Table games is one such non-slot product category that often shines year-in and year-out at G2E, and this month the spot light will focus on the category brighter than ever, thanks in large part to the recent trend of slot companies acquiring or striking exclusive distribution deals with table game manufacturers with the goal of filling out product lines or entering the lucrative electronic table games space.
For those attending G2E to scope out the evolving table games marketplace, here’s a recap of some table-centric news along with recent product introductions vendors may showcase on the G2E trade show floor:
American Gaming Systems (AGS), a gaming machine supplier for Class II markets with an emerging presence in both Class III markets and new product categories, purchased Casino War Blackjack and its portfolio of table games, most notably War Blackjack, this summer.
“We couldn’t be more confident in the quality of War Blackjack to kick off our inauguration into the table games business,” said David Lopez, CEO of AGS in a prepared statement. “Blackjack is the most popular table game in North America and war is a fun, widely-recognized game that is easy to learn. War Blackjack elevates the traditional blackjack experience by empowering the player to engage in an optional game of war prior to the blackjack game. If the player chooses, he can take his winnings from the war pre-game and increase his current blackjack wager. This creates a one-of-a-kind blackjack experience that is both exciting and suspenseful.”
According to company press materials, War Blackjack is a proprietary blackjack variation that adds a dynamic twist to the game. With placements in over 40 casinos across seven jurisdictions since its official launch in December 2013, the game’s remarkable momentum is a testament to player demand for a unique and compelling blackjack experience.
G2E booth number: 4453
CAN WE BE FRIENDS?
Aristocrat Technology recently purchased Paltronics, an Illinois-based supplier of value-added applications for in-game media windows and bonusing applications for EGMs, video poker machines and table games, for an undisclosed amount of money.
Paltronics is a market leader in progressive jackpots, offering products such as Bonus Spin Pai Gow to the table games marketplace. Paltronics jackpot controllers are already deployed in Aristocrat’s highly successful linked slot progressive products including Hyperlink and Xtreme Mystery. In North America, Paltronics provides a complementary product offering to Aristocrat’s OASIS 360 systems portfolio, with digital media, and venue-wide progressive bonusing products.
According to company press materials, this deal will also secure Aristocrat’s access to key technology underpinning the company’s new generation of linked progressive products, while protecting existing multi-site progressive technology infrastructure and opening up further innovation opportunities in the jackpot segment.
“This is a compelling acquisition that will deliver significant value across key strategic segments, particularly our leading U.S. casino systems business and in the fast-growing linked progressive and jackpot markets,” said Jamie Odell, CEO and managing director for Aristocrat Technologies at the time of the purchase.
G2E booth number: 1141
AT THE STATION
Aruze Gaming America’s table games focus at G2E 2014 is on new titles that build on its record of success with the G-Station electronic table game line. The award-winning G-Station game Lucky Big Wheel, which is an innovative electronic version of the popular table game, will be showcased. The spinning of the wheel is put into the hands of the player, impressing them with heightened levels of interaction. Shoot to Win Craps will also be on display, in addition to a brand new innovative electronic table game which will virtually put a new twist on some of Aruze’s existing G-Station games.
G2E booth number: 1253
G2E 2014 marks the first time Bally Technologies will showcase products from SHFL entertainment, the table games products and systems supplier it purchased last November, at its trade show booth. Among the products will be i-Table Roulette and other i-Table electronic table games, and highlights from the SHFL Fusion line including SHFL Game Master Fusion.
Also potentially on display will be next-generation table game systems and products previewed at last June’s EMPOWER 2014 Bally Users Conference, such as the PokerView card room management system, that shows which customer is at what poker game throughout the entire facility; creates and manages waitlists; automates the bad beat jackpot process and can even manage multi-level or multi-tier poker tournaments.
Casino searching for a progressive jackpot management system for table games can keep an eye out for Infinilink, a software solution that links all the various progressives into a single, and larger, jackpot.
Shuffle Flex is another table game operations solution unveiled by Bally at EMPOWER 2014. The technology essentially solves a pressing problem faced by table game operators who rely on automatic card shufflers—getting the proper ROI from the devices. Shuffle Flex is a module that can fit into any type of shuffler that connects the machine through the Cloud to a Bally server that tracks two pieces of vital information—how often the shuffler is used, and how many decks of card it shuffles. From this info, Bally is able to come up with a participation pricing structure similar to an electric or gas bill that only charges the user, in this case the casino, for the amount of time the shuffler is actually in use.
Bally also unveiled Safe-Bacc at EMPOWER 2014, a solution designed to make baccarat play much more efficient and secure.
G2E booth number: 1126
With the ability to buy-in or cash out at table games, the TableXchange printer/scanner, from FutureLogic and Global Cash Access (GCA), provides a bridge between slots and tables, helps casinos identify valuable crossover players, and ultimately enhances the casino/property experience. With chips remaining at the table, the TableXchange device further increases operational efficiency at tables, cash cage and kiosks by significantly reducing the resources associated with chip refills and cash handling throughout the property.
The TableXchange printer/scanner can also be integrated into promotional couponing systems, such as FutureLogic’s PromoNet couponing solution, allowing casinos to deliver coupons at table games.
G2E booth number: 4753
At this year’s G2E, Gaming Partners International (GPI) will showcase the depth of its table game product range and will introduce several new products specifically developed to meet the needs of its global customers. The company will also highlight its well-known Gemaco playing cards and layouts as well as numerous RFID products and solutions.
As one of the gaming industry’s leading casino currency manufacturers, GPI’s Paulson, Bud Jones and Bourgogne et Grasset currency products are well respected for their extensive design options and unprecedented selection of security features, and at G2E, the company will debut several additions to the Paulson and B&G product lines. Renowned for their distinctive look and feel, Paulson chips are North America’s most popular casino currency brand, and during the show GPI will introduce several product enhancements including new standard Paulson chip designs and colors. The company will also showcase several chip security features that can help Paulson customers better protect their casino currency from counterfeiting and other threats.
Expanding the B&G plastic injected chip portfolio is the new V-Series chip range, an extensive selection of standard chip designs that not only offer an unprecedented variety of configurations but also feature a new chip material formula that is stronger and more durable. Additionally, GPI has increased the value of this new product by including ChipShield as a standard feature. An anti-microbial substance that helps inhibit the growth of stain-causing mildew, ChipShield leaves a cleaner, more sanitary chip surface. Best of all, all V-Series four-shot chips come standard with an infrared security feature exclusive to GPI.
New to GPI’s currency security features portfolio,three-in-one UV is a security taggant that remains invisible under standard UV wavelengths. Because it can be added to plastic injection-molded chip materials, it is easy to validate chips when placed in stacks or racks. It also offers three levels of authentication, including a forensic verification using scanning electron microscopy.
GPI will also be introducing SecuriFilm, a decal security film with a semi-transparent hologram-like effect that enables quick authentication. SecuriFilm can be easily authenticated at the table and includes an additional covert security feature enabling a higher level of validation.
G2E booth number: 4040
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
Galaxy Gaming, a U.S.-based developer, manufacturer and distributer of innovative proprietary table games, state-of-the-art electronic wagering platforms such as TableMAXand enhanced bonusing systems, has added the Czech Republic to its global operational footprint. These units are the company’s first installations in Eastern Europe, and executives said they intend to expand in more international locales.
“We are proud to be in the Czech Republic and pleased that our products continue to gain international acceptance,” said Robert Saucier, CEO for Galaxy Gaming in a prepared statement. “The Prime Table Games acquisition three years ago instantly made us the number one casino table game company in the United Kingdom. Besides the successful growth we have enjoyed in the UK, the acquisition served as a springboard for us to increase our presence throughout Europe.”
Galaxy Gaming also recently celebrated the installation of its first table game in France.
Galaxy gaming provides table game products to land-based, riverboat, cruise ships and online casinos worldwide. Through its iGaming partner, Games Marketing Ltd., Galaxy Gaming licenses its proprietary table games to the online gaming industry. The company is also expanding its global presence through its partnership with WPT Enterprises, Inc., owner of the World Poker Tour.
G2E booth number: 4447
The big news for LT Game at G2E 2014 is its recently signed three-year distribution agreement with slot giant International Game Technology (IGT).
Under the terms of the agreement, IGT will distribute LT Game’s live and electronic table game systems in the United States and Canada, while LT Game will serve as distributor for IGT’s slot machines in Macau.
As IGT and LT Game each seek to expand their global market share and product portfolio, this partnership provides the unique opportunity to leverage existing sales, service and compliance infrastructures to drive revenues from incremental product segments, according to company press materials. The terms of the agreement specify that IGT will distribute LT Game products on an exclusive basis across jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada. IGT is also granted right of first refusal for distribution of LT Games to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Central America.
LT Game has also recently announced that its Live Table Multi Games System has successfully completed a field trial at the Palazzo Casino in Las Vegas and received a formal written approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board for installation throughout Nevada. The Live Table Multi Games System has been a dominant electronic gaming machine category in the Macau market and has seen a rapid surge in demand from overseas operators, according to company press materials. The approval granted by the NGCB and the agreement with IGT marks an important milestone for LT Game’s expansion.
Also showcased at G2E will be E-Baccarat Table. The newly developed e-baccarat allows 5-10 customers to play on the table simultaneously. The players will keep the enjoyment and the excitement of flipping the cards like in any conventional baccarat table, but their payout will be done by the system automatically.
G2E booth number: 3816
HAVING A BALL
Interblock USA, a leading provider in multi-player electronic table games, will showcase their G5 Product line at the 2014. One such product is the G5 MiniStar Roulette with Player Information Display, the smallest five-seat product available on the market, according to company literature. It is available with a single- or double-zero roulette wheel, however in a much smaller diameter—approximately 2 meters (6.5 feet) and it’s built to accommodate any casino floor size with a much smaller footprint. Players benefit from a mystery progressive jackpot system (Golden Chip), fast result detection, additional side bets and excellent roulette wheel visibility. The game will also be shown with eight- and 10-seat configurations.
G2E booth number: 1439
Multimedia Games officially entered the table games space when it acquired PokerTek, a North Carolina-based producer of electronic table games and related products for casinos, cruise lines, racinos, card clubs and lotteries worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its PokerPro and ProCore Table Platform electronic table games products.
“With eTable growth accelerating in domestic and international casinos, acquiring PokerTek represents an excellent opportunity to expand our product portfolio,” said Pat Ramsey, CEO of Multimedia Games at the time of the PokerTek purchase last April. “We believe the PokerPro product is an excellent complement to our existing business and that we can expand the penetration of PokerPro in North America by leveraging our strong domestic manufacturing, sales and service capabilities. Further, with a growing installed base of gaming positions internationally, this transaction represents a solid entry point to further diversify our revenue and geographic base.”
G2E booth number: 1165
ON THE PROWL
The Novomatic booth in Las Vegas will showcase an automated single-player roulette that combines roulette entertainment with slot gaming in one unique and luxurious machine. This evolution of the original and hugely successful Pinball Roulette will be displayed in Las Vegas with the Panther Roulette and Panther Roulette II. The Panther Roulette comes with a new start button on the right-hand side of the hand rest for increased player comfort. The Panther Roulette II additionally features a second 32-inch full HD screen on top of the machine with flip screen functionality. Both versions are available with a comprehensive multi-game offering of 23 HD video slot games.
G2E booth number: 2653
Poker Division is a product line made by StylGame and dedicated to the world of live gaming.
Keeping the high-quality standards that characterize their seating products, Italy-based StylGame has conceived a table collection dedicated to poker and able to meet the requirement of a more and more demanding market.
The main strength of the Poker Division product line is the patented semi-rigid top panel. This advancement allows operators to easily and quickly replace worn or dirty layouts on poker, roulette and any other table game covered with cloth and with a covered edge. The layout is made of a structural semi-rigid support panel, a soft middle layer and a top layer cloth, which may even be supplied by the customer and customized with digital print technology.
All these outstanding characteristics make the Poker Division table cover unique, economical and essential for the live gaming world.
G2E booth number: 2128
FOR THE WIN
Gaming International will again be showcasing their Win Cards product line—handy plastic cards designed to better market table games to novice players by reducing the “intimidation factor” that keeps many from trying blackjack, roulette or craps play. The cards, available in English and Spanish, quickly and easily show beginners the basics of most casino table games.
G2E booth number: 3235