Swiss Gaming gets first Caribbean order for Digi Playcards
Swiss Gaming Corporation has secured its first Caribbean order for Digi Playcards from the San Marco Casino on Curacao. The Playcards will be at the heart of a radio promotion surrounding the re-launch of the casino and hotel in downtown Willemstad.
The Digi Playcard is an electronic device about the size of a credit card, but thicker. It contains a microchip, EPROM, battery and LCD, and can also accommodate a solar cell, sound chip or timer for different applications. Basically, it can function as a miniature slot machine.
Each Playcard contains an accumulator game and a bonus game. The player must accumulate a certain number of points, and then becomes eligible to claim a prize onsite at the casino.
SGC is working with the San Marco to ensure the latest marketing techniques are used to create interest and excitement in the entire local population-not just among the people lucky enough to receive one of the Playcards.
Several winning combinations of the bonus game will be released every day of the promotion. The peak will feature a raffle for all participating Playcards.
René Lindsen, president and CEO of SGC, is personally involved in assisting the San Marco in this promotion.
Founded in 2006, Swiss Gaming Corporation manages and advises casinos on everything from strategic development to concept realization. SGC produces a monthly international newsletter. For more information, go to www.swissgamingcorporation.com.
Sona, Station Casinos sign licensing deal
Sona Mobile Holdings Corporation announced it has entered into a multi-year development and licensing agreement with Station Casinos, Inc. for the joint development and integration of Station’s race and sports wagering applications. Under the arrangement, Station will have exclusive rights in the Las Vegas locals market for wireless products developed by Sona Mobile to allow remote race and sports book wagering.
The jointly developed products may be distributed by Sona worldwide outside of the Las Vegas locals market (Station has a five-year exclusive in its market).
Sona will receive application development fees and licensing fees, and the parties will share revenues from applicable race and sports wagers. From time to time, at its option, Station Casinos may elect to serve as Sona’s test site for certain products contemplated in the agreement.
“We are looking forward to working with Sona to leverage its existing race and sports application portfolio, which will provide additional wagering entertainment value, convenience and privacy for our customers. We like Sona’s vision and feel that it’s a very good strategic fit for our company,” said Art Manteris, vice president of race and sports book operations for Station Casinos.
Federal Group installs KISS
The Federal Group’s Wrest Point Casino at Hobart and Country Club Casino in Tasmania has installed the KISS Casino Information Software System from International Casino Services. Federal Group owns and operates tourism and gambling businesses throughout Tasmania and is the largest private casino and gaming company in Australia.
Wrest Point is Australia’s longest running casino, opened in 1973. It was recently renovated and operates 26 tables and 700 slots, a wide selection of restaurants, a conference center and a hotel with 269 rooms. Country Club has 15 tables and over 500 slots, conference facilities, a golf course, and a variety of accommodations and restaurants.
“The KISS package was developed for casino and gambling operations such as the Federal Group, with a strong focus on security and highly efficient chip movement control, table gaming reporting, soft count administration, surveillance and cash desk modules,” said Brian Colwell, director of operations at ICS.
Other features of the proprietary KISS software system include junket commission reporting, non-negotiable transactions, player tracking and collection of personal details, check cashing, credit control, a foreign currency module and a compilation of a wide variety of audit trails and management reports.
KISS has been installed in a number of gaming jurisdictions, including casinos in Australia, Macau, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, the Philippines, Cambodia, Russia, Vietnam, Tinian, and numerous cruise ships.
Lightning Poker secures patent
Lightning Poker, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lightning Gaming, Inc, announced that on December 11, the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded the company U.S. Patent 7,306,516, titled “Electronic Game Table,” for automated poker tables having a center screen continuously displaying multiple community cards and betting information for each player to all the players.
Lightning Poker’s automated poker table, distributed by Shuffle Master, Inc., features 10 touch-screen player stations around a center screen which displays video of a live game. It includes 3D graphics and animation of card curls, chip flips and chip slides, along with all the attendant sound effects.
The Lightning Poker automated poker table plays Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha High and Omaha High/Low.
“We are very pleased to see another of our patents issued from our portfolio of pending applications,” said Brian Haveson, Lightning Gaming’s CEO. “This patent protects a critical feature of our automated poker tables, the center monitor, which is a key component to the player experience.”
Atronic announces licensing deal
Slot manufacturer Atronic Group announced a new license agreement with Endemol International BV to continue developing slot games based on Endemol’s popular Deal Or No Deal TV game show.
The new agreement authorizes Atronic to continue developing new Deal Or No Deal-themed products on a worldwide basis. It replaces the recently expired original agreement, which had been granted through a third party.
The new agreement coincides with the launch of two new slot games based on the show, “Deal Or No Deal: The Experience” and “Deal Or No Deal: Mega Deal.”
GSA to celebrate 10 years
The Gaming Standards Association used the International Casino Exhibition in London in January to kick off a year-long celebration of the organization’s 10th anniversary.
GSA was formed in 1998 to promote standard protocols to permit the equipment and systems of various manufacturers to communicate with each other. At ICE, the organization kicked off its 10th year by discussing protocols that will enable, among other things, open architecture for server-based gaming applications. GSA’s technical committee met in Austria the week after ICE.
“We have made tremendous progress over the past nine years, and what better way to begin marking the 10th anniversary of our international organization than at the International Casino Exhibition?” said GSA President Peter DeRaedt. “It truly speaks to the global reach of GSA and the universal applicability of standards.”
Cyberview system granted patent
Cyberview Technology Inc. announced it was granted U.S. Patent No. 7,297,062, “Modular Entertainment and Gaming Systems Configured To Consume and Provide Network Services,” for a key component of the company’s server-based gaming system.
The patented architecture overcomes the critical technical and security limitations of present-day technology with respect to server-based gaming, while accommodating regulatory requirements as demanded by the most rigorous standards of gaming jurisdictions worldwide.
“We have patented the server-based command and control blueprints,” said Seamus McGill, Cyberview CEO. “If you’re building distributed gaming systems, with the intent to place your solutions in the highly regulated first-tier gaming markets, our technology will meet and exceed all of your requirements.”
“The technology of this patent gives the operators and the regulators the means for monitoring and control of networked gaming operations, presently desired, but not yet available,” added Thierry Brunet, Cyberview’s chief systems architect.
Nanoptix signs distribution deal
Nanoptix Inc., a leading supplier of printers for gaming applications, announced a distribution agreement with RGB Sdn Bhd, Asia’s leading supplier of casino gaming and amusement leisure equipment. Under this agreement, RGB will sell and provide service for the Nanoptix line of “Paycheck” ticket-in/ticket-out printers.
“We are very excited to be partnering with RGB,” said Jean-Louis Drapeau, vice president of sales and marketing for Nanoptix. “RGB’s highly qualified, well-trained technical teams are strategically based in key locations throughout Asia to ensure the best services are rendered to their customers. This gives us great confidence for success in the Southeast Asian market.”
Regency goes to Mars
Mars Electronics International-MEI-has been chosen by Greek casino operator Regency Entertainment Group to provide its CashFlow SC83 bill acceptors for all of Regency’s future slot machines.
Evaggelos Dimou of Regency Casino Mont Parnes said, “We wanted to make sure our decision was the best for the business. So, we took a look at the banknote readers which are the most well-known brands in Europe. After the trial, we concluded MEI outperformed their competitors by a favorable margin. To this end, we know we can make more money with MEI.”
Mark Greenawalt, MEI’s European and African gaming director, said, “We are absolutely delighted with Regency’s decision to specify MEI CashFlow on all new machine purchases.” He added, “We look forward to working with Regency now and with their expansion plans. With all of the major OEM slot producers supporting and offering MEI, we will be able to satisfy Regency’s future specifications and their performance demands.”
Palm Springs poker room goes automated
The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Palm Springs, California, has joined the growing trend of bringing in automated poker tables by adding PokerTek’s PokerPro tables to its card room.
”PokerPro is a great addition to our casino,” said Lou Crescenzo, vice president of operations for Fantasy Springs. “Removing our manual tables to put in PokerPro was an easy decision for us considering the system’s capabilities and benefits to us and our players.
“The response so far has been great, and we’re just getting started.”
Table Trac gets South American orders
Table Trac, Inc., a gaming systems provider to small and mid-sized casinos, received an order and down payment for the sale of its systems to two casinos in Peru. The company has multiple system installations in Central America, but this is the first in South America.
“This makes three casino sales in the past two weeks,” said Robert Siqveland, the company’s director of marketing. “These two casinos are part of the
Thunderbird group and the order is indicative of our developing relationship with that organization.”
Chad Hoehne, president of Table Trac, said, “Our success and strong relationships in Central America have provided the credibility for Table Trac to continue to expand its market boundaries.”
Casino surveillance top job
A list of the 30-fastest growing occupations in the U.S. listed gaming surveillance jobs at the top, with an expected 34 percent growth over the next eight years.
David Schwartz, with the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said it’s not much of a surprise; more casinos opening and using better technology will require more people to operate the technology.
“With all the casinos opening up, this is probably a good time to get into the field,” he said. “Surveillance is something that the longer you do it, I think the better you get at it and you really have to have almost a sixth sense of what’s going on the casino floor.”
And unlike many jobs that are being replaced by machines, there is still no surveillance machine capable of making the judgment calls that humans do, he said.
Italian manufacturer debuts product in Cyprus
Rocks Casino in Northern Cyprus has become the region’s first customer to take delivery of the new Magic Dreams Slant Top 500ST as part of its major refurbishment program.
The 500ST is a 19-inch double-screen slant top model that has drawn much attention from the European gaming industry.
Rocks Casino Operations Director Ertan Ertekin commented, “We are delighted to be the first on the island to order the new 500ST from Magic Dreams and we appreciate the build and design quality. They certainly fit well into the newly refurbished casino and if they play as good as they look, they may not be on their own for long.”
James Illingworth, international sales director for Magic Dreams, said, “To receive an order from such an experienced operator as Rocks was very pleasing for MD and a sure sign that we are moving in the right direction in terms of quality. Our upright MDX 500 model is currently performing well on the island and we expect the same for the 500ST.”
Along with launches of new products, Magic Dreams is opening a new regional office in Buenos Aires, Argentina where Maria Laura Garcìa Casasola will be the new sales director.
“In these years Magic Dreams has enlarged its boards outside Europe and the South American market has immediately given a positive feedback to our products. We’ve chosen to have regional offices in Columbia and Argentina as we believe in the South American market and we want to be there with direct contacts,” said MD General Director Luca Gerardini, “granting the best service to our customers. Maria Laura has good experience in the gaming industry and her presence in Magic Dreams will be helpful to increase our expansion and development plans.”
Robinson & Associates releases white paper on organizational improvement
A new white paper from Robinson & Associates, Inc., has been published to help casinos understand what is involved in rolling out internal improvements that can result in greater success in the future.
”One of the greatest challenges for gaming properties is to achieve and maintain consistent, positive organizational improvement?improvement that provides superior competitive positioning,” says Jennifer Privitera, author of the white paper and manager of client service at Robinson & Associates, a customer service consulting firm to the casino industry. “Although it requires effort, the ability to change and improve must be built into a casino’s strategic plan. It can and must be done.”
The white paper draws from nearly 20 sources to give an overview of organizational improvement and a positive work culture, explore cost versus investment in employees and address the benefits of employee training and development. It outlines the challenges casino managers face in a culture that emphasizes improvement and the skills they need to implement positive change. The white paper also offers a brief case study of McDonald’s and its learning environment.
“Sustainable organizational improvement is an ongoing struggle for casinos, but it is a challenge that can be overcome,” Privitera says. “Gaming properties that embrace change and internal improvement will be amply rewarded as they become more effective, accountable, efficient and visionary.”
To obtain a copy of the white paper e-mail Marilyn Kuhnert, Robinson & Associates’ client development specialist, at [email protected] or call 623-486-9090.
Krawczyk joins Orion
Orion Gaming last month announced the appointment of Henry Krawczyk as director of international sales. Krawczyk joins Orion with over 20 years of gaming industry experience.
“I feel privileged to have joined such a dynamic and innovative team at this stage of the company’s development,” Krawczyk said. “Although a wholly owned subsidiary of WMS, it is important to build and grow Orion as a unique, separate and distinct brand. There are always challenges in attempting to achieve the quite substantial goals we have set ourselves, but with the talent already at Orion, and when you add to that the support of WMS, the future looks extremely promising.”
Barry Greenberg, Orion’s managing director, said the company is lucky to have someone with Krawczyk’s background.
“The addition of Henry to our team will go a long way to ensuring Orion achieves the long-term strategies being put into place for sales, product plans and commercial focus,” said Greenberg.
SIP’s first install completed in Switzerland
Helmut Steffenini, managing director of Systems in Progress, a subsidiary of WMS, last month announced the first jackpot installation of SIP in Switzerland. The installation took place at the Grand Casino Bern, which is now able to offer its customers the first multi -level mystery jackpot in Switzerland over several different slot machines of varying types and brands.
Grand Casino Bern Technical Director Gerhard Stiegler congratulated SIP for a job well done for delivering the first successful and smooth installation in Switzerland.
SIP technology offers major advantages, eliminating the need for expensive servers and resources on site. The system has an auto sensing function of major machine protocols, auto detection of denominations and payouts while supporting the widest range of jackpot models (both local and wide area), progressive and mysteries, plasma displays, cash desk, player tracking, bonusing and cashless (card based).
WMS acquired SIP in 2007. SIP was founded in August 2003 by Steffenini and Franz Lechner, both with more then 20 years of experience in the global casino industry.