Las Vegas played host to the Global Gaming Expo 2021 earlier this month and numerous Canadian Gaming Association member companies showed off their latest innovations.
Scientific Games is making its biggest investment ever into innovating and modernizing its longstanding Bally system and its portfolio of products and services. Rob Bone, Senior VP of Global Systems and Table Games, said the goal is “to create a services-fabric, data-first approach to optimize value and agility to ensure we deliver the compelling player acquisition and retention innovations to operators that we are known for,” per CDC Gaming Reports.
A primary target is cashless gaming at both slots and table games. Scientific Games currently offers a Unified Wallet product and has been investing in cashless IP for well over a decade. The company is focused on giving operators freedom of choice to integrate with several other fintech solution providers, such as Everi or Sightline, or utilize Scientific Games’ own integrated Global Payments’ VIP Mobility product, the only existing single-app cashless solution that dynamically adjusts to each operator’s brand and supports anonymous play. Within that product, payments and credits can be funded and redeemed on phones, and also built in are several gaming-specific features like AML controls and responsible-gaming limits that are completely configurable.
Additionally, Scientific Games’ Player Boutique allows players to select their own individual prize at the slot machine and have it delivered to their home via Amazon. Operators also have the option to scale their promotions by offering the chance to accrue larger-than-normal prizes such as appliances, jewelry, and electronics by building credits over days, weeks, even months.
Everi, which dominated the High-Denomination Mechanical Reel Category of a September 2021 Eilers & Krejcik index report on Game Performance, introduced a new high-denomination mechanical reel game at the Expo.
Its new Player Classic Signature cabinet is described by Dean Ehrlich, EVP & Games Business Leader, as a “complimentary” model to its successful Player Classic that brings newer technology to further enhance the gamer experience. That includes a stronger CPU and other new enhancements and display technology to ergonomically utilize some bonusing and top-screen features of the Classic.
CDC Gaming Reports notes that by continuing to support existing models, it enables a continuation of customer loyalty while offering newer technology and more flexibility for operators who choose to upgrade.
Also in mechanical reel slots, IGT debuted the DiamondRS and the Peak65 cabinets.
Anthony Baerlocher, VP of innovation of mechanical reels for IGT, said the DiamondRS is the first cabinet in the industry to allow a multi-game configuration on a reel slot. It also gives operators flexibility, such as the choice to offer only one type of game and to choose the denomination values.
The Peak65, also flexible and available in various configurations, offers titles such as Wheel of Fortune High Roller, the latest title for gaming’s most popular slot line and made especially for the Peak65. It boasts a 65-inch progressively curved display, a 13.3-inch dynamic player panel with dual bash buttons, and advanced graphics, sound, and ergonomic technology.
Meanwhile, Konami showed off the latest in its Dimension series, with new jumbo Dimension 75 and Dimension Top Box cabinets previewed at the show. The Dimension 75, a jumbo version of the already popular Dimension 49J cabinet with a vertical 75-inch screen, had already soft launched at the NIGA tradeshow in July. Meanwhile, the Dimension Top Box features a horizontal lower screen with a large vertical monitor above, a style that has been popular with several other vendors.
Aristocrat launched its new Neptune Canopy that features not only multiple dual curved displays, but an overhead canopy screen that connects with other slot cabinets.
The company also premiered its new Dune game, a tie-in with the blockbuster movie set to be released later this month, hosted in the Neptune, which also offers a new ergonomically designed sound chair with built-in speakers and the capability to move back and forth and swivel, as well as some vibration. Coming in a single or double configuration and featuring clips from the movie, the double configuration game features an arched LED canopy showing images moving between the two units.
“With the Neptune double cabinet, it’s like playing this game in IMAX,” said Ryan Scott, vice president of gaming operations for Aristocrat. “It’s got a great play, sound, and feel to it.” Scott added that about 50 units are scheduled to go live at casinos across U.S. on the day the movie debuts in the country, October 22.
In addition, JCM Global, one of the largest suppliers of systems in the global casino industry, showcased its FUZION solution, a consolidation of all of its systems’ technology combined into one package. The FUZION is operating in California and newly installed in Nevada, but growing.
Dave Kubajak, SVP of sales, marketing, and operations, said the solution will bring cashless technology to players, as well as help operators manage and track financials and reports, manage assets, and offer promotional ticketing and virtual TITO abilities.