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Eastern Europe proving profitable for me

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Eastern Europe proving profitable for MEI

A new single entry coin bezel w\as mEI’s launch piece at ATEI. Competing for admiring glances with an impressive four-lane Scalextric set, the round-button ergonomic unit was diminutive in comparison, as was the only slightly larger SC85 note acceptor, which can cope with notes up to £ 50. MEI’s Richard Woodley, however, explained that the spectacular Scalextric was to underline his firm’s message of fast acceptance speed, strong security, solid reliability and support.

’ The company now has visibility in 47countries, where support is given to all operators using MEI products. Woodley reported good headway being made in the Czech Republic, citing relationships with Cyberview and Avantime. Woodley explained that MEI was looking to build relationships with its customers at the ATEI, while attempting to prove that his firm’s peripherals were superior to the competition. MEI also had a stand at this year’s ICE exhibition, with components designed for the FOBT and casino market. Woodley revealed that MEI was offering risk-free trials to casinos, whereby a casino could take 10 bill acceptors for 90 days at no cost. “This has been successful in US casinos in particular,” said Woodley. MEI does the installation and collects all data on behalf of the client for that period.

      Woodley denied that the days for cash acceptors and bill acceptors were numbered, saying that not many people would be prepared to put their credit cards straight into machines and that coin and note acceptors would go hand in hand with smart card readers. “It’s all about integration,” concluded Woodley.

*  Three explosions ripped through gambling establishments in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz in February, killing at least one person and injuring 14 others, an official said. Russian news agencies reported that two people were killed. The blasts went off around the same time in three separate locations in the center of the city, all housing slot machines and other gambling devices, said Boris Dzgoyev, the Emergency situations minister in the North Ossetia province. He said five people were injured, but a ministry spokesman, Vladimir Ivanov, later said that one person was killed and 14 injured. RIA-Novosti, citing the regional health minister, reported that two people were killed, including a 25- year old women. Interfax and ITAR- Tass also said two were killed.

*  Beaver Vending’s Eric Te Bogt revealed that Beaver had exhibited at the Zvet Zabavy in Prague last year, but intimated that they might not re-books as he felt the show was ‘heavily casino-biased. ’ 2006 marks the 14th anniversary of the IPH Group. Beaver’s UK distributor.


Can electronic darts using steel tips succeed in Britain, a place where soft-tipped darts has never worked?  Merlin Technologies of Chicago is making a determined effort to convert the world’s most stubborn steel-tip game players to paying for their darts. “If it can work anywhere it will work here,” said industry veteran ken Tryon, who is looking after Merlin’s fortunes in Britain.

      While all of Europe has gone through the soft-tipped darts phenomenon over the past few years, mostly with enormous success, it has failed miserably in the UK. Britain is the home of the steel-tipped game, with darts flourishing in pubs all over the country – but always for free. Merlin is trying to bring an electronic game to Britain and is backing it with a highly organized promotion.
      Electronic steel-tipped darts has been tried before, some years ago, but did not work well. This was because the technology was based on graphite on the darts, said Merlin’s Steve Pope. “We use antenna on the outside of the board and sensing where the darts land. The board itself is a standard pub game board. ”   It means that players can bring their own darts – as they usually do in popular darts- playing pubs.

      On the Electrocoin stand at ATEI, where the merlin display was positioned, professional, professional darts player Martin ‘Wolfle’ Adams, who is captain of the England team and World Championship semi-finalist, was giving demonstrations. He said: “Steel-tipped darts remains huge in Britain. On BBC TV a week before the show 250,000 people were watching as electronic darts was being played.
     “There are no doubts about the popularity of steel-tipped darts,” he said. “but players have to be converted to pay-for-play . We are appealing to those who don’t want to do their own sums with chalk and blackboard, or to those who can’t subtract and don’t want people to know it!”
      He said that the convenience of the automatic scoring, the fact that one person can play against the computer and the strong programme of promotions would prove successful for the company



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