At the end of June, Slovenian company ICIT  finished installing several poker tables and its new Trinity electronic betting system in the Hit owned Peria casino on its home country.3

Trinity was developed in-house by the company, and ICIT  told InterGaming that players like it because of the ‘elegant and ergonomic design of the table,’ and because of the innovative placement of bets. Trinity is a new product that introduces the electronics placement of progressive bets in card games. Jackpots on Trinity-equipped tables grow faster and as such motivate players. The ergonomically designed table offers full comfort to players, who have been catered to with improved visual effects within the games. With current jackpot amounts displayed on LCD monitors, poker players can also monitor what is happening and are often motivated to bet higher, says ICIT.
      ICIT  also installed Trinity in all other Hit casinos established in Slovenia in May this year. After having installed it in the Peria, all the casinos were linked into a wide-area progressive system to allow for an even faster growth in jackpots. The Peria’s management are said to be very satisfied with Trinity, as it stimulates players to Betfair’s higher and longer. ICIT is a relatively young business that has been developing new and improving existing products for the gaming industry.
      One of its products, Table Pilot, is an advanced table games management system.   ICIT has already installed it in several smaller casinos in Slovenia and will install it in the Peria towards the end of the summer. Another interesting product of ICIT is the Scheduler Expert, an employee scheduling system, which the company will be debuting at G2E in Las Vegas this autumn.

Make sure checks don’t bounce with new online service

London –based Deutero has launched an Internet-based service designed to provide  online portraits of individuals companies all over the world.
      The company’s software engineers have come up with a succession of business related  packages allowing users to access public records in the international community. Deuteron business development director Sally Ward told InterGaming that the online facility www.deutero-check.co.uk provides access to over six million company status reports covering the UK and Ireland and a number of companies outside of the UK.

     “There are three primary things that you can do with this tool : risk management – you can predict early if any of your clients or suppliers are having financial or cash flow difficulties by monitoring  payment performance and other business changes such as executive restructuring; business development, where you can research the performance of a rival company , or you can carry out   merger and acquisitions research to reduce due diligence. ”
      The online facility enables the user to access company reports on international poker businesses including recent financial performances, directors and risk analysis information. “We can access virtually every company in the world using this,”  she said. “What is more important is that we review the information daily. It is not simply a question of waiting for a company’s annual reports to be lodged with the relevant authorities.
     “You can look up a company and see its structure, who the directors are, its company tree and subsidiaries, payments record, annual financial returns, risk scores, etc. The system helps businesses to grow organically too because you can look up a director and see all the companies they are associated with. “Deutero-Check is expensive for smaller companies who want to access and manage live company information confidentially from their personalized portfolio over the Internet,” said Ward.

*  Austrian Gaming Industries has delivered sophisticated roulette technology to four more Casinos Austria venues. Casinos Australia, which owns and operates all 12 Austrian   casinos, has decided to gradually equip all casinos with AGI’s Novomatic multiplayer roulettes. The Novo-TouchBet Live- Roulette and Novo Multi-Roulette are already in most of Casinos Austria’s national operations, with the latest being installed in July.
     “Over time, casinos Austria has become a customer which values the quality and benefits of your single-player product, and  this has led to AGI’s position as preferred supplier of choice,”  said Jens Halle, managing director of AGI.

Making a Mint, then going to the Circus

Simon Binns visits two refurbished Manchester casinos and finds more on the menu than the expected

I have to admit that my girlfriend I was maximizing when I told her that we had been invited for dinner at Stanley’s Circus Casino in Manchester in the UK. “Food in a casino? It can’t . be up to much, can it?” For once, she was actually wrong. Stanley Leisure wanted me to witness first hand the recent restaurant refurbishment at the Circus, which took three weeks to complete and created eight additional jobs. Casino manager Debbie Phillips met us we entered the casino and showed us down to the One Ten restaurant. The menu would give any of the city center’s top restaurants a run for their money. British and European cuisine is the order of the day, courtesy of new head chef James Lunham, recruited from Stanley’s renowned Midland Wheel Casino in Birmingham. Glass screens look directly into the kitchens and the gaming floor opens out in front of diners, although the atmosphere is not intrusive.
Guests at One Ten can choose to dine in one of the booths –as we did –which offer comfy leather seating, Sky Sports TV and electronic gaming. For special occasions, a private dining room is available. The new One Ten restaurant is part of an on-going £100m programme of refurbishments and new casino openings, putting the emphasis on the social element of UK gaming.
Without wanting to appear too much like a food critic-although if anyone else wants to invite me to dinner, I have no problems with starting a monthly food column I had a Moorish salmon terrine to start, a rack of beautifully cooked lamb with mint and apricot stuffing for main and loosened the top button on my trousers for a Caribbean charlotte with mango and passion fruit puree dessert. And it struck me as a crying shame those restaurants this good often end up largely unknown, relying on word of mouth recommendations of customers, due to the UK advertising restrictions. How many other excellent restaurants are tucked away in casinos?
It’s calming place to witness the buzzing  gaming floor from too. A shot walk around the corner to another of Stanley’s Manchester casinos, and another successful refurbishment. Its Strand casino recently relaunched with a spectacular party featuring a traditional Chinese dancing dragon and was renamed the Manchester Mint.
General manager Martin Sears showed me the smart new look gaming floor. The latest in electronic gaming technology has been introduced with new electronic terminals linked to the live roulette wheel. A separate mah jong area and extra table also add to the updated feel of the place. The Manchester Mint also boasts a fantastic noodle bar-although I had to decline the offer of takeaway one of the first casinos in the UK to offer this style of food, largely as a nod to the large contingent of Chinese customers. The casino is near to the city’s Chinatown area.
“We’ve already had lots of positive feedback and I’m sure the new look will prove to be a winner with our members,” said Sears. Certainly the new-look casino is a sleek affair with glass partition walls adding to the atmosphere and comfort of customers. When the new Gambling Act finally comes into force in the UK next September, casinos game could finally market themselves against other restaurants as genuine quality eating venues. And that can only help those hungry for more customers as well as a perfectly presented dessert.

Q & A : Neil Crossan, PGI

Following on from an impressive Asian Gaming Expo in Macau recently, we asked Neil Crossan, executive vice president, international  at progressive Gaming International, about this expanding and exciting market.

IGG:   How important is the Asian market likely to become to you –and in general –in the next few years?
NC:   The Asian gaming market will be our most significant growth market over the next few years. The opening of the Macanese market, approval of two casinos by the Singaporean government and growth in the neighboring areas is providing us with many opportunities for our CasinoLink Enterprise Edition products, 13.56 MHz RFID technology and progressive table games, such as Caribbean Stud and Progressive Baccarat game.

IGG:   How has the market – and your involvement in it – changed over the last few years?
NC:   Progressive Gaming has significantly grown our technology product lines over the last few years to intensely focus on system solutions and gaming content. Our evolution has been independent of the Asian market emergence, but the change in the company’s direction complements the requirements of the Asian gaming market by enabling us to offer greater technology products. Our technology products offer our customers greater security while streamlining overheads and processes allowing for more profitability and better customer service.
IGG:   What is your strategey in Asia now and for the near future?
NC:   Progressive Gaming’s strategy is to increase our placement and support of our system solutions for our current partners and future customers. To help them maximize the gaming revenue from the floor and improve operational efficiency, such as chip security and control through the use of 13.56 MHZ RFID technology poker, as well as provide increased entertainment to the players.
To execute on this strategy we have expanded our presence in Asia by opening an office in Macau this past year. This office will house our sales, support and technical staff for the region. By having local technical support and sales in the Asian market we will be able to increase our partner and customer support for the region.
IGG: How do you find the Asian market differs to the other markets in which you operate, specifically what is different with the Macau market? What are operators – and players –demanding?
NC:   The Asian gaming market differs in the significantly higher focus on table games on the gaming floor compared to other markets. In Asia, unlike many other gaming markets, the majority of the revenue from the floor is derived from table games with the majority coming from baccarat. With this strong demand for baccarat in mind, we have launched a Progressive jacpot version of baccarat for this booming market.
At present, Macau differs from the rest of the Asia market with the higher rate of casino openings and the sheer size of the casinos that are being built. These differences have resulted in a greater demand for our table management solution which provides casinos with cage, cash desk management and pit functionality as well as our proprietary 13.56 MHz RFID technology for chip inventory management, security and player rating functionality.

IGG: The table gaming market in Asia is huge –what share do you have currently and how do you go about growing it?
NC:   Our progressive table games have proved to be very popular in the market. Currently we have over 74 Caribbean Stud Poker games installed in the market, and this is increasing every month with orders continuing to arrive. We have one casino in Macau about to increase the number of Caribbean Stud tables from 18 to 37 at just one site.

We also developed our Progressive Baccarat table game specifically for the Asian market. We have taken the concept of the progressive side Betfair’s, and incorporated it on to the standard Baccarat game. We have designed this game so that the progressive side Betfair’s does not affect traditional play of baccarat, including the player favourites such as the ‘squeeze’. The side Betfair’s provides an opportunity for players to win a life changing jackpot on top of the base game.
IGG:   As the market grows, so does competition. How do you stay ahead of the pack?
NC:   In addition to our Casinolink slot management module and Intelligence Club, cage and Player tracking modules, which have a proven track record worldwide, Progressive Gaming has a number of exciting new products that have debuted into the market over the last six months. Our new, patented 13.56 MHz RFID technology forgaming tables and chips is exciting operators across the globe who see the benefits the faster technology and what it can bring to the table (excuse the pun) in the future. Our Intelligence Chip Inventory System has seen adoption by two of the major operators in Macau who will be opening their new operations with this in place.

Additionally, we have had interest from other casino operators in this market. When casinos look at the chip inventory system, in conjunction with the player tracking technology, they see the power that RFID technology can provide in helping not only secure the assets of the business but also enabling them to gain a greater understanding of their players. By having this information casinos will be able to more closely analyze playing habits and trends of table players much like they have tracked their slots players for years.
Listening to our customer feedback has helped us develop games tailored for the market such as Progressive Baccarat. This feedback is paramount to keeping our CasinoLink Enterprise product range on the leading edge.