We’re very excited about these new opportunities, provided by new technology, for operators and players throughout the world. It’s a great time to be in the gaming industry! This exciting new technology will be rolling out in Canada in the very near future.
Don Doucet, SPIELO Vice-President of Business Strategy, Products, and Marketing
SPIELO is proud to be the international leader in networked gaming in the distributed VLT market, a position that will serve our Canadian distributed customers well as the VLT and systems replacement cycle continues in 2011.
Our INTELLIGEN™ Central System is the first in the world to use the industry-supported open standards protocol, Game to System® (G2S®), in a distributed VLT environment. We achieved this milestone in mid-2010 during INTELLIGEN’s deployment in the new Italian VLT market. This stringently-regulated market requires remote game downloading and game switching abilities from central systems to VLTs located throughout a large geographic area. INTELLIGEN, a proven central system built on 20 years of operations in the distributed VLT market, is now providing live network solutions in Italy. As a result, SPIELO is bringing its Italian field experience to its Canadian customers.
Thanks to the functionality provided by the G2S open standards protocol, the INTELLIGEN system eliminates the downtime and human resources required for game updates. It does this by remotely downloading games to VLTs in disparate locations. Using INTELLIGEN’s Advanced Business Intelligence software, operators can also identify points in time, down to the hour or minute, when specific games are in high demand, and use that information to immediately switch to those games, ensuring ongoing optimal performance during all operating hours.
While European VLT customers tend to be early adopters of advanced gaming technology, our Canadian VLT customers are now asking for similar advanced central system capabilities as they replace and upgrade their systems. SPIELO has been in ongoing discussions with Canadian lottery operators who want to know more about how INTELLIGEN’s advanced networking capabilities will meet the needs of their next generation systems.
G2S was originally developed for commercial casino markets, and SPIELO was the first to work with the Gaming Standards Association™ (GSA) to create protocol extensions that enable the G2S protocol to respond to the specific needs of the distributed VLT market.
We are a platinum member of the GSA, and are deeply involved with the association’s Operator Advisory Committee, where we’re engaged in an ongoing dialogue with operators, including Canadian jurisdictions, about their advanced networked gaming requirements.
Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.
Christopher C Rowe, Associate Director, Networked Gaming
Aristocrat, through its Play to Win strategy, is actively engaged in a company-wide initiative around Networked Gaming. Dubbed the Aristocrat Live Network™ (Alive), this movement is all about connectivity. Through Alive, Aristocrat is connecting players to games to casinos to the world wide web, and all in the spirit of enhanced end-user experience.
At G2E 2010, Aristocrat debuted a number of products under the Alive umbrella. The VERTEX™ networked bonus controller will power connected gaming features on seven innovative products to be deployed throughout 2011. nCOMPASS™, Aristocrat's next generation player tracking module, drives system applications through media windows on the main screens of video gaming machines. nVISION™ is the business intelligence solution that makes sense out of the tremendous amount of data to be collected in the networked gaming environment.
Canadian jurisdictions are among those who have been very active in the promotion/proliferation of Gaming Standards Association protocols. For this reason, Aristocrat is incorporating GSA standards across the portfolio. In particular, the GEN7™ gaming platform has been enhanced to leverage G2S. As the Canadian marketplace evolves, Aristocrat will look forward to supplying fully interoperable networked gaming solutions.
Bruce Rowe, Senior VP of Strategy and Business Development
Distributed gaming today runs on everything from dial-up networks to DSL to high speed networks and so these technologies not only have to be forward looking, but they have to be backward compatible so that businesses can assimilate the technology at the speed that makes sense and at a cost that is predictable for their business. That's one of the things we're very sensitive to in the Canadian market.
Bally Technologies was recently selected as the vender of choice by two Canadian provincial organizations, the OLG and BCLC, for projects which encompass the replacement of the gaming systems in each province to monitor all slot machines at multiple sites within each jurisdiction as well as slot accounting, player tracking, business intelligence, and media management solutions.
We're very proud of this achievement because it was probably one of the most exhaustive technology reviews we've been through, we actually enjoyed that because it tested the architecture and strength of our systems to a high level.
Overall, the Canadian market is a market that we are committed to. We are ready to adapt our systems for the unique requirements of the Canadian market and our systems are architected in such a way that we can create market-specific functionality that meets the needs of those customers without disrupting our overall systems roadmap for the world. That is one of the things we have done over time, is to migrate over to a world class system architecture so that we can do that.
Simple examples are that our systems are designed to be multilingual so we can have two different employees operating in two different languages and working right next to each other in the same casino, but operating in their language of choice in the exact same system that doesn't have to be modified to provide that functionality.
Mark Pace, VP Networked Gaming Engineering & Operations
WMS started working on Networked Gaming (NG) products even before this term was coined. In fact WMS launched our first NG product back in 2005.
Called the Monopoly Big Event, this gaming application was comprised of Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) connected to a server using a TCP/IP network to provide the first true Community Gaming product. The server had its own gaming application complete with Random Number Generator that, whenever the right result was drawn, would cause play on the EGMs connected to it on the network to suspend, after which the server would take over and play a Community Bonus.
WMS had developed many NG gaming applications such as Star Trek, Reel ‘em In – Compete to Win which have taken the use of servers connected to EGMs to a whole new level, delivering exciting and compelling game play experiences.
However WMS has also been in the field for over 2 years with the first GSA compliant Remote Configuration and Download system. We view this as basic plumbing, the infrastructure needed to support revolutionary new gaming concepts some of which have now started to be introduced in the field.
One such application is Ultra-hit Progressive, our first NG Portal application family, and the first theme within this family called Jackpot Explosion. Portal refers to technology that allows WMS to offer operators the ability to combine a base game theme with another Networked Gaming game theme to create a unique combination and a new never before possible gaming experience. We are very excited about this first NG Portal application as its performance in the field has been fantastic. This portal family is just one of more than a dozen such families, each with a unique twist and multiple game themes within it, that WMS will be launching over the next several quarters and years.
What is equally exciting is that this product’s first installation anywhere in the world took place in none other than Canada, British Columbia to be exact.
WMS’ NG products are developed using open standards such as those from the Gaming Standards Association and computer industry standards and designed to be interoperable with applications from other suppliers. As proven via recent press releases, WMS is committed to interoperability using standards-based products and we will continue to develop products in this manner.
We have a long history of working closely with our Canadian Operator partners and have been involved with technical beta testing of a number of NG products with several provinces. We continue to see great growth opportunities in this region and continue to work closely with our partners to launch products that will provide the level of entertainment expected of WMS products.