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Volume 15 Issue 126

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Editorial: Editor in Chief: Glyn Thomas Mob: +44 (0) 7727 969 299

Editor’s Page Welcome to Casino Life...

Simon Thomas is always a sound bet as a Guest Commentator and he does us proud again this issue. Ever the optimist it’s surprising however, to see him on a somewhat downbeat mood, tempering his enthusiasm for the forthcoming ICE extravaganza with the need to recognise the growing nega-tive effects that consumer protection is having on the industry. And he

glyn@ace123.com

would know. At the helm of a successful casino flagship in the heart of

Features Editor:

in a colourful and safe environment. We hope industry regulators

Damien Connelly

dconnelly@ace123.com Associate Editor Asia: Bill Healey bill@ace123.com

Associate Editor North America David Mckee

dmckee@ace123.com Special Assignment Correspondent: Sophie Behan

the West End he is a litmus test for giving consumers what they want treat his con-cerns seriously – if they seek to remove risk where is the thrill in risk-taking? Whether it be the anticipation of a ball dropping into your lucky number or the dreams of a jackpot... let’s hope that “safe” is not applied as “no-risk” because no risk will mean not going to a casino at all. Back to this issue and we start with talking to Phil Nunn at The Palm Beach and discuss the sterling work that’s been undertaken to refurbish the premises and give it a burnish that one of the prem-ier London casinos deserves. Horizons in Leicester Square is another London landmark, albeit a new kid on the block, and I caught up with George Polhill, Managing Director to discuss how the casino is living up to high ex-pectations. One contact I made in South Africa recently was the ubiquitous

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Sixolile Mpahlwa whose approach to casino social media marketing is

International Casino & Gaming

making millions of impressions – literally.

Correspondent:

Robert Ambrose

r.ambrose16@gmail.com Technology Correspondent:

I can remember them when they were in a small booth tucked away at ICE at Earls Court but now they are flourishing expansive company; DRGT continue to expand and become more successful by following their mantra of “Put the Player First!” SuzoHapp have a global reach and over a 1000 employees and it

Rebecca Green

was great to talk to Goran Sovilj, Executive Vice President Gaming &

Production:

sound advice from Marie J. Maher and motivate yourself to do better

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Designer: Stewart Hyde

stewart@totaldesignworks.com www.totaldesignworks.com

Amusement EMEA about their heritage and plans for the future. New challenges need a positive attitude so why not take some and reach your true potential? More on page 36. Finally, ICE is here so we look at what we can expect on the exhibition floor and close with the last word from Damien Connelly. We look forward to seeing you at ICE.

Subscriptions: Helen Holmes subs@ace123.com

Web & IT: Sudip Banjeree sb@ace123.com

Glyn Thomas Editor in Chief

Please drop by and see us at ICE: on ND6 C and ND6 D

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Contents 3

Editors page

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Guest Comment Simon Thomas

6 Be Our Guest Phil Nunn Club Director The Palm Beach Casino Interview by Peter White 17 A Spirit of its Own George Polhill, Managing Director Horizons Casino Leicester Square London chats to Glyn Thomas 23 Prince Entertainment Sixolile Mpahlwa CEO, Prince Entertainment Interview by: Glyn Thomas 25 The Vision is Simple and Unwavering: Put the Player First! Interview with DR Gaming Technology™s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Jurgen De Munck and Managing Director: Africa, Charl Geyser. By: Bill Healey 30 Truly Global Goran Sovilj Executive Vice President Gaming & Amusement EMEA at SUZOHAPP. Interview By: Damien Connelly 36 Speaking as a Motivational Leader Your communication is the key. By: Marie J. Maher Ph.D. 39 ICE London Preview 2019 Cammegh • Aristocrat • G-Digital NOVOMATIC • Scientific Games 50 The Last Word by Damien Connelly 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.

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Guest Comment, Simon Thomas Casino operators are in the business of suspense and surprise. These are the qualities that make the spin of the wheel, the turn of the card and the roll of the dice meaningful — wrapped up in the theatre of a live casino experience. As I prepare for my annual pilgrimage to a chilly and windswept London Docklands for the ICE expo, suspense and surprise are very much in my thoughts. These are tense — and somewhat dark — times within the licensed gambling industry in Britain and a wide range of markets glob-ally. ICE showcases the industry at its ingenious best and offers the prospect of discovery and sur-prise. However, in recent times it has also become a target for the public health lobby which increasingly appears to pit consumer enjoyment against consumer protection as if they were antagonistic forces. My anticipation is thus tempered by an element of concern. For me, the attempt to position industry innovation and harm prevention as mutually exclusive choices is both unhelpful and dangerous. It is transparently in the interests of the consumer if we consider fun and safety in sympathy with one another rather than as diametric choices. Saf-er gambling ought not to mean duller gambling if we approach it from the customer’s perspective (at the same time respecting personal autonomy and consumer rights). This week I will be participating in a session to consider what the British casino would look like if it was designed with the customer at the heart — rather than the operator, the regulator, the Government minister or the public health lobbyist. Our challenge is to conceive a venue grounded in what the consumer wants in terms of fun and safety rather than what the regula-tions dictate. I have some insights from recent experiences at the Hippodrome where we have invested sig-nificant resource in raising the bar on entertainment by bringing Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike show from Las Vegas to London. At the same time, we have been testing new facial recognition software as part of a broader range of

Simon Thomas, CEO, Hippodrome Casino Ltd

improvements to our safer gambling programme. Consumer enjoyment in the casino industry ought to be compatible with consumer safety — if we approach these two challenges in a coordinated fashion. A focus on delivering better expe-riences for consumers is also likely to result in meaningful harm reduction. At the same time, both Government and regulator ought to recognise that certain aspects of our legislation stand in opposition to both fun and safety — and to take steps to remove them. Treating enjoyment and safety as antagonistic forces (as some appear intent on doing) is unlikely to lead to sustainability; nor is it likely to be in the best interests of the consumer. Simon Thomas, CEO, Hippodrome Casino Ltd

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Be Our Guest Phil Nunn, Club Director, The Palm Beach Casino. Interview by Peter White

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Can you summarise your career to this point? I have been at The Palm Beach Casino for two and a half years, starting in 2016. However, overall, I have worked for over 22 years as a Casino Director/General Manager within London. Before I started my career in casinos, I worked as a UK-wide training manager for Ladbrokes. One of my more unusual roles once I joined the sector included working for a Management Training and Security consultancy for Mike Wallace’s International Casino Monitoring; this is the role

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which led me to develop my global knowledge of many operators and owners. As you have commented, you were originally involved in Management Training Consultancy based in Belgium. How has that experience assisted you during your career in the casino industry? It’s been invaluable to change one’s perspective on working on the gaming floor from overseas to UK operations.


gaming floor, a la carte restaurant and bar & grill, providing a VIP experience to all. How did the casino get the title of The Palm Beach Casino? The Palm Beach was founded 53 years ago and is named after the famous town of Palm Beach in Florida. How has the casino changed over the years since its change of name from the Mayfair Hotel? The Palm Beach Casino is attached to the Mayfair Hotel. Since the opening of ‘The May Fair Hotel’ on 28th March 1927 there have been numerous owners. In 1964 ‘Grand Metropolitan’ became the third. On 29th September 1965, Maxwell Joseph, Chairman and founder of Grand Metropolitan, along with the Barnet brothers, Robert and Alfred, opened the new and exciting ‘French’ themed Palm Beach Club – in what was once the Hotel’s famous Ballroom and ‘Boulevard de Paris Restaurant’. Claude Legendre, General Manager and Pierre Hirigoyen, Gaming Manager whom originally came from ‘The Palm Beach Casino’ in Cannes, France, hence the name, held a small part of the management share. In 1967 the French pulled out of the deal, enabling Grand Metropolitan and the Barnett brothers to introduce their own Management team. They also acquired Crockfords and The Colony Club (called the International Sporting Club at the time). In 1971 The Palm Beach Club along with the remaining clubs were sold to Joseph Coral. In 1980 they were sold to

How is life for you at Genting? What aspects of the way the organisation operates impress you the most and why? Genting are an exhilarating casino operator with some of the finest casinos around the world, with 41 casinos across the UK alone. Our high-end London operation is second to none. The recent refurbishment with an investment of over £2m is by far the best I’ve been involved in throughout my career. The new look includes a fabulous

Bass Charrington, who in turn sold The Palm Beach Club to Grand Metropolitan Ltd, parent company to Mecca Sportsman Ltd. This was their fifth London casino. In 1989 the ‘Management’ purchased the casino group from Grand Metropolitan, becoming London Clubs Ltd. 1994 London Clubs Management Ltd, with seven casinos in London, was floated on the stock market, becoming London Clubs International Plc. On 23 May 2003 Stanley Leisure PLC purchased The Palm Beach Club, reuniting The Colony Club and Crockfords, along with The Cromwell Mint and over 40 provincial casinos in Britain. In 2007 Stanley Casinos Ltd was purchased by Malaysian resort company Genting – becoming ‘Genting Casinos UK’. How does one face the challenges of staying current with new social media trends and retaining the elements of what makes the Palm Beach Casino so special?

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In the new age world of social media you have to find your style and stick to it. You create your own identity. What we really highlight on our social channels is our F&B offer. Everyone that knows The Palm Beach knows that we are a casino, but what we bet they don’t know is that we have the two restaurants and three bars inside, they

What are the most popular Table Games with your regular patrons? American Roulette is still the top of the list for our customers but Baccarat and Blackjack also play a big part in this too. Palm Beach features one of London’s largest gaming rooms with dedicated tables for Poker and

just think of the gaming floor. Once we highlight our offer on Instagram along with our strong gaming offer and our location, all of a sudden it’s something extra special. The new 50-cover restaurant is a grand room with high ceilings and is overseen by award-winning head chef Mahmud Zaman. Ruby leather booths and magnolia velvet chairs are surrounded by backlit mirrored arches and artwork inspired by Chinese symbolism, all of which add to the colour of the brand portrayed through photos on social media.

Baccarat, as well as American and electronic roulette. Players can also join a game of ‘Roulette Live’ which is Mayfair’s first and only live-action casino offering, meaning guests can play in-venue at our Dual Play Roulette table with people from all around the world. Players who can’t make it to the casino that night can even log-in and join the game remotely to ensure they still get a taste of the glamorous Palm Beach experience.

Do you have any new VIP promotions or new marketing ideas for 2019? Our VIP’s get looked after all year round. In regards to our marketing ideas of course we have our quarterly calendars in place with various promotions, events and activities. But you’ll have to keep an eye on our website and social channels to find out what we have planned.

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What is your view on gaming and industry & innovation? We can see that the gaming world is evolving - you only have to look at our new dual play wheel to see that (as mentioned above). We are also forever changing and improving on our social responsibility ensuring an enjoyable, safe and responsible gaming experience. Over the years this will continue to change, and we will continue to be innovative for a new customer experience.


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There seems to have been a noticeable shift in the type and origin of the traditional “high roller” you now find playing in VIP salons around the world. Would you say this has been the case with The Palm Beach clientele and if so how have you had to adapt to accommodate them? We have remained very stable and we haven’t been affected by any changes. We have enhanced the VIP experience here at The Palm Beach by refurbishing our High Stakes area to attract these types of guests to our casino. What in your opinion are amongst the most impressive facilities of the casino? We have so much that we can talk about – the new a la carte restaurant which offers amazing cuisines from around the world, all cooked by our famous Chef Zaman, is superb. Zaman’s Aloo Tikka Chaat with tamarind sauce is a great option to start with, followed by a personal

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favourite of Tandoori Lamb Chops, topping off the meal with a delicious coconut crème brûlée and lemon sorbet – perfection! Then you have our new Bar & Grill offering guests a more relaxed, all-day dining experience overlooking the casino floor, equipped with large screens showing coverage of the world’s major sporting events. This offers great food


spirits and wines, alongside a range of bar food from across the globe. This is also home to our DJ’s who play every night from 10pm until 4am. Of course, not forgetting our bespoke slots area and the very spacious gaming floor that we offer, so basically all of it! If you are allowed to say, who was your most surprising guest or guests during 2018? Being Mayfair we get plenty of VIPs and high rollers as we are in the heart of London, but as you well know that these things cannot be commented upon! and drinks from 12pm onwards, allowing diners to take in the atmosphere of the gaming floor. Lastly, The Lounge Bar, renovated last year, has a travel-inspired theme with aged map murals on the ceiling, and comfortable deep red velvet stool seating complemented by brown leather Chesterfield sofas. The bar is headed up by a talented mixology team featuring signature and classic serves,

As one of the premier VIP Clubs in London, how have you managed to keep The Palm Beach competitive? The great team that I have working with me and the impressive combination of luxe interiors, elegant dining, creative cocktails, fine wine and one of the largest gaming floors in the capital, open 24 hours a day, seven days a

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week, keeps us competitive and most of all… Location, Location, Location! How would you define your position of Club Director and what are some of the main responsibilities involved with the role? It’s very important that I protect the licence at all times; manage the venue, my managers, my staff and most of all looking after all of our customer’s. But always remember there’s an art to delegation! What has been one of the highlights as Club Director of The Palm Beach? I know I have said it many times but it has to be the refurb – seeing this project through from the start to its completion was a challenging yet great experience for me. Looking beyond 2018, what do you see as amongst the main aims and ambitions for the Casino?

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To make The Palm Beach be the casino of choice in Mayfair and The Lounge Bar to become a destination bar. We endeavour to continue to create awareness for all of our F&B areas within the casino - now that we have enhanced our customer offer we need to continue working on enhancing the experience. We will also work and continue to grow on the great success that the club has always had and bring that into 2019.


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Can you explain your social media in the marketing mix for the Palm Beach? Instagram is our social platform of choice. We also use Facebook and Twitter. It’s important that our social media represents the same look and feel as our website and inside our casino’s four walls. We aim to create and appeal to customers in the exact way that they see us on social media and use it to drive footfall. From social media, they will then naturally find their way to our website. As soon as they visit our website they will see we have created the same vibe, colour tones and tone of voice. Then they walk in the doors of The Palm Beach and the image we have portrayed comes to life. If you follow our Instagram pages you can see our focus is on our F&B offer, our content is very current and engaging. On our Facebook pages you will see that’s where we post all of our events and what’s going on. Throughout the year we host calendar events such as Chinese New Year, Valentine’s, Diwali, Christmas and New Year’s Eve as well as Palm Beach hosting weekly

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Arabian nights, regular shisha, DJs and ‘learn to play’ sessions for beginners. What is involved in a social media-based event hosted at the casino? We work with various different companies and influencers to boost our profile for The Palm Beach – it’s important to show people the other side of fun that we have here at The Palm Beach. We are showing companies and promoters that we have a wealth of impressive private hire spaces for any occasion. Have you examples that our online readers can see on for example Instagram? Yes please follow us on @palmbeachcasino to follow us on Instagram and see all the exciting things we do on our feed. Finally, when you are not at work – how do you relax? Golf! I’m a massive fan.


A Spirit of its Own George Polhill, Managing Director, Horizons Casino Leicester Square London, chats to Glyn Thomas

Please can we commence this interview with a history of the Horizons Casino and the owning company? Horizons has been in operation since mid July 2018, three months after takeover, replacing the Napoleons brand. We have built on the longstanding Napoleons brand, which was originally established in Leicester Square in 1988, over 30 years ago. Up until the early noughties it was the only casino in and close to the Square – now there are 5. Can you summarise your career to just prior to your current role? I have come full circle. I started my career in 1978 as a trainee dealer at Charlie Chesters in Archer Street, Soho – a 5-minute walk from Horizons. Within two years I had moved to the International Sporting Club in Berkeley Square and remained in the Mayfair casino world for the next 35 years going through the ranks and into

management. From early 2000 I was Casino Director for the Colony and then Crockfords until 2009. After that, I became the Director of International Marketing for Genting Casinos in London with special focus on business acquisition from the Far East. Could you outline your role at Horizons Casino? My main role is to drive continuous improvement in every facet of the operation, which allows us to successfully compete with some of our larger competition, without sacrificing the proven qualities that have served us well in the past. The mission is to achieve market leading customer service excellence that builds on the advantages of a long-established business. What aspects of your role do you find most satisfying? Bringing to bear my long experience in a very different

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George Polhill, Managing Director, Horizons Casino

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gaming environment to the challenges of growing a casino business in the West End. But it’s a two-way street, because I’m learning a lot about the fundamentals of a very different kind of operation. It’s a genuinely fascinating and absorbing experience.

What is your view on the gaming industry & innovation? Many parts of the world, casino developments are an important element of regional economic planning and have produced some spectacular destinations that rival Las Vegas, particularly in the Far East. There has been a lot of change in this country too, particularly since the new 2005

Is Leicester Square a good location to operate a casino? I would say the most popular. It has a footfall of approximately 300.000 per day – drawn by restaurants, theatres, cinemas, clubs, street performers, bars, casinos and of course Chinatown itself. The Square continues to improve and evolve as a destination as evidenced by the crop of new boutique hotels around the perimeter.

Gaming Act came into force. Gaming truly has become an ‘industry’ both here and worldwide and whether your business has a local or international bias, it is operating in a global context. There is more scope for dynamic business growth in this country, but we have also seen the creation of huge competing businesses too. The online casino and sports betting sector have boomed, partly because this is the digital age but also because they have hitherto enjoyed some key advantages over their bricks and mortar cousins. Today, innovation and creativity are essential to the commercial survival of land-based casinos in every aspect of the business whether technical, marketing or operational. There are more freedoms, but the regulatory requirements are ever more demanding and therefore the competition to acquire and retain a robust customer base is ever keener.

Does the casino provide for VIPs? It is part of our strategy to attract the higher spend player and provide the gaming environment and play conditions they require. We don’t have private rooms but we do have the capacity, skills and flexibility to cater for high spend individuals with table limits and reward programmes that compete with the best our competitors can offer. To date, the top tier player base has expanded considerably and many of them are finding their way to us from the more upmarket properties in town.

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If you are allowed to say, who was your most surprising guest or guests since the casino opened? A visit from a Mayfair VVIP, normally to be found in the private rooms of the most upmarket casinos in the world. He thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Horizons and loved the atmosphere. What has been amongst the biggest highlights for the casino since it opened? Soon after we started trading as Horizons, we introduced regular Baccarat and Roulette tournaments and they have provoked great interest as well as being a lot of fun to do. The prizes we offer are significant and tournament nights create a very lively and exciting atmosphere, which the staff and customers greatly enjoy. Millennials are an important age range. How does Horizons Casino cater for this market? Most of the available floor area of Horizons is dedicated to gaming product plus we have a small bar and restaurant. Our focus is on providing great playing conditions and customer experience across a wide cross-section of electronic and table game players. Our analysis shows that on average these players fall into the mid-thirties age range – just about Millennial! We also actively market our Bar and Restaurant facilities and new faces are very welcome – hence the open-door policy we adopted soon after takeover.

What would you say are amongst the many unique aspects that single out Horizons from its competition in Leicester Square? The difference that defines us from our near neighbours is of course size. Horizons provides an intimate and friendly ambience, which many of our customers describe as calm and secure. The casino management are very tuned in to constant customer interaction both with regulars and new guests, to a degree that much larger venues would find hard to emulate. We cater for an amazing mix of cultures and backgrounds very successfully and this is due to the high level of personal attention that our customers routinely receive. What is Horizons approach to Food and Drink that are an essential part of casinos’ appeal? It’s very straightforward – we want to provide a range of great quality delicious meals, snacks and drinks as a key element of servicing our customers well. Since takeover, we have tried to build on the excellent reputation of the Restaurant and Bar by refining the range and quality of the meals, snacks and drinks. Whether you are a newcomer or a regular, our offer represents excellent value and variety. What innovations have been incorporated into the new casino, and are there more to come? The change process kicked in from day one and permeates every aspect of the operation – everything from

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progressive jackpot installations, new slots, ‘squeeze’ game Baccarat in the high stakes Gold Room and overhauled F&B offers. These are just a few examples of an evolution, which is still in the early stages and will continue to strive to provide the highest levels of customer service possible. What do you see as amongst the main aims and ambitions for the casino in 2019? Our main ambition is to be the leader in our market in providing the best customer gaming experience. This requires energy, rigour and creativity to be successful in a tough and shifting environment. To achieve this, we aim to continually improve in every aspect in our business and thereby get in great shape to continue to flourish! Finally, when you are not at work – how do you relax? For entertainment I like the cinema, all manner of food experiences and a good bottle of red wherever and whenever I can get it. I live in the sticks, so for exercise my main passion is cycling supplemented by daily dog walking with my two lurchers. I can’t imagine going for a walk without them. Reading across all kinds of subjects and fiction has been the staple of my life. Casino Life would like to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule for this interview

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Sixolile Mpahlwa CEO, Prince Entertainment

Prince Entertainment

Sixolile Mpahlwa CEO, Prince Entertainment Interview by: Glyn Thomas Can we commence with a brief history of your career to date? I started my career with casinos in 2013 with Sun

Is there a story behind the choice of name of your company? I am not a prince, if that is what you are getting at. The name Prince Entertainment comes from the fact my son is named

International where I was a Guest Relations Officer. After one year, I was promoted to being a PR, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator. Shortly after that promotion, my portfolio was extended to PR, Promotions, Marketing and Entertainment. I was hungry for more growth. I joined Tsogo Sun casinos in the Cape Town area, focused on the same portfolios. However, I now had more focus on Digital Marketing as they wanted to grow more in that area. We felt that I was the correct person to improve the social media presence for that specific property, which was restricted when it comes to Marketing due to competition commission restrictions. Social media was the perfect PR and Marketing tool to use, especially for events and promotions. Soon the property was performing well with its social media activities. I was hungry for a greater challenge and I started my own company (Prince Entertainment) in 2017.

“Prince�. What were the main reasons for you deciding to set up the company? After working for the two biggest casino companies in South Africa, I could see a gap for the need to supply casinos with both entertainment services as well as social media marketing services. Can you explain what services your company provides casinos and other entertainment venues? My company assists casinos with digital marketing and social media marketing in collaboration with (HOS MEDIA). We have access to 1,200 social media influencers that have between 5 million and 28 million impressions a month each. We have also worked with a number of clients in other sectors, including TV shows in South Africa. Prince Entertainment has its own signature event (SummerMadness) that occurs

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every year with a huge line up of artists and we do that with a number of casino properties across the country. How many performing artists do you have on your books and what is your strategy for growth for the company with regards to increasing the number of artists that Prince Entertainment represents? We represent artists in South Africa and also in the USA. We have worked with artists in the States with one artist recently signing a major deal. We are now focusing on LaTina Webb who is busy in the studio after a long tour with R&B sensation Maxwell. In South Africa we are working with the award winning R&B artist TeePee. Our plan is to grow our company’s entertainment reach and be able to have SA artists doing well in the U.S. market when it comes to performing in casinos, and vice versa. My goal is to have my artists regularly performing in key casino markets such as Las Vegas, as well as across Africa and beyond. Do you have much international travel in the course of running the organisation? With the advance of communication technologies, it is easy now to meet and talk with people via video conference calls. That’s been working very well so far. In saying that, I will be visiting Atlanta and other U.S. locations during 2019 for business trips to grow the company. Where would you ideally like to see your organisation five years from now? In five years time, I dream that Prince Entertainment will be a huge empire. There is a lot that I am busy with currently. We are aiming for rapid growth, one step at a time. Do you have any role models? My parents. They refuse to quit. And Diddy (Sean Combs). I really respect the way he conducts his business; it’s so effortless. What kind of marketing services does Prince Entertainment provide casino operators? We provide operators with Digital Marketing services, ranging from Newsletters and SMS services to social media optimisation services. Is there anything else you would like to add? I am also assisting African artists register their music with the Billboard chart. Perhaps one day in the not-too-distant future, I will establish Billboard chart Africa. That is one of my growth goals.

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Chief Executive Officer and co-founder DR Gaming Technology Jurgen De Munck and Managing Director: Africa, Charl Geyser

The Vision is Simple and Unwavering: Put the Player First! Interview with DR Gaming Technology™s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Jurgen De Munck and Managing Director: Africa, Charl Geyser. By: Bill Healey DRGT™ was established in 2005. Jurgen you’ve been there from the start, and Charl you’ve been a part of the business for almost two thirds of that time. Can you tell me how it started for you both? Jurgen: As you know, DRGT™ literally started in a garage. We began with a relatively simple idea then, one that very quickly became our vision, and I guess our entire development mantra: ‘…to develop and deliver the best technology that puts the player first’. To fully execute this though, Michiel (van Dam, CTO and co-founder) and I realised that we also needed to not only provide operators with cutting edge technology that was robust and user-friendly, but we also needed to ensure that we had the people and the means to support those products, and more importantly our customers the operators who use them.

Charl: I left Aristocrat after 13 years’ service in 2007, dabbled in running my own pubs (with street market machines, of course) for a couple of years and ultimately decided to get back into gaming equipment distribution in 2009. My involvement with DRGT™ dates back almost a decade, to when I took on the distribution of the then SiP product; I met Jurgen and Michiel when they purchased SiP in late 2011. At the time we met, I had secured an EGM distribution contract, and was looking for a jackpot service provider to meet a local tender opportunity. In DRGT™ not only did I find a great jackpot solution, but in my view the most powerful, cost effective and user-friendly casino management system I had ever come across. I firmly believed that I had found the proverbial ‘goose that lays

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the golden egg’ – the perfect disruptor, the product that I could really launch my newly established Simplicit-e Gaming Solutions off of. Roll ahead to 2019, and Simplicit-e Gaming solutions is now DRGT™ Africa, a joint venture between DRGT™ and South African investment holding company Grand Parade Investments Limited. DRGT™ celebrated a decade of successfully operating its management system and WAPs in Switzerland in 2018, you and your team must be very proud of the success. Jurgen: We are, very proud. Christian Eder, and his team in Austria, as well as Jean-Michel De Busscher and his team in Belgium have done a great job in securing, and then maintaining and growing our presence in Switzerland. Since installing our first system in Grand Casino Bern in 2008, we have expanded that footprint to over 10 casinos; what remains encouraging is that many of these installations, and others across the globe, follow referrals and endorsements from one operator to the next. You cannot put a price on that sort of marketing, it is invaluable, and we treasure it immensely! DR Gaming Technology™ is also the market leader in Belgium, correct?

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Jurgen: Yes, you are quite correct. With our proverbial roots in the country, we did our best to secure as much local support as possible. In fact, I can now proudly say that all 9 Belgian casinos manage their operations using our system. Technology and innovation are the backbone of DRGT™s success. How do you retain your competitive edge? Jurgen: Michiel along with our R&D Directors and our Global Product team drive our product development and its associated time lines. Without divulging too much, I think it is safe to say, as I have said on many previous occasions, consumers in general (and this includes gaming ‘players’) are becoming more and more demanding of tailored solutions and ease of use, and less and less tolerant of extended time lines or service intervals. With this in mind, we need to develop quicker, install quicker and be able to provide operators with technology to engage quicker and more directly with their players. Products like our drMediaManager, drScreen video and TV streaming functionality and our ability to present jackpot and other media to the top screens of EGMs talk directly to this ‘shift’.


This leads to my next question, what can visitors to ICE London expect to see from DRGT™ on 5, 6 and 7 February? Charl: Whilst we continue to develop and design new jackpot systems and expand on the solutions our casino management systems are able to provide, the key to our success remains our core product offering driven

to learn tables jackpot side bet game. To date the game is installed across a number of Sun International and Peermont casinos in South Africa, at the Hippodrome in London, Grand Kaz in the Seychelles, Monterey in Mexico, Casino Platino in the Dominican Republic, Richard’s Casino in Peru, as well as a number of casinos in Belgium and Cyprus. In fact at present it is the most profitable tables

at present by our Tables Management System and our BlackJack11’s Tables Jackpot game, our world-leading range of slots jackpots and our revolutionary drScreen player tracking interface and world-leading 8.8” drScreenUltra player tracking display. These will all be on display in London.

side-bet game on the African continent, an accolade we trust we will be able to replicate elsewhere across the globe too.

What are your most successful products? Charl: Our most successful slots product is a WideArea Progressive (WAP) Jackpot called SunStriker, the 2nd in a series of three bespoke WAPs developed for Sun International. Since inception, it remains the top performing jackpot in Africa, I’m also proud to say that since our initial installation of the 1st of these three WAPs over 5 years ago, there has never been a single second of downtime. Off the back of our slots success we developed BlackJack11’s that I referred to earlier, a fast and easy

The above said, what are the advantages of either upgrading to, or installing DRGT™s systems at the outset? Jurgen: Advances in technology allowed us to provide a truly serverless offering at the outset. It also afforded us the ability to provide more functionality than existing legacy systems, and furthermore ensured that we were able to install our product extremely quickly. A case in point was our installation at Grand Casino Basel, where we completed the entire change over in a single day during normal operating hours. Considering the above, does your system operate on all gaming devices? Charl: Absolutely, we’re able to operate our systems

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and jackpots on literally any slot machine, as long as it operates using a legislated protocol. What I’m referring to here are the likes of SAS, ASP, NSW and GRIPS. In closing gentlemen, for those casinos wanting a new system or jackpot solution, why should they consider DRGT™? Jurgen: My answer here is not a new one: I think in any industry, whether it be product or service related, the customer (and in our case ‘the player’) must come first. Our technology solutions afford operators the functionality and products to do just that! Charl: I agree 100%; if an operator is looking to replace his/her existing management system, upgrade part of it, or is in the market for a system for a new casino development, call us! I can promise DRGT™s full commitment to finding a solution that works, is robust, reliable and cost-effective, and focussed whole-heartedly on ‘putting the player first’.

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Truly Global

Goran Sovilj Executive Vice President Gaming & Amusement EMEA at SUZOHAPP. Interview By: Damien Connelly How was 2018 for SUZOHAPP and what are your

Price is always a factor with casino operators, so how do

expectations for 2019? Gaming revenues on the whole were up for most operators throughout the world that gave 2018 a positive note. This could be seen at the major exhibitions such as ICE and G2E Las Vegas where attendance numbers were up and there was much more of a buzz to the shows when compared to previous years. As the global gaming industry’s leading supplier of components and solutions for OEMs and operators, we have benefited from this uplift. Another major reason for success is our dedicated product line that continues to grow – both our SUZOHAPP range and the distribution products / brands we offer. 2018 was also a challenging year as we have integrated so many companies and brands under the SUZOHAPP roof. The direction is clear and we can now focus more this year in ensuring that our customers benefit from the unique choice we offer.

the prices of products from SUZOHAPP compare to OEMs and alternative distributors? Sure, price is a factor that affects us all. We are all faced with price decisions every day. The price has to be right and that is always our goal with our customers. The big term is called economies of scale. As we offer so many solutions – we can provide practically every single component that fits into a slot or sports betting machine – manufacturers don’t need to waste their time dealing with lots of different suppliers. They just need to deal with one – us at SUZOHAPP. And just like in the consumer world, the more you buy, the better the price becomes. The best choice at the best price – all from one supplier – that saves time and money.

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Operational Efficiency of Casino operations can be affected by poor Cash Management. How can SUZOHAPP assist Gaming Establishments. For example,


do you operate trials at Casinos as a way of demonstrating the effectiveness of the latest Cash Handling and Management systems and Equipment? We have had a dedicated team to support the casino operators in both components and solutions. We have the ability to support casino operators directly or through local partners, not only with trials but also from pre-sales to after-service. It is not just about having a direct source for spare parts – it is much more than that. We are a technology-based company and actively advise operators on how to manage their cash on the most efficient way and reduce overall costs significantly. What Other areas does SUZOHAPP assist Operators with increasing their operational efficiency? We place emphasis as well on informing operators of new technology and providing them with technical support, training and service. We see that this speeds up the integration of such technology. At the end of the day the player can access this technology more quickly so it’s a win-win for all. What are the main benefits SUZOHAPP bring to the sales reach of your suppliers, such as Elo Touch, Nanoptix and Newland?

We are a truly global company with over 1,000 employees and facilities in 37 separate countries. We live and breathe gaming and are well known and respected throughout the Gaming world. We have a large team of professionals with years of experience and expertise on what goes into a Gaming machine or Sport Betting terminal. We at SUZOHAPP offer a complete package of all key components to OEMs. Our customers know they can

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rely on us to support them with integration, just in time delivery, quick spare parts availability and service. During Autumn 2018 the company announced the joint marketing agreement with German Software Solutions provider for the betting industry Digitote. What has been the primary reasons for this partnership and can you explain to our readers details of these products? There were several reasons why we entered into this agreement with Digitote. The sports betting market is booming at present, especially in the USA. We have a strong presence in the USA. In May last year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting, allowing states to legalize it. This legislative change opens up vast opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs to offer sports wagering capabilities across a myriad of platforms, including online, kiosk, tablet, terminal and self-service. It’s simple - we have the hardware expertise and Digitote the software expertise. Together we offer an excellent sports betting solution. Do you see SUZOHAPP getting more involved in the years ahead with Sports Betting and associated Online Gaming Sectors? Sports Betting has been the fastest growing sub-industry over the last couple of years, becoming an integral part of our business. Once again at ICE we will be showcasing our Sports Betting components and solutions. SUZOHAPP has the capacity and know-how to provide the best solutions for the market place, making use of its hardware and software expertise. Creating visual impacts on the Slot Floors of Casinos is getting more and more demanding with ever increasing amounts of technology involving displays and their operating systems. What are the latest range of displays that SUZOHAPP provide and what aspects of their latest range makes them in your opinion a must buy for Casinos? We have an amazing choice of in-house solutions: the VisionPro™ Edge-Lit LED Touch and Non-Touch monitors. We also offer a wide range of distribution touchscreens – Elo Touch represents the high-end solution. Elo is the world’s largest producer of commercial-grade touch displays, over 20 million installations, producing nearly 2,000 units per day. Indeed, Elo quality is never in doubt that reflects our focus on bringing the best technology to market. What are the key features of the VisionPro™ Edge-Lit LED

Touch and Non-Touch monitors? These stylishly engineered Edge-Lit LED Monitors are gaming monitors with LED frames. They come in several sizes, 21.5”, 23.8”, or 27” with wide viewing angle and FullHD resolution. Also choose the design, either Integrated for mounting monitor flush inside your cabinet, or External for floating the monitor outside your cabinet with a halo lighting effect. You can also choose between fully addressable LEDs, individually driven by +5VDC with an IC, or RBG for a solid colour all the way around, driven by +12VDC. And finally all are either with flat 10-touch PCAP touchscreen or matching non-touch 3mm tempered glass. The monitors feature rigid high-quality PCB-mounted LEDs with no adhesive strips and no hotspots, with VGA + DVI inputs (HDMI and DisplayPort available). Customization in any size is possible. What is the company’s approach to investment in new designs incorporating the latest technology with stock products, such as LCD button decks, pushbuttons, barcode scanners, locks, toppers? We are a technology company. We are constantly investing to create leading innovation for our industry which you will see at ICE. We employ 115 engineers throughout

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the world. The focus on technology has transformed our company and made SUZOHAPP such a strong name. Earlier last year SUZOHAPP acquired Coinco. How has that product line complemented the company’s portfolio of payment solutions? We at SUZOHAPP are active in a multitude of industries. Coinco has strengthened our product offering in the vending market. It is our strategy to be (or become) the leading technology supplier to each industry for cash management components and solutions. That explains why we focus on acquiring new companies to be added to the group so much. Exhibitions are an effective way for the industry to see the latest gaming, equipment and associated systems on the market. What can visitors to ICE Totally Gaming 2019 expect to see at the SUZOHAPP booth? We are a complete source for Gaming and Sports Betting Components and Solutions. Indeed, SUZOHAPP is the only global company providing a comprehensive offering of components for casino and sports betting for OEMs. This includes but is not limited to LCD monitors featuring top quality brands such as Elo Touch Solutions and SUZOHAPP’s very own VisionPro™, in addition to bill validators, printers, coin mechanisms, LCD button decks, push buttons, barcode scanners, locks, toppers, USB chargers, power supply, and more. The main highlights at the show will include our latest VisionPro™ and ELO displays, push buttons (in particular the versatile and innovative DPS), a wide range of components for sports betting solutions, new Nanoptix printers and the new Giussani E-PRL (electronic) lock. Therefore, at ICE we will feature a wide range of component offerings for gaming and amusement machines and sports betting terminals. We are one source with the world’s largest offering for the gaming industry. This means that we can simplify your sourcing with an extremely broad product range, local resources and global capability. We can provide our customers with every single component required in a gaming, amusement and sports betting machine. This significantly simplifies their sourcing – saving time and money. Customers also appreciate

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having just one contact for so many different requirements. Finally, we are also a leading software and hardware supplier of complete cash management solutions typically found anywhere from cashier cages to large-scale back office operations. At ICE we will show a model of a cashier’s cage demonstration and present a wide range of CashComplete™ solutions coupled with its CashComplete™ Connect monitoring software. The main highlights will be: the SCAN COIN ICX Active-9 Coin Sorter, CashComplete™ SDS-35 Smart Deposit Solution and RCS400 & 500 Recycling Cash Solutions. In this way operators get a real-life view of how to best put our solutions to work. Is there anything else you would like to add? We send out a warm welcome to come and see us at ICE. Our stand is N3-130, just a little away from our customary position. Our booth will be larger than in previous years to enable us to show a wider range of our products and solutions. Our international team is looking forward to seeing you and helping to support your business. Come and find out more about our latest products and solutions and the difference they make.


Simplify Your Sourcing for Gaming and Sport Betting Components and Solutions

Visit us at

Stand N3-130

suzohapp.com

™


Speaking as a Motivational Leader

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Your communication is the key. By Marie J. Maher Ph.D.

search the globe for the finest executives and my client properties are always seeking motivational leaders. I get asked frequently about how to distinguish when hiring, those who cannot only lead a team, but motivate them with inspiration and success. Motivation is ultimately about increasing team morale and productivity, and is more an art than a science. For all successful senior leaders, years of trial and error and a great deal of self-discovery have gone into creating their “style”; their demeanor and interactions with staff, superiors, and peers. These more successful leaders have created a persona that is geared toward moving people toward the goals they are strategically planning. These strategies are not by chance; they are by design. The question is, how did they - and how can you, get to that point of influence as we lead and motivate our colleagues, support our friends, and assume guidance roles in our families and communities? We all know that it is important to address new challenges with a positive attitude. And that includes our own attitude. Hope, vision, meaning and purpose are all motivational factors. Sustaining motivational effectiveness over long periods is challenging. Our world is becoming more unpredictable, disruption is a very real component of achievement, leaders are rarely un-plugged from demands

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of workplace and their emotional resources are tapped constantly. Power and responsibility stress can wear people down. This effect often called the “sacrifice syndrome” is burn-out and diminished effectiveness. Emotions are contagious and people take their cues from leaders. It is likely that this type of burn-out can spread to a team or an entire organization. We become less optimistic, less hopeful, more task and less vision focused, and begin to take relationships for granted. In fact, we lose our edge. We are truly less effective. This stage of overwhelmed leadership ability is very easy to spot. As an Executive Search expert, I can tell in the first telephone interview if I have a leader at engaged stage or the sacrifice stage. Obviously, I do not want to place an emotionally fatigued leader into an environment where I have been asked specifically for a motivational change agent. The gate keepers to career advancement, such as myself and others in the field of high level hiring, are quite literally the first and vital step in attaining those jobs. Those of us who are experts can read the tells very easily. How can you avoid the sacrifice syndrome? In order to continue advancing in business, you must do so. Motivational leaders need to develop habits of the mind and behavior to support the role of renewal. These


would include, among others, mindfulness, hope, and compassion. Mindfulness means staying in a state of awareness of both self and others and is a choice we must continually make. Ask yourself, what inspires you? Allowing yourself to attend to your own needs is not only intelligent but a wise business choice. You need personal sustainability more than any service or commodity you oversee. Your process of renewal begins with mindfulness. Then, engaging hope and compassion counters some of the harm done by stress. Hope is what we experience when we look forward to a future that seems feasible and enticing. Hope carries us through transitions in life. Hope will drive you and your team to new heights. Hope must be cherished and not lost in the ebb and flow of life and business. People with a positive vision are more likely to have a sense of purpose. This is true for groups as well, resulting in a clear sense of purpose and direction. Compassion is a very important aspect also. Compassion is empathy in action, which sparks positive physiological changes and triggers renewal and is contagious. Compassion can influence group and organizational culture and encourage mutual supportiveness. I believe the first step in effective leadership is a clearer understanding of how people make choices, including the choice to support us or to lay booby traps along our path. How your team and friends are thinking about an issue is vital to grasping how they will respond to the issue. People are not superheroes, so renewal is vital and resonant leadership is common sense. In self-awareness, social awareness, and self-management, understanding

socialization. Obviously, there are also significant differences in applying this knowledge in a micro and a macro model. To begin to change or redirect our own personal thought process is certainly no easy process, but to do so for others is very challenging. Changing one’s self is challenging. Changing the others’ self concepts is mind boggling. If we do not engage with the control beliefs held by our subordinates in a team leadership dynamic, or with our teenager in the next bedroom, we exacerbate their feeling of powerless-ness and anger against larger forces. Yet, as many of you know from frustrating personal experience, engaging with a very external personality can make one want to throw up your hands in despair. How many times have we all heard, “That never works here”, or “you never let me”? Motivation is NOT one size fits all. Every person is motivated by different goals and a different sense of achievement. The paradigm of locus of control points out that some people will feel they have less control of all aspects of their life while others feel much more in control. This is a good model to remember in daily life. Obviously, each person requires a different motivational strategy. This is where a truly motivational individual relishes the opportunity to encourage ALL others across the board, regardless of their cultural or social beliefs and values. But HOW you say, can I encourage diverse people to achieve, enjoy, and excel, and their tasks and in their lives? I may not even know them well enough to make these calls. An attribute of such gifted people is their ability to use MOTIVATIONAL COMMUNICATION effectively and

self-talk both for ourselves and others plays a big role in our general understanding of the possibilities inherent in handling our thoughts with intention. For many average people prior to this time, “thoughts” were often seen as outside forces to which a person was vulnerable. I remember listening to older people as a child, telling stories about how they had been “driven” to do something by their wayward thoughts. This sense of being carried along by a force larger than one’s self is, of course, typical of an external locus of control and those who feel controlled by life. In a very real sense, such individuals are extremely difficult to motivate. Internal thinkers are those who feel they have control over much of their life. They speak and act with more direct speech, such as “Let’s make this happen”. Understanding the paradigm of the locus of control is important, but so also is understanding the diversities inherent in cultural, ethnic, religious, class, and gender

consistently. Regardless of the other person’s individuality, you will NOT succeed in motivating them if you do not grasp the importance of motivational communication, understand and learn it, and practice it in every aspect of your life. That includes conversations with an executive search consultant! If you are going to assume the role of motivating another person or group, you need to be very aware of your high level of visibility with these “others”. They will be looking at you, really looking, to see if you exemplify what you want from them. I will be really listening to you when I contact you for a high ranking position. You will not be effective in elevating others if you are clearly not doing so for yourself. People look to others for authenticity, credibility, and transparency. You must master motivational communication. No doubt all of you reading this have taken some sort of communication classes. You probably know all about body language, eye

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contact, reflective listening and more. These are very important tools to have in your arsenal as a motivational person. But, they are not what I want to focus upon here. For our purposes now, I want you to consider the content of your communication overall. Think back upon times in your life when you tried very hard to do as another person asked; to accomplish something they assigned, to make them proud of you, to satisfy their demands of you. You may have even held an unspoken dialogue with this person in your mind as you worked on the challenge. Perhaps you hoped they would be pleased, proud, surprised, satisfied with your effort. Now, remember their actual response. Was it positive, empowering, grateful, supportive? Or was it diminishing, critical, disinterested, or dismissive? In daily life and in the workplace, we have countless opportunities every single day to use motivational communication to enhance and enrich the lives of others. It is easy to do, costs nothing but your strategic thought, and can change the course of another person’s day. But, do you consistently use it? I am guessing that you do not. This is because you have adopted learned behaviors from others around you. Sadly, the normal discourse we encounter in daily life is far from motivational. We continuously hear others in

our lives complain, criticize, express anger and frustration, belittle, command, gossip, and use sarcasm very easily. We see this on media, hear it in song lyrics, and are surrounded by a morass of unproductive communication as the general rule. It’s easy to slip into the complaining mode, or the paranoid and apprehensive models. How we talk, embeds thoughts into our consciousness and helps to create our own reality. Ask yourself, if you took the negative commentary out of your life, how much remains? The first step toward motivating others is really knowing and understanding yourself. I challenge you to consider the way YOU communicate throughout the day. How much positive energy is expressed in your communication? How much disappointment, discomfort, frustration, and unhappiness is part of your communication style?

Marie J. Maher Ph.D. is the owner of Recruiting by Marie Maher www.recruitingbymariemaher. com placing management talent internationally within Casino Gaming and Hospitality industries to include Dining, Lodging and all Entertainment venues. Contact her: marie@mariejmaher.com

Looking for the best? Recruiting by Marie Maher Performing confidential and discreet executive searches, finding the best talent internationally for Casino Gaming, Lodging, Dining, and Entertainment venues. There is never a fee unless you hire. Costs are moderate and satisfaction is high Visit our website: www.recruitingbymariemaher.com Contact Dr. Marie Maher: marie@mariejmaher.com

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M M J RECRUITING BY MARIE MAHER


Preview of ICE 2019 Cammegh • Aristocrat • G-Digital • NOVOMATIC Scientific Games

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SPOTLIGHT

Cammegh Captures Imaginations With Random Rotor Speed

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ammegh, manufacturer of the world’s finest roulette wheels, brings its stunning video wall to ICE London to display the company’s fabulous range of casino gaming products. Showcasing the new, the updated, and

timeless favourites, the Cammegh booth at ICE will set the pace for the company’s 30th year in business. The headline product is Cammegh’s revolutionary Mercury 360 RRS wheel, featuring Cammegh’s patented Random Rotor Speed (RRS) technology. A hot topic of


conversation between gaming operators, Cammegh can confirm that more and more customers are requesting RRS wheels when ordering, seeing extraordinary merit in the product. “In the last 12 months, we’ve witnessed a huge shift in the number of operators discussing, specifying and ordering RRS wheels,” describes Andrew Cammegh. “RRS has become the most interesting conversation we’re having with customers right now and it’s a product that will gain greater traction in 2019. The ability for players to gain advantage through wearable technology and the addition of cerebral wheel clockers has meant that awareness of this issue, and the benefits of our patented RRS technology, has never been so acute. We’ve seen major changes in the perception of this technology with a growing number of operators whole-heartedly embracing the protection our Mercury 360 RRS wheel delivers.” Fitting with Cammegh’s continued commitment to hand-crafted elegance—interwoven with the latest cutting-edge technology—Cammegh is bringing its pinsharp Billboard Displays and uniquely versatile Billboard controllers to ICE London. Available in 23”, 27” and 32”, these displays can be orientated in portrait or landscape. They include a variety of finishes to complement the operator’s environment, with Red, Silver and Cammegh Gold finishes on display at ICE booth S8-120. “Our Billboard controller is an exquisite tool, each one an image of unity, affording our customers total peace of mind.” Cammegh will also be displaying a range of its tablefocused side bets at ICE. Operator favourites Spread-Bet Roulette, Spread-Bet Baccarat, Spread-Bet Blackjack, Doubleshot & Lucky Symbols are joined this year by Section-Bet Roulette. Section-Bet Roulette allows players

to target sections of the wheel, replacing odd and even “bets on” outside bets and dispensing with the need for dealers to place neighbour bets. Booth S8-120 will also show Cammegh’s productivity boosting Mini Wheel, a perfect ¾ scale recreation of the Mercury 360. The Mini Wheel is ideally suited for ETG stadium installations and online studios. It delivers up to 120 games per hour in comparison to a full wheel’s 70 games per hour. This is made possible by the tighter curvature of the racetrack on the Mini Wheel which reduces the velocity of the ball, causing the ball to drop faster.

From Mini to Big Cammegh will also be showcasing its Spread-Bet Big Wheel at ICE London. This impressive feat of engineering allows customers to play a condensed version of Roulette by betting on the spreads. With numerous pay tables available, our Spread-Bet Big Wheel automates a game every 30 seconds for focused and easy betting on the exciting spreads. Easily customised to suit desired game patterns, Spread-Bet Big Wheel will sit proudly in casino entrances and areas of high footfall without the floor space for conventional roulette tables. “2019 is going to be a fantastic year for the Cammegh team. It is our 30th anniversary, and we are very excited about the reception our RRS technology and our Mercury 360 Mini Wheel will receive. We look forward to welcoming friends, old and new, to our stand (S8-120). We hope our friends will share in our celebrations to mark our 30th year of making the world’s finest roulette wheel and displays.”

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SPOTLIGHT

Casinò di Venezia first with European launch of Aristocrat’s Dragon Link™ Den

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ristocrat Technologies and Casinò di Venezia have been working around the clock to première the first installations of the unique Dragon Link™ Den centrepiece in Europe. First shown to the world at October’s G2E in Las Vegas, the stunning 12-seat circular bank went live at the Italian casino on the eve of the London trade show, where it will also be on display on Stand S5-150. Stefano Piasenti, Casinò di Venezia Slots Director, said, “The bank looked spectacular in Las Vegas and we knew we had to have it on our floor, including bespoke flooring and themed chair enhancements.”

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Erik van den Berg, Aristocrat Vice-President of Sales & Business Development – EMEA, added, “Dragon Link is proving to be a major draw with hugely positive reaction from players in France and very soon to be in Holland, Monaco, Luxembourg, Germany, Slovenia and Cyprus. Visitors to ICE should not miss this stunning attraction.” The Dragon Link library has just been boosted with the release of two new base game themes, pending regulatory approvals in some EMEA jurisdictions, Peacock Princess™ and Spring Festival™ bringing big symbol feature play inspired by the mechanic popularised by Lightning Link™ games High Stakes™ and Magic Pearl™.


SPOTLIGHT

Digital Signage expert GD brings G-Digital to ICE

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Clear benefits with intuitive software make operator lives simple

D d.o.o. – the digital signage expert from Slovenia – will be returning to ICE to demonstrate how it can support operators make the most from their information screens. Digital signage can be found practically everywhere at a casino or gaming location. It can be underestimated how important this is for the gaming operator. Digital signage opens the door to communicate clearly and effectively with customers – and that in a number of ways. These can be directly on the gaming floor – such as roulette or jackpot information or placed throughout the gaming location to inform players on a whole world of things – from what’s available at the casino restaurant to things to do nearby. Thus, when used effectively, a screen is a marketing tool, allowing the operator to inform the player. Naturally it can also include advertising – one’s own or from other companies (so becoming a new revenue stream). GD d.o.o. is headed up by Mr. Ljubo Benko – an industry veteran with many years of experience. He has held major positions at the most important casino operator in Slovenia and founded the digital signage section at GD in 2008. “We have over ten years of experience in digital signage. Our software has evolved a long way. That’s why we decided to invest last year to exhibit for the first time at ICE – as we have digital signage that makes a difference and we can support operators around the world. We look forward to returning to ICE and send out a warm welcome to come and visit our stand”, commented Mr. Benko. “Casino operators are very busy people and we know from experience that digital signage can only work well if it is simple to understand and, more importantly, simple to use on a day-to-day basis”, continued Mr. Benko. That

explains the difference G-Digital makes. It is deployed on a central database – that means that changes can be made to as many monitors as required at the push of a button. There is no need to programme a change on a USB stick and walk from monitor to monitor to make the change. This saves time and money. Changes can be made quickly and effectively. Images can be simply integrated into the screen – so the image shown to the player can be customised. This also includes the game screens – they no longer need to show only the game information. A part of the screen can be reserved for another information channel – making these screens marketing tools as well. The fact that the software can so easily be altered allows operators to place the images they really see as the most effective – and in the way they want to. “Digital signage is so much more than an information tool. Yet we know it will only be used when the customer can confidently work with it – each and every day. That explains the success of our company. Please let me mention that we also like to work together with distributors and integrators. We invite everyone interested in digital signage to come and see us. One last point - our software is bullet proof – we have a proven record on that”, concluded Mr. Benko. GD can be found at stand #S8-241 at ICE. Please see the company website for more details: www.g-digital.eu

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SPOTLIGHT

NOVOMATIC displays its Gaming Leadership at ICE 2019

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he leadership of NOVOMATIC is based on Group subsidiaries working in synergy to deliver on a passion of supplying advanced gaming solutions that drive the industry forward. More than 20 subsidiaries will come together on the giant NOVOMATIC stand at ICE 2019, covering the South Hall between Entrances S6 - S7, and demonstrate how the technologies complement each other to create powerful solutions. From integrated resorts to pubs, interactive to sports, and across the globe, NOVOMATIC has all product markets covered. “NOVOMATIC offers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry, covering all segments,” said Harald Neumann, CEO NOVOMATIC AG. “As a producer as well as operator of gaming technologies we have the opportunity to test and optimize new products in companyowned gaming facilities in a variety of markets.”

Casino: Brand new slot titles will feature reimagined classics, including Lucky Lady’s Wild Spell™, with enhanced gameplay and 4K graphics on the PANTHERA™ Curve 1.43 and V.I.P. Lounge™ Curve 1.43. The international launch of MacGyver™ sees players join Richard Dean Anderson and lead cast on the NOVOSTAR® V.I.P. 3.50, the compact V.I.P. Lounge™ 2.32, and the first of two online themes – MacGyver: Duct Tape & Diamonds™ – on desktop and mobile devices.

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International slot launches won’t stop there. Visitors to ICE 2019 will see the global launch of titles like Savage Hunt™, Valkyrie Star™, Princesses of War™, Dragon Hits™ and Asian Dragon™ hot. The new Pay Day series enters the world stage with Prized Panda™ and Prize of the Nile™ themes, and a range of linked themes will connect to the Enchanted Fortunes Linked Jackpot™. Refreshed game mixes on show will include NOVO LINE™ Interactive Edition X1, Jackpot Edition deluxe 1, Superia Premium Mix 2 and The Legend Gaminator® T1. A new cabinet – V.I.P. Eagle™ III 3.32 – makes its premiere and will showcase leading games on the NOVO LINE™ Interactive Edition X and Impera Line™ HD Edition 6 mixes. Combining upright and slant-top cabinet design, this new cabinet release for selected markets features two ultra-sharp 32” game screens and 27” TouchDeck™ slant, complemented by extra-wide LED effects. Next to this will be a best-selling single player Roulette classic in a completely new style – Grand Roulette II – that features a striking animated LED wheel.

Ainsworth: An advanced range of Ainsworth cabinets – A600®, A600®ST and A640® – will present best-in-class slots for European and international markets, featuring latest themes from Quick Spin, Mega Choice Treasures and Mega Choice Quad Shot mixes, in addition to new mixes Mega Choice Classics and Mega Choice Fortune. Links will also be in focus with link


themes such as Golden Link, Mad Millions, Raging Roosters reloaded and the PAC-MAN™ Link series.

Electronic Table Games: ETGs based on the renowned NOVO LINE Novo Unity™ II platform will present live, automated and virtual games in a stadium-style setup. The new LOTUS Roulette™ II Pro Black Edition island will also be on show, streaming automated roulette to a variety of cabinets as part of a multi-game mix.

Sports Betting: NovoPrime Sports – the scalable sports betting system developed in collaboration with Sportradar – will demonstrate total flexibility across self-service betting terminals, desktop and mobile devices. Another solution with Kambi will be on show, as well as the latest retail and online products of Admiral Sportwetten and Millennium.

Bingo: Otium brings new video bingo titles like Binvaders 20 and Wonderbingo to London, and will introduce Bingosaurus 20 and Copacabana 20, on the OT300 cabinet. New game mixes and specialist jackpots such as Big Bank Link and Mystery Pot Link, will also premiere.

Interactive: Greentube, the NOVOMATIC Interactive division, will debut new slot titles at ICE with the highlight launch of The Great Gambini’s Night Magic, as well as an online MacGyver™ theme and Tidal Riches™ that explores the bounty of the ocean. Based on the land-based link, the online version of Enchanted Fortunes Linked Jackpot™ will premiere with Book of Ra™ Mystic Fortunes, Pyramid Fortunes™ and Goddess Rising™ linked themes. Eurocoin Interactive will launch Fluffy Bingo™, the latest addition to its NOVO BINGO line of interactive bingo titles, as well as the new Jackpot Dice™ featuring three creative jackpots.

Server-based Systems: Octavian will demonstrate a live myACP casino management system connected to

a group of slot machines and profile the latest functionalities such as Jackpots, TITO, cashless, GDPR/AML, ticket redemption, player tracking and business intelligence. The innovative Plurius™ solution from Greentube will present seamless device change and single wallet capabilities across desktop and mobile, and gaming terminals like PANTHERA™ 2.27 and GAMINATOR® Scorpion 2.24. Game mixes featuring classic NOVOMATIC titles, third-party content and new Greentube games such as Apollo God of the Sun and The Great Gambini’s Night Magic will show how players can switch between devices on the fly. Demonstrating technological advancements in responsible gaming, NOVOMATIC Biometric Systems will connect NBS fingerprint and facial recognition to devices around the stand, such as gaming terminals, SSBTs, cash machines, turnstiles and a new entry game terminal.

Across Europe: NOVOMATIC UK will showcase new products across the Astra Casino, Bell-Fruit Games and Gamestec brands. The highlight for Astra is the new digital gaming terminal Prismatic™ for the UK, Dutch and Belgian arcade and pub markets. At the heart of the exhibit will be the Big Bonus Wheel mystery jackpot attraction that is creating a big impact in the UK market. New cabinet and software innovations will be presented by LÖWEN Entertainment for the German market, headed by the striking Pro Generation range with new software, games and features. Also in focus will be the CASINONET data management system, giving operators remote access to a comprehensive range of back office and security functions. A wide range of AWP solutions for the Spanish market will be on show by NOVOMATIC Spain, such as Gigastar II and Impera Salon. New machines for bars will also be displayed, including NOVO LINE Bar III and the latest launch from GiGames, Venezia. In addition, NOVOMATIC Netherlands will feature a selection of products for the Dutch AWP market.

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5-7 February 2019 ExCeL London, UK

Applied Mathematics Applied mathematics expanded considerably when Pierre de Fermat and Blaise Pascal set the groundwork for probability theory and the corresponding rules of combinatorics over a game of gambling. #spiritofgenius

To experience gaming’s Spirit of Genius visit icelondon.uk.com


SPOTLIGHT

Scientific Games Takes Player Experiences To The Next Level At ICE 2019 Introducing transformative gaming entertainment innovations to provide advanced, agile solutions that help customers win. Company shortlisted for fourteen international gaming awards

S

cientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) (“Scientific Games” or the “Company”) will showcase its commitment to developing the gaming industry’s most innovative products, content, and technology for casinos, lotteries, online gaming and sports betting at ICE from February 5 to 7 in booth N1-560 at the ExCel London. “We’re more committed than ever to providing the best games and the most dynamic player experiences in the industry,” said Scientific Games President and CEO, Barry Cottle. “We couldn’t be more excited about our new game content, our leading sports betting solution and cutting-

edge technology that we are sharing with our partners at ICE. In every market, across all channels, player expectations are driving critical paths of innovation. Teams at Scientific Games across every product offering are creating growth opportunities and value for our customers through richer and more immersive player experiences.” When visitors enter the Scientific Games booth, they will be transported to an interactive theater connecting them with product and player experts to get a first-hand look at the depth and breadth of new games, platforms and systems on offer. Innovative products and experiences that work seamlessly together to create opportunities to play

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anywhere, anytime, across all channels. In addition to a dynamic presence at ICE, Scientific Games is shortlisted for many awards at the prestigious International Gaming Awards, Gaming Intelligence Awards and Global Gaming Awards. The Company is shortlisted for five International Gaming Awards including: Innovator of the Year – Supplier, In-Play Sports Betting Company, Mobile Sports Product of the Year, Technology Provider – Supplier and Lottery Product of the Year. At the Gaming Intelligence Awards, is Scientific Games shortlisted for: Social Casino Operator of the Year, Sports Betting Supplier of the Year, Supplier Innovation Award and the Lottery Supplier of the Year. Scientific Games is also shortlisted for five Global Gaming Awards: Casino Supplier of the Year, Retail Supplier, Online Casino Supplier of the Year and Online Sports-Betting Operator of the Year. Scientific Games’ Doug Albregts is shortlisted for Executive of the Year.

Showcasing Brilliant New Products for an Evolving UK Market Scientific Games will showcase its innovative slots content, including a suite of games featuring Premium Play, a new in-game feature that offers enhanced options such as additional free spins, wild symbols and win lines. An exciting new menu will deliver a new way of navigating and finding games and will leverage technology to intelligently automate placement of game titles. The UK Casino sector will also benefit from the launch of the Equinox™ product line into the sector, providing an engaging new way to present £10,000 jackpot games. The most imaginative and engaging content can be seen in new games for the UK market. Super StarTurns™ offers a spinning wheel feature giving away cash and free spins, expanding symbols on Lady of Avalon® fill the reels for bigger wins and Rainbow Riches™ Leprechaun’s Gold®, the latest edition to the Rainbow Riches brand, is packed full of bonus features. The highly anticipated MICHAEL JACKSON™ MegaStar, which features extensive video and music from the “King of Pop” will make its debut. This latest community game title includes a “Megastar” feature and incorporates a pot and a tiered Freespins bonus round which awards up to 20 free spins. In addition to new games, Scientific Games will also launch a new all-encompassing customer portal, CUBE. Developed exclusively for the UK market, the online service provides readily accessible support and data on products, content, promotions, analytics and more.

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New, Amazing Games At the heart of Scientific Games is an intense focus on creating amazing player experiences and great games. The Company continues to build a state-of-the-art entertainment ecosystem that delivers thrilling content across all gaming verticals from the casino floor to mobile, and from sports to lottery games and technologies. Some of the dynamic games and products the Company will share at ICE this year include compelling and engaging content. Scientific Games will showcase the next evolution of its wildly successful Asian gaming legacy with Jin Ji Bao Xi™. The hottest game globally, Jin Ji Bao Xi offers players a unique bonus feature where the player may select their own bonus. Jin Ji Bao Xi is now also available on the new TwinStar® Wave XL cabinet, which offers a bigger and better player experience on a curved, ultra-high-definition display. • Completely redesigned for the European market, the Fusion Auto Roulette will make its debut. This product showcases a smaller footprint, improved wheel viewing angles, and the same speed of play and reliability that players expect from this platform. • Scientific Games is bringing iconic games that players love to new levels with its revolutionary SG Game Service. Player-favorites MONOPOLY Millionaire, MONOPOLY Big Money Reel and BATTLESHIP Direct Hit! will be featured on this state-of-the-art platform based on a thin client architecture. From bar tops to tablets, the Company will showcase how it is bringing digital and retail content to a new land-based gaming experience focused on player experience. • When it comes to intrigue, no series demonstrates Scientific Games’ cutting-edge approach like the JAMES BOND™ series. A true wow factor is on display with DIE ANOTHER DAY™, as the cabinet features an illusion that creates an exciting show for players. Powering Partners and Players with World Class Digital Casino Innovations and Content Scientific Games sets the industry standard for casino platforms and content in global markets. The Company’s Open Gaming System (OGS) and Open Platform System (OPS) combine to form the industry’s most trusted and feature-rich gaming ecosystem. With more than 2,000 available games from the Company’s nine in-house game studios and third party providers, OGS gives operators instant access to a library of award-winning titles. The OGS continues to scale at speed and simplify


online gaming for Scientific Games’ partners. The OPS gives partners a flexible player account management system and portal, empowering unrivalled player experiences and insight. Scientific Games will also showcase its portfolio of online casino content, including omni-channel titles, current favorites, and sneak peeks at upcoming launches. Attendees can get early-access to imaginative and captivating titles such as Gorilla Go Wilder™, due in February, and Jin Ji Bao Xi Endless Treasure™, due to launch in March.

Full-Service, Industry-Leading Sports Betting Solutions Scientific Games is providing a player devoted sportsbook solution with the most complete, reliable and scalable sports platform that provides customers with a full service, fastto-market, versatile solution. The Company recently expanded its leading sports betting technology, OpenBet™, by acquiring Don Best Sports, which added managed trading services with real-time data and pricing resources, and the launch of its Sportsbook Operations Services, which provides trading, marketing and product management services to partners. This makes ICE the perfect venue to showcase how Scientific Games partners with its operators to provide the unmatched, most open and complete sports betting platform in the market.

The Connected, Immersive and Personalized Casino of the Future Scientific Games continues to lead the industry by transforming the traditional casino into a dynamic space that offers unique social experiences, fosters player interaction and creates immersive environments. By imagining how players will experience the casino of the future, the Company is evolving land-based gaming and creating a connected system from casino to mobile to home. Scientific Games is bringing the latest computer vision technology to the casino floor to enhance player experience and enable personalization. As a leader in computer vision and Artificial Intelligence, the Company will demonstrate how this technology increases action on table games and creates growth opportunities for operators. As the number one provider of gaming systems, Scientific

Games will demonstrate its unrivaled cardless, cashless, connected player experience and systems that create an exciting gaming environment and a more profitable and informed operator including the iVIEW® 4, which offers cardless loyalty enablement and a cashless wallet, and Bally Business Intelligence, which offers advanced analytics and data visualization tools. Scientific Games will also showcase TableVIEW, a table games management solution that will offer operators a fast and easy solution for entering player ratings, issuing comps and more activities in the pit. The information and transactions recorded at the tables are seamlessly integrated into existing systems and provide casino personnel with secure and instant access to player ratings and data. All of these products and systems integrate on the gaming floor to create the connected and immersive experience for players, while creating efficiencies and value for operators.

First in Innovative Lottery Retail and iLottery Solutions At ICE, Scientific Games will showcase the PlayCentral® HD, PlayCentral 54 and PlayCentral EX lottery and sports betting self-service machines. Featuring advanced technologies, these sleek, user-intuitive machines are designed to operate in a variety of bet shops and retail locations. PlayCentral is the first line of self-service terminals to offer a full portfolio of lottery entertainment including instant, draw and highfrequency games, the first with Payment Card Industry (PCI)-certified card and mobile payment options, and the first with a “shopping-cart” check-out experience similar to online shopping. Custom-developed for one of the world’s largest retailers, PlayCentral 54 is the lottery industry’s only low height self-service machine currently in market, designed to integrate conveniently with the retail self-check-out experience. In addition to retail technology innovation, Scientific Games will also demonstrate industry-leading iLottery products that help lotteries drive player engagement and growth with an exciting portfolio of interactive, eInstant and eDraw games and the Company’s next generation loyalty solution.

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The Last Word by Damien Connelly

Entertaining to Win New Customers Welcome to The Last Word.

In our Guest Foreword in this issue, Simon Thomas of London’s Hippodrome Casino notes how important it is for our casino industry to deliver “suspense and surprise… wrapped up in the theatre of a live casino experience.” In issue 125, Last Word discussed how Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is performing stronger than Ocean Resort Casino, although they both opened the same day. Arguably, Hard Rock AC is performing better by superior use of live entertainment to win customers. ICE will showcase our industry’s ‘Spirit of Genius’. I’m looking forward to meeting people at the ECA’s Monday conference, walking the floor, and seeing some genius consumer-focused products/services. It is difficult (perhaps impossible) for operators to compete on uniqueness of their casino product — one slot is much the same to interact with as the next, as is one blackjack table to the next. It’s the staff, the customers, the live atmosphere, and the entertainment roster that help distinguish one casino property from the next. It’s the intangible ‘soft assets’ that separate the great from the average.

No Such Thing as ‘Too Much’

There’s real opportunity for smaller markets, especially in EMEA where properties are smaller, to learn from Las Vegas and focus on entertainment and non-gaming, just like the Hippodrome Casino is doing with Magic Mike Live. Such entertainment offerings benefit greatly from being “wrapped up in the theatre of a live casino experience.” For me, there’s no better place than a live casino with its high quality security staff, superb value and quality F&B offerings, and focus on consumer protection while delivering memorably unique fun to patrons. We are all learning how to reimagine the casino experience for consumers; from eSports and sports betting, to integrated online-offline gambling opportunities. Focusing on entertainment to win new, and retain existing, customers works in many jurisdictions. Numbers for the recently opened MGM Springfield reinforce the importance of focusing on a solid entertainment roster to bolster property revenues. As our interview with Prince Entertainment in this issue also shows, there’s a great interlink between your casino’s entertainment roster and social media to communicate regularly with (target) consumer groups. And social media allows you to use photos unique to your casino to interact with consumers to win their hearts and minds. Connecting your live entertainment to specific (target)

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customer segments is a low risk, tried and tested way to win and retain new customers. Sure, what we will see at ICE in terms of ‘genius’ gaming products and services helps, yet I still hear when discussing opportunities with operators in different markets the basic principles — great food and live entertainment are very effective ways to grow your customer base.

Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment

In retail, the mantra for decades has been, ‘Location, Location, Location’. For destination resorts, location is less critical as consumers take the decision to visit a specific location in advance (or to visit a specific property). Location tends to be more critical in urban casino markets, which covers most European casinos and a growing number in America. Urban casino markets in particular face wide-ranging competition for the entertainment wallet of consumers. With consumer changes including the ongoing shift towards living in/near cities and the shortening of people’s attention spans, casinos have fantastic opportunities to use their multi-faceted offerings to win against other entertainment options that are more ‘one-trick ponies’. The opportunities for casinos to win new customers abound. Focus on a strong entertainment roster that is difficult for competitors to copy. With other foundation blocks in place, your casino will compete successfully. As I noted in my previous Last Word, ensure you have followup programmes to convert new customers into regular customers. Make sure you are ‘selling’ all the time — to quote ‘Glengarry, Glen Ross’, have ABC as a mantra for your customer-facing staff…Always Be Closing. Damien Connelly has developed better customer experiences for casinos, big box grocery and convenience retailers — one client was recently sold for over US$5 billion. He has worked consulting and client-side in Strategy, Marketing, Branding, and Sales roles. You can contact Damien on +31 6 5206-7402 and at dconnelly@ace123.com


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