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Table Evolution

Floor-wide progressives, live tables online and live table technology are moving the pit forward

Table Evolution

Spread the table-games love.

The sector’s innovation umbrella contains new and upgraded products, market-entrance breakthroughs and recognition of outstanding personnel.

Enhancements occur on several fronts. One involves blending the bells-and-whistles thrills of slots into wild-card options for its classic games. Although table games move more slowly than slot action, new products enrich both customer enjoyment and house edge.

Another advancement showcases online craps in a sophisticated, well-thought-out theme.

And young personnel continue energizing this gaming area, as the most recent G2E summit reveals.

As the fourth quarter of 2021 hits full stride, the sector and some significant companies have accomplished noteworthy milestones.

Multiple Bonuses

AGS enjoys bonus time, “Xtremely.”

The company’s Bonus Spin Xtreme prevailed on a high-profile stage at G2E, earning a Gold award in GGB’s Gaming & Technology Awards. It is the only table progressive that can link all tables within a casino and offer a single shared progressive jackpot.

Recognition also reached an individual level. Jamie Smith, the company’s director of sales, obtained a personal “Bonus Xtreme,” by being recognized for her excellence driving this product. She was named among the Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40, presented by GGB.

John Hemberger, AGS senior vice president of table products, hailed the product’s success at gaming’s prized gathering.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Bonus Spin Xtreme got the recognition it deserved,” he said. “From the get-go, this product has been a game-changer that has helped AGS in its pursuit to be the No. 1 table game progressives company in the world.”

AGS offers a library of more than 50 unique table games, table game side bets, and other table products to entertain players and drive revenues in the casino pit.

With more than 5,400 placements around the globe, AGS’ game portfolio offers something for every type of player, including the fastest-growing progressives in the industry, premium poker titles, blackjack side bets, and variations of baccarat and roulette.

Bonus Spin Xtreme is the latest star in that lineup.

Bonus Spin Xtreme is AGS’ innovative progressive side bet system. Its groundbreaking design, which features three concentric wheels, enables Bonus Spin Xtreme to award all participating players with a community prize, as well as award one player position with an enhanced prize, which may be a progressive jackpot.

Bonus Spin Xtreme can offer a single shared progressive jackpot—a feat which has never been accomplished with any product in any casino, AGS officials say.

What makes this product a game-changer is its ability to provide just one unique progressive jackpot winner for community-style table

games like roulette, baccarat and craps, while enabling all participating players to be rewarded with a community prize.

Three jackpot levels, including AGS’ popular must-hit-by progressive, accelerate player engagement, officials add. Anticipation builds as the jackpot gets closer to hitting.

Because casinos can use Bonus Spin Xtreme to link every table game on the casino floor, casino operators will only have to seed each progressive meter one time, and the progressive meters will grow much more quickly. This will add tremendous attraction to players seeking to win a larger prize and provide operating efficiencies, AGS says.

To augment its growing library of proprietary table games, side bets and progressives, the company offers well-designed, efficient table game equipment intended to drive operating efficiencies, increase revenue, and enhance the player experience.

AGS has launched the new Pax S single-deck packet shuffler designed for specialty games. The sleek Pax S shuffler features sophisticated and secure card recognition technology, fits into existing table cutouts for ease of installation, and deals more than 50 table games, with the ability for easy configuration to support additional games.

The Dex S single-deck card shuffler features a streamlined design with less moving parts, making it exceptionally functional and economical. The Dex S is ideal for poker rooms to increase efficiencies, due to its automated card shuffling, which shuffles a single deck in less than 36 seconds.

Dex S offers efficiency, security, and ease of service and

maintenance. And with a footprint that fits into existing table cutouts, operators can easily install the Dex S without changing their current layouts or replacing any tables.

The chip tray is another force in the AGS lineup, with its newly engineered ACOT Chip Tray and no-peek device, available together or separately.

The ACOT solution combines an easily accessible 12-tube table game chip tray with a separate no-peek device designed to provide greater levels of security for blackjack tables.

With a lock-ready lid and mounting hardware, the streamlined ACOT Chip Tray is designed to fit perfectly within a property’s existing cutout for ease of installation. The no-peek device uses a large housing to increase protection from prying eyes.

Roulette with a Twist

Following the signing of an exclusive agreement to distribute the game in the U.S., London-based table-game supplier TCSJohnHuxley debuted Richer Spin Roulette at this year’s G2E.

Richer Spin Roulette is a new side bet that adds a twist to roulette. Played alongside the traditional game, Richer Spin Roulette features a unique

TCSJohnHuxley roulette wheel with an inner cylinder that has gold and silver bonus bet icons. This counter-rotates to the outer number ring, allowing the two to spin on independently rotating cylinders. The easy-to-learn game is available for single, double and triple zero games.

Bets are placed on a number racetrack adjacent to the traditional roulette grid, and winning bets are determined by the number the icons line up with once the wheel comes to a stop. There is no limit to the number of side bets that can be placed. With the one gold icon paying out 300-to-1 and the nine silver icons paying 100-to-1, there are lots of chances for higher payouts to the traditional game.

“We are really pleased to add Richer Spin Roulette to our portfolio, as it’s a great game that promises to make a big impact on gaming floors,” says Steph Nel, TCSJohnHuxley managing director for the Americas. “Not only is it a really exciting side bet that offers players the chance to win big payouts from small wagers; it’s also extremely attractive to operators as it increases table drop while retaining a strong house edge.”

The Evolution Surge

Evolution Gaming has evolved, and continues to place a footprint in the North American table-games market.

“Live casino games have been part of Evolution’s DNA since the company’s inception in 2006,” says Jeff Millar, commercial director of North America for Evolution. “We have only scratched the surface in what we have released in North America, and we’re extremely excited to release Live Craps in all the U.S. iGaming jurisdictions.

“The game of craps is complex, and working with regulators on the nuances of the live-dealer (online) version of the game has taken a bit of time,” he adds. “But we are finally there, and we’ll be announcing our first U.S. launch in the coming weeks.”

Millar is excited about the company’s Live Craps, a variation on a

successful theme. The pass line is now, well, online.

This unique Live Craps game is set in a beautiful underground speakeasy-themed studio. It is a lively and fast-paced game with many ways to bet and even more ways to win.

“Our Live Craps is a unique version of a well-loved classic,” Millar says. “A dice launcher throws the dice, the cameras follow the dice close up, and an online player will be updated on how other players are betting by looking at dynamic statistic boards on the wall.

“The game comes in two forms, our unique underground speakeasy-themed Live Craps and our First-Person Craps, an RNG version that comes with our unique ‘GO LIVE’ button. The game might seem a little overwhelming for first-time players, but we make sure that our games are enjoyable for old hands and new players alike.”

Millar says a built-in interactive tutorial and “Easy Mode” are available. Players can immerse themselves in the game and learn to play without any pressure, where only straightforward bets are available.

“For players who want to get straight into the action, we’ve created a ‘My Numbers’ display, guiding players very clearly on which number will give them a win,” he indicates. “In Live Casino you’re not bound by placing craps bets in multiples either—it’s much easier to place a bet in Live Craps, and you always know how much you’re playing for.”

The introduction of Live Craps will complete a menu of what players are already familiar with when visiting a land-based casino—Evolution’s core products already include blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, roulette and baccarat, Millar says.

During the casino closures from the pandemic, these familiar games were a relief to online operators in serving their customers who were seeking a land-based casino experience, he asserts.

“Yet even as casinos begin to reopen, we still see strong player demand for the authenticity that our Live Dealer games have to offer,” Millar says. “We work in a resilient industry—the pandemic proved that—and while we had to adapt our operations, we continued to see high demand for our products. It’s meant we can continue our plans to expand and develop in new markets.”

Craps in North America has been a favorite of land-based casinos and has had a long history, not only in the casino world but throughout movie history, Millar says.

“When we first started brainstorming Live Craps, we wanted to play around with the setting, creating an atmosphere and visual experience that would speak to the game’s past—and what better way than creating a narrative that’s set in the ‘speakeasy’ era?” he says.

“We’re in the ‘New Roaring 20s,’ and it felt right to bring this iconic theme back to players. Although we’ve yet to release the game into the North America market, we expect players to enjoy all the familiar betting options that are available on craps in a land-based casino. The multiple camera angles that show the dice being thrown and the result, as well as the interactive chat with a real dealer (wearing suspenders, of course!), will provide a true-to-life experience—as if the player were standing in front of the table at a casino.”

Millar says when Evolution first launched the game, it was a unique development in the world of gaming, and that hasn’t changed.

“It was the first time players anywhere could play authentic Live Craps online on their phones, tablets, desktops or laptops,” he says. “We’ve made it easier than ever for new players by introducing easy-to-play user interfaces with various helpful features. Before releasing the product to the U.S., we realized from our initial iteration that we needed to incorporate a few additional features that American players would expect to see.

“We always focus on the player experience, and tailoring that experience to be localized to the markets we serve. For every market we create, there’s a team behind it that’s always looking at improvements they can make to ensure that players are getting the best experience possible. This has always been what has set us apart from other providers.”

Throughout the industry, the creative use of table games—whether via the equipment to accommodate them or by exciting new ways to play them—remains a strong point of interest for companies that supply the properties.

Casino Connection Sports Editor Dave Bontempo is an award-winning sports writer and broadcaster who calls boxing matches all over the world. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs, as well as numerous PGA, LPGA and Seniors Golf Tour events, and co-hosted the Casino Connection television program with Publisher Roger Gros.

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