Elevate Multi-Game Player Experience
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Gaming was a big loser in this month’s U.S. elections. Mainly this is due to the debacle in California. What should have been a referendum on sports betting became a sanguinary multi-car pileup. Wall Street-traded gaming companies and tribal casinos took each other out with dueling ballot initiatives that offered a very muddled choice. That’s not the end of it. Instead of touting the consumer and economic benefits of legalized, regulated sports wagering, the two camps spent the better part of $600 million demonizing each other, and not-inadvertently highlighting the potential for abuse and problem gambling.
The publicly traded gaming interests made a particularly inviting target for invective. Their vehicle, Proposition 27, would have effectively outsourced the profits from California sports betting to Las Vegas, Boston (headquarters of DraftKings) and New York City, and insourced the social costs. The tribal rival, Proposition 26, was hobbled by a couple of handicaps. For one, it would have meant that punters had to travel to a horse track or tribal casino to have a flutter. For another, fine print in the amendment would have enabled tribes to sue the bane of their existence, card rooms, into oblivion. Many California cities are propped up by cardroom tax revenues – and labor unions didn’t appreciate it either.
In the end, more Californians (30 percent) preferred the home-team tribes to out-of-state interests (17 percent) but that’s not even a shadow of a mandate. We’re promised a rerun of this carnage in 2024. That’s barring some grand compromise whereby online-sports-betting providers devise a means to partner with the tribes to share revenue. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act implicitly bars tribes from OSB (as Florida’s Seminoles learned to their chagrin) and Big Gaming’s proposed, $10 million entry fee keeps most tribes out of the sports betting picture.
Mayhap the silver lining that can be salvaged from 2022’s election (in which Oklahoma gaming tribes failed to unseat their arch nemesis, Gov. Kevin Stitt) is that casino development in New York City looks to proceed fairly smoothly under reelected Gov. Kathy Hochul. Both MGM Resorts International and Genting Group have invested heavily in the Big Apple, and are prepared to do much more. As the incumbents, they deserve to be prohibitive favorites for two of the three licenses and Hochul’s victory improves their chances.
Who will the lucky Number Three be? Bally’s Corp. was formerly ardent but its rhetoric has cooled after a disappointing third quarter. Las Vegas Sands is surprisingly passive. But Wynn Resorts has dibbed a development-ready site on the west side of Manhattan and Caesars Entertainment is aiming for Times Square itself. Fortune favors the bold.
DMcKeeDavid McKee Editor
MICE = Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events –or is it Exhibitions?
We’ve had a great time recently catching up with our industry colleagues during in-person events … or should that be exhibitions? The Batumi Gaming Fest in Georgia in the Caucasus, G2E in Las Vegas, BEGE… They’ve all had two common threads – excellent attendance and buoyant business. It’s great to see such vibrancy return to our industry.
As Lavrenty Gubin comments in our piece assaying 2022’s Batumi Gaming Fest, MICE is a great way to combine business and leisure – also known as ‘bleisure.’ Bleisure is the foundation upon which Sheldon Adelson built Las Vegas Sands Corporation into one of the most successful operators in our industry. As Las Vegas Sands itself comments, “Sands pioneered the convention-based Integrated Resort with the opening of The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.” Now, I’m pretty sure our industry would eventually have got to this finding, but it was undoubtedly Mr. Adelson’s innovatively entrepreneurial genius that allowed him to see a future that he could profit from – and in the course of so doing, he changed more rapidly our industry and, I think everyone would agree, he changed it significantly for the better.
On which point … let’s consider an essential requirement to remaining relevant for future customer cohorts – as the quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus notes, ‘Change is the only constant in life.’ In noting this, it is important to recognise that: • Innovation = Change.
Sometimes it is a minuscule change, and other times it is a huge change. Either way, it is innovation. Innovation is what I have focused on throughout my career – I’ve launched and grown: video games (DOOM and Halo); gaming consoles (Xbox); retail partnerships (Shell + Costa Coffee); FMCG companies and products; grocery retail chains, telco solutions, and various gaming products. When I have been working on innovative projects, I’ve understood that
change is essential – and that innovation fails more often than it succeeds. You have to be comfortable with failure – not accepting of it, but comfortable that that might be the outcome … and be able to rapidly lean from the innovation project(s) you’ve worked on.
Which is why inperson MICE is such an essential element of a successful and buoyant industry – because in-person interactions allow various stakeholders to meet and discuss a variety of topics, which helps to educate people working on innovation/change projects. As Forbes noted in a recent article, bleisure is forecast to overtake traditional business travel. This will require organisations in the broad hospitality and leisure industry to adapt by offering new services and amenities.
So, might I ask you all a more serious question than I asked in my heading:
• What innovation projects are on your calendar for the 2023-5 time period to ensure your business remains relevant to future customer cohorts?
Please join our LinkedIn Group and engage with our high-quality, industryrelevant community.
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1813053/Editor EMEA Damien Connelly
Sweeter than Chocolate!
Interview with Lesley Hodges, Senior Director of Marketing at Aruze Gaming USA
Lesley Hodges joined Aruze in August 2022 as senior director of marketing, bringing in-depth understanding and extensive experience in global marketing strategies to Aruze as the company expanded international initiatives, and implemented growth strategies across its entire business. Hodges will design, implement, monitor, and direct the company’s marketing strategies and programs. Lesley brings more than 20 years’ experience in gaming-industry marketing to Aruze and its leadership team.
Lesley, first I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Please tell our readers about yourself and your role at Aruze.
Absolutely, Victor. Thanks so much for having me! I’m the senior director of marketing for Aruze. While I’m still new to the company, I’m not new to theby Victor H Royer
industry — I’ve had more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and casino gaming.
At Aruze, I’m focused on bringing our mission to life. As I work to design, implement and direct the company’s marketing efforts, one thing is at the forefront of my mind: growing our Activ-Play™ portfolio while maintaining the legacy of our traditional suite of slots and ETGs. Marcomm is vital for sharing our unique vision for casino gaming, and I’m excited and honored I get to do it with one of the most innovative brands in the industry.
How has the direction and vision statement for Aruze changed since G2E 2021? Or has it?
Our mission at Aruze is always evolving — after all, how can we innovate if we’re standing still? While the outcomes and benchmarks are always changing, our mission is always the same: to meet gaming where
it’s going, not to where it is. Aruze began its journey in the Eighties with the goal to design, develop and deliver innovative games… and we’re still doing it. No matter the year, that’s our mission. This year, our tagline was “Innovation is our Tradition.” That says it all.
Please tell us about the newest leadership appointments at Aruze, and in which roles they now serve within the company.
I am the most recently appointed leadership at Aruze, starting at the company in August. In July, we added Kurt Hansen as vice president of iGaming to build and strengthen Aruze’s iGaming offering.
This is the first fully post-pandemic gaming convention in Las Vegas, and we’d like to know how you see Aruze positioned in the current and future gaming market?
We see ourselves as leaders in the industry. While we pay homage to the gaming industry’s classics, including our suite of traditional cabinets, ETGs and slots, we also look forward to bringing the industry that next “big thing.” We offer a unique gaminggambling hybrid experience through our Activ-Play™ solutions. ActivPlay™ blends arcade-style fun with the randomized excitement of a gambling machine. Through this portfolio we see ourselves positioned uniquely in the market, offering something that no one else is providing.
Which are the video games and related technologies which Aruze is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them? We showed so many exciting games at G2E this year, both new
titles and re-introducing some many may already be familiar with.
Go Go Claw:
Go Go Claw is a hit among players and properties alike. As the winner of this year’s GGA Product Innovation of the Year, it continues to redefine what a “slot machine” looks like. In this unexpected blend of arcade and casino-style play, a physical claw is used to attempt to place one of the prize balls in the collection bin, where a value-varied prize is unveiled. This lively and innovative take on a traditional slot machine captures the attention of all who encounter it. Go Go Claw has two theme variations: Go Go Claw – Gold Bars and Go Go Claw – Cash Grab.
Shoot to Win Craps™ Luck Roll:
The new game is a revitalization of Aruze’s legacy Shoot To Win Craps™, with an immersive experience through interactive play and spectacularly upgraded visuals. From the AP-7 Shoot to Win! Craps, the overhead display is upgraded with a wraparound LED Display in the center unit. The platform is upgraded from AP-7 to AP-X, and uses a new system for dice sensing, as well as new dice with the upgraded security system. A new camera system is also installed supporting the latest camera system.
Rock Paper Scissors Instant Win:
Rock Paper Scissors Instant Win brings a schoolyard favorite to the casino floor. Its enchanting music and bright lights featured across the Muso Curve’s 55-inch, touchscreen display are sure to pull in passersby. And, with each play leading to a chance at an even bigger prize, gamers and gamblers are sure to come back for the thrill time and time again.
Bomb Collector: With bright visuals, charming music, and chances for free games and bet multipliers, Bomb Collector is sure to be a blast for gamers and gamblers, and is for sale on the floor at this year’s G2E. The game is a five-reel, three-row video slot designed for Aruze’s T-32 cabinet, and has 10 bet configurations, from 75 to 750 credits.
For these video titles, which of them have new, or re-imagined cabinets? Each of Aruze’s video titles is designed to be played on one of Aruze’s unique
Feature: G2E 2022 Aruze
and aesthetically pleasing cabinets. Rock Paper Scissors pulls players in on the immense Muso Curve 55-inch touchscreen. Our games are intentionally designed to specific cabinets. Bomb Collector is exclusive to our T-32 cabinet, which we introduced for sale at G2E
What is new and innovative about these cabinets, or their hardware components?
Our most recent and revolutionary cabinet launch is the Muso Triple-32, or the T-32. Built for fun, the T-32 has three 32-inch LCD screens that provide breathtaking visuals and unique features tailored for an immersive and comfortable gaming experience. The T-32’s newest feature is its honeycomb/trapezoid cabinet LED displays. This display emphasizes a stunning visual to attract players, adding a bright and appealing touch to any casino floor. The T-32’s new face design and ergonomic button deck feature a standard wireless charger, an optional USB charging port, a wrist rest and a 13.3-inch LCD deck. Paired with Aruze’s exclusive titles, the T-32 cabinet joins classic games and a one-of-a-kind gaming experience in perfect harmony.
Which of these titles are lease, sales, or participation?
Titles offered For Sale:
• T32 Cabinet, with the exclusive title Bomb Collector
• Shoot To Win Craps
Titles offered For Lease/Participation:
• T32 Cabinet, with the exclusive title Bomb Collector
• Shoot To Win Craps
• Go Go Claw
Now that pandemic concerns are no longer the main force affecting
casinos and players, how is Aruze positioned to provide game content to casinos?
We think that since the world has largely moved back into the comfort of gatherings and travel, casino gaming is due for a big boom. However, that doesn’t mean players want to come back to the same casino experience every time. We’re offering something fun and unique that encourages players to try again and again, drawing a crowd to their Go Go Claw escapade or cheering on a Rock Paper Scissors showdown between man and machine. While there is always room on the floor for traditional slots, there should also always be room for innovation.
Other than the games themselves, what other products and innovations does Aruze offer? Aruze is always innovating. Aside from our Activ-Play™ titles, we offer video slots, a series of ETGs and even a hybrid ETG in our Roll to Win Craps. No matter the player, Aruze has something to offer for everyone.
Online casinos continue to gain acceptance and legalization – how is Aruze positioned to provide content and technologies to online gaming?
Aruze has been a long supporter of iGaming solutions. As we saw during the pandemic, many players sought their casino cravings from the comfort of their homes. iGaming is growing in popularity, and we plan to continue to leverage our titles in the online market as well as on casino floors. By expanding our online presence, we can bring the fun of Aruze to even more people across the globe. And, by adding Kurt to our team, we’re able to access one of the industry’s most knowledgeable leaders to help Aruze grow and strengthen our iGaming suite.
In general, how would you sum-up the post-pandemic future for Aruze in Las Vegas? And elsewhere in the world?
Our post-pandemic future is the same as how we imagined it pre-pandemic: bringing the best, most innovative games possible to casinos floors across the world. We’re back in casinos and so are players. We’re staying true to our mission and continuing to innovate the space with one unique title at a time.
Finally, in your career in gaming, and with Aruze, what would you consider to be the highlights? While I’m still relatively new to the company, I think the biggest highlight I’ve experienced so far is working with a team as smart, innovative and fun as the team at Aruze. I’m so excited to be a part of this company and I can’t wait to share everything exciting to come to casino floors with you going forward.
On behalf of Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media, I would like to thank you, Lesley, for your time, and for sharing this with us and our readers worldwide.
Interview with Caitlin Harte, Director of Product Management, Everi by Victor H Royer
Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media recently had the opportunity to interview Caitlin Harte, director of product management at Everi. Caitlin joined Everi in January 2022 and brings to her role more than 10 years of extensive product management and marketing experience. In this role Caitlin oversees the organization’s product road map, to ensure it supports the goals and strategy of the business, as well as market and customer needs. Caitlin and her team manage the lifecycle of new products and features from conceptualization to launch, all in coordination with Everi’s gaming studios, hardware, technology, gaming operations, marketing, and sales teams.
Among other responsibilities, she partners with the company’s design studios, from initial game proposal to in-game feature recommendations based on market demands, as well as leading player-testing efforts to ensure games meet customer and player expectations prior to release. Caitlin was part of the 2018 Class of Under 40. “Under 40” represents the best of the
next generation of leaders in the casino and gaming industry, and is produced in conjunction with The Innovation Group and Global Gaming Expo’s Emerging Leaders of Gaming program. Caitlin earned a master’s in Business Administration from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Eastern Illinois University.
Caitlin, first I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. How has the direction and vision statement for Everi changed since G2E 2021? Or has it?
Thank you, Victor – great to be with you. We at Everi are proud of our games and products, and we are happy to share our success and vision with your readers. Our direction and vision statement for the business hasn’t shifted since G2E 2021, as we’re still committed to consistent reinvestment in our productdevelopment efforts. We believe our newest product introductions at G2E 2022 demonstrated the success we’re achieving in this reinvestment effort to deliver highly differentiated gaming experiences that help our
casino partners grow revenue by engaging players at increasingly higher levels. Our focus is aimed at fully supporting our current markets with an everexpanding library of compelling game themes and new cabinets, including the launch of the Dynasty Vue™ cabinet, which customers experienced first hand at G2E 2022.
Which are the video games and related technologies which Everi is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them?
More than 10 new themes were featured on Everi’s Empire Flex™ cabinet at G2E 2022, including the Press Your Luck™ Series and Fu Blossom™ Series, which are both available on Everi’s premium TournEvent® Winners Circle™ bank of cabinets, part of TournEvent Everiway™. These marquee banks feature synchronized content with enhanced sign packages that showcase theme-specific content. The Treasure Gates™ Series, Fortune Teller™ Series, Potion Explosion™ Series, and Banner™ Series, with persistent state features available in Class II and Class III, were also presented on Empire Flex™.
For these video titles, which of them have new, or reimagined cCabinets?
Launching in early 2023, Dynasty Vue™ introduces a new era in Everi’s hardware history and effectively combines the benefits of three distinct cabinet-form factors. Dynasty Vue features a unique custom display that enables Everi’s designers to create game mechanics that players would typically experience on a portrait cabinet, while providing sightlines comparable to a dualscreen cabinet, and the functionality and integrated base of a slant-top cabinet. Dynasty Vue will debut with four launch families, including the Combo Cash Series, Money Slam Series, Wild Wheel Series and the High Rollin’ Gems Series – Everi’s first high-denomination, multi-game product.
What is new and innovative about these
cabinets or their hardware components?
Dynasty Vue™ features a custom 36-inch display and an integrated 27-inch top box, with distinctive, dual-banded lighting for maximum attraction value. The edge-lit, digital button deck allows for increased game configurability and player communication, with a dynamic play button and wireless mobile charging capability. The cabinet’s integrated base provides flexibility in banking options with a standard 28-inch footprint and new merchandising opportunities.
Which of these titles are lease, sales or participation?
All of the video titles mentioned above are standard for-sale themes.
Cashless gaming hasn’t had wide acceptance among casino operators
or casino players. How does Everi consider the future of cashless gaming? Is this something that Everi will continue to pursue as a priority?
To answer this question, Victor, I’d like to introduce Jeff Hoss, vice president of marketing for loyalty products at Everi:
Thank you, Caitlin. While we at Everi don’t believe cash will become obsolete anytime soon, demand from both operators and guests to transform the gaming enterprises into a more digital environment continues to increase. Cashless gaming and our digital CashClub Wallet® technology are key pieces of this transformation, which is being driven by demand for self-service options from patrons. Everi’s CashClub Wallet® is a mobile digital wallet that seamlessly
connects Everi’s portfolio of FinTech products and applications. CashClub Wallet® is the most widely adopted, land-based, digital gaming wallet in the U.S., and is currently deployed on electronic-gaming devices across 38 properties in 14 jurisdictions. This digital-wallet technology extends cashless payments throughout the gaming enterprise using traditional, alternative and mobile technologies. Incorporating more funding sources than ever before, CashClub Wallet® provides more diversity in accessing and distributing funds – via Everi’s Banking as a Service (BaaS) system – than other digital wallets with multiple partners. CashClub Wallet® can also be funded through Apple Pay, PayPal, table and slot winnings (including jackpot payouts), the casino cage, point of sale purchases, and Everi’s proprietary kiosks, in addition to its integration with leading credit/debit card companies, check cashing, and the ability to convert into digital currency.
Which are the stepper (reel) games and related technologies which Everi is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them?
At G2E 2022 Everi introduced more than six new games as the latest addition to its three-reel mechanical portfolio Player Classic Signature™, which has performed well in the field since its first deployment earlier in 2022. The Platinum Signature Series, Crowns Diamond Respin Series, and Pay Upgrade Series, which introduces a persistence feature to the mechanical segment, were also all showcased at G2E 2022. These themes are reflective of Everi’s commitment to innovation in the mechanical space, and highlight the game-entertainment elements that stepper players appreciate – a mathfirst focus, unique play mechanics, and dynamic art and audio.
What is new and innovative about these cabinets,or their hardware components?
Player Classic Signature™ is inspired by the 10-year-old, highly successful Player Classic® cabinet. Maintaining a classic look and feel, but Everi’s
built for the future, the Player Classic Signature™ features a simplified, four-button deck, a clear, digital touch-meter panel for improved player ergonomics, and wider – and more powerful – spinning reels. A new, integrated, 21-inch monitor is positioned above the reels to convey more player messaging, including pay tables that are interactive for additional player appeal, as well as a higher-resolution, and a 28-inch, top-box monitor to improve game marketability.
Which of these titles are lease, sales or participation?
All of the stepper titles mentioned above are standard for sale themes.
In the gaming industry, manufacturers often refer to a segment of their products as “premium.” Which are those that Everi is showcasing?
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends™ game was presented at G2E 2022 on the Skyline Revolve™ three-reel mechanical cabinet, while Everi’s high-performing, banked product Flex Fusion™ showcased several original video titles, including two follow-on games for the high-energy, tornadic-themed Cashnado™ game, Storm Surge™, and Super Nova™. Lift Off™, with Locomotion™ and Starboard™ base themes, also debuted on Flex Fusion™. Everi presented two of its strongest-performing, third-party brands – Little Shop of Horrors™ and Willie Nelson™ – in incredible, 4K display on the Empire DCX™ cabinet, with Little Shop of Horrors Director’s Cut™ and Willie Nelson Live™. And also Super Fiesta!™ with its four, Mexican-style, gambler-centric base themes, and Fruit Ninja Frenzy™ based on the popular, mobile game Fruit Ninja, were all presented on the banked Empire Arena™ product.
Now that pandemic concerns are no longer the main force affecting casinos
and players, how is Everi positioned to provide game content to casinos?
We believe our sustained investment in an expanding portfolio of playerpopular games and in the development of differentiated cabinets, positions Everi well to provide game content to casinos that continue to raise the bar on player engagement, and entertainment. All of the products we debuted at G2E 2022 – including the unique Dynasty Vue™ cabinet and the more than 50 new game titles –reflects the successful execution on our multi-year, product-development road map.
Other than the games themselves, what other products and innovations does Everi offer? Besides our land-based game content and gaming machines, Everi also offers entertaining game content and systems for iGaming operators, as well as financial technology solutions that help casino operators improve their operational efficiencies and fulfill regulatory-compliance requirements. Everi’s financialtechnology solutions include products and services that facilitate convenient, secure, cash and cashless financial transactions, self-service player loyalty tools and applications, and regulatory and intelligence software.
Online casinos continue to gain acceptance and legalization – how is Everi positioned to provide content and technologies to online gaming?
For answers to this question, Victor, I’ll refer you to Marshall Adair, senior vice president and executive producer for digital content: Thank you, Caitlin, I’ll be glad to elaborate. The expansion of Everi Digital’s distinct, digital-game library—with more progressive titles that are in demand with land-based players—positions the business well to continue to deliver exciting entertainment experiences to the growing community of online players. Since launching our proprietary Spark™ Remote Game Server (RGS) platform, Everi Digital has continued to achieve consistent growth in the iGaming market as a result of its ability to provide world-class gaming entertainment experiences to online players throughout North America. It’s worth
noting that Everi has risen to the number three-ranked omni-channel game supplier in the Eilers & KrejcikFantini Game Performance Report. The Spark RGS houses Everi Digital’s iGaming content and features more than 60 engaging titles, with more on the way. The company’s digital content is featured in more than 70 real-money, online casinos and more than 40 social casinos. In the past four years, Everi Digital has continued to extend the footprint of the Spark RGS to now provide content to iGaming operators in Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and to the Canadian provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.
In general, how would you sum-up the postpandemic future for Everi in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the world?
From a games perspectives, the investments we’ve made to expand our game-development studios and to broaden our hardware offerings continue to drive our sustained growth. Each of our cabinets is supported by a robust pipeline of original content that’s available for both Class II and Class III markets. This expanding content pipeline also supports the growth of our digital gaming business. We believe these investments coupled with our core strengths will continue to support the growth of the business.
On behalf of Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media, I would like to thank you, Caitlin – and Jeff and Marshall – for your time, and for sharing this with us and our readers worldwide.
Interview with Bob Parente, Chief Business Development Officer for Light & Wonder
asino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media recently had the opportunity to interview Bob Parente, Chief Business Development Officer at Light & Wonder.
Bob, first I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Please tell our readers about yourself and your role at Light & Wonder?
Thank you, Victor – great to see you again. We had a wonderful show at G2E 2022, and we appreciate seeing you there at the tour. I started in the gaming industry in 1996 with Mikohn Gaming/Progressive Gaming as the head of sales and marketing, after shifting from a career in the high-tech industry in California. My aim was to bring a technical solution sales approach to the team given my technical background. After over a decade with Mikohn/ PGI, I transitioned to Bally Gaming, which ultimatelyby Victor H. Royer
morphed into Scientific Games, followed by Light & Wonder after several company transitions. For most of my 13-year tenure with Scientific Games/ Light & Wonder, I was the global chief revenue officer driving revenue across all lines of the gaming division. Recently I moved into the role of chief business development officer at Light & Wonder, with an emphasis on driving cross-platform content and experience for players, more commonly referred to as convergence.
Light & Wonder is the new name for the company previously known as Scientific Games. How has the direction and vision statement changed under this new banner? Or has it?
For many years, we were a holding company of different gaming businesses, a legacy of multiple acquisitions all under the Scientific Games name. Through a series of bold strategic moves we’ve
transformed into a growth company as Light & Wonder – a leading cross-platform global game company. The name was born out of our new purpose, our great products and our amazing employees – known as “creators” – to serve our players and customers.
We’re here to build new worlds of play that delight players. We create content, hardware and systems that connect iconic titles across any place or channel. By turning games into expansive entertainment we keep thrilling players with great characters and stories.
And, as the world continues to converge, we’ll continue to provide a seamless experience across platforms – spanning land-based casinos, online and mobile, and in both real money and free-to-play social gaming markets because that’s what players want.
Please tell us about the new leadership at Light & Wonder, and in which roles they now serve within the company?
Our new chief executive officer, Matt Wilson, is focused on accelerating our progress as a sustainable-growth company. He’s driven by the company’s core principles that unite the team, guide our actions and drive growth. Matt brings strategic insights, deep industry knowledge, rich experience and an impressive track record. Most recently as he successfully worked to turn around and reposition Light & Wonder’s Gaming business for long-term growth.
This is the first fully post-pandemic gaming convention in Las Vegas and yours is – essentially – a new company. How do you see Light & Wonder positioned in the current and future gaming market?
We remain focused on advancing our strategic roadmap to deliver for our customers and achieve our vision of becoming the leading cross-platform global game company. We’re incredibly proud of all that we have achieved this year and are excited about the opportunity in front of us to define the next generation of connected cross-platform play. Our momentum is demonstrated by our great games and cabinets topping the charts across the board, by the growth and performance of our iGaming portfolio and by the exclusive new content launching across the U.S. At G2E, we placed a focus on inspiring excitement, which was seen throughout our show-floor footprint and within the new offerings showcased for players, customers and casino operators worldwide. The convergence into cross-platform not only positions us well in the market today but elevates our brand for the future. We know player behavior is evolving, and we are passionate about bringing players the best digital experiences, no matter where they are.
Which are the video games and related technologies which Light & Wonder is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them?
At G2E, we unveiled new, high-performing hardware and digital offerings that take player attraction and engagement to atmospheric levels. This includes COSMIC™, a new slot cabinet that offers players an immersive experience with revolutionary, fiberoptic lighting and advanced animations, and Light
& Wonder LIVE DEALER by Authentic Gaming, a live-casino experience.
Attendees at G2E 2022 gained a glimpse at how we’re leveraging our proprietary brands and content across our portfolio. This includes chart-topping content like GOLDFISH FEEDING TIME™, Light & Wonder’s latest cross-platform hit; HUFF N’ MORE PUFF slot machine (number-one Top Core Game); KASCADA™ Dual Screen slot cabinet – the number-one Multi-Screen Upright for three months running – LANDMARK ™ 7000 Wheel cabinet – the number-one Mechanical Reel Hardware for two months running) – and the COIN COMBO™ game series, which is topping the i-gaming charts across the U.S.
For these video titles, which of them have new, or re-imagined cabinets?
L&W has actively reimagined some of our biggest proprietary brands onto new hardware and experiences for players such as ULTIMATE FIRE LINK® Explosion and Quick Hits Explosion expanding to our large-format mural cabinet. We’ve also extended ULTIMATE FIRE LINK (Cash Falls) to COSMIC. We’re focused on evolving our brands for players to enjoy across multiple platforms and hardware, both in the casino and online.
Our new slot cabinet, COSMIC, offers players an immersive experience with revolutionary fiber-optic lighting and advanced animation. The cabinet’s innovative, contour design features a 27-inch, integrated, to- monitor display that flows seamlessly into the 49-inch, curved, player panel. COSMIC is the latest addition to our chart-topping hardware lineup, joining KASCADA Dual Screen and our newest stepper cabinet, LANDMARK 7000.
Cashless gaming hasn’t wide acceptance among casino operators or players. How does L&W consider the future of cashless gaming? Is this something that L&W will continue to pursue as a priority?
As a company, we’re always looking
for new and expansive avenues to offer our solutions, games, and products to players and customers alike. Last December we introduced AToM™. AToM, which stands for Access To On-Demand Money, a convenient tabletop device that allows players to access additional funds right at the gaming position without cash handling or game stoppage. In addition, there are no back-end or out-of-network transaction fees charged by the player’s financial institution. To access funds, players simply swipe their debit card and enter their PIN.
Which are the stepper (reel) games and related technologies which L&W is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them?
Earlier this year we presented our newest stepper cabinet, LANDMARK 7000. The LANDMARK 7000 brings forth traditional and time-honored features that made the mechanical reel an icon, now with today’s modern technology. Created for the higherdenom player, the LANDMARK 7000 is complemented by its collection of new, on-trend, high-denom content. At G2E, we displayed a third game for the LANDMARK 7000, Johnny Cash—The Man in Black.
In the gaming industry, manufacturers sometimes refer to a segment of their products as “premium.” Which are those that L&W is showcasing?
Light & Wonder demonstrated a content portfolio of premium product featuring some of our biggest licensed IP; MONOPOLY, Monsters and SINATRA plus our key proprietary brands; ULTIMATE FIRE LINK®, QUICK HIT®, INVADERS ATTACKS, 88 FORTUNES®, just to name a few. These brands were featured across our top-performing hardware lines, including LANDMARK 7000 with Wheel, Mural, KASCADA and COSMIC.
Now that pandemic concerns are no longer the main force affecting casinos and players, how is Light & Wonder positioned to provide video and reel games, and content to casinos?
We see our industry increasingly converging — we are set up well and we see more players playing games online. We are the only company with leading positions across gaming, i-gaming and social, and are in a great place today with 40 percent of our mix being digital in nature. We are confident that we will achieve our target. No one else can match our wealth of great franchises or our ability to deliver great games to players anywhere they want to play.
Our top-ranked product performance across gaming, i-gaming and SciPlay is a large part of our continued forward momentum. Some recent wins:
• ULTIMATE FIRE LINKwith its LINK with its extension ULTIMATE Explosion debuted as the number-one wide-areaprogressive game on Eilers;
• COIN COMBO – a land-based favorite – achieved yet another record launch in i-gaming with HURRICANE HORSE™, and highly anticipated CARNIVAL COW™ and TERRIFIC TIGER™ are set to launch in the second half of the year;
• And of course, GOLD FISH®, where GOLD FISH FEEDING TIME drove incremental SciPlay visitation and engagement metrics, was a hugely successful cross-platform launch.
Online casinos continue to gain acceptance and legalization. How is Light & Wonder positioned to provide content and technologies to online gaming?
We strongly believe that
the next generation of electronic table games will give players a live connection to the Internet, bringing exciting casino experiences across any device. That’s why I’m excited to share that we debuted Light & Wonder LIVE DEALER by Authentic Gaming at G2E. This new, digital offering provides players with a premium, live casino experience online. Light & Wonder LIVE DEALER by Authentic Gaming uses a bespoke studio environment to provide a wide selection of shared live tables available to all operators. In addition, graphic elements, UIs, and side bets can all be customized to each operator’s brand and players.
L&W also provides a number of existing table games and related table game technologies. Please tell our readers more about these table game products, table games, shuffling machines, and other innovations that L&W is showcasing at G2E 2022.
Light & Wonder is bringing our popular and top performing electronic table game ROULETTE X™ to a standard roulette table. ROULETTE X is offering players a supercharged roulette experience that keeps them coming back for more by allowing them to choose their own level of volatility and the chance to win up to 500 times the value of their wager on a single number. The game is now available on QUARTZ™ Hybrid, QUARTZ Standalone, TABLEMASTER ™, QUARTZ and traditional felt.
In addition to the exciting and recognizable portfolio of top-class games, we’re bringing forward the latest innovations in technology and next-generation experiences. G2E attendees and operators saw CARD RECYCLER™ , a smart utility that analyzes used cards for defects while simultaneously discarding damaged cards and recycling reusable cards into complete, casinostandard decks.
Also spotlighted at G2E 2022 was L&W Connect – the most established predictive analytical solution
in the industry, with Slot Connect pulling data from more than 100 customer sites and sharing analysis to customers via a customer portal; and Shuffle Connect, a solution that taps into the shuffler and the smart shoe to count the number of hands dealt per table and time of day, giving casino managers a functional picture of their tablegame activity.
And lastly, Celebrity Celebration, an enhancement to the bonusing system that gives operators the ability to send a personalized video message to winners on the slot floor, was also on display. These personalized video messages can be handtailored and feature myriad familiar faces, from casino executives to celebrity hot shots, sending congratulatory messages to the player in real time.
Finally, in your career in gaming, and with Light & Wonder, what would you consider to be the highlights? In my gaming career, I was very fortunate
to have exceptional mentors on both the company side and the customer side. Their insight catapulted my understanding of the industry in the early days, and enlightened me to connect to the players’ mindset and needs. In addition, I have been blessed with working with some of the best talent in the industry and being a part of the journey with them. Now, at this stage of my career, I am passionate about helping to drive the gaming industry to the next phase — convergence — with delivery of content and experiences across all channels of play from land-based, on-line, social, mobile, etc. This convergence of gaming encapsulates all the prior forms of games and technology that I have watched evolve over the past 26 years finally come together.
On behalf of Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media, I would like to thank you, Bob, for your time, and for sharing this with us and our readers worldwide.
Excellence in Gaming
Interview with Jon Hanlin, SVP of Commercial Strategy and Analytics, Aristocrat Gaming by:
Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media recently had the opportunity to interview Jon Hanlin, senior vice president of commercial strategy and analytics for Aristocrat Gaming.
Jon joined Aristocrat in 2015 as senior director of commercial strategy for gaming operations, bringing extensive experience in global marketing strategies to Aristocrat as the company expanded international initiatives and implemented growth strategies across its entire business. In 2019 he was named senior vice president of commercial strategy.
Jon, first I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Please tell our readers about yourself and your role at Aristocrat. Thanks, Victor, it’s my pleasure. It was great to see you again at G2E 2022! I grew up in New Jersey and had spent just under nine years with Caesars Entertainment when I relocated to Las Vegas to takeVictor H Royer
an opportunity with Aristocrat. In my transition from an operator to a manufacturer, I brought insight of what customers experience on their floors, and helped focus the commercial teams on creating commercial models and strategies that keep that front of mind. In my almost seven years at Aristocrat, I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the greatest talent in the industry – from our studios, to the sales, operations, and execution groups, and my commercial team – that bring the strategy to life. Being the steward of great products, like Dragon Link, Game of Thrones, Buffalo Grand and Crazy Rich Asians, is a privilege that I’m grateful to do everyday.
How has the direction and vision statement for Aristocrat changed since G2E 2021? Or has it? We continue to live by our mantra of our people, our customers, our business and that has proven to be a successful model. What we mean by that is when we do the right thing for our people, they
will take care of our customers and that will make our business successful. We have incredible talent making outstanding games that are performing well, and we continue to invest in development so that we can continue to make great products for our customers and their players.
This is the first fully postpandemic gaming convention in Las Vegas, and we’d like to know how you see Aristocrat positioned in the current and future gaming market.
When Covid struck, we didn’t slow down. In fact, we doubled down and continued to invest in innovation, particularly within our D&D, so that we could ensure we were in the best position possible to continue providing player-appealing games for our customers. That ongoing investment has led us to this G2E, where we are showcasing 100 percent
brand new, for-sale product offerings and about 70 percent brand-new, lease product. This speaks to our commitment to continually change the game by creating a diverse and powerful portfolio of entertaining products that resonate with a broad spectrum of customers.
Which are the video games and related technologies which Aristocrat is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them? Which of them have new, or re-imagined cabinets? Which of these titles are lease, sales or participation? Headlining our Class III lease options are all-new games including Tarzan Link™, Lightning Buffalo Link™, and Cash Express Mega Line™, each of which made its world premiere at G2E.
Tarzan Link is a premium, two-game Tarzan® experience on our Neptune Single™ and combines our Hold & Spin mechanic with the legendary Tarzan wheel for exciting game play. Lightning Buffalo Link combines two of the industry’s biggest-ever titles to create an entirely new game with a rapid-hitting $50,000 MSP Super Grand Jackpot and an all-new twist on the player-favorite Super Grand Jackpot mechanic. In Cash Express Mega Line, players can play four Cash Express Luxury Line™ games at the same time. Players can choose which four games they want to play as they vie for the MEGA LINE train. Our for-sale area is filled with 100 percent all-new content, with industry-leading portfolio depth and breadth. Titles include Buffalo Strike™, Wonder 4™ Collection for Neptune Single, Cashman Double Bingo™, and Lucky’s Wild Inferno™. Appearing on the advanced MarsX Flex™ cabinet is Buffalo Strike. The MarsX Flex is the next generation of our large, top-box cabinet with gorgeous graphics and an eye-catching cabinet profile. Buffalo Strike was created specifically for the MarsX Flex and marks the first use of the community-timed frenzy feature, combined with the classic Buffalo™ game play to create player excitement and anticipation with credit prizes, jackpot prizes, and enhanced
features. The Neptune Single cabinet offers exciting game play, and now a new collection of our Wonder 4 titles has been reimagined exclusively for the cabinet, including Buffalo Gold Collection™, Fire Light™, Pompeii™ and Wild Panther™. A new Super Free Games Feature offers players a chance to win more than 250 times their original bet.
Cashman Double Bingo on the MarsX Upright™ has two bingo cards that double players’ cash-on-reels chase. Plus, a win on one bingo card does not reset the other, giving players something additional to look forward to, even after a big win. Lucky Wild Inferno is the premiere of a fun, new, devil character to the Aristocrat cast of lovable characters portfolio. He keeps game play exciting by randomly triggering feature wins. For Class II operators, we are excited to offer two new games on a $100,000 MSP Super Hits Frenzy™ link: an all-new Hunt for Neptune’s Gold™ game specifically created for the RELM XL™ five-reel cabinet and Silver Dollar Shoot Out Diamond™ on the Arc Double™ cabinet. We also showed Cash Express Luxury Line Class 2, with proven Class III math reworked for Class II. Our Class II for-sale games combine on-trend mechanics with core VGT math in all-new games including Hunt For Aztec Riches™, Red Spin Run™, Lucky Bunch™ and Gold Gold & More Gold™.
For these video games, what do you think is the future: sales, lease or participation? Which do you think will be the dominant methodology in this marketing?
We’ll leave forecasting to analysts. What I will say is we are committed to providing customers a deep and broad offering of for-sale, lease, and participation products that appeal to a wide variety of player types, and preferences, so that everyone can have an entertaining experience on our games.
Are any of these titles available in cashless configuration? Cashless gaming hasn’t had the kind of wide acceptance among casino operators or casino players. How does Aristocrat consider the future of cashless gaming? Is this something that Aristocrat will continue to pursue as a priority?
Cashless is an interesting payment option for operators and players, and Aristocrat’s CXS division is developing cashless solutions for our customers. Our games will be adaptable to whatever cash or cashless solutions the operator chooses to use.
Online casinos continue to gain acceptance and legalization – how is Aristocrat positioned to provide content and technologies to online gaming?
Our new, real-money-gaming division had its debut at G2E 2022. The group was created to be the go-to destination for RMG for casino operators and for players, and offers play with tailored entertainment that is smart, fun, and playful. The company will launch its offering with eight playerfavorite Aristocrat titles including the Wild Wild™ series, Miss Kitty™, Sun & Moon™, and Timber Wolf™. Using the platform, Aristocrat customers will be able to offer their players the opportunity to play Aristocrat slots on their mobile devices via customers’ online-casino apps. Mitchell Bowen leads that division and he will be best positioned to give more answers about these exciting opportunities.
In general, how would you sum-up the postpandemic future for Aristocrat in Las Vegas? And elsewhere in the world?
It’s not about our future, it’s about our customers’ future. We are investing in D&D to ensure we have incredible products for our customers that will help to position them for success today and into the future.
On behalf of Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media, I would like to thank you, Jon, for your time and for sharing this with us and our readers worldwide.
G2E Rocks 2022 in Las Vegas!By: Victor H Royer
ore than 25,000 gaming industry professionals gathered at the Venetian Expo Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past October, crushing the attendance for 2021, and signaling a post-pandemic robust return for legalized gaming in the U.S. and worldwide.
Attendance records weren’t the only positive and upbeat happenings at this annual gaming industry convention, compiled and organized by Reed Expo. A general sentiment of optimism was seen and felt, and on display throughout the four days of events, meetings, and presentations, including the three days of open access to the main showroom floor.
Despite ongoing economic stresses on the U.S. and world economies, and related unrest in Europe, and other parts of the world, economic optimism among gaming industry professionals, OEMs, operators and suppliers, and attendees was nearly universal. This general excitement was a true and real feeling – to which I can personally attest as someone who has been attending such events for the past 38 years, in one form or another, as the industry has evolved and changed over the decades.
“It is the visible synergy among OEMs, suppliers, and operators, and the overall cross-platform cooperation among them, which today allows us
and others to jointly provide the best products and services, not only to the industry but especially to the end-user – the casino players and visitors who so enjoy these great games,” said Bob Parente, executive vice president and chief business development officer for Light & Wonder, one of the world’s leading suppliers of games, systems and product-innovation services to the gaming industry.
This sentiment was echoed by Conrad Walsh, director of marketing for Light & Wonder. “For the past three years, and certainly over the near-two-year shutdown of the gaming industry during the height of the pandemic, the pace of gaming innovation hasn’t slowed,” said Walsh. “We have continued to work with our game innovators and designers, remotely and now again jointly, to prepare, and now showcase these amazing new games and innovations.”
“For G2E 2022, we showcased entertainment and technology established in the winning experience: celebration, team spirit, and high reward,” said Tashina Lazcano, director of marketing and communications at Konami Gaming Inc. The reason is because guests are tapping into more fun DIMENSION content,” continued Lazcano, “and more SYNKROS systems tech focused on creating, facilitating, and reinforcing winning moments.
At the Aristocrat booth, Jon Hanlin, senior executive vice president of commercial strategy and analytics for Aristocrat, the world’s foremost manufacturer of casino games and content, shared a complementary vision. “At Aristocrat, we have a significant history, and presence, in gaming innovation and excellence,” said Hanlin. “This has provided our company, and our game designers, with the means to deliver unparalleled excellence in new-product innovation, and enhancements to our existing and widely popular series of games, game titles, libraries, and crossplatform synergistic innovations.”
“We believe our newest product introductions at G2E 2022 demonstrated the success we’re achieving in this reinvestment effort to deliver highly differentiated gaming experiences that help our casino partners grow revenue by engaging players at increasingly higher levels,” said Caitlin Harte, Director of Product Management at Everi. “Our focus is aimed at fully supporting our current markets with an everexpanding library of compelling game themes and new cabinets, including the launch of Dynasty Vue™, which customers experienced first-hand at G2E 2022.”
At Aruze Gaming USA, Lesley Hodges, Aruze’s recently appointed senior director of marketing, was very upbeat and excited about Aruze’s Activ-Play gaming portfolio. “We see ourselves as leaders in the industry,” said Hodges, “not only while we pay homage to the gaming industry’s classics, including our suite of traditional cabinets, but because we offer a unique gaming-gambling hybrid experience through our Activ-Play™ solutions. Activ-Play™ blends arcade-style fun with the randomized excitement of a gambling machine. Through this portfolio, we see ourselves positioned uniquely in the market, offering something that no one else is providing.”
The G2E gaming convention is a worldwide industry gaming showcase, which provides opportunities to every attendee and gaming company to demonstrate their innovations to a global audience. While we here in America are traditionally focused on domestic gaming and casinos – such as those in Las Vegas and Reno in Nevada, and Atlantic City in New Jersey, as well as tribal casinos in many other states, there are also significant advances in gaming in other parts of the world.
This is particularly notable in South America, where Zitro Games – based in Spain – is the leading manufacturer, and supplier of slot machines and casino games. “While Zitro is a well-established and popular gaming brand in South America and elsewhere in the world,” said Derik Mooberry, CEO of Zitro Games USA, “we are currently working with BMM to license our games in Nevada, and then in all of the major markets in the United States. We had strong success in most of the markets we entered and it was this success that gave us the confidence to enter the US as a meaningful OEM.” Based on the range of great games that I saw at the Zitro Booth at G2E, this confidence is well-placed. “Our most popular titles have been the 88 Link family of games — Lucky Charms and Wild Duels — which have shown exceptional performance in many markets, including the U.S.,” added Mooberry.
During G2E 2022, I had the opportunity to visit all of the major displays at the Show, and to speak directly with many of the industry’s actively-influencing leaders. Several of these Interviews are appearing in this issue, and in following issues of Casino Life Magazine.
And now I’d like to share with you some highlights from each of these companies.
Light and Wonder
The name LIGHT & WONDER was born out of a new purpose, related to L&W’s great products and amazing employees – known as “creators” –charged with the task of serving L&W’s players and customers. L&W points out that they are here to build new worlds of play that delight players and they create content, hardware, and systems that connect iconic titles across any place or channel. By turning games into expansive entertainment, L&W keeps thrilling players with great characters and stories.
Chief among the new offerings from L&W at G2E 2022 was their exciting new cabinet: The COSMIC™, and their established and reimagined Mural cabinet. This included the reimagined versions of some of L&W’s biggest proprietary brands onto this new hardware – and new experiences for players. Titles such as ULTIMATE FIRE LINK® Explosion and Quick Hits Explosion, are both expanding to L&W’s large format Mural cabinet. L&W also extended ULTIMATE FIRE LINK (Cash Falls) to the new COSMIC cabinet.
Other offerings on display at the L&W Booth at G2E 2022 included chart-topping content like GOLDFISH FEEDING TIME™, Light & Wonder’s latest crossplatform hit; HUFF N’ MORE PUFF slot machine (number-one Top Core Game); KASCADA™ Dual Screen slot cabinet – the number-one Multi-Screen Upright for three months running – LANDMARK ™ 7000 Wheel cabinet – the number-one Mechanical Reel Hardware for two months running) – and the COIN COMBO™ game series, which is topping the i-gaming charts across the U.S.
When COVID hit, Aristocrat didn’t slow down. “In fact, we doubled down,” says Jon Hanlin, Aristocrat’s senior vice president of commercial strategy and analytics, “and we continued to invest in innovation, particularly within our D&D, so that we could ensure we were in the best position possible to continue providing player-appealing games for our customers. That ongoing investment has led us to this G2E, where we showcased 100 percent brand-new, for-sale product offerings and about 70 percent brand-new, lease product. This speaks to our commitment to continually change the game by creating a diverse and powerful portfolio of entertaining products,” continued Hanlin, “that resonate with a broad spectrum of customers.”
Among these innovative games and concepts from Aristocrat were the new Class III lease options on all-new games including Tarzan Link™, Lightning Buffalo Link™, and Cash Express Mega Line™, each of which made its world premiere at G2E.
And among the for-sale titles, these included 100 percent allnew content with industry-leading portfolio depth and breadth. Titles shown were Buffalo Strike™, Wonder 4™ Collection for Neptune Single, Cashman Double Bingo™ and Lucky’s Wild Inferno™.
At G2E 2022, Konami’s All Aboard has ranked as a top-grossing parent game since 2021 and for 21 months straight. Konami’s DIMENSION 49 has ranked the industry’s number-one, top-performing core portrait/portrait slant cabinet for 10 months. Konami’s cashless and cardless technology, proven successful through Konami’s SYNKROS casinomanagement system, and SYNK31, a comprehensive new system for anti-money-laundering (AML)/Title 31 compliance, were also examples of striking success for Konami at this year’s show.
And at G2E 2022 Konami also showcased entertainment and technology rooted in the winning experience: celebration, team spirit and high reward. With Konami, guests can tap into more fun in Konami’s DIMENSION content, and more SYNKROS systems tech focused on creating, facilitating and reinforcing winning moments.
As the gaming business begins to return to prepandemic levels, Konami’s growth is shown through 50 percent year-over-year growth in net revenue.
During this time, Konami has successfully entered the historical horse racing (HHR) market with its first HHR machines. Konami is also expanding into Class II and New York Lottery VLT, which were displayed for the first time at G2E 2022.
At G2E 2022 Everi demonstrated the success they achieved in their reinvestment efforts to deliver highly differentiated gaming experiences, which help their casino partners grow revenue by engaging players at increasingly higher levels. Everi’s focus is aimed at fully supporting their current markets with an everexpanding library of compelling game themes and new cabinets, including the launch of Dynasty Vue™, which customers experienced firsthand at G2E 2022.
More than 10 new themes were featured on Everi’s Empire Flex™ cabinet, including the Press Your Luck™ Series and Fu Blossom™ Series, which are both available on Everi’s premium TournEvent® Winners Circle™ bank of cabinets, part of TournEvent Everiway™.
These marquee banks feature synchronized content with enhanced sign packages that showcase theme-specific content. The Treasure Gates™ Series, Fortune Teller™ Series, Potion Explosion™ Series and
Banner™ Series, with persistent state features available in Class II and Class III, were also presented on Empire Flex™. Based on the iconic animated TV show, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends™ was presented on the Skyline Revolve™ three-reel mechanical cabinet, while Everi’s high-performing banked product Flex Fusion™ showcased several original video titles, including two follow-on games for the high energy tornado-themed Cashnado™ game, Storm Surge™ and Super Nova™. Lift Off™, with Locomotion™ and Starboard™ base themes, also debuted on Everi’s Flex Fusion™ cabinet.
of the Year. This unique game continues to redefine what a slot machine looks like. In this unexpected blend of arcade- and casino-style play, a physical claw is used to attempt to place one of the prize balls into the collection bin, where a value-varied prize is unveiled.
Aruze also presented unique new games: Rock-PaperScissors and Bomb Collector. Rock-Paper-Scissors Instant Win brings a schoolyard favorite to the casino floor, with enchanting music and bright lights featured across the Aruze’s Muso Curve, 55-inch touchscreen. With bright visuals, charming music, and chances for free games and bet multipliers, Bomb Collector is sure to be a blast for gamers and gamblers.
At G2E 2022 Aruze offered a unique gaminggambling hybrid experience through their Activ-Play™ solutions. Activ-Play™ blends arcade-style fun with the randomized excitement of a gambling machine. Through this portfolio, Aruze sees itself positioned uniquely in the market, offering something that no one else is providing.
A perfect example of this is the unique Go Go Claw Game, which was this year’s GGA Product Innovation
At G2E 2022 the Zitro Booth highlighted their GLARE product line. The GLARE line up of cabinets is new to markets around the world and features four unique configurations.
The Fusion Glare is a dual-screen cabinet designed to take advantage of locations where sightlines need to be optimized. The Allure Glare is Zitro’s
triple-screen option, where many of the games offer linked-top-box bonus experiences. The Illusion Glare debuted in a new form factor at G2E, as an upgraded, 49-inch, curved, J-screen option. Among Zitro’s Premium offering was the Altius Glare cabinet, which features a 27-inch, base-game screen with a 55-inch, ultra-4K resolution monitor on top to provide best-inclass graphics. In this way, Zitro delivers an impressively immersive gaming experiences and a diverse cabinet offering to meet the demands of casino operators, thus optimizing and diversifying the casino slot floor.
Among other new titles on display at the Zitro Booth were Mighty Hammer, a four-level, multi-game featured on Allure Glare, with four different game themes and three unique bonus links. Also, on display was Mega King, available for both the Allure and Fusion Glare cabinets. With this slot title, the more you bet, the bigger the jackpot you get. Mega King also includes an amazing “ENERGY BOOST” feature, which allows players access to the Bonus Jackpot.
More from G2E 2022 appears among several Interviews elsewhere in this issue.
SUZOHAPP unveils new additions to its sports betting ecosystem at G2E
UZOHAPP reports great success launching three new additions to its sports betting ecosystem at this years’ Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, Nevada. From ready-to-go sports betting terminals available in full kiosk format, tabletop and over-the-counter models to cash-redemption terminals, SUZOHAPP offers a complete betting ecosystem for those looking to enter the retail sports betting market.
New for this years’ G2E, SUZOHAPP introduced:
• the SBT-2000, a fully immersive and inclusive betting experience that is ADA accessible, designed to create a sports book stadium-like feeling for everyone;
• the SBT-500+, a bartop sports-betting terminal that includes cash acceptance with a bill validator, allowing customers to bet anonymously with cash while meeting them at the bar to encourage lucrative in-play betting;
• the SBT-Handheld, a betting device for operators, designed by retail and restaurant industry veteran Elo Touch Solutions, that allows customers to remain anonymous but is perfectly primed to be wherever the customer is. This handheld device with a mobile printer allows bets to be placed in cash with an employee and prints a bet slip on site— perfect for stadiums or bars.
All units are built with the same foundational hardware allowing updates and training to be made across the ecosystem, and are supported by SUZOHAPP’s traditional kiosk: the SBT-1000, the cashier point-of-sale: the SBT-OTC, and the payout cash redemption terminal: the CountR Silver CashIO.
Todd Sims, Vice President of Sales for the Americas served as a primary demonstrator of the SUZOHAPP ecosystem at the show. Sims said, “This show was a great success for us in that it allowed us to show how the ecosystem connects across the board and to talk through all the potential opportunities that we can offer our customers from a flexible-design standpoint.”
Cool as ICE
“Making the right connections – it’s what ICE London is all about,” says Stuart Hunter, Managing Director, Clarion Gaming as he chats with Casino Life
What will ICE 2023 look like and how will it be different to what people have experienced in the past?
Our primary focus for ICE 2023 has been to see a ‘full scale’ return of ICE, back to its prepandemic best. We have in some ways used the 2020 event as the roadmap, ensuring that the return of the missing suppliers is all in place and that we can offer a complete sector experience for the global industry. Demand to join the roster of exhibiting brands at the show for 2023 has been unprecedented and allowed us to curate the trade-show floor in line with the wants and needs of the industry. All of this will culminate in the largest event in ICE’s history with the greatest mix of products, services, solutions and opportunities, all underpinned by ICE’s ability to be the platform for thousands of exclusives.
As ICE 2023 will be bigger than ever, how are you helping attendees – both exhibitors and visitors –get the most out of their ICE London experience? Our challenge is to continue to grow ICE London and underscore its attractiveness to buyers at the same time as recognising the need to invest in the tools, technology and human resources to ensure that all stakeholders can maximise the return on their ICE investment. It’s extremely important that exhibitors and visitors are able to take full advantage of what live events provide and that’s the opportunity for visitors and exhibitors to meet, connect and to do business. On a practical level bigger events can be harder to navigate which is why we have invested in the My ICE Gateway, which has been created as a matchmaking and event-discovery tool. The platform empowers attendees to ‘deep dive’ into the ICE London offering
and engages with other attendees including exhibitors and show content – all using a single tool. My ICE will be officially launched in the New Year and will enable our customers to plan their attendance in advance and engage with the community of visitors and exhibitors before the doors open at ExCeL London and ensure connections continue after the event. It’s about making the very most of the huge opportunities that are created when you put the world’s leading innovators together with serious buyers who have travelled to London to make the connections that are fundamental to business and trade. We have also created a dedicated customer-success team which is working alongside both our exhibitors and attendees with the sole objective of enhancing the show experience. We are also producing ‘How-to Guides’ and best-practice insights to help ensure exhibitors capture leads, have the right conversations at show and amplify their brand voice in front of what is the most influential international gathering in world gaming. ICE is too valuable an opportunity to miss.
You are responsible for what is a huge event – how do you ensure that ICE reflects the needs of the market?
That’s a really good question: I would imagine that the common perception is that we simply respond to demand and of course we can only supply space to organisations that are willing to make that investment! However, when it comes to releasing the final tranche of stands, we cross-reference the show floor against the feedback from research that we have undertaken with visitors. I always think the most valuable research is the body of work that identifies those areas where we need to improve. A consistent focus on customer insight underpins Clarion Gaming’s approach to our products and services, and our symposia held in London and Las Vegas this year are just examples amongst a host of touch points. For example, customer feedback from 2022 has highlighted a host of areas where new-product discovery is of interest, including social gaming, poker and NFTs, so this helps instruct our commercial account managers to explore new brands that plug those gaps, rather than simply accommodating existing demand. The ICE show floor has to reflect the needs of buyers and to have a balance covering all of the gaming verticals. ICE has flourished by serving the needs of the entire international gaming neighbourhood which it will continue to do.
You’ve expanded the ICE Ambassador programme – how has this initiative worked and what does it contribute?
I’m delighted to confirm that EUROMAT President Jason Frost and Dr. Laila Mintas, co-founder and CEO of PlayEngine, have accepted invitations to join the ICE Ambassador team, which comprises a consultative body of industry thought leaders who give their time to help guide the future development of what continues to be the leading exhibition for the global gaming industry. They join fellow ICE Ambassadors Simon Thomas (CEO, Hippodrome Casino), Tiina Siltanen (general manager, Casino Helsinki), Tracy Damestani (chief corporate affairs officer, Ambassadeurs Group), Birgitte Sands (senior advisor on gambling regulation and former head of the Danish Gambling Authority), Simon Collins (executive chairman at Backstageplay Inc.), Ian Shanahan (director of business development, YGAM) and Victor Rocha (conference chair, Indian Gaming Association). The purpose of our Ambassador initiative is to ensure that ICE is in step with and responsive to the needs of the business across all verticals and international jurisdictions. The Ambassadors are drawn from throughout gaming, ensuring that we have a varied mix of individuals, roles, and experience who can sense-check our strategic thinking and provide the broadest possible industry feedback and guidance. The fact that we have been able to navigate the last three years is due in no small part to the support of our Ambassadors, for which I am hugely grateful.
Does the staging of a successful G2E diminish the appeal of ICE in any way?
No, not at all, if anything I would say it has whetted the appetite for the international community to book their flights to London and, if they are landing at Heathrow, take advantage of the new Elizabeth Line train service that links the airport to ExCeL London in just 43 minutes! We had a number of the team with us in Vegas and it was an uplifting experience to see G2E back to its pre-pandemic best and to feel the sense of energy that only a live event can deliver. A strong G2E is positive for everyone involved in the global industry and it augurs well for February’s edition of ICE London. At G2E we were told by a significant number of exhibitors that they had scheduled their development plans in order to do a global launch in London. Their opinion is that ICE is the only place to
conduct a global launch on the basis that it’s the only show that regularly attracts visitors from over 150 nations.
How would you summarise the appeal of ICE London?
As you would imagine, we spend a lot of time with our customers exploring why ICE is so important to their businesses and to the international community. The primary and most powerful reason for attending is the
calibre of the ICE exhibitors, who provide access to the very latest innovations, and technology solutions. Learning is also really significant—both curated learning via ICE VOX or the knowledge that comes from meeting with colleagues. Overall, ICE provides an opportunity to gather ideas, connect with the right people from all sectors of the industry, and discover new products over what is a precious and unique week in February.
What does success look like?
With so many different audiences drawn from so many different sectors coming together at ICE London, the specific criterion for measuring success will be slightly different. However, the common denominator, whether you are an operator from South America, a machine developer from Europe, a regulator from Australia or a safer-gambling charity working out of London is ‘connections.’ If you connect with the right audiences and leave ICE armed with contacts wanting to collaborate or do business then it will have been a successful experience. From our perspective
as organisers, success is a happy and energised community of buyers and sellers. The objectives are simple; it’s how we help achieve them that’s the challenge!
To register for ICE 2023 which takes place across 7-9 February, ExCeL London visit www.icelondon.uk.com
A Successful LaunchLavrenty Gubin, Managing Director of Plasma 8, the organiser of the Batumi Gaming Fest 2022 talks with Peter White
Congratulations on hosting such a successful exhibition and conference. You and your team must be delighted with the numbers of attended the inaugural event.
Yes, we are pretty satisfied with the number of attendees. We had more people than expected both on the conference day and taking part in the masterclasses. These people were mainly the representatives of the local and international gamingrelated business. However, we see the areas where we should put more effort: in attracting those who are making the first steps in the industry – regular entry-level employees or those who are just thinking of getting into gaming.
Having a busy show does create a very good atmosphere, which as a media sponsor and speaker in attendance at the show, I can say was apparent.
That was our intention to make a special atmosphere of combined business and leisure, especially considering the fact that we all are working in the industry, which is providing entertainment to people. Thus we all feel thankful when someone else is striving for our comfort. We all appreciate it. So we have tried our best and we’ve got a corresponding feedback.
What role does the Gaming Fest event in Georgia look to accomplish in the region?
There was no regular gaming event in Georgia before ours and this is a rapidly growing market. Georgia has everything to become the regional center of gaming tourism: It has clear and established legislation and a constantly growing market. Thus such an event, where the industry representatives can meet and exchange their experiences, is simply required. As soon as I was working here for more than 10 years in casino marketing, I decided to organize the Gaming Fest with the help of my agency — Plasma 8. Our goal is
to become a regular trade show and conference in Georgia in the field of gaming and casino business, and to get into the world gaming calendar as a mustvisit event.
Next year it will be Tbilisi Gaming Fest. What can you tell us about the venue and the plans for the event in the Georgian capital?
Right, the next Georgian Gaming Fest will be held in the capital – Tbilisi. Unfortunately, there is no proper expo area in Batumi yet big enough to expand our
event. Also, the exhibitors and delegates expressed their interest in having the next show in Tbilisi. So we decided to run the next gaming festival at Expo Georgia. We already booked one of the biggest expo pavilions there. By the way, your media will be the first to announce this – Tbilisi Gaming Fest will be held on September, 2023 in Tbilisi, Expo Georgia. More exhibitors, more delegates, more visitors and brighter after-parties – all of it to be seen here in Georgia next year.
For those who want to know more about what is happening in the gaming industry in the region regarding the land-based and online casino industry in Georgia, and surrounding countries, what advice do you have to them as to why they need to attend Tbilisi Gaming Fest 2023?
The industry is rapidly growing in this region: In Georgia itself and in the surrounding countries, like Armenia and Kazakhstan, some states will introduce a legal casino business, such as Kyrgyzstan, and possibly Azerbaijan. We see also online business rapidly developing here, including live casino studios, due to favourable legislation and taxation here in Georgia. There are many reasons you need to visit Tbilisi Gaming Fest 2023 if you are involved or would
like to get involved into gaming business to look for the new business opportunities, products and technologies; to find new partners and to meet your existing ones; to learn and expand your awareness of the latest trends during our conference and masterclasses; to look for new team members; to find a job in a new company; to socialize with people of the same interests as yours.
What is your message to casino operators in the region, and to manufacturers and suppliers of casino slot machines, tables, and associated systems and equipment as to why they should attend, exhibit, and sponsor Tbilisi Gaming Fest 2023?
If we see each other and speak to each other more, we all, the whole industry will just benefit. It is the time in Georgia to move the local gaming business to the next step in terms of its social image, international presence and integrity. By having such events, we not only expand our businesses (this is the main goal, of course, and most of our exhibitors made new deals or found new partners), but we become closer to each other, we demonstrate to society that we are a usual, modern business, the same as all the others, and I think this is quite important. Also, Georgia is a great place to spend a few days.
How is Tbilisi Gaming Fest going to address many of their issues and concerns affecting the landbased and online casino industry in the region?
We are in partnership relations with the major local associations and we are visited by the state representatives. During our conference, one of the major parts are the panel discussions, during which we raise the most actual issues, discuss them and look for possible solutions. Of course there are always problems which need to be addressed, and we do our best to attract the attention of corresponding people.
What do you expect will be amongst the main topics on the conference schedule of Tbilisi Gaming Fest 2023?
Competition, marketing, player development, new products and technologies, social responsibility, and responsible gaming.
Responsible gaming has had an increasing level of coverage in mainstream media worldwide over the
last to 18 months. What is Tbilisi Gaming Fest 2023 providing to the industry on the exhibition floor and in the conference schedule?
We know that responsible gaming is important for the balanced and natural development of the industry. Thus we started the first event in Batumi with a reasonable part of the conference devoted to this topic. The festival in Tbilisi will continue the
established trend of promoting social responsibility among local operators and reducing social risks for gamblers.
The e-Sports sector is growing. Do you see that aspect of the exhibition, along with sports betting, continue to grow so will we see a greater representation in future years?
In this part of the world we see that there is a great space for growth in the sports-betting sector, so of course we expect vast representation of corresponding businesses during the show in Tbilisi. For example, Armenia, our neighbouring country, has big sports-betting platform providers and operators, and some of them already exhibited or visited the show in Batumi. As for e-Sports, most importantly, this is the age of the “e-sportsmen,” as there are strict limits in the local legislation for participation of Georgian citizens in gambling and betting – the minimum legal age is 25. As e-Sports is still the area of young people, I’m not sure whether there are no
legal limits to make it within our gambling-oriented event.
The Batumi Gaming Fest 2022 website is very well designed and easy to navigate. Has it been a continued work in progress as this industry continues to expand?
Thank you, it is nice to hear, as the website was designed by our agency — Plasma 8. We really put much effort into our websites and now we are in the process of developing the other one for Tbilisi Gaming Fest 2023 (together with a couple other websites for the local casinos). Our agency specialises in marketing for casino and gaming operations, and has many years of industry-related experience. We focus on how to promote gambling websites, and how to deliver information to the potential client, partner or guest correctly and clearly.
For further information on the Tbilisi Expo Georgia 2023 please visit https://tgf.ge
Support at Hand
UGC renews the provision of psychological support to gamblers by Anton
ecause of the ongoing war, we must make fast decisions that are often critical to survival. It is not only about physical survival but also about saving businesses, projects, companies, or even entire economic sectors. Of course, the war affected the Ukrainian Gambling Council too, making us radically reconsider our activities from the very first days of the full-scale Russian invasion.
It was quite obvious that operating at pre-war rates and volumes would be impossible. First, it wasKuchukhidze
physically impossible since we had to take care of the team’s safety and to shift all operations online. Second, in the first months of the war, the legal gambling market virtually stopped working. Legal operators had to quickly reorganize business, adapt to new military realities, work to preserve teams and tangible assets, and reduce costs.
That is why we have decided to significantly reduce the scope of our activities. We scrapped almost all of our projects. In particular, we closed the psychological-support hotline. It allowed us to reduce
our operational costs and the financial burden on association members. We operated in this mode until the end of March.
In early April, it became clear that the war was dragging on but active hostilities began to subside, at least in Kyiv and the region. That is why we began to gradually return to more systematic work. We partially resumed cooperation with the media and continued to work on developing recommendations to improve gambling legislation.
At that time, most of our members also managed to partially resume their business processes and began to gradually reopen the legal gambling market. The licensees recalled employees and partially resumed the payment of license fees. Most companies launched volunteer and charity initiatives related to the help of the army and civilians.
Finally, at the end of October, we managed to find the resources to reopen our support hotline for gamblers and their families. The following factors contributed to this.
1. First, the statistical analysis shows a gradually increasing demand for gambling, which means that more gamblers return to the game. Although “the issue of gambling addiction in Ukraine” is a mere manipulation by opponents of gambling legalization, as both of our studies have shown, going back to gambling, especially in stressful conditions of war, may have negative consequences for some of the most vulnerable gamblers. Thus, if they feel the need for qualified psychological support they should be able to get it.
2. Second, social-responsibility projects are an integral part of the process of restoring the legal gambling market. Qualified psychological support for gamblers is part of gambling social responsibility aimed at preventing the spread of gambling addiction (ludopathy). Finally, gamblers’ access to information on gambling addiction and qualified psychological support is a legal requirement.
3. Third, our association’s members prepared the request to relaunch social-responsibility projects. Even in times of war and dire market conditions, our members are willing to finance projects to uphold responsible-gambling principles and support gamblers.
Today, gamblers facing problems with gambling, as well as their families may contact our hotline and get advice from qualified psychologists on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. All consultations are free and for convenience are provided by three phone numbers:
0800 33 05 80 – for calls within Ukraine (free); +38 (067) 502 89 53 – for Kyivstar customers; +38 (099) 110 22 98 – for Vodafone customers.
Even one person suffering from gambling addiction requires the presence of a legal, civilized gambling market. That is why, if you or your family members feel that you face problems with gambling, it is better to hurry up and immediately contact our psychologists, who will provide you with qualified support. Even if gambling addiction is not widespread and does not represent a global challenge for the industry in Ukraine, individual cases of gambling addiction are still a problem for some people and families. And the sooner they begin to address this issue, the fewer negative psychological and financial consequences they and everyone around them will have.
Given the above, I would also like to take this opportunity and once again urge you to gamble only in legal gambling establishments and on licensed online platforms. Only there will your rights as gamblers be respected. Only by gambling with licensed gambling operators will you minimize the risk of facing gambling addiction.
Update Report on Gaming Legislation in Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay
Gambling in Chile began in 1852, and to this date games of chance are permitted and regulated with the emphasis on land-based operators. Casinos are only specifically regulated since 2005. Only this year (i.e. 2022), the government published a bill proposal regarding the regulation of online gambling. Prior to this, an act passed in 2008 allowed for an online lottery and certain betting activities which were, however, reserved solely for state-owned monopolies.
The new bill proposal states that all betting entities in Chile will need to hold a general license, valid for a period of five years. Still, it proposes that operators that wish to offer online gaming must have a special online-betting license that is non-renewable. Chile’s National Congress supported the new Gambling Bill’s adoption, as the Ministry of Finance indicated that it
targeted toward collecting over $50 million USD in taxes per year and shutting down a black market of over 900 unlicensed websites.
The maximum number of casinos in Chile is 24 and, in addition to casinos, most other forms of gambling in Chile are state-owned and controlled: sports betting, the national lottery, horse racetracks, and online lottery and sports wagering.
The national regulator authorized for the supervision and licensing regime of gaming (excluding the lottery) is the Superintendency of Gaming Casinos. Operators must submit to all terms outlined by the Superintendency to receive a gaming license. Also, lottery licenses can also be issued to private companies in Chile, whereby this type of license can be obtained by the La Lotería de Concepción.
Since there were no licensed online casinos in Chile until this year and it was basically illegal to operate online-gambling sites in the country, many took advantage of this fact. With the government taking no measures to restrict access to foreign online sports books and casinos, many Chileans used to resort to offshore websites for their virtual betting and gaming experiences. Since there were no legal consequences imposed by the law for those participating in online gambling on foreign websites, this form was popular in the country.
Luckily the government recognized the potential of this sector and the fiscal prospects of online gambling operations, and it will — hopefully soon —
structure the market and benefit from it in the coming years. Yet current developments in the legislative process show that it might be too optimistic to expect the adoption of new law by 2023 as initially envisioned, bearing in mind that certain stakeholders raised a question regarding an insufficient tax framework for Chile to launch its online-gambling marketplace. Critics argue that the government had failed to explain how Chile’s local and commercial taxes would be applied to international operators, who should be subject to equal tax terms as domestic incumbents. Thus it remains to be seen how soon the government will address and mitigate the new issues.
licenses qualify for the application for an online gambling license.
The lottery is a state monopoly in Paraguay and the authorities only license one lottery operator. A gaming license is usually issued for a 20-year term and the licensing process starts with a public tender. Afterwards the chosen applicants are offered a concession contract.
Games of chance, i.e. gambling, are legal in the country since 1943, when the first casino in the country was opened. Up to 1997 and the key gambling legislation (Law No. 10161 from 1997), any legal framework regarding games of chance was scarce. Online games of chance were legalized and regulated in the period from 2015 to 2018 (comprehensive online gambling legislation from 2017, whereby legalization of online gambling started during 2015 with an online lottery; in 2017 online casinos followed; and in 2018 online sports betting was finally legalized as well).
The competent authority for a licensing (brickand-mortar and online) and supervisory regime in the country is the National Commission of Games of Chance. Only operators with brick-and-mortar casino
The maximum number of casinos in the country is 25. Only provinces with at least 250 000 residents are allowed to have any casinos (one casino per 250.000 residents) and usually these casinos are required to be attached to a hotel.
Sports betting is in principle state-controlled although licenses are issued to private companies, but no true privatization of such organizers has ever taken place. The state lottery monopoly handles sports betting primarily, through their vast network of retailers. As mentioned above, online sports betting is legal since 2018, but there is only one licensed company with the monopolistic position guaranteed in the market until 2023. A new tender for a sports-betting license is currently ongoing.
Slot halls in Paraguay only need permission from local governments to operate. In April 2022, the
parliament passed a new law which aims to prevent the installation of slot machines in markets, pantries, hairdressers, pharmacies, and fast-food restaurants, so children and young people do not have exposure and free access to gambling.
With respect to offshore gambling activities, players from Paraguay can still play freely online on
Gambling and organization of games of chance has been legal in Uruguay since 1819 with the legalization of a lottery, which was then followed by the legalization of sports betting in 1856. Currently, the main law regulating the games of chance in the territory is the Act for Gambling Games from 2016.
The National Directorate for Inspection of Betting & Gambling Games is the competent authority in charge of the licensing of gambling establishments in Uruguay, and the General Directorate for Casinos regulates and oversees the sector. Licenses are called concession agreements, whereby casinos can only be operated in designated tourism zones. Furthermore, private casinos must be attached to hotels. Only land-based casinos and gambling halls are licensed and regulated under the state’s laws, and currently there is no formal licensing process for online casinos in Uruguay.
The only form of legal sports betting in Uruguay is the so-called Supermatch (pari-mutuel betting), which is run by the National Lottery, which has a monopoly over sports betting and lotteries. The company also operates an online platform with an Internet sports book, currently the only exception to the overall ban of online gambling.
unlicensed gambling websites, much to the dismay of licensed operators. Illegal operators on the other hand are committing a crime and the government does not hesitate to act. Operating an offshore online gambling business is perceived as money laundering by the authorities and these operators are prosecuted regularly.
As noted above, online gambling is illegal in Uruguay since 2018. However, local players are not prosecuted for playing on offshore platforms. Additionally, the government oversees online gambling and has ongoing active measures to find and ban offshore sites. In 2019 more than 450 offshore websites where blocked.
Since the last quarter of 2021, Uruguay has moved forward with the regulation of the market due to a decree drafted by the Ministry of Economy. In August 2022 a new draft bill was presented regulating the online gambling activities. If passed by the parliament, the bill would allow the General Directorate of Casinos of the Ministry of Economy & Finance to regulate online gambling in Uruguay and to authorize operators with land-based licenses to operate online.
How to Win CustomersBy Raymond Chan
Some people and organizations are more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others. Even if they are underdogs in the market, they can still beat the odds and overachieve to made history vanquishing the big boys.
• Apple Computer was first on sales in 1976 and beat hundreds other competitors, including IBM, in the newly formed personal computer segment. In 2007, Steve Jobs did it again when Nokia was the absolute dominator in the smartphone market, when Apple released his first similar product, called iPhone in 2007.
• Elon Musk’s electric car maker, Tesla, was not in favor back in 2007 when it first started. Even John Doerr, the chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, who amassed a fortune estimated at $11.5 billion by investing in Google and Amazon, had passed on an opportunity to back the fledgling unicorn a decade-and-half ago. He instead financed a so-called “brilliant car designer” named Henrik Fisker, who filed for bankruptcy in 2013.
• The Wright Brothers didn’t have a team of worldclass talent – not a single person on the team had a college education, let alone an advanced degree, and were operating out of a bicycle shop. They end up beating Samuel Pierpont Langley, who was given a an enormous $50,000 grant from the War Department to be the first man to fly an airplane.
People like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they are notable teams and companies who made history that can draw greater loyalty from customers and employees. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement or idea until they understand the “why” behind it. The great leaders of these businesses start with telling their target customer the purpose and the reason you exist and behave as you do, not how your product works. Steve Jobs created Apple Computer because he believed digital work should also be beautiful, not only functional. Elon Musk builds Tesla to accelerate the world’s transition into sustainable energy, not to create another driving machine. The Wright Brothers were self-taught engineers who succeeded in their dream in a sustained flight, not to make money for themselves.
Simon Sinek, the second-most-watched TED Talk host of all time, with 50 million views, calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle. It provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led and people can be inspired. The Golden Circle theory argues that many of today’s most successful companies think beyond the practical, rational benefits of the products and services they offer. It is the purpose and dream behind driving customer loyalty but not the procedure behind the product. That’s why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “I have a dream” and not “a plan” in 1963, as explained in Simon’s TED talk. Start with telling people “Why.” It is probably the most important strategy that
ABOUT RAYMOND CHAN
Raymond is a software engineer, product designer and digital technology veteran. He cofounded two technology startups – TGG Interactive and Global Gaming Group in Asia – served as director and CEO to lead the in-depth customer intelligence and electronic gaming business from 2007 to 2018. Earlier in his career, Raymond was a founding member of the data science team at E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley, and played a key role in the design of the TiVo customer intelligence system for the Internet unicorn in Silicon Valley.
an organization or individual can communicate to win customers, as this is what inspires others to action. Following the Golden Circle road map can transform organizations like Apple and Tesla to drive loyalty, and meet the new needs and wants of customers. Gaming innovation has been long ignored and awaited. We are hoping the concept of starting with WHY can present a new path for the industry to compete with upstarts, access new customer segments and bring new business opportunities to win new fans again.
SUZOHAPP Sports Betting Kiosks Open in Ontario for 10 Great Canadian Entertainment Destinations
SUZOHAPP, a world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of gaming, amusement, and sports-betting products, announced its first installation of sports betting terminals in Ontario, which also happens to be the first in-person sports betting product available in casinos in the province of Ontario. SUZOHAPP’s terminals will be available for betting at 10 Great Canadian Entertainment locations throughout the province.
Sim Bielak, president of SUZOHAPP and an Ontario native, commented, “We are excited about our progress in the Canadian market and that of our partners Great Canadian Entertainment, which will pave the way towards additional opportunities for SUZOHAPP in the future as a valued hardware partner for our customers.”
SUZOHAPP offers a complete ecosystem of sportsbetting products to customize and automate the entire betting cycle for sports betting, from cashier to bet to payout. Terminals from this product line will be available for use at 10 Great Canadian Entertainment locations:
Casino Woodbine – Toronto, ON Great Blue Heron Casino & Hotel – Port Perry, ON Elements Casino Brantford – Brantford, ON Pickering Casino Resort – Pickering, ON Elements Casino Flamboro – Hamilton, ON Shorelines Casino Belleville – Belleville, ON Elements Casino Grand River – Elora, ON Shorelines Casino Peterborough – Peterborough, ON Elements Casino Mohawk – Milton, ON Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands – Gananoque, ON
“The addition of SUZOHAPP sports betting terminals at 10 of our Ontario destinations is another effort in our commitment to investing in our facilities, and further enhancing the integrated gaming and guest experience we provide,” added Tony Rodio, CEO at Great Canadian Entertainment. “We’d like to thank SUZOHAPP for their partnership in launching
SUZOHAPP is a world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of gaming, amusement and sportsbetting products. Serving operators and OEMs for over 60 years, SUZOHAPP carries a vast portfolio of components available for immediate distribution and for developing custom-built solutions. More information, along with a components catalogue, is available at www. suzohapp.com. SUZOHAPP is owned by affiliates of ACON Investments, L.L.C., a Washington, D.C.- based, international, private-equity investment firm that has responsibility for managing approximately $5.5 billion of capital. For more information, visit www.aconinvestments.com.
ABOUT GREAT CANADIAN ENTERTAINMENT
Founded in 1982 as Great Canadian Gaming Corp., Great Canadian Entertainment is an Ontario-based company that operates 25 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Fundamental to the company’s culture is its commitment to social responsibility. “PROUD of our people, our business, our community” is Great Canadian’s brand, which unifies the company’s community, volunteering and social responsibility efforts. Under the PROUD program, Great Canadian supports over 1,400 charitable and non-profit organizations across Canada. In each Canadian gaming jurisdiction, a significant portion of gross gaming revenue from gaming facilities is retained by our Crown partners on behalf of their provincial government for the purpose of supporting programs like healthcare, education and social services.
sports betting at our Ontario locations as well as the continued support from the OLG, AGCO and Ontario’s provincial government,” concluded Rodio.
Additional information about SUZOHAPP’s sports betting terminals can be obtained through the website. https://oem.suzohapp.com/productcategories/sports-betting-ecosystem-2/