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Asia NEWS

Australasian launch for the Elite

Money controls will showcase a revolutionary new bill/ticket acceptor for the gaming industry at the Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney from September 3-5.  Soon to be released onto the worldwide poker market, the Ardac Elite promises increased profitability through exceptional first time acceptance of street-grade bills, using transmissive and reflective sensors to scan 100 per cent of both bill faces for maximum security.
      Using six different wavelengths for imaging and state-of-the-art processing, the Elite identifies the latest in-built security features, which can be anywhere on the bill.  This ‘features focus’ enables the highest first time acceptance of real notes and rejection of all known frauds.
      Its scanning technology allows acceptance of coupons and tickets, giving operators maximum flexibility for customer payment.  It also incorporates wide-angle bill take-up, which means that notes can be accepted rapidly, reducing player frustration and confusion caused by repeated bill insertions or automatic retries.
      Exceptionally tolerant of dirt, smoke and scratches and able to detect security dye stained notes, the Elite is designed to maximize in service performance and reduce maintenance costs.  Available with a range of bezels, looms and protocols, it can be integrated easily into existing machines and has USB connectivity.

*  The succession of police raids on arcades and internet cafes in Korea in July has resulted in crisis for the games business there.  Although many of the amusement arcades had closed down in Korea over the past two to three years, gambling games had flourished, using an usual combination of five reels on a video monitor.  poker games and other familiar gambling games are not acceptable.  Payouts have to be with a gift certificate with a value of 5,000 Korean won and input must be with a banknote.

      The Korean Government is to change the regulations to slow down the growth of the gambling game business, taking the gift certificate prize out of the business from April 2007.  the maximum payout will be reduced  to 20,000 won per hour instead of the current 90,000 per hour.  Already the production and sales of gambling games in Korea has slopped.

US NEWS

HUNTING GAME APPEALS TO NEW  YORKERS

Coin-op video game Big Buck Hunter Property has evolved into the hottest-selling, biggest – money making video game in bars and arcades across the country, according to www.msnbc.msn.com.  The game has become surprisingly popular in liberal bastions like New York City that have strict gun laws and where the idea of real hunting repulses many residents.  “It’s very strange, and I’ve been doing games for about 24 years.  There’s some kind of hipness to it,” said George Petro, president of Play Mechanix, the Chicago-area company that designed the game.  While older versions of the game have always done fairly well in the Midwest and other deer hunting regions, the newest line- Big buck Hunter Property – has caught fire everywhere, mainly because of changes in the design.


      While older versions of the game have always done fairly well in the Midwest and other deer hunting regions, the other deer hunting regions, the newest line Big Buck Hunter Property has caught fire everywhere, mainly because of changes in the design.  Petro said the fifth and latest version of Big Buck uses a PC platform, an upgrade that lets designers install modern graphics, giving the game more life like features.  Petro also added a second shotgun, so two players could fire away simultaneously, raising the competitive stakes and bragging rights. 
      By Buck players score points for accuracy, distance and the animal’s weight.  Players can stalk elk, antelope, big horn sheep, moose and bucks.  Just like in real life, a head or neck shot instantly brings down the animals.  Gut shots take two or three rounds.  Slaying an innocent ewe or doe is forbidden.  The gun locks up and the other player gains the advantage.  When blasted, the deer tumble to the ground; the birds explode into billows of feathers, the bunny rabbits into cloud of fur.  Bonus rounds include shooting frenetic turnkey, rampaging boar, thick cow paddies, whiskey jugs and ducks.
      In Big Buck Hunter Property, the ‘hunter’ doesn’t have to shiver outside in the cold for hours waiting for a trophy buck to arrive.  Plus, drinking beer while playing is permitted, making it popular in New York.  The fine tuning of Big Buck has led  to some unexpected success in this tough business that has been squeezed with the rapid technological advancement of home video poker games, said Bob Boals, executive vice president of Betson Enterprises, which distributes and markets Big Buck worldwide.

      “It’s doing extremely well in the north east and west coast.  It’s been so well received in all the different locations.  We did not see this in the prior Buck Hunters.”  Big Buck came out in 2000 and sold a modest 6,200 machines in about six years, Boals said.  But when the Pro version hit bars and arcades in February 2006, the game rose in popularity.
      Betson expects to unload 6,000 Property machines this year, and Boals projects he’£ easily move a total of 10,000 over time.  Betson is the only company that sells Hunter Property – either directly or through distribution partners.  According to the July edition of Replay magazine, distributors voted Big Buck the best upright video game.  The machines Seller for $ 6,000, earning  $350 week on average.  One of the country’s top Big Buck machines generates nearly $ 3,000 a month at a connecticut casino, he said.

Sega partners with Firestone Financial Corp

Sega Amusements USA has entered into a new business partnership with Firestone Financial Corporation that beings with 5,25 per cent APR and 8.99 per cent APR finance offerings for Extreme Hunting 2 Tournament Edition and Sega UFO Catcher which became effective on August 1,2006.  Firestone Financial is a prominent provider of equipment and inventory financing for manufactures, distributors and operators of income generating equipment.  They have had particular success in the coin-operated amusement industry.  President and COO of Sega Amusements USA, Rick Rochetti, stated: “We are happy to connect with the Fireston group.  They have an outstanding track record and high degree of intensity.”


      For their first business endeavour, the two companies have devised programmes for new Sega releases, Extreme Hunting  2 Tournament Edition and Sega UFO Catcher, which were respectively released in June and July of this year.  The three-month promotion started on August 1 and will finish on October 31.  Customers of Sega UFO Catcher machines and Extreme hunting 2 tournament Edition 29ins upright cabinets, 50ins deluxe, plus full kits with guns will receive a 5.25 per cent APR for a 12 month tern and 8.99 per cent APR for 24 months.  No down payment is required.
      Ron Malinowski, Sega Amusements USA director of sales, said: “After much discussion and strategy, we have crafted a programme that appeals to a broader base of customers,” Malinowski added: “I am especially pleased that this promotion supports not only dedicated product, but kits as well.”  A minimum purchase of one unit for game cabinets or two units for full kits are required, and the first payment will be due 30 days after the contract has been funded.  Also, a $ 200 filing fee and applicable taxes and freight will be payable by the customer.

*  JULY 8-9 saw a major retro gaming event at the Parkside Hall, San Jose, California, proving that the appeal of Pac-man, Space Invaders, Defender et al will never die.  Intergame poker casino spoker to co-organizer Ken Chaney, of www.atarigames.com, about California Extreme 2006.
      “Unfortunately for me the show is just a blur,” admitted Chaney.  “For me the big thing is still a room full of games and people to play them.  Over 400 playable machine were there in a variety from antique penny games to current neo-classics.  I really love people finding games that they never knew were cool and having a great time discovering them with friends/parents/kids.”
      “When an old pinball collector declares his love for a modem video game, or a too-cool teen shares a grin with his dad playing an electro-mechanical game far older than he is, I feel something worthwhile has been accomplished.  Of course the nostalgia and memories are the principal draw of the show.” 
      Chaney listed notable events as follows –

  • Eugene Jarvis ‘talk.  “The making of Robotron was a fun story that crossed from the tech-geek detail to amusing personal observations.  He’s an industry icon with a well-deserved fan base.”
  • Competitions, which included high score contests on Spy Hunter and Pacmania, pinball competitions, Pinball Rodeo on modified machines that make you play with your feet, use one hand at a time, and poker battle the elemental forces of nature.
  • Arcade inspired art was a feature with Kevin Tiell’s ‘amazing’ pinball pictures.
  • Jean Baudin’z incomparable bass music.
  • Ed Cassell and Dan Fontes spoke about their famous murals including those at the ‘Playland-Not-at-the – Beach’ museum that Richard Tuck represented at the show.

Chaney concluded: “For me as one of the fools who do this thing, I really have great memories of the dozens of people who pitch in with sweat equity to pull together all the games and make them playable.”

 

 

 

 

 
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