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CR88-p52-SBG Feature:SJC-Casino Review 21/1/10 19:06 Page 1
internationalcasinoreview
SBG
REPORT
Server-based
gaming ‘still
in its infancy’
In March 2009, Ameristar Casino St Charles in Missouri became
the first casino in the world to install IGT’s Tier One Package, sbX
Floor Manager. James Walker spoke to Bob Sobczyk, vice-
president of casino operations for the US operator, to find out how
the installation was faring nearly one year on.
silverserver future, players will have more ICR: As well as offering
SBX FLOOR MANAGER flexibility. players the option to
switch games without
Ameristar Casino St Charles, Missouri
International ICR: Is the concept and moving machines, what
Casino Review: How the interface easy for the have the main advantages
pleased are you with the player to understand? been with the sbX system? system? Why was St server-based gaming
performance of sbX? Was there any education BS: New applications will Charles chosen? could work better?
Bob Sobczyk: Server- offered by your staff? be developed, but as of right BS: Ameristar has always BS: We are working closely
based gaming is truly in its BS: The player is simply now changing from game been an innovator and has a with IGT to provide feed-
infancy. We are able to down- playing a multi-themed game theme to game theme is long history of testing new back and improve future ver-
load from a server, but there that is very similar to a multi- really the only advantage. gaming technology. We were sions of sbX.
is a manual process that must game theme on a non server- very pleased to partner with
occur at the game level to based platform. ICR: It initially linked 62 IGT as well as the Missouri ICR: Do you believe that
configure each game theme. machines. How many Gaming Commission to test one day the entire slot
This manual step will be elim- ICR: Do players prefer machines do you operate sbX in St Charles. Ameristar industry will have
inated in the next upgrade. to have more slot titles in in total? Do you see a St Charles is one of the evolved to a server-
one terminal rather than time when all of your slot leading gaming destina- based solution?
ICR: What has player move around to find their floors across your estate tions, not only in Missouri, BS: There is no question
feedback been like? How ‘lucky’ slot? will be server-based? but the Midwest as well. As that server-based solutions
popular are these games BS: In our initial test, we did BS: We currently have 86 additional functionality is will be an integral part of the
compared to the normal not option more than six units and plan to add more as added, we anticipate slot floor of the future. As new
slots? game themes per machine. As we purchase product that is installing sbX at our other casinos open up, they can
BS: There is no visible dif- players become more com- compatible. All games in the Bob Sobczyk properties. build the infrastructure and
ference for players because fortable and IGT enhances future will be server-based, but purchase server-based com-
they can’t tell the difference the menu structure, we most likely it will be four or ICR: How did it feel ICR: As the first to patible games to utilise the
between a sbX game and a believe they will appreciate five years before vast sections being the first in the install, have you any sug- system. Aria at City Center is a
traditional slot game. In the the added flexibility. of the floor are connected. world to install such a gestions as to how perfect example.
Service Window to the future
Over recent months, IGT has brought the server-based experience
emphasis on interoperability.
to life with sbX, the ‘experience management’ solution. Launched
For casino operators con-
sidering a scalable path to
at CityCenter’s Aria IGT believes it will revolutionise the slot sector. server-based gaming, IGT’s
sbX system provides several
servicewindow tailor their own gaming experi- options, including bank-by-
SBX FLOOR MANAGER ence - all at one machine. We bank, partial floor or floorwide
are very excited.” solutions. “This is just the
IGT has described its sbX sbX lets operators run their beginning,” said Javier Saenz,
Experience Management casino floors how they want, vice president of network
System and Service Window, with the games they want, and systems for the US-based
currently installed at Aria the player interaction they gaming giant. “With access to
Resort and Casino at CityCen- want - all with the potential of makes us unique and gives us the game library, operators are
ter, Las Vegas, as ‘the ultimate lowered operational costs, a competitive edge.” already seeing the difference
catalyst for change.’ improved efficiency, and more The sbX Service Window in the ability to manage their
Eric Tom, executive vice satisfied players. Change is provides a unique player inter- slot floors and distribute game
president of North American also on the cards for the player action experience, right at the content. Customers have told
sales and marketing of IGT, experience. With sbX, players slot machine. When the player the floor for their favourite offers throughout the property, us sbX gives them more choice
said: “sbX is four years in the can now choose the games inserts his players club card, a games - this gives more helping move inventory. and flexibility than they’ve ever
making and it’s just what we they play, experience better special window slides the options at the players’ finger- As the industry’s first GSA- had in the past.
wanted it to be. With sbX, our communication with a prop- game screen over, providing a tips, all on one machine. compliant server-based “Every operator experi-
customers have more choice erty, and tap into an experi- menu of information and serv- sbX Media Manager enables solution, sbX was designed ences some degree of trial and
than ever in how they operate ence they’ve customised. ices the player and operator targeted messages and serv- to operate on a floor wide or error with their game mix,”
a casino floor. With a touch of a Bill McBeath, president and can customise, all designed to ices to the Service Window. hybrid network, connecting Saenz added. “Access to the
button, they can cater to a par- chief operating officer of Aria, improve the player experience. Casinos have a new, more effec- multiple manufacturers’ IGT game library helps reduce
ticular demographic group added: “sbX and the Service sbX Floor Manager allows tive way to market to players games to create a seamless risk. Operators can now
using highly targeted market- Window afford us never- access to the IGT game library, and differentiate their property experience for the player and instantly optimise the place-
ing tools. In minutes, they can before-seen opportunities with letting operators reconfigure a with sbX. Additionally, sbX also a more cost-effective floor ment and distribution of game
reconfigure a floor to enhance our customers. We can offer casino floor with the touch of a serves as a yield management management solution for themes and configurations
performance. And in seconds, them customisation, choices button. And no longer will system, allowing operators to operators. IGT has brought according to the demands of
a player can switch games and and personalised service. sbX casino patrons have to comb notify patrons of specials and sbX to market with an the customer base.”
52 February 2010 • SBGreport
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