Like many other systems that directly impact casino operations, cash handling products are undergoing constant change thanks in part to evolving cost-saving technology on the back end and advances in communication on the consumer-facing front end.

Indeed, products ranging from bill acceptors to payment solutions, cash handling equipment to accounting systems seem to be undergoing almost daily transformations to better meet both customer and gaming enterprise needs. An example of this can be found in the currency acceptance line of products and systems from Malvern, Pa.-based MEI. Recently, the company had two of its core products—the SC Advance bill validator and EASITRAX Soft Count hardware/software solution for count rooms—tapped to improve cash management efficiencies for PCI Gaming, which operates Wind Creek Casino, Creek Casino Wetumpka and Creek Casino Montgomery in Alabama.

PCI Gaming made the decision to specify MEI SC Advance and EASITRAX across all new games throughout its properties after a value added trial (VAT), which measured SC Advance against its competitors in key performance metrics, according to company literature.

SC Advance evolved from the award-winning CASHFLOW SC note acceptor, of which more than one million units were sold. MEI applied new technology to deliver greater performance through an enhanced recognition system, faster note-to-note speed, improved barcode recognition and the increased note memory. The MEI SC Advance delivers where it matters most: acceptance rate, jam rate, security and cost of operation.

The Creek Casino Wetumpka will be the first to become 100 Percent MEI by August of next year. At that time, EASITRAX Soft Count will also be implemented to provide process efficiencies from the slot floor to the back room. The addition of EASITRAX to SC Advance creates a comprehensive software/hardware system that has continually proven to provide a return on investment in less than one year.

EASITRAX Soft Count funnels data collected in the acceptor head into a secure database that can be accessed to track revenue and analyze slot performance. RFID technology connects slot machine asset numbers to a specific cashbox to help eliminate hot boxes (cashboxes with notes mistakenly omitted from the drop) and increase operational efficiencies. Operators have decreased labor associated with cash management by reducing 20-30 seconds per cashbox during the drop process by eliminating writing, wanding and dedicated cashboxes.

Since it was introduced in 2008, EASITRAX Soft Count has been installed in over 100,000 games in the U.S. alone.

“We are delighted to be partnering with PCI Gaming to help optimize their cash management process,” said Eric Fisher, senior vice president for MEI. “We take tremendous pride in having a role that is much larger than being a supplier. MEI measures itself on the profitability of our customers, and we’re confident that the combination of SC Advance and EASITRAX will help PCI gaming reach its goals.”

 

CASHING IN

On the payment processing front, Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access (GCA) made news earlier this year when it introduced Everi, an innovative payments and monetization solution for companies operating interactive gaming sites. According to company literature, Everi bridges the payments gap between land-based and interactive gaming, integrating seamlessly with GCA’s extensive network of kiosks and land-based operations, while simultaneously reducing operators’ PCI burden, increasing operator brand awareness, and giving operators more control over their interactive gaming solution.

The Everi product suite includes:

• Everi Payments, a straight-through payments system, consolidating numerous payment options, traditional and alternative, into one simple payment wall and reduces the PCI burden of operators;

• Everi Digital Wallet, a funds management and payments solution, managing real money and social currencies while bridging disparate game and loyalty systems to provide operators with more robust player data and unique marketing opportunities; and

• Everi Productivity Suite, which focuses on increasing revenue through player monetization and includes easily accessible detailed reporting, player and transaction analytics and fully customizable offer engines.

Each product is a single integration with modular feature implementation, allowing operators to select as few or as many of the customizable options that the Everi product offers.  Leveraging the sophisticated technology of Live Gamer’s Elements platform, Everi navigates the ever changing regulatory and legal landscapes to ensure interactive gaming and lottery payments are always in compliance with jurisdictional gaming regulations as well as PCI and PII rules.

“We are eager to expand our expertise in the traditional gaming payments space to the evolving interactive realm,” said David Lopez, president and CEO of GCA at the time of Everi’s release last summer. “Everi will revolutionize the payments process by making interactive gaming payments an integral part of the player loyalty and monetization process for online and land-based gaming operators through its complete integration with GCA’s kiosks and expansive land-based operations.”

The gaming industry is starting to catch on to Everi’s potential. Last month, GCA and GameAccount Network, an industry leader in delivering online gaming systems, content and supporting services, struck a strategic alliance to integrate the Everi suite of payment products into the GameAccount Network GameSTACK iGaming platform to offer gaming operators a secure, interactive platform and payments solution.

GAN and GCA are combining their expertise to offer interactive solutions for online gaming and secure payments processing, thereby by providing a single point of integration and affording operators the ability to provide iGaming alternatives to patrons, according to a company press release.

“GCA has long been a trusted payments processing provider focused on the gaming industry,” said Dermot Smurfit, CEO of GameAccount Network. “We are delighted to integrate their comprehensive suite of payments products into our GameSTACK platform to better serve the developing U.S. online gaming market.”

“GameAccount Network has a great history of delivering their open platform in the iGaming space,” added Tim Richards, GM and senior vice president of Interactive Solutions at GCA. “We are excited to embark on this strategic alliance in order to give our common customers and players peace of mind throughout their entire interactive gaming experience.”

 

HOLISTIC APPROACH

As important as customer-facing technology is to a successful management system, the casino cash stream is bound to go over its banks if back-end currency processing and management products are not up to snuff. Las Vegas-based Glory Global Solution streamlines cash processing functionality by offering a suite of products that provides 360-degree cash management coverage for casino operators.

On the customer-facing end, Glory Global offers its SK-100C ATM/kiosk. According to company literature, the SK-100C is an ADA-compliant, easy-to-operate kiosk that provides customers with fast and accurate cash dispensing. It features ticket-in and ticket-out transactions, bill-breaking and ATM functionality. With five currency cassettes with 3,000-note capacity and web browser-based accounting, administration and monitoring capabilities, the SK-100C offers casino management the opportunity to reduce errors and cost while improving productivity.

On the back end, the SK-100C provides casino employees with operational simplicity as well. The user-friendly design helps guide an employee using the 15-inch touch screen monitor and easy to understand illustrations to resolve virtually any issue that may arise. This insures maximum uptime of the kiosk.

This nod to simplicity permeates all of Glory Global’s back-room cash processing products and systems. Indeed, the full assortment of Glory products emphasize productivity; important to casino operators as they look for ways to enhance their bottom line. Cash dispensers, recyclers and currency handling products provide a reduction in time due to fewer steps in the counting process and added security due to less handling of cash by employees.

Whether the need is an integrated ATM and ticket redemption kiosk, or management of cash through the use of the PD-600 cash dispenser or the new RBG-300 with iCR Intelligent cash recycling technology, or desktop sorters such as the USF-100 or UW500 and 600, Glory has the answer for casino floors, cages, soft count rooms and non-gaming enterprises such as food and beverage.

 “Our products provide a closed-loop cash processing system for casino operators,” said Richard Friese, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Glory Global, at the recently held G2E show in Las Vegas. “We provide the technology operators need to easily manage cash throughout the gaming enterprise.”