It’s no great secret that there is a table game revival of sorts occurring within the North American casino marketplace, fueled by the concept’s growing popularity among the Millennials and younger generation resort patrons seeking a more interactive and social wagering experience.
This increase in table game play and demand from operators is not lost on the vendor community, which has responded with a new generation of table game products and peripherals, designed to make the game experience more enjoyable and comfortable for the consumer, and more efficient and profitable for the properties themselves.
Many of these table game innovations are bound to be showcased at the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E), which is taking place Sept. 29-Oct.1 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. As a service to those attending G2E searching for table-game centric product and services, here’s a recap of some table-centric news along with recent product introductions vendors may showcase on the G2E trade show floor:
TWISTER & TURNS
Despite being a relative newcomer to the table games space,American Gaming Systems (AGS) is making a big splash, growing this part of its business through selective acquisitions and new game introductions.
At G2E this year, AGS will showcase its roulette utility device, appropriately dubbed The Tornado. The Tornado enhances player interaction by allowing the player to control the spin of the roulette ball—something never before seen on the casino floor until now, according to company press materials. When a player presses the button on the remote ball activation device, a signal is sent to a control unit which releases the ball into the roulette wheel through a chute. The necessary hardware can easily and quickly be installed over any traditional 32-inch roulette wheel. And since there is no need for the dealer to manually introduce the ball to the roulette wheel, human error is eliminated and a truly perfect and secure spin is guaranteed every time. This also allows the dealer to spend more time interacting with players and to keep an eye on the table.
Also making its G2E debut for AGS will be Bonus Spin Blackjack. This is one-of-a-kind blackjack side bet where players have two ways to win: 1) if there is an ace in the first two cards, players are paid even money or 2) if a blackjack is dealt, the player will press a button which spins a virtual wheel to win various amounts of money or a unique prize. AGS will showcase the Count’s Kustoms version of the game at G2E, which is based on the popular History Channel show, Counting Cars, and offers players the chance to win a custom car, truck, or motorcycle. The company plans to offer other branded versions of Bonus Spin Blackjack in the future.
Another new title that will be featured at the show is High Card Flush. In this game, players are dealt seven cards and compete against the dealer to create the longest flush possible (for example, a seven-card flush beats a six-card flush).
Scientific Games’ purchase of Bally Technologies last year brought Shuffle Master table game concepts into the Sci Games product portfolio. As a result, for the first time, Sci Games will be displaying a number of Shuffle Master-branded table game themes and technologies at G2E.
For operators looking for an exciting spin on blackjack, Free Bet Blackjack lets players double down and split for free. If they chose the free-bet option, the dealer places a special lammer next to their original wager. If they end up winning the hand, players get paid as if they had made a traditional split or double, even though they didn’t put any additional money at risk. Free Bet Blackjack comes with two side bets options—Pot of Gold and Blazing 7’s Blackjack Progressive.
Shuffle Master lets players get wild withDJ Wild Poker, a five-card stud poker game that features a Trips Bonus and Progressive side bet. The object of DJ Wild Poker is to get a higher five-card poker hand than the dealer. The game is played with five wild cards—four deuces and one joker.
The object of Shuffle Master’s Flushes Gone Wild is to get a flush with more cards than the dealer. Aces are always considered the highest card. Deuces are always wild. In the event a player and the dealer have a flush of equal length, the rank of the highest kicker determines the winner. This game also comes with a progressive side-bet option.
Fortune Asia Poker is Chinese Poker with a twist—an exciting poker-based game where players try and make their best three poker hands out of seven cards. This game also comes with a Fortune Bonus side bet.
At G2E 2015, California-based CATCO Gamingwill display its Premium line of table game products, with formats for poker, blackjack, baccarat, midi-bac, craps and roulette. The core feature for CATCO’s table games is the Wildfire Quick Change Table System, which allows operators to remove and install new table layouts in a matter of minutes. The Quick Change feature is available on its complete line of table games.
“It means less downtime for table games when it comes time to service the felt,” Chris Anderson, CATCO Gaming founder, told Casino Journal earlier this year. “Wildfire also offers operators a chance to promote or advertise special events, or even theme the table to a specific holiday. And when the time comes, it’s easy to put the original layout back in place.”
CATCO Gaming will also showcase a new level of casino floor decoration with illuminated table effects. The company’s Premium Craps table can be equipped with a CNC acrylic chip rail, illuminated with fully adjustable LED lighting. Colors can be cycled through the full RGB range by fade or flash or colors can be specifically selected to enhance the playing experience or accent the table.
Other CATCO products will also be featured at the company’s booth, such as its Triton and Warrior paper and plastic playing cards, its line of high-quality, injection-molded table game chips and the company’s GORILLA-brand carts.
Gaming Partners International (GPI) will be bringing its industry-leading portfolio of casino currency and table game products offerings to this year’s G2E. The company’s Paulson, Bud Jones and B&G currency product lines offer an unparalleled array of design and security feature options.
GPI will showcase the latest addition to its Paulson chip line with the introduction of Paulson Premium chips. The Paulson Premium chip combines the traditional Paulson chip with the same décor materials used in high-end European-style plaques and jetons. A specially selected and complementary ring of décor is added to the outer chip ring. The result is a unique piece of currency that is both aesthetically pleasing and difficult to counterfeit.
G2E visitors can also see demonstrations of some of GPI’s newer security offerings including 3-in-1 UV and SecuriFilm. The company’s 3-in-1 UV is a security taggant that remains invisible under standard UV wavelengths but revealed with a special device. Because it can be added to plastic injection-molded chip materials, it is easy to validate chips when placed in stacks or racks. SecuriFilm is used on a chip’s decal and features a semi-transparent hologram-like effect. SecuriFilm can be easily authenticated at the table and includes an additional covert security feature enabling a higher level of validation.
• Aruze Gamingwill likely display the latest additions to G•Station, its line of multi-terminal machines designed to spice up casinos with their sophisticated cabinet designs and grandiose scale. Computer graphic dealers, brought to life in high definition using the latest technology, effectively recreate the look and feel of actual table games. Exciting sound and illumination effects provide players with a feast for the senses, and technology provides the ability to ‘shoot’ the dice, ‘spin’ the Big Six Wheel, ‘squeeze’ the cards in baccarat or ‘spin’ the roulette ball.
• Gary Platt Manufacturing will showcase The X2 Series, the next generation of its X-Tended Play seating concept that delivers style and ergonomic design to customers playing poker and other table games.
• International Game Technology (IGT)will devote part of its G2E booth to electronic table games from LT Game, a subsidiary of Paradise Entertainment. Among the games that may be showcased there are Enchanted Blackjack, Golden Baccarat and Roulette Evolution.
• At G2E,Interblock will show its new Diamond StarBar, the company’s first multi-game/multi-play product that allows players to easily toggle between games and can offer more than 500 games per hour.
• At the Novo Unity II display at the Novomatic booth, live dealers will operate Novo TouchBet Blackjack, Novo TouchBet Roulette and Novo TouchBet Live-Baccarat. At a time when electronic table games are making huge strides in popularity in casinos around the world, Novomatic’s top quality and leading technology multiplayer products will be a major G2E attraction.
• It is likely thatTCSJOHNHUXLEY will continue to showcase its Gaming Floor Live (GFL) system and this year’s G2E. GFL is a complete network platform and floor-wide management system that draws data in real-time from every aspect of the table and feeds it into the casino’s management system. According to company press materials, the system gives operators the opportunity to connect and quantify every table on the casino floor. A constant flow of gaming data feeds into the system offering never before accessed insights to the performance of dealers, tables and game speeds, highlighting areas and processes that can be improved upon in real-time. The system also delivers high levels of security for the gaming floor and provides the ability to control all media throughout the venue and multiple locations.
With over 800 tables already installed in Macau, Gaming Floor Live is maximizing efficiencies on the casino floor and improving dealer speed to increase revenue.