International sales and marketing manager, Gaming Partners International

IGG: How would you describe your management style and philosophy?
CL:  As I strongly believe that people are the essential asset in a successful company, I tend to focus more on the relationship than on the tasks. Professionalism, honesty and team spirit are key values to me.

IGG: Is there anyone in particular you learnt a lot from, or one piece of advice you were given that you have always remembered?
CL:   Having lived and worked in Asia for so many years, I learnt from the Chinese business community to take a low-profile attitude – act first, then talk about it. This goes well with our business philosophy at GPI, as we tend to promise only what we can deliver.

IGG:   Are there any mistakes you have made – and learned from- or things you think you could have done better in your career?  Any regrets?
CL:  Only people taking decisions make mistakes. But it is a learning experience and I have no regrets. As Cocteau said: “Whatever others blame you for, cultivate it: it is yourself. ”

IGG:   When the business of the day is done, what do you do to relax?
CL:   I catch up with my three children …although that does not always qualify as relaxing! Sharing Sharing a good meal and great wine with my wife and friends is also a nice way to get away from it all!  Our head office is based in Beaune, burgundy, and it is a privilege to live in such a wonderful part of France.

IGG:   Favourite country you have visited?
CL:   I love traveling. I would say Cambodia for the people, Namibia for the wilderness and Tiber for what it still was 15 years ago!

IGG:   Who are your heroes?
CL:    Being French I would say …Zinedine Zidane! But also some very ordinary people close to me and my family.

IGG:   Best thing about your job?
CL:   GPI is an 80-years old company : it has a rich  history, fantastic products and great people to work with. We have many exciting challenges ahead and I am lucky enough to travel on a very regular basis to Asia. I kind of feel at home in GPI!

IGG: What has been the most significant recent development in chip technology?
CL:   Gaming chips should no longer be considered as mere plastic discs with fancy printing. They are the casino’s currency, one of its most valuable assets. As such, chips became very sophisticated over the last few years. We pioneered the use of RFID tags in gaming chips back in 1994. Today we Sell RFID  chips in both 125Khz and 13.56 MHz technologies.

IGG:   Are there differences in how quick some markets are to take on advances in chip technology compared to some others?
CL:   The European operators were the first to take on RFID in 2001 when they had to reship with euro-denominated chips. At that time they took the opportunity of changing their chip bank to invest into the technology, although they waited several years before fully implementing it throughout their casinos. Asia is probably more technology-prone and that’s the place where it is happening. But this is a worldwide trend: nearly 100 casinos have already purchased RFID chips, jetons and plaques from GPI.

IGG:   What will be the next trend to emerge in chips and chippers?
CL:   As counterfeiting is very much on the rise, operators will need to partner with chip suppliers to find new ways to protect their assets and use sophisticated chips that are difficult to duplicate. As for RFID, the full deployment of the technology and its connecting to management systems will be the ultimate phase.

IGG:   What are the main considerations for you as a chip manufacturer?
CL:   For us, security has always been and still is number one. Security depends on the chip itself and how sophisticated, innovative and high-tech it is. But it also relies very much on the supplier. How secure is the production facility, the procedures, the source of supply. What is the procedure to check the staff, control the access of key areas within the workshops?  How do you keep track of real quantities produced and production over-runs, etc?  At the same time, you have to offer the operator the choice between various products, ranges, styles, materials, colours, sizes and shapes and design chip banks with multiple sets, as required by modern casino management. To achieve that you need to develop a true partnership with the casino operator based on proven track records.

An expanded show floor, new pavilions, easier navigation, comfort stations featuring massages, increased networking opportunities and new conference tracks will be key features of G2E 2006, according to the organizers. G2E 2006 will welcome three new pavilions – entertainment technology, entertainment and event production and hospitality- to the trade show floor. “These days, people are visiting casinos to do much more than gamble. They want to be entertained and feel pampered, and increased competition means operators have to be innovative and responsive to win their customers ’ business and loyalty,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, president and chief executive of the AGA.

      Now in its third year, F &B at G2E, a culinary marketplace, will offer an expanded  show floor featuring more than 120 food and beverage suppliers. The show floor this year will incorporate G2E comfort stations, where attendees can relax, meet with their peers, purchase refreshments   and even get massages. Show floor navigation also will be easier for attendees with increased sign age, a new colour-coded system identifying Exhibitor Program, which disadvantaged exhibitors. G2Exchange, the popular web-based poker networking tool for attendees introduced last year, will now include all show exhibitors, enabling registered G2E participants to connect will fellow professionals before and during the event.  
      The organizer of EELEX, Unicum, has announced new details of the upcoming show. This years the exposition will introduce a wider range of products and services for the gaming, amusement and entertainment industries. About 60 per cent of the EELEX floor has been booked and this the trade show returns to ‘the EELEX of the 90s,’ according to EELEX director Alexandra Soroko, when a large share of the show stands promoted amusement equipment.

     “A growing number of complex operations, where one operator offers amusement, gaming and entertainment services in the same venue, are appearing in Russia,” said the company. “Large entertainment sites with a   cinema, casino, restaurants and an amusements ar4ea are opening around malls and supermarkets in many big cities. “We have the ability to expand the show with more new services and products by inviting new services and products by inviting new companies from adjacent market segments and making EELEX a one –stop shop for operators. Today the market is moving towards civilization, our attendees enlarge or diversify their business, some of them try to offer their clients more services. We are glad to help them with new offers, new opportunities and our firm commitment,” said Soroko. Game EELEX2006 will also introduce a supporting  products sector, which will cover self-service kiosks and vending machines. Internet and tickets kiosks, snacks and drinks machines, ATMs and payment system will be situated in Hall 2.