Canada's Premier Gaming Industry Magazine
vol. 2 no. 3
december 2007/january 2008
Green Gaming Doing the Right Thing Pays Off in the Long Run
Inside: New New Gaming Gaming Plan Plan for for New New Brunswick Brunswick Outlook Outlook for for 2008 2008 New New Technology Technology for for the the Gaming Gaming Floor Floor
2008 CANADIAN GAMING BUSINESS BUYERS' GUIDE Get listed now in Canada's only gaming directory. Go to www.canadiangaming.ca
April 29 - May 1, 2008 - please visit www.canadiangamingsummit.com for details Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe1 1
1/8/08 3:47:08 PM
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe2 2
1/8/08 3:47:21 PM
December 2007 Publisher
Volume 2 Number 3 Chuck Nervick firstname.lastname@example.org 416-512-8186 ext. 227
MESSAGE FROM CGA
GAMING NEWS ROUNDUP
Philip Soltys email@example.com
Starlight Casino opens in suburban Vancouver, Grey Eagle Casino opens on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation reserve near Calgary, British Columbia Lottery Corp. wins an industry award for its Pacific Hold ’Em Poker lottery game, and other gaming news.
Julie Shreve firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW BRUNSWICK: NEW GAMING PLAN INCLUDES DESTINATION CASINO The province ends its prohibition on casinos, cuts the number and locations of VLTs, changes gaming regulations and improves responsible gaming efforts.
Proudly owned and published by:
14 President Kevin Brown
President & CEO Bill Rutsey
Vice President, Strategic Development Chuck Nervick
Vice President, Public Affairs Paul Burns
Canadian Gaming Business is published six times a year as a joint venture between MediaEdge Communications and The Canadian Gaming Association For advertising information, Contact Chuck Nervick 416-512-8186 ext. 227
GAMING PERSONALITY – JOVICA PEROVIC, BRITISH COLUMBIA LOTTERY CORP.
GREEN GAMING From sustainable design to green cleaning products, experts say going green is the right course, especially when tomorrow’s “environmentally conscious customers” are considered.
GAMING ISSUES: OUTLOOK FOR 2008 Two gaming lawyers, one Canadian and one American, comment on the industry’s big issues for the new year.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: RFID CHIPS AND SERVER-BASED GAMING As the casino chips are getting smarter, the slot machines are getting dumber, but controlled by very intelligent and powerful central servers.
For editorial information, Contact Fred Faust 866-216-0860 ext. 271 email@example.com
Copyright 2008 Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40063056 ISSN 1911-2378 Guest editorials or columns do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Canadian Gaming Business magazine's advisory board or staff. No part of this issue may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process without written permission by the publisher. Subscription rates: Canada $44.94 per year, $80.79 two years. All rates are payable in Canadian Funds only. Postmaster send address changes to: Canadian Gaming Business Magazine 5255 Yonge Street, Suite 1000, Toronto, Ontario M2N 6P4
MEDIA BUYING AND PLANNING FOR THE CASINO INDUSTRY Operators have plenty of data about their customers. They need to make good use of that data to effectively plan and buy their advertising.
LOTTERY AND GAMING CORPORATION HIGHLIGHTS News from Atlantic Lottery, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario.
Correction: In our October story, Busing the Players to the Casino, we used the wrong first name for the manager of tours at Moose Mountain Tours in Regina. Her name is Andrea Lawrence, not Angela. We apologize for the error.
VOLUME 2 NO. 3
Canada's Premier Gaming Industry Magazine
Vol. 2 No. 3
ON THE COVER
Doing the Right Thing Pays Off in the Long Run
Inside: New Gaming Plan for New Brunswick Outlook for 2008 New Technology for the Gaming Floor
Official Publication of the Canadian Gaming Summit
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe3 3
2008 CANADIAN GAMING BUSINESS BUYERS' GUIDE Get listed now in Canada's only gaming directory. Go to www.canadiangaming.ca
April 29 - May 1, 2008 - please visit www.canadiangamingsummit.com for details Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe1 1
The $7.8 billion CityCenter, which MGM Mirage is developing on the Las Vegas Strip, is North America’s largest green construction project.
12/27/07 4:44:26 PM
Canadian Gaming Business | 3
1/8/08 3:47:36 PM
THE POWER OF PERFORMANCE The power of a 360ยบ solution on your slot floor. The power of greater customer care. The power of top-earning titles. The power of longer-lasting technology. The power of a sleek new look. When you partner with Aristocrat, we put the power in your hands.
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe4 4
1/8/08 3:47:36 PM
Editorial Advisory Board Howard Blank, Vice President Media & Entertainment / Marketing & Promotions, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director Ontario Charitable Gaming Association Robin Drummond, Senior Director Spielo, GTECH Nick Eaves, President and Chief Operating Officer Woodbine Entertainment Group Art Frank, President Niagara Casinos Brian Fraser, Marketing Manager IGT Canada Jordan Gnat, President & Chief Executive Officer Boardwalk Gaming Muriel Grimble, Executive Director Gaming Products & Services Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission Lyle Hall, Managing Director HLT Advisory Inc. Zane Hansen, President & Chief Executive Officer Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority Brad Johnson, Vice President Marketing Aristocrat Technologies Inc. Ron Kelly, Executive Vice President Arrow Games Michael Lipton, Q.C., President, International Masters of Gaming Law and Partner, Elkind & Lipton LLP Eric Luke Eric R. Luke and Associates Alan Lyman, Senior Regional Director Scientific Games Margaret McGee, Vice-President of Prevention Programming and Public Affairs Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation Jovica Perovic, Director Casino Product Development & Facilities British Columbia Lottery Corporation Michael Randall, Vice President Corporate Responsibility & Communications Atlantic Lottery Corporation George Sweny, Senior Vice President Lotteries OLG Monique Wilberg, Chief Operating Officer Gateway Casinos
New Casinos, New Province, Outlook for 2008, and Gaming Gets Greener The last several weeks have been busy ones on the Canadian gaming scene. Just this month, new casinos opened in British Columbia (Starlight) and in Alberta (Grey Eagle). See page 9 for details. And another province has joined the club! New Brunswick announced plans for a destination casino that’s expected to open by 2010 (page 12). That will leave only one province – Newfoundland and Labrador – without a casino or a racino. Two gaming lawyers, one Canadian and one American, give us an idea of what to expect in the coming year when it comes to some of the big issues affecting our industry – responsible gaming and problem gambling litigation, privatization of lotteries, mobile gaming, and Indian/First Nations gaming. The lawyers, Christine Mingie and Anthony Cabot, comment on how these issues may play out in their respective countries. And for good measure, they throw in some comments about the rapidly expanding Asian gaming market. (page 21.) Our big story this month is about green gaming (page 16). At G2E, the major gaming trade show that’s held every November in Las Vegas, I was pleased to see that even the American companies that dominate the industry seem to have gotten religion. There were two solid seminars devoted to sustainable design and practices.
Much of the attention was on CityCenter, the gigantic mixed-use development that MGM Mirage is building on the Strip. CityCenter is not only big, it’s very green in nearly all aspects. But, as our story explains, plenty of good things are also happening in Canada as the provincial lottery corporations adopt more sustainable practices, both in new construction and in their existing gaming facilities. On this last visit to Las Vegas, I learned that the city is not as irresponsible as I had thought when it comes to resources. After all, over the years I’ve made many trips there and I’ve never even seen a blue box. But apparently there is recycling done in the back of the house. One expert said most of the Strip casinos have “recycling docks” where waste is sorted before being hauled away. And some of those famous water features, such as the lake in front of Bellagio, do not use fresh water, which is increasingly scarce in that region. I hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays, and that your new year is healthy and prosperous.
Fred Faust Editor firstname.lastname@example.org 866-216-0860 ext. 271
E-mails to the Editor Policy Canadian Gaming Business welcomes e-mails to the editor. E-mails should include the name of the sender, business or professional affiliation, and city and province of the sender’s office or home. A phone number should be included for contact purposes; the phone number will not be published. We reserve the right to edit e-mails for purposes of brevity and clarity.
Canadian Gaming Business |
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe5 5
1/8/08 3:47:39 PM
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe6 6
1/8/08 3:47:41 PM
Gaming Public Policy Needs to be Well-Thought-Out By Bill ruTsey, PresidenT and Ceo of The Canadian gaMing assoCiaTion as we all know, when the topic of public discussion is gaming, there is no shortage of opinions. This is especially true in the case of public policy, and provincial governments across the country have been no strangers to these debates and discussions. Another thing that we all know is that it is imperative that public policy be focused on developing comprehensive, evidence-based strategies as opposed to piecemeal decisions and directives. The just-announced New Brunswick gaming strategy, which includes a request for proposals for a destination casino entertainment centre, is an excellent example of the former. I was invited to the announcement and was most impressed by the government’s willingness to confidently and coherently stand behind its policy and approach. No doubt this was because it had done its homework. Over the course of a year, the government took the time it required to determine a measured and thoughtful approach to gaming that charts a course for the development of the industry in a way that it deems responsible and beneficial to its citizens. This was very evident from the presentations of both Premier Shawn Graham and Finance Minister Victor Boudreau, as well as Minister Boudreau’s willingness to speak to and meet with the industry by attending G2E in Las Vegas last month and speaking at our breakfast meeting. Across Canada, gaming is contributing to our economy in a meaningful way. Our National Economic Impact Study showed that the gaming industry is responsible for more than $15 billion in direct revenue annually, and almost all of this is re-invested right back into the economy. Sixty per cent of the revenue generated by the industry goes to government programs and services, as well as to charities. The other 40 per cent is paid out as salaries – producing more than 50,000 direct jobs – and to purchase goods and services from private-sector companies. Gaming sizably exceeds other segments of the entertainment industry in terms of the direct impact on the economy, and at over $15 billion is Canada’s biggest entertainment industry – about the same size as the movies, TV, recorded music, and professional sports combined. So, the Government of New Brunswick seems to be on the right track when it talks about gaming as a potential booster to the province’s economy, especially as it relates to tourism.
Take the Niagara region as an example. Prior to the opening of Casino Niagara in 1996, tourism in Niagara Falls was a seasonal, half-year, day-trip business. Most hotels closed in late fall and re-opened in the spring. The average length of stay for tourists was approximately three hours. With the advent of the casino all this changed. Suddenly hotels were open and busy 12 months a year, and more and more visitors were staying overnight. According to the Niagara Falls Economic Development Department, the annual construction value of building permits more than tripled for each of the 10 years since the casino opened (up from $50 million to $165 million), and unemployment rates fell by 36 per cent over the same period. But perhaps the most compelling data is found by asking the people who live in jurisdictions with casino gaming. This was done in 2005 with a poll of 201 community leaders in the U.S., such as mayors and council members, as well as civic leaders like chiefs of police and heads of service clubs. As the American Gaming Association described in its State of the States report for 2005, these leaders were asked: If they could go back in time with the benefit of hindsight, would they do it all over again? More than three-quarters said that they would, citing the positive benefits to their communities – additional tax revenue, jobs, secondary economic development, and contributions to community and charitable organizations. However, we all also know that gaming is about much more than generating economic wealth and opportunity. It is also about ensuring the industry is run responsibly and with transparency. Responsible gambling is absolutely critical to the industry, and responsible gaming is an important piece of any province’s gaming strategy. To this end, no one will argue with the stated focus of New Brunswick’s responsible gaming policy – to improve the safety and security of the gaming environment, to help players make more informed gaming choices, and in cases where there is a problem, to help ensure services are available to assist problem gamblers. We may not always agree with every policy decision as it relates to our industry, but we should applaud New Brunswick for seemingly taking the time to do the right research and gather evidence upon which to base its decisions and directions. Canadian Gaming Business | 7
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe7 7
1/8/08 3:47:44 PM
INFOGENESIS IS NOW AGILYSYS Agilysys is a leading technology provider in the worldwide hospitality market. We offer proven solutions to hotels, casinos, resorts, golf courses, spas, cruise lines, and stadiums – all focused on streamlining operations and enhancing guest satisfaction while maximizing profitability. Our robust hospitality solutions provide unparalleled reliability, functionality, efficiency, and control over every aspect of your hospitality operation – from reservations, check in, point-of-sale and other guest activities, to inventory and procurement management. Learn more today at www.agilysys.com/hospitality or call us at 800-241-8768.
© 2007 Agilysys, Inc. All rights reserved.
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe8 8
1/8/08 3:47:53 PM
gamingnewsroundup Starlight opens in B.C. Starlight Casino, the largest in the chain of Gateway Casinos in British Columbia, opened Dec. 11. The $100 million facility in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster has 70,000 square feet of gaming space, which includes 850 slots and 45 table games, plus a poker room that has 10 tables and two tables of electronic poker. The facility is open 24/7. Other amenities include a private VIP gaming room with a bar and a patio that can be used for private functions, and the Redbar Lounge, for live entertainment. Early in 2008, two restaurants will open at Starlight: Schanks Sports Grill, a 1,000-seat sports bar; and Kirin, a fine-dining Asian restaurant that seats 450 in addition to its 100-seat noodle bar. This will be the first B.C. location for Schanks, which has three sites in Alberta. Kirin has four other locations in the greater Vancouver area. Starlight has more natural light than most casinos. Its dominant colour is red, in keeping with what it calls a “contemporary Asian theme.” The casino replaces Gateway’s Royal City Star riverboat casino, also in New Westminster, which closed two days prior to the opening of Starlight. Starlight is just 14 kilometres east of River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, the flagship of Gateway’s rival, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. In the summer of 2008, Gateway plans to open Grand Villa Casino, which will replace its existing property in Burnaby, B.C.
And another casino for Calgary The largest casino in the increasingly competitive Calgary market opened Dec. 19 on the Tsuu T’ina First Nation reserve,
Poker room at the new Starlight Casino.
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe9 9
which is immediately southwest of the city limits. Grey Eagle Casino & Bingo is an 84,000-square-foot facility with 600 slots, 59 table games and a 500-seat, state-of-the-art bingo hall. The table games include 15 tables in the poker room, which operates 24/7. The other table games are open from noon until 2 a.m. The slots are open from 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. Grey Eagle also has a high-limit room, a buffet that serves three meals a day, a fullservice, dinner-only restaurant, two bars, about 70 high-definition TVs and 1,100 oversized parking spaces. Live entertainment is a priority. A large elevated stage overlooks the gaming floor, and various types of musicians perform there on Friday and Saturday nights. Sonco Gaming LP developed and manages Grey Eagle. Clairvest Group and Clairvest Equity Partners LP invested $17 million in the Tsuu T’ina Gaming LP, a wholly-owned entity of the Tsuu T’ina First Nation Band, and provided financing for the casino. Tsuu T’ina Gaming LP will receive charitable funds from the project, a spokeswoman said. Sonco Gaming was the developer and project manager of the highly successful Great Blue Heron Charity Casino, which is on Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation land at Port Perry, Ont.
BCLC deals itself a winner A lottery game that British Columbia Lottery Corp. developed in-house won an award in October from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries for “Best New Online Game” of 2006/2007. The game, Pacific Hold ’Em Poker, started in September 2006 and remains one of BCLC’s top performers. It racked up $55 million in sales in its first year, with a payout of 61 per cent. Although obviously based on Texas Hold ’Em, the game does not require knowledge of poker. It’s a pari-mutuel lottery game, so the amount that a player can win is based on how many people, throughout the province, are playing at the time. The payout on a $2 bet
can range from $2 to thousands of dollars, on a busy weekend period. The game is controlled by a random number generator in BCLC’s office in Kamloops. The game captures some of the features that appeal to the many fans of televised Hold ’Em tournaments and casino card rooms. Players can raise their bets, to a maximum of $10, after they see their cards. And the game even has a “bad beat” jackpot, which is funded by 1 per cent of all game purchases. The current bad beat jackpot, as we go press, is $30,586. Jim Lightbody, BCLC’s vice-president of lottery gaming, said the success of the bad beat jackpot “is probably the only surprise” that the game developers have had. Pacific Hold ’Em Poker took almost two years to perfect, he said. The animated game characters were created by Image Engine Design, a Vancouver firm. BCLC said it’s the first lottery jurisdiction in the world to sell a monitor-style game with a poker theme. It’s available through selfserve terminals in about 200 age-controlled sites, and through bar staff in another 500 or so locations. Lightbody said the game has attracted new players, and not just cannibalized other BCLC games. He said BCLC is in discussions with other lotteries about potential licensing deals. He and his colleagues have also considered offering the game as part of PlayNow, BCLC’s Internet games division.
New leaders in Alberta The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has both a new CEO and a new chair. Gerry McLennan was named CEO on Dec. 19. He had been serving as acting CEO since Norman Peterson retired July 31. McLennan has spent more than 23 years with the AGLC and one of its predecessor organizations. His positions included executive director of the regulatory division and director of the inspections branch. He reports directly to the AGLC board chair, Marguerite Trussler, who was appointed Dec. 12 to a term that expires Nov. 30, 2010. Trussler is a retired Justice of the Queen’s Bench, and serves as the chairperson of the Provincial AIDS Canadian Gaming Business |
1/8/08 3:48:01 PM
gamingnewsroundup Advisory Committee and is founder of the Victoria School Foundation for the Arts. She recently served on the editorial board of the Canadian Bar Review, and as president of the International Association of Women Judges. The AGLC also appointed Jim Hansen and Ross Goldsworthy to its board. The AGLC is responsible for overseeing Alberta’s liquor distribution system and licensing and enforcement of all gaming activities including casinos, bingo games, raffles and pull tickets. The commission also enforces the Tobacco Tax Act for Alberta Finance. The AGLC said that both Trussler and McLennan were selected in open competitions.
SIGA operates five casinos, with another one under development. It has about 1,700 employees, 73 per cent of whom are First Nation. In a December article about the award, Sask Business said SIGA has increased revenue and profit for 22 consecutive quarters. With annual revenue exceeding $130 million, SIGA was ranked by the magazine as among the top 40 companies in the province. Referring to a financial scandal that surfaced in 2000, the magazine said SIGA’s “remarkable turnaround” was a major reason for the honour. The magazine also praised the organization for overcoming an obstacle posed by the defeat of a referendum by Saskatoon voters in 2003 that would have Honour for SIGA permitted a SIGA casino within the city SIGA, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming limits. Today, SIGA operates Dakota Dunes Authority, has been named Business Casino, on First Nation land 30 kilometres of the Year by Saskatchewan Business south of Saskatoon. Canadian Gaming Business (3.375 SIGA x 4.75) Magazine. Formed in 1996, SIGA is the is owned by the Federation of youngest business to earn the recognition, Saskatchewan Indian Nations, which is the which typically goes to companies in the governing body for the province’s 74 First manufacturing sector. Nations. Zane Hansen, SIGA’s CEO, said, “This recognition is a testament to the hard work at all levels of Tender # - Destination Casino our company.” Sask Business says it’s the longestrunning business publication in Saskatchewan.
Request for Proposals
For the Development and Operation of a Destination Casino
A Request For Proposals has been issued by the Lotteries Commission of New Brunswick to identify and establish a long-term relationship with a third party to develop, design, construct, equip, finance and operate a destination casino, supporting amenities and ancillary facilities within New Brunswick. The Project represents a significant opportunity for creative ingenuity. The Lotteries Commission of New Brunswick is seeking resourceful approaches to the development of a casino complex that create enhanced economic activity at the local and provincial level. This RFP is available in both English and French on the New Brunswick Opportunities Network at the following website: www.gnb.ca/3000 Closing Date: March 11, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. Atlantic Time 10 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe10 10
Hot off the press The tenth edition of the Internet Gambling Report is available from Clarion Gaming, which calls it “the legal bible for the Internet gambling industry.” Forty-one authors contributed to the 661-page report, which was edited by Mark Balestra, who has been covering online gambling for more than a decade. There are five new chapters and 25 updated ones,
covering such topics as the Antigua/U.S. WTO conflict, the implementation of England’s new gambling policy, the legal climate in Asia, the U.S. prohibition, crossborder issues in Europe, intellectual property, and age verification and advertising. The report costs US $125. To order a copy, or to see the table of contents, go to www.rivercitygroup.com/interior.cfm/page/ books#product83.
Transactions It’s official: Last month Gateway Casinos became a subsidiary of New World Gaming, a partnership of two large Australian companies, James Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. and Macquarie Group. Gateway Casinos Income Fund and New World announced Nov. 14 that they had received the final regulatory approval for their deal, after the British Columbia Lottery Corp. signed off on it. Gateway operates eight casinos in British Columbia and one in Edmonton. The $1.37 billion acquisition was announced back in April. Shortly after the Gateway deal closed, PBL went ahead with announced plans to split into two entities – the gaming company is now called Crown Limited and the publishing side is called Consolidated Media Holdings. Crown, still controlled by James Packer, has also made major investments in Las Vegas this year. Baymount Inc., a Toronto company, announced Dec. 21 that it had raised $2 million in a private placement stock offering. The company said the money would be used “to build and develop the Quinte Raceway and Slots,” a new track and slot parlour planned for Belleville, Ont., which is about 190 kilometres east of Toronto, “and for working capital purposes.” According to a November story in the Belleville Intelligencer, local horsemen were disappointed that Baymount did not apply for race dates in 2008 at the existing Quinte track. The company obtained race dates there for 2007, but was unable to reach an agreement with the horsemen. The relocated new track is not expected to open until 2009. Baymount has preliminary approval from the Ontario Racing Commission to operate a track. In 2006, Continued on page 24
1/8/08 3:48:02 PM
Raise capital, grow, and invest Gaming Operators
Gaming Equipment & Software
First Nations Gaming
CIBC World Markets is a leading provider of advisory and financing solutions with expertise across the gaming industry.
Jacques Cornet 212.885.4381 email@example.com
Leo Fernandez 310.446.3549 firstname.lastname@example.org
cibcwm.com Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe11 11
1/8/08 3:48:03 PM
New Brunswick: New Gaming Plan includes Destination Casino
By Christine J. Mingie
After almost a year of study, the New Brunswick government released its new provincial gaming plan in early November. The province will end its prohibition on casinos, cut the number of video lottery terminals and video lottery locations, change the regulation of gaming activities and improve its responsible gaming initiatives. New destination casino Under the gaming plan, the province will allow one destination casino to operate in the province in an effort to curb the significant reduction in tourists to the province. The proposed casino would be operational by 2010 and could include horse racing facilities. The province issued a request for proposals, which are due by March 11. Finance Minister Victor Boudreau said the facility will be privately owned and operated, with 400-800 slot machines and a minimum of 12 table games. The winning proposal will be announced in May, and a formal 20-year agreement is expected to be signed in early July. The successful bidder will likely be required to demonstrate that it has the requisite experience to competently manage a destination casino, the financial resources to undertake the project, and a history of a proactive approach to responsible gaming. The location of the destination casino will be up to the successful bidder.
New Brunswick does not have gaming control legislation in place. Part of the gaming plan includes the drafting and approval of a gaming control statute with appropriate regulations.
First Nations gaming Under the gaming plan, New Brunswick First Nations bands are expected to receive a greater portion of provincial gaming revenue, including revenue generated from the destination casino. This issue is a contentious one among New Brunswick’s First Nations bands, however. They are proposing that they operate their own destination casino or that they participate with the selected private operator in the development and operation of the casino that’s outlined in the RFP. If the issues are not soon resolved, one or more First Nations groups may commence litigation to ensure that they have a greater stake in provincial gaming. If that happens, the gaming plan and the destination casino may be delayed.
VLTs, Texas Hold ’Em, and responsible gaming The number of video lottery sites will be reduced by more than 50 per cent and once reduced, will be capped at 300 from the 625 sites currently operating. At those sites, the number of video lottery terminals will be reduced by about 25 per cent, to a maximum of 2,000 machines. By April 1, 2009, there will no longer be any video lottery terminals allowed in restaurants. Early in 2008, the province plans to start licensing charitable Texas Hold ’Em poker tournaments. In an effort to show that responsible gaming is to play a key role in the provincial gaming regime, the eventual operator of the destination casino will be required to establish and implement responsible gaming policies and procedures, including mandatory casino employee training, as part of its operations. Presumably, the province will draft its gaming control legislation to set out this requirement. As part of the responsible gaming initiative, the government will double its funding for responsible gaming programs to $1.5 million and the lottery corporation will invest $500,000 in new funding for public education, awareness and research initiatives. Christine J. Mingie is a lawyer with Lang Michener LLP in Vancouver. She advises on gaming regulatory and compliance matters for a large public gaming company.
12 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe12 12
1/8/08 3:48:06 PM
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe13 13
1/8/08 3:48:09 PM
Director of casino product development and facilities, British Columbia Lottery Corp.
By Anakana Schofield
Editor’s Note: After this story was written, Jovica Perovic announced that he was taking a new job, effective Jan. 1. He will be vice-president of operations for the Greater Vancouver Regional District of Gateway Casinos. If you’re a casino customer in British Columbia, you can be assured you’re on Jovica (pronounced Yovitza) Perovic’s mind. Whether you’re sitting at a slot machine, dining in a restaurant or merely standing on the carpet staring around, your experience matters to this Sarajevo-born former skier and handball enthusiast. Perovic, whose current product portfolio includes 470 table games, 10 slot manufacturers
with 7,800 slot machines in 17 B.C. casinos and 10 community gaming centres, has to be enthusiastic about communication. Whether he was heeding his grandmother’s advice to “have a complete faith in my own abilities, but always be able to draw the line between your own abilities and ignorance,” or more recently, as BCLC’s director of casino product development and facilities, Perovic needed his ears open all the way. “We are in continuous contact with our operators, holding meetings and always trying to keep abreast of different trends throughout the world,” he said. He tries to attend the major gaming conferences, from Las Vegas to London to Macau. The assuredness in his manner underscores the sharp analytical skills required to do his job effectively. It wouldn’t take a nuclear physicist to measure that if he’s not heeding his customers, they’ll spend their discretionary money elsewhere. Directly responsible for customer service and product offerings, his job requires him to excavate exactly what the different customer demographics want across British Columbia and set about giving it to them. Pe r o v i c b e g a n h i s c a r e e r i n t h e former Yugoslavia (presently Bosnia and Herzegovina) as an engineer, but swiftly found that his heart lay in entertainment. He managed a staff of more than 60 at a Sarajevo
club that included a fine-dining restaurant, lounge and banquet centre. Now 14 years into the gaming industry, his first interaction with slots – which continue to dominate his current work – was in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1993, where, along with some private investors, he opened three clubs that included billiard tables and slots. A move to Canada in late 1994 led to six and one-half years working for the Saskatchewan Gaming Corp. at Casino Regina, as a customer service manager, slot shift manager and finally, casino manager. In 2001 he took the position of manager in slot development for BCLC. In 2004, he was promoted to his current position, where he reports directly to the vice-president of casino gaming. He credits both his European experience and the valuable period in Regina for providing him with the skills to cultivate the working relationships that are at the heart of his present job. The job also requires him to draw information and product development trends from his worldwide contacts. This exposure to a variety of worlds informs his management style, which he describes as a collaborative approach, with the highest value placed on people and team. His egalitarian approach extends to his suppliers, who all have access to performance results and analysis from BCLC’s gaming devices, their own as well as their competitors’.
14 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe14 14
1/8/08 3:48:15 PM
“The end result for me is I am getting better product, which suits our customers better,” he said. One has the sense in talking to Perovic that he’s keen for everyone to reach their potential, whether customer, fellow employee or just random person on the bus. This slightly overwhelming determination to see the positive leaves him reluctant to admit that there are challenges in his job, conceding only that reaching a consensus can sometimes be challenging. He’s careful in expressing any opinion outside his given operational realm, and while decidedly helpful, is clearly fluent in cautious corporate parlance. He pauses before answering a question about whether he’d recommend a career in gaming to young people. “It depends on the individual,” he said. He’s certain the person would need to be customer-service oriented and open-minded, and reiterates there are many opportunities for the right people. He also cites recruitment as one of the biggest issues facing the Canadian gaming industry. “The market for senior positions is very lean,” he said.
As to future gaming trends, Perovic sees more amenities and entertainment options over the course of the next few years. On server-based gaming, he said, “It’s coming, that’s given. It’s going to bring us one step closer to that ideal customer service. Technology itself is going to allow us to be close to the precise need of the player.” Sometimes when you’re close to your customer the news is not always good. Perovic described a project he co-ordinated where the product simply did not work for the intended customers. BC Gold, a wide-area jackpot, is a network of 233 machines -- throughout all of the province’s casinos -- that are all connected, but originally in 2001 it was only one bank of machines in one casino, and the jackpots were not that large. “That concept didn’t work well for the player,” Perovic recalled, because the customers had not been satisfied with “the value that they found in the play,” so he and his team intervened and better matched the product to the environment. Today BC Gold is one of the province’s most successful games.
Perovic has witnessed a few firsts at BCLC: being the first gaming jurisdiction in Canada to have a 100 per cent coin-less facility, the slots at Fraser Downs; bringing single-wire Ticket-In/ Ticket-Out to the Canadian gaming industry; and the introduction of TouchBet Roulette, a traditional game on a non-traditional device. Perovic discovered the game at ICE, the big annual trade show in London, but one of his product development guys was actually responsible for introducing it. Of his home city, Vancouver, he says he’s proud to live in an Olympic city. When asked about his future ambitions, he initially joked about retiring to some small winery in the Okanagan. Then he continued, “I love this business and I love the job and I love the people I work with, so why would I change?” Given that he’s only 44, the vineyards pose no threat of taking this accomplished, playerpriority-driven individual from the industry anytime soon. Anakana Schofield is a freelance writer based in Vancouver.
Lyle Hall and Robert Scarpelli have been providing consulting and advisory services to the Canadian and International hospitality, leisure and tourism industries for over 15 years. Areas of specialization: Gaming Lodging Attractions
Travel and Tourism Public Assembly Venues Recreation and Sports
HLT Advisory Inc. 384 Adelaide St. W. Suite 200 Toronto, ON M5V 1R7 (416) 924-7737 www.hlta.ca Please contact us: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Canadian Gaming Business | 15
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe15 15
1/8/08 3:48:16 PM
A rendering of CityCenter, which opens late in 2009 on the Las Vegas Strip.
16â€‚ |â€‚ December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe16 16
1/8/08 3:48:18 PM
and tables and chairs inside, the gaming industry finds that environmental responsibility and a healthy bottom line are not mutually exclusive. By Bradley Vallerius and Fred Faust
Photo courtesy of MGM Mirage
From the design, construction and landscaping of the buildings to the lights
Traditionally, the most green aspect of casinos was the felt on the gaming tables. These are buildings that typically operate 24/7, require lots of parking spaces, use plenty of bright lights and electric machines, and don’t skimp on the heat or air conditioning. But there are signs that the gaming industry, like other businesses, is taking a serious interest in environmental responsibility. Two seminars at November’s G2E, the major gaming trade show held annually in Las Vegas, were devoted to “going green” and sustainable design.
CityCenter One seminar featured CityCenter, the massive mixed-use project under construction on 76 acres between Bellagio and Monte Carlo on the Las Vegas Strip. The developer is MGM Mirage, one of the world’s largest gaming companies. CityCenter will include a 61-story, 4,000-room hotel with a 150,000square-foot casino and a new Cirque du Soleil show based on Elvis Presley; two smaller, non-gaming hotels; about 2,650 condominium units; and a 500,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment district. World-renowned architects have designed the buildings. MGM Mirage says CityCenter, with its $7.8 billion construction budget, is the largest privately financed building project in the history of North America. More important, it is also the largest green development in the continent’s history.
Each building has been registered for LEED certification. (The actual certification cannot be awarded until the building is completed.) LEED –Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a rating system, a suite of standards for eco-friendly construction that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The buildings will have to meet requirements for site development, water and energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental air quality, sustainability, and innovation in design. “To date, we’ve been able to recycle almost 95 per cent of our construction waste” at CityCenter, said Katarina Tesarova, the LEED certification manager for MGM Mirage. Special low-flow water fixtures have been commissioned that are expected to reduce water consumption by 30 per cent. The site will have its own nine-megawatt co-generation plant that will produce about one-third of CityCenter’s electricity, she said, while producing all of the hot water required for the more than 7,000 hotel rooms and condos. CityCenter, as well as other Las Vegas projects including a new tower at Caesars Palace, the Fontainebleau resort, the Lido-Palazzo expansions at the Venetian, and Boyd Gaming’s Echelon Place, will receive millions of dollars in state tax breaks for green construction.
LEED and gaming beyond Las Vegas Although it pales in size with these huge Las Vegas developments, a
casino planned for the Catskills region of New York is aiming very high in terms of green design. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe plans to build the casino in accordance with LEED standards, and is paying special attention to issues like storm water runoff and light pollution. Here in Canada, Loto-Québec is applying for LEED certification for both of its recently opened gaming centres – Ludoplex TroisRivières and Ludoplex Québec. Both facilities contain and treat runoff water, minimize light pollution, use landscaping that doesn’t require irrigation, and have parking for bicycles and spaces reserved for carpoolers. They will seek certification from the Canada Green Building Council, which has adapted the U.S. Green Building Council's standards to address differences in Canadian climates, construction practices and regulations. LEED is regarded by experts as the best international standard for ecofriendly building. LEED certification is designed to assure that any project that claims to be green truly is green. LEED-certified buildings typically use materials that are recycled or come from regional sources in order to minimize the amount of energy used, and pollution caused, by transporting the material to the construction site. The materials generally have a long lifespan and require minimal maintenance. Designers try to increase natural lighting and employ efficient heating, Canadian Gaming Business | 17
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe17 17
1/8/08 3:48:19 PM
Loto-Québec is seeking LEED certification for its Ludoplex gaming centre in Québec City, above. The building is designed to minimize light pollution.
cooling and air flow strategies in order to reduce energy usage. Builders choose paints, carpets, sealants and caulks with low volatile organic compounds. “There is a common misconception that sustainability costs more,” said Barry Thalden, a partner in Thalden-Boyd-Emery Architects. The firm, based in Las Vegas, has designed numerous casinos, including Dakota Dunes near Saskatoon. “While in some cases there may be some higher front-end costs, the reality is that building green can be less costly than conventional building practices – significantly less when considering maintenance and energy savings over the life of the building.”
Greener lighting, and greener renovations Natural sunlight will play a large part in the lighting and energy efficiency of CityCenter, but many other measures are being taken to ensure low energy costs due to lighting. “As the lighting designer approaches each space,” said Kelly Stechulte of 18 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe18 18
Illuminating Concepts, “they look at both the overall wattage allowed in each space, and they consider lighting sources such as LEDs, low-wattage metal halides, halogen sources that use infrared technology so that you get more usable light from the lamp, maybe using tighter beam spreads in higher ceilings and fewer light fixtures . . . basically using more energy efficient technology whenever possible.” Stechulte is in charge of design coordination among the 16 lighting design firms working on CityCenter. Illuminating Concepts, a suburban Detroit firm, has also worked on the renovations at Casino Windsor. Green alternatives are not only for new construction. An existing building can be renovated with a variety of green solutions, including some in the area of lighting. The trade-offs remain the same, however – higher up-front costs, but definite savings in energy use. Harrah's Entertainment estimates that it has converted 65 per cent of its lights to some form of energy-efficient lighting, and
says it has installed set-back thermostats in many of its hotel rooms. MGM Mirage has changed 10,000 fixtures to fluorescent bulbs in 10 of its Las Vegas garages, saving nearly $1 million annually. “[Green] isn't the fringe thing to do anymore," said Debbie Levin, president of Environmental Media Association, a Los Angeles company that places environmental messages in TV programs and movies. At a G2E seminar titled "Going Green: And Staying in the Black," Levin encouraged the gaming industry to support companies that make sustainable products. She said that incremental change is valuable, that sustainability does not require a fanatical course. “With gaming, you don't toss out everything that you have,” she advised. Mackay | Wong Strategic Design is a Toronto firm that was involved in the expansion and renovation of Casino Windsor. “Within our scope, we're primarily responsible for picking the finishes and the furniture and a lot of the skinning of the interior,” said partner Gordon MacKay. “In the Harrah's project [Casino Windsor], we made as concerted an effort as possible to select first and foremost green materials.” “The biggest stumbling block for our industry is trying to make it clear to clients that there is payback here,” MacKay continued. “There is a moral obligation for sure, but you know what, it's a good business decision. Not everybody gets it though. It's really tough for us sometimes to say, ‘We've made a decision about this product or this type of furniture or this type of lighting for these reasons, and generally, it's a bit more expensive to do it.’ “Generally there is a 5 per cent premium on the selection of products that do qualify under LEED requirements, but the payback happens within 14-18 months of the lifecycle of a building in terms of its operating, and then after that it becomes a return on investment.”
Green products on the casino floor There are plenty of green alternatives to be used on the gaming floor. Aristocrat Technologies recently unveiled its new Viridian (meaning "green" in Latin) slot Continued on page 20
1/8/08 3:48:30 PM
Bob Yabroff President
Chief Operating Officer
Regional Sales Manager
Chairman/Director of Sales
Barbara Linde Executive Assistant
P L AY
“We stand for superior quality and service.”
S E AT S
“Okay. Technically, we’re sitting down. You would too if you had a Gary Platt X-Tended Play Seat ®. Every one of us at Gary Platt Manufacturing stands for quality construction, exceptional comfort, durability, functionality and the finest personal service. We deliver performance casino seating that’s a sure bet to X-Tend Time On Device and therefore, profits. Not too shabby for a fun-loving group in Reno, Nevada.”
P E R F O R M A N C E
C A S I N O
S E AT I N G
800.969.0999 · garyplatt.com S L O T S
P O K E R
id Gary Platt Group ad _Canadian Gaming.indd 1 Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe19 19
T A B L E
G A M E S
Canadian Gaming Business | 19
8/2/07 3:48:37 3:06:51 PM PM 1/8/08
The next generation is going to think about the environment in a completely different way than the generation that built las vegas. - john krause, dna Continued from page 18 cabinet, which is made from recycled materials and is designed to reduce energy consumption. Furniture in particular can be made from recycled materials. “Metal has been being recycled long before it was fashionable,” said Terry Clark of Accro Furniture Industries in Winnipeg. Specializing in metal furniture, Accro melts down parts of its older units and forges them into new ones. The company also makes use of new technologies in metal finishing and painting, and it can use fabrics made from recycled plastics. Clark said that, in the last two years, many Accro customers have asked about sustainable products. On the other hand, Mark Gasser of Gasser Chair Co. in Youngstown, Ohio, said, “We really haven’t had requests yet for green products. But I think it’s just a matter of time before we see it in the gaming industry.” Gary Platt Manufacturing, which is based in Reno, Nevada, is a seating supplier that uses green upholstery fabrics on its chairs whenever customers specify it. “It's a fairly new development,” said Bob Yabroff, president of Gary Platt. “Its use is minimal today but definitely growing.” The company says that the other materials in its chairs – the foam, wood and steel – are recyclable. Gary Platt is one of the bidders on a tender by the Manitoba Lotteries Corp. to replace the seating in its two Winnipeg casinos with units that use green upholstery. Donna Dagg, the sustainable development coordinator for Manitoba Lotteries, said the plan is to replace the gaming seating with chairs that use green fabrics made with non-toxic dyes, have 25-30 per cent recycled content in the steel components, contain foam that
is CFC-free (has no chlorofluorocarbons), and use adhesives that contain no solvents. “The same issues apply to office furniture that we buy,” she said. “The key is in the manufacturing process.” “We push the envelope a little bit to try and green up our casinos, Dagg said. “We get vendors to stretch themselves a bit.” That requires research before tenders are made, she said. For example, MLC tested green cleaning products and found that “they don’t cost more, they come concentrated so there’s less storage space, and the janitorial staff likes them because there are no strong odors.” Even when the green products or services cost more than the alternatives, MLC tries to go green. “We don’t purchase just by the best dollar,” Dagg said. “We’re willing to pay more if necessary.” EGM Green, of Towns River, New Jersey, manufactures eco-friendly casino gaming products, including tables for poker, blackjack, roulette, mini-baccarat and baccarat. “Since these tables have direct contact with the customer, they provide an excellent opportunity for the casino to educate the public about what they are doing to protect the environment," said Eric Hansel, president of EGM Green. "And when you put enough of them on the floor you can gain points toward LEED accreditation.”
Attracting “environmentally conscious customers” Tesarova described for the G2E panel the major challenges faced by her company in trying to make CityCenter eligible for LEED certification: Las Vegas contractors had no experience with LEED projects,
there was no local company that could recycle construction waste for such a huge development, and “environmentally responsible materials” for building 4,000 hotel rooms were unavailable. “It’s been a great challenge,” Tesarova said, “but we believe that projects like CityCenter, Fontainebleau and Echelon will open markets for these products, and projects that come after us will have it much easier.” There is a moral imperative for building and operating gaming facilities in a green manner. As mentioned above, there is also a payback in operating costs. But Tesarova concluded her presentation by citing another benefit – marketing to future generations that will care about such things. “At CityCenter,” she said, “we are creating high-performance buildings that conserve energy, water and natural resources. When our customers enter this space, they will experience an abundance of natural light, spectacular views, and superior indoor air quality. We believe this is actually a competitive advantage for us. We also believe that we will be able to attract this new emerging group of environmentally conscious customers. That’s why we are doing all of this.” And John Krause, principal architect of DNA, a New York firm, told the “Going Green” session: “The next generation is going to think about the environment in a completely different way than the generation that built Las Vegas. There’s a wave of environmentalism. . . . If you make environmentalism part of your brand, you will thrive.” Bradley Vallerius is a freelance writer based in St. Louis, Missouri.
20 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe20 20
1/8/08 3:48:37 PM
Gaming Issues: Outlook for 2008 By Christine J. Mingie and Anthony Cabot
Canadian Gaming Business asked two gaming lawyers -- Christine J. Mingie of Vancouver and Anthony Cabot of Las Vegas -- to comment on what might happen in the new year regarding major industry issues.
Responsible gaming, and problem gambling litigation What developments do you expect in the area of responsible gaming in the U.S. and in Canada? Cabot: Gaming companies in general have taken a more proactive approach in dealing with problem gambling in the United States. These efforts have included funding local, state and national responsible gaming programs and implementing internal corporate programs. These efforts are in the best interests of the industry as detractors see the industry as vulnerable on this issue. Most Americans support the rights of their fellow citizens to gamble and the anti-gambling forces need an issue to turn this tide of opinion. Mingie: Gaming operators and the lottery corporations have implemented policies in recognition of the growing importance of responsible gaming initiatives in Canada. In 2008, the lottery corporations and gaming regulators in several provinces intend to make responsible gaming a more integral component of gaming in those provinces. What developments in problem gambling litigation in the U.S. and Canada are likely in 2008? Cabot: Problem gambling usually arises in civil cases involving debt collections against patrons or attempts by patrons to recover losses. At common law, gambling addiction has not and is unlikely to be recognized by the courts as a legal defence to the collection of gambling debts, as the legal standards for avoidance of a contract are high. Likewise, attempts by patrons to recover lost money from casinos also are unlikely to succeed. The reason is simple: to avoid contractual obligations, the patron would need to show that he or she was unable to understand the nature or consequences of their actions. This is not a viable defence based on gambling problems. Casinos in states where statutory law requires casinos to act affirmatively toward problem gamblers need to be concerned whether these statutes abrogate the common law and create a private
right of recovery on behalf of the players if the casino fails to follow statutory law. Mingie: In Canada, problem gambling litigation is a growing concern for governments and the gaming industry. There are a few key cases being followed closely in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario and they tend to centre around the question of whether casino operators and/ or the lottery corporations have a duty to warn gamblers about the possibility of gambling addiction. Several U.S. states have determined that there is no such duty but in Canada, that issue has not been definitively determined. The concern that Tony has articulated regarding abrogation of the common law is very much alive in Canada. Nova Scotia and Ontario, in particular, have gaming control regulations that require gaming operators to prohibit persons who appear to be addicted to gambling or who exhibit signs of having a gambling problem from playing games of chance. Drafting responsible gaming policies that take all of these issues into account has become increasingly important. In 2008, responsible gaming in Canada will become THE gaming issue of the year.
Privatization of lotteries There has been discussion in the U.S. about privatizing some state lotteries. Which states are considering this? How likely is it to occur in 2008, and how would it work? Cabot: Indiana, California, Illinois, Florida and Texas have explored the idea of privatization of the state lottery. Eventually some state will take the initiative, but it may be after 2008. The economy, however, will play a large role in timing. As states, and more important, incumbent politicians, face large budget shortages and pressures not to raise taxes, the large upfront fees from privatization of the lottery will become an attractive solution. Unless the privately run lottery is much more efficient, however, the state will be trading a short-term gain at the expense of long-term Canadian Gaming Businessâ€‚ |â€‚ 21
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe21 21
1/8/08 3:48:38 PM
revenue. The state’s role will change as well. Instead of being the lottery operator, it will assume the role of regulator. A state can rely, however, on the methodology of regulation employed in states like Nevada and New Jersey for casino gaming. For Canada, is privatization of lotteries likely to be considered in 2008? Mingie: I cannot see the privatization of lotteries happening anytime soon, if at all, in Canada. Despite the recent bad publicity regarding certain provincial lotteries, they are relatively well-run and generate significant revenue to provincial governments that help pay for a wide range of programs that Canadians value, including health care, sports and arts programs. The fear among Canadians would be that these programs would no longer receive gaming revenue under a private lottery regime.
Booming gaming market in Asia What will be the issues and opportunities for gaming operators in Asia in 2008? Cabot: The opportunities in Asia are quite substantial. The possibility of casino gambling is being considered in countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan. Each of these countries has a large population base and growing economies. Opportunities in these countries really depend on the approach taken by their respective governments. The largest casino operators prefer monopoly or oligopoly markets. If the governments decide that they will limit competition, then the only serious competitors for the franchises will be the multi-billion-dollar casino companies. If the governments favour competitive markets, then small and mid-sized gaming companies will have opportunities. My largest concern regarding Asia is the potential for scandal if a gaming company were found to have unlawfully influenced the selection process. Mingie: Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. – which is a major player in Macau – recently said that the world’s gaming industry is still in its infancy and I think he is right, especially with respect to Asia. Macau is already the world leader in gambling revenue and for each of the two most recent 22 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe22 22
fiscal quarters, its casino gambling revenue rose almost 50 per cent over the previous period a year earlier. Analysts predict that if casino gambling is legalized in Taiwan, its gaming revenue will surpass Macau. For markets that are opening to gaming, one of the issues for outside operators will be navigating an unfamiliar gaming regulatory regime, but the opportunities are tremendous for North American gaming operators and gaming service providers as well. American gaming companies are already positioning for increased market access in Asia, but I have not seen any movement from Canadian gaming operators.
Mobile gaming In March, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved operational rules for mobile gaming devices, after it determined that there was little risk that minors could access the devices. When will these be operational in Las Vegas casinos and why has it taken so long? Cabot: I suspect that mobile gaming will debut in Las Vegas casinos in 2008. As it should be, new gaming regulation in Nevada is quite methodical. I have not perceived any issues with the concept of mobile gaming, only that the Nevada regulators have been cautious to assure that they understand the technology or, more precisely, what the technology needs to accomplish to assure that the games are fair, honest, reliable and not subject to being manipulated. Is mobile gaming coming to Canada? Mingie: The type of mobile gaming devices that are being put into operation at casinos in Las Vegas are hand-held wireless blackjack, roulette, poker and slot games that allow casino guests to gamble from public areas such as by the pool, in lounges, restaurants and convention areas. In Canada, gaming regulators have said that, thus far, they have not been approached to consider mobile devices. Once the devices are up and running in Las Vegas, I expect that the lottery corporations will, for appropriate sites, consider introducing mobile gaming devices. Whether they are ever approved by Canadian regulators for use here will depend upon the extent to which they can be programmed to ensure that they cannot be
shared from one user to another and possibly end up in the hands of a minor.
Indian/First Nations gaming In the U.S., some Indian tribes are engaging in gaming operations outside the scope of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Will there be more of this in 2008? Cabot: A small number of tribes are beginning to engage in commercial gaming operations outside the scope of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This is illustrated by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, which runs Foxwoods, and the Mohegan tribe, which runs Mohegan Sun. Both tribes have begun to invest in gambling operations outside their home state of Connecticut in an attempt to attract people from all over the U.S. Among other projects, the Mohegans have invested in Pocono Downs horse racetrack in Pennsylvania while the Mashantucket Pequot tribe has won two gaming licenses in Philadelphia and is discussing development options for a recently acquired property on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, only a few tribes have the infrastructure and financial resources to engage in commercial gaming operations. For the majority of tribes, Indian casinos only provide enough revenue for basic services for their tribal members. Therefore, it is likely in 2008 that a select few tribes will continue to expand their commercial gaming operations across America and the bulk of Indian casinos will continue to focus solely on selfpreservation as opposed to expansion. In Canada, what developments do you expect in First Nations gaming in 2008? Mingie: In Ontario, a proposed settlement of the long-standing dispute with the government over the sharing of provincial gaming revenue failed to garner sufficient support and remains unresolved. It may be years before the dispute is finally resolved, but it is expected that the Ontario government will re-open negotiations with a revised settlement proposal by early summer of 2008. In Manitoba, First Nation groups are seeking the establishment of a First Nation gaming commission that would regulate gaming on Manitoba’s reserves, similar to the First Nation gaming regulatory body that exists Continued on page 24
1/8/08 3:48:38 PM
Canadian Gaming ad:Layout 1
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe23 23
1/8/08 3:48:39 PM
Outlook for 2008, continued from page 22 in Saskatchewan. In 2008, I expect that First Nation groups engaged in gaming operations will become more proactive in their desire to self-regulate, but I also expect that provincial governments will push back on that issue. In New Brunswick, the provincial government recently announced that it would allow one destination casino in the
province and that it would share gaming revenue with the province’s bands. However, New Brunswick’s bands are disappointed with the announcement and are pushing for their own casino or for a joint venture with a private operator. In the next few months, we will see this issue become more significant in New Brunswick.
Christine J. Mingie is a lawyer with Lang Michener LLP in Vancouver. She advises on gaming regulatory and compliance matters for a large public gaming company. Anthony Cabot is a partner in the Las Vegas office of Lewis and Roca LLP. His practice emphasis is on gaming law and Internet gaming, sweepstakes, and contests.
Gaming News Roundup, continued from page 10 Baymount’s subsidiary was found suitable by Ontario regulators to host OLG slots. The new Quinte Raceway will be the 18th – and final, under current plans – site in the province to have a racino. Great Canadian Gaming Corp. has sold its spa at River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, B.C., to a Vancouver chain called Absolute Spa Group. The Vancouver Sun, which reported the story Nov. 26, said Absolute runs eight other spas in the region, including three at the Vancouver airport. The price was not disclosed. What’s now called Absolute Spa at River Rock has 10,000 square feet with 13 treatment suites. The
paper quoted Absolute’s president as saying that all nine spa employees would remain at the facility. Also, Great Canadian announced Nov. 27 that it had agreed to purchase the assets of Ridge Meadows Bingo Association for $1 million. Ridge Meadows operates the Haney Bingo Plex, a 525-seat hall in downtown Maple Ridge, 45 kilometres east of Vancouver. In 2006, Great Canadian bought about 1.6 hectares in central Maple Ridge. The company hopes to develop a Community Gaming Centre in the town, which it said is growing rapidly. If it receives regulatory approvals for that,
Great Canadian would pay Ridge Meadows an additional amount of up to $1.25 million over 10 years. iView Systems, of Oakville, Ont., said Dakota Dunes Casino, which opened in August on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation near Saskatoon, has installed the company’s iTrak and Incident Reporting Risk Management Platform. iTrak, which is iView’s core product, “includes a daily log, briefing log, full incident reporting, subject profiling, personnel management, vehicle tracking, contacts and administration for comprehensive user, group and property security management.”
A Winning Philosophy.
The fundamental goal of the Canadian Gaming Association is to create balance in the public dialogue about gaming in Canada. Our members are the largest and most established gaming operators, suppliers and gaming equipment manufacturers in Canada, including provincial lottery corporations, casino and race track operators, and makers of slot machines and other related equipment. Our mandate is to create a better understanding of the gaming industry through education and advocacy. Visit our web site at www.canadiangaming.ca and find out more about who we are and what a CGA membership can do for you.
24 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe24 24
1/8/08 3:48:39 PM
RFID Chips and Server-Based Gaming By Albert Warson
Editor’s Note: The following report is based on sessions at the Canadian Gaming Summit that addressed new technology for the gaming floor. The technology related to those tiny but awfully smart anti-theft microchip tags attached to products on store shelves is surfacing in casinos. It is implanted in an electronic chip that doesn’t look or feel any different from the familiar ones that players fiddle with at table games. But try to steal one or slip a fake or doctored chip into the game and you will quickly discover the difference. During the Second World War and those critical few moments when pilots flying in bad weather or at night weren’t sure whether approaching aircraft were “friend or foe,” they transmitted a prearranged radio frequency identification (RFID) signal to let them know whether to wave or fire machine guns. A vastly more sophisticated version of RFID is inserted into casino chips, actually a radio frequency microchip and antenna, giving each chip a clone-proof, programmed electronic identity at the point of its manufacture and entered into the casino database, until the chips are trashed many years later. Each one can be identified wherever it is in the casino – the vaults, cages, table trays or redemption windows. They can be programmed to identify the player holding them and how much the player is betting. “RFID microchips implanted into the chips allow casinos to inspect and validate them on delivery, monitor, track and trace inventories and distinguish them
from copies. It also creates electronic manifests for [chip] transfers between casinos,” explained Rolland Steil, senior product manager of Progressive Gaming International (PGI), a Las Vegas company that supplies integrated casino and jackpot management software. Steil told a session of the Canadian Gaming Summit in Toronto in April that “there is also a table model [with optical technology] that allows operators to track players’ average bets, over time or per game, after they log in, buy in and start playing, whether a customer is betting $100 on an average per hand or $5.” It all happens at warp speed. One “interrogator” can read as many as 500 chips a second, whether in a stack of 40 or spread out in roulette or in a baccarat game. An RFID-enabled workplace also warns casinos when someone tries to pass off counterfeit chips in a game, or tries to cash them, Steil added. “There will always be cheaters. We’re trying to make it more difficult for them.” Is there any risk of invasion of privacy, even though these new chips aren’t the same as bar codes, which capture more general information about customers? Steil said the gaming-chip scanning only works within the casino or within a few feet outside of it. Then it loses its power, and the data doesn’t stray outside of management’s control. How many RFID chips would a large casino buy at one time? Up to 2 million, he replied, and at a cost of less than $2 per chip. But they are expected to last as long as 20 years.
Canadian Gaming Business | 25
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe25 25
1/8/08 3:48:58 PM
In Macau, Galaxy StarWorld and Wynn Hotel and Resort casinos use this chip-authentication system. Readers installed at those casinos transmit identifying numbers of RFID-enabled casino chips when players purchase them, by way of an Ethernet or USB connection to a database managed by PGI, creating an electronic record of every chip in play. When the player cashes in chips, the interrogator catches the ID numbers, verifying that the chips are legitimate and worth as much as the customer claims. Once new technologies prove successful, they tend to catch on and RFID-enabled casino chips are no exception. "You'll see it start to take off in the next year to two years, and then become widely popular in the next four- to six-year time frame," predicted David Lopez, vice president of product development for Shuffle Master, a Las Vegas company developing the technology for casinos.
Downloadable and server-based gaming Downloadable and server-based gaming was the subject of another panel at the Toronto gaming summit. Glen Sawhill, vice-president of slot operations at Casino Windsor, defined downloadable as sending the game content to the slot machine, where the game code becomes embedded. With true server-based gaming, he said, the game and results occur on a server and are sent out to the slot machine and displayed. A crucial element of slots, the random number generator -- which generates a sequence of numbers or symbols without any discernible pattern -- also resides on a central server. At present, the RNG resides in each slot machine. The costs of earlier technological changes -bill validators, ticketing systems and bonusing systems -- were, and still are, justified, Sawhill said, because they improve service, create additional operational efficiencies and increase revenue for casinos. Downloadable, server-based gaming has been operating in the United Kingdom for six years and is being evaluated in North America, “although it is difficult to assess any return on investment as most current installations are limited in number, and under field trials or in test banks,” he said. Most major manufacturers have still not committed to any final price structures for their
server-based systems, as they evaluate how to package and incorporate them onto the gaming floor. Thus, Sawhill said, no one is sure when this technology will have a large-scale introduction at North American casinos. Meanwhile, the cost of replacing slot machines and re-wiring gaming floors “has many operators taking a step back to further evaluate this new technology, and looking at how the benefits will outweigh the costs.” Sawhill outlined some of the operator benefits of International Game Technology’s downloadable and server-based systems: • Reducing lost revenue normally experienced when an older game declines and can be quickly replaced by popular new themes. • Real-time player marketing, such as offering qualified players concert tickets, meal comps, or other incentives. • Increasing revenue by easily changing games to match player demographics on the floor – for example, possibly offering video poker for weekday players and video slots for weekend players. • Manufacturers of bill validators are upgrading their products for server-based environments. And for the players: • They can play the games they want at any location without moving from machine to machine. • Games can be selected for players based on their profile. • Players can invite other players on the floor to participate in a game. • “The true power of server-based gaming lies in its ability to transform gaming machines into devices for tracking player information and printing promotional information,” Sawhill said. Also, regulators want to ensure that servers cannot be tampered with and want to evaluate how server-based environments affect players’ reactions. Requirements are in fact being drafted by regulators so that when content is changed, the games remain idle for a certain period before they can be played again.
Servers will facilitate tournament play Within the next five years, true server-based gaming will allow a casino operator to run tournaments on a number of machines from an office in the same building. Moreover, players
will be able to start a game in one casino and keep playing it on other machines in one or more casinos until it’s over. All that depends on regulatory approval, but the sophistication of the technology is taking it in that direction, fellow panelist Steve Sutherland, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Konami Gaming, based in Las Vegas, predicted in an interview with Canadian Gaming Business. At present, players are tied to the games operators offer and are restricted by the amount of memory in the machine. Server-based gaming will give players maximum choice, Sutherland said. “In a true server-based environment,” he said, “where you have very high-end servers, an entire game library can be available at any time.” If a casino wants to run a tournament on its machines, it can reconfigure the game content on the floor to a tournament mode. But rather than hauling machines out of a warehouse or have a manufacturer provide them, and then physically converting every machine to the tournament program, in a downloadable environment the casino can readily download tournament games to specific machines on the floor, Sutherland said. “When the tournament is over, the operator can turn the machines back, so there are significant labour savings. That will be the first iteration, but ultimately with server-based gaming you can also start driving slot and table game accounting and patron tracking. “Systems and games will come much closer together, subject to regulatory approval,” he said. That convergence will make it be possible for the system to recall exactly what stage a patron was at in playing at one casino and follow them when they go to another casino. “The system recalls the game and the stage they were at, and whether it was a bonus round or a pay table,” Sutherland said. “When they insert their card, the game will come up instantaneously.” Patrons will benefit from these advances, but operators will as well. “If it’s not a benefit to customers, it won’t be a benefit to operators,” he said. “The games have to attract patrons, otherwise they have no value.” Albert Warson is a freelance writer based in Toronto.
26 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe26 26
1/8/08 3:48:59 PM
Canadian Gaming Education Forum
In partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno April 28-29, 2008 - Canadian Gaming Summit – Montreal, Quebec • Integrating Diversity into the Business of Gaming (Bilingual Format for Discussion) June 9-12, 2008 - Canadian Gaming Education Forum – Winnipeg Manitoba • Session A: Project Management for the Gaming Industry • Session B: Financial Accounting, Auditing and Analysis
For more information & to register, please contact Matt Eldridge at: The Canadian Gaming Centre of Excellence (204) 957-2504 Ext. 8425 or e-mail: email@example.com www.gamingcentreofexcellence.ca Canadian Gaming Business | 27
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe27 27
1/8/08 3:49:00 PM
Media Buying and Planning for the Casino Industry By Joe Witterschein
An old adage says “when it comes to advertising half of it works for you and half of it doesn’t. You just never really know which half.” This pessimistic definition may be true for many consumer industries, but should never be applied to the casino industry. Today’s gaming operators, regardless of the size of the property, are knee deep in more data then most know what to do with. Customers hand over their names, addresses, birth dates, anniversaries and lots of other information when they fill out your players’ club application or check in to your hotel. The players with the longest history on property along with those who are your highest-rated players all have or should have relationships with your hosts. You do know who your customers are. As it relates to advertising and media, you have a running head start. But do you know what to do with that information? Effective advertising, which at its roots is supported by solid media planning
and intelligent media buying, should be built around this tremendous amount of information you are already sitting on. But you need more. Many will agree that “cost-effective” advertising is about eliminating waste, that percentage of advertising that you pay for which doesn’t work. Chances are you’ve been attempting to advertise your property, promotions, casino games and hotel to the wrong people. Knowing who the gamers are and where they are should be your starting point. The first step to get your media spend in line with the reality of who your customers are is to get your arms around any and all internal databases which your property controls. The goal is to bring to life -- by using appropriate and available software mapping tools -- all of that hidden information inside those databases by creating a virtual map of what your customers look like, where they
live, what they watch, read and listen to. This mapping helps to determine realistic and achievable geographic targets towards which your advertising should be focused. An example of a failure to do this involved an expanding Wisconsin casino property that assumed that the greater Chicago metro area was an attractive market for it. Pure population numbers and readily available demographic information clearly suggested that this must be so. The distance to the property from most of the Chicago market was less then a three-hour drive. Surely, the casino marketers thought, all the ingredients existed for tremendous support and customer development. But the Chicago area is not an inexpensive market to advertise in. Broadcast, print and billboard costs are as high as any metro area in the U.S. The casino paid dearly for countless radio spots, prime billboard locations and four-colour Sunday newspaper ad inserts.
28 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe28 28
1/8/08 3:49:08 PM
This operator didn’t bother to calculate the abundance of other entertainment options available to the Chicago adult population, let alone other casino properties that had already invested much more time and money in building brand awareness within this market. You see, people in Illinois don’t generally feel compelled to cross the state line and travel into Wisconsin. Call it the Bears vs. Packers mentality. Sure, if the Wisconsin casino had something that was truly unique and offered to the gamer an abundance of amenities not easily found elsewhere, it might have been on to something. But that was not the case. The casino had to sign multi-year contracts for some of the Chicago billboard locations and prime radio spots. This advertising campaign became a very expensive lesson learned, with a negative impact to the bottom line thrown in for good measure. It is critical that as an operator you believe in and conduct in-depth media research that will form the foundation for sound media planning; know that you must apply a variety of research tools to accurately adhere to brand management, engage in focus group development and execution, survey design and project management; and measure player and guest satisfaction. All of this is done with an eye towards defining your key target audience, so that all of your advertising works for you. Adhering to a disciplined and well thought-out approach to the “who and why” of media buying can result in significant ad cost savings. Don’t be afraid to engage an external firm that looks at all of the market potential and is not influenced by ad hoc, seatof-the-pants perceptions which can lead to a mistake like the Wisconsin casino made in Chicago. The media team should consist of destination-marketing experts specializing in media/market research, planning and buying. They should have the ability to build relationships, and negotiate and monitor your media buys to ensure that each dollar is spent wisely. An experienced media planner leads its clients through the complex and rapidly changing media landscape. Research skills are essential to identify the right target, define specific media usage patterns and detail the competitive setting. Media planning takes research, and combines it with industry insights and goals from the marketing plan to: • Set media objectives • Define the communication strategy • Recommend the ideal mix • Develop budget options and specific tactical recommendations Insist that the media buyers work closely with the media planners. Media buyers must understand the fundamentals of strategic planning in order to effectively negotiate and implement a plan. At minimum a professional media buyer will do the following: • Purchase your media at the lowest cost possible • Garner the highest value in the marketplace • Ensure that media runs accurately and timely • Deliver your message to the right audience As you can see, there is more to media services then meets the eye. The best way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your advertising budget is to align yourself with an experienced, casino-industry-focused firm that understands the who, what and where of your customers. You can’t afford anything less. Chicago prices or not.
Joe Witterschein, firstname.lastname@example.org, is vice-president of marketing services of The Innovation Group in Minneapolis.
Added Security, Complete Solution All in One Card
1.800.387.9794 • www.ca-gi-de.com
Canadian Gaming Business | 29
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe29 29
1/8/08 3:49:15 PM
Lottery and Gaming Corporation Highlights The following summaries of news and activities were submitted by the provincial lottery and gaming corporations. Look for reports from other provinces in the March issue. Atlantic Lottery Corp. October and November were busy months for Atlantic Lottery’s responsible gambling education initiatives, particularly for educating youth and young adults. With television coverage of celebrity poker tournaments, easy accessibility to Internet gambling sites, and the popularity of lotteries and casinos, young people are exposed to multiple gambling messages. And while high school and university students receive prevention and awareness warnings on a variety of other topics, they seldom receive messages about the potential risks of gambling. To help get that word out, Atlantic Lottery renewed its partnership with the Responsible Gambling Council, sponsoring and helping to coordinate two of the Council’s programs: house of cards and Know the Score. Atlantic Lottery and the Responsible Gambling Council presented house of cards to more than 4,900 high school students in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. The presentation was specifically created to increase awareness of problem gambling behaviours and to challenge students to communicate with their peers about the risks. Using language and situations that students can relate to, house of cards was well-received by students and school administrators. Young adults aged 19 to 24 are the demographic found to be the most susceptible to developing a gambling problem. That’s why Atlantic Lottery also chose to sponsor Know the Score as a pilot project at two New Brunswick universities this year. Know the Score is an interactive
problem-gambling awareness program that engages students in an entertaining and informative way. The Responsible Gambling Council uses the program to dispel some of the common myths about gambling, share information about problem-gambling warning signs, suggest ways to limit risk, and tell students where to find help. As an added incentive, students who fill out a questionnaire and discuss their answers with peer helpers are eligible to win a $1,500 scholarship, as well as gift cards from local restaurants and stores. As Atlantic Lottery wrapped up both of these programs, it began gearing up for its annual campaign to dissuade adults from purchasing lottery tickets for their children or other minors. Atlantic Lottery has heard from some adolescents that they have received lottery tickets as gifts, particularly during the holiday season. That’s why Atlantic Lottery has partnered again this year with the McGill University International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours to get the message out. Atlantic Lottery will launch a media campaign during December that includes media pitches, a news release and letters to the editor. For Atlantic Lottery, the message is clear – while lottery tickets can be fun gifts for adults, they are never appropriate for children and teens.
Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. Building an Informed Player Base in Nova Scotia NSGC is working to create one of the most socially responsible gaming environments
in the world. By delivering the best business results while balancing economic sustainability and social responsibility, NSGC continues to inform Nova Scotians through critical research and responsible gambling programs. Highlights include: Informed Player Choice System (IPCS) On Nov. 19, NSGC became the first jurisdiction in the world to announce it was moving forward to implement an Informed Player Choice System (IPCS) for Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) across Nova Scotia. The decision comes after two years of groundbreaking research on the impact of adding interactive responsible gambling features to VLTs in Nova Scotia. Results by three independent researchers, released in February 2007, found the features helped players spend less, exercise more control and make better informed decisions. NSGC then followed through with a request for proposal, inviting technology suppliers in the gaming sector to propose technology solutions for the rollout of an IPCS. Selected to lead the implementation of the IPCS is Techlink Entertainment Inc., a company located in Sydney, N.S. Techlink has experience in developing and manufacturing gaming technologies. The IPCS is expected to be implemented over 18 months and will occur in a phased approach, resulting in real-time, interactive player information tools being available for all video lottery players in Nova Scotia. “By empowering Nova Scotia video lottery players with real-time, interactive and personalized information about their play, we are helping them make more informed decisions, which will move us closer to
30 | December 2007
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe30 30
1/8/08 3:49:15 PM
Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2007 No matter what games they play, Nova Scotians know that if they’re going to gamble, they’re going to gamble responsibly. During the first week of October, NSGC continued to fulfill its commitment to responsible gambling by hosting its sixth annual Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, bringing responsible gambling messages to communities across Nova Scotia. Highlights of the week included a responsible gambling conference where more than 260 participants learned from world-renowned gaming and social responsibility experts; interactive community education displays and community consultation sessions, reaching more than 600 people; and a new responsible gambling awareness program called “The Responsible Gambler.” The events were part of NSGC ’s commitment to building a socially responsible gaming industry in Nova Scotia.
NAVIGATE WITH MEI.
With technology advancing so rapidly, new products and services are constantly entering the market. At MEI, we provide the right products, tools, knowledge and service you need to make the right choice for your casino. MEI EASITRAX® Announcing our newest technology, providing a simple, easy-to-use set of tools to manage the cash from your games to your softcount room. MEI CASHFLOW® The first-class bill acceptor every casino needs to make more money, provide unrivaled security and increase player experience. MEI CASHFLOW® STS The premium support and test system that lets you update your field base, monitor performance and run diagnostics at an unmatched speed. To learn more or arrange a demonstration, please contact an MEI representative at 1-800-345-8215 or NavigateICE@meigroup.com. Visit us at Stand #3930 during ICE or Stand #U2334 during ATEI. MEI is the only way to the newest technology and top-notch service you can count on.
www.meigroup.com MEI is ISO 9001:2000 certified.
C E R T I F I CA EM TI
An investment of $15 million at the Casino de Charlevoix During the coming months, the Casino de Charlevoix and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu Hotel will be undergoing a makeover. Calling for an investment of $15 million, the bulk of the
ON A QUEST TO MAKE MORE MONEY?
Let the Ludoplex adventure begin! Oct. 25 saw the official inauguration of Ludoplex Trois-Rivières, while Ludoplex Québec opened its doors on Dec. 6. The new Ludoplex entertainment concept has been designed to offer an adult clientele an attractive blend of gaming, animation and food and beverage services. The gaming centres
feature a lively, trendy and colourful atmosphere that is also both friendly and secure. Ludoplex Trois-Rivières offers 200 gaming positions, a 140-seat restaurant, a 60-seat central bar, a private hall able to accommodate up to 50 people, as well as welcoming terraces with a capacity of about 150. The Ludoplex in Québec City has 335 gaming positions, a 185seat restaurant, a 75-seat central bar, a private hall that can host up to 50 people, and terraces with a capacity of some 200. With the creation of the Ludoplexes, LotoQuébec is pursuing the reconfiguration of its video lottery terminal (VLT) network as outlined in its 2004-2007 Development Plan. Committed not to increase its overall game offerings, the Corporation withdrew 62 sites and 171 VLTs from the Trois-Rivières and Québec City network in December 2007. Moreover, Loto-Québec has instituted a number of control and awareness measures aimed at promoting the adoption of healthy gaming behaviour. “In so doing, our clientele can enjoy a safe and closely monitored environment that encourages a responsible approach to playing,” underlines Alain Cousineau, president and CEO of the Corporation. Loto-Québec is also dedicated to designing, building and operating the Ludoplex with total respect for its sustainable development objectives. In that regard, the Société des salons de jeux du Québec (SSJQ) is seeking to obtain the Canada Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation. The Ludoplexes contribute significantly to the economic development of their respective regions. With an initial investment of more than $30 million for each establishment, the gaming centres generate numerous jobs in the Québec City and Trois-Rivières areas as well. Following the opening of these two Ludoplex, Loto-Québec is planning to establish two others — one in the Versant Soleil sector of the MontTremblant resort, and the other on the northern fringe of Montréal to be located adjacent to a hippodrome.
creating the most informed player base in the world,” says Marie Mullally, president and CEO of NSGC.
:2 0 0 0
©2007 MEI. All rights reserved.
Canadian Gaming Business | 31
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe31 31
1/8/08 3:49:19 PM
work will be focused on improving the Casino’s entertainment offerings. The Casino de Charlevoix is devoting $12 million to redevelopment work, including the addition of a covered corridor leading to the bus stop, an appropriate reception area for groups, and a 150-seat show bar. Furthermore, 100 new positions will be added in its gaming area, along with a poker room and another room for its high-limit patrons. These projects are scheduled for completion in June 2008. Our restaurants continuously make the grade! For the eighth consecutive year, the Casino du Lac-Leamy’s Le Baccara Restaurant and the Casino de Montréal’s Nuances received the prestigious Five Diamond rating from the American and Canadian Automobile Associations (AAA/CAA).
Loto-Québec Ludoplex – l’aventure commence! L’inauguration du Ludoplex Trois-Rivières a eu lieu le 25 octobre dernier alors que celle du Ludoplex Québec s’est tenue le 6 décembre. Ce nouveau concept de divertissement offre à sa clientèle adulte une heureuse combinaison de jeu, d’animation et de restauration. L’atmosphère y est animée, branchée, colorée, conviviale et sécuritaire. Le Ludoplex Trois-Rivières compte 200 places de jeu, un restaurant de 140 places, un bar central de 60 places, un salon privé pouvant accueillir jusqu’à 50 personnes et des terrasses avec une capacité d’accueil de quelque 150 personnes. Pour sa part, celui de Québec offre 335 places de jeu, un restaurant de 185 places, un bar central de 75 places, un salon privé pouvant accueillir jusqu’à 50 personnes et des terrasses avec une capacité d’accueil de quelque 200 personnes. Avec la création des Ludoplex, Loto-Québec poursuit la reconfiguration de son réseau d’appareils de loterie vidéo (ALV) prévue dans son plan de développement 2004-2007. Dans le but de ne pas augmenter l’offre de jeu, LotoQuébec a fermé 62 sites et a retiré 171 appareils de loterie vidéo du réseau de Trois-Rivières et de la ville de Québec en décembre 2007. De plus, Loto-Québec a mis de l’avant de nombreuses mesures de contrôle et de
sensibilisation en vue de favoriser l’adoption de comportements de jeu sains. « La clientèle bénéficie d’un environnement sécuritaire et contrôlé favorisant une approche responsable du jeu », affirme M. Alain Cousineau, président et chef de la direction de Loto-Québec. Loto-Québec s’est engagée à concevoir, construire et exploiter les Ludoplex dans le respect de ses objectifs de développement durable. À cet effet, la Société des salons de jeux du Québec (SSJQ) souhaite obtenir l’accréditation LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) du Conseil du développement durable du Canada. Les Ludoplex contribuent au développement économique de leur région respective. Avec un investissement initial de plus de 30 millions de dollars pour chacun des établissements, les Ludoplex génèrent de nombreux emplois dans la région de Québec et de Trois-Rivières. Après l’ouverture de ces deux salons de jeux, Loto-Québec prévoit l’inauguration de deux autres Ludoplex, l’un sur le Versant Soleil de Station Mont-Tremblant et l’autre dans la couronne nord de Montréal, lequel sera jumelé à un hippodrome. Investissement de 15 millions de dollars au Casino de Charlevoix Au cours des mois à venir, le Casino de Charlevoix ainsi que l’hôtel Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu subiront une cure de rajeunissement. Ces travaux, qui nécessiteront un investissement de 15 millions de dollars, bonifieront notamment l’offre de divertissement du Casino. Le Casino de Charlevoix prévoit consacrer 12 millions de dollars à des travaux de réaménagement, soit l’ajout d’un corridor protégé menant au débarcadère d’autobus, d’une aire d’accueil adéquate pour les groupes et d’un bar-spectacle de 150 places. Du côté des aires de jeu, un salon de poker et un salon pour la clientèle des hautes mises seront offerts et 100 places de jeu seront ajoutées Les travaux se termineront en juin 2008. Nos restaurants ont toujours la cote! Pour une huitième année consécutive, les restaurants Le Baccara, du Casino du Lac-Leamy, et Nuances, du Casino de Montréal, ont obtenu la cote 5 Diamants, prestigieuse distinction
décernée par les associations automobiles américaine et canadienne (AAA/CAA).
OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming) Lottery - Quest For Gold In October, OLG launched the third edition of Quest For Gold, Ontario’s own lottery to raise money for amateur athletes. All proceeds from Quest For Gold support amateur athletes in Ontario through direct athlete assistance, enhanced coaching, and enhanced training and competitive opportunities. The funds raised will also be used to support ACTIVE 2010 (Ontario’s Healthier Ontarians strategy) and Canadian Sports Policy. Quest For Gold has generated more than $12.9 million, assisting approximately 1,400 high-performing athletes. The new winter edition of $20 Quest For Gold offers four top prizes of $1 million and overall odds of winning any prize of 1 in 3. Prize Integrity Program – update OLG continues to strengthen public confidence in Ontario’s lottery system with the November launch of its latest series of new prize integrity initiatives: • All insider and suspicious lottery wins will be investigated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) effective Jan. 1, when AGCO becomes OLG’s lottery regulator. • In the new year, a news release announcing every insider win over $10,000 will be issued once the investigation is complete, with payment of the prize then held for 30 days to allow anyone with concerns about the win an opportunity to come forward. • As of January 28, it will be mandatory for customers to sign all tickets before they are validated at a retail location. • Retailers are now obligated to return ALL original tickets to the customer after validating them. • New lottery terminal jingles and voice-over messages clearly advising customers if their ticket is a winner or not a winner will be in place early in 2008. OLG has completed more than 80 per cent of the 160 recommendations by Ontario’s Ombudsman and independent audit firm KPMG, and continues to make significant progress on the other items.
32 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe32 32
1/8/08 3:49:19 PM
N e w p r o d u c t s d i s p l ay e d at t h e 2 0 0 7 G 2 E Bingo Nights Jumbo Jackpots™ 5-Reel 20 Line
AC Coin & Slot®
Bingo Nights™ is back with a 20 line max configurable paytable. The bonus round begins when three Bingo Nights symbols appear on any played payline. During the bonus round, balls in the tumbler begin to spin to a rendition of the hit “Boogie Nights”. A Bingo card is displayed on the screen while Bingo balls in the top box are revealed to the player. Bingo balls will continue to be randomly selected and displayed until the bingo card has a winning outcome. Mixing the popularity of Bingo with 5-reel excitement and a 20 line max configurable paytable, Bingo Nights Jumbo Jackpots will have your players calling Bingo! For more information contact your AC Coin & Slot® sales representative or visit www.ac-coin.com. AC Coin & Slot®, Mega Bonus Slots™ and Bingo Nights Jumbo Jackpots™ are trademarks of AC Coin & Slot. IGT® and Double Diamond® are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of IGT in the United States and/or other countries. “BOOGIE NIGHTS” by ROD TEMPERTON. ©1976 RODSONGS. ADMINISTERED BY ALMO MUSIC CORP./ASCAP. Copyright renewed. Used by Permission – All Rights Reserved. AC Coin & Slot, 800-284-7568, www.ac-coin.com
Aristocrat The power and attraction of a three level progressive jackpot, specially designed graphic sequences running in themed signage and LCD top boxes combined with high performing Aristocrat games has added a new and exciting dimension to gaming floors. Xtreme Mystery comes with a growing number of themes including Gold Fever, Prosperity, Inca Fortune, Golden Pyramids, and Hollywood Dreams. With a variety of jackpot configurations, Xtreme Mystery introduces the ability to effectively reward different player segments and create a variety of hot spots on your gaming floor. For more information on this exciting new product contact your Aristocrat Account Executive At 1-800-748-4156 or 702-270-1000 www.aristocratgaming.comX
TournaMaker™ Bally Technologies, Inc. Bally will soon expand the tournaments concept to the slot machine itself with TournaMaker™, a revolutionary technology that promises to turn a casino’s regular GameMaker® HD™ slots into “roped-off” tournament machines in a matter of minutes. The Tournament Session Server will link the gaming machine and the Tournament and Player Management Server, thus providing all tournament services to the gaming machine during tournament play. These services include machine conversion from conventional to tournament mode, player enrollment, tournament game play enabling and leader-board data distribution to the gaming machines and overhead signage. Bally Technologies, Inc. 6601 South Bermuda Road, Las Vegas, Nev. 89119 Tel: 702.584.7700; Fax: 702.584.7701 sales@BallyTech.com • www.BallyTech.com
Gary Platt Manufacturing A proven leader in the casino seating industry, Gary Platt Manufacturing has brought a new level of style and functionality to its signature X-Tended Play Seating® with the introduction of the Riva seat. As with all Gary Platt X-Tended Play Seating®, the Riva is designed to maximize time on device through features including molded high-density foam, ergonomic lumbar support, waterfall seat design and steel spring back support. Textile seams are weltless triple stitch seams, which add longer life to the seat back and cushion. The Riva adds style and will give players hours of comfort. Gary Platt Manufacturing offers seating for slots, table games and poker. For more information, please visit www.garyplatt.com or call 800.969.0999.
Canadian Gaming Business | 33
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe33 33
1/8/08 3:49:24 PM
N e w p r o d u c t s d i s p l ay e d at t h e 2 0 0 7 G 2 E Easy Glide Gasser Chair Company Gasser Chair Company has engineered the new “Easy Glide” feature as an option on its most popular disc base. A unique system of precision, nylon glides (patent pending) assist in the forward and aft directional movement of the seating. This feature is particularly beneficial when Gasser’s “Player’s Choice” ergonomic seating is selected. There are two primary reasons that seating with a disc base can be difficult to move: its weight and its circular shape. A disc base is usually heavier that a typical four-leg base because of its mass. Although the weight aspect will usually make seating more stable, it will also make it more difficult to move. Add the circular shape to this weight factor and, as seating is pulled away from a machine, it will begin to tip and roll to the right or left, making it difficult to control. Gasser Chair’s “Easy Glide” feature solves these problems, giving the operator slot seating that is both stable and easy to move. Also, the popularity of an adjustable height (gas lift) seat control, which requires a center column for mounting, makes the disc base a natural choice for some. For more information contact Chris Dravis, Gaming Market Manager, at 800-323-2234, email@example.com
Lotto and Gaming Card
Giesecke & Devrient
Lottery players can use the Giesecke & Devrient Lotto and Gaming Card to access any participating lottery or gaming online portal. The card or stick includes a lottery identification process using local requirements to prove a player has reached the age of majority. Identification and authentication provide the basis for robust protection of young people when using Internet services. Players just insert the card or stick into their computer’s USB port and enter their PIN number. The PC is then automatically configured to read the product. Both card and stick products do not require any special knowledge of computers, while still offering an important contribution to the security of any online gaming system. Sticks and cards can easily be distributed at participating lottery locations or online. The Internet Smart Card is the smallest Web based product currently available worldwide, and can be used on all standard browsers. Contact Paul Mazzeo, Strategic Government Solutions, 905 946 2809 firstname.lastname@example.org
EBay™ video slots game IGT Canada There’s instant brand recognition and an “I HAVE to play THAT game!” reaction when players see the eBay™ Video Slots game. Five enormous, 40-inch, big screen reels establish this game’s powerful presence, and serve to intensify the excitement of the eBay™ Group Play Free Spins Bonus. Banked in groups of five machines, the screens and machines combine to create the appearance of one incredible, oversized slot machine. To be eligible for the community bonus, the player must bet the maximum number of lines or ways available, plus make a side bet of 25 credits times the line bet or multiplier. The player can play any line bet or bet multiplier and still be eligible for the bonus, but the larger the wager, the larger the potential rewards. For more information, contact IGT Canada at 506 858 8049 or visit us on-line at www.igt.com.
Futurelogic printers Royal Flush Gaming Ltd. Coupon Solution Flexible and Feature - rich system that turns ordinary slot tickets into the colourful, eye catching coupons and helps casino marketing departments deliver real time targeted promotions at the game. From a desktop PC, promotions can be customized using a wide range of pre set triggers including date, time of date, birthday incentives, length of play, frequency of issue, wagering activity and other user-definable criteria. After the coupon is designed and the campaign defined, the database can be uploaded to the promotional server from here. The Campaign is then downloaded to specific slot equipment with a Gen2 Universal printer throughout the Casino via GSA’s open standard protocols (S2S, G2S and GDS). The promotional server can be used to track monitor and improve effectiveness of Campaigns. This simple secure system approach ensures that the casino servers are in full control of all communications with the printer and the cash out tickets. Daniel LaForme Cell: 289-349-5354, Email: email@example.com, Telephone: 1-877-877-9612 Mark LaForme Cell: 905-929-8871, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 1-877-877-9612
Luminar & Game Layouts TCSJOHNHUXLEY TCSJOHNHUXLEY are moving to keep pace with demand for durable, high quality table layouts by opening its new Las Vegas print facility. Servicing North America, Canada and Latin America, this new department offers full production services with a dedicated team of design and print technicians that create layouts to match any décor or special theme from a traditional look to full graphic textures, gradients, blends and photographic quality true-to-life images. Another recent innovation taking casinos by storm is the revolutionary LuminAR - the most eye-catching way to add excitement to any gaming floor by illuminating the winning sections through the layout using high intensity LED’s. LuminAR makes the game of Roulette easier to follow with ‘place your bets’, ‘finish betting’ and ‘no more bets’, plus all winning sections displayed more predominantly. With enhanced visibility of winning sections, surveillance is improved, whilst novice players can easily distinguish which bets have been won. Brad Broderick - VP of Sales (North America) e: email@example.com Jillian Rennie - Business Development Manager e: firstname.lastname@example.org TCSJOHNHUXLEY Canada 115 Collier Street, Barrie, Ontario L4M 1H2 CANADA Tel: +1 705 722 9838 34 | December 2007/January 2008
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe34 34
1/8/08 3:49:44 PM
Mark your calendar today! April 29 – May 1, 2008 Palais des Congres, Montreal, Quebec
Photo courtesy of Tourism Montréal, Stéphan Poulin
“Where the Canadian Gaming Industry Meets”
Welcome to the 12th Annual Canadian Gaming Summit
The Canadian Gaming Summit is the only conference and trade show in Canada that serves the Canadian Gaming Industry. Summit attendees are from all gaming sectors, disciplines and regions within Canada and beyond. Attendees include Senior Gaming Executives from Provincial Lotteries, Casinos and Race Tracks, First Nations, Slot and Table Games, Procurement, Operations, Entertainment, Marketing, Security, Charitable Gaming/Bingo, HR, Finance and Investment, Legal and Regulatory, F&B and more. Beyond the broad spectrum of our traditional Gaming Summit educational sessions we are proud to announce a series of education programs that will add significant depth and appeal to the show. The new and enhanced programs planned for 2008 include: • Standardbred Wagering Conference
• Food & Beverage
• Legal & Regulatory Program
• Facility Services & Management
• Casino Security Program
• Property Operations
• Charitable Gaming Conference
• Finance & Investment
For information on exhibiting or sponsoring, please contact Phil Soltys 416-512-8186 ext. 246
For additional conference details or to register, visit:
Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe35 35
1/8/08 3:49:58 PM
Introducing New RED HOT Bonusing Games. Sparky’s Red Hot Jackpots™ 3-Reel and 5-Reel all new bonus game mixes mechanical bonusing and 3-D high definition computer generated animation. Plays the rocking soul hit “FIRE”, with an enhanced sound system that lets players feel the music.
Expect more from your lease games! CONTACT YOUR AC COIN REPRESENTATIVE TODAY ATLANTIC CITY: (800) 284-7568
LAS VEGAS: (888) 291-0053
Artwork, descriptions, gameplay, photographs and other product details are subject to change. AC Coin & Slot®, Sparky’s Red Hot Jackpots™ and Mega Bonus Slots™ are trademarks of AC Coin & Slot. IGT®, the IGT® logo, Double Diamond® and S-2000® are trademarks or registered trademarks of IGT® in the United States and/or other countries. “FIRE” (Willie Beck, James L. Williams, Marshall Jones, Leroy Bonner, Marvin R Pierce, Ralph Middlebrooks, Clarence Satchell). © 1974 (Renewed) Rick’s Music, Inc. (BMI) and Segundo Suenos Music (BMI) administered by Bug. All Rights on behalf of Rick’s Music, Inc. Administered by Rightsong Music, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Performed by the Ohio Players. (P) 1974 the Island Def Jam Music Group Courtesy of the Island Def Jam Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises.
Sparky's_CanadianGaming_FP_AD.in1 Canadian Gaming magazine_Decembe361 36
7/31/07 1:47:38PM PM 1/8/08 3:50:09