Players are driven by games.”
That’s the oft-cited motto of Casino Technology, the Bulgaria-based gaming company that’s developed more than 500 slot titles. But the tag will take on a different meaning at G2E 2014.
Casino Technology—which marks its 15th year in business this year—will put the spotlight on its Big 5 suite of multi-channel gaming systems, designed to bridge the divide between land-based gaming and online/mobile platforms.
The Big 5—named for the great beasts of the wild—is comprised of:
The Rhino casino management system, designed to improve control on the slot floor and optimize management and operational processes, and to provide player tracking and loyalty program management;
The Leopard online gaming platform, which lets operators and players choose among multiple casino games and products and integrates into a single casino lobby and wallet;
The Lion money management system, which enables cash-in/cash-out payment transactions from physical cash into electronic money in a closed-loop environment;
The Elephant remote game server, which can distribute content for video slots, bingo and roulette as well as third-party content like virtual sports, sports betting, and live games to all existing gaming channels, from online and mobile gaming to traditional VLTs; and,
The Buffalo universal jackpot server, which links online and land-based groups of machines to the same jackpot, and supports both LAN and WAP.
Konrad Gill, iGaming director for Casino Technology’s new interactive division, says the Big 5 provides a turn-key solution for land-based operators in an increasingly digital age. Importantly for players, it’s designed to make it easier to jump on and play at will, from multiple locations, adds Casino Technology Vice President Rossi McKee.
“These five systems create a seamless environment for the player so he can access his favorite games from any device through a common player account,” McKee says. “All his loyalty points and credits are available to him through this account.”
The components are already established in Bulgaria and other jurisdictions in Eastern Europe, where Casino Technology is the top slot supplier. They can be used together or separately, depending on market demands and regulatory requirements.
“In the U.S. environment, it can be applicable to social gaming, play-for-fun outside the casino, or playing within the boundaries of the casino on game devices of any nature, from slot machines to mobile devices or tablets,” says McKee.
“We hope it will have its opportunity to further expand into installations here in the U.S. where it is legal, possibly in some tribal and Native American casinos,” she says. “It provides a good opportunity for operators to bring brick-and-mortar operations to the online world and vice versa, and make everything work together.”
Casino Technology and its stateside partner, Las Vegas-based Alternative Gaming Solutions, or Alto Gaming, will occupy adjacent booths at the G2E show. The companies joined forces in 2011 to match Casino Technology’s international savvy and success as a supplier to a U.S.-based manufacturer, with the goal of breaking into Class III markets in the U.S. and also branching out in Asia.
The companies have been encouraged by their reception among tribes in California and Oklahoma. “The time to achieve a better presence in U.S. was right, with Alto Gaming on board and offering to partner and license the technology and games from Casino Technology for the U.S.,” McKee observes. “The performance was good, and indicated players’ acceptance of the games, which motivated us to continue and develop new games and technology for the U.S.”
Together the companies will debut a selection new games tailored to the U.S. market, some of which will be available for installation immediately after G2E. These include a series of progressive Asian-themed games already offered in Macau, with slightly customized math and graphics for the U.S.
“Peacock and Dragon” and “The Five Blessings” are available in stand-alone or linked-progressive formats. The partners will also offer the latest versions of the popular Gamopolis franchise and new themed games from the hit branded series, Penthouse Slots.
“It is really a very rich portfolio of games, already enjoying great success and popularity in other parts of the world, now customized especially for North America,” says McKee.
On the hardware side, Casino Technology and Alto Gaming will also present their latest cabinet: a space-saving, ergonomically designed upright called the Aurora. The Aurora has a 24-inch high-definition panorama monitor, an LED keyboard and an “electroluminescent display,” according to the company.
Along with rapid expansion in Peru, Chile, Colombia and other Latin American markets as well as North America, the companies are busy. They are in the process of establishing a presence in Asian markets including Macau and the Philippines.“We are already in Cambodia, and everything is in place in Macau, where we are waiting for final commission approval,” says McKee.
As ever, as delivery methods evolve, the value remains in the player experience, says McKee. Because that experience varies around the world, from player to player and even moment to moment, it requires broad market experience and understanding to deliver the right formula.
“It is always tricky and difficult to define the player expectation,” says McKee. “Does she go to the casino for fun or entertainment? Is she playing in Oklahoma or California, in Atlantic City or Las Vegas? The players have different objectives. But underlying the development of a great product line is unique math and a unique concept that creates that adrenaline rush the player is looking for and keeps them in the game. Packaging all these things together makes the person come back and play again and again.”
In addition to penetrating new markets, the virtual market offers great potential, says McKee.
“Coming from the land-based world and knowing what the land-based operator is looking for, then adding the online parts—this has been really very well accepted,” she says. “The next step and opportunity for us is going to be offering the Big 5—and the opportunity to extend the land-based to the online world. That will be our focus for the next year and probably several years. We believe the future of gaming is going to be the seamless player experience.”