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Volume 13 Issue 110

HARNESSING 25 YEARS OF GAMING EXPERTISE


G2E Las Vegas Visit us at Stand 3626


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

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Editor’s page Welcome to Casino Life...

“Small, mobile and intelligent” is a great phrase to sum up your starter business but 25 years on, large, mobile and intelligent sounds a lot better. Century Casinos are celebrating 25 years of nimble growth with a great professional management team in a company that encompasses casinos and even a racetrack. Bath in the UK has been acquired and Bermuda is next, for this diverse company. Next, Peter White chats to Dominick Stenson, Casino Director at Queenco Hotel & Casino in Sihanoukville Cambodia, and explores the many facilities available to guests – not least an impressive casino. Anyone who knows Sam Arnold will tell you he’s larger than life and now his business is matching that with plans for a purpose built Vegas factory on the near horizon. We wish him luck with his expansion plans and look forward to the opening. Another company shining brightly is Paragon which (deep breath) specializes in financial technology and paymentsrelated IT consulting, system architecture and design, and software application development. Rob Ambrose – son of our esteemed regular contributor and namesake tells us more. Almost a year on from the UK gambling Commission’s inaugural conference “Raising Standards” are there any flags to be waved joyously? David Clifton, of Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited believes that the casino industry has met the challenge wholeheartedly. Finally we end with our round up of some of the new products and services you’ll be able to see first hand at G2E soon. Please pop by to see us on stand #3318. Glyn Thomas Editor in Chief ExCeL, London 6-8 February 2018

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Publisher: Peter White

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For more information on gaming’s utopia visit: icetotallygaming.com

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Contents 3

Editors page

6 25 years strong To mark the quarter-century of Century Casinos, we sit down with CEO Peter Hoetzinger 18 Move your imagination Dominick Stenson,Casino Director,Queenco Hotel & Casino, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Interview by Peter White 28 Imagination at Work ISMS CEO Sam Arnold shares his vision for the company and discusses his investment strategy for further expansion: Interview by Glyn Thomas 32 Paragon Technology Solutions Introduces its Services to the Gaming Industry Combining his passions for software engineering and gaming, Rob Ambrose introduces Paragon Technology Solutions at G2E 37 Raising standards nearly one year on By David Clifton, Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited 39 Moments of Truth and the Touch Points of Service Robert Ambrose 41 Preview of G2E 2017 Victor Royer provides his top pics of new games and products on show at this year’s G2E plus we provide detail on the latest Games and EGMs that will be found on the booths of Novomatic and Zitro Games. 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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25 years strong To mark the quarter-century of Century Casinos, we sit down with Co CEO Peter Hoetzinger

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W

hile Century Casinos may not have the brand recognition of some of its larger peers in the casino industry, that is changing as the company expands within its existing markets and adds new ones. Most recently, it planted its flag in the United Kingdom by purchasing Saw Close Casino Ltd., owner of a casino site and license in Bath. At the same time, it submitted a casino-license application for the Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, in Bermuda, in a joint venture with the hotel’s owners. Century already has an equatorial presence at the Hilton Aruba, where it manages the casino (and can be found plying the seas aboard 13 cruise ships). Founded in 1992 by breakaway executives from Casinos Austria, Century Casinos started with a Colorado property – the Long Branch Saloon & Casino, in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Century rebranded it as Legends and kept right on going, buying Womack’s Saloon & Gaming Parlor and rolling into a combined, Century-branded property. (It was during this time that Century flirted with Native American casino management but decided it was not for them.) This was the beginning of a triumphal march that would see Century expand its presence in Colorado, as well as acquire a minority stake – subsequently converted to a majority one – in Casinos Poland, and operate successfully in South Africa. Ever-flexible, Century sold its South African property, as well as one in the Czech Republic, and redeployed the money into Canada, starting with the development of the Century Casino & Hotel Edmonton, which is now the company’s largest casino with 800 slots and 35 gaming tables. That was followed by the acquisition of Calgary’s Silver Dollar Casino (now Century Casino Calgary) and a Racino in Balzac, North Calgary. Century continues to expand in the Great White North, most recently purchasing the Apex Casino in St. Albert, rebranding it Century Casino St. Albert. Given Century’s track record of success, continued expansion in Canada, the U.S., Poland and the U.K. hardly seems out the question, as does entry into markets as yet unnamed. But we started our conversation with Co CEO Peter Hoetzinger by going back to Century’s beginning, 25 years ago.

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Peter Hoetzinger Vice Chairman of the Board Co CEO Erwin Haitzmann Chairman of the Board Co CEO

What was the genesis of Century Casinos? How many properties does it own or manage today? Century Casinos was formed in 1992 by Erwin Haitzmann and myself as an international casino entertainment company with the goal to develop and operate casino resorts in well-regulated markets worldwide. Today, we own and/or manage 29 casinos in Canada, the U.S.A., Poland, the Caribbean, Argentina and on board luxury cruise


ships. We offer a wide variety of over 220 popular gaming tables and 4,600 gaming machines, hotels, restaurants, bars, show lounges, sports and concert venues, a comedy club, and a horserace track. We have a great management team – you’ll hardly find another that has developed and operated more casinos worldwide. Our international focus and our geographically diverse casino locations, including the ones on luxury

cruise vessels, make us a very attractive employer. We have 1,700 employees from 32 different nationalities, of whom 51 percent are female. The international experience and diversity of our people enable us to cater specifically to each local and tourist market, giving all our casino resorts that special, local flavor and character. The common stock of our company has been traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market since 1994

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under the ticker symbol CNTY. Our casinos and also our new developments are located in attractive markets with limited risk for new competition. We have a successful track record of accretive casino developments and acquisitions and we have great, near-term drivers for growth, including the racetrack and casino under development in Canada – Century Mile – as well as the new casinos in Poland and the U.K. Your company has grown both by addition and subtraction. Why did you elect to sell out of Prague and South Africa? In the Czech Republic, we did not like how the regulatory system evolved at that time. More and more casinos were popping up everywhere. Not all adhered to the rules without any real consequences. It was not a level playing field anymore. When we found a buyer at a reasonable

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price, we pulled out in 2009. South Africa was a real success story for us. We opened the first casino in the Western Cape province, the Caledon Casino Resort & Spa in 2000, and a few years later the Century Casino & Hotel in Newcastle, Kwazulu-Natal. Both were very profitable but the market neared full saturation and we did not see any additional growth opportunities for us there. In 2009, in the midst of the worldwide financial crisis, we were able to sell these operations at over nine times EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), a great exit. Where were you able to reinvest the capital from these sales? We shifted our geographical focus to North America, especially Canada, where we now own four casinos and have a fifth under development.


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Also, since the South African sale, we have one of the best balance sheets in the North American casino industry, with a net debt to EBITDA ratio of below 1. In addition to managing casinos on cruise ships, Century’s tent poles are three pillars: Colorado, Canada and Poland. What is the attraction of each of these markets? Colorado is where it all began for us in 1992. We still have two great properties there, one in Cripple Creek, catering to the greater Colorado Springs market, and one in Central City for the greater Denver metropolitan area. The attraction of Alberta, Canada, lies in the fact that there are a limited number of casino licenses available – there is a moratorium in place for new licenses – and that the regulator [Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission] has a vested interest in the commercial success of the casinos because they invest in the gaming-machine equipment for each casino and thus become real business partners. In Poland, the regulatory system provides for a set number of licenses, which is tied to the population of each market. Again, similar to Alberta, there is a limit to the number of casino licenses and that provides for a great advantage for

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us as incumbents. As a major operator in Colorado, how would you say casino regulation in the U.S. differs from that in Europe? Gaming regulations in the U.S. are comprehensive and thorough in every aspect, going far beyond what is requested by most of the European gaming regulators. It starts with extensive background checks for each individual or company employed or interacting with the gaming industry, it continues with frequent audits encompassing all aspects of casino operations by inspectors of the gaming regulators. It is, however, a regulatory environment we are very comfortable with, as it is predictable and well defined. Employing a seasoned compliance officer, a culture of embracing rules and regulations, comprehensive ongoing training of staff and constant interaction with the gaming regulator help to stay on top of the requirements and expectations. Seventy percent of your players are members of your loyalty program. What makes this marketing tool so powerful? Seventy percent of Century’s players are members


of the Winners’ Zone program in our two Colorado properties. We do not get percentages that high in other countries, where we operate. As competition amongst casinos is so intense in Colorado, the marketing spend as a percentage of revenue is the highest of any gaming market where Century is operating in. This means that our Winners’ Zone program in Colorado comes with the best tangible benefits for players such as free play, free food, drink and hotel offers, as well as participation in promotions for cash, cars, motorcycles, dream vacations, etc. When you last visited with Casino Life, you had just opened Century Downs, in Calgary. How is it performing? We are extremely happy with its performance! In Q217, Century Downs Racetrack & Casino increased net operating revenue by 3 percent and EBITDA grew by 11 percent. The EBITDA margin has been consistently over 40 percent since opening. We have recently added 40 new gaming machines, to bring the total to 600. In August, we hosted a World Driving Championship event, which was a great success. We also invested in the infrastructure necessary to host thoroughbred

races, as, from September on, we will have major live thoroughbred racing events, which typically draw even larger audiences and drive more revenue. In connection with Century Downs, we operate the off-track betting business in Southern Alberta through our 75 percent-owned subsidiary, called Century Bets! We have agreements with close to 100 racetracks throughout North America and worldwide for the sourcing of common-pool parimutuel wagering content, which we provide to off-track-betting parlors throughout Southern Alberta. What is the status of Century Mile, near Edmonton? The Century Mile racetrack and casino project in Edmonton, Canada, is our most exciting growth opportunity. We have already started the development with a budget of approximately $45 million and plan to open in approximately one year from now. It will be a multi-level building with a footprint of 48,000 square feet, initially accommodating 550 slot machines, restaurants, bars, a deli, an off-track-betting parlor and a grandstand, plus convenient parking for over 1,700

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cars. This will be the only one-mile race-track in Western Canada and will offer a minimum of 100 race days per year. The casino will be open 364 days every year. We are thrilled about this project for these three reasons: firstly, its location. We are on Edmonton International Airport land, right off of Queen Elizabeth Highway, the second-busiest highway in Western Canada, next to an Ivanhoe Cambridge regional shopping mall, a golf course and a cluster of hotels and restaurants, all in the south of Edmonton, which does not have any casino. In fact, the nearest casino will be about 20 miles to the north. Secondly, this project came about because the existing racetrack and casino, Northlands Park, has to close next year because their land lease with the City of Edmonton is coming to an end. This means that our existing Century Casino Edmonton in the northeast of the city will greatly benefit, because its closest competitor will fall away completely. Thirdly, we look at the success we are having with the racetrack and casino in Calgary, which we developed two years ago and which generates

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almost 30 percent return on investment. It brought new gaming-machine capacity to the market and it increased the number of machines in the Calgary market by over 500. This new project in Edmonton will be bigger, better, in an even better location and will not bring new capacity to the market, because the existing racetrack and casino will close when we open. For all these reasons, we believe that our ambition to generate over 25 percent return on that investment has a really good chance of success. You doubled down on Edmonton when you bought Casino Apex. How is that performing? We renamed Apex Casino to Century Casino St. Albert right from the start, when we took over a year ago. It is located on its own parcel of land on the northwest city limits of Edmonton and at one of the main roads into the city of St. Albert. The transition to Century’s culture was very smooth and welcomed and greatly supported by the very capable and committed staff and management. We implemented Century’s set of procedures and controls, we identified synergies and cost savings, we replaced a few items, like the


carpet on the main casino floor. As I mentioned before, we introduced the Century Casino brand and with this started the full rollout of our marketing strategies, encompassing marketing channels such as social media, website, newsletters, billboards, advertising in newspapers, radio campaigns, sponsorships as well as introducing our players’ club, the Winners’ Zone. We are also reaching out and supporting the local community and charities of St. Albert. We are continuing to host annual events such as Classic Car Tuesdays, which is a Show ‘n Shine hosted in the parking lot of the casino each August. You’ve moved into Great Britain by acquiring a casino license in Bath. What is your development timetable and can we expect to see an even larger Century presence in the United Kingdom? We have acquired a casino under development in the U.K., in the city of Bath, one and a half hours west of London, by purchasing full ownership of Saw Close Casino Limited, the company that has the exclusive license for the only casino in that market; it also has a 30-year lease agreement with the landlord of a multi-level, mixed leisure development, including a 147-room hotel and various restaurants in the center of the city, directly opposite the very popular Royal Theater. The acquisition price was just $766,000. In addition, we will invest approximately $6.4 million for the design and fit-out of the 15,000 square feet casino space, which will accommodate 18 gaming tables as well as around 60 gaming machines and live-gaming terminals.

The entire city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site and draws about 5 million tourists every year. Even more important, the immediate catchment area includes close to 200,000 people and we are the only casino in that area. We plan to open in the second quarter of next year and expect, again, an EBITDA return on our investment of at least 25 percent, once the property has fully ramped up. We have started to look at other potential acquisitions in the UK, but, for now, it seems that the price level is a little bit too high for our taste. Can you tell us more about your most recent announcement about a casino in Bermuda? In July, we submitted a license application for a casino at the Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club in Hamilton, Bermuda, jointly with Hamilton Properties Limited, the company that owns the property. At this time there are no casinos in Bermuda. The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, following the enactment of the Casino Gaming Act in 2014, initiated the application process for the island’s first casinos. We have been told that our application for a casino at the Hamilton Princess hotel is the only casino license application in Bermuda at this time. We would manage the operations of the casino, should a license be awarded. In addition, we would also provide loan funding for casino equipment. The Hamilton Princess hotel is Bermuda’s premier luxury urban resort and truly a Bermuda classic. For over 130 years, the Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club has stood as a symbol of luxury and service.

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It has been beautifully renovated with stunning new amenities. The luxury resort features 400 rooms, 45 suites, 13 junior suites, four restaurants, a spa, retail, 15,000 square feet of meeting space, and a marina and beach club with a beach that is exclusively for hotel guests. The casino, with approximately 12,000 square feet of gaming space, will feature 17 gaming tables, 200 slot machines and an automated roulette machine on its main casino floor, high-limit area and salon privé. Given Century’s manifold revenue streams, how is the company performing this year? The second quarter reflected good revenue performances from our top three operating segments. In local currency, Canada was up 11 percent, Poland was up 4 percent and Colorado was up 3 percent. Year-to-date, revenue is up 8 percent on a consolidated basis. We are happy with the underlying strength and stability of our geographically diverse portfolio of casino assets. Canada remains our strongest segment, generating 38 percent of our consolidated revenue and 54 percent of or consolidated EBITDA. The U.S. operations in Colorado contributed 21 percent of revenue and 23 percent of EBITDA, while our casinos in Poland generated 38 percent of the company’s total revenue and 19 percent of EBITDA.

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In June, we opened the largest casino floor in Poland, at the Hilton hotel in Warsaw, the country’s most important gaming market. Whilst the casino at the Marriott hotel in Warsaw has been our flagship property in Poland since Day One, we have had a second casino license for some time and now found the perfect location to make the best use of it at the Hilton. This new casino offers 24 gaming tables and 70 gaming machines, and is already very popular with locals and tourists alike. In Canada, the recently completed renovations of the gaming floor and VIP rooms at Century Casino & Hotel Edmonton, which were specially geared to the Asian players living in the greater Edmonton area – and the Casino St. Albert which we acquired at the end of last year – will generate substantial positive impact over the coming years. We also opened more ship-based casinos, including one catering to the Chinese market, cruising out of Shanghai on four-day trips to South Korea and Japan. A handful of new projects and opportunities are on our table right now, some green field development opportunities, some acquisitions, all in attractive markets with high return on investment potentials. It is too early for detailed disclosures, but looking at our track record of adding new casinos, you could expect one or two new ones in the next 12 to 18 months.


Move your imagination Dominick Stenson, Casino Director Queenco Hotel & Casino, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Interviewed by Peter White

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have travelled to Asia – The Philippines, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore – on many occasions and have always enjoyed the food, especially in recent years. It was during one of these trips I met up with Dominick Stenson for a chat about his role at Queenco Hotel Casino. Can we commence with a brief history of the Queenco Hotel Resort and its stunning location in Cambodia. The story began in 2007 when Mr Yigal Zilkha,

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Queenco co-owner, saw the potential in purchasing prime beachside land in a region he believed would eventually become an important tourist and Casino location. I will talk about this project a little later. His experience of building 14 Casino projects worldwide, including Eastern and Western Europe, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, gave him a unique insight into the possibilities that presented themselves here in SE Asia. The current Queenco Hotel & Casino is located at Victory beach on the main road from the town


In 2014 the renovation was started on the tower building and its 144 rooms and suites. This was completed in November 2015 with the offer of 199 newly refurbished rooms and suites between both buildings. Once this construction was finished real momentum started with the operation. There has been constant upgrading of every part of the Queenco property since then, with the addition of a Japanese restaurant, Coffee and pastry cafe, Boudoir night club, Gym & Spa as well as major improvements in the Casino area which we are just completing now. The expansion of the Casino is underway which can increase the table offering from the present 22 tables to a potential 38. The expansion will include VIP gaming rooms which will be available for rental as well as an extended slot area to accommodate 200 machines and newly designed kitchen and bar area. Once Phase 1 is complete the next stage of development in the strategy of Mr Yigal Zilkha and Mr Yariv Lerner, co-owners of Queenco, is the Otres Beach project. This 9 hectare stretch of beachside land that was purchased back in 2007, will benefit from a $500M investment which will include a five star Hotel & Casino resort with 1000 rooms, condominiums, restaurants and a shopping mall with an anticipated opening date of early 2022. The significance of a beachside location was key in the purchase of the land. Being on the beach and having access to the sea is an integral part of our resort planning. Queenco, with its established and trusted Casino brand, is in a prime position to expand upon its recent successes and compete in the ever growing SE Asian market. centre to the port area. It is literally right on the beach, with the water lapping the palm tree fringed restaurant. A total amount of $50M has been invested in building the resort into the most innovative and trusted Hotel & Casino in this region. In 2010 Queenco started to operate the existing Casino on a smaller scale, with the aim of learning and understanding the market, in the knowledge that this region and the stunning location would eventually become a popular and sought after destination.

How many rooms does the hotel have and what is the mix between standard and deluxe? The Hotel is in fact two buildings, a two-storey building beach side with 58 rooms and suites and the main Tower with 141 rooms and suites. There are 20 suites located between both buildings, including Junior suites, Executive suites and of course a Royal suite with a breathtaking view of the beach and coast line. How far is the Resort from the nearest Airport and

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pretty much domestic arrivals from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap but now there are several flights per week from China, five flights per week from Ho Chi Minh, four flights per week just started from Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia. Hopefully soon we will have a daily flight from Bangkok which will really put Sihanoukville on the tourist destination map as well as a new junket destination.

Dominick Stenson Casino Director Queenco Hotel & Casino

how good are the roads to airport and towns? The resort is approximately 20km from Sihanoukville International airport with a main road connecting it to the town. Certainly road infrastructure needs improving and advanced plans are in place for a major highway adjacent to the existing road from Phnom Penh which will reduce travel time from 4 hours down to just over 2 hours. This highway will also incorporate the airport to Sihanoukville section. The area is increasingly growing in popularity throughout Asia and more and more International flights are arriving from many destinations. Before it was

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What unique aspects of Queenco Hotel Resort Casinos set them apart from their rivals? Both buildings have undergone major renovations recently to bring them up to the high level that the new Asian customers now expect. Not only have the buildings been upgraded but so have the other facilities including the very popular Bago restaurant. This stylish beachside restaurant offers local Khmer and International dishes as well as Chinese BBQ every night poolside, with live music entertainment. In the next few months we will be opening a sophisticated Chinese restaurant on the ground floor of the Queenco Tower hotel together with a partner from Hong Kong. The demand for a high class Chinese restaurant is clear to see, so we approached an established restaurateur and within two months we will have seating for 120 on the main floor and four private VIP dining rooms. Also on the mezzanine level of the Tower we have a state of the art gym and spa which has become the most popular workout location in Sihanoukville thanks to the dedicated manager and fitness guru Milan Trnka. Such has been its success that it has been expanded twice in the last year due to an ever growing membership. Hotel guests, local Khmer and European residents have made it the number one gym and spa in Sihanoukville. Of course many are looking for an excuse to work out, so the Boudoir night club in the Beach building is the perfect reason to visit the gym the next day! The DJ starts around 8pm and you can dance the night away until the early hours with an extensive range of cocktails and some of the friendliest bar staff. By day the Queenco Beach Club has taken on a European style with poolside service, private cabanas and chill out music. There are also water sport activities at the beach with jet skis, banana boat, paddle boarding etc. So plenty to do during the daytime also.


The Queenco Hotel & Resort website is very stylish and the images of the Resort are very impressive. What compelled you to take on the role of Casino Director at this relatively new Hotel Resort Casino? Actually I worked for Queenco many years ago when they opened the Varkert Casino in Budapest. That was 1992 and I stayed with them as General Manager until the concession expired in 2007. So I knew the company and the co- owner Mr Zilkha very well. During that time and after 2007 I also represented Queenco as Chairman of the Board for Powerbrook SL, who were owners of Loutraki Casino near Athens, one of the largest and most successful Casinos in Europe. He asked me to come out for a week to take a look and get a feel for the place; that was in July 2016. It was important for him that I felt comfortable here. It’s quite a cultural change and it would be my first working project in Asia. He has a firm vision of how he sees the next few years unfolding and wanted to make sure he had someone in place that would see it through – and of course someone he knows and trusts. So the decision for me was very easy.

What aspects of your role do you find most satisfying? I think seeing the rapid progress made over the last year has been the most satisfying. By that I mean major increases in guest numbers, table cash drop, rolling turnover, slot CW as well as taking on new junket partners from Korea and Malaysia. What is the current hotel room occupancy rate for what is only a relatively recently completed Hotel Resort Casino? We are frequently up in the 80% occupancy rate with weekends hitting full occupancy even now in the supposed low season. The plans are underway for construction of a new Tower adjoining the present building that will accommodate 250 more rooms and suites which should be reaching completion by December 2018. This will give us a capacity that will be proportionate to our expected increase in Casino traffic as well as the general upturn in tourism that we anticipate. How are you finding living in Cambodia compared to other countries in which you have lived? I have lived and worked in many countries, so

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moving to a new place has been something I have got used to over the years. I arrived during the rainy season, but I didn’t realise how much it actually rained for those few months…and rained! There are many things that stood out in my first weeks. The rain…seeing water buffalo on the roadside in town, the driving, how is it possible to fit five people on a moped?, what red light? Road rage doesn’t exist here because everyone breaks the rules, so there is an acceptance of bad…let’s say unorthodox driving. And of course, the incredible resilience of the people. How important is hospitality and entertainment? To be competitive in such a new market we realise the importance of making a good first impression regarding hospitality, service and providing additional entertainment. So we continually strive to ensure good customer service through training programmes and recruiting quality hospitality managers. There are many casinos that can provide purely gaming offers but we realise the advantage of having a beachside location and all that comes with it. Water sports, boat trips to the Islands, dining on the beach – these can be deciding factors in a player’s choice of venue.

Could you provide an insight into the organisation’s approach to its Privileges and Rewards program? We have just introduced a Player Loyalty program for our slot players which after a cautiously slow start has now proven to be very popular with our new and regular players. The benefits are not only machine credit rewards but gifts ranging from top shelf brandy and single malts to jewellery, brand name watches and perfumes as well as redeeming points for hotel rooms or dining in any of our food outlets. Are you involved with Junkets? We are actively recruiting junkets and the agents have been frequent visitors to check out our facilities and to discuss various profit sharing arrangements. We currently have partnerships with several Malaysian junket groups as well as our Korean junket group. The aim over the next few months is to expand our junket business to accommodate the expansion of the Casino which is currently under way. Gaming floor space will increase from 1,340sqm up to 2,122sqm to allow for junket VIP rooms and more public table and slot

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gaming areas. Completion of the expansion is set for the end of November. What are the most popular Table Games? As in all Asian Casinos Baccarat is by far the most popular game. Is there much local business or is it mostly tourist at the Casino? Of those Tourists, what is the split between Chinese, Russian, American, Australian and Western Europeans? Our customer base is made up of several nationalities with Chinese being by far the largest proportion of regular visitors at approximately 70%, followed by Malaysian, Korean and Indonesian sharing the balance. The European residents that play (mainly French) and the Australians are only occasional visitors and generally keep clear of the Baccarat tables and keep the dealers on their toes with the roulette and blackjack pay outs. Casino Life is introducing a restaurant review; would you be up for one of our journalists to visit? I would ask that you wait for our new Chinese restaurant to open and then by all means please come for a review.

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What elements on the gaming floor in your opinion present the biggest challenges and opportunities? The biggest challenges for me are making sure we provide a safe, secure gaming environment not only for the players but also for the owners. Having strict gaming procedures and making sure they are enforced is the only way to be confident in our dayto-day business. This allows us to concentrate on providing all the other services to keep pace with this rapidly increasing market. What percentage of resort staff are Cambodians compared with those from other countries?

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There are a handful of non-Cambodian staff. Myself, the hotel GM, the heads of CCTV, cash desk, security and the Gym and Spa are all expatriate with all other departments fully staffed by local Khmer. All of these key heads of department positions are led by proven professionals that have many years of experience in their fields and most have previously worked for the Queenco group in one of their other ventures over the years. The Queenco Casino security department, for example, is led by Georg Tampoukos who managed security in Loutraki Casino for many years. This department also benefits from the consultancy of Alex Stary who has 40+ years in security and health


& safety. The CCTV department is headed up by Alex Plasoianu, previously of Queencos’ Casino in Romania, who is an experienced surveillance manager. All are seasoned professionals with many years’ experience who are introducing European level standards for their respective departments. And finally, what are the main goals for the remainder of 2017 The goals for the remainder of the year are to continue our tremendous growth in all areas of gaming and hotel operation. Raise the standard of all levels of the operation including being compliant

with International standard regulation. The government and relevant departments are making steady strides in this direction while also promoting Cambodia and its increasing attractions to the rest of Asia and the wider regions. Move forward with the expansion of the Casino and hotel. The Casino extension will be finished by November, which will coincide with the opening of the new Chinese restaurant. With all these projects in place and ongoing, I have no doubt the very positive trends in our casino and hotel operations will only continue to increase and our resort will improve its already high standing as a go-to location in south east Asia.

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Imagination at Work ISMS CEO Sam Arnold shares his vision for the company and discusses his investment strategy for further expansion: Interview by Glyn Thomas What are your plans for office expansion worldwide? Within the last two weeks, we have approved plans to build a $5 million, purpose-built factory in Las Vegas. At the moment, we have only one office in the U.S.A. - our office in Miami - and while this is one of the biggest in the country, it’s not big enough for us, hence our decision to expand in North America. The Las Vegas factory will be our biggest yet, far bigger than at any other location. This 60,000-square-foot facility will be able to accommodate 20,000 slot machines at any

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one time. Supporting this large warehousing infrastructure will be a remanufacturing plant, not too dissimilar from what we currently have in Miami. It will feature a fully equipped manufacturing line that transfers slot-machines via a conveyer system to three or four different departments for preparation. They emerge at the end of this process fully configured, and fully set up for the jurisdictions in which they will be played. The Las Vegas facility will have the largest warehousing capacity within our group of companies; our parts department, alone, will be


Sam Arnold President at International Slot Machine Sales

three times the size of what we have in Miami, and I think that demonstrates the level of after-sales support we are prepared to provide for our clients. It’s important that when our clients re-order parts, they receive them within 24 hours, and we can only do this if we have them in stock. We shall also offer a repair service from our fully equipped repair center planned for the Las Vegas development. As I mentioned earlier, our machines are configured for the jurisdiction they’re going to. That includes bill validators, ticket printers, as well as the software and games that are installed into the machines. It is important that the game content in a used slot machine is original content and not copied. Our partners and clients are confident that the game content we supply to them is 100 percent original and that they will have no problems with intellectual property buying machines from us.

Because we supply globally, it’s also very important that we offer gaming choice. Indeed, we offer full gaming choice to all of our customers, whether they’re big or small, or in whatever jurisdiction they operate. Everybody gets gaming choice. It’s not about the cabinet: it’s about the game within the cabinet and this ensures that our partner gets a return on their investment – and we get the repeat business. We give our customers gaming choice, content which works, content which performs and also game-performance warranty. The Las Vegas development will also feature a large showroom with bar, set up similarly to a casino; all of our products will be displayed in this showroom/casino and we will extend the hospitality of the bar to our customers so that they have an enjoyable and relaxing time with us. The facility will have a welcoming reception area, supporting

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offices, up to three separate conference rooms, and our own administration department, which, alone, covers an area of 5,000 square feet. It is a big project, an exciting project — exciting because it will be our second office in the U.S. and we are looking forward to it being fully functional and fully operational by early 2018. Here at ISMS, we don’t do things by half. If we do something, we go 110 percent. When we begin shipping product from Las Vegas, as the majority of our suppliers are in Nevada, we can assume that we will be transporting a lot of machines across the country, from Nevada to Miami. It would be fine to do that if we’re moving one or two trucks at a time, but the ISMS way is to move 20 trucks at a time. At $5,000 that adds up to millions and millions of dollars a year. With our new facility in Las Vegas, there will be opportunities to reduce some of these operating costs and we can pass those savings on to our customers. What are your plans for this year’s G2E show? I find it interesting and intriguing that among all the used market businesses, we’re the only company that exhibits. This is the 15th time that ISMS has exhibited at the Las Vegas show, and as things stand at the moment, we are the only exhibitor at G2E showing used casino equipment. It’s a testimony to

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ISMS that, after 15 consecutive years of exhibiting at G2E, we still seem to be the only company showing used casino products. Maybe I’m missing something! What qualities do clients exhibit when buying used, pre-loved slot machines from you? Our machines are usually only three to six months old. Everything that we offer — the latest technology, the latest cabinet, the latest software — as a general rule, are used product, and about a third of the cost of a new product. If you were to put a refurbished machine next to a new machine, you wouldn’t tell them apart. How has the year been so far for ISMS? Well, my answer might sound a little bit greedy. In the sales business everybody wants that little bit more. But our revenues are much as they were last year and the year prior to that. We’re on track to make all of our revenue forecasts, but we would like more than our budget, more than our forecast. For those casino operators who have never considered used slot machines, what would you say to them? If they’re not buying from us then they’ve got too much money!


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Paragon Technology Solutions Introduces it’s Services to the Gaming Industry

Combining his passions for software engineering and gaming, Rob Ambrose introduces Paragon Technology Solutions at G2E

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asino Life recently had a conversation with Rob Ambrose, an employee/ owner of Paragon Technology Solutions (ParagonTechSolutions.com). Paragon specializes in financial technology and payments-related IT consulting, system architecture and design, and software application development. They have an international footprint providing a variety of IT solutions and consulting services for a list of global clients that includes commercial banks, ATM/POS processors, and private equity firms. Since their expertise can be applied to the gaming industry, it seems only natural that Rob, as the company’s software engineer and gaming specialist,

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takes the company introduction to the G2E community. We sat down with Rob to learn more about Paragon and Rob’s background in gaming and Esports. Rob thank you for speaking with us. Can you tell us about yourself and the team at Paragon? I’m a software, design, Esports, and gaming consultant. I’m also a professional gamer, having competed internationally over the past two decades. I began working at Paragon in 2008, while obtaining my undergrad at University of the Arts. Formed in 1997 by our President, Tony Newshel,


Paragon includes a team of engineers, architects, business analysts, project managers, and quality assurance specialists. Our primary clientele are financial institutions, payment processors, money service businesses, and loyalty programs. Our staff has decades of financial technology experience serving in executive roles. They are incredible people, and it’s a pleasure to work with them every day. Our company focuses on custom software for payment processing, merchant integration and point-of-sale systems. We develop web portals, mobile apps, custom reporting and all aspects of back-office operations for financial, loyalty and services industry clients. We have also been heavily involved in data security. This includes financial audits, payment industry compliance, and other information security and compliance considerations. It seems that Paragon’s existing services parallel

many of the needs of the gaming industry. With your experience in gaming, what do you hope to accomplish at G2E? I am very involved with gaming and the evolving Esports industry and have both a personal and business interest to combine these passions into a new specialty for our company. At G2E, I look forward to having discussions on gaming, software and Esports with industry colleagues in hopes of establishing a network of continued collaboration. As an employee/owner of Paragon, I will be introducing our services, and finding areas in which we may contribute. Can you explain further your personal background in gaming and Esports. Esports has been a huge passion of mine. I began traveling to tournaments in my youth and have attended hundreds of live and online events. I have professional experience as a competitor, game

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Rob Ambrose, Paragon Technology Solutions

tester, commentator, analyst, live streamer, and tournament organizer. I’ve worked as on-screen talent for Major League Gaming and have consulted for several gaming companies, including Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. But my passion for gaming is rooted deeper than my competitive experience. My father, Bob Ambrose, has worked in the casino industry for over 30 years. I’ve always admired his work and professionalism and wanted to better understand his business. In 2010, I became a certified blackjack dealer and began working part time at Harrah’s Philadelphia. After a year of slinging cards, I had a good sense of the customer experience and planned to translate that into my future work. I’ve been contracted on a variety of Gaming IT projects, primarily with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. As a Millennial and with your obvious history in casino gaming, Esports and game testing, can you share your thoughts on the direction the industry is currently taking with the skill based product and Esports?

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As millennials become a larger part of the customer base, it’s critical that today’s gaming experiences are more immersive, more challenging, and more rewarding. How do we make the user feel good while playing our game? How can we give the user more control? How can we make the experience relatable and intimate? These are the types of questions we should be asking while developing our games. The skill based games are extremely exciting and have immense potential. There are incredible marketing opportunities for hosting Esports events within the casino industry. These tournaments congregate teams, coaches, production crews, talent, fans, and families all under one roof. These events are streamed online, but that hasn’t stopped massive arena sellouts. Competitors spend most of their time practicing against each other online and streaming their gameplay to their fans. When these communities come together for an expo, they get “face-time” together. There is clearly niche marketing potential when hosting an event of this magnitude. The entire footprint of the property benefits from the additional customer traffic. This would include lodging, dining, gaming, and retail. Since your presence at G2E is an introduction of Paragon to the gaming community, can you share how a partnership with a new client might begin? When beginning a new partnership, we start with an interactive client needs assessment and current technology review. This helps our partner articulate their vision as we develop a plan of action. Taking that vision, we work with our partner on IT strategy, architecture and data modeling, carrying those goals through legacy software migration and any middleware or integration software needed bridge the gap into new systems. We highlight opportunities for new software-driven products and support the overall project execution. Assembling the team specific to our client’s needs, we effectively integrate our project managers, development leads, and agile software engineers within our client’s team, coexisting in a very comprehensive way. With Paragon’s experience in delivering custom business solutions, and my background in gaming, we are excited about future opportunities initiated by our introduction at G2E.


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12th - 18th 12th - 18th October 2017 October 12th -2017 18th October 2017

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Raising standards nearly one year on

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By David Clifton, Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited

t will soon be a year since the Gambling Commission’s inaugural “Raising Standards” conference that took place in Birmingham last November. The theme of the conference was as stated on the tin. That same message was driven home by the conference’s keynote speech delivered by Sarah Harrison, Chief Executive of the Commission. Entitled “Accelerating the pace of change”, her speech laid the groundwork for all that has emanated from the Commission since then in terms of greater consumer protections and more robust enforcement of its regulatory powers. Although the conference was aimed at the gambling industry as a whole, both remote and nonremote, it was the land-based casino industry that lent the most proactive support to the conference with both Henry Birch, CEO of the Rank Group and Mike Rothwell, Managing Director of Caesars Entertainment bringing their experience to bear for the benefit of the audience, speaking on the subjects of “promoting a culture of responsibility and compliance” and “an independent AML framework review” respectively. The Commission will be holding a follow-up conference later this year, on 21 November, to be entitled “Leading from the front: raising standards for consumers”. We will no doubt learn then whether Sarah Harrison believes that the industry has responded positively to her invitation last year to “work with a shared purpose, to meet the ambition of turning this industry into the most trusted gambling sector in the world”. From my own personal viewpoint, representing as my company does, a number of land-based casino operators as well as their trade association, the National Casino Forum (of which all such casino operators in Great Britain are members), I believe that this sector of the industry has most certainly

responded positively. That this is acknowledged by the Gambling Commission was to my mind evidenced by compliments from Sarah Harrison at this March’s Playing Safe Reception to chief executives in the casino sector for showing leadership in raising standards. She and those others of us attending that reception were given an insight into projects on which Playing Safe is focusing, including an update on the research, which the NCF is partnering, to develop tools to aid operators to effectively identify and intervene when players exhibit early signs of potential problem gambling behaviour. Just a matter of weeks later, during the course of the Commission’s second round of Annual Assurance Statement workshops, I accompanied casino clients to a presentation they gave to the Commission about

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their new initiative that enables them to analyse and evaluate all marketing, responsible gaming and other data to determine the number of their customers who appear to be “at risk” or “problem” gamblers. This merited them a special mention at the workshops attended by all sectors of the gambling industry. I should add that they were not the only land-based casino operator receiving such an accolade. If the above is not of itself sufficient evidence that the sector is taking its responsibilities seriously, earlier this year the NCF produced – with our assistance and within a very tight 3 month timescale – Best Practice AML/CTF guidelines for its members, intended to complement the Commission’s own Guidance on this same subject and to enable a consistency of approach by all land-based casino operators in relation to the type of practical actions required to mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing risks to their businesses. That task was duly completed on time after a very intensive partnership effort by a working group made up of MLROs and senior management from a variety of casino operators, ranging from large national operators and high-end Mayfair casinos at one end to small and singleton operators at the other end. It was very effectively chaired by Tom Kavanagh, the former Secretary to the Gaming Board and Deputy Chief Executive of the Commission. Valuable contributions were received from liaison throughout with the Commission, including in particular from Mark Skinner, the Commission’s AML Manager. In one or two respects, the Commission acknowledged areas in which its own Guidance document could be improved and aspects of this are reflected in the Commission’s draft amended Guidance was out for consultation until 8 September. That exercise has provided a very constructive example of what can be achieved when the industry and its regulator work together in an appropriately collaborative manner. It is very pleasing that the Commission felt able to provide the following words of welcome that are included in the NCF Best Practice Guidelines document: “The Commission welcomes publication of these guidelines and acknowledges the collaborative efforts of NCF members to strengthen measures in these areas”. The land-based sector does of course accept that the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, and it will be for all NCF members to demonstrate to the

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Commission an ongoing commitment to ensuring that their AML measures reflect best practice. The Commission has made it clear that it will continue to monitor the position and will consider enforcement action if it sees that an operator has not taken adequate steps to identify its ML and TF risks, has not put in place appropriate controls to mitigate those risks, or has failed to take steps to ensure that such controls are being effectively implemented. Of course, nothing stands still in terms of regulatory compliance. The NCF Best Practice Guidelines document is currently in the course of being updated to incorporate new requirements under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, including the following: • casino operators must now apply enhanced due diligence not only on foreign politically exposed people (“PEPs”), but also on domestic PEPs, • casino operators are no longer permitted to outsource the nominated officer roles and responsibilities and they must appoint a board director (or equivalent from its senior management) to be responsible for the nominated officer’s compliance with the Regulations, and • the customer due diligence threshold is no longer based on a customer’s aggregated spend over a 24-hour period, but is now determined by any transaction of €2,000 or more, whether it is a single transaction or occurs in several which appear to be linked; and it will be amended further as required in the future to reflect developments as they occur. No doubt other sectors of the gambling industry are also working hard on new initiatives and no part of the industry – including land-based casinos – should ever become complacent that it has done enough in terms of raising standards. However, I do nevertheless hope that the Commission will formally acknowledge that the pace of change has indeed accelerated in this sector and recognize that sometimes a collaborative carrot can be just as effective as, and in some circumstances more effective than, a regulatory stick. dc@cliftondavies.com www.cliftondavies.com


Moments of Truth and the Touch Points of Service

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Do you Know Your Company’s? By Robert Ambrose

hat is your company’s operational moment of truth? More importantly do your employees recognize the moment? Do they understand how it can change the experience that creates a return customer as opposed to a “no” customer? The Dictionary of Business defines the Customer Moment-of-Truth as the moment, “the customer is given the opportunity to form (or change) an impression about a company…”This means the customer has formed an opinion. That opinion could change several times during a visit. Primarily it is based on the several encounters the customers have with employees. This will define the moments they deem as “truth” about your property. In my classes I have asked students to give me examples about their moment-of-truth as a customer. Needless to say it opened some eyes. A graduate student was so excited about our discussion on the topic she took it directly to her company executives and received approval to host company seminars for employees on the topic. From face to face encounters to product presentation, the levels of service a property offers can define some of the touch points leading to that moment-of-truth. Consistency in the property tangibles (products offered such as gambling, dining, and lodging) is one thing, and is easier to manage than the employees. When an employee recognizes that they may be in an active environment of a moment-of-truth, it is important that they recognize it and can take control and produce a positive employee/guest experience.

The Front Line Front line employees in many ways are operating on their own with customers. That is why it is so important to prepare the employees for these interactions by defining the company culture and laying out the “parameters of operation,” Robert Ambrose through company facilitated learning sessions. Employees, through a company supported seminar, can learn about the cause and the impact of their action or inaction when they are faced with a customer moment. The learning experience regarding the moment-oftruth is important for long term employee growth; accordingly it must be part of the company culture. Company operation managers too must be involved in on-going situation analysis about the moments-of-truth in order to continue the information flow to line employees. In the book Moments of Truth, by Jan Carlson (1987) strategies are explained to address a customer driven economy. “Get rid of the horizontal Barriers to communication. “Turn middle management away from the role of administrator and into leaders and facilitators for the frontlines…” And finally, thanks to social media channels of communication a customer’s moment of truth can be shared in an instant with thousands. Good or bad it is exposed. If your property has suffered a service wound and you read about it on line, take the hit and take immediate steps to repair the damage. In most cases you can respond to the negative moment in the public forum it appeared on. Customers can be very forgiving when they know that someone is listening. A moment-of-truth validates your company in the marketplace. Don’t lose the opportunity to make it a positive one.

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Preview of G2E 2017 Victor Royer provides his top pics of new games and products on show at this year’s G2E plus we provide detail on the latest from Novomatic and Zitro

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G2E 2017

A Bright Future for Gaming The way of things past, and the goals of the future – by: Victor H Royer

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wise man once said: “If life were easy, everyone would do it.” Well, this may sound a bit cryptic, but – in a way – it can apply to the world of casino games and gaming. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Right? Well … the reality of gaming is vastly different. From the business perspective, nothing in this industry really is – or ever was – easy. Today there are numerous regulations, currency restrictions and obligations, government oversight, and – sometimes – unnecessary interference, and so forth. As Konami’s Beat Square™ skill-based game with all things, some of this is resurgence of casino gaming in traditional markets, good, and some is bad. like Las Vegas, as well as in Macao, and among the Among the “bad” things are several restrictive Tribal Gaming operations in the USA. Visitorship is policies of governments, such as the recent issues up, revenues are growing, and the industry has all in Australia, and that nation’s near-ban on online but recovered from the dark days of the recession. poker and online gaming. Since this situation is still Also among the “good” are many of the products in a flux, let’s leave it for now, and see what the now being offered by the OEMs. In this special G2E future will bring along those lines. 2017 issue of Casino Life magazine, I am featuring Among the other “bad” things are the continuing a few of these great new games and products that issues in the USA about online poker, and online you will find on the showroom floor at the Sands gaming. While the revenue numbers in the State Convention Center during this year’s show. I’ve seen of New Jersey – the only State to allow both online a lot over the years, and from what I have seen so poker and online gaming in the USA – are showing far – in advance of this year’s show – all is, frankly, a healthy growth, the federal government is still looking pretty good! lagging behind, mired, it seems, in more and more This year’s G2E Gaming Convention problems of their own making. Aristocrat and VGT new RELM XL™ in Las Vegas marks my 34th year Among the “good” news is the reel spinner cabinet

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of attending gaming conventions in Las Vegas. I through iconic Konami creations like Dance Dance remember the first one I attended, which was, at Revolution, Beat Square is the casino industry’s first that time, still in the Rotunda, on Paradise Road, musical rhythmic dexterity skill-game. It combines where the old convention center once stood. It was video game and arcade entertainment with original an impressive building, and Las Vegas was – at that for-wager mathematics in order to provide casino time – very different. players with a skill-based gaming experience that Since then I have been to every incarnation of appropriately awards top the gaming convention we now players and new players know as G2E. It once was the alike. World Gaming Congress and As the first casino Expo, if I recall correctly. And skill-based tournament there were other names as well, game, Beat Square will and other conventions of similar be featured at G2E 2017 nature, the details of which I really with eight machines don’t recall any more. But what I connected in synchronized do remember is the wonder that I competitive play. To have never lost, looking at the new begin, players enter games, and innovations in gaming, their initials for live and – more recently – the integrated scorekeeping, divide into resort experience. I am particularly teams, and select their pleased that G2E now includes the own song set. When the Food and Beverage Pavilion on music starts, different the main convention floor, which squares illuminate in was an excellent idea by the G2E rhythmic patterns, which coordinators a few years ago. players tap in tempo to This year’s show features achieve higher scores not only evolving slot and raise their ranks in product, and the many competition. Throughout other related sectors that the tournament game, each all work together to provide player’s ranking is displayed operators, and players, with the in real-time on the player best-possible performance – but dashboard and on the top also a lot more in the way of screen leaderboard. After skill-based games. Among the final music is completed, the most innovative, is players’ combined scores from a game concept from all songs are tallied from last to Japan’s Konami Gaming, a first, as the winning machines product called: Beat Square™ – see alight in celebration. Scientific Games Bally brand photo opposite. Beat Square’s single player Monopoly ™ Hot Shot game mode allows players to try their Konami – Beat Square Skill-Based Game skill against the high scores leaderboard and vie At the Konami booth you’ll find this one-of-a-kind for skill-based jackpots. It has complex levels of Beat Square skill-based game. Leveraging the engagement for recurrent play over time with company’s popular legacy in arcade entertainment championship levels and leaderboard displays. Beat and video games, Konami’s Beat Square™ Square provides an exciting skill-based experience, challenges gamers to play, compete, and prove their offering uniquely bold, high-energy entertainment skill in a game of rhythmic coordination across a that socially-minded gamers can enjoy while lighted touch pad dashboard, packed with new and showcasing their skills and competing with friends recognizable tunes. Based on technology developed for cash prizes.

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Scientific Games – Monopoly and Lord of the Rings From Scientific Games comes the Monopoly ™ Hot Shot game, on the Bally brand TwinStar® V75 platform, and The Lord of the Rings™ – Rule Them All game, on the WMS brand TwinStar J43 with iReels platform – see photos.

Hasbro. Used with permission. ©2017 Hasbro. All rights reserved.)

Lord of the Rings

Take an epic adventure through Middle-Earth and join the ultimate battle between Good and Evil. The Lord of the Rings – Rule Them All is a game based on the epic cinematic trilogy, created as a 5-reel, 9-line game that includes a single-level wide-area Monopoly progressive that is part of Scientific The iconic board game Monopoly™ Games’ life-changing Cash Connection meets the player-favorite Hot Shot Link. The game is showcased on the feature in the new game Monoploy™ new TwinStar J43 with iReels cabinet Hot Shot! that pairs a dramatic 43-inch, 4K, highMonopoly Hot Shot is a 3-reel, 9-line definition display with an engaging reel game showcased on the new TwinStar® mechanism, that features a transmissive V75 cabinet, which features a 75LCD panel that allows video to be inch, curved, ultra-high-definition, 4K displayed over the reels for added resolution display. The classic Monopoly dramatic effect. game board and characters are bigger The Lord of the Rings – Rule Them than life in this thrilling, super-sized All has two bet levels – the Ring and game experience. the Eye of Sauron. When betting Spin the reels and be awarded at the Ring level, achieve 3 Ring three exciting mini reel gamesymbols on the reels and the Stone of in-games where players get one Palantir may award Ring Free Spins, spin of each reel for the chance to Arwen & Aragorn credit prizes, win a progressive jackpot. The Scientific Games WMS brand The Lord Legolas Wilds, Eowyn & the Witch game features a top, single-level of the Rings™ – Rule Them All game King multipliers, or Mines of Moria wide-area progressive jackpot, spins with multiple arrays. as well as three levels of near-area If playing at the Eye of Sauron progressives. The Millionaire bet level, players can be symbol on the reels awards awarded Ring level features, the Monopoly Board Game as well as Eye features. Eye of Bonus where players roll the Sauron features include Gollum dice to move around the game credit prizes, Shelob Wilds, The board. Landing on a Railroad Balrog multipliers, or Uruk-Hai symbol, awards a multiplier. multiple reel arrays. Regardless Landing on Chance, Community of the bet level, the action Chest or Free Parking symbols never stops and the battle awards a pick feature where rages on. Will you be the one multipliers or credit prizes to Rule Them All? (The Lord can be won. Landing on a of the Rings © 2017 New Line Utility or Tax symbol awards Productions, Inc. All rights a credit “refund!” Pass Go reserved.) and win $200. Land on GO and win $10,000! Roll the Aristocrat and VGT – dice and make your moves. RELM XL ™ (MONOPOLY is a trademark of

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low and high denom space; and new Asia-themed And from Aristocrat and VGT comes the new RELM games from the popular Lucky Destiny™ and XL™ reel spinner cabinet, featuring many of their Fortune Prosperity™ themes. popular titles, like Buffalo ™ – see photo opposite: Aristocrat’s Arc Single™ cabinet entertains with As the folks at Aristocrat and VGT put it: “Every titles including the global sensation element. Every innovation. Dragon Link™ game theme, which Everything we have.” That’s what was recently named one of the Top Aristocrat and VGT bring to their 20 Most Innovative Products for customers, and at G2E 2017, the 2016. Also appearing on Arc Single is companies will show the gaming the Great American Treasure Hunt™ industry that it is truly all about game theme. what’s inside. Aristocrat’s elegant and sleek “It’s about hardware, systems flame55™ cabinet entertains solutions, artistry – it’s all players with 55 inches of curved those elements coming screen wonder. Aristocrat’s royally together in a strong design successful Game of Thrones™ slot philosophy. That has been game is back in an all-new version at the center of what we created specifically for flame55. bring to our customers, Also appearing on flame55 is the and that is how we have Mariah Carey™ game theme, and a helped them succeed,” new version of the acclaimed Tim said Aristocrat Managing Director of the Americas McGraw™ slot game. Additionally, Matt Wilson. “Now, at G2E, Aristocrat will debut a completely we will present a deep and new, globally recognized license broad portfolio of products on the cabinet at G2E. that gives our customers Aristocrat’s The Walking an integrated experience Dead™ slot game is one of the and allows them to speak most successful franchises in to every type of player.” the company’s history, and now In booth #1141, The Walking Dead™ 3 slot Aristocrat and VGT will game presents all-new thrills show Aristocrat’s best and chills in Aristocrat’s new titles as they take a step EdgeX™ cabinet. Aristocrat up in Aristocrat’s new will also premiere two RELM XL™ reel spinner earth-shattering pop culture cabinet. Building on the licensed titles on the cabinet success of the RELM™ at G2E. cabinet, RELM XL features The fun and entertainment a dynamic topper wheel, a on Aristocrat’s Arc Double™ range of denominations to cabinet includes all-new X cover the floor, and games Files™ and Tarzan™ games players love, such as the created just for Arc Double, a rocking party licensed title to Buffalo™ and Britney™ Ainsworth PAC-MAN™ WILD EDITION. be revealed at G2E, and titles game themes, to make it such as My Cousin Vinny™ the hottest spin in stepper and The Big Lebowski™. entertainment. Aristocrat’s popular RELM™ cabinet is expanding Ainsworth – PAC-MAN™ WILD Edition with thrilling extensions of the Burning Spins™ and The worldwide hit game PAC-MAN™ WILD EDITION Forever Free™ game brands; new brands for the

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will again be at center stage during this year’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas – see photo. The iconic PAC-MAN character is one of the most recognizable figures in arcade game history, and was the basis for the most successful arcade game of all time. Now, PAC-MAN arrived on casino floors this summer when he stars in PAC-MAN™ WILD EDITION on the new A640® Ainsworth cabinet. The title provides all the recognizable PACMAN sounds and imagery loved by people across the globe. PAC-MAN™ WILD EDITION is the first offering as part of a strategic partnership between Ainsworth and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. The game has been a massive hit. Casino operators report performance of up to 8x house average at a variety of properties across North America. And players can’t stop talking about the thrilling game features and fun nostalgic play. PAC-MAN™ WILD EDITION offers players all the excitement of the classic arcade game. The game features a thrilling Free Games feature, a Wheel Spin feature and a progressive jackpot. Throughout the game PAC-MAN makes appearances offering players wilds and other fun ways to win.

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Jirinka Polaskova (Lukasova), Gina Royer, loving Mom to our correspondent, Victor H Royer - RIP.

In Memoriam

I dedicate my article in this G2E Edition of Casino Life magazine to the memory of my dear and loving Mom, Gina, who passed away recently. Her loss has hurt me more than I can explain, or anyone could possibly understand. If you’d like more information about the remarkable life of this equally remarkable lady, please visit my web site: www.MoreCasinoDeals.com – and follow the links on the Home Page, under the green: Hot News section, on the right side of the page. Thank you


Novomatic and Ainsworth unite at G2E for extensive US showcase

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or the first time at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, NOVOMATIC and Ainsworth Game Technology will team up to showcase a combined booth, brimming with marketfirst innovation. Presenting a comprehensive product portfolio that features best-inclass technologies from both companies, visitors to Booth #1259 will see the latest range of cabinet innovations, premium branded slots, electronic table games, linked progressive jackpot solutions, system tools, online and social content, as well as a few surprises in store. Taking centre stage for NOVOMATIC will be the international premiere of From Dusk Till Dawn, following the recent partnership with Miramax®. This enthralling theme resurrects the Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez classic on the casino floor as the cult film celebrates its 20year anniversary. Presented on the NOVOSTAR® V.I.P. III and V.I.P. Lounge™ cabinets, the game has all the elements to inspire players with its fiery gameplay, Dusk and Dawn jackpots, and exciting features and bonuses. A major highlight for Ainsworth will be PacMan™ Dynamic Edition that sees one of the most recognizable figures in

arcade game history on the A640® cabinet. This title follows the success of Pac-Man™ Wild Edition, which has seen significant uptake in the US, and adds even more fun with thrilling bonus features and massive jackpots. The A640® will also feature exciting new titles such as Desert Dawn, Desert Dusk, Rumble Rumble Eagle and Nostradamus, and new brands QuickSpin and Power Shot will debut at the show. From the NOVOMATIC V.I.P. line of speciality cabinets will be the NOVOSTAR® V.I.P. Royal that features a standout 65” upright full HD LED screen. Presenting a selection of feature games such as Asian Fortunes™ and Treasures of Tut™ – two playerfavourites in the US – this attractive cabinet unfolds the Very Important Player Experience on a grand scale. The hit NOVOSTAR® V.I.P. II and V.I.P. Lounge™ cabinets will also be on show with a selection of new games such as Dancing Dragons™ and Hold your Horses™. The full range of Ainsworth cabinets, including the A640®, A600® and A600® Slant Top, will display more than 130 games, for both Class III and Class II markets. Highlights on the A600®

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include Hao Yun Dao, a new Asianthemed linked progressive series, as well as new brands FirePower and Big Hit Bonanza, which make their international debut at the show. Undoubtedly the Class II highlight will be the unveiling of AnyBet, a linked progressive system that offers players the chance to win progressive jackpots on any Ainsworth game. Developed in collaboration with teams in the US, Austria and worldwide, a selection of content for the US will be previewed by NOVOMATIC Americas. New titles include Empire V™ Superior, Red Dream™, JackPOP!™ and JackPOW!™, as well as Jackpot Edition deluxe games. Leading technologies for global markets will feature the hit GAMINATOR® Scorpion and DOMINATOR® Curve cabinets, the redesigned NOVOSTAR® II, and the new Lotus Roulette™ Pro – a live gaming experience that combines slots and table games, and features a high-speed roulette wheel that boasts the world’s fastest game frequency. The latest selection of online, mobile and social gaming solutions will be exhibited by Greentube, the NOVOMATIC interactive division. A highlight of the presentation will be Greentube Pro – the private-label social casino built from the ground up for the US. Cuttingedge bingo machines will be on display by the video bingo subsidiary Otium, as well as leading bingo titles, standalone and linked jackpots. In addition, Octavian will demonstrate its latest tools on the ACP – Accounting Control Progressives – casino management system.

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Zitro advances a spectacular G2E Las Vegas in its best year ever

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ust a few months after Zitro presented its amazing new range of products at Zitro Experience and having taken the entire industry by storm, the company has advanced what will be the most breathtaking edition of G2E Las Vegas for Zitro so far. At G2E, Zitro will showcase its capacity for innovation and differentiation by presenting unseen products which will confirm that 2017 is definitely going to go down as the best year in the company’s history. “At G2E we won’t just be showcasing to the global gaming industry the products that we already presented to our customers and friends who attended our Zitro Experience. We will be unveiling new products, such as our new Show Prize games which will mark a before and after in the way people play video bingo, amazing games specifically designed for the Fusion platform such as Western Express, or our Bryke LAP video slots under the brand Blazing Pearls,” stated Johnny Ortiz, President of Zitro. “G2E will be further proof of Zitro’s commitment to the rapid growth of our product range. Month on month we continue to launch new games, new concepts and new ideas, with our focus set

on offering casino operators all over the world a series of successful products.” While at Zitro Experience 2017, Zitro unveiled its new range of Show Time video bingo games, mainly conceived for being compatible with the Blackwave platform and with the amazing Fusion Slant 23/27 platform, now Zitro will be introducing its new Show Prize concept, a new way of playing bingo that combines a frequency of prizes that has never been seen in a bingo game, a greatly simplified way for the player to understand the prizes that have been won. Show Prize is not a new library of video bingo games, but a true change in the form and manner of playing video bingo. At G2E the company will launch Western Express to everyone’s surprise, and will also present its amazing games Kingo, Gran Tesoro, Wonderful Lamp, Spin Win & Fire I, II and III, which have been specifically designed for the Fusion Slant 23/27 platform. Far beyond its technical features, this platform offers players an incredible gaming experience thanks to its ultra-slim unit design, its HD screens, and its large

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console that provide the player with maximum comfort and vital space. Zitro will also present to the world its new promotional systems Bobby Hour, Big Hour, Crazy Jerrypot, Super Botín and Mega Air Cash, and the new functionality Wild Crush, available for clients subscribing to the Zitro Partnership Program, as well as the Club Vip Zitro, the loyalty system that providers operators with a powerful tool for attracting and retaining their audience. Club Vip Zitro does not require the players to register; the system recognises them automatically, and makes available to Club members a series of prizes such as My Grand & Minor, My Jerrypot, or the spectacular community game Spin Party, in which all players win prizes simultaneously. “A few months ago, we revolutionised the video bingo market with our Show Time games and our new platforms, enriching the ZPP promotions offer and launching Club Vip Zitro, the only loyalty system that allows players to have, among other things, progressive jackpots of their own,” commented Johnny Ortiz, President of Zitro. “We are now launching Show Prize, a new way of playing video bingo that goes far beyond mere innovation. This is a true paradigm shift in the way people played video bingo up until now”. With regards to its Bryke video slots range, Zitro continues to expand its multi-game packs within its already extensive collection of Pick & Win games, as well as its new multi-game family Spin Hit with four progressive jackpots, all of which are available in the superb new Fusion Up Right 23/23

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and Fusion Slant 27/27 cabinets. At G2E, Zitro will be presenting its LAP Blazing Pearls, which comes with three orientalthemed titles that include elements of great symbolic richness and excellent graphic representation. The games Dragon Princess, Dragon Warrior and Fu Charms share four progressive and shared jackpots, and a differentiated and unique gaming mechanics inspired by the legendary dragons found in the Chinese culture that struggle to reach the blazing pearl, symbol of wellbeing, prosperity and richness. Sebastián Salat, CEO of Zitro, said that “as we announced at Zitro Experience, our range of Bryke video slots has now matured. Bryke is now an established video slot stand-alone product, and we are now adding to the Bryke range our LAP product under the name Blazing Pearls, a product of distinct personality and carefully thoughtout mathematics, available in our eye-catching Fusion Up Right 23/23 and Fusion Slant 27/27 cabinets. At G2E it will become evident to all casino operators worldwide that Bryke is now a real option for those who want high performance video slots. After G2E, our staging at SAGSE Buenos Aires will confirm our commitment to South America, and then on to the ICE exhibition in London in 2018 where, with more products than ever before, we are sure to be in a position to compete with any other global supplier.” Zitro continues celebrating its tenth anniversary, the best year in its history, with what will be a spectacular G2E, an important milestone on the path which Zitro has taken to be among the most important players in the global gaming industry.


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Casino Life September Volume 13 Issue 110  

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