Nova Desitec adds a little Zest

Nova Desitec signs co-operative agreement to supply games content to new Italian slots manufacturer, Zest Gaming, for the international casino market.

Nova Desitec is an engineering company located in Barcelona, Spain, dedicated to the design and production of hardware and software for the international gaming sector. Nova Desitec recently reached a cooperative agreement with the Italian company Zest Gaming, for the exclusive development of games by the Spanish company that will be installed in the Italian firm's machines for international casino markets. Zest Gaming is a joint venture company, recently set-up by the companies magicMatic, one of the most important companies in the Italian gaming market, and PSM, which specializes in hardware production. Both companies are looking to enter the international casino market and to achieve this have joined forces to create an extraordinary new type of slot machine. This slot is technologically advanced and designed by the famous Italian designer, Giugiaro. The result has been a slot machine revolutionary in every aspect. The agreement with Nova Desitec to develop games for the machine was the final ingredient, which raised high expectations during the recent Enada exhibition in Rome. According to Thore Noll, the Director of Sales and Marketing of Nova Desitec: “This is such an innovative machine and without any doubts, the perfect platform for the development of games as innovative as the machine itself.

 The decision to select Nova Desitec as games developer has obviously been the right one. ” Nova Desitec can also offer a range of more than 20 games, adapted to the meet legislative requirement of every country, considering always the different characteristics of the products for the casino sector and the machines for other markets. One of its latest games, Don Quijote de la Mancha, is offered in two different versions. The first, with nine win lines, was created especially for the casino markets where a very competitive but also attractive product is required. The second, with 20 winning lines, was developed for AWP sites that require a softer gaming poker experience. Both versions are available with a scatter and free games bonus that allows the player to win up to 25 Free Games with different win multipliers. Both versions of Don Quijote de la Mancha guarantee a maximum coverage of the different market segments, especially for the Spanish market, since 2005 was declared in Spain the year of the ‘Quijote. ’

Global VR signs licensing deal for Ubisoft’s games

Arcade video games specialist, Global VR, has announced a worldwide licensing agreement with Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers. Under the agreement, Ubisoft will give Global VR the technology and rights to develop two of Ubisoft's video game properties for coin- operated video game machines. When asked about the agreement, Jim DeRose, Global VR's President and CEO, commented: "Distributors and operators in the coin-op industry have long been saying that innovation is what's necessary to help reinvigorate the coin-op industry, and they are right. We believe that we have found the products and the technology that will be the backbone for the innovative products that our industry expects. We are confident that the collaboration between Global VR and Ubisoft will help create the enthusiasm around coin-op gaming that has, for the past several years, been associated with home gaming. ""Bringing Ubisoft's products to . the coin-op market is extremely exciting," said Jay Cohen, Vice President of Publishing at Ubisoft. "Playing video games in arcades and entertainment centers is a part of most everyone's life. We intend to do all we can to help Global VR deliver the most exciting, coin- operated video games the industry has seen in years. "

Following the Entertainment exhibition Kiev on September 24, an agreement was made between the Presidents of MaxBet and Casino Technology, Victor Rusinov and Milo Borisso. MaxBet agreed to rent 15 of the latest slot machines ‘SLT 7800 -Slant Top series ’ and three ‘Quatro Cash Mania ’ multi-level mystery jackpt systems for MaxBet slot halls in St. Petersburg. This marks quite an important development in the companies ’ relationship, which started at the end of 2004 with the signing of a covenant to rent MaxBet a numb! of slot machines produced by Casino Technology. The new slot machines will be installed in St. Petersburg slot halls within the next month. MaxBet is also enthusiastic about the presentation of ‘Quatro Cash Mania ’ systems, and is eager to install them in its top venues within Russia’s Northern capital, Furthermore, MaxBet is currently installing a proportion of over 150 slot machines from Casino Technology in six of its slot halls in Ukraine's capital Kiev. MaxBet is one of the largest slot hall operators in Kiev and is planning to expand further in Ukraine by opening a new location in Donetsk. The company also has a number of slot halls in Romania and Russia. Technical Director of Maxbet’s department in St. Petersburg, German  Mosolov, commented on the development of the companies ’ relationships : “Our cooperation with Casino Technology is very successful. We are glad to be partners of such a creative company, which rapidly reacts to the trends 01 the slot industry in Russia and offers its clients a wide range of gaming equipment, Today, casino Technology is one of a few companies which is really able to get interested potential partners with its prospects and willingness to work together with the first grade corporations -those which as they say build their business not for a day. ”

Konami has released its financial results for the first half of fiscal year 2005, a six-month period ending September 30, 2005. Compared to the same period in 2004, the first half of the year was a slight improvement: the company posted revenues of ¥118bn (US $1.01bn), up from 2004’s net revenue ¥114.01bn ($971m) in the first half of 2004. The half year statement is consolidated result of all of Konami's multiple divisions : in addition to the company's computer and video game business, it also maintains a non-video gaming division, and a health and fitness division. In video games, sales were propelled chiefly by the company’s soccer titles such as Winning Eleven Soccer 8 and Pro Evolution Soccer, as well as mah-Jong Fight Club in arcades and Yu-Gi-Oh! Online.

Steller buy

Shuffle master ticks another products acquisition box with the purchase of Stargames

US-based Shuffle master has announced its intention to buy Australia's Stargames. The purchase will proceed through a wholly owned indirect Australian subsidiary, Shuffle master having submitted formal offer documents to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission outlining its intent to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Stargames for A$1.55 (US $1.14) per share. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2006. The purchase price is approximately US $108m. Stargames is based in Sydney, Australia and develops, manufactures and distributes a wide range of innovative electronic entertainment gaming products to worldwide markets. Its product offerings include Rapid Table Games, Vegas Star multi-terminal gaming machines, and a broad line of traditional video slot machines designed most specifically for the Australian and Asian gaming markets. The Rapid series of games, which Shuffle master already distributes in the Americas and the Caribbean, combines a live dealer with multi-terminal electronic wagering. Current offerings include Rapid Roulette, Rapid Sic-Bo and Rapid Big Wheel. Vegas Star Multi-Terminal gaming machines feature animated dealers and a selection of public domain table games. The Vegas Star Nova line utilizes Stargames existing slot cabinet to extend the number of wagering terminals for a Vegas Star game, while minimizing the footprint required on the gaming floor. Stargames, with approximately 190 employees including 80 in design and development, generated US $48m in profitable gaming revenues in its fiscal year ended June 30, 2005. "We look forward to Stargames joining the Shuffle master family," stated Mark Yoseloff, chairman of the Board and CEO. "The marriage of their innovative multi- terminal products with our branded content will provide significant synergies, and their experienced management team and talented employees will superbly position our company to compete even more effectively in the fast-growing AustralAsian region. Their Rapid line of products is the clear industry leader in the region, and the Vegas Star system, combined with our Table master system, will provide us with a globally approved platform for our proprietary content. All in all, we will now have the broadest line of entertainment products of any gaming supply company in the world. "

Over the last 12 months, casino Technology has focused its activities towards Central

and Western Europe to build a new business structure with a centre in Vienna, Austria. As a natural step forward a new associate company ‘Avangard Technology, Czech republic ’ was recently opened in Prague. A cocktail party was held during the Forbes 2005 exhibition to celebrate the office opening. The newly created branch works in close cooperation with local offices in Budapest and Vienna towards the stretigic aim to develop new markets in #zech Republic, Poland, Germany as well as other European countries. Manager Ivan   Zoumpalov is in charge of the branch, whose main priority is to provide permanent customer support for local clients. The ambition of Casino Technology is also to provide its clients with the latest upgrade versions of its games, covering the whole range of casino and street sectors, as well as automatic roulette systems. To further help customers a flexible sales policy has been established, including sales on lease, profit share participation and other individually tailored solutions. Another fundamental activity of the branch is as a new technology center in Prague. The team of experienced specialists is led by Jan Kopa, well known locally with more than 15 years experience with gaming machines and roulettes. This team is responsible not only for providing reliable technical service and support, but also. for developing innovative engineering concepts for Casino Technology products to be introduced in the whole of Central and Western Europe. With a favorable business climate, determined by the #zech market, casino Technology hopes its branch will become a key part of its Central European structure.

Australian slot machine company Ainsworth Game Technology has signed an exclusive agreement with Russia's Unicum Group for the supply of gaming machine software and the license to manufacture the company's products within Russia. Financial details of the five-year agreement with Unicum, a Russian casino and gaming equipment supplier, weren't disclosed as G3 went to press. Ainsworth said in a statement the license agreement will take effect in the third quarter of the current financial year ending June 30.
UK cash handling specialist, Money Controls, showed its complete range of secure payment solutions for the amusement and gaming industries at the Warsaw International Expocentre, Poland. The company demonstrated a comprehensive portfolio of components for secure money systems developed with the Polish market in mind on its distributor Nowopol's stand. As one of the country's biggest importers, distributors and exporters of pay-to-play gaming machines, Nowopol supplies the entire range of Money Controls' products.

A European Parliament declaration could cost the gaming sector over 1.5bn euros, according to European gaming organization Euromat. In October, a written declaration from MEP Amalia Sartori calling for the introduction of 1 and 2 euro banknotes was signed by 373 MEP Euromat strongly opposes the introduction of these low denomination notes, which could put another massive financial burden on the gaming sector and believes the written declaration emanating from the European Parliament to be ill considered and to have  real justification. “The reasoning for the : introduction of low denomination notes is frankly without foundation, nor is any attempt made to justify assertions made,” said Euromat President Eduardo Antoja. Investment costs for adapting gaming and amusement machines EUR1 and EUR2 banknotes would amount to 1.6bn euros (approx. 750,000 payout machines at 1,500 euros each, plus 1,000,000 amusement machines at 450 euros each). Machines would have to be equipped with bank note validators which are at least three times more expensive than coin validators. Most jurisdictions do not  allow pay-out machine prizes to be paid us' notes. Therefore, even if accepting notes, they would continue to payout the prizes using coins, requiring constant refills. The additional cost is evaluated at no less than 1,875m euros per year (50 refills per machine per year at 50 euros per refill for 750,000 gaming machine). Amusement machines, in particular payout or  fruit machines, contain large amounts of cash. As paper money is much easier to carry heavy coins, the machines will become an easier target for thieves. Where machines accept notes, the operators would have to regularly refill the machines with coins, as input (notes) could no longer be used to provide the output (coins). This additional distribution of money would cause security problems with regard to refilling of machines.