Volume 14 Issue 115
The Baltic Tiger
Olympic Entertainment Group
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Editor’s page Welcome to Casino Life...
... and to our ICE issue which features a cornucopia of casino content and Olympic Entertainment Group in particular - and with good reason. Whose dealer won the European Dealer Championship 2017? Who is celebrating their 25th Anniversary? Hats off to Armin Karu and his team – may the celebrations continue. Our Guest Comment slot is hosted by Per Jaldung, again no stranger to the magazine, who lists the ECA achievements and looks forward to meeting many of you at the Casino Conference jointly staged with Clarion at ICE. Back to this issue and we preview some of the highlights at ICE but not before Peter White interviews Richard Noble COO at Aspers who outlines the phenomenal continued appeal of the group and reveals the discount for ICE visitors at the Westfield Casino. Throughout this issue we feature all the London Club offers and hope you’ll take them up after the show. Elsewhere, The National Casino Forum launches the UK dealer championship, Bob Ambrose gazes into his crystal ball to look at the future for Atlantic City whilst we profile three ascendant stars - Transact, ISMS and DRGT Have a great show – see you in London!
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5 Guest Comment Per Jaldung, Chairman, European Casino Association 6 The Baltic Tiger Olympic Entertainment expands in Europe Interview By: David McKee 19 Stunningly Different Richard Noble, Chief Operating Officer at Aspers Group. By: Peter White 29 National Casino Forum launches contest to find UK’s top dealer Come and support the nation’s finest croupiers as they vie for 2018 crown and the chance to represent UK at European Dealer Championships 32 Japan: The Big One Market Report by Warwick Bartlett, CEO, Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC) 34 A Sporting Tax Impact of a 1% Tax on Sports Betting By: Prof I. Nelson Rose 39 Printer solutions for every gaming application Glyn Thomas chats to Robert Denham, VP Sales and Product Management Europe, TransAct® Technologies 45 We’ll exceed your expectations not your budget Sam Arnold, CEO, ISMS. Interview by: Peter White 48 Les Ambassadeurs Club Selects Vizexplorer The exclusive gaming operation is VizExplorer’s first UK customer 49 Atlantic City is becoming Interesting again Robert Ambrose looks to the future 51 Not everyone is going to like you By: Mark Wayman 52 Preview of ICE 2018 By Rebecca Green Editorial Policy: The views and opinions expressed in Casino Life remain principally the views of contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. The publishers wish to avoid inaccuracies and, whilst every precaution has been taken to ensure that information contained in this publication is accurate, no liability is accepted by the editor or publishers for errors or omissions, however caused. Unless otherwise stated, articles appearing in this publication remain the copyright of the publishers and may not be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s written consent. Printed in the UK by MPC Ltd.
Guest Comment: Per Jaldung
s we come together for ICE 2018, it is an ideal time to look back at a successful year for the ECA with many exciting events and activities. The European Dealer Championship at the Hippodrome Casino in London, for instance, which we organised together with our UK member, the UK National Casino Forum, or the ECA summer meeting at Resort & Casino Maestral in Montenegro were highlights during 2017. It was a great recognition to see the winner of the championship, Antra Gaike from Olympic Voodoo Casino in Latvia on the cover of Casino Life. The croupiers that compete to be crowned Europeâ€™s best dealer are the core of our industry and we are proud to offer them a platform to showcase their incredible skill and talent. Overall, the European Dealer Championship is a great opportunity to celebrate and promote the landbased casino industry that we thoroughly enjoy and look forward to. We were also delighted to welcome some great new partners to our association alongside our existing partners and event sponsors. For us, it is crucial to have this support and be connected within our industry to work together towards a prosperous future. We are making positive steps on some key issues for our industry, such as promoting and defending our industry at EU level and beyond. We are active on a wide range of issues, such as data protection, responsible gambling, anti-money laundering and supporting policy-makers to combat illegal gambling in all its forms. In line with our membership of the UN Global Compact, which we joined as the worldâ€™s first gambling association in 2015, we will also promote and support increased gender diversity in the land-based casino industry together with our members and partners. We will continue this work in 2018 among many more exciting events coming up. In May, we will return to Montenegro for the European Dealer Championship at Resort & Casino Maestral and just one month
Per Jaldung, ECA chairman
later join our newest member in Monaco for the ECA summer meeting in Monte Carlo. Looking to this yearâ€™s ICE, it is once again showing itself to be the foremost event for our industry with many exciting and innovative products to be discovered at the show. It is a great opportunity to see the key trends for our industry first-hand and at the same time meet industry colleagues and friends to discuss the challenges and opportunities we face. The International Casino Conference that we jointly organise with Clarion will again be a fantastic forum for these discussions to better understand the challenges and opportunities for our industry. Per Jaldung ECA chairman
The Baltic Tiger Olympic Entertainment expands in Europe By: David McKee
uring our interview with Armin Karu Chairman and Founder of Olympic Entertainment Group we were joined by CEO Madis Jääger, who kindly shared some of his insights and perspectives on the company that is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. According to Karu, one needs to emphasize that private business, ie capitalism, was legalized in Estonia, then part of the Soviet Union, only 30 years ago. In 1988, Estonia’s first commercial bank opened for business and the first limited liability companies were established. From the former Communist country which at the end of 1980s handed out food coupons and allowed car owners to buy only 50 litres of petrol in a month, Estonia has become a textbook example of successful transformation of a former Eastern Bloc country, and just ended its first ever EU presidency. What was the situation in the early 1990s in Estonia, and how did you come up with the idea to start a casino business under these conditions? The changes have been so profound and fast that I have struggled to explain to my acquaintances in America or Western Europe how different are both Olympic and Estonia’s social and business environment today than what they were back then. For example, in the early 1990s, there were a dozen stores in communist Estonia that sold goods for foreign currency and a public official with a university degree earning 180 rubles a month – as much as one paid for a T-shirt with the picture of Mickey Mouse on the black market. At that time one US dollar cost about 20 to 40 rubles. At the beginning of 1992, Estonia and the rapidly disintegrating Soviet Union were suffering under food shortages. Since the border with Russia was not controlled, the Estonian government introduced food rations and checked that people departing Estonia had no more than one bread, 10 eggs and 200 grams of sugar with them. What kind of poverty-led micro-management was that! Meanwhile, things were starting to change. My idea began to emerge in 1991, when I was on my first trip to the US. In August when the Soviet Union collapsed in a failed coup attempt I was in Las Vegas, and what I saw made a huge impression on me. For someone coming from the greyness and poverty
Official opening ceremony of Hilton Tallinn Park (from left): General Manager of Olympic Park Casino Mr. Heikki Rinta-Panttila, Chairman of the Board of OEG Mr. Armin Karu, Senior Vice President and Commercial Director of Hilton EMEA Mrs. Patricia Page-Champion, President of Estonia His Excellency Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Mrs. Ieva Ilves, General Manager of Hilton Tallinn Park Mr. Daniel Habersatter. At the back: superstar Kerli Kõiv, the first Estonian singer-songwriter to reach the Billboard chart in the USA.
of the Soviet Union, where entertainment was essentially banned in many spheres of life, the contrast with Las Vegas was immense. One can say that I fell in love with this world and business idea, because it seemed so new, unprecedented and full of possibilities. Also people in the Soviet Union and in Estonia played cards with each other – and also for money. But all this was done at home behind closed doors and away from the public eye. In spite of that, and inspired by what I saw in Vegas, I started preparations to open my own casino in Estonia. What were your principles in building your first casino? Of course, every start is hard and according to today’s standards, there were no conditions to set up such a business. For example, VISA issued its first credit card in Estonia only in May 1994. In the same autumn, the last Russian military units left Estonia, which
BEFORE AND AFTER: The second Olympic Casino was opened in 1994 at a hotel that was called Kungla at the time. Three years later the building was rebranded as Reval Park Hotel & Casino until in was demolished in 2013 to make room for the first Hilton in the Baltic countries and the new flagship Olympic Casino that were opened together in 2016.
marked the end of the Soviet occupation. Half-jokingly, for many Westerners, there was no civilization in Estonia before April 1995 when the first McDonald’s restaurant opened its doors in Tallinn. In launching Olympic Casino on the market we wanted to do it right, so the first casino took about two years to open. At that time, Estonia was going through the usual development phase as a transition country – there was a period when the whole country was flooded with slotmachines and tables, and without any national regulation. Each store and café had a couple of slots while every bar or pub operated blackjack tables. Needless to say, the quality of the service was extremely poor. This convinced us that, from the start, the priority for us was quality. My principle has always been to invest big and bold, using the most modern technology available. In this respect, we
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Olympic Park Casino â€“ Tallinn, Estonia
Best Land-based Casino Operator award for 2013 by Totally Gaming Awards
stood out from the competition because unlike the competitors, we did not import from the West to Estonia and other Eastern block countries outdated second-hand or third-hand technology which in the gaming sector was mostly old slot machines and
tables. In Olympic Casino, we wanted to be very good at everything that we did from the very start, in contrast to the Soviet-era environment. Right from the start it was clear that quality has its price and those who want a service that is both cheap and good must buy two things - one cheap and the other good. In Christmas 1993 we opened Olympic Casino in Tallinn Olympic Yachting Center, built specially for the the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. After Estonia regained independence, the complex operated as a large hotel and seat of the Estonian Olympic Committee and offices of many sports associations. Office tenants of this fast-growing business center were many foreign-owned companies that were being set up. There was so much vibe and energy, passion and fun, most of which also characterized our company, that we decided to name our company after it: Olympic Casino. This is also the reason why OEG is today one of the major sponsors of the Estonian Olympic Committee and itâ€™s Olympic team.
Casino Malta by Olympic Casino opened in 2016
Is there a secret ingredient in your recipe for success that made it possible to expand the business to new markets? The business grew very fast and thanks to our commitment to quality and business philosophy we managed to become market leader in these hectic times. The fact that from the very outset we set a high bar for quality allowed us to refine our business model and solutions, giving us courage to export the same model by successfully expanding to other countries. Also very important for our growth and expansion is that being a key player â€“ often a pioneer in all of our markets â€“ we have always kept our focus on the principles of responsible gaming by introducing selfexclusion and other support programs. In fact, since the new Millennium, our biggest success stories have been the expansion to neighboring countries Latvia and Lithuania. Success in Latvia and Lithuania brought us international acclaim, and Olympic Casino became known as the player in Eastern European markets and the Baltic Tiger already 10 years ago. But we have kept moving
and today our latest markets are on the other side of Europe, namely in Italy and Malta. Our entertainment model is working and enables us to operate as the owner, the developer and the lessee. In Estonia, for example, we are now also in the hotel business and own the Balticsâ€™ first Hilton which in my opinion is one of the top Hilton hotels in the whole of Europe. The abundance of working business models and formats is our strength and allows us to be very mobile. We can make important expansion decisions very quickly. In order to keep developing, remain alert and continue to finance our successful expansions, Olympic Entertainment Group was listed in the main list of Tallinn Nasdaq OMX Stock Exchange in 2006. This step enhanced the reputation of our casinos and the credibility of Olympic Casino among all of Estonian society as well as the regulators of different countries. The fact that Nasdaq OMX and international investors accepted us as a transparent and honest company has opened many new doors and made it easier for us to enter new markets as well.
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Grand Opening of Casino Malta by Olympic Casino: Prime Minister of Malta Mr Joseph Muscat, with Mrs Michelle Muscat (in the middle), surrounded by Kevin De Cesare, Managing Director of Maltese partner Eden Leisure Group, Armin Karu, Chairman of the Board of OEG, and Madis Jääger, CEO of OEG
You have always said that it was Olympic Casino that brought the Las Vegas type of entertainment to Europe. Where does it manifest itself? Our business concept has been another key factor in the success of the Olympic Casino. In Old Europe, the thinking was that slots and gaming tables should be strictly separated from each other as two totally different things. Our model that brought us success in our flagship casinos in the Baltics, was that we put them all together on one floor - all in one big integrated environment where the client has gaming tables, slots, a top-notch bar, entertainment and live performances. Preferably also a decent restaurant. Later we added open poker. Unlike most of our competitors, we entered online gaming as soon as the legislative regulation allowed it, and now operate a chain of sports bars for sports betting and viewing. Among today’s European casino companies, Olympic Casino has definitely shown the way to achieving good synergy between online and landbase games. The mobility, speed and availability of online gaming on the one hand, and the traditional trustedness of the landbase on the
other hand are the two sides of casino business that combine the two concepts together. This competitive advantage is our foundation for further expansion. It’s much easier to launch online gaming in new markets when you already have an established landbase brand. It’s like a guarantee for clients. How have you managed to become known as one of most innovative companies among world-famous casino operators? Although it may sound like a self-evident slogan, but for me the key to the success of the Olympic Casino is our focus on quality. Immediately at the start of our activities, Olympic Casino was certified for ISO quality standards to ensure world-class quality management. This has to do both with our history, and the environment where we come from. To be successful internationally, we had to push the pendulum to the other end and do everything as well as humanly possible. In terms of gaming technology, we began to invest heavily in new slot machines and information systems. In 2003 Olympic Casino was the first casino
in Europe to install a modern, cash-free gaming system EZ Pay. We have always emphasized that it’s not only our games and the gaming technology that are top notch, but the whole environment and entertainment experience. One of our dealers has held a Guinness World Record for over a decade and our cocktail bars are the best of the best: a bartender of an Olympic Casino is a multiple world champion, while European Casino Association named one of our employees European Dealer of the Year, etc. Not to mention the best live performers and new entertainment formats, such as the regular Secret Nightclub, where for one night our flagship casino turns into a pop-up nightclub. This new approach helps us to attract the younger generation and people who are not yet clients of Olympic Casino. The result of these focused efforts is that Tallinn was already named one of the best poker cities in Europe several years ago. We have made great contribution to hosting several international poker festivals every year, and have made Tallinn famous as the poker capital of Northern Europe and Baltic countries, attracting thousands of poker players to the town. At the start of the interview you talked about your long way to success and how you managed to successfully run your company on the wave of profound social and economic changes. What lies ahead and what are the bigger challenges facing OEG today? Estonia’s economy has been developing hand in hand with that of the common European economic area, creating the preconditions for growth. Estonia’s accession to the European Union in the spring 2004 and the transition to the Euro at the beginning of 2011 have simplified management of our cross-border operations. I would say that being successful generates more success - we have been well capitalized for many years and are constantly weighing new business opportunities. In recent years, for example, we have made some smaller mergers and acquisitions in Latvia. I don’t exaggerate when I say that, on average, at any given moment we are contemplating possible entry into 4-5 new markets. The key is how to take advantage and bring our unique experience to the new markets with the integration of knowhow and customer base of landbased and online gaming.
OlyBet, the online brand of the company, is the clear market leader in the Baltic countries and a major supporter of sports in the region
Giving the name for the whole company, the very first Olympic Casino was opened at the Tallinn Olympic Yachting Centre in 1993
With a quarter of a century behind you, where would you like Olympic Casino to be at its 50th anniversary? 25 years ago we did not yet dare to dream so big, but we are fast learners. The world is changing so quickly that the next 25 years will be definitely much more eventful than the previous period. I remember that the show where we celebrated our 10th anniversary included a sci-fi scene in which Olympic Casino had turned 50 and had just opened its first casino on the Moon. It remains to be seen, but in any case, we aim for the stars!
Madis Jääger CEO Olympic Entertainment Group
Madis Jääger CEO
CRM part of company culture, values/DNA Understandably, all serious operators on the market want to offer the most versatile and advanced games for customers that the suppliers offer today. In this regard, it is difficult if not possible for any one operator to get a significant competitive advantage. The competitive edge comes from knowing the market, understanding customer needs and offering best customer experience. It is difficult if not impossible to get a significant competitive advantage without BI solutions and customer experience management It includes managing all phases in customer journey from defining the needs, making relevant offers, considering customer preferences and offering gaming solutions considering customer habits. Ideally for a completely personalized game of play, all your data is linked to a single customer view so that the customer can use all solutions anywhere Olympic is operating, from Estonia to Malta land-base or even online. One of the challenges facing us today is how to make sure that the excellent gaming and service experience Olympic land-base customer values today, will be equally appealing in online. A successful example of this kind of synergy is how online poker organizers hold land-base
tournaments to offer their talents with genuine and immediate experience. Creating a similar synergy across different gaming is possible and it’s our big goal. Basically, today’s technology already makes it possible for the customer to play the favourite slots and later continues exactly the same game at home on the computer, picking up from where the customer left the game.
Olympic Entertainment Group in numbers • No 1 casino operator in Baltic countries • First casino opened in Estonia in 1993 • 117 land-based casinos, 28 sports-betting shops in 6 countries • 4,067 slot machines, 116 electronic roulette terminals, 167 gaming tables and 66 poker tournament tables • More than 3000 employees • Online casino services since 2010 • Shares listed on NASDAQ OMX Tallinn Stock Exchange • Market Capitalization EUR 280 million • Net sales 2017E 209 EURm • EBITDA 2017E 44.5 EURm • EBIT 2017E 33 EURm • Winner of Best Land-based Casino Operator award for 2013 by Totally Gaming Awards
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Stunningly Different Richard Noble, Chief Operating Officer at Aspers Group Limited talks to Peter White
What is Aspers’ policy with regards to Staff Training, Development and Career progression opportunities? All employees have the opportunity to fulfil their potential through structured learning and development. Of course, we have standard training that is delivered across the board so that Aspers exceeds its compliance obligations (KYC/AML/RG for example) and we check that critical knowledge is retained, but we do much more than that.
We believe that it’s important for everyone throughout the business to have training tailored to their individual needs. New starters go on a journey starting with ‘Aspers Check-in’, a two-day company induction which gives them an overview of Aspers and culturally what we are about, what it is like to be in our industry and our expectations of them, which is to provide the best service they can to our guests. This is followed by ‘Prepare for Take-off’, an in-depth
departmental induction where they buddy-up with a colleague and really find out about what their job entails. Along the way, new starters attend regular ‘Passport to Success’ meetings, which gives them an opportunity to discuss their development and training needs during their probationary period. All sites have their own dedicated L&D Officers, who have their own structured learning and development paths. We run everything from senior development programmes for our future GMs, ‘Getting started with…’ programmes for the first-time supervisors and managers, through to providing English classes for employees who don’t have it as their first language. We are fully on-board with the new apprenticeship programmes launched last year and have enrolled staff into facilities management,
food and beverage management, recruitment and general management among others. Another exciting development has been the partnership we have entered into through the East London Vocational Education and Training (ELVET) ‘Innovation through Partnership’ programme. We are in the final stages of completing a partnership with Newham College in the creation and delivery of a recognised qualification framework to support the development and learning for employees on the journey from trainee croupier through to gaming management level. Aspers prides itself on providing opportunity to promote from within wherever possible. A great example of this would be Bea Stevens, the GM of our flagship property in Stratford. Bea joined Aspers Newcastle as a cashier in 2006. She was part of
the Stratford set-up team before we opened the property and now runs the casino! The movement of people between departments and properties is encouraged and where you start with Aspers is no barrier to where you can go on your journey with us. What is your view on gaming industry & innovation? The whole industry is ever evolving, particularly with the growth of digital products. UK casinos have been particularly hampered by legislation inhibiting the opportunity to modernise in line with digital and international competition. We hoped this imbalance would start to be addressed by Government as part of the current DDCMS’s consultation for changes to gaming machines and social responsibility
measures. Despite only requesting modest changes to be considered for our sector, it looks as if the Government wish to maintain the status quo on machine numbers in casinos and don’t wish to consider modernising the product we offer. It’s particularly disappointing as the Gambling Commission had ‘no regulatory concerns’ with our proposed changes. I still hope that the Government will be minded to accept our modest proposals now. Despite the unfair playing field just mentioned, Aspers have continued to innovate and ensure that we remain first class in our field. A recent example is the introduction of a £100,000 jackpot on our Unity II electronic roulette product in Stratford. Brexit does provide opportunities but do you think the Government could do more for this industry so
it can compete better on the World stage from a Gaming Entertainment standpoint? Yes, we need to modernise and offer the types of games available in other jurisdictions and online. Aspers Westfield Stratford City was the first of the new Large Licence casinos to open, 6 years ago. We have created over 650 jobs, entertain over 25,000 guests each week many of whom are tourists or travel long distances to our venue and we have become an integral part of the community. Stratford is an example of an international standard casino and meets the expectations of our guests from home and away. The majority of casinos in the UK don’t have the luxury of the product permitted in a property like Stratford or Milton Keynes. I believe it’s time for the Government to address this imbalance. How is Aspers Casino Online performing? Since our official launch day of 6th October
2017, our online casino has well surpassed our expectations. We see our digital offering as an extension of the retail experience. Our customers trust our brand and are enjoying playing similar games and themes both in our properties and now at home too. We have a full portfolio of games at Aspers.com, including slots and tables, with our key slot providers hosting their games within both our retail and online assets. We introduced a brand-new rewards program just prior to launching Aspers.com. Our guests were invited to join ‘Aspers World’, which not only offers a range of amazing benefits in the retail properties, but also provides a number of exclusive benefits in our online casino too. Is there any way that Westfield Casino could increase its floor space as it’s always packed out? We have expanded our Westfield Stratford City property on a number of occasions since opening
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our doors in 2011. The property is c.6,000 square meters, including all FOH and BOH functions. However, our ceilings are 8m high, so we have the opportunity to build upwards! The 2005 Act Large Licence casinos must have a minimum gaming floor area of 1,500 square meters and a maximum of 3,500 square meters, so there’s a limit to how far we can grow. In time we expect to move a number of BOH functions ‘upstairs’ as we expand the property to meet demand. Westfield also have some exciting plans to expand the retail offering in Stratford and there are new apartment towers being built all the time. It’s an exciting time for both Stratford and our flagship property.
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Since its launch ‘The London Club’ networking event hosted during ICE Totally Gaming has proven popular with visitors. For those yet to take advantage of this offer can you explain to our readers your promotion and what they can expect to experience at Aspers Westfield? Between Monday 5th February to Thursday 8th February we’re offering 50% off at Clary’s Restaurant to anyone who shows their ICE pass. What to expect… from our vibrant casino floor (the largest casino floor in the UK!) to stylish bars and restaurant, offering top class sport, entertainment and nightlife – I believe Aspers Westfield Stratford City is number one, no matter what you’re looking
What is your approach with regards to evolving the Casino Group over the coming years to maintain its success in this highly competitive market? Our focus primarily needs and continues to be on our guests; guest service, guest experience, guest perceptions! Nothing can outshine amazing guest service; we have to be obsessive about providing continual improvements in the way individuals interact with each touchpoint at our casinos. There is also a plethora of ongoing ‘opportunities’ across social media platforms, providing the right timely content, feedback structure and empowerment for visitors to our properties. We are in the true age of online, social sites and online
The Southampton Royal Pier Waterfront development designs looks very impressive. Is the Casino still on target for completion 2021? There have been some delays in the commencement of the Royal Pier Waterfront development. The scheme includes reclaiming land from the river and will include a hotel, restaurants and offices as well as our casino. Once the development gets underway we’ll be clearer on an expected opening date, however 2021 is looking challenging at this stage!
gaming. There have been shifts in the way our guests relate to us as a brand, so we need to be constantly staying at the forefront of engagement within the online space. However, no amount of digital content can ever replace world-class experience and service. So, regardless of what year or decade it is, a smile, a handshake and a welcoming nod to our guests will always be the mainstay at each of our Aspers properties. Are their any plans to further develop any of the Casinos over the next 18 months? We have a number of enhancements planned later this year in Stratford, including a new concept in gaming lounges and an improved ‘quick serve’ catering offering. We are already in the process of increasing sport content and sports betting facilities in both our Large Licence properties. We also have some exciting plans to develop our 1968 Licence properties in Newcastle and Northampton, however, these may need to be reconsidered if the DDCMS consultation delivers no improvements for our sector. The entertainment is an important factor in terms of retaining as well as gaining new patrons. What kind of events and concerts do Aspers Casinos host?
Fortunately, at Stratford we’re on the doorstep of the Olympic Stadium, being part of the wider Queen Elizabeth Park and with that comes a yearly summer series of marquee concerts with major headliners. We host live entertainment within our bars across all our properties. In Stratford, for example, we showcase free live entertainment four nights a week, Thursday through to Sunday, comprising both solo artists and groups. It’s music, live and loud, but still provides our guests the ability to enjoy a cocktail whilst conversing with colleagues after work. Plus, we execute a complete property calendar that entails all types of activities and events throughout the year, whether it’s a seasonal event like St Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve, or even the 52nd Super Bowl. We know how to provide great entertainment and always offer a superb night out. The entertainment edge is at the heart of what Aspers as a brand is all about. How is the Aspers Casino Group performing? We’re pleased with our performance and expect to exceed our financial targets this year. Our properties are still young and as they mature continue to deliver strong year-on-year growth. Like a number of other UK operators, we are eager to develop the product within our existing properties and are on the lookout for new ventures. Modernising legislation on the numbers and types of product
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To enter an Aspers Casino, there is no membership requirement and guests must be 18 years or over, with photo identification required for those who look under 25. The rewards programme Aspers World requires photo identification upon sign up.
permitted in UK casinos is necessary to support these growth aspirations. What Charities does Aspers support and what are the reasons behind the choices? We continue to support numerous charities across our properties and where possible back local schemes. In Northampton, for example, we run annual dinners to raise funds for Niamh’s Next Steps, which provides research and awareness for Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. Anthony Joshua and Ricky Hatton have both given their time to support these dinners. In Stratford, we award £100,000 of grants each year to Newham charities and community groups. So far, we have awarded £600,000 as part of the Aspers Good Causes Fund. The fund was set up by Aspers and Newham Council to help vulnerable or isolated residents build their confidence and skills through outreach activities, which includes arts, dance, music, sport and other charity organisations. This year we supported 19 local groups which included the Theatre Royal Stratford East which hosted youth theatre workshops for 80 young people in the borough and Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, a weekend multi-sports club for children. We welcome the opportunity to visit the local organisations that we have been able to help and have built long-term relationships with a number of them. Fight for Peace based in Newham help young
people to gain qualifications, so they can achieve their professional and personal goals. We now have a long-term relationship with Fight for Peace helping to deliver career advice workshops as well as successfully offering employment opportunities. What gaming systems and equipment installed over the last year in the Casinos have had the biggest impact on the bottom line? We constantly innovate and put new product on the floor. We aim to keep the product exciting and in time this delivers increased revenue for the casino. We work closely with our main slot suppliers, Novomatic, IGT and SG Gaming, to ensure that we have new content for our players on a regular basis. The most notable change to our equipment has been the enhancements made to our Novomatic Unity II electronic terminals. We now have the ability to offer various electronic versions of table games, side bets and different price points on the same terminal. We also introduced a new £100,000 jackpot on our electronic roulette product, which is proving very popular with our players. Aspers Casinos Poker tournaments have proven very popular; however, are they continuing to expand or are you satisfied now with the steady level of regular participants? In Stratford, we have a licensing and tournament deal with 888.com that brings with it a continual
calendar of festivals and events, many of which we run right across our group of properties. Recently we have signed a contract with World Poker Tour (WPT) and the entire group is looking forward to preparing and showcasing a major festival with this high-profile brand in March. What elements on the gaming floor in your opinion present the biggest challenges and opportunities? Our live tables offer both! Live tables continue to be our most exciting and popular product. In Stratford we now operate over 60 live table games, up from 30 when we opened. However, the tax rate in the UK runs on a sliding scale up to 50%, which puts pressure on contribution margins once the 50% rate is reached, which it currently is in Stratford. Despite this, I anticipate continued growth in live table demand. Additional challenges will be adapting to a cashless society under quite restrictive legislation and finding a way to truly converge digital wallets into a retail setting. Guests expect a seamless experience between both environments and we need to quickly ensure our technologies and legislation framework can facilitate this. What would you say are some of the additional unique aspects of Aspers Casinos that set them apart from their rivals? We have kept to our vision from day 1; to be
“everyone’s first choice for casinos”. When we opened Newcastle in 2005 we aimed to modernise the UK casino industry; we believe we did. For our guests we offer relaxed and sociable venues with a variety of modern facilities, from entertainment to sport, great restaurants to vibrant bars, the latest electronic gaming product to live table gaming to suit all price points. Our guests enjoy our venues and continue to come back, which is why we have over 50,000 visitors a week attending our 4 casinos. For our colleagues we offer everyone the opportunity for development and career pathways. I am incredibly proud of the team we have working for us. We have grown from 1 to 1250 employees in just 12 years, many of whom have already made major advancements in their chosen professions. We have cultivated a mind-set for striving for success, working hard, making decisions, not being afraid of making mistakes, respecting our fellow colleagues and going out of our way to deliver an exceptional service to our guests. For local authorities we have demonstrated that we deliver what we say we’re going to deliver, which is why Newham, Milton Keynes and Southampton councils chose Aspers as the operator they wanted for their communities. However, we don’t take anything for granted. We have enjoyed impressive growth in our short history and are avidly looking for our next venture.
Jamie Leigh with the Bunny Girls
National Casino Forum launches contest to find UK’s top dealer Come and support the nation’s finest croupiers as they vie for 2018 crown and the chance to represent UK at European Dealer Championships
he finest croupiers from all Britain’s major operators will do battle for the prestigious 2018 Dealer of the Year title. The UK Dealer Championships, organised by the National Casino Forum, will test dealers’ technical skill, game control and hospitality, in a high-pressure environment overseen by championship judges. The eagerly anticipated all-day event is being hosted by Caesars Entertainment UK at the Sportsman Casino in London on February 27th from 10am-6pm. A first prize of £2,000 is up for grabs, with cash
prizes of £1,000 for the runner-up and £500 for third place. Up to 18 dealers are expected to take part and there will also be prizes for the Best Chipper, Pusher and Stacker and the dealer who demonstrates the best maths skills. The overall winner and first runner-up will represent the UK at the European Dealer Championship (EDC) in Montenegro from 7-9 May 2018. Launched in 2007 by the European Casino Association (ECA), it is one of the premier events in the gaming calendar and last year brought together 33 participants from a record-breaking 20 European countries with 31 judges overseeing the
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Jamie Leigh with the runners up
competition. Antra Gaike, from Latvia’s Olympic Voodoo Casino, was crowned as Europe’s number one all-round performer after two days of fierce competition. The 2018 UK champion will follow in the footsteps of Jamie Leigh Cummins, then of the Ritz Club and now at Park Lane Club, who was named last year’s top croupier. Tracy Damestani, CEO of the National Casino Forum, said: “The UK Dealer Championships will showcase the wonderful talent we have in this country. Dealers need to combine mental agility, card skills and hospitality, which makes it a highly theatrical event. A good croupier brings a sense of occasion to the casino floor and it is a great career opportunity for anyone looking to enter the industry.” Sarah Robinson, Head of Group Marketing Caesars Entertainment EMEA, said: “We are very proud to be hosting the championships at our Sportsman Casino in London. We are looking forward to a great day of competition and hope to see plenty of support for all the dealers taking part.”
Jamie Leigh and the previous winner
Kate Chambers, Managing Director of the Gaming Division at Clarion Gaming, said: “As an organisation which is steeped in gaming and responsible for a number of leading brands, not least ICE Totally Gaming, which is the biggest gaming technology event in the world, I am delighted to be able to work with our friends and colleagues at the National Casino Forum and the European Casino Association and support this blue riband event.” There are still sponsorship opportunities available for the UK Dealer of the Year. Enquiries should be directed to Tracy Damestani via firstname.lastname@example.org
JAPAN The Big One
By Warwick Bartlett, CEO, Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC)
he prospect of an integrated resort casino in Japan is probably the most exciting gambling prospect this decade. Japan has a population of 128 million and is the tenth most populated country in the world. What is not commonly known is that Japan’s population is spread over 6,852 islands. The country has sixty active volcanoes, and seventy percent of the land mass is mountains. The population, of which 21% is ‘elderly’, endures 1500 earthquakes a year. You could say living in Japan is a bit of a gamble itself and the Japanese love to gamble. Clearly Osaka with a population of 2.7 million and Tokyo 35 million are the most favoured locations as far as the local population is concerned. However, the Government’s stated aim is to boost tourism. In 2016, 11.3 million tourists came from China and South Korea – an increase of 27% on the previous year. An integrated resort will be an attraction that will boost those numbers significantly. Japan has seen the benefits that integrated reports have brought to Singapore and Macau and they want a piece of the action. The Japanese are an insular people; ninety eight percent of the population are ethnically Japanese, and there is virtually no immigration. English is not widely spoken, so partnering with a local company is the preferred route, and one that Disney chose when building Tokyo Disneyland. Japanese companies have $262 billion in cash so finance is not a problem.
Who will win the licences? According to Morning Star, four Integrated Resorts are likely to be permitted, but there are probably ten suitors, so six are going to leave the table disappointed. Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, and Genting having built IRs from scratch already and must be favoured. Wynn’s attention to detail, superlative customer service, and conceptual design would appeal to the Japanese. But Las Vegas Sands MICE facilities
Horse racing is big.
Horse Racing USD (millions) Country Handle GGY Japan 28060 7015 UK 14576 1504 USA 14075 2834 France 10402 2611 Source GBGC Global Gambling Report
But so is the slot game Pachinko which is not classed as gambling in Japan.
and is building a new mega resort in Las Vegas. Ultimately the winner will have to satisfy the Government on probity, efficiency, and concept. The marker has already been put down by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “To realise clean casinos, we will introduce regulations at the world’s highest standards and develop a system to properly enforce them.” Already concerns have been expressed about addictive gambling. The propensity to gamble is high: published research shows that five percent of the adult population may have an addictive gambling problem. So, we expect to see strong Top 10 Prefectures
Number of Parlours
Tokyo................................1,252 Osaka................................1,049 Aichi..................................747 Saitama.............................737 Kanagawa..........................715
Source Global Gambling Report
Machine GGY USD millions 2015 Country GGY Japan......................................................... 20,061 Italy............................................................ 10,761 Australia.................................................... 8,713 USA............................................................ 8,325 UK.............................................................. 4,319
safeguards in the legislation to protect the vulnerable. There are many guesstimates on what these integrated resorts will produce, without knowing the extent of the regulation - whether locals will have to pay to enter, or the tax rate. All three have the potential to cap the profitability of the companies. What we do know is there is a high propensity to gamble, tourism is increasing from China at an unprecedented rate, and there is pent up demand to gamble in a casino. There is nothing not to like about the prospect of integrated resorts casinos in Japan. Which is why the operators will go all in to win the licences. https://www.gbgc.com/publications
Source GBGC Global Gambling Report
are second to none; they have built successful operations in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore, and their resorts produce significant traffic. Genting produces hospitality, theme parks, and gambling
A Sporting Tax
Impact of a 1% Tax on Sports Betting By: Prof I. Nelson Rose
n testimony before a New York State Senate committee, the NBA officially declared that it wants the 1% in every state that legalizes sports betting. The U.S. Supreme Court appears to be about to rule that the federal law that prevents states from legalizing sports betting, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), is unconstitutional. There are at least a dozen states that appear ready to enact new laws to introduce or expand legal intra-state wagering on sporting
events this year, once the High Court decision is announced. This raises, as always, the question of who will get the money. Indiana Rep. Alan Morrison has introduced a bill that would give the national sports leagues 1% of the new sports betting handle, as an “integrity fee.” The “sports governing bodies,” of course, think this is a great idea. But is imposing a 1% fee on gross gaming wagers in addition to a proposed 9.25% state tax on gaming revenue, on top of the existing
0.25% federal excise tax on the handle, a good idea for operators? In 2008, the State Legislature of Delaware was considering reopening sports books in racinos, which the state was allowed to do, because it had been grandfathered-in under PASPA. I was retained as the legal consultant by the Delaware State Lottery, which runs all sports betting, to advise the state on what the tax rate should be on the new sports books. I prepared a report and recommendations. The following is a simplified version of the report’s discussion of the impact of taxes on operators. I follow this with a quick analysis of the Indiana plan, which appears to be spreading across the country.
History In 1954, Congress imposed a 10% federal excise tax on all sports wagers, legal and illegal. This tax was so high that it was virtually impossible for even the best sports handicappers to win consistently. Licensed sports books were limited to Nevada. At the time these were called “turf clubs”, and were limited in number and small in size, and not connected with large casinos. Individuals who worked in the industry during this time reported widespread tax evasion to get around this high tax. For example, a $1,100 bet to win $1,000 was recorded as merely $11 to win $10. Sports books make their profit from the statistical advantage they have over their patrons. The most common wager is a multiple of $11 to win $10. If the sports book succeeds in having the same amount of money wagered on both sides of a match, it is guaranteed to make a profit. For example if Patron A bets $11 on his team and Patron B bets $11 on the opposing team, the sports book now has $22, but the sports book pays the winner, whoever he may be, only $21, his original $11 bet back and his $10 in winnings. The sports book keeps the additional $1. It is easy to see why the 10% tax would be devastating, if it could not be passed on to the patrons. Of the $22 bet in the example above, the federal government would take $2.20, obviously much more than the sports book’s expected $1 profit. But the 10% tax could not be passed on, because the patrons would no longer be betting $11 to win $10, but rather $11 plus 10% ($1.10) for a
total of $12.10 to win $10. Sports books allow patrons to make a wide variety of bets. The “hold” is the percentage that the sports book wins. . . In Nevada slightly more than $22.5 billion was bet over a ten year period, the sports books had gross gaming revenue of about $938 million, which means they kept 4.16% of the amounts bet. Looking at a single sports book: If it has a handle of $10,000,000, the total amount bet in a year, and it holds 4.16%, it will win, or have gross gaming revenue, of $416,000. But when the federal excise tax on wagers was 10%, the federal government demanded $1,000,000 (10% of the amount bet, $10,000,000). If the sports book had to pay this, it obviously could not; it would be like imposing a 240% tax on gross gaming revenue. In 1974, Congress lowered the federal excise tax on sports wagers to 2%. Using the same numbers for comparison purposes, a sports book with a handle of $10,000,000, a hold of 4.16% producing a win of $416,000 now only had to pay the federal government $200,000. This is equivalent to a tax on gross gaming revenue of 48.07%. Nevada also has a sliding scale of state gaming taxes, with the top tax rate quickly reaching 6.75% of gross gaming revenue. Therefore, the lowering of the federal excise tax to 2% allowed sports books in Nevada to operate and pay the equivalent of approximately 54.82% on their win. This was low enough to allow a few entrepreneurs to think about expanding the small turf clubs into true sports betting parlors. In 1975 the Nevada Legislature passed enabling legislation so that casinos could have sports books. But the tax rate was so high that few casinos were willing to devote any of their valuable floor space to a form of gambling that generated so little to the bottom line. In 1983, Congress lowered the federal excise tax on legal sports wagers to 0.25% (illegal sports bets still pay 2%). A sports book with a handle of $10,000,000, a hold of 4.16% producing a win of $416,000 now only had to pay the federal government $25,000 (0.25% times $10,000,000). This is equivalent to a tax on gross gaming revenue of 6.01% ($25,000 divided by $416,000). Nevada’s top tax rate of 6.75% means the sports books were now paying the equivalent of approximately 12.78% of gross gaming revenue (6.01% federal plus 6.75%
state taxes). The direct result of having gaming privilege taxes at about 13% of gross gaming revenue for legal sports books was an explosion of growth and capital expenditures for Nevada’s sports betting industry. In 1973 there were only ten sports books with a total handle of $2.8 million. Twenty years later there were approximately 100 sports books with a total handle in excess of $2 billion. By the year 2000 there were about 157 sports books, with a total handle greater than $2.5 billion, generating more than $117 million in gross gaming revenue. Sports books not only became large and numerous in Nevada, they were viewed as profit centers and entertainment enticements for commercial casinos. By 1985 all of the small independent sports books were closed, replaced by multi-million dollar casino sports books with dozens of giant video screens and all the other services sports bettors could want, including easy access to other forms of gambling.
Impact of the Proposed 1% Tax Here is how the same analysis would work using the numbers proposed for Indiana, i.e. a 1% “integrity fee” on handle, a 9.25% state tax on gaming revenue and the existing 0.25% federal excise tax on handle: A sports book with a handle of $10,000,000, a hold of 4.16% producing revenue of $416,000 would pay the sports leagues $100,000 (1% times $10,000,000). This is equivalent to a tax on gross gaming revenue of 24.04% ($100,000 divided by $416,000). The federal government receives $25,000 (0.25% times $10,000,000), which is equivalent to a tax on gross gaming revenue of 6.01% ($25,000 divided by $416,000). The state receives $38,480 (9.25% times $416,000). The total in fees and taxes would be $163,480. The operator gets to keep $252,530 ($416,000 minus $163,480). So operators would be paying the equivalent of 39.3% of gross gaming revenue (24.04% integrity fee plus 6.01% federal excise tax plus 9.25% state taxes). Another way to get to the same result: $163,470 divided by $416,000. In other words, the bookie takes in $10 million
in bets, pays the leagues $100,000, the feds $25,000 and the state about $38,000. This leaves the operator with about $250,000 to pay all of its expenses. Whatever is left, if any, is profit. It is hard to know how many bets a sports book in Indiana, or anywhere else for that matter, would actually have in a year. And expenses would vary over time and among sports books. There would also be fixed costs, such as building the facility, and variable costs, which would increase or decrease depending upon the number of bettors. But we can get some guidance from the numbers from Nevada. The most recent official figures show that for the 12 months ending in November 2017 there were 195 sports books in Nevada. They won a total of $233,299,000. Dividing the total win of approximately $233 million by the number of sports books, 195, means the average Nevada book wins about $1.2 million a year. The reported win percentage was 4.82%. This includes parlay cards and parimutuel bets, where the house keeps a much larger share. Still, using the reported hold of 4.82% means the average sports book in Nevada accepts almost $25 million a year in bets ($1.2 million divided by 4.82%). Put that average sports book in Indiana and you get $25 million in bets a year, revenue of $1,040,000 ($25,000,000 times a hold of 4.16%). Out of that win of about $1 million a year, the Indiana sports book would have to pay $250,000 to the leagues, $62,500 in federal taxes and $96,200 in taxes to the state. This leaves the sports book again with revenue of about 2.5% of wagers or $631,300. Out of that $631,300, the operator has to pay all other expenses, including other taxes, such as property and income taxes. This is not EBITDA, Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. That is how investors measure cash flow. The $631,000 is only revenue, after the gambling privilege taxes and fees have been paid. It doesn’t yet take into account all expenses and all other taxes. I personally would never invest a cent into a business like this. © Copyright January 12, 2018. All rights reserved worldwide. GAMBLING AND THE LAW® is a registered trademark of Prof. I. Nelson Rose, www. GAMBLING AND THE LAW.com
Think global, play local Casinos are the biggest and most profitable segment of the global gambling market – and growth prospects for the coming years are outstanding. But greater efficiency is needed,even in the boom phase. Integrated solutions wanted
Using an integrated solution leads to considerable gains in efficiency. Reports and counting processes speed up; security and precision increase. When manual operations are taken over by systems, handling and reporting costs decrease. That’s why G+D Currency Technology supports automated processing in count rooms from concept to implementation, with state-of-the-art systems and experienced consultants.
he casino business is an increasingly global market and the major operators are opening new resorts all over the world. Whether in China, India, Japan, Brazil or Russia, it’s the big players like Caesars Entertainment, Galaxy Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, MELCO, and SJM Holdings who are spending billions of dollars on growth and cost-efficiency. By doing this, they’re supporting automated and integrated cash processing solutions.
The global casino market is predicted to grow eight per cent annually
Casino operators are benefiting from population growth and increases in purchasing power. According to a current study by Technavio, the global casino market will grow by around eight per cent annually from 2017 to 2021, to a volume of 312 billion US dollars. But operating in a worldwide competitive environment means that casinos need to make their cash processes even more efficient and precise, which can’t be done without automated processing. “With high-speed counting and sorting solutions, it is possible to consolidate the processing of all cash points – slots, tables, kiosks and non-gaming revenue into a central count room,” explains Jim Goodwin, Global Business Development Director at G+D Currency Technology, Las Vegas.
“With high-speed counting and sorting solutions, it is possible to consolidate the processing of all cash points”
Count room evaluation
A good place to start for any casino is a count room evaluation. This evaluation should include the count room layout and process flow, personnel allocation, scalability, information management, speed and throughput, and the availability and reliability of all equipment. The aim is to develop the most accurate and efficient solutions, and to reduce the number of fulltime positions needed for the count room’s day-today operations. This makes cash handling processes run more smoothly. Operational sequences also become more secure, as there are fewer sources of error and opportunities for fraud.
Optimize your count room with G+D Currency Technology
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Printer solutions for every gaming application Robert Denham, VP Sales and Product Management Europe, TransActÂŽ Technologies. Interview by Glyn Thomas
Let me start by congratulating you on your new role with TRANSACT Technologies, you must be very excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead of you. Thank you. Yes, I’m super excited to get back into the gaming peripherals business with TRANSACT Technologies. TRANSACT has a reputation for supplying innovative, highly reliable, quality printers to the Gaming Industry and I have been brought on board to lead our sales and customer support efforts across Europe. After many years of going to market through distribution, the company have decided to better serve our European customers by going to market directly from our brand-new facility in the UK, so it is an exciting time to come onboard.
The fact that the printers are reliable, compatible with most games, easy to maintain, whilst offering dedicated local support, make TRANSACT the perfect partner for any gaming printing application. Our Epic 950 has been in the market for well over a decade and is seen as the most consistent and reliable printer in the segment. The Epic 950 is installed in over 700,000 slots throughout hundreds of casinos world wide. What are its key attributes that have confirmed its popularity with Gaming operators? The first attribute is its reliability, combined with
What would you say are amongst the main benefits that gaming operations get from partnering with TRANSACT Technologies? TRANSACT offer very reliable printing solutions, with a range of products for all gaming applications, from casino slots to lottery terminals. TRANSACT is not only a TITO printer manufacturer, we have products for all gaming printing applications from sport betting to AWP and also Epicentral, our promotion and bonusing system.
available firmware for all games in all jurisdictions. TRANSACT printers perform well in the most difficult conditions and are low maintenance. Changing paper is easy and the printer is ‘hot-swappable’ as well. When talking to Casino managers these are the often-used positive advantages over other printers.
Price is always a factor. How does the price of the Epic 950 compare with its alternatives or is quality the key? The price/quality balance is an important factor for most operators and we think it is just right for the Epic 950. Total cost of ownership is often undervalued. Maintenance is often not measured and therefore not taken into consideration. The proven reliability, the low maintenance cost over the life of the product means the product offers exceptional value and making choosing the Epic 950 easy and more than worth the competitive price offered.
The Server Port makes it possible to connect the printer to another system that can use the printer to print promotional coupons at any existing machine, without interfering with the TITO gameport. This solution is certified and enables Casinos to install TRANSACT’s promotional rewarding system called Epicentral and reward players on slot machines instantly when they are playing. We also have Epicentral SE which allows 3rd party systems to print at the game through the 2nd port. We did our first instalment at Jakes 58 Casino on Long Island NY with Aristocrat Oasis 360 system which has proven to be a huge hit.
Epic Edge launched earlier this year, primarily for the Casino EGMs. What has been the reception from the market to this new ticket printer and can visitors to ICE Totally Gaming expect to see it on the TRANSACT Technologies booth. Epic Edge launched the latest technology into the TITO printer segment. Rather than having to launch a new printer because parts are ‘End of Life’, TRANSACT decided to launch a new printer to give Casinos a choice between ‘industry standard’ and ‘industry leading’. With the Epic Edge, Casinos will benefit from the best printer quality in the industry, combined with several new features coupled with the same quality and reliability that everybody is used to from TRANSACT. It will be an addition to the existing printer line up, not a replacement. Yes, we welcome all those who want to know more about the EPIC EDGE or any of our other printer solutions to come and see us at ICE.
How is Epicentral doing? Epicentral provides Casinos the ability to target customers in real-time while they play their favourite games in the casino. We have now over 17,000 machines connected globally, a number which continues to grow monthly. We have some great reference sites for the system in Europe for customers to really see how Epicentral can be used, not only to grow revenue, but also to improve customer loyalty and retention.
What are the key features of the Epic Edge? The key features of the Epic Edge are a new 300 Dpi print head that will improve the readability of TITO barcodes and will also enable Casinos to print high quality images on tickets, to send messages to their player via TRANSACT’s Epicentral coupon rewarding system. On top of that all connections to the printer are on one board (Netplex, Serial and USB), it has an Ultra-fast data transfer for downloading firmware via USB and has a SD-Card for super-fast firmware upgrades. The Shape and form of the Epic Edge are identical to the Epic 950 and 100% backwards compatible. What does Server Port enable you to do?
You have now built up over 20 years of experience in this industry. How has the industry changed from your perspective over that period of time. Thanks for reminding me! Is it really that long - it certainly doesn’t feel like it. The industry is always changing and evolving and I have been lucky enough to find exciting new challenges like this one at TRANSACT whether it has been in Macau, Australia or back in Europe. Over this time, I have seen the industry as a whole, mature considerably, moving away from buying based on relationships, to buying based on statistics such as total cost of ownership and looking beyond just the initial pricing, looking for the best local support and shortest lead times. Can Casinos expect to see you visiting them, as part of your new role at TRANSACT Technologies? With TRANSACT choosing for move to a Direct Sales model, we made the conscious choice to build better relationships with all our customers whether they are a manufacturer or operator. I am very excited to announce that Virginie Bellaton will be joining the team as our Casino Sales Manager.
Virginie has over 10 years casino sales experience with European casinos and will be working with European Casinos to get the most out of the printers they have on the floor. So, in short, yes, Casinos can expect far more visits and interaction from TRANSACT going forward. Has TRANSACT got any particularly strong markets or is the organisation well established world wide. What markets do you see that provide you the best growth potential over the coming years? TRANSACT has a well-established world wide market and offers a strong market presence wherever it is needed. We can support Global manufacturers and Casinos locally with all their printer and firmware needs. We continuously look Globally to see where regional expansion is needed. We have also moved to a direct business model in Europe and have recently
partnered with AIGC Co. in japan to pursue growing opportunities there. This approach will continue as markets change and new opportunities present themselves. We are in a very unique position where we donâ€™t tie ourselves to one part of the gaming industry but offer printer products that are utilized in different gaming segments. In this way we have much greater coverage than if we just focused on one segment of the market
ICE Totally Gaming 2018 expect to see at the TRANSACT Technologies booth? Well, 2018 will be the first time that TRANSACT will have their own booth in London which is an important milestone. We are very excited to welcome visitors to our booth, where we will be showing the full range of products TRANSACT has to offer, including the 950, new Epic Edge and Epicentral. Hopefully, there will be something for everyone attending the show.
Exhibitions provide an excellent showcase for the latest gaming machines, equipment and associated systems. What will visitors to
London February, 6-8
Your Global Partner in Gaming
We’ll exceed your expectations – not your budget Sam Arnold, CEO, ISMS. Interview by Peter White
What advantages do Casino operators gain from your impressive new facility in Las Vegas? The main advantage - and the reason we established it - is to service our huge supply chain and provide our customers with an extensive range of product at exceptionally low prices. There is no other company in the US that stocks as many makes and models in all of the different brands of machines - particularly late model machines - for the prices at which we are able to supply them. The new facility enables us to configure machines quickly for the jurisdictions in which they will be used; these include bill validators, ticket printers, as well as associated software and games. Our customers are confident that the game content we supply is 100 percent original and that they will have no problems concerning intellectual property with any machine purchased from ISMS. Product, product range and product pricing are the three biggest advantages this new facility provides. There are two things that drive success in the key markets we serve, particularly the Central and South American markets. Firstly, supply product that performs well. All the products that we supply are high-end, high-earning, current models, and
our partners get a very good return on them. Secondly, get the pricing right. The price pitch for our products has to be entry-level for these areas - a price that allows the smaller operators in these markets to get themselves established and expand their businesses. Does the increased production mean a greater emphasis on the replacement markets in the US, Central South America and the Caribbean? Relocating some of our production from Miami to Las Vegas gives us a much more direct route to the Asia market, so saving on transport costs and time. With regards to the Americas, our largest market tends to be Latin America and this new facility in Las Vegas will enable us to increase our supply volumes to this market. The North American market is a mature one and so we tend to concentrate on supplying new and emerging markets. Our bases in Miami and Las Vegas are best placed to supply these markets. Everybody gets gaming choice. It’s not about the cabinet: it’s about the game within the cabinet and this ensures that our partner gets a good return on their investment – and we get the repeat business. We give our customers gaming choice, content which works, content which performs – and a gameperformance warranty. What advantages do Casinos gain from refurbished EGMs? In a few words: the latest products and machines at guaranteed lowest prices. Of course, the main advantages are that customers are able to choose from an extensive inventory and purchase the latest machines at ‘used’ prices that will deliver an excellent return on investment. What has been your focus regarding the European Casino Replacement market and how do you see that changing in the years ahead? Europe is a mature market - by mature I mean that when machines are replaced it is generally with new machines. However, we do conduct a lot of business in Eastern European countries such as Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia and so on; these are good markets for us and they take advantage of our business model to supply the latest machines at used prices. Our main focus
in Europe is therefore on those Eastern European markets. In what other regions are you developing your business? Africa is still a relatively new market but a growing one as far as used product is concerned. Consequently, the region is one of ISMSâ€™ main growth markets. We maintain offices in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Latvia, London and Miami, and we will soon be opening our new office in Las Vegas. Globally we have strategically located facilities supplying products that are appropriate to those particular geographical locations. Whilst satisfied customers continue to return to ISMS and recommend us to their business associates, we are committed to driving improvement in areas such as quality and service. Indeed, our quality assurance program is only the beginning. ISMS is all about continuous improvement. The ISMS sales team is dedicated to helping our clients choose products that are not only right for their business, but which are also appropriate for their geographical locations.
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Les Ambassadeurs Selects Vizexplorer The exclusive gaming operation is VizExplorer’s first UK customer
izExplorer, a leading provider of operational intelligence solutions to the gaming industry, has announced a new agreement with Les Ambassadeurs Club––its first casino customer in the United Kingdom. As part of the agreement, VizExplorer will install its bundled solution for international gaming operators, which includes elements of floorViz™ for gaming floor optimization, campaignViz™ for marketing campaign automation, and hostViz™for enhanced VIP player management. The milestone agreement also includes the VizExplorer Concierge Program, the company’s highest level customer support tier complete with private onsite consulting resources to help Les Ambassadeurs Club develop best practices and tactics to properly utilize its platform. With the full support of the VizExplorer Customer Success Program, VizExplorer Industry Specialists will train and support Les Ambassadeur users as they adopt VizExplorer software, providing in-depth best practices and case studies and collaborating to ensure replicable successes. “To deliver the premium experience our club members expect, our team need access to the right information on the right customers, at the right time. VizExplorer’s advanced CRM solution makes that possible, along with further capabilities we expect will help to enhance our club services and optimize our operations to maintain our position as the top casino in London,” said Kevin McGowen, Chief Executive, Les Ambassadeurs Club. “We’re confident that the Les Ambassadeurs Club team will be pleased with their decision to entrust their data to the VizExplorer platform. We’ve proven our solutions repeatedly with US casinos and look
forward to validating them in this new market,” said Jeffrey Hoss, VizExplorer’s VP of Business Development. “We are eager to engage with Les Ambassadeurs Club to collaborate with them on how best to leverage our tools to glean the insights they seek to manage performance, inform marketing campaigns, and develop VIP customers in a socially responsible manner,” said Fivos Polymniou, VizExplorer’s VP of International Sales. Book a demonstration with VizExplorer in booth N8-345 at the annual ICE Totally Gaming event, held February 6-8, 2018 at ExCel London.
About VizExplorer VizExplorer offers operational intelligence (OI) solutions to the gaming industry. The next generation in data-driven decision making, OI lets businesses analyze live, fast-changing data and take immediate action using a single toolset. VizExplorer’s applications and tools help enterprises address smart space and profit optimization, marketing campaign management, CRM and customer service, and service and dispatch management. VizExplorer is led by a team of distinguished OI experts, seasoned industry veterans and world class software developers devoted to building the very best products backed by extraordinary support. VizExplorer is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in Las Vegas and Wellington, New Zealand. www.vizexplorer.com
Atlantic City is becoming Interesting again
Robert Ambrose looks to the future
tlantic City has always been a tale of two cities. None more than in the late 1960s when it was a shadow of a once world renown destination resort. Its tattered imagery in the pre casino era was layers of decaying hotels, boarded up rooming houses and a boardwalk of splintered wood; representing a faded path to its future. The 1970s brought a promise of change as a new infrastructure rose from the crumbling rubble offering a new version of resort hospitality and casino gambling. For the next couple of decades casinos made AC a cash-fuelled city. In 2006, I spoke to a group of Wall Street investors in Las Vegas. The topic was the â€œFuture Trends in the AC market.â€? At the time, it was a quite successful gaming model. Now I call the seminar, Reflecting on the Last Good Time in AC! At the time, Atlantic City had joined Las Vegas in the elite classification of a casino town that can pull in more than $5 billion from gamblers in one year.
And we all know that was the last year of good times. We have seen Atlantic City and its complex infrastructure continually tested by a glut of border state gaming facilities, the economy, shifting customer interest, changing regulations, political intrigue, the state take-over of city business operations, the closing of properties and a failed referendum to host gaming elsewhere in the state. All of this contributed to its far from dynamic economic health, while impacting every stakeholderâ€™s bottom-line. Today, we are witnessing another tale of two cities in historical transition taking the decades old model of casino gaming and hospitality to a different level. The central focus is not the casinos as they are only part of the experience. It is a return to the non-gaming experiences that made Atlantic City the marketable city for decades, and that today just happens to have casinos. Now we are applauding a 2017 win of $2.6 billion.
And with back-to-back years of positive casino wins and a renewed interest by investors, there is optimism and talk about a renaissance taking place. In 2018 and beyond it is about the grass roots redevelopment that is going on in Atlantic City. We are seeing a new optimism, one step at a time, and investor initiatives that give hope and a piece back to the city image with each new project. They are creating the foundation of a more diverse hospitality market. It is growing in front of us; within reality based planning, property by property, and by well-respected and financed stakeholders. In Atlantic City we are witnessing a more strategic casino footprint and a blending of community among all segments of hospitality. The city will be a different model from its former casino market base. Replicating casinos on a global scale, the floor sightlines now include cafes and restaurants as well as more space to allow for social gatherings. Properties are paying attention to the next generation of customers and their desire for a “multi-integrated” set of experiences. These nongaming elements generally bring a consistency to a property brand that adds interest, curiosity and cross-generational appeal. In order to continually operate successfully in this market, operators need to grow it. Obviously a property (such as the soon to open Hard Rock) that brings their national or international brand and existing customer base to AC will have an advantage. Every property in AC has gaming product. In the competitive congested, sometimes oversaturated market place (such as the east coast) a company planning to open a resort needs more than a marketing strategy that simply says they are “different.” And opening a new version of an existing property without a unique presentation, “marketing drawing card” or loyal customer base will not only struggle to survive, but also may impact profits from other operators. And for the “casino-guys,” a reminder that the casino side of the market must grow by customers, before it can grow by games. After decades of operating as a resort, AC still lacks sufficient air routes and rail. The market needs growth and expanded transportation models to assist in that growth. The city has to move beyond the much relied on drive-in market. These are some dynamic elements that will play out
in the next 12-24 months: • How will the market respond to Hard Rock’s operation in Atlantic City? There is no doubt that the Hard Rock brand will add its own loyalty base to the market. Its presence will enhance the environment, not dilute it. • The future of the former Revel, on the other hand, is anyone’s guess. If the new owners open without the foundation of an established brand and loyalty base, the operator will need to build one; and this will require some unique marketing talents. • 2018 is another year we may see a push for a North Jersey casino. • The border state issues still continue as NY State expands its casino model. • Massachusetts opens new properties. • Pennsylvania has now legalized on-line casinos. We are at least one year out for an operating infrastructure and we could see some legal battles over the 10 “mini casino,” model that was also approved. • Also by 2019 there will be one more operating casino in the stadium district of south Philadelphia. • US Supreme Court pending decision on legalized sports betting. (Decision Summer 2018) Atlantic City has an opportunity for a new beginning. The beach, the boardwalk, lavish hotels, dining, retail and great entertainment are part of that integrated resort experience. As investors have begun supporting AC projects again, the confidence in the financial markets will lend itself to even more development. In my editorial column published last year in Casino Life magazine, I quoted a movie trailer tagline from the 1980 movie Atlantic City. It summed it up best then as well as now. “Atlantic City; for everyone who’s ever needed one more chance.” Bob Ambrose, Gaming Consultant & University Educator @bobambrose
Candidate tip 163: Not everyone is going to like you
ne of my sayings is, “In the casino business, you can always find someone that does not like you.” For me personally, the guy that wanted me to invest in his cooking show. Sorry, not my thing! The guy that wanted an introduction to Tony Hsieh at Zappos. Sorry, you need a value proposition! And several of the candidates I would not represent. “Mark says he is a Christian, but he would not help me.” I kid you not. Heard that multiple times. They don’t understand that I can’t possibly represent every candidate that approaches me. And since my reputation is on the line every time I submit a resume, I can only represent executives that I know personally. Andy Choy of Melco once told me a casino executive was pity mouthing me all over Las Vegas. My response was, “Not sure that says anything about me; sure says a lot about him.” From a career perspective, do your best not to burn your bridges. As Walt Disney said, “It’s a small, small world.” When I did searches for GMs at Ameristar years ago, they would circulate candidate resumes to all 12 GMs. If any of the 12 made a negative comment, the candidate was OUT.
Although I’m a big believer in referrals and references, I always temper that with “consider the source.” If I discounted every candidate that had a personality conflict somewhere in their career… there would be no candidates left. Lesson learned? Not everyone wants to be your friend. Do your best to play well with others and follow the Golden Rule. Mother Teresa said it best, “For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” Mark Wayman is the Founder and CEO of The Foundation, LLC, an executive placement firm focused on gaming/casinos and high tech. He has placed 600 executives over the last ten years, with compensation packages from $100,000 to $2,000,000. Last year he placed eight executives over a million dollars. His articles appear on The Huffington Post, and he is a regular on the Internet radio show Casino Talk. Mark is an active supporter of Make-A-Wish, Opportunity Village, Olive Crest and a dozen other local and national charities. He can be reached at email@example.com, or for more information, go to www.godfatherlv.com
Preview of ICE 2018 Apex • Novomatic • DR Gaming Technology Cammegh • SUZOHAPP • Scientific Games
All eyes on Apex Gaming at ICE
DRAGON EGG, iDROPs and so much more
here are many reasons to make visiting the APEX gaming stand a priority at the forthcoming ICE that will take place between 6th and 8th February at Londonâ€™s ExCel Centre. The APEX team can be found at booth number # S4-250. What a difference a year can make. The DRAGON
EGG game was formally introduced at last yearâ€™s ICE. In the meantime casinos around the globe have installed the Pinnacle Premium Jackpot Island with the DRAGON EGG game and the many testimonials can be found on the APEX website (in the news section). APEX gaming offers three different versions of the
Jackpot island: the big Pinnacle Premium SL Jackpot Island that consists of 8 Pinnacle Premium SL slot machines (two banks of four) each with 3 x 27” monitors, the Pinnacle Premium 43” Curved Small Jackpot Island with four slots that each has a curved 43” monitor and Pinnacle Premium SL Small Jackpot Island with four slots each with 3 x 27” monitors. All Jackpot Islands are available with the game Dragon Egg or the brand new game Leonardo’s Code. The DRAGON EGG game that spreads over the entire screens as well as the large overhead display, make this game extra special. The fact that there are 16 different jackpot levels heightens player suspense and the level of entertainment. APEX gaming will be introducing their game Leonardo’s Code on the Jackpot Island at ICE. Mr. Kubilay Özer, Global Sales Director at APEX gaming, explains what can be expected at ICE for this complete jackpot system solution: “DRAGON EGG has become one of the strongest APEX games within a space of a few months. This shows the strength of our games and we will be introducing new single game concepts that fit into our jackpot solution. Visitors can look forward to seeing LEONARDO’S
CODE on our Jackpot Island, which takes our solution to the next level.” A further innovation that visitors can look forward to is the new addition to the iDROP family: the iDROPs. The iDROPs takes the capabilities of the award-winning iDROP even further. Banknotes and tickets can be entered in a bundle of up to 250 at a time – with an acceptance rate of up to 6 notes per second. Speed is the essence – especially for croupiers/dealers at live tables. “The iDROPs shows that we are the leading innovator for cash handling at live tables. Players can now purchase jetons directly at the live gaming table. Croupiers do not have to worry about handling cash / tickets – the iDROPs takes responsibility and checks each individual note / ticket for its validity. And the operators have real-time information on the iDROPs contents. The speed of the iDROPs is what operators have been seeking and we anticipate strong demand for the new system. This will certainly be one of the highlights at ICE,” continues Mr. Özer. The large APEX stand will naturally play host to the full spectrum of APEX solutions – including further members of the Pinnacle slot machine family, such as the Pinnacle VIP Premium Lounge. The APEX PLAYER STATION (APS) electronic multiplayer, APEX MOBILE SLOTS, APEX live gaming solutions, the Shuffle King electronic shufflers – all these and more can be seen at the APEX stand #S4-250 at ICE.
ExCeL London, UK 6-8 February 2018
Paradice A passport to
For more information on gamingâ€™s utopia visit: icetotallygaming.com
NOVOMATIC lines up market-ready innovations for ICE 2018 56
s the gaming industry prepares to unveil the latest trends and technologies for 2018 at ICE Totally Gaming in February, NOVOMATIC is amassing a wide selection of innovations across its international subsidiaries that cater to all areas of land-based and interactive gaming. NOVOMATIC’s famous giant stand will deliver a variety of new products for European and international markets. NOVOMATIC Gaming Industries is delighted to introduce new cabinets including 4k monitors, exciting licensed and single games, innovative game mixes, a variety of electronic table games supported
by NOVOMATIC Media Technology, as well as jackpots and systems. Guests will be taken on a journey through cultures and time with titles such as From Dusk Till Dawn™, Voodoo Fortunes™ and Viking & Dragon™, and the Enchanted Fortunes™ Linked Jackpot will feature a new series of NOVOMATIC linked progressive games. Otium will show leading international video bingo titles on the OT300 cabinet and Octavian will demonstrate new player tracking and loyalty modules of the myACP casino management system. A compelling line-up of Ainsworth products including the A640® A600® and A600® Slant Top cabinets will feature standout content such as PacMan™ Dynamic Edition, Pac-Man™ Wild Edition, Desert Dusk™ and Rio Riches™. New technologies on display also include the AnyBet progressive jackpot, Hao Yun Dao linked progressive series and Mega Choice Treasures™ mystery progressive. Several brands making their debut will include Fire Power™, Fire Power Jackpots™, Big Hit Bonanza™ and Raging Roosters Reloaded™. Products for European casino, arcade and pub markets will be on full display. The NOVOMATIC UK Group exhibit highlights local market innovations such as Austin Powers, Batman and Sherlock Holmes themed products. New solutions for the imminent changes in Germany are on display by Löwen Entertainment and Crown Technologies, and NOVOMATIC Italia, NOVOMATIC Netherlands and NOVOMATIC Gaming Spain together with GiGames, will respectively show new products for Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. NOVOMATIC Sports Betting Solutions (NSBS) will also entertain guests with a full suite of sports betting products. Greentube will show its capabilities as a fullservice provider of interactive products. From topperforming land-based titles and NOVOMATIC bluechip slots to an extensive portfolio of casino games with new titles such as Crazy Birds, the NOVOMATIC Interactive division will present complete and scalable online casino solutions. Other interactive highlights are the Plurius™ server-based gaming solution featuring a new jackpot as well as advancements to the Greentube Pro social gaming platform.
...the world’s fastest growing independent gaming systems supplier drJackpots Enhance your slots offering with the widest and most extraordinary selection of Mystery and Progressive Jackpots available in the world today. drJackpots will without a doubt enhance the excitement on your gaming floor and as a result, drive greater revenues to your bottom line. With tailored jackpot product offerings that are standalone, local area or wide area you will be spoilt for choice, as will your players. Testament to our capabilities; our biggest single jackpot customer to date has our product installed on over 5,000 (five thousand) devices across approximately 100 (one hundred) venues. OPERATOR BENEFITS • The world’s most extensive local and wide area jackpot offering • Linked single casino, multiple venue, or estate wide progressives
• Single slot machine progressives • Standard or prize mystery jackpots • All mystery jackpots can also be hosted exclusively for loyalty club members
The importance of being able to reach out and communicate with players is key, in respect of direct marketing, or the provision of game play data and points statements. Our range of player interface displays provides an unprecedented player experience, with our drScreenUltra the biggest player tracking display in gaming today. It offers 1,280 x 320 resolution, and an amazing 8.8inch multi-touch screen with a builtin RFID reader – allowing players to simply “Tap and Play’’ to start their gaming session.
• Extensive reporting allows operators to extract exact revenue and game play data from each side game in real-time • As with all DRGT™ solutions our table side bet products also utilize our patented serverless solution, ensuring no risk of downtime
About DR Gaming Technology™
OPERATOR BENEFITS • Videos or web-based banners can be streamed directly to the player tracking screen • drScreenUltra can be linked directly to Facebook and Twitter • Mystery jackpots can be viewed on the top slot machine screen, and jackpot hits below • drScreen combines dynamically generated system data with endless promotional possibilities • Cashless transactions are undertaken directly on the slot machine or player interface displays • Multi-currency and multi-language functionality
drTable The world’s most advanced slot jackpot and wide area technology has evolved into a fantastic new casino table games jackpot offering. Spruce up your classic Baccarat and BlackJack games with side bet games that are guaranteed to enhance your player experience, not affect your current table games’ speed, and are easy for your dealers to learn and host.
Established in 2005, DR Gaming Technology™ (DRGT™) is now the world’s fastest growing independent gaming systems supplier. Our state-of-the-art systems are developed using the latest technology, resulting in the unique ability to operate without a server, in so doing greatly simplifying system installation and implementation, and ensuring customers’ total management control over their entire operation/s. At present our modular, flexible and costeffective system solution operates across 50 different countries, and on more than 45,000 gaming devices, boasting some of the most powerful functionality in the world. Founded by CEO Jurgen De Munck and CTO Michiel Van Dam, DRGT™ acquired Systems in Progress (SiP) in 2012, and moved to our new 17,141 square foot headquarters, only minutes away from the Brussels International Airport, in 2015. Our expanded facility now enables us to guarantee world class turnaround times of both hardware and software to our customers. In addition to our headquarters in Aalst, Belgium our current global footprint includes offices in Austria, Malta, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and South Africa. www.drgt.com
OPERATOR BENEFITS • “Off the shelf” or customised games tailored to the exact needs of your clientele and gaming floor • Fully configurable reward, mystery, and jackpots levels • Linked Mystery Jackpots across all table games, slots and table games, or even across a wide area
Mini-Marvel and WonderWall to greet visitors to the Cammegh booth at ICE 2018
ammegh will be exhibiting the world’s finest roulette wheels on a brand new stand design at the forthcoming ICE show in February. Keeping the same location on the show floor, Cammegh will present its showcase with a flourish as the new stand incorporates both hospitality and meeting space and a new feature video wall to better exhibit its class-leading casino products. The range starts with the classic Mercury 360
and Crystal roulette wheels, with an extra special custom-wheel demonstrating Cammegh’s expertise in bespoke customisation. The Slingshot 2 will take pride of place alongside Cammegh’s extraordinary new Mini-Wheel, which has been designed for high volume, high productivity and high game turnover gaming, specifically focusing on stadium configurations. In this guise, the Mini-Wheel is capable of delivering 120 games per hour, increasing productivity and game turnover for customers,
which currently includes Aspers Casino Group in the UK. The full range of Billboard displays from sizes 23-27-32 ins., in portrait and landscape orientations, will be featured prominently at ICE. The presentation will demonstrate the host of functionality on offer, from live video streaming, chip tree productivity indicators, Multiboard Mini results, side-bets and much more. The Billboard presents each of these features with pin-sharp customised graphics designed specifically for each individual customer, examples of which will be featured on the stand at ICE. Having launched its Spread-Bet Roulette and Spread-Bet Blackjack to industry-wide acclaim, Cammegh plans to bring its latest Spread-Bet sidebet to the ICE show, should development continue as planned. “We are excited to meet with customers to discuss their diverse and varying needs for the forthcoming year,” states Andrew Cammegh. “Our products meet so many wide ranging requirements that they’ve become a vital ingredient in an operator’s armoury, whether that’s third-party gaming terminals; third-party management systems; integrating with customers’ own data warehousing systems etc. The amount of flexibility, customisation and responsiveness to customer needs is evident across the entire Cammegh product range and, perhaps more importantly, across our thinking too. It is this approach to put the customer first that is being rewarded in terms of both sales and product development. Having such a specialised and focused product range keeps our position in the market pinsharp. Our range isn’t diluted with other products, which means that we can respond very specifically within the niche sector in which we operate.”
Cammegh extends its traditional warm welcome to all visitors to the ICE show and looks forward to meeting customers and friends from the industry at its booth No. S7-120 to what could be the best show in the company’s history.
SUZOHAPP to highlight its latest innovations at ICE
UZOHAPP will be showcasing the most complete array of solutions alongside components and spare parts at the upcoming ICE that will take place between 6th and 8th of February at Londonâ€™s ExCel. SUZOHAPP can be found at booth # N4-110. SUZOHAPP is focused on creating technology that will lead the gaming industry toward tomorrowâ€™s solutions. With over sixty years of experience in the component business, SUZOHAPP will show the sorts of products that both manufacturers and operators are seeking from the market. The expert sales and support team will advise visitors on the best products to fit their needs. Cash handling equipment is a prominent offering in the SUZOHAPP portfolio and a broad range of components will be showcased at ICE. These include Comestero coin validators (RM5 HD) and banknote validators (MFL and SC Advance), and coin hoppers (Flow, Cube and Evolution). For complete coin recycling,
SUZOHAPP recommends the ICS, which is a real step ahead in multidenomination coin pay-out technology. This Intelligent Coin System provides eight hoppers and a sorter all in one product designed for easy incorporation into other manufacturers’ equipment. Banknote recycling is increasing in importance in the global gaming business and the Bill-to-Bill is already well established in a number of different markets with its unique benefits such as a multi-note escrow and large note recycling capacity. SUZOHAPP also offers complete solutions for operators, such as Comestero change machines and SCAN COIN back-office coin and note sorters. ICE attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the Dual Coin Pro and Easy Pro change machines and the SC-8220 banknote sorter. Significant focus will also be placed on the new SCAN COIN ICX Active-9 coin sorter. Through years of research, development, testing and industry trials, the ICX Active-9 is engineered to be the best at delivering what any coin sorter should - accuracy and consistency. The ICX Active-9 is a brand new mid-range Coin Sorter which has 9 coin outlets and a reject outlet, with a count speed of 2,700 coins per minute. New to the SUZOHAPP product range are the Nanoptix printers, as the global distribution agreement formally begins on 1st January 2018. The Paycheck NextGen is the ideal ticket printer for the gaming market. Display technology is a focus for SUZOHAPP and there will be a wide selection on the stand. As long-serving partner for ELO, visitors can look forward to seeing the latest ELO solutions for touchscreen technology that includes Open Frame, Desktop Monitors and IDS. SUZOHAPP will be showing its own range of monitors, marketed under the VisionPRO brand. A vast selection of toppers will be displayed, including the top-selling SH1950 LCD Video Topper. SUZOHAPP offers a great variety of pushbuttons
as well. The highlight here is the PKT (Picture Key Technology) that is the leading-edge technology in tactile controls, combining SUZOHAPP’s key capabilities in push buttons, displays and RGB LED design to create an innovative all-in-one solution. They are fiber optic glass pushbuttons that present any graphic content from a display underneath the surface, with the tactile feel of mechanical pushbuttons. Further examples of components on display include AudioPRO speakers, locks, Newland barcode scanners and switches. “The ICE will give us the opportunity to show yet again that we always put our customers first”, explains Goran Sovilj, Vice President of Sales Gaming EMEA. “Our strength not only lies in the fact that we are the largest supplier to the industry of cash handling solutions, components and spares. Our enduring strength is that we constantly look to bring added value to our customers by providing the best solutions possible at extremely competitive prices. We are committed to ongoing Research & Development and that explains why we can offer so many solutions ‘made by SUZOHAPP’. Please come and see us at ICE and let us find the right solutions for you.”
Scientific Games to Showcase Latest Innovation, Technology and Enhanced Digital Offering at ICE Totally Gaming 2018
ith the company’s acquisition of the NYX Gaming Group now complete, ICE 2018 is set to be the most exciting to date for Scientific Games and marks a year of inspired innovation across the company. For the first time, Scientific Games will have two impressive stands at ICE, with its revolutionary gaming and lottery products showcased at N1-560 and the newly combined, forward-thinking SG Interactive and NYX Gaming Group’s digital and sports betting capabilities displayed at N3-130. Scientific Games Chief Executive Officer and President Kevin Sheehan said: “We are at a watershed moment in our company’s history. “Over the last year, our teams across the globe have been working continuously to ensure that we maintain our position as industry leaders, and by combining Scientific Games’ portfolio of technology platforms, systems, content and services with NYX’s strengths as one of the fastest growing B2B real-money digital gaming and sports betting platforms in the world, we’re creating a pioneering proposition across all sectors. “We’re excited to present our innovations and the opportunities that they present to both our customers and the wider industry at ICE.”
World Leader in Digital and Sports Betting As digital and sports betting content, services and platforms continue to drive consumer engagement, and with future regulatory developments expected to provide significant
new opportunities, ICE represents the perfect occasion to showcase the combined strength of SG Interactive and NYX’s world-class products and leadership across iGaming, iLottery and sports betting platforms. The newly combined SG Interactive and NYX Gaming Group will unite for an unprecedented showing of captivating titles, revolutionary technologies, and innovative platforms. The Digital division will showcase NYX’s leading Open Gaming System (OGS), which allows licensees to leverage the best-of-breed, multi-vendor casino content from around the world, offering customers the widest portfolio of content available, with access to over 2,000 game titles. OpenBet will launch its world-class data services and product modules, including the innovative Managed Trading Service (MTS), an end-to-end solution designed to allow operators to choose their level of support, either by adding MTS to their existing sportsbook or taking the complete solution to focus on growing their business; new ‘Insights’ data service that allows operators to compare their performance against the market and suggest optimization improvements; as well as the new ‘Tickers’ filtering tool that shows real-time activity across an operator’s product portfolio. Revolutionary Games and Cutting-Edge Cabinets Enhance Player Experience Supporting its dynamic licensed brands, Scientific Games will feature the thrilling JAMES BOND Experience, with its CASINO ROYALE game on the new Gamefield™ 2.0 platform. The JAMES BOND Experience was made possible through an exclusive agreement with EON Productions Limited, Danjaq, LLC and MGM Interactive Inc., a subsidiary of MetroGoldwyn-Mayer Inc., and gives Scientific Games the rights to leverage all past and future iconic JAMES BOND films, as well as all of the films’ talent portraying JAMES BOND. Also, the fan-favorite MONOPOLY will be brought to play in the towering TwinStar® V75 platform, as MONOPOLYHot Shot® is introduced to the European market.
Proprietary Table Games and Utility Products Revolutionize Play Scientific Games will also feature Fusion Hybrid, a highly versatile, terminal-based electronic gaming system, which provides up to eight choices of
table games to each terminal – from live, hybrid, auto and virtual. The range of games include Zombie Blackjack, King’s Bounty, Blazing 7s Blackjack Progressive, and 99 Fortunes™ Baccarat Progressive, to name a few. For table games, come see the proprietary ShuffleStar® Continuous Shuffler, which revolutionizes the way cards are delivered to players, providing the highest level of safety, security and reliability. The new Chipmaster-S takes chip sorting to a whole new level and ShuffleMaster’s NEXUS Command will amp up table games by offering jackpot side-bets. Scientific Games will also demo its next generation lottery loyalty programs – proven to enhance player engagement by moving players from earning points to winning points through entertaining, achievement-based thresholds. With WILLY WONKA CHOCOLATE TOWER™, THE PRICE IS RIGHT® and WORLD POKER TOUR® CARD FLIP, Scientific Games amps up the lottery interactive game entertainment value at ICE with the industry’s largest offering of licensed brands loved by players everywhere. Experience Scientific Games at stands N1-560 and N3-130 at ICE Totally Gaming on February 6-8. Detailed product information and specifications can be found in the Scientific Games ICE media pack, available on request.
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