Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access (GCA) has carved a well-earned reputation in the gaming industry as an experienced provider of cash access products and related services. Recently, GCA teamed with printing solutions provider FutureLogic to develop and market TableXchange, a device that connects table games into a property’s existing TITO network, essentially creating a common currency across the casino that promotes cross play between slots and tables while offering the facilities a myriad of operational savings. Diallo Gordon, executive vice president and general manager, Xchange products for GCA, recently spoke to Casino Journal editor Paul Doocey about TableXchange and GCA’s goals for the new technology.
How does TableXchange work?
Gordon: It is very straightforward. There are three different ways to mount it to a table-via clamp, mounted directly to the table or on a pole or swivel for games like craps where there is really no place to put the device. It has a very small footprint and does not take up a lot of real estate, which was an important consideration voiced by our customers.
Essentially a player comes to the table and buys in by purchasing chips as they normally would. But with TableXchange, this buy-in can take the form of cash or a ticket from either a slot machine or one of our Xchange kiosks. The dealer then colors up the player and provides them with chips. When the player is done gambling, instead of receiving chips they actually receive a ticket. They can then take that ticket and redeem it at a kiosk or cage, or go to a slot machine and continue playing.
So essentially GCA and FutureLogic are attempting to bring a cashless-style system to table games pit…
Gordon: That is correct. From an operational standpoint, it is actually going to reduce the amount of fills and credits that are going toward those tables, which will save lots of money for the properties.
How will TableXchange be marketed? Are you targeting a certain size or type of casino with this product?
Gordon: That is the beauty of our system-we are not looking to market it to any particular style or size of casino. We really don’t care how big or how small the property is; it doesn’t even have to be a customer of GCA financial services. We are actually looking at TableXchange as a way to help revolutionize the industry and help casinos control costs. If you can reduce the amount of cash on the floor, you are actually going to save a casino a lot money in the long haul.
Have you determined the ROI on this product yet?
Gordon: It is still being calculated. But right off the bat I can tell you casinos will experience a labor cost savings, since security, cage and ops personnel will have to do fewer chip fills. There is also the reduction in the amount of cash that is needed on the floor, which will also lead to cost savings.
There are other companies out there marketing ticket-based cash management systems for table games areas. What sets TableXchange apart?
Gordon: I think our expertise and service in all areas of cash access is important. The FutureLogic component of TableXchange is also key-it provides a platform right at the table to incentivize players through free play or other types of promotions.
Is this product up and running anywhere? Is it in beta test?
Gordon: We introduced the TableXchange last month at Global gaming Expo (G2E). We have a planned submission to the various gaming labs in December. We are going to do several field trials commencing in January 2013 and we expect commercial availability in end of Q1-beginning Q2 in 2013.
That said, the one thing we are spending a substantial amount of time on is making sure we understand the intricacies TableXchange and how it will effect and impact casino operations and internal controls. That is very important to us.
I understand you will be displaying TableXchange at the upcoming Table Games Conference in December. What are your goals for this event?
Gordon: I would say our goal is to get pointed and candid feedback from table games professionals. Are they pleased with the operational cost savings TableXchange provides? What other ways can TableXchange positively impact table game play? We are also looking for any type of feedback on how the internal controls should be written or things we should be thinking about when we are going out and collecting data and metrics on TableXchange. We want to validate that there is no adverse impact to the game, or to the spend of the game.
Diallo Gordon has been involved with the gaming industry for the past 10 years, serving as regulator with the Mississippi Gaming Commission before a stint at Aristocrat Technologies in their systems support group. Gordon joined GCA as vice president of technology operations in 2009, and was promoted to his current position in 2012.