Scientific Games has garnered a well-deserved reputation as a technology innovator in the gaming marketplace.
Indeed, the 85-year-old company and its various brands have pioneered a number of ground-breaking products and systems within the gaming space over the decades, a list that includes the first three-reel electromechanical slot machine, the first video poker machine, the first mechanical card shuffler, the first secure instant lottery game, the first internet-based lottery game in the U.S., and the first linked multi-state instant lottery game. More recently, Scientific Games has introduced the first in-casino/online slot game application (Player’s Life), the first slot system that saves player progress and trophies (Adaptive Gaming), the first lottery iPhone app and one of the first iPhone-based social casinos (Jackpot Party).
A primary reasons for this continued record of technological firsts: 40 percent of Scientific Games employees focus on developing new products, processes and ideas, according to company literature.
Given this record, it comes as little surprise that Scientific Games has unveiled a number of new technologies for its SG Games, SG Lottery, SG Digital and SciPlay divisions over the past year. A recap of some of these introductions follows.
Perhaps the biggest event to hit the U.S. gaming market over the past 36 months was the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which cleared the way for state-by-state legalization of sports wagering. Almost overnight, U.S.-based gaming operators were clamoring for land-based and online sports betting solutions, and Scientific Games was quick to answer the call with its enhanced OpenSports solution.
According to press materials, OpenSports is a complete, modular, end-to-end sportsbook system comprised of five pillars:
- OpenBet—The industry’s proven and scalable betting engine;
- OpenPlatform—Player account management including promotions and wallet;
- OpenTrade—Full risk and liability management, pricing and trading tools;
- OpenEngage—Full turnkey frontends across mobile, web and retail; and
- OpenAccelerate—A module that helps operators more effectively implement, manage and run the day-to-day business of their sportsbook.
The redesigned sportsbook solution can be scaled, mixed, and matched to meet the needs of any regulated operator.
A number of gaming enterprises have opted for the OpenSports offering, one of the most recent being the Oneida Indian Nation, which has established sportsbooks in two of its New York casinos.
“The OpenSports solution allows us to focus on our guests while giving us a sturdy technological foundation on which we can build as the industry expands,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises.
Turning Stone Resort in Verona and Point Place Casino in Bridgeport are now live with full, end-to-end retail sports betting solutions for over-the-counter wagering and in-venue screen solutions, with self-service betting terminals to follow in the coming weeks.
Operated as a Caesars-branded sportsbook, the technology reimagines sports betting experiences for players and is housed in an immersive new venue built by Oneida to give customers a dedicated and modern betting space.
Once legally permitted, Scientific Games and Oneida Indian Nation plan to launch a mobile sports betting solution.
“This launch with Oneida Indian Nation is another great testament of our best-in-class OpenSports product suite, with its end-to-end sports betting offering, our speed to market and our quality execution,” said Jordan Levin, group chief executive at SG Digital. “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Oneida Indian Nation and to use our trusted technology to help them reach new bettors.”
Scientific Games was also extremely active on the gaming machine technology front over the past few month. For example, the company recently announced that it had completed the first installation of QUARTZ HYBRID, its newest electronic table system terminal, at the Seven Luck Casino in Gangnam Seoul, South Korea.
The 45 terminals feature popular Asian table games such as baccarat and roulette.
“We are very happy that shortly after the launch of QUARTZ HYBRID at G2E Asia this year, the first terminals have been installed at Seven Luck Casino in South Korea,” said Ken Jolly, the vice president and managing director for Asia for Scientific Games. “This installation will give players the opportunity to experience firsthand our most technologically-advanced electronic table system gaming terminal.”
QUARTZ HYBRID runs on Scientific Games’ exclusive ArgOS operating system platform for enhanced game play and player experience. Multigame configurations may be linked to both virtual games and hybrid live dealer games, or operate independently. The increased connectivity of QUARTZ HYBRID allows operators to link up to 50 individual live gaming tables. The QUARTZ HYBRID terminal also features HD graphics on a new 26.5-inch, 1920x1920 resolution touchscreen, giving players a more immersive experience.
Updated content includes a new player interface that adds game statistics as well as dealer activity display. Players can choose to view up to eight games at any one time on the single screen.
“Scientific Games continues to develop the most innovative gaming technology that helps casinos attract players,” said Michael Mang, managing director for KTCS Co. Ltd., the regional authorized distributor for Scientific Games. “The casino operators and their customers have displayed confidence and trust with the SG Electronic Table System products, and we look forward to continued successes with the QUARTZ HYBRID.”
On the slot machine front, Scientific Games used the Australasian Gaming Expo to introduce the DUALOSX, the new cabinet has the signature 27–27–27 look: 27-inch high definition LCD topper, main monitor and top box for higher luminance, and a CPU4x processor that runs on the company’s new ArgOS platform to deliver a more engaging gameplay experience.
The online gaming segment has also seen a fair amount of new innovation from Scientific Games. Earlier this year, Scientific Games formed a partnership with Big Time Gaming (BTG) that folds BTG’s popular Megaways mechanic into Scientific Games’s growing portfolio of games content.
Making full use of the mechanic, Scientific Games has launched Medusa Megaways, a title that extends on their popular Medusa series of games and integrates Megaways to enhance the player experience.
Megaways is a random reel modifier system that sees any given spin produce a different number of symbols across the reels, allowing players to experience endless possible game scenarios with every spin. The feature fuels a next-level player experience with randomly shifting symbol sets that allow for virtually endless payline combinations. The dynamic feature keeps players engaged with a fresh twist on traditional slot game reel arrays.
Medusa Megaways launched on SG Digital’s OGS Network and has been among the company’s top-performing games since release. The game offers five in-game bonus features, including an attractive Replay feature that gives players the choice to either replay Free Games or collect their initial prize.
The company will also release Raging Rhino Megaways and Rainbow Riches Megaways, putting a new spin on two player-favorite slot themes.
“This deal is a great reflection of our truly open platform, Open Gaming System (OGS), and our long-standing relationship with Big Time Gaming,” said Dylan Slaney, senior vice president casino at SG Digital. “We are thrilled to license Megaways—making this feature available on Medusa Megaways and many more titles to come will fuel future success for SG Digital and BTG. This is a huge deal for both parties, and we are really excited to see how Medusa Megaways is received by casino managers and players alike.”
Meanwhile, Scientific Games has also partnered with Blue Ribbon, and now offers the company’s cutting-edge jackpots marketing platform to any of its OGS content in a seamless overlay. For the first time, this will give Scientific Games’ partners the capabilities to control the jackpot as a true marketing tool and will make it easy for players to enjoy a new gaming experience tailor made for them. Blue Ribbon will give OGS partners an innovative way to engage better with their players and to offer a new set of incentives tools which will improve both player acquisition and retention.
ON TO G2E
As usual, Scientific Games will highlight a number of new innovations at the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. One area of focus will be slot cabinets, with the company displaying the new TwinStar 5RM, which showcases a dazzling five-reel mechanism with full RGB LED backlights, game controlled LED reel dividers and bezel lighting. This new TwinStar will be shown with a thrilling stepper version of the acclaimed video slot title Dancing Drums, as well as classics such as Quick Hit-Triple Blazing 7s and Black Gold that combine all of the features players love with a classic stepper experience.