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CR62-p36-SBG:SJC-Casino Review 25/11/07 01:40 Page 1
“One area of this sector that we like is the gaming The US could be a key growth California Indian casinos that
equipment companies, like IGT and WMS, because
Charles Norton,
area for server-based gaming sign new compacts with the
there’s a major replacement cycle right around the
portfolio after Pennsylvania was allowed state could add 22,500 games
corner. It is starting in 2009 and will be driven by
to house 61,000 slot machines by next year and Mississippi’s
a new technology called server-based gaming thus
creating a big opportunity for the gaming
US investment
at 14 casino and racetrack Gulf Coast casino industry is
locations by 2009. Oklahoma’s looking at potentially 20,000
equipment suppliers.” company Indian tribes are expected to new slot machines by 2008.
Charles Norton, portfolio manager,
Vice Fund
add 25,000 slot machines to
US investment company Vice Fund their gambling halls by 2008;
Full networked: today,
tomorrow or some time soon?
networkingthefloor experience of CineVision. He also stressed that
Rowe doubts whether a one certain styles of games lend
box fits all solution will themselves perfectly to
t’s perhaps difficult to prevail and indeed whether server based gaming. “Large
classify the future when server based gaming will scale community play expe-
there are many of its ele- compromise the dynamic riences like you have on the
ments already feel of today’s slot floors in internet clearly fit in this cat-
entrenched in the terms of competing cabinet egory,” Rowe explained.
present. Certainly there are design, spectacular signage “Also, distributed or route
many distinctions to server and features specific to the operations can see very real
based gaming already out in slots of individual compa- and different benefits than
the field today with different nies. venues.”
types of networked products “If the idea is for a neutered Many of the business ana-
using the technology in a host cabinet with 200 icons on it lysts infatuated with the share
of different ways. Be it Wide there very well could be a prices of gaming manufac-
Area Progressives, Video major change [to the look and turers see just one benefit,
Lottery Terminals or elec- feel of the floor], but that is improved revenues. For them
tronic roulette terminals, not how Bally sees the Net- server based represents the
servers are already at the heart worked Floor of The Future,” new TITO, but Rowe sees
of much of the sector’s recent he explained. “We first envi- some distinct differences in
technological thrusts. sion systems that ensure 100 how it will be rolled out.
And with this technology per cent availability to the “TITO brought many ben-
already in such prominent operator and customer, an efits to the player and the
existence, some feel there is a operator owned ubiquitous operator by solving horrible
more refined window to view network like iView to provide problems related to coin han-
the future than to simply gaze improved service, marketing dling. As a result it created a
out to server based fields. This at the point of play, second compression of the normal
is certainly the case in the ways to win and responsible sales cycle from about seven
R&D offices of Bally Tech- gaming applications. Next we years to four,” Rowe said, pre-
nologies, where the whole see enhanced functionality dicting that a similar com-
server based solution is with the game like dynamic pression of sales will not take
wrapped up in the wider tech- configuration management place with server based.
nology of the Networked to enable revenue manage- “TITO was also the first time
Floor of The Future. Given the ment and background down- the industry dealt with hun-
spread of server based loading to save labour costs. dreds of millions of dollars of
already, Bally Technologies’ And in some locations, as we Intellectual Property costs. It
Bruce Rowe has some unease already do, there will be a is not clear what the revenue
in classing it as truly futuris- need for outcomes to be stream will be for manufac-
tic. “Bally has many of the determined at a server and turers in server based but
things being discussed as downloaded to a machine. In operators are most con-
futuristic available today,” all cases mentioned the cerned that open systems and
revealed Rowe, senior vice cabinet can still have the server based gaming could
president of strategy and busi- unique and powerful market- be a Trojan horse for signifi-
ness development at Bally. ing impact that many players cant and recurring IP fees.”
“Every game we sell today
Just as downloadable is a working part of the server based solution
like and the excitement that Amid such concerns, the
has the Alpha platform which
supports GSA standards and
of the future, so the servers themselves are components of the fully
it adds to a floor.” billion dollar question in
Rowe also doubts that slot server based remains of
server-based functionality. We
networked casino floor. The communication of just about every floors will, in the next few course ‘when’ will operators
are already testing many of
conceivable transaction between game and customer aims to take
years at least, become fully see the time is right to replace
the functions today on our
existing systems and on iView
casino owners to operational utopia. Phil Martin asked the billon
downloadable. “There will be slot floors across entire
100 per cent networked estates? Rowe explained that
and are ready to go to field
dollar questions of ‘what’ and ‘when’ to Bally’s Bruce Rowe.
gaming (in the future) as with Bally preparing for the
trials in early 2008 for advance there is today. But if the ques- future today, a complete
functionality,” he added. “This strating how operators can need for sophisticated analy- highly integrated company tion is will there be floors replacement cycle may not
will again focus on two things; change denomination and sis and modelling tools which and will provide content, cab- that have 100 per cent down- even have to spin.“W e believe
value proof of concept and game configuration with Bally will provide. We are com- inets and systems. That said, loadable capability where a this technology will evolve at
technical proof of concept.” server driven commands. This mitted to open standards as there will be new models that customer can download a something close to the
Aside from all this Bally is is the latest in a set of step by demonstrated by our contin- emerge with content being game on demand in real time normal replacement cycle
continuing to work in collab- step advances, representing uous involvement at the licensed to cabinet or system from a server, then I think the but will only take place when
oration with slot rival Aristo- steady, assured progress highest levels of GSA.” providers, but this is not new. answer is probably no, not on there is a real return on the
crat on developing a common which Rowe believes is sensi- The onset of server based Bally has been licensing large scale facilities anyway. technology investment. Our
command and control ble on all fronts. “We will take or fully networked should see content for years to use on There are certain functions customers do not want tech-
module that will dynamically an evolutionary approach as a clear distinction between our products and will con- that may make sense in dis- nology for technology’s sake,
configure games on the this matches our customer game content, distribution tinue to do so if it makes sense tributed gaming where there solutions looking for prob-
network. This interoperabil- needs as well as the technical systems and cabinet provider for everyone involved.” are small footprints and few lems or unclear pricing
ity was set to be shown at the and regulatory reality which and Bally, like all other slot Bally has also, over the last or no gaming employees but models,” he added. “And as I
Global Gaming Expo in Las will focus on things that solve producers, is aware that this 75 years, made some excit- these do not make sense in said before, every game we
Vegas at Casino Review’s time real business problems with a could mean change on the ing breakthroughs in cabinet venues with thousands of sell today has the Alpha plat-
of going to press, with both proven Return on Invest- manufacturing horizon. design most recently with games and a fixed staff form which already supports
company’s booths demon- ment. Inherent in this is the Rowe explained: “Bally is a the widescreen cinematic requirement.” server-based.”
36 December 2007 serverbasedgaming
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