From a casino operations perspective, maintaining a safe and efficient cash flow throughout a facility will always be a challenge because of the customer-facing and back-office duties of currency handling and processing equipment.
Indeed, not only do cash handling devices need to be easy-to-use and maintain for count rooms and other back-of-house areas of the gaming property, they also need to be self-explanatory and technologically flexible enough to meet modern consumer payment demands. This is a complex task, but one that casino industry cash handling providers are rising to meet, as evidenced by the plethora of new or improved currency acceptance and processing devices showcased at the recent Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. What follows is a recap of new products, device upgrades and product placement news from this increasingly vital sector of the gaming industry:
CRANE PAYMENT INNOVATIONS (CPI)
This year at G2E, CPI unveiled a breakthrough set of capabilities and portfolio enhancements that could revolutionize the way operators connect with their players, their business processes and, ultimately, their revenue. Visitors had the opportunity to evaluate an array of cashless and emerging payment technologies, including potential solutions for table games and real-time data delivery.
“Although the gaming industry continues to rely heavily on physical cash, the player’s wallet continues to become more diverse as technology evolves,” said Eric Fisher, president of gaming for CPI. “As new payment methods are approved for and utilized on the gaming floor, we want our customers to know that we are more than ready to assist with a powerful suite of products and services that will deliver unprecedented value to their operations.”
From its traditional product portfolio, CPI highlighted its SC Advance note acceptor and its growing suite of modular extensions—including EASITRAX, its cashbox system that is now installed in more than 200,000 games worldwide, according to press materials. EASITRAX provides the critical insight needed to drive faster, smarter and more profitable efficiencies from the gaming floor to the back room. It works by collecting transaction and performance data directly from the note acceptor and then generating reports through its intuitive web portal. Reports are customizable and can be used to streamline the drop process, facilitate asset evaluations, optimize asset performance and improve maintenance programs. The latest addition to EASITRAX is a Maintenance Alerts feature that allows operators to set their ideal note acceptor performance thresholds and receive automated e-mail notifications based upon these critical metrics. This feature helps users save time and interpret data so problems can be identified and prevented before they even occur.
CPI also displayed connectivity advancements deriving from its recent acquisition of Microtronic AG, a world leader in closed-site, open-site and mobile payment solutions. This acquisition strengthened Crane’s technology portfolio, adding complementary capabilities to the Crane Connectivity Solutions (CCS) electronic payment and connectivity platform, according to a press release. CCS is the recently announced joint venture between CPI and its sister company Crane Merchandising Systems, who together are already experts in connectivity via Bluetooth, near-field communications (NFC), Wi-Fi and mobile wallet applications as well as tap, swipe and EMV chip technology for cards.
Cummins Allison came to G2E 2017 armed with a currency processing device designed to make life much easier for count room personnel— the new JetScan MPX 8200 multi-pocket currency sorter.
The MPX 8200 is the company’s most advanced high-volume sorter, offering customers more productivity thanks to 30 percent more throughput than prior generations. This technologically advanced product is part of the continuing Cummins Allison mission to offer casino properties solutions that enhance operations and offer excellent value, according to press materials.
Features of the JetScan MPX 8200 include:
- Faster processing speed—Scan 1,200 mixed bills or TITO tickets per minute, all in one pass, avoiding additional processing.
- Latest technology scanning—Improved scanning technology reads bills better, reducing rejected unreadable bills by 60 percent over previous systems. It also provides users with the highest available level of counterfeit detection.
- Easier jam recovery—A redesigned bill and ticket path reduces jams. When jams do occur, intelligent onscreen instructions let operators clear the jam quickly, minimizing downtime.
- Redesigned user interface—Operators easily learn and navigate the screens, reducing errors and training time. Real-time information lets users monitor the levels of cassettes and strapper bins, changing them before a stop condition occurs, increasing efficiency.
- Integrated pocket modules—Two additional, easily accessible pockets can be dedicated to low-volume denominations or control documents.
- Continuous batch processing—The larger, 4,000-document feeder lets operators continuously load and process batches without the machine stopping.
- Fitness and facing—Standard, in-line facing lets an operator face all bills. Fitness detection lets users sort out poor quality bills with tears, tape, soil or bends, leaving higher-quality bills for ATMs and kiosks.
“Customers are excited about the new JetScan MPX 8200,” said Frank Janezic, executive vice president of Cummins Allison. “Test sites have told us how much they love it and have noticed the significant improvements and increased productivity. In fact, we have already received orders due to its exceptional performance.”
Everi Payments’ G2E display featured innovative cash access solutions that provide players with new options for managing their funds on the gaming floor, critical cash handling solutions that increase cage and enterprise efficiency and data-driven solutions that promote insights into customer behavior.
All Everi Payments products are focused on bringing innovation to floor-wide cash access, improving cash handling on the casino floor and providing data driven solutions, according to company press materials. At G2E, these innovations included:
- CashClub Wallet—A sophisticated, interactive wallet that consolidates payment options for players when integrated with Everi’s CashClub software and full-service Xchange kiosks. CashClub Wallet allows players to store multiple payment methods, easily move funds in and out of the casino, and manage their spend limits, thus supporting responsible gaming initiatives.
- CXC 5.0—Everi’s newest full service kiosk offering enhanced security features including self-frosting glass and a real-time rear view camera to give casino patrons a more private and secure cash access experience. Built with the operator in mind, the CXC 5.0 kiosk provides ample branding and marketing space on the second screen as well as on custom fit LCD panels between each kiosk in wall or pod configurations. The CXC 5.0 L offers smaller properties similar security features and marketing opportunities on a smaller footprint device.
- AML Intelligence for Everi Compliance—This functionality combines the company’s deep experience in gaming AML with VizExplorer’s industry-proven analytics platform to help operators quickly identify potentially suspicious activity. As casino systems create an ever-increasing amount of data, proper tools are necessary to sift through this data to extract meaningful intelligence and insight. AML Intelligence provides operators with easy-to-use tools for searching, case management, subject management and monitoring that are needed for federal mandate compliance.
Also featured were Everi’s innovative funds access products that provide players with the options to manage their funds for use on the casino floor. These solutions also create unique user experience efficiencies for players and represent a bridge to the casino of the future as they bring cashless and other payment types to the slot floor. Everi Payments showcased QuikTicket, which expands the funds to the floor options provided by Everi kiosks by allowing operators to dispense gaming tickets in lieu of cash along with CashClub Concierge, which offers personalized cage access services for VIP customers, table games players and high limit room players that are fully integrated with Everi’s CashClub software, eliminating the need for a player to stop gaming in order to access additional funds for play.
Everi also displayed cash handling advancements such as CageXchange, which improves cash accuracy and provides for secure cash storage, allowing operators to protect their funds and reduce counting and balancing times; RecyclerXchange, which offers automatic sorting, counting and storage of cash, and eliminates the need for manual currency counting and verification by cage staff; and JackpotXchange Lite (JXC-L) with Jackpot Xpress, a full-service jackpot payout solution built to help operators improve guest service, increase player time on device and streamline operations. Utilizing JXC-L, Everi’s smaller footprint jackpot kiosk device with integrated ID scanner, and Jackpot Xpress, which leverages mobile device capabilities to allow for the secure and efficient collection of patron information, operators can now pay out jackpots directly at the gaming machine.
“As the clear leader for casino industry payments and compliance solutions, Everi continues to set the bar higher with our comprehensive portfolio of new and innovative offerings that improve the efficiency of our customers’ payments operations while enhancing their players’ experience,” said Michael Rumbolz, president and CEO of Everi.
GIESECKE & DEVRIENT (G+D)
G+D has carved a successful niche in the worldwide gaming industry thanks in part to its line of banknote processors. The range and functionalities of banknote processing systems from G+D Currency Technology are as diverse and individual as the needs of their operators, according to the company’s website. These products offer outstanding reliability, efficiency and security in every processing step—from banknote assessment to sorting. In addition, all systems feature precise, high-end sensors, a long-life cycle including a broad range of services, ease-of-use and scalability ensuring a first-rate cost/benefit ratio.
On display for casino operators at G2E was the company’s new BPS M3 high-speed banknote processing system. Equipped with the new NotaScan InOne sensor, the system precisely and reliably counts, checks, registers and sorts up to 76,000 banknotes per hour, as well as automatically banding them. This reduces manual work steps required to a minimum. The manpower and time required to operate the system are correspondingly low, while security is enhanced. The intelligent design of the BPS M3 enables extraordinary efficiency: operation via touchscreen and a new application is easy and intuitive—similar to using a smartphone.
Also featured at the G+D booth was its line of compact processing systems which included the BPS C2. The BPS C2 links throughput with precision, at maximum productivity: the system sorts at a consistently high speed of 1,050 banknotes per minute, checking the authenticity of banknotes, and can read serial numbers if required. All this is thanks to the best sensors of their class, which detect the banknotes’ denomination, orientation and fitness for circulation just as precisely and reliably as they recognize potential counterfeits.
At G2E, JCM showed the bill validators, printers and promotional solutions operators need to take customer connections to the next level, according to press materials. Leading the way to the future is JCM’s revolutionary FUZION technology. When paired with JCM’s iVIZION bill validator and GEN5 printer, the transformative FUZION technology allows each slot machine to become a multi-line profit center with the current potential to:
- Vend and redeem lottery tickets;
- Vend and redeem race and sports betting;
- Facilitate Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) wagering, the casino’s own or a third party’s;
- Conduct cross-enterprise promotional couponing for carded and uncarded players;
- Enable real-time currency exchange with exchange rates that could be preset or could be real-time; and
- Streamline tax forms processes by printing system-generated tax forms and deliver required documentation to the customer while the back-end system stores the signature forms and data that needs to be delivered to the IRS.
JCM also showcased PromoNet 2.0, the field-proven, floor-wide couponing solution that delivers the right promotion to the right customer at the right time. It allows operators of all sizes to identify high-value anonymous players, direct promotions to most valuable players, enhance player experience and maximize results using business analytics. PromoNet increases amount of play, decreases un-earned awards and lets each individual operator control levels of compensation.
ALSO WORTH NOTING
- FABICash displayed its new FABITRACK Title 31 and AML Compliance application tailored specifically for the gaming industry. Another new product for the company was FABICash Mobile, a hand-held unit that processes credit/debit advance and e-check transactions, allowing operators to take the cage transaction directly to its customers on the gaming floor.
- At G2E, JOSEPH EVE CPAs announced that it had joined Wipfli, a national accounting and consulting firm. JOSEPH EVE will continue to serve the hospitality and tribal niche, but with an increased ability to bring added value to their clients through access to an even broader array of services and resources of a top 20 CPA and consulting firm.
- NRT Technology Corp., a provider of integrated ticket redemption and payment services to global casino operators, and Sightline Payments, developers of the Play+ platform that powers cashless and mobile gaming payment solutions, announced an exclusive agreement with Kony, a leading enterprise mobility and digital applications company. This combination creates an all-in-one, fully native app that will serve as the foundation platform for all casino operator omni-channel products and services.