Cantor Gaming taking innovative gaming technology to a new level

A handheld device called eDeck from Cantor Gaming displays a poker game. M Resort will open in spring 2009, offering Cantor Gaming’s advanced gaming technology.  

Cantor Gaming will provide cutting-edge mobile gaming technology to the casino floor and to the race and sports book of the $1 billion M Resort, slated for completion next spring on the far south end of Las Vegas Boulevard.

While still subject to Nevada regulator approval, the agreement between Cantor and the Las Vegas resort stipulates that Cantor will be the exclusive provider of mobile gaming service to the M Resort and will operate the M Resort’s race and sports book.

Cantor Gaming will deploy a server-based gaming system, with full back-office infrastructure and an extensive portfolio of games. Mobile gaming will permit the play of familiar casino-style games, such as slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and poker, within the casino property, but away from the confines of the traditional casino floor.

“We are excited to have entered into a long-term partnership with the M Resort, Spa and Casino,” said Lee Amaitis, Cantor Gaming president. “Cantor has long been committed to developing and delivering state-of-the-art technology to enhance the gaming experience. We are looking forward to bringing this advanced gaming technology to the M Resort.”

Using Cantor Gaming’s advanced mobile gaming technology, guests at the M Resort not only will be able to play on handheld devices in designated areas throughout the resort but also will be able to bet in unique ways in the resort’s race and sports book.

“We want to provide our guests with the best overall gaming experience available. Cantor Gaming is an industry leader in the mobile gaming market and shares in our commitment to provide guests with an unparalleled gaming experience,” said Joseph A. Magliarditi, M Resort executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“Their technology in our opinion is leading edge, and their expertise on race and sports was critical to us,” he said.

Offering more

The time is right to offer new technology such as mobile gaming, he said. “Everyone’s more tech savvy than they’ve ever been. Everyone has a PC in their home and [many] have a Blackberry or an iPhone. People are less intimidated by these devices,” Magliarditi said in an interview shortly after the Cantor announcement earlier this year.

Cantor has some interesting intellectual property, he added. “There are going to be even more opportunities as far as games and the ways you can bet the games,” he said.

Magliarditi also cited Cantor’s unique games, including StatJack, a variation of blackjack, as attractive features.

M Resort recognized Cantor’s expertise in not only mobile gaming technology but also operating race and sports books in the UK, he said.

 “A sports book is pretty much a sports book in Las Vegas,” Magliarditi said. “With this alliance with Cantor, we’ll be able to bring more to the sports book experience and offer bettors more options. We think it’s going to be a competitive advantage.”

“This is a considerable step forward for the race and sports book vision for Nevada,” Amaitis said in an interview following the M Resort announcement.

Bettors will have many more options than before, he said.

“If I had the opportunity to bet during the game, I think that would far extend the horizons of people who want to gamble,” he said. “It’s a concept more of trading instead of betting. You can trade out of the side you’re on. It keeps you interested.”

Amaitis said he’s confident gamblers will be interested in this type of wagering.

“It’s just a matter of time before that type of gambling takes over. Wagering is all about statistics and data and numbers,” he said.

Cantor Gaming, an affiliate of global financial services provider Cantor Fitzgerald, has been offering such services as a licensed bookmaker in the UK for seven years, he said.

“It’s all about providing liquidity,” he said. “Just think of it as the window never closes. There are going to be wagers available to you throughout the game.”

Adding sports wagers provides another way for the casino operator to access their patrons, he said.

Eventually, Amaitis predicted, other operators will follow suit and change their business model. “I believe people will look at us and say, ‘Why not?’”

Cantor Gaming was granted the state’s first license as a manufacturer, distributor and operator of mobile gaming systems by the Nevada Gaming Commission in May 2006.

Cantor was instrumental in the adoption of Nevada legislation permitting wireless gaming on handheld, mobile devices in public areas of a resort casino. Its initial installation of its mobile game device called eDeck is in the Venetian hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Will people play?

Amaitis said the field trial at the Venetian was designed to show whether people would use the devices.

“We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on it. It was more to see if people like the devices and want to use the devices. Most people say they would use them again,” he said. “There was a debate early on as to who would use the devices – slot players or table players. We’ve see a pretty broad mix. It’s just about choice.”

Cantor has focused on ensuring good content for the devices. “Content is important. We have some very cool games. We have some cool deals with content providers,” he said.

Among the unique games it offers on devices are Statjack, XtraOdds Baccarat and Bonus Roulette.

“It’s all about allowing people to do something different than what they can do at a table,” Amaitis said.

For instance, Statjack, invented by Cantor, “shows you how many cards are left in a deck.”

“It’s basically a card counter’s dream. It’s got a minimal house edge, and it’s really about time at the table. It’s all about being able to attract people to a game they think they can win at,” Amaitis said.

The company also recently acquired the assets of Michael “Mickey” Wichinsky’s family of businesses. Cantor owns the company’s comprehensive catalog of casino games, its intellectual property and gaming expertise, and its full library of art, designs and technology.

The acquisition provides Cantor Gaming with one of Nevada’s richest portfolios of gaming content, developed over 50 years, the company said.

Wichinsky will remain as a consultant to the company as Cantor integrates and adapts games and content from the Wichinsky catalog onto eDeck, Cantor’s mobile gaming device.