How long does it take you to properly digest all the product highlights from the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) tradeshow floor?
Well, it’s two months after the event and I’m still digging through all the new product information and press releases I collected while perusing G2E show booths, and I don’t even have to make any purchasing or gaming floor placement decisions. I’m guessing that for some readers, coming to final decision on whether or not to buy products seen at G2E is a multi- month process, what with budgeting, securing the necessary funds, getting the needed executive signs-offs, etc. And with the passage of time and the vicissitudes of the daily grind, it’s easy to forget about some of the new technology and games at G2E vendor booths that made you stop and look and wonder how they would perform at your property.
That’s where Casino Journal can help, with our annual two-part product review of G2E. The first part of this recap, which ran in the November issue, focused on a variety of slot machine topics including new cabinets, themed game introductions and new skill-based games. In the continuance of this article, the editors of Casino Journal report on table game trends and digital gaming solutions. Who knows, maybe we’ll jog a pleasant G2E product memory. Read on and find out.
Advancements in electronic table game (ETG) technology and play mechanics dominated a number of booths at G2E. For example, Interblock came to the event with a comprehensive portfolio of automated, video and dealer assist product lines and leading ETG innovations including its Universal Cabinet, MiniStar and Golden Ball Roulette.
The Universal Cabinet is a standalone unit with slot-like hardware designed to support a variety of games, according to press materials. Available in both video and automated formats, the product offers craps, roulette, blackjack and baccarat games and provides operators with the ability to offer a variety of ETGs in a smaller footprint with complete configuration flexibility, which will change the way a typical casino floor is configured moving forward.
Interblock’s compact roulette ETG, MiniStar Roulette, delivers more than 120 results per hour and provides all of the features and functionalities available on Interblock’s Diamond product line in a smaller footprint and a lower price point. MiniStar Dice was also on display. This product is composed of Interblock’s new micro-dice generator and play stations that are closely situated, providing excellent dice visibility for the player.
Meanwhile, the company’s Golden Ball Roulette is a completely new take on the classic roulette game that generates results based on different color balls ejecting out of the ball magazine. The game is intended to increase the hold of the traditional roulette game and introduce a new type of player to the traditional roulette game.
In addition to enhanced products, Interblock announced some new licensing arrangements while at G2E, including a partnership with Playboy Enterprises in which Interblock will manufacture and sell electronic table games leveraging Playboy’s iconic intellectual property and imagery, as well as developing new exclusively-created Playboy gaming assets. The deal also gives Interblock exclusive global rights to distribute Playboy branded electronic table games and related gaming stadiums in licensed casino venues.
Interblock also unveiled a license agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) to incorporate league and team logos into stadium and standalone products. The NHL has given Interblock the ability to feature all 31 team logos in the design of our machines, where available, across North America. Interblock will begin introducing the initial products in Q1 of 2020.
Aruze Gaming used G2E as a backdrop to announce some important ETG placement news: the premiere of its Roll To Win Craps concept at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina. According to company literature, Roll To Win Craps is a ground-breaking semi-autonomous craps game which allows players to shoot real dice across a large LED playing field screen. Utilizing the same footprint as a traditional craps table, the bright LED panels on Roll To Win Craps display amazing graphics and eye-catching animations. Individual player stations accept cash and provide tickets, so no physical chips are needed for play. Players are able to place bets privately on their screen, and then see their virtual chips displayed on the main playing field.
Because of the unique nature of Roll To Win Craps, where bets are always tracked along with who the shooter is, Aruze is available to offer a Hot Shooter side bet. This side bet makes the best part of a craps game—a hot streak—even more exciting.
Konami Gaming’s award-winning Fortune Cup mechanical horse racing machine arrived to G2E 2019 with updates designed to make the experience faster and fresher, race after race. Fortune Cup Derby Deluxe streamlines the betting interaction, making it easier for players to track and understand, according to product literature. It also adds side bet opportunities and 2x multipliers to keep players engaged and energized over time. Throughout this year’s G2E event, guests had the opportunity to see this one-of-a-kind, multi-station machine in action, with the latest available hardware and software setups.
Fortune Cup made its first debut in 2016, achieving major interest from operators looking to diversify their entertainment offering. Leveraging the combined global expertise of Konami’s amusement arcade division, consumer video game division, and casino gaming division, the Fortune Cup multi-station mechanical horse racing game brings a much-loved gaming classic back to the casino floor for players to enjoy. It consists of 10 total betting stations around a mechanical horse track. Each betting station is equipped with a 27-inch HD touchscreen, which provides the primary interface for players to manage their bet placement, discover their outcome, and view data on recent races and individual horses. A precision-engineered mechanical track works in conjunction with real-time digital video animation of the action to deliver fresh entertainment value to players while preserving the unique nostalgic appeal that is quintessential to the category.
Other ETG highlights from G2E included:
- The dramatically redesigned Quartz ETG cabinet from Scientific Games, which displays up to eight games concurrently on an immersive 26.5-inch LCD HD player touchscreen.
- The Spintec booth at G2E, which housed the Karma GEN2 ETG platform and the Aura product line that is ideal for multigame amphitheater setups that combine automated, virtual and live table games into one experience, according to a press release.
- Merkur’s multi-format ETGs, which included roulette, baccarat, sic bo and craps prototypes.
- Win Systems, which showcased its successful range of Gold Club multiplayer electronic roulettes, including its latest release especially aimed at the many Asian players in casinos around the world, the Gold Club Huo Long.
In addition to ETG advancements, the tradeshow floor at G2E also featured a plethora of new products and technologies designed to make traditional table game play more exciting, popular and profitable.
The AGS booth featured new proprietary table games and side bets, as well as an array of innovative table solutions. Taking the spotlight was AGS’ new Bonus Spin Xtreme, a pioneering progressive side bet system that can link all table-game progressives in the casino and innovatively uses three concentric wheels to reward all participating players with a prize—something never before available for community-style games like roulette, baccarat, and craps, according to press materials. AGS also demonstrated its STAX Progressive 2.0, with new O-WAP functionality and seasonal themed backgrounds, and its new PAX S single-deck packet shuffler for specialty games.
Also on display was the recently launched Dex S poker shuffler, several new premium table game offerings, including an Asian-themed title and two new baccarat side bets, and the new ACOT chip tray and blackjack no-peek device.
Scientific Games also displayed an impressive table game products lineup that “up the ante” for players and partners. For example, the groundbreaking new, MDX shuffler has the capacity to shuffle four to 10 decks of cards. MDX also has a 10 deck sorting capacity and eliminates edge sorting as well, according to company literature. Scientific Games also reimagined the table game progressive with GM Atlas, a next-level progressive operating system. The system offers new bonus and jackpot options and the ability to configure Must-Hit-By and random mystery prizes.
The company also showcased SG Vision object recognition technology across tables for chip and biometrics, EGM’s, and new form factor gaming devices providing protection for players and the most accurate player tracking data solutions for operators.
JCM Global contributed to the new table game technology theme with its CountR TITA table game solution display. According to press materials, the TITA system enables TITO transactions at the table game where a TITO ticket is issued to a player in exchange for their chips. For the operator, this reduces the number of table fills and drops per day, resulting in decreased table down time and increased hands per hour. For the player, this eliminates the need to stand in line to cash chips at the cashier’s cage and enhances their overall play experience. Players can redeem their TITO ticket at any redemption kiosk, or move freely from table games to slots or from slots to table games with their TITO ticket. The TITA system accepts and accounts for both TITO tickets and TITO promotional vouchers.
Additionally, with the TITA system, operators can now support POS transactions at the table, giving players the ability to withdraw funds directly from their account without leaving the table. This increases player satisfaction and increases the overall efficiency of the casino operation.
The Tangam Systems booth showcased its table games optimization software (TYM), a market-leading platform that automatically analyzes gaming data to provide actionable recommendations to align game mix, table spreads and pricing to forecasted and real-time patron demand, according to a press release. The company also promoted recent product placement news—the London-based Hippodrome Casino, the UK’s largest and busiest international-style casino, implemented TYM to manage the game-mix, staffing and pricing across all of their table games.
APEX Gaming’s G2E stand displayed the company’s award-winning iDROP Products, a cash handling solution for live games tables that enables tickets and bills to be accepted directly at the table. The iDROP products can be simply integrated into the operating system and gives management immediate drop information, according to product literature. The iDROPs solution works at an amazing speed—bills/tickets can be entered in bulk and six are validated every second. Extra class components ensure that only valid bills/tickets are accepted. The stacker capacity reaches up to 10,000 bills/tickets.
Europe-based table games supplier Fournier came to G2E with the latest edition of its Bee-tek Electronic Shoe. The Bee-tek Electronic Shoe bridges the gap between electronic and traditional gaming, enabling operators to cater to players that prefer a digital gaming experience, according to a press release.
The growth of online sports wagering has re-ignited industry interest in digital and online gaming systems, and a number of suppliers came to G2E armed with their latest solutions.
Scientific Games made a big splash in this gaming industry segment, displaying its recently unveiled OpenGaming suite of products and features, which puts players at the heart of iGaming by packaging leading digital casino gaming technology and content into one seamless integration, according to press materials. As a scalable solution, the OpenGaming platform helps operators reach new players, manage player data and offer an unparalleled portfolio of online games from the world’s largest library of in-house and third-party studios.
OpenGaming’s digital casino content is delivered to players through a global content aggregation platform. This market-leading network gives operators access to a growing portfolio of over 2,000 game titles from its worldwide studio network, supported by player-centric features such as tournament functionality and unique jackpot systems.
Everi devoted space in its G2E booth to its enhanced RGS social and/or real-money interactive gaming solutions. Everi’s RGS currently supports 30 titles with its library of content expected to exceed 50 titles by year-end, according to a press release.
Everi designed its proprietary RGS using state-of-the-art system architecture enabling the company to develop and distribute compelling player-preferred content directly to operators. This content includes award-winning three-reel mechanical games and attractive video slots all built around land-based slot math with the added player feature to play the game in landscape or portrait mode. Everi’s RGS also offers robust data analytics and real-time reporting and can support custom-built games for operators.
AGS also showcased its digital offerings at G2E. From its AGSi division, the company demonstrated its AxSys Games Marketplace and more than 600 real-money gaming titles featuring AGS’ top-performing land-based games and a game portfolio from third-party developers. The company will also highlight its ConnexSys Social White-Label Casino, a turnkey, free-to-play mobile casino app that integrates the casino brand with AGS’ proven land-based titles to keep players engaged at home, work, and on-the-go.