GREECE:   The result of a January court trial concerning whether the law for the prohibition of electronic games is unconstitutional or not is expected soon.

      Law 3037 was instituted in 2002 and prohibited the operation of every electronic gambling or amusements game in Greece. Ifigenia Viassi of Greek coin-op Veterans Vlassis SA told InterGame: “Now, we are expecting some additional proposals by the lawyers in order the file to be completed. The fact that we had some positive elements out of this trial it doesn’t mean that as soon as we got the final decision about it, that the operation of electronic games will be legal. Perhaps, we can say that this is a positive step. Maybe, with an affirmative decision, the Greek government would find it easier to issue this so much desirable law.
     “Unfortunately we don’t know how this law is going to be. However  there are two possible options. According to the first one, the law would require a special license of operation that it would be really expensive and only a few operators or manufactures will be able to acquire it. ”
      The second possible option is the law to require the operation of only one kind of electronic game. This machine would have particular specification in order to be produced by companies that have the experience and  the ability to manufacture such kind of machines.
      The first step is done. Vlassis added: “We hope that the continuity of the issue will be pleasant and satisfactory for the industry. Finally   would like to point out that during the prohibition years here in Greece the Greek manufacturers made the appropriate preparation in readiness to supply whatever products the Greek market will need. ”

US:   Web comic Penny Arcade has confirmed the return of open-to-the-public ‘celebration of gamer culture’ event. PAX 2006, the third annual event o its kind, will feature expanded tabletop gaming emphasis. Billed as a nonstop celebration of gamer culture, this year’s event will be held from August   25-27 in Bellevue, Washington. Though few details beyond an expanded emphasis on tabletop gaming have been announced, gamers can expect to see playable game demos, panel discussions, and the megaton gaming tournament that were featured in previous years.

UK:   DT Productions has digitized he entire stock of chart tracks held in he British Library dating back to 1952. Microsoft struck a similar deal with the British Library last month to digitize 100,000 non-copyrighted books in its collection – its intention is to use this pilot project to lay the groundwork for future collaborations with other libraries, government departments and publishing houses. The DT Project will allow the British Library the opportunities to hold digital files of all its precious chart tracks for public record and let DT utilize the music in its own extensive archives. In a related deal, DT has also negotiated an agreement with the Official Chart Company for its database of the charts since 1960. The database, combined with the digital chart tracks will provide a unique historical reference of chart music in the UK.

BELGIUM:   The bingo games unique to Belgium must from this year be hooked up to serves and have their performance reported automatically to the country’s Gaming Commission. The pub-based sector only has four manufacturers of the games, but there is no common platform and each brand has its own server. Operators must therefore have PC servers for each brand, which cause some problems. Operators are reporting that the online system is slow and as information must be passed over every 24 hours it is very time consuming; and the machines must be switched on during the transfer of data.
Because the bingo table is the only payout machine permitted in Belgian bars, manufactures have had to become very creative and now some AWP-style bingo games have started to appear, eight years after Seeben first tried to introduce it unsuccessfully. Operators in the country report that with arcades now online too, the industry in Belgium has slowly become official. Belgium’s new Gaming Commission has approved the country’s machines, including the pre-legislation games, and has licensed the operators.

US:   Qubica AMF has told InterGame that Betson Enterprises is the new distributor for AMF Thunder bowl within the US. “Betson is one of the largest and most respected companies in the amusement industry and we are excited about this relationship,” a Qubica spokesman added. AMF Thunder bowl can now be found in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Greece, France, UK, Korea and the middle East.

SOUTH AFRICA:   Golden Tee Live will go online in South Africa this month. UK firm Electrocoin cited its co-operation with Golden Te’s creators, US firm Incredible Technologies, as a ‘good experience. ’  Golden Tee featured on Electrocoin’s stand at the ATEI and attracted attention due to its new wireless connection. This allows players from around the world to compete against each other in real time. If a player achieves a high score, then it appears on worldwide leader board after just three minutes.

COLOMBIA:   Infinity Games from Austria, is concentrating on selling its Infinity Blue automated roulette machines in Colombia, Russia and France. Sales manager Eddy Vyncke can speak six languages fluently, thus giving his firm a distinct advantage in foreign sales.

HUNGARY:   Electrocoin’s   win Spin is ‘causing a storm ’ in Hungary, according to the company’s Kevin Weir. Ostensibly a lo-tech slot, the feature game takes the player into a Wheel of Fortune style sub-game on a separate area above the main play area. “It’s done so well, we’ve done a UK version, which is very rare. All our games area constantly being fine-tuned in accordance to operator and distributor feedback,” said Weir.

Exposure EXPOSE

UK : Three has been a great deal of sentiment about the appearance of the famous Ace logo on its own stand at the London ATEI for the first time in years. Phill Thomas, who heads the newly re-founded company since it was bought by Alan Parker’s Gamesoft, told InterGame: “A great many people from all over Europe have been over to the stand during the show expressing pleasure at seeing the old company’s name back in the business and with such bright new machines.
      Thomas is now heading a team that is part of the Gamesoft group, but pledged to out-perform its owner in a healthy competition. “We will have our own software engineers and design our own games which will complete with those of Gamesoft. The only common factor is that two will use the same technology platform and build them in the same factory. ”

      And the company has firm ideas about the scope for its development, making games equally for the street market and for the casino sector –indeed, it had its own stand in the neighboring ICE show.
     “We are making AWP machines for the UK and the export markets,” said Thomas, “club machines and Section 16/21 games for the UK, as well s casino equipment. We are already able to produce compendiums of games and developing  new models very quickly to add to that. ”
      For all the speed with which Ace has re-emerged into the market, Thomas sees controlled growth for the new company. In London the company presented two new AWPs on the ATEI booth and on its stand in the ICE show four new high jackpot slots.

GERMANY:   With no IMA show this year for the first time in many years, aTEI was the natural destination for  a huge influx of German operators Eastern European companies were also noticeably more heavily represented this year, probably again because of the absence of an IMA show, which has been stalled because new German AWP regulations will entail lengthy testing. Austrian manufacturer Novomatic, with a massive stand in the ICE show, laid on 5,000 German sausages for the span of the show.

GERMANY Following on from the IMA effect on ATEI, Petra Lassahn, who has returned to run the IMA show on behalf of Reed Exhibitions, toured the London show but was non-committal on the chances of an IMA this year. The problem is that German machines have to be approved through the PTB process of testing and as the new law was only introduced at the end of 2005   there was not time to process them for the mid-January show date. It is not now expected that the first approvals will be issued prior to April. If the show cannot be held by perhaps may or June, then it is likely it will be cancelled for this year so that it does not impact the January 2007 date.

UK Operators on both sides of the English Channel will be saddened by news of the early death of Maurice Colclough, an international rugby player and machine operator. Maurice, as big a character as he was in build, played as a second row forward for clubs in England, Wales and France, played 25 times for England and toured twice with the British Lions. After retiring from rugby, he took up machine operating in France before moving into similar businesses in South Africa and the UK. He made his home in Wales. He died on January 27 after a long battle against a brain tumor. A minute’s silence for Colclough took place England’s Twickenham in February.

US:   Remember Kick it, the soccer game?  After Interactive Light, its creators went out of business leaving hundreds of the games went out of business leaving hundreds of the games on the international market, the game is returning as Striker Pro.ICE, the Us marker of novelty and redemption machines, will bring the game back to the market about now but with updated features.