VLT futures

Casino slots Czech avalanche

Jamp ahead

Vending Data moves to acquire Dolphin Products

Games city

Refreshing installs from TCSJH at the Palms Mint

PokerPro clears UK approvals

VLT operations: WinWin Austria

New Prince of Czech Republic

Harmony right across Latvia

Games focus: Video Lottery Terminals

Product Guide

Interview

Game Technology: Slot Tournaments

Giving back to the players`

 

 

 

Games city

How do you follow up one of Europe’s best selling multi-game machines?  The answer is Gameopolis, and it was shown on Casino Technology’s stand at the World of Entertainment show in Prague.  One of the pioneers of the multi-game format, casino Technology’s Gameopolis is the successor to Mega-Jack, the machine that made the company famous.  And while Mega-Jack remains popular in many countries, Gameopolis  is the next generation, housed in the Gemini cabinet on the Atlas platform, it meets and exceeds today’s operator requirements.  “The multi-game is a very special product,” explained Casino Technology founder, Milo Borissov, at the April exhibition.  “It’s a challenge to create so many good games and then, of course, to approve them with the testing labs.  But from a marketing point of view, this is an excellent product for small locations,” commented Mr. Borissov.  “Conversely, large operations prefer single games.  A multi-game is more complicated for the player.  If the large location draws custom from the tourist market, the relative complexity of a multi-game can dissuade casual play.”  However, there are also many advantages to multi-game play, especially for the space conscious operator. 

“Multi-game machines offer the operator a more profitable approach,” said Mr. Borissov.  “One machine delivers a variety of games for different players.  Some players prefer to play one game, while others switch games depending on how lucky they feel each game is.”  According to Mr. Borissov, people also play for longer on a multi-game machine, though there are also superstitious players, who believe that the machine is not as fair as a single game.  If the play before them has played the same machine, but a different game, then the next player can think that their game will not return the same win as a single game machine.  In circumstances like this, players often prefer single machines over multi-games.  “As a rule, the sitting of multi-games is determined by the location,” said Mr. Borissov. “On a large casino floor, multi-games comprise of around five per cent of the machine total.  Single machines in this environment perform better.  Players in large environments need to see card game, recognize the glass, and this isn’t obvious from a multi-game menu.”  Mr. Borissov admits that this will probably not play such an important role in the future, as the next generation of computer literate players will be more accustomed to such a layout.  But traditional players still recognize single games by the title on the glass and prefer this type of machine. 

“Instead, multi-games are important for street locations,” commented Mr. Borissov.  “However, we’ve seen many operations launching with multi-game only slot floors, but after a while they switch to a selection of singles and a mix of multi-game machines is approximately the average formula today.”  Casino Technology also believes that the additional of a dual monitor to the multi-game cabinet is also very important.  “A dual cabinet offers excellent communication and attraction, making the game even more player-friendly,” said Mr. Borissov.  “Many players till have the impression that the dual monitor machine is special.  It’s like a car with a GTI badge –it’s triple turbo charged – giving them the feeling that they are playing something modern and inspirational.”  But technology for technology’s sake is something that Mr. Borissov doesn’t agree with.  “Technology is important, but again, like a car, a gaming machine must have soul.  There are many gaming companies not utilizing the latest technology, but they are still very successful.  Technology is developing very fast, but the ‘latest’ equipment is not necessarily the right fit for the gaming industry.  Information technology is changing every six months, but gaming has different technical requirements.  Gaming technology is slower than IT, it enters the gaming industry 12-18 months after the IT market.  The IT market is always looking for high performance.  Gaming is about reliability, where modern tech needs to prove itself.  Great poker game content delivered on a faulty platform does not make sense.  You have to strike a balance between the two.”

In early May, the first Bank and Business Competency Centre opened in Salzburg, Austria.  The centre is a modern office unit where planners, building owners, architects and other interested parties gather information on current building projects.  16 companies, including carpenters, tiers, office furniture manufacturers to lighting designers, have invested jointly to make this project possible.  The Austria, is part of the alliance with its main product line, Photo Play.  Photo Play has already been successful in the banking world and is also well represented in hospitals and hotels.  Plans for another such competency centre near St. Polten, Lower Austria, are already underway.  Herbert Ehmer, General Manager of the funworld Austria, is convinced of the sense behind this concept: “Here we have created a market place for ideas at which our clients are able to effectively save time and money.  The complicated acquisition of information and offers was simplified by an obvious vision.  Its implementation alone shows our strength:” our intention to provide well thought thorough solutions.”

 

*   Unidesa Gaming and Systems has added a new dimension to the company’s commercial strategy for the Russian market by appointing the Moscow-based specialist distribution company Smile has been made in order to provide an enhanced service to Russian customers and is a positive reaction by Unidesa  Gaming and Systems to the enormous interest at and since last December’s EELEX exhibition in Moscow.  “Adding the resources, market knowledge and commitment to Unidesa products of Smile is an extremely important development for us,”  said Unidesa’s International Commercial Director Jorge Ibanez.  “We will maintain our own Moscow office and our staff there will work in close co-operation with the Smile team.  In this way we will provide a faster reaction time to commercial enquiries while also being able to enhance our technical, after sales, parts and application services.”  Following the Eelex show, Unidesa Gaming and Systems has been inundated with enquiries for its new slot games, such as Fighting Queens (a game designed specifically for the needs of the Russian market), Clay Space, Pic-A-Game2 and Cupid’s Agency.  Also attracting major attention in Russia is the recently enlarged ranged of multi-player games such as Wild Race, Greyhounds and Random Bingo.  Smile has a proven reputation as a major supplier to the Russian casino industry and their contacts and expertise are highly developed.  Unidesa regard the appointment of Smile is a quick and effective reaction to the demands of a market that is of key importance.

Glitterati

Portugal opened the doors of its ninth casino last month when operating company Estoril Sol inaugurated the Casino Lisboa in the country’s capital city. Located in Lisbon’s Parque das Nacoes (the old Expo ’98 site)  Casino Lisboa covers 15,000 sq.m and will initially offer 22 gaming tables and 800 slot machines, although some 1,500 slots are expected to be installed over the next four years.  Management say the intention was to not start out with the maximum number of slot machines so as not to create instability in the gaming market.  The Portuguese market is a very modern one, featuring some of Europe’s largest casinos, including Casino Estoril.  Austrian Gaming Industries has been very successful in this market and established its position as a major player, with AGI’s machines to be found in every Portuguese casino.  AGI, is also well represented at Casino Lisboa with its multi-player systems, Novo Flying Roulette and Novo  Multi-Roulette, which feature a total number of 26 individual touchscreen terminals.  Casino Lisboa’s gaming floor also includes 45 upright Germinator cabinets and nine cabinets featuring the single-player roulette game Grand Roulette.  As a pure casino market, a large number of machines in Portugal are already equipped with Ticket In-Ticket Out (TITO) facility, and casino operators are further enhancing TITO installations making Portugal one of the most influential markets for this technology.  The casino has taken just under 12 months  to complete and was led by the architectural firm of Fernando Jorge Correia.  It also houses four bars, three restaurants and an auditorium.  Estoril Sol is Portugal’s second largest casino operator and is a Portuguese company set up to manage Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho’s casinos in the country.  Estoril Sol also has the concession for Casino Povoa and Casino Estoril.  Casino Lisboa has cost the group 108.9m euros, although it is expected to generate a revenue of 70m euros during the first eight months of business with an expectation that it could exceed Casino Estoril’s 127m euros annual pre tax income once fully operational.  Management behind Lisbon say they have developed a different design for the new online casino based in the young, innovative and international market.  It features futuristic theming and will be aimed at the younger end of the player market and will include mixed rooms to create a more informal atmosphere.  The exterior has a facade from which a 20 meter high translucent cylinder dominates and the Arena Lounge is distributed over a series of revolving platforms allowing guests to see the entertainment.  Mario Assis Ferreira, President of Estoril Sol, explained: “The architectural outlines are impressive and original. The interior is transparent allowing one to discover diverse atmospheres, uniquely connected by a gigantic and imposing cylindrical structure.  The difference with Lisbon in relation to Estoril, is this new concept.  Casino Estoril is mainly focused on a notion of glamour, marble and symphonies of color, captivating a public in their 40s that are drawn by international galas and our original shows as well as our fine cuisine.

      “Casino Lisboa will focus mainly on a public around 25 to 40 years old, who appreciate a more minimalist space, a more demure and avant-garde design and who will frequent the Casino not only to gamble but for what it has to offer on a socio-cultural level,” added  Mr. Assis Ferreira.
      Summarizing Casino Lisboa’s first month of gaming activity, Carlos Campos, responsible for the layout of the gaming floor and the purchase of machines for Casino Lisboa, is very content with his decision: “In the short period of time since the opening, the performance of the Novomatic machines has been as expected, that is, the success of the multi-player systems hasn’t been a surprise for me.  In my opinion the Novomation products are at the moment the only products that guarantee products are at the moment the only products that guarantee a high level of technical and revenue performance in the Portuguese market.  Concerning the video reels’ product performance our expectation have already been exceeded in the first days.”

*  Following a short, but successful trial, Jasmine Court Casino in Cyprus has signed an agreement with TCSJohnHuxley to run Jackpot Roulette, the innovative game designed to increase turnover on conventional roulette by using jackpots and other prizes.  Situated within the five-star Jasmine Court Hotel in historical Kyrenia in northern Cyprus, the casino is the biggest on the island boasting 30 table games and 500 Slots.  Currently running two Jackpot Roulette tables, but increasing to three shortly, the casino has been delighted with the response from players and staff alike.  The success with players is simple- they get more from roulette with the chance to play their normal numbers, while benefiting from the chance of winning fantastic jackpot prizes.  Jasmine Court Casino has installed one major jackpot with a start out value of US$ 4,000 with a scheduled payout at us US$100, air tickets, rooms in the hotel or dinner for 2 in a selection of on-site restaurants.  These are promoted on a large plasma screen above the tables and around the casino in flyers.  Jackpot Roulette can be fitted to any Roulette table without affecting the standard procedure and rules of the game.  The system is fully automated and only requires minimal dealer intervention when jackpots are paid.  It maintains the normal pace of the game because a mystery jackpot is only paid to a player who places a bet straight up on the winning number when the jackpot is triggered by the system.  TCSJohnHuxley;s Marcus Honney has overseen the installation at Jasmine Court and comments.  “The trial period for jackpot Roulette has been very successful with impressive results.  The Casino has been very happy with the system’s performance and our support throughout and as a result they are increasing the number of tables ordered.”

Progressive Gaming International has received approval for use of Ticket In Ticket Out (TITO) for its stand alone Matrix slot games by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.  Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bob Parente stated: “Obtaining this approval will enable us to deploy seven new titles on the Matrix platform in Nevada.  We expect to have a total of 10 titles for casino operators in Nevada and in other US jurisdictions by the end of the year.”

 

 

 
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