In its 23-year history, the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products Awards has been conducted through some very difficult times, but none hold a candle to COVID-19 and the drastic impact it has had on both our lives and livelihoods. 

But coronavirus-related business challenges have not deterred gaming vendors from developing and introducing numerous new devices and technologies, some of which were entered into this year’s contest. The length and breadth of this innovation is reflected in the products that tabbed Top 20 designations, a list that includes new table game concepts, evolutionary slot cabinet innovations, cashless gaming systems, cutting-edge display technology and much more.

A panel of impartial, expert judges evaluated nearly 40 entries from industry vendors showcasing their newest, most innovative products and services to decide the awards. We would like to recognize and thank the judges for their valuable time and the diligence of their analysis to compile this group of top products:

  • Warren Davidson, slot director, Coushatta Resort;
  • Donne Grable, vice president, gaming operations, VCAT LLC; and
  • Claudia Winkler, president, GHI Solutions.

The Platinum, Gold and Silver Award winners of the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products Awards will be announced in October and profiled in the October issue of Casino Journal. Descriptions of the Top 20 products, written by participants, excerpted by Casino Journal editors and listed alphabetically by company, below.

Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products:

  1. Bonus Spin Xtreme—AGS
  2. Starwall Immersive Video Canvas—AGS
  3. B2B Social Gaming—ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES
  4. Trackit for Tables—ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES
  5. Roll to Win Craps—ARUZE GAMING AMERICA
  6. Exacta CONNECT—EXACTA SYSTEMS
  7. Remote Test Bed—GLI
  8. VIP Financial Center—GLOBAL PAYMENTS GAMING SOLUTIONS
  9. VIP Preferred—GLOBAL PAYMENTS GAMING SOLUTIONS
  10. Hexbreaker 3 Video Slots—IGT
  11. PeakBarTop Cabinet—IGT
  12. PlaySports Bank and PlaySports Pod—IGT
  13. Infinity Pilot—INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES
  14. DIMENSION 49J Cabinet—KONAMI GAMING
  15. SYNK31—KONAMI GAMING
  16. Meter Image Capturing—METER IMAGE CAPTURING/PDS GAMING
  17. Kyber—SCIENTIFIC GAMES
  18. Unified Wallet—SCIENTIFIC GAMES
  19. Queue Manager—STRATEGY 9
  20. Slot Recommendation Engine—VIZ EXPLORER

See Previous Years Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products Here


—AGS

Bonus Spin Extreme

Bonus Spin Xtreme is an innovative progressive side bet system that drives excitement, engagement and revenue on any table game on the casino floor.

The first side bet to link all table games on a casino floor and offer a single shared jackpot, Bonus Spin Xtreme allows casino operators to seed only one jackpot, which means jackpots will increment faster for larger jackpot awards. Its innovative design, which features three concentric wheels, allows Bonus Spin Xtreme to award all participating players with a community prize, as well as award one player position with an enhanced prize, which may be a progressive jackpot.

In addition, through AGS’ proprietary math, Bonus Spin Xtreme is the only progressive side bet on the market to provide one unique progressive jackpot winner for different games with different probabilities of winning, including community-style table games like roulette, baccarat, and craps (in which every player is using the same cards/wheel with one outcome).

The unprecedented fusion of three wheels interacting with each other in Bonus Spin Xtreme delivers anticipation and excitement never before available on table games—and especially never available on community-style table games like roulette, baccarat and craps. The wheel also creates a social and community spirit, as all the participating players at the table game cheer for each other to win.

“Bonus Spin Xtreme looks like a great way to bring popular slot machine features like linked progressive jackpots and wheels into the table game environment,” one judge said. “It creates visually exciting, interactive and fun bonus elements for players with the added benefit of additional revenue for the casino.”

 

Starwall Immersive Video Canvas
—AGS

Starwall Immersive Video Canvas

AGS’ Starwall Immersive Video Canvas is a first-of-its kind in game-integrated merchandising and slot packaging for casino floors. 

The large-format, free-standing Starwall video display creates a seamless video backdrop for AGS slot games, combining hundreds of direct-view LED tiles in a flexible display measuring eight and one-half feet wide by eight and one-half feet tall. Fitting sleekly and securely with three-packs and six-packs of premium Orion Portrait games, the Starwall adds attraction through high-impact motion graphics complementary to the game theme.

The Starwall is truly art in video form, a harmonious combination of pure black and color that redefines what it means to deliver a unique visual experience to complement AGS’ slot entertainment. The front, back, and even the side panels are composed of brilliant LED lights, enveloping the player in the game-play experience and attracting players passing by. Direct-view LED technology offers the highest maximum brightness of all leading display technologies—perfect for a dimly lit casino floor.

In addition to adding significant attraction on the casino floor, the Starwall significantly elevates the slot entertainment experience. Players will want to sit and play longer as they are enveloped in a cinematic-like play experience that celebrates wins, jackpot awards and other in-game events.

“In the never-ending battle to attract attention to your slot product, AGS has raised the stakes with their Starwall Immersive Video Canvas,” a judge said. “Traditional signage, while attractive, does not have the same impact at the Starwall.”

 

B2B Social Gaming
—ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES

B2B Social Gaming

Aristocrat’s B2B Social Gaming is a state-of-the-art online and mobile gaming solution based on the successful B2C social gaming platform Heart of Vegas. 

The new B2B Social Gaming solution allows operators to directly provide a freemium (a free game where you can buy credits) social game offering to its players. B2B Social Gaming is filled with Aristocrat’s best-known and popular proprietary titles, allowing operators to give their players a fun digital experience where they can enjoy playing Aristocrat’s most successful and best-performing games by purchasing virtual coins. The enterprise operators can choose to brand the app to the entire enterprise or to each individual casino. 

B2B Social Gaming is strictly intended for entertainment and social game play where the player is never able to redeem their winnings for anything of value or for real-world prizes. The B2B Social Gaming platform offers a comprehensive patron engagement application converging patrons’ on/off property on/offline. B2B Social Casino offers operators a mobile gaming platform to keep their brand on the forefront of their player’s entertainment experiences.

Aristocrat provides a strong integration layer that allows the B2B social gaming platform to integrate with any casino management system. The business model is to offer a managed service where Aristocrat runs the campaign and the app on behalf of the operator, working closely with the operator’s marketing team. 

“Aristocrat has an enviable reputation for making video slots players love in brick-and-mortar casinos so offering them to operators for social gaming makes a lot of sense,” a judge said. “The fantastic library of popular games is the best feature of B2B Social Gaming.”

 

Trackit for Tables
—ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES

Trackit for Tables

Ticketing has been a tremendous asset for the slot operations, but what if there were a way for players to use their slot ticket at the table? Enter Aristocrat’s Trackit system. 

Part of the Oasis 360 table management solution, Trackit allows operators using the Trackit system for tables to take ticket in-ticket out (TITO) vouchers printed at the slot machine and redeem them for table chips, and, conversely, issue TITO vouchers at the end of the table play session that may be redeemed at any slot machine, redemption kiosk or casino cage.

Trackit allows dealers/supervisors to scan and redeem vouchers using barcode scanner equipment at the table improving upon the customer experience and increasing table game utilization. For the operator end-user, Trackit increases table game play and revenues by adding the convenience of players moving from slot to table. For the player end-user, buying into and ending a table game session is now fast and convenient.

The principle concept for Trackit was to bring the efficiency of ticketing to the table while also giving players increased convenience to continue their fun without leaving the gaming action.

“Guest convenience and operator efficiency are the best features of Trackit for Tables,” according to a judge. “Anything an operator can do to make the casino visit more enjoyable for the guest is a win/win. Reducing table game fills and paperwork is a great benefit to the operator.”

 

Roll to Win Craps
—ARUZE GAMING AMERICA

Roll to Win Craps

The traditional table game of craps has not changed significantly for an exceptionally long time. The myriad issues that existed were seen as inherent to the game itself, impossible to change. By reimagining the table as a modern, interactive object, Aruze Gaming’s Roll to Win Craps has solved all these issues. And like all the best innovations, the solutions seem oblivious once they’re created.

Roll to Win Craps generates entirely new ways for players to experience the game since its a hybrid between a traditional table game and a fully automated electronic table (ETG) game. By incorporating personal player displays, cash handling, ticketing and player tracking, this product has brought the conveniences of slot play to craps. The atmosphere of player comradery that exists at a craps table and the player’s interaction with the dice remain, while dealer payout errors and prohibitive staffing costs vanish. 

Roll To Win Craps allows players to shoot live dice across a 12-foot LED playing field. The brilliant LED panels give new life to the traditional craps table by displaying dynamic graphics featuring multiple playing field layouts and animations to engage players and bystanders. 

Roll To Win Craps provides interactive visuals throughout the LED playing field and large LED back-wall display positioned in front of the dealer. Player terminals feature a comfortable 21.5-inch LCD monitor, supporting up to 10 players. Virtual chips color coded by player are placed on the LED playing field and individual terminals. The gaming experience is enhanced with multi-channel sound and subwoofer. 

“Roll to Win Craps is arriving on the scene at a perfect time,” a judge said. “In the COVID-19 environment, this product is able to address issues like chip cross-contamination as well as social distancing both for players and staff.”

“The best thing about Roll to Win Craps is that Aruze automated the mundane tasks to reduce labor but kept the element players want most—the dice,” another judge added.

 

Exacta CONNECT
—EXACTA SYSTEMS

Exacta CONNECT

Gaming in niche markets is complicated by the economics of producing compelling game content and the rate at which requirements in these markets evolve due to regulatory, economic and political changes.  

Exacta CONNECT’s core is a flexible system architecture that enables content from a variety of game manufacturers in niche and evolving to mature markets with minimal investment.  In most cases, this system architecture facilitates regulatory compliance without re-releasing game content and, therefore, the Exacta CONNECT System can be adapted as needed to maintain compliance at almost no cost to operators or game content providers.

Exacta’s original tote system created the model for modern historical racing gaming.  The company’s patented translator protocol architecture defined the industry standard for how racing is displayed in conjunction with modern casino style games and our patent pending concept of wagering on multiple historical racing events enabling modeling of complex game designs has now been implemented by all HHR system manufacturers.

Not only does Exacta CONNECT enable the industry’s leading Historical Horse Racing system, the system can be reconfigured on the fly to convert an entire facility to other forms of central determinant gaming such as Class II or video lottery. Unlike competitive systems, Exacta CONNECT also supports central determinant gaming on web and mobile platforms enabling new markets and the ability to continue operating (where allowed) through global pandemics or other unforeseen disasters.

“Exacta CONNECT addresses one of the toughest parts of a niche market, which is content,” a judge said. “The ability for multiple manufacturers to easily connect to Exacta CONNECT enables HHR jurisdictions to look and feel more like a traditional market.”

 

Remote Test Bed
—GLI

Remote Test Bed

Gaming suppliers are now developing more cabinet models with unique monitor sizes and configurations than ever before. Many are large, with several high-resolution flat and curved monitors making them much more expensive than past models. All need to be tested by labs such as GLI before they can be offered in casinos.

GLI is constantly and proactively thinking of ways to improve time to market and reduce costs for its customers, and its Remote Test Bed solution reduces the number of cabinets suppliers dedicate for lab testing, turning more cabinets into casino sales. The solution allows GLI to securely access test environments connected to physical cabinets and perform all needed regulatory testing, observing actual test outcomes via webcam. By accessing test environments remotely from all its global locations, GLI can increase the daily test time on a cabinet, decrease the test cycle, and avoid multiple cabinet costs and/or cabinet shipping costs.  

GLI further refined this technology to assist with challenges of working remotely and keeping GLI office spaces within temporary government guidelines, should they exist. By having the equipment in a lab, GLI can leverage all the testing benefits while still safely working remotely.

“GLI’s incorporation of today’s remote technology into their testing makes perfect sense and should be appreciated by manufacturers worldwide,” a judge opined.

 

VIP Financial Center
—GLOBAL PAYMENTS GAMING SOLUTIONS

VIP Financial Center

Global Payments Gaming Solutions’ VIP Financial Center is the industry’s first, true, full-service solution that provides convenient self-service TITO, bill breaking, e-check, ATM and cash advance capabilities to casino guests.

VIP Financial Center’s LightSpeed kiosk series has been carefully designed to provide robust service capability, high dependability, easy serviceability and enhanced security, all in a slim profile design. This enables our clients to achieve maximum value for the floor space occupied by their kiosk solution, while saving more room for revenue-producing slot machines or table games.

From a security standpoint, the center is EMV compliant, offers real-time security alerts, integrates T31 controls and reporting, and features enclosed bill paths, all while providing users with a discreet PIN pad location, enhanced privacy screens and anti-skimming protection. Additionally, consumer protection is enabled through automated player tracking with improved identity and age verification. AML controls are also tighter, creating numerous additional checks and balances to mitigate the potential for fraudulent behavior, and responsible gaming measures are also enhanced, including configurable spending limits, “pre-set cooling” off periods and self-exclusion.

Global Payments Gaming Solutions’ VIP Financial Center is designed to provide casino operators with robust service capability, high dependability, easy serviceability and enhanced security—all in a slim-profile design that creates more room for revenue-producing slot machine and table games.

“The ability to tie in many previous cage cashier functionalities into a kiosk while still remaining EMV compliant and have all the necessary Title 31 controls shows that the VIP financial center can literally do anything a cage can do,” a judge commented.

 

VIP Preferred
—GLOBAL PAYMENTS GAMING SOLUTIONS

VIP Preferred

VIP Preferred offers guests the same easy and convenient access to cash when playing online, while providing online gaming establishments with identity verification (IDV), a global payment gateway, guaranteed funding of all ACHs and convenient disbursement options.

With VIP Preferred, both paper and e-checks can be cashed in seconds with funding 100 percent guaranteed by Global Payments. Even better, transactions take just seconds through the company’s proprietary software, VIP LightSpeed, and neither paper checks nor paper receipts are necessary. Everything is handled electronically, providing fast, superior service to both patrons and casinos.

Because 10 percent of guests make up 80 percent of casino revenue, easily enabling VIP play is essential to success. The VIP Preferred e-check network is available in more than 500 North American physical and online gaming locations. More than three million consumers rely on Global Payments for simple, safe and responsible play. The process is fully electronic and requires no complex guest signup.

After a simple one-time enrollment process, patrons can cash their payroll, tax return or U.S. government checks at participating locations. Properties are able to cash patron checks confidently knowing that Global Payments is assuming the risk. 

This service is included in VIP LightSpeed and no additional equipment is needed.

“VIP Preferred is the perfect extension of payment solutions for any online casino,” said one judge. “Piggybacking on Global Payments’ already successful products, VIP Preferred will be a welcome addition to the online payment solution tools that online casinos use.”


SPOTLIGHT

Downstream Casinos taps Global Payments VIP Mobility solutions Quapaw, Okla.-based Downstream Casino Resort has successfully enabled the use of Global Payments Gaming Solutions’ VIP Mobility, the industry’s first mobile solution enabling true cashless casino gaming, on its casino floor.

With consumers increasingly opting for contactless environments and choosing to not keep physical money on hand, the gaming industry is shifting to deliver an alternative, cashless experience that many guests now prefer. Cashless gaming has the power to give patrons the freedom of digital ticketing and uninterrupted play while allowing casino operations to tap a more cost-effective, secure payment method on the floor.

 “With VIP Mobility on our casino floor, we are able to deliver a seamless, convenient and enhanced player experience without completely revamping our existing technology infrastructure,” said Brock Moorehouse, compliance manager for Downstream Casino Resort.

Unlike traditional forms of wagering and betting, VIP Mobility provides a seamless player experience from funding through cash-out. With VIP Mobility, patrons can quickly create digital TITO tickets on their mobile devices, easily pair their device to any slot or table game by scanning a QR code and reload funds right from their phone. Once playing is complete, guests can immediately retrieve funds, ensuring play is never interrupted to get cash. 


Hexbreaker 3 Video Slots
—IGT

Hexbreaker 3 Video Slots

IGT’s Hexbreaker 3 includes innovative game mechanics that captivate players and drive its leading performance on casino floors. 

After the game graduated IGT’s test bank program with “Proven Performer” status and earned the highest performance score ever achieved by any game in the program’s history, it was clear that Hexbreaker 3 was going to be embraced by operators and players alike.  Operator adoption, player affinity and exceptional game performance continue to validate the superior quality of IGT’s core video Hexbreaker 3 game.

Housed on IGT’s CrystalCurve cabinet that features a 43-inch, curved portrait display, Hexbreaker 3’s innovative game design leverages the hardware’s entire display. With dynamic, expanding reels that grow upwards, then flip during bonus events, the game’s MultiWay interface affords players up to 59,049 ways to win. Additionally, the game features innovative “Hot Bet” levels are advertised on the Dynamic Player Panel. These “Hot Bets” give players the ability to shop different bet levels that may have reels which are closer to more valuable prizes in the game’s “Luck Zone.”

Hexbreaker 3’s game design is what makes it truly innovative. Not only is the game’s reel configuration radically disruptive, its bet structures, bonus triggers and bonus content are equally innovative. 

“Incredible graphics, interesting bonus features, and the dual-layer persistence element combine to make this game a hit with players,” one judge said.

 

PeakBarTop Cabinet
—IGT

PeakBarTop Cabinet

Every aspect of the IGT’s PeakBarTop cabinet was thoughtfully designed to ensure that its innovation was meaningful and would resonate with novice and experienced video poker players. 

Its 23-inch curved display provides players with an optimal content-viewing angle and affords players increased screen privacy. Its game menu configuration enables players to effortlessly scroll their favorite game titles with a finger swipe, just as they would search for content on a personal mobile device. The hardware’s built-in USB port allows players to charge a range of personal devices while enjoying their favorite game and its advanced graphics and audio components elevate the multi-media entertainment experience. Because IGT leverages the Ascent platform for video-based content development, the company can offer a wide range of gaming on the PeakBarTop spanning video poker, slots, keno and roulette. 

Service professionals and casino and tavern operators will also appreciate the PeakBarTop’s innovation. The back of the device is equipped with a play-level indicator making it easier for operators to determine player eligibility for a variety of uses including complimentary offerings, loyalty rewards, etc.

Additionally, the cabinet’s durable top panel has been artfully designed to tolerate spilled drinks and heavy use, while its hinged design makes for easy and secure serviceability. Finally, each PeakBarTop cabinet is equipped with Bluetooth technology making deployment of popular contactless and cashless systems technologies such as IGT’s Cardless Connect and Resort Wallet a simple implementation.

“The PeakBarTop from IGT is a sensible evolution of the popular IGT bar top cabinet,” a judge noted. “This new cabinet has up-to-date features and the curved monitor give it modern appeal.”

 

PlaySports Bank and PlaySports Pod
—IGT

PlaySports Bank and PlaySports Pod

IGT’s PlaySports Bank and PlaySports Pod are innovative because they are the industry’s first hardware configurations that bundle all the essential components required to offer retail sports betting.  

By combining multiple self-service betting kiosks, with multi-media displays that can feature odds, betting lines, games and more, the PlaySports Pod and PlaySports Bank reinvent how sports betting has can be offered. The self-service kiosks that anchor both devices are proven solutions that can be found at some of the most successful sports books in the U.S. and have the highest quality security features. The different configurations make them useful for a range of settings, for example, the PlaySports Pod is ideal for a casino floor or venue where a 360-degree view of the hardware is needed, whereas the PlaySports Bank fits perfectly against any wall. Finally, both hardware units can be easily adapted to accommodate trending cashless gaming technologies.

The PlaySports Bank and PlaySports Pod standalone functionality are integral to IGT’s “Zero Book” model that enables operators to deliver top-class sports betting experiences to casinos for close-to-zero incremental operational and capital dollars. This option is more attractive than ever for today’s cash-strapped industry.

“IGT’s PlaySports Bank offers sports bettors a complete experience with full wagering capability to go with a multi-media experience to match,” according to a judge. “Having this all in one terminal is a cornerstone for in-game wagering that is beginning to take hold in game wagering.  For jurisdictions without mobile wagering, these terminals allow for in game wagering in a comfortable player experience.”

 

Infinity Pilot
—INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES

Infinity Pilot

Incredible Technologies’ Infinity Pilot lease-only cabinet is built off the award-winning success of the Infinity V55 and accompanying Infinity Edge monitors, making the encapsulating 4K gaming experience of the Pilot is unlike any other on the casino floor.

Players take a seat within the Pilot’s cockpit, simulated by three game-controlled monitors. With two wing monitors flanking the main game space, players enjoy their own personal space, free from distraction. Pilot launch titles in the Double Deluxe and Unity Wilds families each utilize the extended gaming space with innovative bonus games and extra reel strips. 

Dogbone and Gear configurations utilize IT’s Edge monitor technology, allowing customers to place custom marketing video directly on banks, while providing players individual gaming space in eye-catching shapes. The Gear is a carousel-alternative to wrap poles or columns, while the Dogbone occupies a smaller floorspace as a compacted square shape. Even before health-related social distancing became common practice, performance data and anecdotal evidence revealed a clear bias against middle games with minimal personal space. The Pilot’s shape naturally spaces players for a comfortable gaming experience, even when placed side by side.

As casino operators look to reshape their floors and maximize slot efficienxdcy and safety, the Pilot’s flexibility and strong performance make it a leader in gaming innovation.

“I have been continually amazed by the ability of Incredible Technologies to seamlessly integrate intensive graphics between different monitors and the Infinity Pilot is no exception,” a judge said. “Its striking look are unlike anything else on the casino floor, and that feat is becoming harder and harder to achieve.”

 

DIMENSION 49J Cabinet
—KONAMI GAMING

DIMENSION 49J Cabinet

Konami Gaming’s DIMENSION 49J was engineered from the ground up with a streamlined frame and custom merchandising options, in order to deliver premium 4K entertainment over a wide variety of potential placement areas on the casino floor. 

The DIMENSION 49J’s custom-engineered button interface is contained within a lighted deck, with dual classic spin buttons and generous surface space for drinks, phones and other personal effects. Additional player conveniences include a wireless smartphone charging pad, USB port, and built-in handbag hook. Konami’s new “J” curve slot cabinet is the launch pad for top game content, developed to maximize moment-by-moment excitement and anticipation for players. 

Casino operators across North America and abroad are heavily focused on selecting slot gaming products that drive long-term revenue potential, while providing top entertainment value for guests. At a time when that mission is especially critical, Konami’s DIMENSION 49J is serving a strong mix of slot series—including All Aboard, Silent Hill, and Ocean Spin—on a machine that champions lasting operational gain and adaptability. 

As the casino floor continues to change and adapt, slot cabinets that are streamlined, effective and efficient like DIMENSION 49J help open the door for continued advancement, through nimble design and entertainment quality.

“This is a new and innovative cabinet with great graphics,” a judge said. “I expect to see many of these cabinets on casino floors in the future.”

 

SYNK31
—KONAMI GAMING

SYNK31

Konami Gaming’s SYNK31 is a comprehensive Title 31/anti-money laundering (AML) system that allows permissioned casino administrators to gather, track, review and complete all requirements in a single environment. SYNK31 provides true case management, empowering operators to seamlessly compile all reporting, time-stamped notes, files documents, screenshots, photos, videos and e-mails associated with a patron or incident, as one easy package.

SYNK31 provides a true single location for Title 31/AML management, thereby allowing casino administrators to conduct necessary oversight with greater efficiency, accuracy and speed. SYNK31 delivers real-time tracking of customer transactions throughout the property, with automated reports and instant alerts when any suspicious activity is flagged for review. Compared to other AML systems—which often store key case information such as reports, attachments, time-stamped notes, and filed documents across various locations—SYNK31 stores and maintains all information for each patron/case in one location for true case management.

SYNK31 is also equipped for direct API and/or data polling options with hospitality systems, POS systems, and more, in order to integrate data from multiple, mixed sources at one time. In addition, it supports automated upload of IRS and FinCEN forms, for maximum ease and productivity.

The SYNK31 system is focused on efficiency, speed, connectedness and consistency—all of which are key to enduring property compliance.

“The central location for all Title 31 / AML management is the best feature of SYNK31,” a judge said. “Having all of these functions will provide accuracy and efficiency.”

 

Meter Image Capturing
—METER IMAGE CAPTURING/PDS GAMING

Meter Image Capturing

Meter Image Capturing (MIC) is a revolutionary new system designed to reduce the time/resources spent on the monotonous progressive meter reading task. MIC is able to collect progressive meter data exponentially faster than typical methods commonly used in the industry today, as well as automatically provide this data to back-end audit/financial departments.

The MIC system, run on an android compatible device, uses optical character recognition (OCR), voice recognition (VR) as well as manual keypad entry to collect progressive meter data. Collecting progressive meter data electronically not only drastically decreases time spent reading meters, but also allows for instantaneous transmission to those who deal with this data. MIC is able to use technology to replace the archaic pen/paper method commonly used in casinos across the country.

Meter Image Capturing is designed to expedite the progressive meter reading process. The system allows for a revamped progressive meter reading experience, all the while being able to capture 100 percent of machines on any given casino floor. MIC’s three collection methods provide flexibility for the user, who may adapt and use any of the three methods for any given situation. Once all progressive data has been collected, it may either be viewed online straight from a secure database, or transmitted by e-mail via the MIC application system itself.

With MIC, operators are sure to realize a reduction in time/resources spent reading progressive meters, while simultaneously increasing the accuracy/validity of the data acquired.

“The Meter Image Capture product is a great solution to an age old problem,” according to one judge. “This economical product reduces both labor and errors for employees on the casino floor as well as back of house.”

 

Kyber
—SCIENTIFIC GAMES

Kyber

Kyber, Scientific Games’ augmented reality table game, is pushing the boundaries of traditional table games and evolving the game in a significant way. 

Kyber combines exciting projections and object recognition technology to reimagine the player experience while enhancing interactions during the game. The augmented table game features Blazing 7’s Cash Spin which incorporates an exciting Cash Spin bonus that detects hand gestures and brings a dynamic bonus round to the games. The bonusing feature also allows casino operators to learn more about their players. Through Kyber’s technology, operators will have a better sense of which players are making side bets and participating in bonus experiences.

Kyber utilizes a laser projector to create a bonus mechanism that can be projected onto a table top. With the ability to use laser technology, Kyber challenges the traditional table game. Kyber is truly innovative because the product’s technology has pushed the boundaries of table games by removing additional hardware and limitations created by the felt layout. The projected images allow the players to choose their own interactive experience at the table, by spinning a wheel or picking the right combo to get a bonus, all through curated augmented game play. 

Operators will benefit greatly from the data metrics and gain a deeper understanding of their table game players. Utilizing Scientific Games’ computer vision and biometrics technology simplifies partner operations further by verifying player age, supporting responsible gaming and enhancing player loyalty programs.

“By introducing unique and innovative bonusing to table games via augmented reality, Kyber gives the player this new found excitement in exchange for technology that gives the casino more information about the player,” a judge said.

 

Unified Wallet
—SCIENTIFIC GAMES

Unified Wallet

Unified Wallet is powers a cashless gaming experience on casino floors by giving players the power to instantly access funds to play their favorite slots and tables through an app on their personal mobile devices. This cashless solution creates a safe gaming experience for players on the casino floor by eliminating interactions with cash or kiosks. Players can feel more comfortable by reducing touch points and depend on their personal devices. Although Unified Wallet was developed pre-COVID-19, its use and implementation have never been more vital.

Scientific Games’ Unified Wallet provides the player a complete user experience. It allows the player to not only access their funds, but move and utilize money to play on a gaming machine or table game via one app. This is possible due to the company’s extensive and seamless portfolio of products and systems.

Unified Wallet’s integration into the mobile app creates a functional use within the application, giving the player a reason to use their mobile device on the gaming floor. Once that behavior is adopted, it opens up opportunities for casino marketers. The app utilizing Unified Wallet was intended to be a full-featured, mobile marketing platform. Casino marketers are not only able to communicate with that player, but also collect data from Unified Wallet to learn more about the player’s spending behavior which has great implications for responsible gaming initiatives.

“Now is the time for cashless solutions and Scientific Games’ Unified Wallet is a well thought out, solid solution that players should embrace,” a judge said.

 

Queue Manager
—STRATEGY 9

Queue Manager

With the gradual reopening of casinos post COVID-mandated closures, new problems have arisen regarding the admittance of customers and control of the occupancy levels of casinos. Queue Manager seeks to solve these problems and help casinos to operate safely with virtual counters and queues. 

Guests can join a virtual queue by texting in a code word, and the casino employees on the other end can message them when they get to the front of the line, tell them how long they might be waiting, and thank them once they’ve been processed through the queue. The accompanying Android/iOS counter app allows casino staff to count guests as they arrive and leave. The live number of occupants are automatically synced to unlimited counters and can be displayed to the casino floor and staff. With Queue Manager, casinos can open safely while sparing guests the frustration of waiting in physical social distancing lines.  

For the important purpose of contact tracing, Queue Manager employs the use of a barcode scanner to read a patron’s ID card (driver’s license, etc.) and store the information attached to their time of entry.  A casino may also perform a non-invasive temperature check and record the result in the patron entrance record.  Later, if the local health authority requires it, this information can be provided in a contextual record.

Queue Manager improves a casino’s ability to passively enforce social distancing rules. It helps keep staff and customers safer by reducing contact and physical proximity. It reduces congestion. It improves casino-player communication. 

“Any casino operator struggling with capacity and access problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic should take a good look at Queue Manager from Strategy9,” suggested one judge.

 

Slot Recommendation Engine
—VIZ EXPLORER

Slot Recommendation Engine

The VizExplorer Slot Recommendation Engine (SRE) gives operators automated game change recommendations based on the performance of their floors that are also checked against player preference to drive incremental slot revenue and save time.

The value of the SRE is found in its design, which emulates an industry standard decision tree for slot changes. The slot changes that each operator generally focuses on will fall within four areas: add, remove, reconfigure (conversion) or move. SRE uses rule-based logic defined by the industry standards to automatically produce a call to action for the operator. This takes the “leg work” out of some of the most frequent analyses that otherwise can take away two days from a slot operator’s week.

The principal concept behind SRE is the automation of slot analysis. SRE’s ability to automatically perform revenue generating recommendations, based on widely-used analytical logic, saves time and effort. The time saved via the automation creates greater capabilities for the operator to mine for new opportunities that otherwise could have been overlooked. Thus providing a unique ability to create efficiencies in determining the most effective path forward to improve performance.

“Viz Explorer has been at the forefront of analytics and the Slot Recommendation Engine helps take slot analysis to the next level,” a judge said.