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CR62-p34-SBG:SJC-Casino Review 25/11/07 01:43 Page 1
“The biggest area of concern is that there will be five different “For the first time in memorable benefiting all major gaming
servers for five different sets of slots. The operators seem to want to
have one server that would take care of all the server-based
Bill Lerner,
history, we believe that the equipment suppliers. It’s been
machines regardless of company, and that seems to be the direction
gaming equipment sector is set six years since ticket in-ticket
to capitalise on the confluence out really took off. When server-
we’re headed. The operators were excited initially about the Bank of two major events; global based gaming commences, the
potential, but there seems to be a scaling back of expectations. It
gaming expansion and a new earnings power for the gaming
seems there will be more of a baby-step approach to the replacement cycle. The unit supplier will be significant.”
implementation. It will take time for the technology to evolve.”
opportunity will be nothing short
Nevada Gaming Control Board member Mark Clayton of phenomenal, clearly
The great paradigm shift
It might be a bit behind
everyone else but
change is coming to the
casino industry, a
profound alteration in the
way electronic gaming
floors are operated. The
internet may have
allowed virtual casinos to
proliferate but it can also
inspire new business
models perfect for real
ones, says
Hugh Sorrill.
revolutionaryprinciples important products developed and the gameplay happening
SBG: OVERVIEW with these principles so far are somewhere else.
perhaps the casino management The fact of the separation of
Features of
en years ago, when the systems that give operators game and cabinet is one of the
internet was still in its precise information about activ- reasons why some jurisdictions
infancy, futurologists were ity, monitoring cash desk transac- have not yet permitted SBG
the future
predicting that it would tions, for example, or offering where the law demands that the
have as much impact on player and employee tracking in random number generator at the
society as the industrial revolu- both electronic and table gaming heart of slot games has to be in
Hugh Sorrill
and allow players to do other
tion. They were wrong. If any- areas. Essentially these systems the same location as the machine.
thing, the impact has been greater: allow managers to understand in This is a restriction that regula-
investigates what
things such as order drinks or
maybe enter the lottery or
the internet and its principles of real time the exact state of play. tors are gradually changing as will happen once place a bet on a sporting event.
connectivity have permeated But it is only in the last few years they realise that they too can have
SBG becomes a
All these ideas already exist but
almost every aspect of our lives, that attention has turned to the a lot more access to and control
from how we work to how we most obvious computer presence over the proper functioning of
standard feature of
largely as separate systems:
SBG will help bring it all
communicate with our friends. on the gaming floor, the video slot electronic gaming. casino floors. together as a seamless whole.
And it still has a long way to go. We machine and how it could be a One of the main attractions of Will SBG entirely replace
will perhaps truly understand the part of the revolution. SBG is to have flexibility in the aroundthecorner individual slot machines? In
paradigm shift in the functioning Video slots have quickly become product offering. The casino man- THE CASINO FLOOR the long term, almost cer-
of our society when our clothes the mainstay of many casino oper- agement systems give operators tainly. It is far more likely to
can monitor our health and ations: freed from the physical unprecedented levels of informa- After SBG becomes standard, replace all video slot
summon help if necessary. restrictions of mechanical reels, tion but there is little they can do the big names will undoubtedly machines within five years or
The casino industry, it is fair to they can offer players as many to influence or improve the data still be around using their expe- so, where the regulators
say, has not been surfing the wave games and themes as the design- without huge amounts of work. rience and enormous develop- agree. They will leave room for
of change, rather paddling along ers can think up and get approved. They have to be satisfied with a ment budgets to come up with legacy machines such as reel
behind. There are good reasons But they too have restrictions, not business model that gives the the most entertaining games. games that are still wildly
for this: as the industry is so tightly the least of which is that they are maximum return at peak times Many of them are also likely to popular with certain players to
regulated, every innovation has to embedded in a machine - if you but is perhaps not as efficient at carry on making gaming termi- continue to operate. Feature
be approved by the authorities. As want to change the game, you have other times. With the power that nals, cabinets that are distinc- machines with additional top
the authorities tend either to be to go to a lot of effort. You may SBG offers to alter the games mix, tive as they are generic for the boxes might also find their
lawyers or politicians and not have to put in another cabinet; you stakes and denominations, volatil- wide array of gaming options place - there’s nothing to say
computer wizards, it takes them might get away with just perform- ity, practically any meaningful that will be required. But with that their content can’t be
longer to come to an understand- ing a flash download on every parameter, all at the touch of a the advent of common proto- located on a server, it’s just
ing of new technologies and their machine you want to change, and button, the operator can develop cols for the whole industry, any that they won’t be able to be
implications. that could involve changing the business models that give talented game designer will be an easily modifiable part of
That is not to say, of course, that glasswork too. maximum returns at all times. And able to make a mark with the the daily business models.
there haven’t been any profound Enter server-based gaming the players will be happy as a right product and many of The critical mass for server-
developments in gaming thanks (SBG): because the game takes matter of course. They will get the them will license their products based gaming is approaching.
in large part to the net. Progres- place on the server, it is separated games they want to play for the for a portion of the fee, an It will fundamentally alter the
sive and mystery jackpots, local or from the cabinet, which becomes right money. extension of the principle that way that casinos operate –
wide area, depend on the same merely a terminal, albeit one that The technology really puts some large manufacturers are and not just the large ones.
protocols, as do peripherals in still has to perform all the other operators in the driving seat and it already using. Time to market The level of investment
slot machines, such as ticket print- functions such as payment in and will fundamentally alter their rela- will be drastically reduced. required, while large, will bring
ers, which have to communicate out. In many ways SBG operates tionship with game manufactur- SBG will also enable online quick returns on investment
with central servers to maintain just like an internet casino with ers, even as the role of marketing systems linked to that will benefit the entire elec-
high levels of security. The most the cabinet acting as a computer manufacturer changes. player tracking to piggyback tronic gaming sector.
34 December 2007 serverbasedgaming
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