It is reasonable to say that the electronic table games market has exploded as more and more casinos turn to these customer-convenient and labor- and cost-saving devices.
The term table game is used to differentiate games such as blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat that are played on a table with live dealers as opposed to versions of these games played on a mechanical device where no dealer is required. Electronic table games (ETGs) are simply just that—a traditional table game that has been converted into an electronic format making it less labor intensive and more convenient for both operators and players. ETGs have been around for a while, but have really taken off recently due to the growing popularity of the format in Macau and the regulatory issues in certain U.S. gaming markets that make ETGs the only allowable form of table games on casino floors.
Taking a closer looking into the ETG market, Interblock commissioned The ETG Player Portrait, its first-ever ETG player segmentation study. This report defines who EGT players are and why they are critical to gaming businesses. The results of this independent study clearly showed that ETG users play more often and longer, they have larger gaming budgets, spend more and are more likely to play games across the entire operation. “These findings reinforce what Interblock has been sharing with casino customers: ETGs are crucial to building successful casino revenue streams and that would not be changing” said Colleen Stanton global vice president of marketing at Interblock.
Casinos are also investing in ETG products to help transition their casino floors toward the next generation of players. “Our experience with online slot play tells us that exposing players to online content helps drive affinity for the games in casinos,” said Nick Khin, senior vice president North America sales and strategic accounts for International Game Technology Plc (IGT). “It enables players to experience and learn the games online, and when they come to the casino, they seek out their favorite games.”
A benefit of having EGTs on casino floors is an intimidation-free introduction into the table games sector. Players are able to learn new games at a pace that suits them and without the pressure of making wrong choices in a group environment that can affect other player’s game. “The ETG player enjoys the gaming and entertainment excitement that games such as baccarat and roulette provide,” Khin said. “At the same time, these players enjoy the individualized experience that ETGs provide over table games—a player can choose the amount of games to bet upon and experience different types of games within the ETG environment.”
“The live ETG segment, where IGT is focused with its distribution partnership with LT Game, offers the chance for operators to also generate increasing productivity through multiple player bets and side bets; it offers players enhanced enjoyment of multiple game choices without having to wait for a game; and it provides incremental players who enjoy the excitement of electronic games but prefer to learn games such as baccarat in a more private setting, in the comfort of their own terminal, at their own pace, with relatively small minimum bets,” Khin added.
It is no surprise that Millennials are at the forefront as the primary players in this relatively new and developing technology. “Electronic table game products are attractive to this younger demographic because they have a short learning curve. Players can select bets without distractions and they still love to see the dealers,” said Tom O’Brien, senior vice president, sales – Americas and ETS products, at Scientific Games. “Patrons get to play their favorite table product, whether its baccarat, roulette, sic-bo or blackjack, without the hassle of crowded tables and still have the dealer out in front.”
In response to the growing popularity of ETGs, a number of slot manufacturers have jumped into this market either acquiring or making distribution deals with electronic table game vendors to fill out their product lines. Below you will find a few of the latest ETG manufacturers and their latest technology and game types.
IGT is one of the global leaders in gaming, enabling players to experience their favorite games across all channels and regulated segments, from gaming machines and lotteries to interactive and social gaming. The company offers games such as Roulette Evolution as part of its M-P Series of multi-player RNG-driven ETG products. As part of its distribution agreement with LT Game, IGT offers live ETGs such as baccarat and roulette in North America.
“ETGs are an important part of IGT’s product portfolio,” Khin said. “The distribution agreement between IGT and LT Game, established in 2014, specified that IGT can distribute games across jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada on an exclusive basis. This provided the unique opportunity for IGT to leverage its sales, service and compliance infrastructures to drive revenues from an incremental product segment,”
The IGT LT Game ETGs can host more games on their system infrastructure than some other offerings in the market. Because the games are network-based, this opens up the possibility for additional popular table games to be incorporated into the ETG, beyond baccarat and roulette. “IGT continues to innovate with its development of popular games that can be deployed in either the live ETG or RNG-driven segment,” Khin said. “With the integration of the games into casino server systems, IGT and LT Game are well-positioned to introduce new content and features into the ETG space. Expect more of the popular table games that are prevalent in casinos today to potentially evolve into popular ETGs.”
Interblock is known for its luxury player-favorite electronic table games. Twenty-five years of innovations have created a brand that they consider to stand out as unique. “Our business is fueled by one-of-a-kind, patented technologies that deliver unparalleled gaming experiences,” Stanton said. “By continually setting industry standards and providing the ultimate in luxury, interactive entertainment experiences, we have built a legacy on being first to market with products and technologies that add value to the casino floor.”
Through their product lines Organic, StarBar, Diamond and MiniStar, Interblock provides a collection of fully- and semi-automated ETGs and video gaming that covers all the classic and most played casino favorites such as baccarat, roulette, Blackjack, sic-bo, craps, video poker and more.
“Electronic table games are the very core of our business and that primary focus is another factor that sets Interblock apart from the competition,” Stanton said.
Interblock’s best-selling ETG product is its Diamond Roulette, which stands out due to its elegant design with a premium look and feel. It also offers players a variety of engaging features such as exciting side bets, Interblock’s Power Meter (a bonus system that encourages and shows player’s how close they are to hitting a target number of games played or dollars wagered to win additional rewards), the visibility of the roulette wheel, Simultaneous Bet Prevention Technology and Mystery Progressives.
Interblock stays focused on enhancements that improve user experience and revenue for its customers. “We have developed high-performing, fully integrated side bet features that enhance Interblock’s classic ETG experience,” Stanton said. “Our side bet functionality increases the hold percentage, and our newly developed Simultaneous Bet Prevention technology feature prevents wagers of equivalent value on the opposite bets, such as red/black or even/odd.”
“A primary focus for Interblock in 2016 will be the introduction of a product segmentation strategy, which is designed to allow every casino to place Interblock on their floor—new, innovative technology designed to enhance the player experience, as well as bringing a new level of entertainment to the electronic table game segment,” Stanton added.
By combining the game play of traditional table games with the latest technology, Scientific Games’ Electronic Table Systems (ETS) creates an exciting gaming experience that maximizes the performance and profitability of the gaming floor.
“Scientific Games is the world leader in table products and electronic table games, and the ETG business is a significant part of our overall suite of gaming and lottery products,” O’Brien said. “We are making investments in both content and some very exciting hardware innovation.”
An array of ETGs are also offered at Scientific Games, including its Fusion products and iTable product line.
Company literature states that the Bally Fusion line of products provides an endless variety of gaming options for the casino floor. The new Fusion terminal features a space-conserving footprint, is built for modular configurability and is compatible with SAS, TITO and all known player tracking systems. The fully electronic Fusion Virtual offers customers the option of playing up to four different games from one terminal. Available games include baccarat, roulette, and sic-bo. Fusion Hybrid offers baccarat, roulette, and sic-bo dealer-podiums equipped with live game results. It’s suitable for stadium-style and smaller environment configurations. Fusion Auto features a fully automated roulette wheel and custom lighting options, along with highly configurable terminal layouts. These Fusion elements connect to live roulette and baccarat games, allowing the capture of overflow play during peak hours.
The iTable product line, which takes the form of a card or roulette table but removes chips in lieu of betting screens embedded into the table top, includes: iTable Roulette, iTable Blackjack, iTable Three Card Poker, iTable Ultimate Texas Hold’em and iTable Mississippi Stud. The i-Table combines a variety of its patented products to create a new table-game experience for players and casinos alike. Utilizing top-notch technology and touch-screens embedded in standard size tables, i-Table effortlessly blends an intuitive electronic betting interface with a live game outcome, according to the company’s website. By automating the betting process, i-Table dramatically increases live table-game security, accuracy and speed. The i-Table contains versatile software and hardware designed to make it easy for casino operators to update their pit configuration as player demand requires. Following a few simple steps, operators can turn a Three Card Poker table into an Ultimate Texas Hold’em table, change table limits, paytables and more. Specialty games utilize an i-Deal single deck shuffler to identify the cards that are being dealt. The i-Deal interfaces with the table’s software to instantly and accurately resolve all game play once each round is completed. Multiple side bets for each title are available and can be used individually or concurrently depending on casino needs.
“At Scientific Games, we see new technologies as a big advantage for ETGs,” O’Brien said. “We are utilizing our ETS games on our newer MOJO cabinets in different variations of our Fusion products. This will allow us to offer the latest and greatest technology as well as side bets, progressives and skill-based games. For example, Fusion Auto Roulette brings traditional roulette to a fully configurable, live-action layout. A beautiful, color display board offers the latest statistics on table happenings and a camera displays the live ball drop on-screen.”
In a recent press release, Scientific Games announced new products for its electronic table systems portfolio, including a French version of Tablemaster Fusion Blackjack, which transports the fast-paced excitement of live table gaming to a fully electronic platform; and a cutting-edge version of Fusion Hybrid that is connected to iTable Roulette.
“The ETS market is the fastest growing segment in the gaming industry today,” O’Brien said. “While the segment is not new to overseas markets, it has yet to mature in North America. We believe the category will continue to grow due to the many advantages it offers to the players and operators, and Scientific Games is accommodating that growth with exciting new products never seen before on the gaming floor.”
Tangiamo AB is the manufacturer of the successful MultiPLAY electronic table game products, that allow players to share a single large touch surface for betting, resulting in a more social gaming experience.
Tangiamo’s MultiPLAY platform combines the experience of live table gaming with the latest advances in touch screen technology, according to online product descriptions. By merging traditional table games with a full-sized, multi-player betting surface, the MultiPLAY platform keeps the core essence of live gaming that players enjoy while delivering the benefits of electronic gaming, such as increased profitability and reduced time between games.
Tangiamo’s innovative Touch ID technology enables the MultiPLAY Quad HD to sense screen touches and at the same time identify the user. Players are able to enjoy the same experience as a traditional casino table with up to seven players interacting on the same playing surface, each with their own player menu. In addition, the MultiPLAY system can support an unlimited number of configurations. The MultiPLAY Quad HD is also compatible with some of the leading single-player terminals in the market, further increasing the number of potential players.
The MultiPLAY HD can be equipped with an automated or virtual roulette wheel, and with bill acceptors, ticket printers and card readers at each position. The result is a powerful 24 hour-a-day live roulette platform that requires no dealer or inspection.
Due to its smaller 55-inch LCD screen and innovative industrial design, the MultiPLAY HD takes up far less space than a traditional gaming table. It is an ideal solution for smaller casinos, game halls and arcades; and can also be equipped with a virtual, on-screen wheel rather than a mechanical roulette wheel.
Tangiamo’s award-winning innovative dice recognition technology brings a one-of-a-kind experience to electronic gaming. Combined with an ultra-high resolution camera, the MultiPLAY system is able to both project a live image to the playing surface of normal-sized dice and recognize the result.
Previously distributed exclusively through TCS John Huxley, Tangiamo’s products are now distributed by Tangiamo directly, and by a network of selected local distributors in certain countries.
Tangiamo unveiled its new Crystal Roulette table with exceptionally small footprint and revolutionary technology featuring transparent display at the 2016 ICE gaming show in London. “Through the use of cutting-edge display technology, Tangiamo Crystal Roulette provides a solution with much smaller footprint than any other multi-player roulette on the market,” said Mats Nordahl, CEO for Tangiamo in a prepared statement. “At the same time, players are moved closer to the roulette wheel, resulting in a much more involving and exciting player experience.”