customised prior to building to match our operational and aesthetic needs.” Brad Broderick,VP of sales for North America, added: “The entire team at TCS John Huxley USA was proud to be a part of this exciting project. We are grateful that NCL put their trust in us to deliver our great range of products to this stunning new addition of their fleet. We wish the onboard casino staff the very best of success.”

Atronic International GmbH has signed an agency agreement with Nalibic Mexico, part of the Corporacion Meier Group of Mexico, under which Nalibic will act as its exclusive agent for marketing, logistical operation and technical support services throughout the territory of Mexico. At the same time, Atronic will continue to focus on direct product sales to its customers in the country. The announcement of the agency agreement follows numerous installations of popular Atronic games and linked gaming concepts across the country, such as Atronic’s Stargate SG-1, offering a new dimension of linked gaming; the thrilling epic adventure of King Kong Cash and proven standalone games on the e² cabinet. “We are excited about the opportunity of teaming up with an established partner to support our lease and participation business in Mexico. Under this agreement, Atronic will deploy significant numbers of its top performing Hi(!)bility and Oxygen products in this fast growing market,” said Marcel Heutmekers, Atronic’s senior director for Latin America and Asia. “Teaming up with a global company such as Atronic offers us great opportunities in the Mexican market,” said Luis Diaz Garcia, Nalibic’s general manager. “We are determined to support the Atronic brand and provide our customers with the same outstanding service Atronic is known for in other parts of the Latin American market.” Under this agency agreement, Nalibic will assume onthe-ground services on behalf of Atronic, while Atronic maintains direct commercial relationships with the operators.


www.internetgamblingreport.com


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internationalcasinoreview Court ruling says IGT compete fairly International Game Technology has announced that all the antitrust counterclaims and unfair competition claims brought against it by Bally in federal court in Nevada have been dismissed. US District Court Judge Robert Jones of the District of Nevada granted summary judgment in favour of IGT on all antitrust and Lanham Act counterclaims brought by Bally. This lawsuit was originally filed in December 2004, and involved claims that Bally Technologies infringed six IGT patents. Most of the patent claims had been previously dismissed. Bally had alleged that by asserting these patents IGT was attempting to monopolise the market. Robert Melendres, chief legal officer and corporate secretary at IGT, said: “We are quite pleased by this ruling. IGT competes fairly and has always believed that these allegations were completely unfounded.”

Supplier NEWS

Aristocrat reschedules quicker European roll out for Viridian WS

Cogetech signs WMS up for VLT action

Casino operators in Europe will be able to jump the queue when it comes to installing Aristocrat’s new Viridian WS cabinet with a major rescheduling of the company’s global development and manufacturing processes bringing them to Europe ahead of schedule.

italianjob

forwardthinking ARISTOCRAT

Aristocrat Technologies has brought forward plans to roll out its new Viridian WS cabinet throughout Europe, announcing that virtually all new casino games shown at the forthcoming ICE exhibition (2527 January, Earls Court, London) will be presented in the new widescreen format. The majority of games on stand 3415 will be available for immediate release, subject to regulatory approvals. First unveiled at the National Indian Gaming Association’s 2010

Tradeshow (San Diego) in April, Viridian WS has made fanfare appearances at major trade exhibitions around the world, including G2E Asia (Macau) in June, SAGSE (Buenos Aires) in October and culminating in its primary presentation at last month’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. Aristocrat’s general manager for Europe, Daniel Lindsay, stated: “European casino operators may be the last geographical group to witness this phenomenon, but thanks to a major rescheduling of our global development and manufacturing processes they will now be among the first to

Gamesman to take biggest ever presence at ICE Mark Smith, managing director and CEO at Gamesman, said:“I don’t see our job Gamesman will be using as coming up with random what will be its biggest ever product designs in the hope presence at a trade expo to that they will hit the mark. launch a range of technol- Instead our expertise is in ogy-driven gaming solutions working with games designto a European and interna- ers and developers in order tional audience of gaming to bring exciting and releprofessionals. The innova- vant product ideas to life. tor’s main focus for ICE will Tangible examples of this be on its new LCD push- approach can be seen on our button deck technology, ver- booth and serve to demonsions of which are now in strate perfectly the end result volume production for the of close customer collaboration. ICE gives us an opporNorth American market. This technology offers the tunity to meet with the f lexibility to complement relevant people, discuss the the most advanced slot key issues impacting slot machines with download- design, listen to their ideas able content, as well as com- and provide them with imagplimenting multi-game inative and integrated terminals Additional prod- gaming solutions. I believe ucts on show include a that the gaming industry variety of customer specific needs a marquee event such Toppers which will be as ICE to serve as a rallying shown as part of Games- point for technology and man’s ‘demonstration of innovation. We’re certainly capabilities’ programme, as looking forward to it and well as Gamesman’s com- building on the momentum plete range of market-leading it undoubtedly generates for push buttons and reel mech- exhibitors despite the difficult trading conditions.” anism solutions.

WMS GAMING

have the opportunity of placing Viridian WS on their gaming floors, perhaps as much as six months earlier than initially planned.” Running on Aristocrat’s powerful GEN 7 platform, the widescreen incarnation of the award-winning Viridian series is designed to give players an amazing new gaming experience, offering improved ergonomics, easier accessibility and larger screens. Key features of Viridian WS include high resolution recessed 22-inch LCD monitors, a new easier to reach location for card readers, a reduced belly area for improved leg room,

enhanced ambient lighting around the edge of the cabinet, a new upgraded sound system with speaker location optimised for improved acoustic reception and a new 13-button low-profile button panel. Aristocrat’s new Nteractiv LCD programmable button technology also provides an optional extra to put more interactivity at players’ fingertips. The industry’s first full-colour LCD display buttons can rotate messaging to attract players and deliver further instructions or simply wish them luck when playing, whilst the Big Bash button can feature

bespoke animations. Lindsay concluded: “Our innovations for 2011 are not just confined to new hardware.We’ve been building for the future and now we’re ready to unleash a dazzling array of new games and exciting new game categories in Europe, the size and spread of which has never been seen before in Aristocrat’s ICE portfolio. Furthermore, this new generation of games has one overriding advantage over other offerings in the market; implicit within every game is one of Aristocrat’s core competencies – a complex maths model that is second to none.”

Isaakidis and German promoted in Atronic reshuffle

onthebutton GAMESMAN

64 January 2011 • suppliernews

streamlined ATRONIC

Atronic International has restructured its EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) machine division sales team. Creating a complete continuum of support for customers, Atronic has streamlined the EMEA organisation by creating a single team reporting to one leader. This change includes a combined sales and sales service organisation and is expected to provide Atronic customers with superior value and service. Athanasios (Sakis) Isaakidis has been appointed Sr. director and general manager machine division in the EMEA region, reporting to Walter Bugno, CEO of Lottomatica Group´s Gaming Division which comprises Atronic and Spielo. Sakis will continue his role as managing director of

Stuart German and Sakis

Atronic International. He has been with the company for over 15 years, most recently in the capacity of technical director Atronic International. Sakis brings two decades of customerfocused experience to his new role, both in sales coordination and technical service. Within Sakis’ group, Stuart German is responsible for overseeing slot machine sales as sales director machine division EMEA reporting to Sakis. “As Sakis and Stuart

work with our customers to meet the challenges and opportunities in their markets, we are confident that this integrated approach will translate into increased performance and growth for our customers´ operations,” said Lottomatica’s gaming division CEO Walter Bugno. “At the same time, customers will continue receiving a high level of professional and consultative advice from our dedicated, experienced sales team.”

Cogetech growth strategy has hit a new important target with a supply contract for VLT machines with WMS Gaming, the first ever contract stipulated in Italy by the US-based company. WMS VLTs will be introduced to the Italian market through Cogetech, which will continue to offer its most famous products in its network, already top performers in numerous casinos in Italy and in the world. “We are proud and happy to be first on signing an agreement with WMS. The top performance WMS VLTs will enable us to offer top quality products and an extensive product range to our customers.We are convinced that our customers will certainly appreciate our choice,” said Fabio Schiavolin, Cogetech CEO. “WMS continues to make great progress in expanding its presence in international markets and we are delighted to make our initial entry into the Italian VLT market with Cogetech, a partner that is a leader in regulated gaming in Italy. By leveraging WMS’ innovative player appealing gaming content with Cogetech’s relationships and capabilities, we will optimise WMS’ ability to bring new gaming entertainment experiences to this market and create a path for further growth in international markets,” said Brian Gamache, chief executive officer of WMS Industries.


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internationalcasinoreview

ICE PREVIEW

Viridian WS brings player interaction to life adds a fast and fun twist to traditional PRODUCT NAME: All Puffed up PRODUCT TYPE : Hyperloop Slot spinning reels. Utilising high end hardGaming Genre

MANUFACTURER: Aristocrat Technologies

BOOTH NUMBER: 3415 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Hyperloop is one of Aristocrat’s six-strong collection of new standalone gaming genres feature themes supported by a broad selection of brand new base games, all housed in the new Viridian WS cabinet. The vast majority will be available for deployment in the first quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals. Hyperloop seamlessly integrates a mechanical top box with superb on-screen animation. Upon triggering the game feature, players watch in wonder as flashing lights loop around the Hyperloop, dropping in extra multipliers or wilds. Mega Pay games incorporate a feature-triggered multi-dimensional maelstrom of reel play. Multi Mega Pay puts the multigame experience firmly at the fingertips of the player, who can pay to play two, three or four base game reel sets directly from the outset. Remix

ware graphics capabilities and the creative genius of software animation programming, a triggered Remix feature spurs the random shuffling of reels or symbols, adding extra excitement and rewarding possibilities. Drag ‘n’ Drop capability brings greater interaction between player and game by allowing the player to choose and position key elements of games. Win Your Way is a masterpiece of complex mathematics that puts the player firmly in control of their playing experience. ALSO ON THE STAND : The company’s ICE line-up will also feature a number of new titles developed for Aristocrat’s existing standalone games categories, notably Stuntman Sam a new Bonus Bank concept sporting a bespoke feature top box housing a portrait 32-inch LCD display - as well as two new standalone progressive games with Power Pay jackpots, Temple of Moolah and Wild Romans and the double standalone progressive Emperor Penguin.

Generation gain brings new edge to PromoNet offering the highest quality, eye-catching PRODUCT NAME: GEN3 Evolution PRODUCT TYPE : Thermal Ticket and promotional coupons, more than double Coupon Printer

the ticket capacity, with room for 450

tickets in less than 3 inches of vertical MANUFACTUREr: FutureLogic space (the standard height of all TITO BOOTH NUMBER: 4160 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION : The GEN3 printers), the GEN3 Evolution printer can Evolution printer leverages the latest printing and communications technologies, effectively future-proofing them for this rapidly evolving market. It is the first thermal ticket and coupon printer with integrated and separate processing environments for TITO and promotional couponing. The GEN3 Evolution printer offers features and benefits superior to any gaming printer available today, including optional On-Board Promotional System Module, unique processing architecture creates a separate and secure environment for printing tickets and coupons. Direct System Connection over TCP/IP System connections are easy and reliable over an Ethernet interface, photographic-quality printing. The only Advanced Graphics Printing (AGP) technology in gaming

save operators over 30 refills or $300 per year per game, fastest printer in gaming. The printer’s unmatched print speed of 8 inches per second prints a ticket in under a second. It also claims to have the largest Memory Storage Capacity. An expansion card provides 32 GB for additional fonts, promotional databases, clip art and logos. SPECIAL FEATURES: The GEN3 Evolution printer’s TITO game ports include USB 2.0 (GSA, GDS, SPC/IGT, SBG), RS232 and NetPlex. Promotional ports include Ethernet, USB 2.0 and RS-232. ALSO ON THE STAND: Futurelogic will also show its Intelligent Promotional Couponing Solution, PromoNet, the GEN 2 printer and the revolutionary TableXchange device which allows players to use TITO tickets at table games.

CTC delivers e-poker tables

Suzo Happ brings Flip card to ICE

PRODUCT NAME: Club Master PRODUCT TYPE : Electronic Texas

PRODUCT NAME: Flip Card PRODUCT TYPE: Card Flipping Device MANUFACTURER: Suzo Happ BOOTH NUMBER: 4150 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION : Live poker is

Hold’em Poker Table

MANUFACTURER: CTC Holdings Booth number: 3315

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION : CTC Holdings has started manufacturing electronic Texas Hold’em poker tables. The software has developed by DGL PRO srl. The new table will be sold under the brand name of Club Master. This stand-alone table has casino design and it is fitted with eight players’ stations and eight bill acceptors. The Club Master electronic poker table supports two game modes: cash games and poker tournaments. The built-in Table Administration Utility is a powerful management tool for customising game settings and monitoring game history. CTC’s Club Master electronic poker table combines accuracy and rapid pace of online play with the competitive feeling of a live poker. ALSO ON THE STAND: Also new for CTC will be an update to the Casino Media 66 January 2011 • icepreview

System which has been fitted with WI-FI capability. Using WI-FI local network it is possible to create up to 100 groups of monitors that can be operated from one central server computer. In addition to still images, it is possible to show video in different formats. A user friendly interface allows changing and uploading information to be quick and easy. The CTC TFT flat screen roulette winning number displays will be on display with upgrades to its laser and video readers. The new slim but powerful processor block has been integrated into display casing.

individually. Manufacturers can choose to drive the cards via the host or via the SuzoHapp control board. ALSO ON THE STAND: Suzo Happ will also be showing the Hopper Flow from Suzo Happ growing in popularity and so in importance to which is the perfect solution when multithe gaming industry. Suzo Happ has denomination coin pay-out is required, responded by developing the ideal way to alongside its range of push buttons and the flip cards. The new Flip Card Unit comes in RGB slot machine handle.The strength in two standard sizes to ensure machine flexi- depth of the Suzo Happ portfolio is reflected bility (thus holding either 60 or 72 cards). in the topper range. The depth of innovative Security is key as the Flip Card Unit is solutions covers LCD, video, disc and reel toppers. The latest designed to note movement detecrange of toppers can tion. Furthermore, there are three be integrated into the motor steps for each game play and thus card. A separate provide slot machine mounting cradle manufacturers a ensures optimal further gaming level. machine assembly Suzo Happ also repand allows very easy resents a number of access for mainteindustry-leading nance purposes. The component manuunits can be stacked facturers including together (as they are ELO Touchscreens, interlocking at the top FutureLogic and MEI. and bottom) or mounted


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Advansys takes Scanner expertise to tables

Cash Fever is back just hotter and wilder PRODUCT NAME: Cash Fever Hot and Wild

PRODUCT TYPE: Multi-Level Progreswager.

sive

ALSO ON THE STAND: Atronic will also MANUFACTURER: Atronic show diversity, its multigame product BOOTH NUMBER: 3015 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: After his very featuring brand-new as well as topfirst appearance at ICE 2004, Dr Cash returns on the new Cash Fever Hot and Wild multi-level progressive link, based on the widely popular Cash Fever link and featuring four jackpots, exciting new features, and even more bonus action. This time the Doctor has an accomplice, the lovely Miss Fever, who helps him heat up the jackpot thermometer and send it soaring to the top progressive award. The Oxygen cabinet’s top wide screen shows the jackpot meter so players can follow the rising mercury during Hot and Wild bonus games. By activating the Bonus Bet, players can double their chances of entering the Cash Fever Bonus during each and every

totally gaming

ranking Atronic games. In addition to the three existing game suites - Brilliant Blue, Pure Purple, and Royal Red, Atronic will launch its fourth suite of games, Amazing Amber. diversity allows players to select their preferred game types with different volatility levels. Atronic will also be showing the latest in its Stargate SG1 range, Master Roulette and a comprehensive range of new core games will be presented on the new Oxygen cabinet. Games like Sphinx Wild Goldify, Poseidon, Volcano Bay, Gypsy Magic, Princess of the Amazon 2. On the the e² cabinet, the multi-level progressive link Magic 5’s, featuring no less than eight progressive levels, will also be showcased.

tion that works in real life,’ says the PRODUCT NAME: FloorScanner PRODUCT TYPE: Casino Management company. ALSO ON THE STAND: Advansys will System again be showing its SlotScanner which MANUFACTURER: Advansys continues its success in South America, BOOTH NUMBER: 3370 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION : Advansys SlotScanner’s Mystery Jackpot will present FloorScanner Casino Management System with all available modules for slots and tables at London ICE 2011. There is more than just Accounting & Cage and Player Rating functionality for live games. TableScanner and proven slot management system SlotScanner are seamlessly integrated into one Casino Management System called FloorScanner. In fact, Advansys’ highly experienced development team designed the unique databases for both slots and live games. Blending the Accounting & Cage functionality of the whole casino floor is intuitive with players earning bonus points on both, slots and tables. ‘There are at least a dozen benefits of such a solution, and just a few system manufacturers offer such an integrated solu-

modules are installed on more than 30 locations throughout Peru. In Europe Advansys pays special attention on markets, where on–line systems are required by law. This is the case in Croatia, where the on-line system is mandatory for both casinos and slot halls from the beginning of 2011. Advansys has obtained the BMM and SIQ certificates for these markets.

www.gamesman.co.uk January 2011 • icepreview

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internationalcasinoreview New CFO for Olympic

Business NEWS

The Greek debt crisis has been particularly hard on Queenco, where the austere environment has really pushed down revenues at Loutraki and Rodos, and its casino in Bucharest is suffering too. Only Serbia is showing any growth.

http://www.igt.com/ itsgotime

The Palace Casino in the Romanian capital Bucharest (83.3 per cent interest) saw GGR tumble 35.9 per cent to E8.4m, and net revenues go down 40.6 per cent to E7.3m. Visits in the nine months were down 8.6 per cent to 74,000. Only Casino Beograd in the Serbian capital (in which QLI holds a 34.6 per cent interest through Loutraki) saw any positive signs with GGR up 1.3 per cent to E7.9m, although net revCasino Rodos, in which Queenco enues were down 1.4 per has an almost 92 per cent share, cent to E7.1m.Nevertheless, still brings in the highest spend visitor numbers were up a per visit of Queenco’s casino healthy 6.9 per cent to interests despite a 13 per cent fall 217,000. Win per visit dropped across the board: by 14.2 per cent in Loutraki to E157; by enues and ancillary sales during 2011.” Club Hotel Casino 12.6 per cent in Rhodes to have been impacted…Visit numbers remain compara- Loutraki, of which QLI holds E174; by 29.8 per cent in tively high and consistent 38.5 per cent, saw a fall in Bucharest to E81; and by 7.7 with the previous period, GGR of 19.6 per cent in the per cent in Belgrade to E36. Koppel said: “The group and as we have said before nine months to E124.9, with we believe this is critical to net revenues down 19.2 per remains positive about our positioning the group for cent to E86.5m. Visits were strategy of maintaining cuswhen the market improves. down 6.6 per cent to tomer levels…We are committed to reducing To counteract the current 794,000. Casino Rodos, 91.6 per operating costs at each of market environment, the group has adopted a new cent owned by QLI, saw our operations and will only efficiency programme, gaming revenues fall 11.9 make strategic investments which has reduced staff and per cent to E21.4m, with net on a selective basis when costs throughout the group. revenues down 10.4 per the group the can be satisWe anticipate seeing the cent to E15.5m. Visits rose fied that the timing and costs are right.” benefits of these actions by 1,000 to 123,000.

Queenco sees revenues slump in third quarter

fallingoff QUEENCO LEISURE INTERNATIONAL

In the three months to the end of September, Israelibacked firm Queenco Leisure International (QLI) saw revenues fall almost 16 per cent to E24.2m with higher costs leading to an operating loss of E1.8m, overturning a E2.8m profit from the same period a year ago. In the year to date, revenues were down 17 per cent to E71.9m generating an operating loss for the nine months of E10.5m, from an operating profit the previ-

SECTION SPONSOR

Baltic casino operator Olympic Entertainment Group has appointed a new CFO and member of the management board. Madis Jääger, who takes up his post on December 20, joins OEG from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he is a senior auditor. Aged 30, he replaces Kristi Ojakäär, who is leaving after almost six years with the company, three-and-a-half of which were as CFO.

ous year of E4.2m. The company’s net loss in the quarter was E4.5m, from a E1.6m profit a year earlier, and in the nine-months a net loss of E15.9m, from E1.1m loss in 2009. The figure is already larger than the loss of E9.2m recorded for the full year 2009. CEO Itay Koppel said: “Greece in particular remains a very challenging market, as the economic crisis continues to impact our customers’ spending habits…Gross gaming rev-

Casinos still lead the Rank revival growinggrosvenor RANK GROUP

In a trading update prior to the release of its third quarter figures, the Rank Group has announced that its total revenue growth in the first 49 weeks of the calendar year were up seven per cent on 2009, with strong revenue growth from Grosvenor Casinos of ten per cent now the cornerstone of its operations. Grosvenor has been undertaking a continuing programme to convert appropriate venues within its property portfolio into the G Casino brand, a more relaxed style of gaming that has proven its value and success the moment it was launched.

The number of customer visits in weeks 1-49 were up 13 per cent on the year previously, which more than offset a slight softening of two per cent in spend per visit. The company said:“We have continued to invest in the enhancement and expansion of our casinos estate. [We have recently relaunched] our Birmingham casino following its conversion to the successful G Casino format. With 13 G Casinos now trading and two additional conversions due in early 2011, we remain on track to achieve our target of 20 G Casinos by the end of 2012. In addition, we will open a small electronic casino in Liverpool [in December], taking our total number of casinos in Britain to 36.” Rank is trying an analogous

makeover in its Mecca Bingo division, where six clubs are now in the Full House format. It will examine the results before rolling it out any further. Nevertheless, after a long and difficult period for bingo, the company has reported a three per cent uplift in revenues.There were also increases in its much smaller other divisions, Top Rank España (two per cent) and Rank Interactive (13 per cent).

On fire: the G Casino brand continues to light the way for the rest of the group

Rank’s share price continues to improve currently nearing around 140p: two years ago or so it hit a rock bottom price of 51p - five years ago the price was above 430p, so there is still some way to go.

Tough half for SBM as profits fall 77 per cent breakingthebank SBM

Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), which operates casinos and hotels in Monaco, has reported first half revenues down ten per cent on the previous year. In the six months to the end of September, it generated total revenues of E217.4m, with gaming contributing E88.5m, down 28.4 per cent. “This negative trend is mainly borne by the table gaming sector due to particularly poor luck,” the company said. It added: “The gaming machine area remains very badly affected by the smoking ban inside the venues.” The table games saw gross revenues fall 45 per cent to E37.7m with the socalled ‘American games’ of blackjack, poker, craps, Casino War and American roulette taking the biggest hits especially at the Sun Casino. However, it was working against a strong comparison period, after record returns last year. Revenues from the slot machines fell by 7.6 per cent to E50.8m, “this despite an investment policy that remains dynamic and regular introduction of new games to the guests.” The company generated a net profit of E9.3m in the first half, down 77 per cent from last year’s figures. Included in that is a charge of E13.2m relating to an associated French company Mangas Gaming. Even without it, SBM still experienced a hefty loss.

http://www.igt.com/itsgotime

www.igt.com/sbx

68 January 2011 • businessnews


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FREE ticket registration for the world’s leading betting & gaming show at www.icetotallygaming.com earls court, london | 25th - 27th january 2011

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ICE set to stimulate the market as industry converges on London coming to London with a bit more confidence and more of a spring in their step than On the back of a successful they have in recent years. Of G2E the industry’s focus course the market is still now switches to the smaller tough there’s no doubt - 400 exhibitors compared denying it but the feeling is to G2E’s 520 - but much that ICE with its symbolic more international ICE. The slot at the beginning of the fact that ICE attracts year could kick start 2011.” exhibitors from 54 coun- She added: There’s over 50 tries - more than twice those exhibitors showing in represented at G2E - makes London for the first time it a much more accurate bell which in itself is an encourwether for the business and aging sign.” The optimistic outlook the signs from both exhibitors and visitors was echoed by Jens Halle, remain cautiously positive. managing director AGI, who ICE show director Kate set the tone for the upcomChambers, who has intro- ing ICETotally Gaming event duced a programme of by stating: “The present regular attitudinal sound- weather in the UK may be ings with stakeholders as extremely cold but the part of the root and branch climate of anticipation for review of the show’s market ICE is red hot!” Recent intelligence said:“Whilst no events regarding trade one is hanging out the flags shows he said proved, “that the signs are that the casino the industry can put aside operators we’ve been its inter-company issues and engaging with will be come together to act in the londoncalling ICE 2011

ment in ICE 2011 where it will be taking its biggest ever stand presence at a gaming expo said:“It’s very difficult to be precise about the value of the business generated by the major exhibitions such as ICE and G2E. Of course many of the exhibitors go to ICE with sales targets to achieve and measure their success by the size of the order book. For us it’s slightly different in so far as it’s a relationship building opportunity and the commercial benefits may not become apparent for many months if indeed ever. Having said that and taking a broad view of the process I think you could wider interests of global clearly must all act together ing that January will track the majority of our gaming. AGI is at ‘full speed to nurture and grow the produce what everyone annual sales back to a relaahead’ to ensure that our coming economic recovery hopes will be, and what the tionship or contact started customers and business that we have already pre- industry both deserves and at ICE. Of course the casino industry could survive partners will enjoy a great dicted. It is sure that Novo- needs; the best ICE ever.” Mark Smith, whose without the major exhibiICE experience.” Referring matic will be playing a to the broader trading envi- significant part in this company Gamesman has tions but I think it would be ronment he asserted: “We process: starting by ensur- made a considerable invest- in a poorer state of health.”

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January 2011 • businessnews

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CR99-p71-business3:SJC-Casino Review

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internationalcasinoreview Not time for IPO Harrah’s private equity owners withdrew their partial IPO plans in November after it became apparent they wouldn’t achieve the price they had either hoped for or expected. Investors are believed to have been shy of the offer because of vast amount of debt being carried by the company and the still less-than-vigorous state of the casino gaming sector.

Business NEWS

Isle of Capri running to stand still

Manufacturers’ stock index tips downwards bumpingalong AGEM INDEX

With high debt interest payments more than wiping out its profits, Isle of Capri needs to generate more revenues rather than simply retain what it has and hammer down the costs. It will have that opportunity at least with the award of a new licence in Missouri. newhorizons ISLE OF CAPRI CASINOS

Having been on the watch list a few years ago after its ill-fated adventures abroad, Isle of Capri’s retrenchment and uninhibited cost cutting has helped it to get through the tough times - so far at least. Its second quarter and first half gaming and net revenues were about flat. In Q2 the 15 venues, all but one full casinos, generated GGR of $254m (E189.5m) ahead 1.2 per cent of last year. In H1 GGR was completely flat at $513.8m (E383.3m). Net revenues told a similar story with Q2 f lat at $246.6m (E184m), and H1 just one per cent softer at $498.6m (E371.9m).

As has been its intention in the last two years, the company pushed down its costs, achieving a 2.5 per cent reduction in Q2 alone and 2.6 per cent in H1. However, the interest charges on its $1.25bn (E932.5m) debt are continuing to put a significant strain on the bottom line. Last year’s modest second quarter profit of $1.6m (E1.2m) turned over to a $1m (E746,000) loss, while for the first half, last year’s $2.5m (E1.9m) net profit became a $3.7m (E2.7m) loss in 2010. President and CEO Virginia McDowell said: “We have posted improved operating results on a year-overyear basis because of a solid operating plan… I want to thank all our team members for saying focused an improve out business as we bump along the bottom of this economic cycle.” CFO Dale Black added: “While we have recently seen positive signs in certain economic indicators and hope this positive news will

James Perry, chairman of Isle of Capri, is hoping to build on the company’s success in obtaining the last Missouri licence by winning the last Pennsylvania resort licence

continue, we believe that discretionary consumer spending could continued to lag these trends.” Having contracted somewhat, the company is now, despite its debt, taking steps now to expand it once again. “We are excited that out efforts to pursue prudent development opportunities have delivered positive results,”said chairman James Perry. “[Recently] the Missouri Gaming Commission

announced that our proposal, Isle Casino Cape Girardeau,has been selected for prioritisation for the 13th and final gaming licence in the state…We anticipate opening [the venue] by the end of 2012.” He continued: “In Pennsylvania, the Gaming Board has indicated that it will [soon] announce its selection for the final resort casino licence… We are confident that we have submitted a proposal together with Nemacolin Woodlands Resort that will provide maximum benefits to the Commonwealth in terms of both tourism impact and new tax revenue.”

While modest stock price gains were witnessed in the majority of global gaming suppliers during November, the AGEM Index tipped downward as a result of negative movement on a few manufacturers whose stocks are traded on exchanges outside the US. The index of 17 global gaming suppliers declined by 3.45 points, or 3.48 per cent, to 95.75. For more than six months, the index has hovered within a tight range, struggling to return to its 100plus point levels, which were observed for nearly a year prior to the current slump. Compared to a year ago, the index remains down 8.6 per cent. The latest operating results from global gaming suppliers reflect a continuing uncertainty and lower levels of demand for products and services. Suppliers such IGT recently wrote that demand has been “negatively affected by global macroeconomic factors” and Bally said it con-

tinues to operate “in a challenging economic environment”. These trends are likely to continue in the near term. Bally added 1.06 points to the index in November, with a stock price increase of 8.56 percent and Konami posted a 6.27-per cent gain in its stock valuation, contributing 0.92 points to the index. However, Lottomatica with its stock price dropping 21.08 per cent, saw 3.16 points taken from the index. Aristocrat’s 25.93-per cent decline in stock price took another 2.12 points away. In the US, still overall the world’s biggest gaming market, some new-builds are being considered or announced, including a state-owned casino in Wichita, Kansas and the last resort licence for Pennsylvania. The New Jersey legislature has passed a bill permitting boutique casinos to be built in Atlantic, which if signed by the Governor could create a new kind of market there. Missouri has announced that Isle of Capri has won the last licence there.

Profits warning from Aristocrat USblues

A$85m (E63m) previously predicted. The company said that the key factors were, “a further contraction in the US market, particularly in the third quarter, with year-todate demand down more than 15 per cent on 2009.” It said the situation was driven by continued weak economic con-

ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES

Australian slot manufacturer Aristocrat said in a trading statement in November that it expects to report an operating profit after tax in the range of A$50-A$60m (E37E45m) in the year to the end of December, much less than the

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ditions, highly constrained capital spending by operators and a significant reduction in new openings. It also blamed weak earnings in the Australian market in the second half, due to the limited availability of new product to match demand and continued poor earnings in Japan.All was compounded by the

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relative strengthening of the Australian dollar. It concluded:“[We] expect that growth momentum in key jurisdictions is unlikely to build materially before 2012…Aristocrat will continue to focus on positioning the business to take full advantage of opportunities as market conditions improve.”

Opinions expressed in this publication should not be regarded as the official view of Gaming Business Media LLP, except where stated. Views, opinions and recommendations contained in this publication are put forward for consideration only. No action should be taken in reliance upon any such views, opinions or recommendations. Neither Gaming Business Media LLP nor contributors accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person howsoever caused or arising as a result of or in consequence of action taken or refrained from in realiance on the contents of this publication. Notes for contributors The Editorial Board welcomes the submission of articles for consideration by the editor with a view to publication. Articles submitted will not be returned and accordingly contributors making submissions should retain copies. Submission of an article will be held to imply that the article contains original unpublished work which Gaming Business Media LLP may lawfully publish. All submissions are made at the owner’s risk. © Gaming Business Media LLP 2010 All rights strictly reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission is given, full acknowledgement of author, publisher and source must be given.

January 2011 • businessnews

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