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The greatest gaming show on earth – but for how long?
Casino International reports back from Las Vegas on what's hot from one
of the most exciting exhibitions on the planet
2E Las Vegas is still a show to be reckoned
tool that could prove priceless to an operator.
with, the biggest out there – but with the Matt Muta, Microsoft's Global Managing Director,
rise and rise of ICE, SAGSE growing in Hospitality explains: "I had a meeting in Las Vegas
power every year and Reed's own G2E about four and a half years ago, with 9 CIOs sitting
Asia, one has to wonder if G2E's days as around a table. Their call to action was nothing more
the international show of choice are numbered. The than giving us a motivational speech to get involved
date change of two shows back has left it closer to within this space – mainly because 75+ per cent
ICE's January dates, which makes it less attractive for providers in this space build on our platform, so they
non-us exhibitors and guests. But, at the end of the look at us and see all the things we're doing with out-of-
day, the show is in Las Vegas, the spiritual heart of the-box integration with our suite of products like .net.
gambling, and it's a homecoming for so much of our So they took a leap of faith and said if you're doing that
industry. With that in mind, G2E Las Vegas will never with your own stuff, and these guys are building on
die, though its significance to international business your platform, why can't you work with your partners to
may dwindle. It's a great place to visit, and unique as make a more integrated experience for us?
an attraction worldwide – and the reinvention of the "Our customers want integration, where we provide
city as a family-friendly destination is something we a platform which allows customers to slowly or
can all learn from. quickly migrate from their legacy applications and
Every stand seemed to have something new and openly embrace new technology. The end result of
exciting and, while there was not such arresting that is a better, heightened guest experience which
technology as G2E 2006, there were more subtle from an operations standpoint really means there's
developments that will have lasting impact on more return for me from an incremental volume
gameplay and the gaming experience. standpoint.
Microsoft announced their Business Intelligence
[BI] system with private tours through their fictional
casino in one of the convention centre's meeting
rooms. The presentation was both exhaustive and
fascinating, and prompted the question: "Why has
no-one done this before?"
The idea is simple – give staff at a casino resort
one interface to work in across the location. This is
done by BI acting as an 'umbrella', speaking to
different software already in use within the
organisation and acting as a hub for all of the
information this software gathers. This means that
when a guest checks in to the hotel, depending on
the level of access the employee on the check-in desk
has, the member of staff knows their status in the
casino, knows what drinks they like, their level of
spend on the gaming floor, whether they prefer slots
or tables, which slots, average stay, even the "It's changing that view toward someone as a card
temperature they might like their room at – all within player or slot player, to me as a consumer of your
a Microsoft interface which they will more than likely suite of products, which means accommodation,
already be familiar with. retail, spa, golf, food. We want to provide that
This collation means the resort can offer a platform so you as an operator can have a better
perfectly personalised package to their guests. Using understanding of the customer.
RFID technology, for example, a hospitality manager "Our conversation to you as a customer is not to
might know when this valued customer hits the rip everything out and put Microsoft in. We're going
gaming floor and welcome them with a drink; it's the to give you, from our partnering system, our best
simple, smaller touches that makes a hotel stay product for it, and where we don't play, we won't play
memorable, and this package allows you to fine tune but we will integrate and help you get the
them to perfection. information you need from those applications."
BI basically allows total customer tracking across all By tailoring each guest's stay, loyalty from the
areas of the resort, and as such it becomes an customer grows with familiarity and the feeling that
incredibly powerful marketing and customer retention they are known and remembered by their favourite
26 DECEMBER 2007
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casino. It's so simple, so clever and there's a lot more stand with a bold new design and an interactive top
to it than this. We'll go into great detail on the screen which makes bonus rounds even more
product in a forthcoming issue of Casino engaging for the player.
International – watch this space. Also on show were a vast variety of new stand alone
FutureLogic cemented their already excellent titles for e-motion such as Imperial Rome and The
reputation with a showing of the freshly-rebranded Game of Life – Getting Paid as well as Roaring Tiger,
PromoNet marketing coupon product alongside their Atronic's multi level mystery progressive concept for
excellent Gen2 series of thermal printers. PromoNet the Harmony games library. A hot topic at this year's
allows a casino to market directly to its slot customers G2E was also Atronic's recently announced
by printing a ticket which goes straight into their cooperation with IGT on a fully integrated solution
hands – a near-unique avenue with which to reach an for Atronic's Server Assisted Gaming – SAG product
audience, this should be in casinos everywhere, line. The co-developed solution for the North
where the infrastructure exists. American market was revealed at G2E in Atronic's
Their stand was consistently busy and enjoyed a new e-motionSC cabinet causing major interest from
good location in the arena. When a company has visitors to the show.
market-leading products this good, what more can we Bill validator and accounting experts JCM unveiled
say about them – except we will be featuring something too – a new, global branding which sees
Below: The Atronic stand was packed FutureLogic in a forthcoming issue in more detail. the various international JCM offices unite under the
with quality De La Rue, the company that apparently invented banner JCM Global. Under the new name, their
the world's first cash dispenser, celebrated the 40th product remains very strong. G2E saw the return of
birthday of this landmark at the show, along with their innovative Trident Table Safe system, which
their range of high speed sorting, authentication and allows capture and reporting of table game
cash dispensing hardware and Enterprise Cash transactions in real-time, enhancing security and
Management software. accounting through the casino from the first point of
G2E 2007 also saw the currency handling contact with a note.
specialists launch the Multi-Denomination Their Intelligent Cash Box was also on show, widely
Dispensing Mechanism (MDMM). With highly robust, admired technology that improves a casino's overall
tamperproof cassettes, fast transaction speed and IDD accounting efficiency and erases the margin for
Intelligent Double Detection technology, this heavy- human error by automating processes.
duty banknote dispenser enables casinos to provide The Universal Bill Acceptor, their ever-reliable bill
their guests with instant access to their cash 24/7. validator rounded up the products nicely, with overt
Their high-speed bank note sorting and and covert technologies in magnetic and optical
authentication machine, the CPS, also impressed as it sensing; infrared, red and green LEDs,
can process 2,000 notes and vouchers per minute. phototransistors, UV, reflective, transparency and bar
CPS can be linked live to Business Intelligence, code sensors; self-centering mechanisms and two-
portal-based software giving senior managers time automatic retry feature.
visibility of all transactions in all of their soft count Magic Dreams also attended, despite North
rooms, irrespective of location. America not being a big market for the Italy-based
Atronic used G2E to build on their successes of company. They have been trading in South America
recent years. The company has built up a solid for some time, and the show was a good chance for
selection of games on a range of excellent cabinets, them to connect with their existing customer base –
including some recent linked gaming licenses that and to scout for new custom, of course. Mr Gerardini,
have impressed, like King Kong Cash and the brilliant Magic Dreams general manager, said: “We think the
The Game of Life, not to mention Deal or No Deal. South American market is an important one. We aim
Under the latter's powerful branding, Atronic to increase our presence in South American
launched Deal or No Deal The Experience a brand territories, because our machines have had positive
new two-level linked gaming concept and multi-level feedback and G2E is an important commercial
progressive with a unique side bet feature for window to let local operators know that you’re on the
maximum player interaction and excitement. market.” The company is also opening new Latino
Furthermore Deal or No Deal Mega Deal, a wide- America offices in the near future.
area and multi-site progressive with two jackpot levels One of the show's standouts was Magic Gaming,
and shown with three distinct titles. Both new the Las Vegas company that claims to be changing
concepts should be a success in North America as the face of slots and keno. After G2E, who would
well as internationally. deny that? The core of their display was Masterpiece
Also on the stand were a range of new King Kong Mysteries, displayed on their partner PGI's booth.
Cash and The Game of Life titles, which should The Mysteries on show were four 'full story' games,
maintain the popularity of the two linked gaming Mysteries of the Nile, The Caper, Lost Mine and
'umbrellas'. Money Factory, each one with the perceived
Alfastreet's automated roulette product was also on production values of a real movie and with a
show, as Atronic is now manufacturing and coherent story which unfolds during gameplay.
distributing their this product in North America, a Magic Gaming's VP and general manager Tom
deal which will prove beneficial to both companies, Kidneigh explains: “We are incredibly excited about
expanding Atronic's product offering and extending what we are bringing to the industry, because it is so
Alfastreet's reach with Atronic's greater new, it’s revolutionary. Our full-story mysteries are
infrastructure. more like major feature films than mysteries. For us,
The Harmony slant-top cabinet made its debut at G2E is the red carpet world premiere.
G2E 2007, a cabinet European operators will be “Because our mysteries fit on top of any OEM’s
familiar with already. A selection of games for the game, we specifically wanted to emphasise that point
debutant were also shown, including Sun Spirit, by choosing to show the games in different OEMs’
African Cash, and Mystical Journey. booths, instead of just being in our own, and we are
Passion Slots, Atronic's stepper product, were on grateful to Progressive partnering with us.”
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Each of Magic Gaming’s mysteries fits easily on top where we thought we would be right now. Many clients
of any OEM’s video or reel games, completely freeing have come to us as opposed to us going out and
both the OEM and the operator to utilize the finding them; they've heard about the product, they've
mysteries at their discretion to attract players to new seen it, and they want to experience Cadillac Jack.
games or to increase the numbers of players to low That's what we're most proud of at this year's G2E."
traffic flow areas. On show under their 'Everything Matters' banner
Magic Gaming will be featured in a forthcoming was a selection of new products and technologies,
Casino International magazine, so you'll be able to including the debut of Mega Money Maker, a new
find out more about this exciting company and their multi-level progressive concept which was on the
incredible gaming innovations soon. also-new dual screen cabinet, and Cadillac Cash, a
CashCode celebrated the formation of their wide-area progressive. You'll be seeing a lot more of
dedicated global gaming group at the show. The move Cadillac Jack in our pages in 2008. The future seems
comes so the company can better service the needs bright for this Atlanta-based company, as Kunal
of its growing customer base in gaming, and Sim concludes: "Over the next year, Cadillac Jack is going
Bielak moves into the role of Vice President, Sales and to transform itself from being known as a provider of
Business Development, Gaming. Many readers will Class II slot machines to more of an enterprise-level
Below: Cadillac Jack’s Greg Gronau
know Sim from various exhibitions he has attended provider of slot machines in the broader gaming
and Kunal Mishra
while promoting the company; in his new role, he is space, encompassing international gaming, Class III
responsible for growing sales and customer gaming and Class II gaming."
satisfaction into the Gaming vertical, which is Interblock held back its range of Organic multi
CashCode’s main market. terminal gaming machines, which were due to clear
Cadillac Jack is a slot manufacturer that has been GLI approval within a few days of the show’s end,
growing fast, and one look around their stand at G2E according to the company’s Global Product Manager,
might help explain why. Plenty of product, attractive Olivier de Boel.
cabinets and staff on hand with real energy and Show-goers will have to wait for ICE in London this
passion for what they do. But the main reason they January before they will be able to see and touch the
are growing, the company says, is because they listen new range of Generation 4 machines from the
to and care about their customers, and that's what company, which have been designed to reflect the
drives their products. qualities of organic life forms and promise some
As Greg Gronau, Cadillac Jack's President and CEO interesting features, including an attract mode that is
explains: "G2E's been fantastic. We're showing some triggered when an approaching customer breaks an
innovative product this year and the customers are infra red beam, and fingerprint scanning and
showing their excitement for the products. recognition technology that allows a player to
"Due to our increased investment into R&D, we are identify his or her arrival in person, instead of using a
now ready to introduce our new games to the Class III swipe card. And Keno is promised as a new game on
markets. What differentiates us from others, is we spend the Organic platform…
much of our time and effort on localizing product for While the Organic range, or G4 machines
each market we are going into. It's something we are remained off the show floor, Interblock had a
serious about and it's one of our strengths. representative sample of its G3 range of multi
"We listen to what the customer wants because it terminal machines on display – and with seventeen
matters to us. Our motto is to be flexible and adapt to machines as standard, it’s some range…
the market and what our customer wants. While some Interblock offers 5, 6, 8, 10 and 24-seat roulette
companies develop products and go to market, then games under the Megastar brand, which can be
wonder if the customer likes it; we look for niches that configured to run roulette or, under the Dicestar
are under-served and see how we can fill that gap." name, deliver Fish-Shrimp-Crab, Craps and Sic-Bo –
Kunal Mishra, VP, Product Management and essentially, it’s a matter of swapping out the central,
Marketing, added: "Cadillac Jack has really revamped dome-covered unit and reconfiguring the software to
and retooled its product line over the last 18 months turn a Megastar into a Dicestar and vice versa. Three
and what we're showing here is the culmination of that roulette-table-style multi terminals, Supernova 9, 1 1
development initiative into a commercial product. 95 1
and mini 1 provide a look and feel that is less
per cent of our booth is brand new from what we spaceship console and more traditional table game,
displayed last year. Our focus has been on substantially and like the ‘star’ roulette games, can be equipped
enhancing our operating system and our game with a choice of two wheels – single or double zero.
development initiatives. The majority of the products The final component in the G3 range is Videostar
on the floor are approved and ready to install. 6, as its name impies a 6-player machine that uses a
"The show, product-wise, has exceeded our couple of large screens instead of a dice or roulette
expectations. In terms of client interest, we're ahead of centre. Videostar can deliver baccarat, roulette,
blackjack and a horse race game, all without a hint of
According to Cyberview’s Thierry Brunet de
Courssou, the company’s Chief Systems Architect and
IP Architect, a new era of casino floor management is
around the corner. Cyberview, of course, was the
pioneer of downloadable server-based gaming, and
work continues on that platform, which Brunet dubs
“Trustworthy Gaming Systems”. The company has
been beavering away to develop its original vision of
networked gaming, filing a raft of patents and
developing protocols that will help regulators get to
grips with new technologies while also allowing
independent collaborators to work together to
30 DECEMBER 2007
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develop new kinds of games. These games should be 100% of the jackpot — pays when the losing hand is
able to go through the regulatory process more a 7-high Straight Flush or higher.
smoothly, following a process of Automated Bally's G2E was every bit as impressive as one
Certification and Automated Deployment – providing would expect. A huge array of product on an
the vision of “Trusted Agility”, or what amounts to a incredibly busy stand, you could have spent a day on
gaming eco system, become a reality. it and not seen everything.
Brunet is in no doubt that the vision of Trusted Bally's focus seems absolute, there's not a weak link
Agility, which is based on tried and tested Intel in the chain and they're rapidly becoming a one-stop
hardware, will pave the way to a more interactive shop for everything on the gaming floor outside of
future on the gaming floor, allowing operators to table games and fixtures and fittings.
deliver games that will captivate a new generation of Under their banner 'The Future... Today!', Bally
players, brought up on X-box and Playstation. showed product that they say can provide a high
Part of the Cyberview vision for gaming of the future return on investment today, while being compatible
includes a new twist on the concept of buying time on with future technology. There was a wide selection of
a gaming machine, rather than paying a price per play. international product, including the seven-level Above: One of CyberView’s games.
It works for traditional slots – instead of choosing a Pyramid Progressives, under which games like Golden Below: Bally’s CineReel cabinet. Bottom:
denomination and/or the number of lines at the start Lotus and Ninja Star attracted attention. Casino Technology’s X-Win concept
of a session, the player selects a time period and pays Most of the attention, however, was on their
to play for that period. As a player, you simply can’t 'Networked floor of the future' and their server-based
lose – the credit meter on the machine starts at zero projects. These are structured for customers to
and stays there until you start winning. It’s an understand easily; Bally has product operators can
alternative to the Guaranteed Play system that Walker benefit from now, while preparing for the next wave of
Digital has implemented on poker machines. technology and each successive step after that. They're
A couple of arcade-style games were on the trying to future-proof their customers and carry them
Cyberview stand, a pinball game and a shoot-em-up, into that future, it seems. The future, today.
Galaxium. Both run on the time gaming system, and Multi-game platform Game Maker HD also made
allow the player to win by playing well. This means its much-anticipated sales debut, appearing in a
that skillbase grading is applied, provides an selection of cabinets to impress customers, and also
incentive for players to play well and earn a higher in the new ALPHA Elite Bartop, which boasts the
return, and opens up some new possibilities. There is same widescreen display as the upright cabinet.
no reason, for instance, why players should not be CineReels is another new product, a cabinet
able to download a free copy of a game, practice at inspired by the successful CineVision slant-top video
home, then come to the casino to play to play with slot. CineReels features up to seven mechanical reels,
the aim of winning cash. And there may be apparently an industry first. At the show were games
responsible gaming spin-offs, achieved by limiting the with three- to seven- reel configurations. The cabinet
value of the maximum time contract that a paying also boasts a hi-res 20" widescreen touch-enabled
player can buy. display with interactive gaming in mind.
It remains to be seen how the regulators react, but Bally Systems had a wealth of product on show too,
video poker and slot games with time gaming with their Casino Management System, Slot
facilities have been put forward for GLI approval, and Management System, and Table Management System
could be available to operators within a year to alongside Bally Power Bonusing.
eighteen months. Casino Technology's reputation as an exciting,
Cyberview clearly has more than a vision for a new forward-thinking company continues to grow, as they
class of games for the casino floor, and it’s hard to deny now have certification for a number of products to be
Brunet’s assertion that ‘…just watching cherries sold into US markets. CT's Hristo Kojouharov, Project
spinning round is not exciting to the Xbox generation.” Manager – Compliance Department, explained: "First
Shuffle Master's stand was as striking as ever, with 1,
we have general approval, GLI-1 and it's now just a
tables everywhere demonstrating the breadth of matter of time to replace this certification for specific
product the company offers. New on show this year 1
territories as GLI-1 is a general certificate. Our goal
was the i-Deal, a third-generation single deck is the American market.
specialty shuffler. It reads rank and suit of each card "This year, we have made a lot of certification for
to increase table security, and boasts a low profile different regulations. We've also applied for the CSA
and flush-mount load-and-unload ports and can even mark to sell in Canada – of course, we have to have
alert the dealer to missing or extra cards. The safety certificates to sell, as we want to be able to sell
company says this will increase table profitability as our cabinets as well.
well as security, and delivers a random shuffle 100 "We have 15 games with approval now, and we are
per cent of the time. looking at five more."
Of the games on show, Mississippi Stud looked The other big news from Casino Technology was
good. It's a five-card poker game that lets players bet the launch of their unique Play Me automated
up to 10 units on a single hand and features a top roulette. This is so unusual – it is a roulette wheel
payout of 500 to 1 for a Royal Flush. Players compete set into a full-size grand piano. It will be interesting
against a paytable, not against the dealer, and win if to see where this product is placed, though
their hand is a pair of 10s or better. apparently the company has sold its first one into a
The other standout was Three Card Poker Bad Beat Cyprus casino. It would sit well in a cruise ship, one
Progressive, a stud poker game with optional $1 would think, or perhaps a lounge area in a casino.
progressive bet, and a Pair Plus bet. Players can bet Time will tell; it was certainly one of the most
against the dealer, on the value of their own three- arresting sights at the show.
card hand, or both. The progressive bet in Three Alongside Play Me, they also had an interesting
Card Poker is based on the bad-beat concept: if innovation in their slots. The concept is called X Win,
player and dealer are involved in a bad-beat hand and the main game screen is separated into five
(pair or better), the player wins. The top award — smaller screens. When the spin button is pressed, the
DECEMBER 2007 31
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information from a listing in the centre of the three
screens, and the speed is quite something. It's about
time casinos started using digital signage to its full
potential and with a user-friendly interface like 3M's,
that time is not far away. More on this product in a
future Casino International.
Alfastreet also had plenty up its sleeve, with a
totally revamped Classic 8 machine, brought
absolutely up to date, and its Alfa Solution concept
guiding customers as to how they can get the best
out of Alfastreet's product.
Matjaz Petek explains: "The Classic 8 machine, our
main product really, has been completely refurbished
with a new design while keeping the basic shape of
the machine which is very characteristic and
recognised by players. We added some new features,
screens spin separately; it's possible for the player to like 19": monitors, improved the player interface, with
win with a diagonal line, for example, and the overall new software features.
effect is really very engaging. This will be pushed "There have been important hardware
harder at ICE, as it was apparently a last-minute improvements to improve the performance and
addition to their G2E stand; expect this to be a very reliability of the machine and to make it easier to
popular concept in slots. maintain. We didn't want to totally reinvent the
3M had some great stuff on show. Their tactile machine as it's our core product, we just wanted to
feedback touchscreens are now fully released make it more modern and appealing.
product, and they had three new surface finishes on "We also have our dice machine, in a new
the stand too, not to mention their quite brilliant configuration with larger monitors, this has also
digital signage product. undergone some improvements.
Scott Hagermoser, Gaming and Entertainment "There's our installation of our multi-wheel
Business Manager explained the three finishes: "Our technology which allows an operator to have, on the
AG500 ClearTek II finish is a standard, all purpose, same terminal, the choice for the player or operator
somewhat heavier etch, designed for environments to choose between different wheels. This is good if
where you don't have a lot of control over the you can choose between live wheels and automated
lighting. We're in the process of introducing in Q1 wheels as an operator. You can switch the operation
our AG 250 etch, a much lighter anti-glare, still to the automated wheel when the live wheels are not
giving some ambient light diffusion at a lower level, operating, for example, or see which wheel you would
very good transmission, lower haze so you get crisper like to play if all are running."
graphics. It has a smaller feature size, the actual Densitron unveiled their rebranding as Innocore
particles making up the anti-glare properties, that is. at G2E, and previewed six new DPX boards which will
We think this is important as various high-definition be officially launched at ICE in January. Innocore MD
displays come into gaming. Edward Price said: “We received very positive
"The third finish is the WC100 Water Clear comments across the board on the new brand image
product, the polished product. It's for those and along with the preview of the new DPX boards,
environments where you really want crisp graphics based around the latest Intel chipsets, have firmly
and no diffusion, excellent in a very dim environment stamped our position as one of the world’s leaders in
Above right: Casino Technology’s where there is no glare, as it is very reflective, because providing hardware to the gaming industry.”
Play Me. Above: 3M’s excellent it's polished. WaterClear will be sampling in Q1, in Innocore Sales Director Koen Stomph added: “The
digital signage solution. Below: January, and should be shipping first quarter as well. response at G2E was staggering with over 50
Alfastreet’s stand "Our MicroTouch Capacitive TouchSense product companies setting and attending meetings at our new
is on the stand and it's now a fully released product, booth. This is the result of many years of extensive
we've worked with our partners to bring that out. product development along with our recent sales
We've also worked with some OEMs – across the way expansion in North America, Central and South
if you go to the Spielo stand you can see they America, Spain and Australia.”
integrated it into a couple of their new games. We wish the company the best of luck with its new
They've used it in a 7" wide format button panel as identity – and look forward to seeing the launch of
well as on a 22" main display. We're working with those boards in London.
other OEM's to bring that to fruition as well." Cammegh had some beautiful product on display,
Excitingly, 3M now offers the potential to add not least their table-mounted Slingshot II. It's a
tactile feedback to existing games. As Scott stunning wheel anyway, but mounting it on a traditional
elaborates: "In the last year we've really honed the roulette table is certainly a smart move – and according
OEM message and the OEM integration as well as to James Moores, it got a lot of attention from the trade.
developing an upgrade program for casinos that James said: "It's been an excellent show. I think people
already own games. Now we can add haptic (tactile) have been impressed with the product we've brought,
feedback to existing games a casino may own that the Crystal Wheel, the EyeBall, everything. The real star
they want to refresh and add a little excitement to. of the show has been the table-top Slingshot II; the idea
"This is done with our very powerful controller. We of having a table-based automated roulette, so the
provide a small lookup table and can map out various dealer has less to do and is more focussed on the
button section on screen, so if XY goes into that customers has gone down really well.
button space, this effect is assigned. It doesn't require "It's the beauty of a manual roulette wheel with the
the game to be redesigned." functionality of an automated wheel."
The digital signage product is very interesting. Of course, for a company like Cammegh, personal
Exhibited on three 42" screens, it's a highly relationships are vital to their business, alongside
interactive setup, with touch-and-drag to get more
32 DECEMBER 2007
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in all other ways. You'll be reading a lot more about
both WMS and Orion in a forthcoming Casino
International – there was simply too much there to
go into detail about here.
ICIT largely specialises in automated roulette, but
the company has several other things up its sleeve too.
For example, they have software available to help
organise staff rotas, a time-consuming part of
management. Scheduler Expert is simple and effective,
and could save a company hundreds of man hours.
They are fundamentally, however, a roulette
company. The eye-catchers on their stand were the
Zuum wheels, with their brilliant overhead displays
and exciting visual style, and their Americana, an
automated wheel on a traditional roulette table.
Americana, explained Mojca Deticek, ICIT's
Marketing Manager, was produced to meet a real
demand. "At ICE 2007, the table was something new
excellent product of course, and shows like G2E
and interesting for many people. When we started
allows them to see their customers face to face. James
producing it, it was because of different legislation in
added: "The show allows you to touch base with all of
different countries. Some countries wanted an
your customers in one place. That's been positive,
automated table roulette game because they could
and we have been able to tell them about new
not have live gaming, and that's why we started
product. But there have been plenty of other,
potential customers coming by, who have been
Many players do not believe there is no cheating
impressed with our technology and manufacturing
with an automated wheel; with this, they can press
and we've generated a lot of serious enquiries."
the button and start the spin themselves. It's
WMS continued their rise and rise with another
interesting to have at least one table like this in a
G2E of innovation, superb design and genuine lateral
casino, because people have a lot of fun with this but
thinking. The company impresses every time we see
you still need a dealer for bets and everything. A
WMS product, with their attitude, determination and
good dealer really makes this kind of roulette work."
their focus on both end user and their own customers.
ICIT only recently acquired Zuum's technology, but
G2E saw their Casino Evolved vision spelled out to
they say it has been well received. Mojca expanded:
customers, described as a 'strategic roadmap' which
"It's interesting, especially because of the display over
guides operators toward a fully functioning networked
it. We bought Zuum's technology because we wanted
to have a wider range of products. We have classic
The next-generation CPU-NXT 2 operating system
roulette, we have some which are more modern, but
and network architecture, key to WMS's vision, was
this is different again. It mixes tradition with
exhibited. This allows interoperability between
something new and modern.
gaming devices, servers and network applications. In
"It's great for the Asian market, in their large
short, without solid architecture, no networked
casinos because you can see the winning number
gaming floor. This is the evolution of their original
from far away. The overhead display and the roulette
CPU NXT processor, part of the Bluebird cabinet, a
can actually be sold separately, as the display can be
beautifully future-proofed piece of equipment that
used with other products, but usually they are sold
was launched an incredible four years ago.
together because they have complementary design."
Top: Cammegh’s products on display. The new Bluebird 2 cabinet was also shown, fully
Progressive Gaming International are one of
Above: WMS’s Jo Purvis with their digital and slimline, with CPU NXT 2 inside and
those companies whose stands you could spend a day
superb Monopoly product. Below: One of boasting a programmable button panel, so the
on, such is the diversity and depth of product. The
ICIT’s automated roulettes. cabinet is truly flexible for server-based gaming and
highlight of their G2E was exhibiting Casinolink
configuration. WMS has also submitted to regulators
Enterprise Edition 3.0 with a new joint-developed
the industry's first GSA-compliant server solution,
mystery progressive enhancement.
and has announced plans to commercialise
Casinolink Enterprise Edition 3.0 is the latest
applications focussed on game enablement combined
version of Progressive’s innovative suite of gaming
with a suite of player and casino services to make the
management system products that support every facet
operator's floor more efficient and profitable. They
of a gaming operation, including proprietary bonusing
are moving forward very, very quickly, and very
and progressive modules as well as consolidation of
confidently with their product; in many areas, WMS is
the management of slots, table games, server-based
leading the way for our industry.
gaming, account wagering, marketing and cage
In terms of slots, WMS had Adaptive Gaming on
functions into one integrated system.
show in the shape of its extremely attractive Star Trek
Russel McMeekin, President and CEO of
game. It's what they describe as an episodic game
Progressive Gaming, said: "Enterprise Edition 3.0
experience, personalised for the player who can
provides operators with an unparalleled, integrated
potentially save their game, leave the casino and pick
casino management system that employs leading-
the game up where they left it on their next visit.
edge technology to manage all aspects of a gaming
With the player in mind, the Adaptive Gaming
floor on an individualized and highly scaleable
platform adjusts to the player's personal preferences
platform. As customer management becomes an
and achievements in the game, which increases their
increasingly central component of maintaining a high
engagement levels and therefore satisfaction.
quality game experience for players, Progressive has
WMS also acquired Orion Gaming not so long ago,
evolved our Casinolink system in order to provide
but the Holland-based company maintains its
innovative technology solutions that seamlessly serve
independent face in terms of product and identity,
as the essential connections between casino
while enjoying the distribution and backing of WMS
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Casino Dec 07 P26-38 12/10/07 8:56 am Page 35
operators and their customers. We expect that the on a 23" widescreen below. At the moment, two
new functionality and benefits derived by our casino games are developed for this: Well of Souls and
customers from Casinolink Enterprise Edition 3.0 will Treasure of the Incas. Apparently a third game, Cross
stimulate an upgrade cycle for our current installed of Coronado, will be along soon.
base while also helping to grow what is the industry’s What works so brilliantly on the Indiana Jones and
largest systems presence outside of the US.” the Last Crusade slots is subtle yet brilliant. The reel
In addition to the benefits operators derive from display uses an innovative dual display system, giving
the system’s robust information analysis capabilities, a real feeling of depth as you watch the reels spin. It's
Casinolink Enterprise Edition 3.0 also enhances the so simple, yet incredibly effective. Last Crusade is
player’s experience by delivering a full suite of custom also the first slot available on IGT's SMLD AVP Multi-
branded and prepackaged Jackpot and Mystery level Display Wide Screen upright machine.
progressives. Operators enjoy the simplicity of basic, Indiana Jones will be available in 2008 – more on
intermediate, advanced and enterprise mystery this when it is available for sale.
jackpot tiers while players enjoy a wide variety of new Also from IGT in 2008 is an addition to their Star
progressive mystery jackpot innovations including Wars canon, a multi-level progressive which, like Indy
Countdown Mystery, Scheduled Mystery, Happy Hour and eBay, features a Group Play Bonus in a four-level
Bonus and the Acres-Fiore premium game progressive that is actually competitive. Jabba's Palace
enhancements featuring the Win Proximity Meter is to be the first game under this banked concept.
that adds a new level of anticipation for players when Gaming Partners International had their now-
jackpot awards are close to being hit. famous educational stand, with a compere working
Hess exhibited on the Atronic stand, showing their the crowd and explaining the benefits of RFID chips.
Scorpion kiosk, an effective, discreet black cash Standout products on the stand included their
dispenser with a smaller footprint than standard, that Mini Table Top Authenticator, a self-contained table
made its debut last year. ICE sees a further top reader and a small, thin antenna concealed under
enhancement to the Scorpion, with a rear-loading the table's layout in front of the dealer. It speeds up
version – more on that in January. count time and adds to the basic security of the
IGT's stand was in its usual place, dominating the table, giving an easy way for a dealer to authenticate
show's skyline, such as it has. On the stand were the and value chips at a table, and allowing a pit boss to
fruits of IGT's acquisitions or partnerships of recent verify transactions.
times; their collaboration with Jay Walker's Walker The Texas Hold'Em RFID Poker Reader should
Digital, Guaranteed Play Poker, certainly turned a few prove very popular, as it even calculates the casino's
heads – we'll go into more detail on this in a future rake as it allows for constant and automatic reading
issue though. The corner of the stand occupied by of the pot. It prevents mistakes in calculation, assists
DigiDeal was also enjoying some serious foot traffic, the dealer in all kinds of ways, assists with basic
and rightly so; this company produced quality security and apparently speeds up the game.
product before IGT's investment and now, with the Also out was their Electronic Chips Surveillance
bigger company's strength behind them, the gaming device, a type of scanner for employees to pass
world could be their oyster. through to discourage the potential theft of casino
Tim Richards, IGT's Director of Table Games, chips by staff.
explains what makes DigiDeal's four table games on GPI were also compelled to speak out after a
show so special: "The goal is that in certain markets, Phoenix TV station tested some Paulson chips and
where chips are required, these DigiDeal tables can discovered they had higher than permitted lead levels,
be treated as a table product and the different game as decreed by the EPA. Of course, some colours are
titles can be offered on that platform. The same titles impossible to create without lead, British Racing Green
can be offered with virtual chips or virtual cards [or being a famous example as used on Jaguar cars for
both], and potentially be approved as a slot product many years. Lead contamination is not a risk with
for slot markets. So depending on the taxation, the casino chips when they are used as intended – ie by
regulations and legalities, we're trying to make the adults, for gaming. They are not made
product fit into various niches depending on what's to be eaten, or for children, so any
required. You can also tie it into your slot accounting risk is genuinely minimal. However,
and player tracking systems, so there's real-time Paulson's CEO has apparently issued
player tracking, all the features and functions, a statement saying the chips had
bonusing and points that your players might get on been re-formulated to contain a
the slot side can be applied to these products." much lower amount of lead.
Elsewhere on the stand, the stunning eBay branded Currency validation company MEI
slot bank really caught the eye. Such a simple idea, had some interesting product at
brilliantly executed. It uses the idea of community G2E. Top of the tree in our eyes was
gaming in its Group Play Free Spins bonus, played on the Cashflow Defender, a simple idea
the five fabulous 40" big-screen reels above the bank well executed. It's a bill validator that
of five machines. This machine really should be a sits in the casino cage, which makes
huge success. perfect sense when you consider
The other slot machine of note – though choosing that many less-than-honest
standouts on this stand was understandably difficult individuals are now apparently
– was Indiana Jones. IGT have always done licenses targeting the cash windows in casinos to move fake
superbly, and this is no exception. Under their currency, as there's really nowhere else to do it on
MegaJackpots banner, the Indiana Jones Multi-Level the casino floor. Every other part of the casino is
Progressive is close to a work of art. It's not enough secure, so why not add another level to the cash
to simply pay for a license, you have to deliver the desk? The note simply comes back out underneath
goods as well, and they have. The top box features a the bezel, back into the employee's hand instead of
32" portrait LCD monitor, which shows bonus play down into the cash box as it might in a slot machine,
and progressive meters, while the base game is played for example.
DECEMBER 2007 35
Casino Dec 07 P26-38 12/10/07 8:56 am Page 36
MEI were also pushing the Easitrax either in picture-in-picture on the terminal or on
hard. It's an RFID-enabled solution for large plasma screens, whatever the casino wants.
back room accounting and slot floor Gold Club's reputation grows with each year, and
management; it allows you to track the at G2E they cemented this with a wide selection of
cashbox through the slot floor process machines. The company manufactures a range of
and store Cashflow SC performance automated roulettes, from five-station compact
data. More on this product in a future designs like Star and Pearl to the eight-station Omega,
issue, along with a closer look at the which promises more leg room for seated players.
Defender. More striking options exist, like their Pepo set-up, a
Roulette specialists Abbiati had sort of star configuration of integrated player stations
their roulette display screen on around an automated wheel. Its striking red seats,
show, and it certainly looks like a built in to the player station, really do stand out, and
quality product. The company has they are available in a stand-alone version, in which
worked hard to expand its product up to 120 stations can be used.
line in the last couple of years, and Neon is their answer to the demand for single-
this really should pay off with new business for the station roulette play, with a 19" touchscreen linking
Italy-based company. play to any Gold Club automated wheel in a venue.
They were also pushing their wheel with visible Gold Club is also active in the slot market, with
laser sensors, which Abbiati maintain is the best and titles like its Game Star, a multi-game station which
most accurate way to reveal quickly the winning includes all of their games in one machine, with the
number in roulette. potential to add more in the future.
Of course, no mention of Abbiati would be Aristocrat shared its large stand with some of its
complete without their RFID solution, in conjunction partners, companies like ACE Interactive, which it
with Progressive Gaming International. It's a solid acquired last year, and Interblock, the Slovenian
solution for any casino, and partnering with a automated gaming company.
company like PGI, which excels at technology One of Aristocrat's stars of the show was their
advances, can only work in Abbiati's favour. It allows Sopranos stepper, a smartly designed slot product
the company to concentrate on their roulette product which trades on one of the best-known TV shows of the
while expanding their offering to customers. last 20 years. The company even had Tony Soprano
Inspired Gaming Group, innovators and ever- himself, actor James Gandolfini, making an appearance
creative when it comes to anything networked, had on the stand. Aristocrat's Marc Campman explained:
plenty to talk about. First, they were showing the "One thing we have launched in the US, not in Europe
latest incarnation of their virtual sports games, which yet, is The Sopranos. It's a traditional stepper machine,
benefit from the company owning its own computer- with the TV show theme incorporated.
generated graphics specialists. We saw their horse "It's not decided if we're going to take this to
racing and greyhounds, and both looked absolutely Europe, we don't have a stepper product in there at
stunning. If you were watching from, say, 10 feet or the moment. We've had some requests from
Top: Terry Clarke and Giorgio Abbiati, of more away, you would be forgiven for a double-take, customers, so we'll see."
Abbiati. Above: Inspired’s stand. Below: it's that good. ACE was acquired because of their expertise in
Aristocrat’s Sopranos stepper. Steve Wooding, Product Innovation Director, networks, with a background in lotteries, which
explained why they were pushing this particular translates particularly well to the casino environment.
product at G2E. "Virtual sports has been long- There's a similar need for security and flexibility, and
established in the UK. We [Inspired] have had virtual two-way conversation between remote terminal and
dogs, virtual horses as a broadcast feed for about five server, not to mention frequent upgrades and
years now. We've been the leading player in broadcast downloads on the network.
sports for that time. Their SBG product for Aristocrat is on the verge of
"It really took off when the foot-and-mouth 'going live', as Marc expanded on: "We've taken the
outbreak hit and race meetings were stopped. The ACE software and now put it on the Viridion
quantity of virtual racing exploded overnight and machine, so we have a server-based offering for
credibility came with punters betting on it and casino operators.
trusting it, the dogs and horses are very much part of "It's in two elements. The first step, our own
the betting schedule in the UK now. Our virtual dog solution, is downloadable games, which is like the
track is something like the third most popular track entry-level for server-based gaming, which works from
in the UK, in among all the real live ones. It's not a local server. The RNG is still in the gaming machine.
cartoony at all now, it's very credible. This way allows you to configure the slot floor
"So we took the product and we according to your customers, time of day et cetera.
have developed it and we're just "The next level is server-based gaming, where it is
showing the latest upgrade to our all done over a wider network, with the RNG in the
engine here, which is using photo- server, and with a much bigger library of games
realistic backgrounds. We've now put which we have ported from a number of Aristocrat
this together with a number of other games to this environment.
sports, like soccer and a number of "This is almost ready to roll as a product, we're
motor-racing products like speedway, really launching it here. It's about to go on trial in
and we're launching a virtual sports some casinos; it's a major development for ACE, that
book product which will allow we now have it in the casino environment."
scheduled races to be configured by PokerPro also took up a significant space on the
the casino or the outlet. They can stand, and considering the amount of attention the
set their own schedule for frequency, product always generates, this was a smart move. Four
terminals will be able to accept new developments for PokerPro meant lots of interest,
numerous types of payment, cash, and visitors were not disappointed.
ticket or card, and they'll be shown PokerPro now has betting functionality within the
36 DECEMBER 2007
Casino Dec 07 P26-38 12/10/07 8:57 am Page 38
game, so players can bet on, for example, the suit of operations, slots and more so you have an accurate
the next card drawn; the idea of this game-within-a- picture of the customer's overall value. This could
game feature is to improve the revenue stream of influence setting bonus levels to the customer,
poker, which is notoriously quite limited for the incentives and comps. This can communicate with
casino. Another software development is for other casino information systems already in use.
tournaments, which could be quite something; The marketing side lets the operator set eligibility
imagine how much quicker a full tournament could levels, day or time triggers, and redemption criteria,
take place using these dynamic tables, and how much and manages all aspects of promotions top the
more poker customers could enjoy. It's a customer. The system can also generate email
mouthwatering prospect. promotions, vouchers, SMS and call lists.
Third of the new developments is an entertainment CashManager, meanwhile, manages and monitors
only product; players put their money in, it buys a all transactions within the gaming area of the resort
certain amount of credits and they play a peer, or casino. It is broken down into Cage and Tables.
though only for bragging rights. No prizes, no money, Interestingly, the Tables side provides both actual and
just poker for fun. In terms of brand awareness, this theoretical values for table and customer
table might prove significant as of course it can be performance; most systems refer only to actuals.
positioned in places a gambling machine cannot. CashManager and GateManager both use the
Finally, there is also a PokerPro kiosk, which Guardian security system which controls security keys
relieves a casino of placing a member of staff with the and permissions, audit trails, log files and blacklist info.
machines to arrange player cards; the kiosk means Last but certainly not least, Novomatic had an
the player can do everything themselves. assured presence at G2E with, once again, a strong
TCSJOHNHUXLEY had plenty to shout about, line-up of product and the busy, bustling stand we
with an announcement regarding their gaming have come to expect from the European giants.
layouts, two new games and three new table games. On the stand were a selection of new Coolfire II
Until now, their KRE8 gaming layouts were only games, like American Poker II deluxe, Holmes &
available through their UK facility, but the company Watson, Beetle Mania plus a selection of recent
has moved to keep pace with demand worldwide by releases on the platform.
opening full production facilities in Las Vegas, Their new cabinets were at the heart of the attention
Macau, Australia and South Africa. The KRE8 though. First up was the Novo-Vision slant top, which
synthetic gaming surface is highly resistant to spills utilises Coolfire II and boasts a 22" lower touchscreen
and burns, so it's perfect for the high-traffic casino and a 27" upper screen. Players can flip play between
environment. On the stand, all the dealers and screens depending on which is more comfortable for
promotional staff were wearing uniforms made from them. Another smart innovation is the second start
TCSJH layouts, supplied by Uniforms by John Marks. button at the foot rest; simple, but very clever.
Top: TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s stand. Below:
Their MultiPLAY Roulette made its US debut, an The Novo-Vision cabinet has distinctive sound,
Novomatic’s Novo-Vision cabinet. Below
interesting twist on traditional roulette which brings with a sub woofer and active satellites which help
right: Novo Baccarat slant-tops
together a live croupier and wheel with an electronic make the gaming experience even more immersive.
multiplayer betting area. This is in the form of a 56" Again, it benefits from Novomatic's Coolfire II gaming
Quad HD LCD screen and, frankly, it looks superb. platform and a second start button, and has two
The game is much faster as all transactions are digital, 16:10 ratio widescreen monitors.
which obviously equates to higher returns for an Finally in their new cabinets comes Super-R
operator. With a good croupier on the case, this kind Gaminator, a very smart, stylish and advanced slot
of product could mean serious revenue for a casino, as cabinet which features 'hybrid technology' – the
it bridges neatly internet gaming and live roulette. ability to combine video and mechanical reels on one
Another US debut for TCS was Super Sic Bo, a fully cabinet. Three giant mechanical reels complement
electronic animated Sic Bo game with Super Streak advanced video gaming technology to provide a
side betting alongside Sic Bo's usual 56 betting stunning gaming floor attraction; it also boasts
options. It's another great looking game, the visual Coolfire II and a similar audio setup to the Novo-
design is perfect and all alerts are clear and Vision cabinet.
unmistakeable. Again, play is faster than a traditional Add to this already outstanding selection of new
Sic Bo table, and therefore profitability is increased. product their leading multiplayer games, and you can
Their new table games on show were Blackjack see why the Novomatic stand is busy no matter what
Plus, Step Poker, and Lucky Numbers Roulette, which show they are attending.
can be played on a single- or doule-zero wheel. Novo TouchBet Live Baccarat allows up to 250
Octavian had a real ace up its sleeve with two new players to join the fun and is every bit as flexible as
products in the shape of GateManager and the market-leading TouchBet Roulette product the
CashManager. industry is so familiar with. Their Sic Bo product is
GateManager comprises four main areas, with equally strong; Novomatic should have no problems
Reception, Surveillance, Player Tracking and selling these units as the initial product for Roulette
Marketing. At Reception, your customer checks in is so respected, admired and imitated. Expect these
and is identified with a member card; this gives the multiplayers to extend the company's footprint even
reception staff all they need to know about this wider around the world, notably in Asia.
customer in one move, rather than cross-referencing
with different software. The surveillance aspect
guards the operation against allowing in barred
members – assuming they present their card,
presumably – but there is also a provision where the
system matches newly-registered customers with
blacklisted customers, so there is a safety net. Player
tracking creates a picture of the client, a data
snapshot which includes entries from tables, cashier
38 DECEMBER 2007