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GLI Hosts Annual Regulators Conference

Stellar speakers, non-technical information enliven sessions

Gaming Laboratories International, the world’s leading testing lab for the gaming industry, hosted its eighth annual Regulators Roundtable last month in Las Vegas. New formats and topics attracted almost 200 attendees discussing such information as responsible gaming, the difficult economy, internet gaming, Class II gaming and more.

Keynote speakers included GLI President and Co-Founder James Maida, as well as IGT Chairman and CEO TJ Matthews.

The opening session featured a discussion of the regulatory and technical challenges of introducing a completely server-based slot floor into a new casino with the debut later this year of MGM Mirage’s Aria Casino Hotel in the CityCenter development.

Michael Volkert, vice president of slot marketing and operations at Aria, was joined by Mark Lipparelli, the newest member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, in a session moderated by Alan Feldman, MGM Mirage’s senior VP of public affairs.

While Volkert called the system “server-assisted” gaming, he said the property was working toward fully server-based applications. He said most of the machines being purchased for Aria are stand-alone games that can operate independently of a central server.

Once the full system is enabled, however, “we will be able to offer our guests richer and more relevant content,” Volkert said.

One of the sticking points, though, is the pricing structure.

“We have had to temper the expectations of some of the slot companies about the value of their games,” Volkert explained. “We have tried to educate them about our costs and our expectations, and we will arrive at a figure we both can live with.”

He said several payment models being considered include a daily fee versus a per-use fee.

“In the long run, we’ll have a much more exciting gaming floor when the system is fully implemented,” said Volkert.

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