The past decade has been very kind to JCM Global, which has established itself as a leading innovator of transaction technologies for gaming establishments worldwide.
JCM’s reputation as a cutting-edge provider is being enhanced these days by the steady evolution of its groundbreaking FUZION technology solution. For those unfamiliar with the product, the FUZION system connects JCM’s iVIZION bill validator and GEN5 thermal printer to unleash a new industry direction: transforming each slot machine into an interactive kiosk with multiple functions, according to company press materials. FUZION works as a real-time peripheral management system and increases efficiencies with complete peripheral health monitoring, remote firmware upgrades and more. Enhancing the player’s experience and bringing new connections to the property’s existing casino management system, FUZION also delivers CMS-driven promotional ticketing with iPROMO. FUZION also functions with the CMS system to deliver multi-currency acceptance and live exchange rate conversions at the EGM.
JCM continues to tweak its FUZION product; most recently, the company announced a partnership with eConnect that will enhance FUZION’s casino security and enhance surveillance and audit capabilities through real-time AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and SAR (Suspicious Activity Reporting) alerts—a first-of-its kind technology on the gaming floor.
“FUZION is a game-changing technology that continues to deliver unique innovations benefiting JCM’s casino partners,” said David Kubajak, senior vice president of sales, marketing and operations at JCM Global. “This latest integration with eConnect further demonstrates that FUZION provides casinos with a level of technology and security enhancement that no one else can offer. The FUZION-secure public APIs allow authorized third-party systems, like eConnect, to access unique, real-time transaction data that only FUZION can provide.”
The continued fine-tuning of FUZION is starting to pay dividends for JCM Global as well. This past August, the product earned additional GLI certifications for markets around North America including Arizona Tribal, California Tribal, Michigan State, Michigan Tribal, and Oklahoma Tribal. On the heels of these approvals, JCM announced seven casinos in Oklahoma were scheduled to go live with the system following last month’s G2E show, and that Hard Rock Sacramento in Northern California would open with all of JCM’s hardware and systems signage technology the last week of October.
Kubajak took time before G2E to answer questions regarding FUZION and what it offers the gaming industry. What follows are some excerpts from his answers.
JCM has been talking about FUZION for a couple of years now and it has been making news most recently with its new patents and GLI certifications… Can you tell me more about this as well as its recent placements?
KUBAJAK: FUZION for us is kind of a road map technology. If you go back to when FUZION was first developed, it was basically JCM sitting down as a development team with all of our customers in the various markets and asking them what they needed. Everybody came back and said they needed more information, more efficiency, more connectivity to what is going on in their operation, and a way to bring more value to their customers. We took this information and starting developing FUZION, which is a peripheral management system that gives the operator the ability to take their existing equipment on the floor—slot machines, table games, kiosks and casino management systems—and bring them all together to enable new features, new benefits and new efficiencies and connections to their players. Our FUZION system… allows existing equipment to do more than it could before.
How does FUZION have the ability to power the casino enterprise?
KUBAJAK: Our goal is to connect slot machines, table games, promotional and redemption kiosks, and casino back-end management systems all into one FUZION technology that gives more value to each of these existing investments by allowing them to act together.
For example, at most casinos, you can walk up to a slot machine, put in currency, play and cash out with a TITO ticket when done. With Fuzion, you can do all that plus, if desired, a mobile transaction with the machine through JCM’s iTITO product—which is a part of the FUZION technology package… in this instance, we allow the player to change how they are buying into the gaming experience.
FUZION gives players more options and capabilities while at the gaming machine. Instead of just selecting the amount to wager, pushing the button and watching the wheels spin, a player can also open a service window and use various buy-in methods to purchase a lottery ticket, sports betting ticket, or even receive a promotional voucher. What FUZION does is allow players to buy into the game through various methods, interact with that machine through the service window interface from the OEMs, and then print out a lot of different types of tickets and transactions. Instead of a traditional TITO ticket, the player can opt to receive a lottery ticket or sports betting ticket. With the ticket, they might also receive a reward for being a VIP player and get a free comped room for the night, or a free meal at a property restaurant, or a discount at a retail location or free concert tickets.
FUZION brings all of the various systems together and allows that slot machine to do more than just be a wagering device.
What do you see for FUZION in terms of responsible gaming?
KUBAJAK: First thing I will say is that JCM takes responsible gaming very seriously. Every year we run one of the largest golf tournaments in the industry where we do a donation for the National Center for Responsible Gaming. It’s something we have done for over 20 years now. Having said that, I like being able to offer people an alternative transaction or payment method because it can help with responsible gaming. When a game is cash-only, the only limitations players can impose on themselves are having their banks limiting access to their funds or by limiting the physical amount of cash they bring to the casino. When you look at a mobile transaction technology, because it is all through a system and it is all electronic, players would have the ability to opt out so that they can’t access their cash to place a wager. They can make it so that if they walked into a casino, because all of the transactions are uniquely identified, any transaction that was coded as a “gaming transaction” would automatically be rejected.
They can actually set more limits this way?
KUBAJAK: Absolutely, and the restriction is even if the player couldn’t control their behavior. As long as they had a moment of rationalization at some point in this process, they would be able to restrict it ahead of time by opting out even before they went into a casino. So any transactions that would be coded as a gambling or wagering activity, they can restrict electronically. And then, even if they couldn’t control their behavior once they got into the environment, it would be controlled for them at their own request.
I think it gives more people the power to protect themselves, because of the systems and the technology behind it.
Is there anything you would like to add about FUZION?
KUBAJAK: Money laundering is a concern throughout the gaming industry, and FUZION can help in this area thanks to its ability to connect to several different external systems.
At G2E, we showed a facial recognition system that can be accessed through FUZION. When a player walks into a casino and sits down at a game, FUZION’s facial recognition solution can identify the player either as a known customer, because they signed up for a player card, or as a unique unknown player from that point forward. Then any transaction they perform at the game will be recorded. So, if they ever have a money-laundering event or alert, they can go back to that facial recognition technology, track the player through the facility and match all of the transactions completed by that player.