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

 

 

Jamp ahead

Barcrest Group, Janshen-Hahnraths and Jamp unveiled a series of new AWP titles from Barcrest Games and Red Hot Gaming at the recent World of Entertainment show in Prague.  Two new Red Gaming machines were launched t the show: Demon Gamble, in the New Genesis cabinet, and Casino Roulette Award feature.  The Silver Star multi-game concept, which is being rolled out throughout Europe, was also introduced.  The four games, Casino Poker, Hot Hot Hot, odyssey and Super Hot, are expected to perform well on site and lead the concept to a successful launch. 

Classic, games from the Barcrest portfolio completed the line-up of product for Czech and Slovakia.  Hein van Hout from Janshen-Hahnraths Group, explained: “We were once again highly impressed with the professional way in which Jamp showcased our products.  With a bigger stand, largely dedicated to Barcrest Group, we were able to show visitors a comprehensive range of products.  It was a busy show again, especially on the first day, but most important for us, the strong interest show n by visitors in our products was exactly what we had hoped for.”


      Jamp’s Karel Hamr stated: “The Czech market is now showing a lot of interest in video products and VLTs, with arcades looking for casino-esque games.  Operators continue to buy reel machines and Barcrest’s reel-based games are performing well.  We don’t expect the reel market to stop, but we are seeing greater and greater demand for video.  Price is not an issue either, as the operator in Czech is prepared to pay for the quality of the product, so long as the performance justifies the price.  This is not a second-hand market anymore.  “Asked if the uncertainty over the timetable for Czech’s new gaming law had affected the market, Mr. Hamr said: “There’s been lots of lobbying and so much political conjecture that has affected the sale of machines.  Operators have altered their buying decisions due to the uncertain future for the market.”  Elections in summer should see the market settle, but plans to instigate the law in 2007 could be delayed.  And with the new law needing to take into consideration the changeover to the euro (expected in 2009), there may be several amendments still to come.

Wynn Macau selects new fast RFID  chips from GPI

Gaming Partners International (GPI) has signed a contract with Wynn Macau for the supply of gaming chips and plaques.  The entire order, consisting of the Bourgogne & Grasset brand, is fitted with 13.56MHz RFID microchips.  The microchips  are supplied by Magellan in Australia and securely embedded inside the chips by GPI.

                                         “This order is a testimony to GPI leadership in terms of RFID technology supplied to the world gaming industry,” stated Christophe Leparoux, GPI Manager International Sales and Marketing.  “We are very excited that Wynn Las Vegas Vegas with 125 KHz  RFID chips and at Wynn Macau with 13.56 MHz.  Each technology has different although complementary features to cater for the specific requirements of each market.”  Manufactured by GPI’s plant in France, the RFID chips are from the new hugely successful ‘S2’ range of hard plastic – compound, high-quality, injection –molded chips.  “Our S2 line offers greater possibilities in terms of edgeworks and décor while maintaining the same well-known quality at a very cost-effective price,” added Mr. Leparoux.  “Most importantly, even with the embedded microchips, the S2 chips retain the same heavy weight, feel and appearance that both dealers and players love.”

*  UK operators rush to meet deadline
     
      British casino owners made 41 applications in April to open new venues before tight new restrictions came into force.  62 licences are now under consideration, of which 41 were received at the end of April.  From May 1, only 17 licenses are available for a new wave of British casino and leisure venues, one of which will be a Las Vegas –style supercasino.  As well as the 62 applications under consideration, there were 31 that have been granted licenses but still wait approved at both level but are not yet operating, giving a maximum potential increase of 119.  This compares with 20 that opened between 2001-2005.

Single Vision

 

Merkur Gaming and casino has experienced tremendous growth in its existing operations business in the last few months, increasing the machine mix in its electronic gaming halls across Europe.  The Gauselmann Group company has also been rapidly adding new Merkur  Casino locations to its portfolio.  Gauselmann  Board  Member, Rolf Klug, stated: “We have two Merkur Casinos ready for launch in Slovakia, and two in Croatia, having recently acquired a company with a national licence for that country.  In Spain , final negotiations are under way to begin operations very soon.”  Mr.Klug explained that Merkur Casino has also opened a new Russian gaming hall in cooperation with Russia-based company Villart, though a present regulation changes in Russia had slowed progress.  The Gauselmann Group has also fully equipped its production plant in Russia, but as year cannot legally produce a single machine.  However, Mr. Klug is confident that change will arrive soon, and in the meantime its amusement product is doing well in Russia, and the company is also using this period to test its games with Russian operators, reporting that overall business is performing very  well.

  “We have a very dedicated and professional team,” said Mr.Klug.  “Our operation’s aim is to create a universal Merkur Casino brand, without venturing into virgin markets.  We will enter existing markets where we can offer something more, i.e. better service, product environment.  Our goal is to cater to the playing guests in a very different way.  We are introducing a higher level of establishment in all our markets,” emphasized Mr. Klug.  “These have a casino-like atmosphere, which is complemented by the range of high quality products from our ‘one-stop-shopping’ concept.”  Asked why this principle in Italy was split into several different distributors, Mr. Klug explained: “How we distribute in each country will be different, depending on the product and the requirements of the market.  In Italy, SOGEMA, IGT and Smile cter for our complete range of products.  Where we can distribute everything from one source, we will.  But the strategy remains the same, in that will offer the market everything that it requires.”  Right now, Italy requires video-based games and Czech a ready supply of quality games for the VLT market, but these are two areas that Merkur has yet to venture into in these markets.  “We’ve been very satisfied with results from mechanical reels in the Italian market,” said Mr. Klug.  “I think there will always be a market for reels in country, however, that’s not to say that we’re neglecting video either. The same applies to the VLT trend in Czech.  We recognize the trend, but don’t currently see the legal requirement enforcing such a complex legal structure in every market.  VLTs are an addition to the marketplace, but there is no technical requirement in Czech to supply network able games.  There is a benefit to the state for tax  reasons, but we see no benefit  as yet to the player.  And it’s the player we focus upon.”

Astra satisfies the parts other games don’t reach

One of the few UK-based companies finding export success in Europe right now, Astra Games appeared at the World of Entertainment show in Prague in optimistic mood.  It’s Sports-Bet multi-player, tentatively unveiled at ATEL, has been seized upon by the company’s distributor in Spain, MGA, which has homologated the machine for the Spanish market.  “There’s been such a rush towards roulette multi-players that there’s now a vacuum for multi-player product that’s a little different,” explained Astra’s Neil Chinn of Sports-Bet’s unique combination of dog, horse and motor sports-racing. 

“We’re renowned for development, not just as a slot manufacture, but as a product innovator,” stated Mr. Chinn.  “Sports –bet is a prime example of this, and it’s our intention to progress in Spain and from thee launch Sports-Bet into other European markets.”  Astra also released its latest reel-based game for the Crech market,  Crazy Chip 750 at the Prague show.

 
 
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