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Volume 13 Issue 103


Editorial: Editor in Chief: Glyn Thomas Mob: +38 976 007 007 glyn@ace123.com Features Editor:

Damien Connelly

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

Associate Editor North America David Mckee

dmckee@ace123.com Special Assignment Correspondent: Jack Bulavsky

jackbulavsky@yahoo.com International Casino & Gaming Correspondent: JJ Woods

jjsilks@eircom.net Technology Correspondent: Rebecca Green

rebecca@ace123.com

Production: Designer: Stewart Hyde design@ace123.com

www.totaldesignworks.com Subscriptions: Helen Holmes subs@ace123.com

Web & IT: Sudip Banjeree sb@ace123.com

Editor’s page Welcome to Casino Life...

Let me start by saying a big thanks to Per Jaldung, ECA Chairman, who starts our year as guest editor. In a busy time of year it’s reassuring that he took the time to give us his thoughts. The ECA at one point seemed to have stalled but in recent times has become more active and now represents over 900 casinos in Europe. Something that has stagnated is our competition - who continue to peddle news as editorial content when it’s a month old. This tired approach seems to work like the story of the Emperors New Clothes but if I was a manufacturer CEO (or a shareholder perhaps) I’d be questioning the benefit and why marketing spend year-on-year goes to the same old faces. At times it’s like the commercial manager of the local rugby club advertising his wife’s marketing company in the match programme. And so to this issue where we start with a visit to the Tigre de casino in Vladivostock where income has exceeded expectations – the casino continues to outpace similar venues in Macau mainly due to the impact of local players and favourable taxation allowing greater margins to be paid to junketeers. That said promises of fee visas for the Primorsy Kriy need to come true or other casinos in the region will be in a position to catch up. Over to Cairo next and I dropped in to see Scott Cowan MD at Intercasinos Management – part of the Caesars empire. Many thanks to Scott and his team for their hospitality – I enjoyed our lengthy tour and catch-up long into the evening. Tracy Damestani CEO of the NCF next giving a very robust view of the future of the casino industry in the UK despite the implications of Brexit. It could be argued that now Britain is making it’s own way in the world there is no better time to revisit the 2005 Gambling Act and (Daily Mail willing) do now what should have been done then to make the UK ahead of the game globally. G2E may be a distant memory but Victor Royer is still excited by some of what he saw and is reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly. Space in December was at a premium so this feature is slightly delayed but as manufacturers spend fortunes to be there it’s worth inclusion. Robert Ambrose brings us up to speed on Gambling moves in New Jersey and pulls out every pun in the book as he refers to the Trojan Horse racing element. Finally – a quick runaround some of what you’ll see at ICE in a few weeks and in four months time in other magazines. and as always if you happen to be attending ICE you are as always very welcome our booths located along the central isle ND6-C ND6-D See you on the floor.

Publisher: Peter White

Tel: +44 (0) 1892 740869

Mob: +44 (0) 7973 273714 pwhite@ace123.com

Glyn Thomas Editor in Chief

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Contents 3

Editors page

5 Guest Comment: Per Jaldung CEO European Casino Association 6

Casino Life Journalists

9 Advancing On All Fronts Bill Healey chats to Craig Ballantyne, General Director of Tigre de Cristal 17 Games Without Frontiers Glyn Thomas chats to Scott Cowan, Managing Director, Inter Casino Management (EGYPT) Limited 27 Strength in Versatility National Casino Forum, CEO, Tracy Damestani, on post Brexit Britain’s land based Casino business’s value to UK PLC. 32 G2E 2016 Review part 2 Victor Royer profiles some of the best products and services that he experienced at G2E 35 North Jersey gaming proponents are at the starting gate. Again! This time in the form of another bill to bring casino gaming state-wide through the benefit of the already legal, on-line gaming component – right to the horse race industry by: Robert Ambrose 37 Spotlight ICE Totally Gaming 2017 Preview By Rebecca Green 38 Aristocrat Technologies - to display its passion for gaming at ICE 2017 40 SUZOHAPP - A world of components and solutions 43 Zitro - presents BRYKE, its new brand of video slots 45 Apex - providing a record number of innovations for ICE visitors 46 Cammegh - brings the drama to Shakespearethemed ICE show 48 DRGT - building on their successful 2016, will show ‘Your Next System’ at ICE 2017 Editorial Policy: The views and opinions expressed in Casino Life remain principally the views of contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. The publishers wish to avoid inaccuracies and, whilst every precaution has been taken to ensure that information contained in this publication is accurate, no liability is accepted by the editor or publishers for errors or omissions, however caused. Unless otherwise stated, articles appearing in this publication remain the copyright of the publishers and may not be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s written consent. Printed in the UK by MPC Ltd.

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Guest Comment: Per Jaldung

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or the ECA and its members, ICE is the ideal opportunity to kick-off the New Year with colleagues, business partners and friends in the gaming industry. One of the great elements of the ICE programme are the various seminars and side-events that offer exciting ways to learn and engage with current and future leaders of the industry. One of these is the International Casino Conference (ICC) that – jointly organised with our partner Clarion – brings together all important players for the land-based casino industry to discuss prevailing topics for our sector. This year, the focus is on the future of casinos within the wider entertainment business and the exciting trends and developments from across the world. With ICE so close to the New Year, it also offers the opportunity to reflect on the past year. 2016 was a successful year for the ECA in many different ways. With Montenegro and San Marino as our newest members, the ECA now represents a total of 26 countries within Europe. For 2017, we have once again set ourselves ambitious goals. On a political level, we will remain active on crucial issues, such as anti-money laundering, the fight against illegal gambling and protecting and enhancing our industry’s ethos of responsible gambling. We want to continue to ensure that the views of the licensed land-based casino industry are recognised by the EU institutions. We also once again look forward to the European Dealer Championship at the fantastic Hippodrome Casino in London – where Europe’s best dealers will compete for the prestigious title. The incredible skill and talent on show at the competition demonstrates the huge value of our industry in terms of training and education. This is however just one facet of the positive impact of casinos across our economies and societies. The ECA

Per Jaldung Chairman ECA & CEO Chairman Cosmopol Casinos Sweden

now represent around 900 casinos, who directly employ over 70,000 people and even outside our industry, many more jobs and local economies are supported through our business and the substantial tax revenues we generate. We want to make sure that this positive impact is recognised beyond our industry. As ECA, we also feel that it is important for our workforce and management structures to be reflective of society at all levels, which is why we will launch our gender diversity initiative at ICE. We are determined to show the positive impact and pivotal role of diversity for our industry’s success in the coming years and share our success stories. I look forward to meeting you at ICE to discuss these and many other topics. Per Jaldung ECA Chairman

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Our Journalists

Casino Life Magazine is very proud of its position as one of the leading independent casino publications which crosses numerous platforms between gaming operations to gaming industry suppliers. We have a very diverse group of readers who appreciate and value our high quality and independence. Our readership continues to grow year over year because of this. We are very fortunate to have some very highly qualified independent authors, journalists and operators who help support our reporting efforts. Some of your independent journalists are:

Peter White

In addition to his role as Publisher, Peter also undertakes interviews with leading Casino operators. He has travelled extensively over the course of 16 years, visiting Casinos World Wide as well as attending the leading gaming industry exhibitions and conferences. Peter is also Vice President, International Operations for leading US based Gaming industry consultancy, WhiteSand Gaming LLC and a Director at Screentrade Media Ltd a leading International Publisher specialising in the Cinema Industry.

JJ Woods

Bill Healey

Bill Healey, Associate Editor Asia has spent his professional life in the leisure software industry, developing and implementing solutions used around the world. Along with this, he has been actively writing on gaming and leisure since the turn of the millennium with content focused on global technology, market reviews and property profiles. Splitting time between SE Asia and USA, he remains actively involved in international technology as a Director of Quasar Group International. Connect on Twitter @heybill

Atlantic Casino Consultants is a Company set up to deal with all issues regarding the Casino gaming Industry. JJ Woods, Director of Operations, founded and set up the Company in 2006. He was born in Ireland but left in the Seventies to live in London and for a career in Banking that lasted nearly four years after which he joined the Casino Industry in London where he trained and has, over the last 35 years, been involved in the setting up, design, management, and opening of Casinos around the world. He is an Author on Gaming and has written for several International Publications. He has taken part in Radio and TV debates and was selected as one of the Judging panel for the International Gaming Awards held at Savoy Hotel London in 2014. He is above all extremely passionate about the Casino Industry and its responsibility of Customer care and brings a high level of enthusiasm to any Project regardless of size and is an avid believer of theming Casinos. He is responsible for several Casino designs and their logo.

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Robert Ambrose

Robert Ambrose is a Gaming & Hospitality Professor at the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management at Drexel University, Philadelphia. His experience includes commercial casino development and gaming operations at the executive level. After a successful career in casino operations, Bob joined Drexel as a Gaming/Hospitality Instructor. Professor Ambrose continually collaborates with industry professionals and reports on the industry about his research through publications, lectures and consulting. Follow: @bobambrose

Stephen Karoul

Steve Karoul is recognized throughout the world today as one of the leading Casino Marketing professionals in the industry. Steve is a seasoned casino executive with over 37 years of hands-on experience working for the best casinos in the industry, and is viewed as an authority on every segment of casino marketing covering: Table Game Marketing, Slot Marketing, Promotions, CRM, Player Development, International Marketing, Junket Marketing, Asian Marketing, Ethnic Marketing, Special Events, Player Clubs, etc. He is also the originator and developer of “The Casino Marketing Tune Up.” www.euroasiacasino.com

Victor H. Royer

Jack Bulavsky

Jack Bulavsky is a 40-year Nevada resident who has been involved in advertising, public relations and hotel/casino marketing in Reno, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. Over the years, he has written about gaming, food, and entertainment for Las Vegas Review-Journal, NEVADA Magazine, Los Angeles Confidential, Las Vegas Home & Design, America West Airlines Magazine, and M Lifestyle Magazine (MGMMirage).

Victor H. Royer, known as Vegas Vic, is the author of 48 books, and more than 4,000 articles on casino games and gaming. He is also the President of Gaming Services and Research, established in 1984. Publicly, he is mostly known for books, articles, and columns on casino games and gambling, such as Casino Secrets, Great Casino Slots, Great Gamblers: True Stories and Amazing Facts, but he is also the author of several titles of fiction, including the Western: Riders on the Wind, and the action romance: Another Day. In his capacity as a confidential research consultant, he has profiled most of the major casinos in the United States over the past 30 years, and has authored and researched hundreds of confidential industry reports for both casino operators and gaming equipment manufacturers. 

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Advancing On All Fronts Interview in Vladivostok with Craig Ballantyne, General Director of Tigre de Cristal 9


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his month we make our way out to Vladivostok, Russia’s Frontier Town on the Pacific to speak with Craig Ballantyne, General Manager at Tigre de Cristal. Tigre de Cristal is the first casino to open in the Primorye Krai Integrated Entertainment Zone, on Russia’s Far East coast. Could you give us a little background on the start of gaming in Primorye Krai, and more specifically the position of Tigre de Cristal. The Integrated Entertainment Zone in Primorye is a key part of the original vision of Vladimir Putin to drive economic growth via tourism and infrastructure development in the Far East. Our Chairman and largest shareholder, Mr. Lawrence Ho chose to become a pioneer investor in the region due to its prime location in the heart of NE

Asia, vastly improved infrastructure, and supportive government policy environment. Although the cost of entry and subsequent operational costs are significant and there are outstanding elements that would enhance the business like the implementation of the free port visa-free regime and the ability to accept foreign currency banknotes from foreign nationals that we will discuss in more detail below, TdC has nevertheless managed to achieve an EBITDA positive position and continues to grow its client base and attract more foreign tourists. TdC has considerable first mover advantages and is currently working on plans for Phase II to develop a 120,000 sq metre project comprising approximately 500 hotel rooms, shopping mall, food court, restaurants and bars, MICE, spa and health club, additional parking areas, and the likely construction of a championship golf course on adjacent land.

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What are the target markets of Tigre de Cristal? Our key target feeder markets are the surrounding countries in NE Asia. It has been mentioned that Russian leaders would like Vladivostok to become a link to East Asia. Visa free access has been given to mainland Chinese, leading some to expect that it will rival Macau. Have the first year of operations supported these expectations? The Russian Federation has a relatively short window to implement initiatives to encourage foreign investment and foster development of the IEZ and overall economic development prior to the projects in neighbouring countries competing for the same investment pool. TdC cannot currently fully satisfy foreign tourist / client service deliverables expectations versus other

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gaming jurisdictions in the Far East, such as: Currency Exchange. In Russia a foreign client must make four transactions versus two elsewhere: e.g. a foreign national wishes to exchange foreign currency banknotes: he/she first has to go to the ONSITE BANK, change the foreign currency to Rubles, then go to the casino cash desk and purchase chips to play. Upon completing play the player returns to the casino cash desk to change the chips to rubles, then returns to the bank to exchange the rubles back to foreign currency. This creates unnecessary friction cost to the foreign player versus other gaming jurisdictions. Registration. We are the only casino in the Far East that requires registration prior to entry. Visa Free Regime. The promised Visa Free regime


experiences in the industry, and what brought you here? I have been in the industry since 1972 and since 1979 as a Casino G.M. From 1991 I moved out of the UK, into emerging markets, initially to Poland then in several international gaming jurisdictions. Always in a senior capacity. The experience and knowledge gained working (largely successfully) in several countries, my familiarity with different cultures and different sets of legislation and regulations gave me some recognition and subsequently I was introduced to Lawrence Ho of Melco and John Wang of Summit Ascent. I viewed this as an opportunity albeit a challenge at the same time. that was part of the Free Port Initiative and passed into law in 2015 has yet to be implemented and has caused some concerns with our foreign clients and investors. It is also hindering the growth in our visitor numbers as our foreign customers must plan their trips in advance and cannot spontaneously decide to visit the Primorsky Krai. How do junkets factor into Tigre’s mix? International VIP players are an important target market and segment within the business. We endeavour to provide an international luxury standard entertainment, lodging, and dining experience that exceeds the expectations of our foreign and domestic customers. You joined Tigre de Cristal prior to their opening. Could you give us an overview of your previous

What impact are you expecting to have at Tigre de Cristal? That we become quickly recognised as a leading player in the Far East integrated resort market. How do you describe your leadership style? Assertive, disciplined, while leading by example and at the same time ensuring that all personnel are trained to a high standard. Tigre de Cristal is positioned as an all-round tourist destination on Russia’s Pacific coast. What are some of the iconic features within the property that help advance it as one of the region’s leading entertainment destinations? Entertainment is an important part of the overall proposition for our guests with a weekly show

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program, International headline artists and special events throughout the year like the Broadway Talent Contest in the genre of the “The Voice” that attracted more than 8000 visitors during the exciting finals held over five weeks at the property. With guests being offered experiences away from the casino, could you highlight the value the nongaming options add to Tigre’s overall operations? The non-gaming options are an important part of the overall value proposition for an integrated resort. Tigre de Cristal provides guests with a variety of exciting dining options from casual Chinese and Western cuisine in the Pan Asian restaurant 88 to the wonderful delights found in the “art of steaks” fine dining restaurant Cascade. The restaurants are complemented by a variety of bars providing guests with the opportunity to choose a quiet, intimate area to enjoy a cocktail and snack or be

entertained by the live music. For guests whose passion is golf, Cristal Golf features the most state-of-theart golf simulators in Russia, designed to give golf lovers an amazing experience playing more than 50 signature golf courses from around the world. With 121 rooms, the hotel at Tigre de Cristal is the most luxurious in Vladivostok and is a favourite of local and international guests staying for business or pleasure. Are there restrictions on Russian nationals being admitted to the casino? Russian nationals can play at the casino provided they are of sufficient age and have registered. It is a legal requirement for all visitors (local and foreign) to register with their passport and other personal information before entering the casino. Which types of slot machine and multi player slots

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does the casino offer? What are the preferred slots machines? We regularly assess the appeal of all the games and the mix of machines on the floor. Currently the most popular slot machines are Novomatic and Speilo. What types of table games does Tigre de Cristal currently offer, and are they expected to expand? We currently offer baccarat, roulette, blackjack, Sic Bo, poker, and Russian poker. We believe our table mix and allocation is sufficient for our current needs. Does Tigre de Cristal host gaming tournaments? If so, what are the more popular tournaments? We will schedule additional tournaments for local players on both slots and tables (American Roulette, Russian Poker) in the coming months. There are no immediate plans to host an international baccarat tournament but we have had several enquiries regarding hosting an international Texas Holdem

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tournament. How does social media play into the marketing mix? In addition to our invenue marketing the social media outlets are an integral part of our marketing programme. With the high-profile of many of the site’s visitors, it would be expected data security is a priority. Is the guest management system developed specifically for the site, or is it commercially available to other casinos? As with all casinos data security is of the highest importance and we have developed a bespoke process and firewall system to maintain the security of sensitive information. The original system is one that is commercially available but it has been customized to our specific requirements. We would like to thank Craig Ballantyne and the staff at Tigre de Cristal for their participation in this interview.


Games Without Frontiers Glyn Thomas chats to Scott Cowan, Managing Director, Inter Casino Management (EGYPT) Limited 17


Scott as you know Casino Life Magazine takes great pride in interviewing leading industry CEO’s and Senior Level Management to better understand both the companies that they work for or own, as well as what are the key attributes for their success. Please tell our readers about yourself and your role at Caesars Entertainment. I have been in the gaming industry for 34 years starting in the homelands in South Africa and have since worked around the world in both land based gaming as well as a short stint in online and SMS lottery. My current role is Managing Director of ICM which is a part of Caesars Entertainment (EMEA),

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looking after the three properties we have in Egypt, developing those businesses and growing them year on year as well as looking for potential new opportunities in the region. Creating an enjoyable fun and relaxed environment is an important factor in Leisure and entertainment venues. What kind of investment over the years has Caesars Entertainment made in the Egyptian businesses. We continuously look at upgrading our properties both in terms of facilities as well as gaming product. We embarked on a full upgrade and refurbishment


of the Ramses Hilton Casino in 2015 including the creation of a VIP room with a Nile view. The Kings & Queens Casino at the Fairmont Heliopolis has just completed a full refurbishment and expansion and we are now looking at a full refurbishment of our Caesars Casino at The Four Seasons in 2017. What would you say are amongst the many unique aspects that make the Casinos in Cairo so special? We deliver world class service through our comprehensive Customer Relations Departments as well as Player Development teams. Our teams offer

a very personalised service and are very good at anticipating player needs. Through our investment in people, our employees are some of the best and most professional gaming teams that I have worked with throughout my career. Can you explain a little more about how Caesars Entertainment has developed its Casinos over recent years in Egypt? Aside from the property developments mentioned earlier, the most significant area that Caesars has invested in recent years is in human capital. The local Executive team in Egypt has adopted Caesars

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Entertainments’ global Mission, Vision and Values and have taken a very proactive position on being the market leader in terms of Human Resources, Reward and Recognition and treating employees fairly. As a result of this we are the preferred employer in the region and that enables us to deliver exceptional customer service. Is it possible for the building to have further extensions to expand the gaming and or entertainment floor space of the existing Casinos in Cairo? As I previously mentioned, with the projects already completed, we have expanded two of our three properties and in 2017 we will be expanding the third. We actively seek opportunities for expansion. We have very good relationships with all of our hotel business partners and they are very keen to see us expand and prosper.

What aspects of the parent company, Caesars Entertainment US, has the Cairo operation drawn upon to develop the Leisure and Entertainment aspects of the operation? Having worked abroad for most of my career, often remotely for parent companies, the most encouraging thing working for Caesars is the closeness you feel with both the EMEA team as well as the US team. The support is incredible and all of their programmes are open to us. One of our real strengths is the cross marketing where we have access to Vegas and their programmes as well as the UK with its iconic brands of The Playboy Club and The Sportsman and also our property in South Africa, Emerald Resort and Casino. Have there been many changes amongst the EGMs and what is your current replacement / upgrade cycle on slots - and which would you say have

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proven to be stand out performers over the last year at the Cairo properties? The EGM dynamic in Egypt is somewhat unique with certain player preferences outside of the norm, so to speak. We have some very old machines that customers enjoy and we have recently upgraded some of those to a newer version of the same product. We have also introduced Electronic Roulette into two of our businesses as well as an upgraded slot product across all three. This is an ongoing process as we monitor our performance and customer feedback as well as new product offerings. Money laundering is a problem in society, what are the procedures in place at the Casino to tackle it? We are active in ensuring that our businesses are not used for money laundering purposes. We

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actively engage with our customers to make sure we know as much about them as we can, both for this reason and for marketing and loyalty purposes. As you know, we are part of the Caesars Entertainment Group, so managing our businesses with ethics and integrity is a cornerstone of our values. What are the most popular card games played at the Casinos and do you host tournaments? Blackjack and Poker are both popular games in our properties. We have started working on a tournament format and those should be a feature for the year ahead. What is your policy of trialling new games and EGMs in Egypt and what has been the biggest payout that the Cairo properties have made to date?


We are always looking at new games as well as new product in general and being part of the bigger Caesars family we receive a great deal of assistance and information on what works and what does not work. In terms of Jackpots we are the market leader with jackpots up to USD$250,000 and these are regularly paid out due to the volume of play that we get. Promotions and incentives are an important mix for patron loyalty. What are the provisions like at the Cairo Casinos as far as prizes and rewards for patrons are concerned? A lot of our reward and recognition programme hinges around rooms, food and beverage, special occasion parties and gifts and then the cross marketing incentives. As all of our business is fly in players on short stays, competitions and the like do not seem to appeal to them

Quality and affordability have been two key words associated with food and drink at Casinos catering for many of their local regular patrons. What is your approach to food and beverage. As our casinos are based in hotels in the market, many of our customers utilize those facilities. We have a comprehensive player tracking system and a comping policy that runs in conjunction with that as most casinos do and we comp customers according to what they earn through play. What impresses you most about living and working in Cairo? Firstly, being an African, this is home and as some know having worked on the continent, it is very dynamic with a melting pot of cultures, beliefs and traditions, with many feasts and parties. The people are friendly, engaging and always keen to help you.

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What do you see as the main issues facing Casinos in this region today and over the next five years? Cultural and political uncertainty and instability is an issue in many markets around the world and Cairo has challenges here which are well documented. This is of course an area out of our control, but one which we regular monitor. We have seen our casinos prosper in recent years and the city continues to adapt and develop. Increased competition is also a factor which will continue to be on the horizon. What have been the achievements at the Casinos that you are most proud of over the years? Our casinos in Cairo have around 35% of the market which is an astounding achievement and is very much down to the highly engaged teams delivering exceptional customer service.

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What is your favourite piece of business advice? Be true to yourself and value human capital, as they are the very reason for success. What is the percentage of patrons versus tourists at the Cairo Casinos? Egyptians are not allowed to game and as such only foreign passport holders are allowed to play in Egypt. Are there any plans for further Casinos in the region in the near future? We don’t have any immediate plans that we can share with you, but we constantly evaluate opportunities in the region. Thank you once again for taking time from your busy schedule for this interview.


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Tracy Damestani, CEO National Casino Forum

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Strength in Versatility

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By Tracy Damestani, CEO, NCF

n 23rd May last year senior members of NCF made a series of presentations on the future of the casino industry, and the regulatory regime which governs it, to a group of Parliamentarians. The event was an opportunity to set out our stall and articulate the case for change. The ideas discussed were well received, underpinned as they were by strong social responsibility credentials. But whilst we expected those in the room to be broadly sympathetic we were also aware that any tinkering with gambling policy would be a tough political decision and the path to change would likely be slow, painstaking and bumpy. But we were prepared for the long-haul; operating within a political landscape where we could look far into the horizon with, we thought, a degree of clarity. Exactly one month to the day later, Britain voted to leave the EU – a decision few had predicted and one which would render all the old certainties of recent political calculations moribund. Within days David Cameron’s premiership had ended and, in the process of choosing a new Prime Minister, so too had the careers (for now at least) of several other high profile Government Ministers. 23rd June 2016 heralded a generational shift

in the Tectonic plates of politics and for a while it seemed that, so far as gambling policy was concerned, all bets were off. But that was without reckoning on the fortitude of the gambling Minister, Tracey Crouch, MP, who just before Christmas published the Call for Evidence around gaming machines and Social Responsibility. Her views on various aspects of gaming are well known and well documented and we have to hold together as an industry if we want to address some of the anomalies of the 2005 Gambling Act – anomalies that even the Ministers who took it through Parliament recognise need revisiting. For casinos, sitting as they do at the top of the regulatory pyramid, this call for evidence represents a chance to inject consistency and transparency into the way they operate and to provide our customers (whether domestic or from overseas) with the sort of gaming experience they want and that they can access around the world. NCF, on behalf of all land based casino operators in the UK, took this opportunity to reiterate the modest changes we would like to see. Despite being a trade body with diverse and varied brands within membership it was easy to coalesce around a few important, but straightforward, recommendations.

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At its heart our response proposed changes to the machine regime that will allow the casino sector to respond to customer demand, boost tourism, match global competition and keep up with technological advances whilst remaining at the vanguard of socially responsible gambling. Our proposals would boost jobs in the sector, contribute to economic growth and lead to increased revenues for HM Treasury. We recognised that the 2005 Gambling Act made many welcome improvements to our broader sector but the legislation also had unintended consequences for the UK casino industry. Indeed, it has limited the development of new and innovative gaming products found elsewhere around the globe and fell short of many of the reforms needed to allow casinos to grow and compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace. This, despite the fact that London continues to host the ICE Totally Gaming exhibition, the annual launch pad for gaming innovation many of which sadly fall foul of our current legislation. Specifically, we are predominantly concerned about the disparity between the number of gaming machines permitted and licensed under the 1968 Gaming Act “converted casinos” and the 16 licensed under the 2005 Act “2005 Act casinos”. By way of context, only six of the 2005 Act casinos have actually opened in the nine years since the Act became law in 2007. A primary reason for this being the commercially impractical ratios of machines to tables anticipated in the Act, as well as the designated locations of the new licences being geographically and economically inappropriate. By creating a three tiered licensing regime (or four if the currently redundant Regional casino licence is included), based in large part on the allocation of machines, the Act introduced confusion into the casino landscape which benefits neither consumers nor operators and which does not advance our collective social responsibility objectives. In summary, we have suggested that consideration be given to the following key asks: • Allow Small 05 Act casinos to move from a 2:1 machine to table ratio to a 3:1 ratio capped at 80 machines.

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• Allow converted casinos the same ratio of 3:1 for machines with a minimum, grandfathered, allowance of 20 machines regardless of the number of tables, capped at 80 machines. • Increase the machine numbers cap for Large 2005 Act casinos in accordance with the existing 5:1 machine to table ratio up to 500 from 150. After careful consideration and consultation, we decided not to ask for a further increase to the basic stake and prize for B1 machines in this review, believing that the more pressing matter is to address the anomaly of machine numbers between 2005 Act and converted casino licences. However, as noted below, we did recognise the particular circumstances that apply to the high end of the market.

Social responsibility Ministers, and others, rightly demand that the industry demonstrates rigorous social responsibility credentials. NCF has always been committed to promoting responsible gambling, the most recent example of which is an enhanced responsible gambling programme, Playing Safe, which formally launched in 2013, to which all members are signed up. Playing Safe’s principles (a code of best practice) define the way the UK casino industry conducts its business and is the flagship industryled responsible gambling programme in the UK. The Playing Safe Accreditation, Certification and Evaluation Panel (ACE) has developed a methodology for evaluating company practices against this code, and evaluations have been conducted on the four largest casino companies, all of which were judged to have been compliant with the code. The evaluations have revealed some examples of best practice which are in the process of being shared across the sector as well as some more challenging issues which are shaping the next strands of Playing Safe’s work. In addition, in August 2015 NCF also launched a national self-exclusion scheme called SENSE™ (SelfEnrolment National Self-Exclusion), an industry first. Whatever the outcome of the current call for evidence, tangible, effective social responsibility protocols will continue to be central to our approach to customer care and good practice.


High End Casino Stake and Prize Limits The land based casino sector predominantly offers a mainstream retail approach. Generally, high visitor volume with a lower spend per head is common across most of the sector. This is in contrast to the high-end Mayfair casinos which have a low visitor volume but much higher spend per head. The high-end Mayfair casinos are relatively few in number (about ten) and offer few, or even no, machines at all on their premises. This is predominantly due to the lack of interest shown by their “high roller” international clientele in wagering stakes of no greater than £5 with a prize no larger than £10k. These international customers are used to significantly higher stakes and prizes on machines in other jurisdictions. This limited number of high-end casinos, their customers and HM Treasury would all benefit if the stake and prize on a version of B1 machine was higher, in keeping with machines in competing jurisdictions, at £50 maximum stake and £100k maximum prize. We therefore requested that the issue of higher stake and prize machines for high-end casinos be considered as part of the current Call for Evidence or, if it was outside the scope, as part of on-going consideration of casino policy.

Economic case for modernisation In our evidence, the NCF demonstrated the economic benefits that would accrue if the Government takes this opportunity to allow the industry to evolve in a logical and organic manner. Specifically we cited the findings of a NCF commissioned EY report ‘Stimulating Growth in the UK Casino Industry’ which included: • An additional £100 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy, rising to £150 million when indirect factors are included. • Harmonisation would also increase jobs; the EY report identifies that an extra 1,000 jobs could be created. Notably, more than 75% of these jobs will be created outside of London. • These changes would boost revenues for casinos by an extra £175 million. • GVA growth as a result of these changes will not

just be centred on London. The North of England will see a £35 million increase in GVA whilst the Midlands and Wales would see a £25 million boost. • Once indirect and induced factors are included the proposed changes will result in extra £65 million tax revenue for HM Treasury. • A key area identified by the report is that changes will require capital expenditure to accommodate extra machines: EY estimates that this investment could be worth £115 million to the UK economy. And as we pointed out, NCF expects that as a result of the changes we are proposing, casino operators will seek to upgrade their existing estate leading to greater investment.

What next? ‘Politics’ so the saying goes, ‘is the art of the possible.’ The fact that the Government has called for evidence is no guarantee that changes to the regulatory regime for casinos will be forthcoming. And of course there is really only one game in town at the moment, and that’s Brexit – an issue our political masters will be grappling with for some considerable time to come. But while Tracey Crouch remains in post it does seem likely that our issues will not be allowed to drop completely off the radar. We know there are many agendas in play as the Department, and Government more broadly, grapples with the various competing demands of pressure groups and industry bodies. For NCF the current call for evidence represents an opportunity to reiterate the case for modernisation within our industry. We do so knowing we sit at the top of the regulatory pyramid and within a social National responsibility Casino framework that, Forum whilst always seeking to improve, is robust and effective. It is a case we are proud to make.

NCF

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I

G2E 2016 Part Two

Some of the Best of Show! by: Victor H. Royer

n Part One, I described several of the newest gaming and non-gaming products and services offered at the 2016 G2E, held in Las Vegas this past September. Now – as we enter the world of ICE – and no “pun” intended, even though we are in a deep freeze here in Las Vegas – all of the major gaming companies are now exhibiting many of these games and products in London. With that in mind – and in keeping with the truly world-wide reach and appeal of the gaming business – here in this article I continue with a profile of some of the best products and services I experienced at G2E.

Ainsworth Game Technology Founded by legendary Australian gaming pioneer, Len Ainsworth – also the founder and creator of Aristocrat – this company recently opened a brand new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Las Vegas. In fact, the opening ceremonies were just after G2E, that very Friday. At G2E, Ainsworth showcased many of their latest games, including the new A640 cabinet. Among the games that attracted the most attention were Rumble Thunder and Toro Treasure (see photos), available on both the new A640 cabinet, as well as the existing A560 SL cabinet. Ainsworth Toro Treasure and Rumble Thunder games. Rumble Thunder and Toro Treasure offer even Ainsworth Toro Ainsworth Treasure Toro and Treasure Rumbleand Thunder Rumble games. Thunder gam more expanding wilds when logo symbols appear in blue or red boxes on reels two or four. The two-level mystery progressive. These new titles Free Games features expand to an enormous were designed specifically for the A640 cabinet, and 9x5 array, tripling the line for extreme wins! Each are the first titles produced by Ainsworth’s new Las The new sleek The A640 newcabinet, sleek A640 features cabinet, optimal features viewing optimal on 40-inch viewinghigh-definition on 40-inch high-defini touchscr title is available as a 30, 40, or 50-line game with Vegas-based studio. They are both part of the Sweet denominations ranging from 1-c to $10. Max bets Zone Xtreme series. and- an screen, attractive design, attractive creating design, powerful creating powerful experiences game with experiences eye-catching with eye-catchi game art. are as screen, follows: 30L 300; 40L -and 200an or 400; 50L The newgame sleek A640 cabinet, features optimal - 250 or 500. The games also have an optional viewing on 40-inch high-definition touchscreen

comes standard comes withstandard a touchscreen with a LCD touchscreen button deck LCD with button a mechanical deck with a“bash mechanical button”“bash to combine button

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game screen, and an attractive design, creating location affects performance, provides a complete powerful game experiences with eye-catching game picture of the slot floor and individual slot machine art. The cabinet comes standard with a touchscreen performance with intuitive data visualizations like LCD button deck with a mechanical “bash button” floor maps and tree maps – and much more. to combine the ease of new technology with the For complete details please visit their web site at excitement of traditional slot play. Plus, an optional this link: https://www.vizexplorer.com/solutions/ 27-inch LCD topper will attract players across busy space-profit-optimization/gaming casino floors. “The response from customers has been Konami Gaming tremendous,” said Ainsworth President – North Konami has been at the forefront of gaming America Mike Dreitzer. “Several casino operators innovation for some time now, and at commented that they thought it was one of the the recent G2E this was best new cabinets shown at G2E.” again evident. Konami’s xplorer The A640® launched with a combination of G2E PR statement puts it licensed content and brand-new games, with fresh like this: Konami Brings ded by Andrew offers acontent. remarkable player Unprecedented and performance tracking mathCardno, models this and company premium graphic Among Product the licensed brands appearing on the A640 are King Diversity to G2E with Next enables casino operators – and OEM’s – to directly gauge the floor performance of their Kong, The Magnificent Seven, and Three Amigos. Generation Skill-based, Multiand Premium ach casino property where VizExplorer has been installed as part station, of theirCore, reliant software. VizExplorer Slots. Founded by Andrew this with company offers rated andInaccounting most instances, in the accurately calculates slot game Cardno, occupancy combined data,we visualize a remarkable player and performance tracking media would take this with a suite, enables casino operators –provides and OEMs grainpicture of salt, of knowing to determine howwhich location affects performance, a complete the slotfull-well floor and – to directly gauge the floor performance of their that PR hype is part of any ot machine performance withcasino intuitive data visualizations like floor maps andHowever, tree maps and products at each property where VizExplorer promotion. in –the has been installed as part of their reliant software. case of Konami, this statement For completeVizExplorer details please visit their web site this link: accurately calculates slot at game actually reflects what this occupancy with combined rated and accounting company has been able to vizexplorer.com/solutions/space-profit-optimization/gaming data, visualize play patterns to determine how establish, and actually do. Shown at their booth at G2E Las Vegas Konami’s skill-based were nevergame: Frogger before seen skill-based, multi-station, core, and premium slots. The more than 26,000 G2E attendees had first-hand access to Castlevania™ themed slots, Crystal Cyclone™ multi-station progressive, Fortune Cup™ video-mechanical horse racing, Frogger: Get Hoppin’™ skill-based game, and Beat Square™ DJ-style skill-based game—all with clear roots to Konami’s popular video arcade and amusement heritage. This VizExplorer’s real-time casino floor performance overview expanded product portfolio, along

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These are just a few of ************************* the many interesting items that I These are just a few of the many interesting items that I experienced at th experienced 2016 there was a lot more to see at at thethe convention, and I will be sharing that with you G2E. Naturally, there was a ==================================================== lot moreoftoGaming Services & Research. He is a 33 Victor H Royer is President at the gaming, a 26 year consultant see to the gaming industry, author of 50 books, and mo casino games and gaming. In convention, addition he has researched and authored over 300 i subject of player preferences,and marketing, player development and customer relat I will DrVHR@aol.com be sharing that with you in future columns.

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st a few of the many interesting items that I experienced at the 2016 G2E. Natura


North Jersey gaming proponents are at the starting gate. Again! This time in the form of another bill to bring casino gaming state-wide through the benefit of the already legal, on-line gaming component – right to the horse race industry by: Robert Ambrose

T

o some degree I have to take a tongue and check view of this latest bill being “trotted” through the state assembly here in New Jersey - maybe “jockeying” as another way to spread casino style gambling in the state. The November (2016) referendum to expand gambling in New Jersey was a “bad bet” from the “line-up” and should have been “scratched” early, as most saw its massive defeat “across the board,” months before the election. The new Assembly Bill #4255 recently “sprinted” through the state house without a “whinny” this pass fall. If it “goes the distance” and crosses the “finish-line,” a racetrack could essentially be leasing floor space to an Atlantic City Casino and offer gaming product through the existing, legal on-line gaming network throughout the state. Since the defeated November ballot question cannot (by law) be Robert Ambrose, Instructor Gaming & Hospitality Drexel University re-introduced for some time, it could appear in this new form putting it out for I’m not sure how this new bill will “round-thea vote sooner than later as a possible “favourite to bend” with the voters, but it has the potential to win.” It will be interesting, should this concept fly to lay the ground work for a partnership between race see the public’s interest level concerning a “win or tracks and AC casinos and give the north Jersey folks place” at the polls. their taste of a long desired location(s) for casino

34


operations. The racetracks will be required to enter into a joint venture with an existing casino in AC. Things have been a little quiet since on-line gaming was introduced in NJ. It has brought a positive number to the bottom line for the various casino operations in AC, although its initial run from the “starting gate” was definitely over-hyped in certain sectors. However despite that early hype for on line gambling the state figures show an increase every month in casino revenue since its introduction in 2013. This fall was at a 30+% year over year increase. Now that it has shown to be a reliable part of the technology in the gaming infrastructure in NJ, it is being viewed in this recent effort by some as a way to piggy-back the on-line model for supplemental gaming enterprises at racetracks. In a sense this would effectively create a “racino” of sorts. The bill has a way to go before it could ever reach the “finish-line.” I think it is too early to determine what level of impact this model would have on the stake holders in either AC or the racing industry state wide. I have not seen any type of formal

study on it. But if approved the “final stretch” will present several regulatory issues that would have to be reviewed before an adventure of this magnitude could be even put into a test mode. And if it makes it to the ballot box and passes (don’t hold your breath) I would like to see the following take place: a 6-12 month test site used to test the infrastructure, regulations, general interest and the potential profit margin for all parties. We can only hope that within the module (should it become reality) there is room for a positive revenue stream for both the race track industry and AC. This model certainly cannot hurt the racing industry that is trying so desperately to survive. And in the same thought AC does not need a sucker punch at this time as it continues to expand its offerings and place better days ahead in its path. New Jersey residents both in polling and at the ballot box have not shown a real interest in expanding gambling in any form. Enjoy the race! Bob Ambrose

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SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017

Aristocrat to display its passion for gaming at ICE 2017 Aristocrat Technologies will show an intense ‘passion for gaming’ at ICE 2017 as the leading global provider of gaming solutions unveils key highlights of its new slot game portfolio for the EMEA region on stand S3-250 “A strong portfolio combining exciting content, segmented product lines and popular licensed themes have been the key business driver over the last 12 months,” explained James Boje, MD – EMEA. “A significant proportion of our stand space at ExCeL will incorporate premium licensed brands, demonstrating Aristocrat’s ongoing commitment to this extremely important segment. Players across Europe and Africa have only recently begun to enjoy the entertaining gaming experience of global phenomena such as Lightning Link™ and blockbuster titles on the Arc Double™ platform and at February’s ICE show we will reveal the rich pipeline of new licensed gaming content, crafted with passion by the world’s greatest games designers.” Having already embarked on a roll-out trajectory well established across Australasia, North America and other regions throughout the world, Lightning Link will be given more support for gaming floor expansion in EMEA with six new varied themes sporting three different base game mechanics. Also new to the market, a mid

38


SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017

denomination version of Lightning Link especially designed for VIP areas. Arc Double titles Game of Thrones™, The Walking Dead 2™, Britney Spears™ and Buffalo Grand™ have also started to establish a firm foothold in a number of European markets and South Africa, with more approvals coming on stream and two more popular themes being added to the portfolio in Elvira – Mistress of the Dark™ and The Big Bang Theory Jackpot Multiverse™. At ICE 2017, Aristocrat will also expand its range of licensed formats with Zorro™ and Sharknado™ being released on the Arc Single™ platform, both packed with a broad

variety of features and proven mechanics for extended entertainment value. Fast Cash™, Aristocrat’s first combined MSP/SSP for the EMEA region, is a new linked multigame that delivers the fun of any jackpot, any bet, any time. Jackpot-loving players will appreciate the opportunity to win a lower jackpot on every spin in the base game and free games, as well as the chance to hit a larger, higher frequency wide area progressive jackpot award. Further progressive options on show will include the Asian-themed Good Fortune™ Link and the formidable Wonder Wheels™, now available with four Triple A licenced themes. Mr Boje concluded, “Rich content and features from the most popular Aristocrat games underpin the new portfolio in both licensed and sale categories. Customers already know what’s working on their floors and we will outline how our globally based game studios are taking the very best elements and pushing the envelope with the next generation. Stand S3-250 will be a hotbed of creative gaming innovation and we eagerly await sharing our vision with partners old and new.”

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SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017

SUZOHAPP at ICE: A world of components and solutions Vast array of products and solutions to be shown at ICE SUZOHAPP – as the industry’s greatest supplier of cash handling components and solutions in the global gaming industry – will once again be placing its focus in catering its offer individually to OEMs and operators. Operators can look to source complete solutions as well as their specific component requirements. The component and cash handling solutions will be presented in greater detail in the OEM section of the stand. Examples of key solutions include: • ComesteroChangers range - the Swing Next, Dual Coin Pro, Jolly PRO and Changeuro Multicoin will be on display • SCAN COIN products - This SUZOHAPP company offers vast experience in the field of coin and banknote counting and sorting. The SCAN COIN machines vary depending on requirements. The coin model DTC9 and banknote model SC 8220 have already established themselves well in the gaming industry • New for the European market - SUZOHAPP will launch the Cash Complete™ product range, unique smart solutions able to dramatically improve business with cash management intelligence and enable people to gain a quick return on investment. The new range comprised

of three product lines - SDS, SPS and RCS - also includes the unique CashComplete™ software platform that is the ultimate solution for superior financial and operational control of cash. • A further premiere for ICE - Cash Redemption Terminal, a complete redemption terminal for cards or tickets. Cleverly designed so that access for service requirements and cash clearance are separated, the CRT includes all the payment methods to ensure that customers have entire redemption possibilities – including barcode reader, TiTo, banknote and coin validation and pay-out. The vast component range includes: • Displays and touchscreens: As the global partner for Elo Touch, great focus will be placed on the Elo Touch solutions such as the Elo 90 series open frame monitors, touch screen desktops and interactive digital signage. VisionPro monitors as well as LCD button decks will also be shown. • Printers: Here the name of the game is TransAct.

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SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017 The new Epic Edge™ printer will be shown for the first time at ICE and represents the next level in printing technology, including its new 300 DPI print resolution. Further TransAct printers on display will be the Epic 950, the Epic 880 and the Epic 440. A great emphasis will be put on the Epicentral, as it is the gaming industry’s only enterprise-level promotion and bonusing software that targets customers real time and has proved to increase revenue significantly. • Banknote / bill validators and recyclers: The SUZOHAPP MFL is the all-purpose slot machine bill reader and the SUZOHAPP Bill-to-Bill offers the ultimate solution in bill recycling. The SC Advance from CPI completes the focus on bill validation technology to be presented on the stand • Coin-handling components: SUZOHAPP offers yet again proven in-house solutions. The Comestero RM5 HD electronic coin validator is the reference in its field. For hoppers, look no further than SUZOHAPP with the purpose-built solutions such as Evolution, Cube and Flow hopper • Toppers: SUZOHAPP is the topper company in the industry. The latest SH1950 video topper is the best-selling topper that was launched only last year. • Pushbuttons: SUZOHAPP continues to bring innovation to

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this product segment as well. The new Picture Key Technology (PKT) represents the future for buttons. The new single-panel system can feature a variety of button configurations that displays any content from underneath the surface on the glass push buttons. Further pushbuttons that will be on display include LCD and chrome luminescent range • Locks: Locks are essential for all gaming machines and that is why SUZOHAPP offers such a wide variety, including the range from Assa Desmo, Venia, Xlocks, STC and the new Matrix range • Cabinet parts: here SUZOHAPP offers all the components required to complete a gaming machine, including power supplies, speakers, USB chargers and coin entries • Mechanical devices: handle mechanisms and the Flip Card unit which belong to the many innovations from SUZOHAPP. “We continue to invest to lead the market in the world of components and solutions,” commented Mr. Marcel Oelen, Managing Director of SUZOHAPP EMEA. “We have kept our stand position and stand design. Segmenting the stand into components and solutions alongside the sports bar made it much clearer and simpler for visitors to find what they were looking for. The ICE is the ideal opportunity to bring our international team together and show just how committed we are to the gaming industry around the world. We send out a warm welcome – come and see us at ICE!”. SUZOHAPP will be exhibiting again at its customary position – at stand number #N4-110 at the ICE.


SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017

Zitro presents BRYKE, its new brand of video slots

L to R: Johnny Ortiz, President alongside Sebastian Salat, CEO

The Time has come. Zitro is ready to present at ICE London (stand N6-344) the results of the diversification process it has been carrying out in recent months, creating new products for new market segments, and also offering new services. In this line, London will be the venue for Zitro to present BRYKE, its new brand of Video Slots which promises to capture the interest of players and operators alike. BRYKE is backed by some surprising results in Latin America, where it has been tested exhaustively with unprecedented success. BRYKE, Zitro’s new brand of video slots, is presented

with the first titles of the multi-games sets Pick & Win, each set including five games, and with the commitment to launch new titles onto the market over the coming year.

Innovation in Video Bingo Zitro will use its renewed Blackwave platform to present around 50 video bingo games, many of them launched as world exclusives. Some of these titles combine the bingo game with traditional casino games, and all of them feature exceptional graphics and sound, together with revolutionary game functionalities, which define the quality

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SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017 standards associated with the Zitro product. In addition, Zitro will use ICE to present its latest innovation in Video Bingo, Big Time, for Europe. This system redefines the gaming experience with the new Big Hour, Crazy Jerrypot, Super Botín and Mega Air Cash promotions systems. Each of these systems allows promotions to be programmed on days and time slots which are convenient for the operator, thus adapting to the commercial needs of the gaming location. In the words of Sebastián Salat, CEO of Zitro “Big Time and its associated service, Zitro Partnership Program, or ZPP, have changed the video bingo market for ever. After the successful rollout of this product in Mexico, we believe now is the time to offer it in London to bingo operators from other countries around the world. ZPP encompasses the supply of our Big Time promotional systems, expert advice in the design, programming and management of the promotions, and their advertising, both at the point of sale and through online and social media. An experience which transcends the landbased environment, and which will help bring operators closer to their customers.”

BET, a revolutionary Electronic Bingo system Zitro will take its Bingo BET product to London; this is an extremely flexible system for bingo halls, which can be adapted to the regulatory and commercial requirements of bingo operators anywhere in the world, including the requirements of interconnected bingo, of dynamic bingo and electronic bingo for individual gaming halls, recently approved in Spain. BET includes options such as the physical or virtual blower, gaming

44

with virtual cards and card printing system, interconnection of prizes, and new animations and graphics which encompass the game sequences offered to the player in the new betting terminal TWave. This is also one of the new features that Zitro will present in London.

Zitro Interactive, multiplies its presence on the web Zitro Interactive offers its games through a variety of online casinos, such as Suertia, Codere, Caliente, Playbonds or Betmotion and also through its social version, World of Bingo, winning over new customers on the web every day. Zitro’s freemium games, offered through its World of Bingo application, are now being played in 194 countries by more than 1.5 million players, who have downloaded the most acclaimed social casino in the video bingo sector. At ICE London, Zitro Interactive will present new games to the market, also available for mobile devices with any operating system.

The company’s tenth anniversary ICE London will be the first event attended by the company in the year in which Zitro celebrates its 10th Anniversary. 2017 will see important launches to be unveiled shortly, and for which the company is preparing major new features. Johnny Ortiz, Zitro’s President, expressed his satisfaction with the way in which Zitro is arriving at this edition of ICE: “2017 is a special year for Zitro. It’s our tenth anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than by showing our customers and friends the notable progress we have made in recent months. New products. New ideas. All of them designed with the aim of making Zitro a global leader, always differentiating ourselves and always at the forefront of innovation and excellence”.


SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017 Record number of innovations from APEX gaming await ICE visitors The ICE show in London is the ideal location for APEX gaming to further expand on its corporate philosophy of taking gaming to ‘the next level’. Visitors can look forward to seeing a host of new and high-end innovations incorporating Latest APEX Technology with distinctive design. The curtain is set to rise and hail a new age of gaming machine design. This new cabinet design is set to become the standard within APEX gaming. A number of new gaming machines and Jackpot Systems as well as Island Solutions will be premiered. All will be revealed at ICE. You will be enthused! All the new innovations can be equipped with the latest gaming platform from APEX gaming. The EVO3 platform offers new High-Definition games such as ‘Eye of the Dragon’ and ‘Reel Attraction’ that are displayed in pin-sharp graphics and provide great enjoyment thanks to the individual game design. All these new innovations will be displayed alongside the already strong product portfolio. The top-of-therange APEX VIP LOUNGE represents the exquisite slot machine from the Pinnacle family and is the perfect solution for players who are looking for something extra. The complete solution stands out – the size and position of the curved monitor have been purposely chosen so as to capture the player’s complete attention. This 43” curved screen portrays the great array of EVO games – both feature-rich and fruit-based. The gaming terminal includes all the technology required for a perfect gaming experience, including a 24” touchscreen monitor. The meticulously designed and elegant chair rounds off the VIP Premium from APEX gaming. First-rate comfort with play buttons and sound speakers ensure the player is truly treated as a VIP. Players can lean back and enjoy playing

on the extra-large wide-screen monitor. This is an experience that your customers will never forget. Naturally the award-winning iDROPe and iDROP will be on proud display. 2016 has been a special year for this product with it being intergrated in casinos around the world and winning two special awards in the USA and most recently in Bulgaria. This cash-handling device is built directly into the live gaming table and enables croupiers to accept cash, tickets and cards directly in exchange for jetons. Players can also cash out directly at the gaming table in the form of a TITO ticket or putting the credit on the casino card. This product hosts great benefits for players, croupiers and casino owners alike. For the owners – all the transactions are monitored in real time and the operator knows the exact amounts in each iDROP/ iDROPe. Therefore, the money is completely monitored and can be entirely accounted for. The very latest APEX PLAYER STATION (APS) will again adorn the APEX gaming stand. This automated roulette station can be acquired with either separate terminals or as a complete solution with the terminals in-built alongside large-screen display monitors. Furthermore, the APS can be connected to a total of four roulette wheels – both live and electronic. Naturally the growing mobile gaming presence can be found at APEX. Come and find out about the latest solutions for APEX MOBILE SLOTS at the ICE. “This ICE will have by far the greatest number of new products and solutions on show for us”, explained Kubilay Özer, Global Sales Director at APEX gaming. “The ICE 2017 promises to be a show never to forget”. The APEX gaming stand number is S4-250.

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SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017 Cammegh brings the drama to Shakespeare-themed ICE show

Cammegh, makers of the world’s finest roulette wheels, will be taking to the international stage at ICE Totally Gaming 2017 to deliver its most complete portfolio of roulette-focused products. Leading the charge is the new Mercury360 Halo wheel whose debut in Las Vegas lit up the show and garnered rave reviews. The wheel, with its dynamic LED illumination, has proven a real fire-cracker of a hit, with demand for this beautifully executed feature both instant and ferocious. “We’re bringing the show to town with great enthusiasm and fantastic products,” declares Andrew Cammegh of the forthcoming ICE exhibit (S7-120). “Starting with our outstanding range of wheels, the Mercury360 Halo wheel has been a runaway hit since we unveiled this innovative product at G2E. We’re also very excited to make ICE the debut event for the new, third generation Mercury360 RRS wheel; with a supporting cast that includes the incomparable automatic Slingshot2, the ever-widening range of Billboard displays in a huge variety of sizes and crystal clear graphics; and greater focus than ever on our side bet range of

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games.” The Mercury360 Halo wheel is a glamorous upgrade to an already scintillating product that’s proved to be love at first sight for operators. Halo is both functional and avant garde, adding a twist to the live game that has captured the imagination of Cammegh’s diverse international clientele. A product targeted, but not exclusively, to online operators is the Mercury360 RRS wheel. Now in its third generation, the RRS3 is making its debut at the ICE show, adding Cammegh’s patented random rotor speed concept to its flagship Mercury360 product. RRS3 randomly decelerates the wheel during each game, guarding the operator against advantageplayers and making it an ideal solution for the online sector. Utilising RRS3, igaming operators not only increase their game security, but also productivity, allowing bets to be received after the wheel has spun, creating a game that’s closer to the live roulette experience than ever before. “We’re incredibly excited to put RRS3 into the hands of operators,” describes Andrew. “This is


SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017 an important product, not just for Cammegh, but for the industry as a whole. The ability of the wheel to remove the advantage/section-bet player from the equation, is a hugely positive step-change. The new wheel randomly changes the friction of the rotor without interfering with the drive mechanism, creating a secure, authentic and much more productive wheel for both on- and offline operators.” Side bets are playing an increasingly prominent role in the Cammegh offer, with Lucky Symbols, DoubleShot and the sensational Spreadbet Roulette proving successful in every jurisdiction in which they’ve now been licensed. Andrew Cammegh adds: “The beauty of Spread-Bet Roulette is in its openness. As with the traditional game, results come directly from the mechanics of the wheel itself: no algorithms or random number generators are involved. This transparency, coupled with the dramatic look of the side-bet and its increased odds and house edges, makes SpreadBet Roulette perfect for thrillseekers and roulette purists alike.” Cammegh enters 2017 in extremely positive fashion, having closed the previous year with a major 90 wheel order from Holland Casinos (and 156 Billboard displays if contract arrives in time), greatly increased and expanded marketshare in North America, and a clearly defined product line that’s winning over audiences the world over. Looking to create another bravura performance at this year’s ICE Totally Gaming show in London, expect to be dazzled with new and established products, and expect there to be a few surprises thrown in for good measure too!

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SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017 After a successful 2016 DRGT will show ‘Your Next System’ at ICE 2017

Jurgen De Munck, CEO, DRGT Systems

As DRGT prepares to exhibit a range of solutions at ICE 2017, the successes of 2016 show why operators should make sure they find out why DRGT should be ‘Your Next System’ supplier. With casinos putting more emphasis on

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understanding their customers and improving their experience, DRGT is a business focused on offering marketing benefits that allow casinos to communicate and better understand how to interact with their customers. DRGT systems


SPOTLIGHT - ICE 2017 are able to re-energise your gaming floor with the dynamic, operator configurable products. Our experienced and dedicated sales team look forward to showing these options to customers at ICE 2017. Continued growth in South Africa saw DRGT further its partnership with Sun International, with the introduction of the Lion Share Wide Area Progressive (WAP). The multi-level, linked jackpot, running over a total of 150 machines across 12 sites, was designed exclusively for the group. The lion share has shown the benefit that casinos can experience by working with a supplier that will cater for their requirements. Long-standing customers in Belgium and Switzerland continued to reap the rewards of the most reliable, cost efficient and scalable system in the market. In 2016 they were able to take advantage of the drPlayerTracking, drBonusing, drJackpots, and drReports allowing for further engagement with their players and improving their overall experience at the casinos. The Swiss market also saw one lucky customer receive Europe’s biggest ever slot machine jackpot win running on DRGT’s versatile drWideArea system across a number of casinos in Switzerland. DRGT expanded its presence further in the Romanian market with a win of over a 1,000 slot machines that started using the system. This was a further significant step for DRGT, replacing the incumbent system, and was chosen for its serverless technology and simple, efficient installation. In the latter half of the year, DRGT signed a significant agreement with Paf, one of the most recognisable casino brands in Europe, for installation in 2017. The operator saw the advantage of working with a supplier dedicated to the system’s market and our team of industry experts. In the Central and South American markets, DRGT made further strides, opening an office in Mexico and installing the system on 500 machines in the first month. Whilst in Peru, operators looked for further enhancement installing the drScreenMicro in several locations. The

drScreenMicro offers venues an affordable solution to add individual full colour player tracking displays to machines. This allows players to monitor their casino points and tier levels, along with statistical win data on the player, the machine they are on or the whole casino floor. 2016 wasn’t just about management systems for DRGT, Grand Casino Brussels introduced BlackJack11s, a new side bet game. BlackJack11S links the side bet jackpots across tables on the casino floor. The frequent, fast hitting prizes, which excite and delight players, give new levels of engagement to the traditional BlackJack game. The progressives and prizes are operator selectable, so the casino is able to adapt to their target player type. DRGT will be showing a full range of products at ICE 2017 on stand N3-120. Jurgen De Munck, co-founder and CEO, looks forward to welcoming customers to the DRGT stand at the event, commenting, “The show will offer operators a fantastic opportunity to see what a company with vast experience in system innovation can offer the gaming industry. DRGT invites all operators to come and explore ‘Your Next System.’”

About DRGT DR Gaming Technology (DRGT) is the fastest growing, independent, global supplier of integrated casino management solutions in the gaming industry. Founded in 2006, headquartered in Aalst, Belgium, with offices in Malta, Peru, Mexico, Austria and Columbia. Our innovative, forward thinking, flexible system approach, means our server-less technology greatly simplifies implementation and enables our customers to have total management control over their entire casino operation. In 2015, DRGT moved to its new Headquarters of over 17,000 square feet in Aalst, Flanders, Belgium. The new office and warehouse is only minutes away from Brussels International Airport. The expanded facility enables DRGT to guarantee a quicker turnaround globally.

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the world theatre of gaming

To join the world at ICE visit icetotallygaming.com


ExCeL, London 7-9 February 2017

#theatreofgaming



Casino Life Volume 13 Issue 103