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Technology Breakthrough

Casino Technology expands key brands and makes inroads in the Americas

Technology Breakthrough

Casino Technology is nearing a milestone in its evolution. From its base in Bulgaria, the Eastern European supplier of basic video slots and electronic roulettes has built a global presence that reaches into some 50 markets. The firm’s expanded product range now includes branded slot games presented in custom-designed cabinets, and delivery systems for server-based and online gaming.

This latest version of Casino Technology is geared to compete in multiple sectors of gaming, from resort casinos and state-of-the-art arcades to home computers and mobile devices.

One of the cornerstones of this new structure is the branded “Penthouse Slots” product. The licensing deal with Penthouse magazine was first announced in London in January 2011. Later that year, the first Penthouse Slots cabinet—a glowing, pink-lit Sensa Plus cabinet topped with a pair of very big, very red lips—and the first game concepts were on display at G2E.

The up-gunned Sensa Plus cabinet model used by the Penthouse Slots product has since been dubbed the Sensational Plus. It is custom-tooled and specially designed to create unique presentation and appeal on the casino floor. Besides the design, a new solution provides a “smart” technology environment for the player, recognizing the activity around the slots by built-in sensors and—with a seductive voice, audio, graphic features and lighting—gently leading the player toward the next steps in the game.

Now, with the machines and three initial games all GLI-certified, Casino Technology has completed the first official installation of Penthouse Slots at a casino in Bulgaria. More installations in other countries—some already scheduled, some still in the planning phase—are anticipated before the start of G2E.

The increasingly international push, and the rollout of the Penthouse Slots product, is being overseen by Casino Technology Vice President Rossi McKee.

“The first Penthouse Slots installation was in Bulgaria, in the huge casino Fenix at Kulata on the border with Greece,” says McKee. “The games are enjoying a lot of interest and doing very well. Now, we are expecting placement in a casino in Panama in early September and in a casino in Peru shortly after that.”

At the Peru Gaming Show in August, Penthouse Slots were presented publicly to casino operators in that market for the first time. According to McKee, the slots generated a lot of interest. Meanwhile, in other important markets around the world, the Penthouse-branded product is making new inroads.

“We are working on two other installations that are coming up soon,” says McKee. “We are securing an installation in the Philippines. And we are working on installations at Pechanga Casino in the United States, in California. That will hopefully be prior to G2E.”

The Penthouse Slots are being offered primarily in banks of four or six machines. Aside from the three originally approved games—“Umbrella Dance,” “Butterfly Dreaming” and “Wild Temptations”—two new games for the series, “Blazing Guitars” and “Foxy Wash,” are awaiting GLI approval.

“The new game concepts are very different from the first three, as you will see at G2E,” McKee says. “We will be doing some special promotions around these new games. We will also offer multi-game packages for certain markets.”

Also at G2E, Casino Technology will launch a second style of cabinet for the Penthouse Slots product.

“We have come up with a new vision for the Penthouse Slots cabinet, which is a bit different and provides another visual experience,” says McKee. “The new cabinet, which will be launched at G2E, features improved sound quality and other aspects.”

Having two visually different cabinets will give operators who choose the six-machine installation the option of having a “three-and-three” configuration, says McKee.

The next system development for the Penthouse Slots is a multi-level progressive jackpot, expected to be ready for placement by the end of 2012. Another round of new features for the cabinets and increased interactivity in the games are planned for 2013.

“The new games are going to be i-Penthouse Slots games,” says McKee, adding that more information on exactly what that implies will be available at the London show in January.

Server-Based and Online Gaming

About two years ago, Casino Technology began to work on developing products for interactive gaming. Now, the supplier is able to provide its catalog of games to online casino operators and to land-based venues via its own server-based gaming system.

“Alongside traditional land-based casinos, the trend today and new opportunities that will be available in the future involve mobile gaming, server-based gaming and online gaming played from home,” says McKee. “The server-based system and the remote game server can be seen as two technologies that complement each other.”

Certain titles on the remote game server are available to the land-based market by means of the server-based system. The full range of titles on the server is accessible for the online market.

“Through a simple API, the remote games server can be integrated with any other third-party provider’s online system that is already deployed,” says McKee. “So, a very simple and quick integration allows a provider to access our games and add them to those they are already running, expanding their library.”

McKee says the architecture is unique in that a single system can support multiple platforms, whether it be server-based gaming in a physical venue or gaming by means of a mobile device or home computer. Casino Technology has applied to patent the concept.

The first installation of the server-based system is being arranged for multiple locations in Bulgaria, and is anticipated in a few of these for early September.

“The Bulgarian market is a little different,” says McKee. “There are a lot of locations belonging to a number of different brands, and we are working with a few of these brands.”

The gaming regulation that allows this kind of system only came into effect in Bulgaria at the start of June. To get a jump on the online gaming aspect of the product, Casino Technology had already applied for and received a license from the jurisdiction of Alderney. Ironically, the Alderney license was obtained only days before the Bulgarian law was enacted.

 

Expanding Worldwide

Casino Technology is looking to grow over the next few years, both within its base region of southeastern Europe and in its foreign markets around the world. To help with this task, says McKee, the company will be looking for talent.

“Right now we are in an active mode,” says McKee. “We are looking to approach different territories and secure more and better positioning in our markets there. We are also looking for additional professionals, on a local level, who can join our team and bring their knowledge and expertise of the local-specific market.”

In Europe, those local markets include Italy and Hungary, and perhaps Greece.

Latin America has also been a main focus, and just recently Casino Technology celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Peru office. Aside from the planned Penthouse Slots installation, the Peruvian market has seen the launch of the successful Gamopolis multi-game platform in recent months. With casinos there having anywhere from 200 to 2,000 slots, the opportunities are obvious. And if Peru goes ahead with server-based gaming, as is anticipated, Casino Technology will be there with that product as well.

For G2E, Casino Technology will be featuring the launch of its new Penthouse Slots game packages and the new Penthouse Slots cabinet.

“Most of the products that we will display at G2E will be tailored mainly to the U.S. market,” says McKee. “Some of our newest products we will not be showing until London in January. At the beginning of next year we are coming out with several new lines of cabinets and products that will be based on multi-game concepts we are currently developing.

“We are also working on another licensed and branded game that we will launch in London.”

—Rich Geller