Home Culture and Commerce Came Together at Record-setting Indian Gaming 2014 Show

Culture and Commerce Came Together at Record-setting Indian Gaming 2014 Show

Performances by traditional hoop dancers from the Pueblo of Pojoaque and by the Southern California Intertribal Bird Singers heralded the welcoming words from National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. as he presided over the May 13 ribbon-cutting opening of NIGA’s Indian Gaming 2014 Trade Show and Expo.

Stevens told the crowd that more than 5,700 tribal attendees had registered for the 29th edition of the trade show, held this year at the San Diego Convention Center. “Despite a tough economy, Indian gaming has continued to grow,” he told them, noting Indian gaming is now a $29 billion industry. “The industry has seen increases in gross gaming revenue for each of the last two years as well as significant increases in job creation across the board. Indian gaming continues to be a powerful engine driving the economic recovery in this country. The challenge now is to increase the momentum for the years ahead.”

That’s where the trade show, with its more than 450 exhibitors, comes in, Stevens told the crowd. “The purpose of the trade show and convention is to build a positive venue for Indian gaming industry professionals to reposition their facilities to better serve their communities, better serve their customers and stay competitive at the highest level,” he said.

In this review, Casino Enterprise Management highlights just some of the games, products and services displayed at the show.

Ainsworth Gaming Technologies
Ainsworth drew a steady stream of visitors to its booth to see not only its selection of successful slots, but also its new A560TMSL cabinet. The new cabinet features a 32-inch portrait display, a 19-inch LCD top screen and dynamic attract lighting. The first titles to be released on the cabinet are Big Bang Bucks™, Rampaging Rhino™, Bonus Bonanza™, Motza Magic™ and Rumble Rumble™.

Ainsworth displayed its latest progressive Treasure Storm™, with both standalone and linked progressives. The company also showcased titles for its A560 Wide Boy cabinet. Those included The Magnificent Seven™, Reels of Wheels™ and Cash Challenge™

American Gaming Systems
A highlight of Las Vegas-based American Gaming Systems’ booth was its popular Ripley’s Believe It or Not! trivia-based game with a wheel top box on its Roadrunner platform. The game, a debut offering in the AGS series of games featuring a knowledge-based game mechanic, offers a five-level progressive.

“That’s been doing very well for us,” said Lesley Hodges, assistant director of marketing for the company whose product portfolio includes Class II and Class III machines, wide-area progressives and a variety of specialty games.

“It’s been a really good performer,” since launching in the field in January. In many cases, the game is performing at three times house average, she said.

The game offers the trivia bonus games, Hidden Features in Trivia and Trivia ‘Round the World. A player wins the progressive by answering the questions correctly on the first guess. Players can accumulate features in the base game such as Re-Do, Eliminator and Stats, which will improve their chances of winning a progressive in the trivia bonus round. When a Mystery symbol lands anywhere on the third reel it will morph into a Wheel icon and the player will be awarded a single spin on the overhead wheel. In the free spins round, players collect Jewel Bugs that run around the reels and turn into wilds to offer a better payout.

Other products shown were Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?®, as well as examples of the Colossal slot machines that will become part of the company’s lineup since it recently announced its acquisition of the company.
Hodges said the company had a steady stream of customers visiting its booth, many interested in checking out the Colossal product. “I’m excited because I just think they have awesome games,” Hodges said.

Aristocrat Technologies
One of the highlights of Aristocrat’s booth was Helix™ cabinet, a gleaming, high-tech piece of hardware that only recently debuted into the marketplace. The crisply designed cabinet comes in two forms, Helix™ Slant and Helix™ Super Screen™ Slant.

“We spent a lot of work getting Helix into the position it is and designing it to leapfrog our competition,” said Matt Wilson, Aristocrat vice president of marketing, Americas, “Our customers are loving it. This is really the first time the majority of our customers have seen it in the flesh, and for them to touch and feel it and give us feedback has been really great,” he said, noting Helix is approved in 46 GLI states, and was expected to hit the market two weeks after the show.

The company used the award-winning California industrial design firm Whipsaw to help develop a cabinet that would not just reach “the leading edge of the gaming industry but get to the cutting edge of consumer electronics,” Wilson said.

Helix features “Infinity-edge” bevel-less 23-inch LCD displays with 1080p HD resolution and “halo” lighting, along with high-end sound with extra speakers.

The company showcased its new Batman™ Classic TV Series Slot Game on the Helix cabinet, as well as new Aristocrat’s E* SERIES™ game titles Moon Maidens™ and Magic Flower™.

But Wilson noted that “basically every game available in our catalog” can be placed on the Helix cabinet, to offer customers’ maximum flexibility.

Among other products on display were Aristocrat’s top-performing games, Buffalo Stampede™ and The Walking Dead™ as well as many other games and a range of its Oasis 360™ system options.

Indian Gaming 2014 started off with a celebration for Atrient on May 11, as its team captured first place in the Chairman’s Golf Tournament, and it just got better as the Michigan-based information technology company experienced its best NIGA show ever.

NIGA leveraged Atrient’s kiosk technology for a third consecutive year to deliver promotions and drawings for conference attendees. NIGA added a true gaming experience to the event by incorporating Konami’s True Time Tournament to offer additional entries into the drawing. Atrient created players club cards for attendees on demand with its newly launched Enrollment Kiosk. The second annual NIGA Cash Bash promotion awarded a total of $25,000 in cash prizes for lucky attendees. “It went really well. We had nothing but positive reviews from attendees at NIGA,” said Atrient Managing Director Sam Attisha.

At Atrient’s booth, it was more automation. With the full launch of the Enroll PowerKiosk, Atrient is now able to enroll casino patrons in less than one minute to all major patron systems. Attisha noted the process is fast and reliable because it uses a proprietary card insertion system much like at a bank ATM instead of a card swipe system. Attisha said the company enrolled some 1,800 attendees and inked deals with three different casinos during the show’s two-day run.

Atrient also featured its award-winning Promo PowerKiosk. “We did everything in real time. Attendees could see it happen live and that caught the attention of some of the largest operators in the country,” Attisha said.

Attendees check out games in Bally Technologies’ booth.Bally Technologies
Bally Technologies had one of the largest and most diverse offerings at the show, partly a reflection of its recent acquisition of SHFL entertainment.

Laura Olson-Reyes, Bally senior director of corporate marketing and communications, said the show seemed to have a “really good turnout.”

Attendees could see more than 35 game titles, including The Magic of David Copperfield, Titanic, which is a wide-area and near-area progressive that is nearly ready to launch and ZZ Top Live from Texas games. They could also check out Bally’s award-winning Pro Wave cabinet with its curved LCD screen, as well as tournament and bonusing systems products, table games and mobile and online solutions. The Pro Wave supports both the V22 and V32 game. “There’s a huge library of content for these and then we have the Wave specific content. It’s been really successful for us,” Olson-Reyes said, noting it has been out for about five months.

TITANIC, based on James Cameron’s blockbuster film “Titanic,” proved a popular draw. Featuring scenes and music from the film, it also uses proven Bally play mechanics, four base-game mystery features and three progressive jackpots, including two minor mystery jackpots and one life-changing top award on Bally’s Cash Connection wide-area progressive link. The game is also available as a near-area progressive. The main attraction, U-Spin bonus wheel, resembling a ship’s helm, awards credits as well as many bonus features.

Bally also debuted three new titles on the Equinox cabinet, plus Cash Wheel featuring Quick Hit and Grease Pink Ladies, the sequel to its Grease game.

BIS2 was thrilled to once again be exhibiting at NIGA and being able to showcase their partnership with tribal gaming.

BIS2 uses vizExplorer software for their business analytics. The software is a data analytic and business intelligence tool that covers the operational side of the business from marketing to gaming operations. According to Chris Korpi, assistant vice president of Native American relations and business development, the software “enables casinos to really understand their business real-time…We don’t replace what they have, we basically make what they have work.”

The competition and saturation of the market in the gaming industry makes it more important than ever to be smart about running a business. “Wherever there’s data, there’s a use for data,” said Korpi. “Anything you can do to get customer preference and customer habits, [BIS2] is able to find that data and help the operator of that company.”

BMM Testlabs
BMM Testlabs used the occasion of Indian Gaming 2014 to demonstrate its commitment to Indian Country with the launch of its Next Generational Initiative.

BMM’s Next Generation Initiative provides access to financial and educational resources, helping to secure the success of tribal communities, their future tribal leaders and the protection of tribal sovereignty for today and tomorrow’s generations, according to a news release.

“BMM is committed to making a positive difference to Tribal communities facing challenges in education, poverty and unemployment, and the Next Generation Initiative will help us reach this goal,” said Jodi Dilascio, BMM director of tribal gaming. “We are very excited to be able to present Aaron Leaureaux, Youth Council from UNITY; Novalie McDarment, commissioner of Tule River Gaming Commission; and Jamie Hummingbird, director of Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission representing NTGC/R’s Scholarship Committee, each with a check donation at this year’s Indian Gaming show. BMM is honored to be able to give back and support these worthy organizations.”

At its booth, BMM, a private, independent gaming certification lab, also was busy showcasing its product compliance insight and engineering expertise for gaming regulators and operators.

Cadillac Jack
Cadillac Jack showcased a variety of top-performing products in its busy booth.

Among the products shown was Goddess Treasures™, an impressive series of games available as a linked progressive or standalone. Players harness the power of the goddesses in this mythical series in which four goddesses rule their unique base games but unite to electrify profits as part of the Goddess Treasures multi-level progressive link.

The 8-foot-fall Stratos™ has the power to attract players from across the casino floor with its brilliant light display. Win with Diamonds™ sparkles in Stratos, according to the company, with its wheel bonus, giving players the opportunity to win one of five progressive jackpots, free spins or credit awards.

In addition, the company showed its PowerXStream series, which is performing 52 percent above house average. Players enjoy the PowerXStream pay mechanic with its unique reel configurations that pay right to left and left to right, as well as the payout rewards.

COST of Wisconsin Inc.
Chris Foster, vice president of sales and marketing at COST of Wisconsin Inc. was excited about the upbeat attitudes at NIGA. “I would say it seems as though people are more optimistic this year,” Foster commented. “There wasn’t nearly as much discussion about new projects, renovations, additions etcetera as there has been in the last two years.”

As noted in the company profile, COST is a theme construction company and specializes in services such as artistic elements, column covers, rock work, waterfalls, fountains decorative finishes, sculptures, faux trees, theme facades and aquariums.

COST has been closely involved with NIGA for over a decade. The company feels strongly about the mission of the show and about the tribal entities that make up NIGA. “We’ve done a number of projects for [NIGA] over the years,” said Foster. “It’s important for us to show that support and give back to the association.”

Crane Payment Innovations
Crane Payment Innovations, formed following the acquisition of MEI by Crane Co., exhibited under its new name at NIGA’s Indian Gaming 2014 show.

Among the variety of products showcased in the company’s booth was MEI’s SC Advance. Driven by customer requests to improve upon core measures of performance—acceptance, speed and security, MEI created the SC Advance, which has gained a reputation for performance and reliability. The backward-compatible bill validator maximizes the numbers of street-grade notes accepted, while simultaneously increasing the security against counterfeit notes.

Crane Payment Innovations provides a full range of unattended payment solutions for gaming, retail, transportation, vending and financial services applications. CPI is built upon the technological heritage and market expertise of NRI, CashCode, Telequip, Money Controls, MEI and Conlux brands.

Cummins Allison
Officials with Mt. Prospect, Ill.-headquartered Cummins Allison spent the show highlighting its solutions for the casino cage, vault and soft count room, products that count, sort and authenticate currency, gaming tickets and checks.

“This is a big relationship show. We do a lot of business with the native Indian casino tribes and so a lot of times we’re talking with them about what’s new and hearing about whether they’ve had issues or concerns,” said Bob Gibson, vice president of branch operations for Cummins Allison.

Among products showcased was the JetScan iFX i400 compact version of the company’s larger MPS 4100 Series floor machines, which are high speed currency and ticket sorting machines. “We have a very compact modular platform so a very small property can take advantage of many of the same capabilities and features but at a much lower cost of ownership and price point, and they can build out so they can either go from three sorting positions up to as many as nine,” Gibson said.

The company also showed coin-related products, including a self-service coin machine casinos can install to alleviate issues when players bring large amounts of coin to the cage, causing less efficient operations.

Cuningham Group
As one of the leaders in contemporary Native American design, NIGA is an important event for Cuningham Group.
Sam Olbekson, associate AIA and director of Native American design and planning, reiterated this and said, “Tribal casinos ultimately help the people of the communities and it’s a wonderful feeling to know we’re contributing to the overall economic development of tribal nations around the country.”

One of the group’s current projects includes the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Hotel, located in downtown Milwaukee, which will add a 380-room tower to the existing casino and thereby provide another series of amenities for Potawatomi.

DiTRONICS Financial Services
DiTRONICS Financial Services was next on the list as one of the largest Fund Access Providers of the gaming industry. Providing a complete suite of products for all of the customer’s needs, DiTRONICS has taken the cash access business and integrated it with the casino-player systems.

This year at NIGA, the company featured their new Casino Kiosk. “The machine not only processes tickets, breaks bills, performs ATM transactions and cash-advance transactions … you can [also] swipe your player card and the machine will, if you’re approved, dispense the cash so [customers] never have to go to the cage,” said George Vasilakos, chief executive officer.

As a solutions-oriented company, DiTRONICS is committed to selling a complete solution to their customers. Vasilakos explained that at least half of those customers are in tribal gaming. “We’re nationwide. So NIGA’s a very important show for us.”

Foxwoods Interactive
Partnered with GameAccount Network PLC this year at NIGA, Foxwoods Interactive was excited to be in attendance at the show as new associate members of NIGA. They were happy to participate in the organization and for the opportunity to discuss their recently launched Simulated Gaming™.

Dana Takrudtong, vice president of sales, said, “Simulated Gaming is a monetized social casino deployed from real money iGaming technology.” This is a virtual credit gaming solution for land-based casino operators who are seeking expand their online presence as real-money online gaming regulation progresses, according to company press release.

For their first NIGA show, Foxwoods Interactives’ focus was on developing deeper relationships with their tribal customers. Takrudtong expounded on Simulated Gaming as a product that is available for any operator. “It’s designed to be customizable and scalable … that’s what we want to convey to tribes. If their organization is small, medium or large, we can help [them].”

Glendale, Calif.-based FutureLogic showcased its GEN2 Universal™ printer, a server-based printer supports a variety of network protocols, and can be configured to communicate with multiple hosts simultaneously. FutureLogic also demonstrated its PromoNet® Promotional Couponing Solution, which has the ability to create campaigns for both carded and non-carded players. The PromoNet solution can help casinos, boost club membership and reach out to all players.

The company also recently introduced its next-generation GEN3 Evolution® ticket printer, which can be seamlessly integrated with the PromoNet couponing solution. The printer offers an optional on-board promotional system module, creating a separate and secure processing environment for TITO and promotional couponing. The PromoNet solution allows casinos to automatically trigger a marketing campaign based on game play metrics, player tracking information, POS systems and redemption terminals.

Gasser Chairs
At the Gasser Chair booth, Native American Gaming Specialist Steve Odden introduced the Quantum Series, which was formally launched at this year’s NIGA trade show. “We designed it predominantly for Native American properties and regional properties so we can produce a product with all the quality and durability Gasser is known for but at a price that surprises most people who’ve dealt with Gasser in the past,” explained Odden.

The chair is made for comfort and features an ergonomically molded seat and a solid extruded aluminum base, according to a company release. This series comes with a high degree of customization. With the ability to mix-and-match different bases and seat heights, it can also be made into a dealer chair, a poker chair, a bar stool or table games stool. “The Gasser family is a very proud family,” said Odden. “We want the best quality that we can make and we want our customers happy.”

Giesecke & Devrient
As with many attendees of NIGA, Giesecke & Devrient truly appreciated the opportunity to connect with tribal casinos.

Jim Goodwin, market segment director casinos, expressed the importance of these connections. “[Indian gaming] is a very important market to us. We are in many different Indian gaming and tribal casinos around the country, from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, to other large California casinos as well.”

This year, one of the products Giesecke & Devrient brought to the floor was the BPS® M5. As a successor to the BPS 1000, the BPS M5 has about 10 to 15 percent faster processing. “That means it’s running about 22 banknotes per second, or about 75,000 to 105,000 banknotes per hour,” Goodwin explained. Apart from exhibiting exciting new products, Goodwin said greeting customers and hearing their feedback is one of the highlights of NIGA. Many clients have complimented the efficiency and the longevity of the machines, along with the total solution approach Giesecke and Devrient brings to each project. “We really build [the system] on each specific operation…we decide together what we need to put into that account and what best fits their requirements,” Goodwin said. This personal focus is sure to keep customers returning to Giesecke & Devrient for their money handling solutions.

Gaming Laboratories International
The big news for Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) is that the company has entered into an agreement with NIGA naming GLI as the exclusive training provider for the association’s Level III Commissioner training.

The training will focus specifically on GLI’s four-part auditing curriculum, specifically Accounting System Audit, Gaming Floor Audit, Electronic Promotional Programs and Bingo System Audits. The training will be a free, value-add service for all NIGA members.

“Training is a crucial part of operations and helps protect revenues and ensure compliance—two areas that are mission-critical to NIGA members. GLI has shown great dedication to the Indian gaming industry through their training programs. What we will have now is an outstanding training series that we can offer to our members with confidence,” NIGA Chairman Ernie L. Stevens, Jr., said in a news release.

GLI National Director of Tribal Development Russell Witt said GLI is honored to have been chosen to present our hands-on training to the full NIGA membership.

At the show, GLI also presented its new GLiCloud®, a modern inventory management and tracking system that makes it easy for operators and regulators everywhere to track the software and hardware that comprises the casino floor.

Visitors peruse the Global Cash Access booth at the Indian Gaming 2014 show.Global Cash Access
Global Cash Access’ booth at Indian Gaming 2014 proved a busy one, as attendees stopped by to check out its cash handling solutions.

Among the products on display were its Xchange® Kiosks, GCA’s multi-functional suite of integrated kiosks provide cash handling technology, cash access, back office reporting tools and marketing services. Designed for casinos of all sizes, the Xchange product line provides comprehensive self-service solutions including ATM, Credit and point-of-sale debit financial services, bill break, ticket redemption, patron point and comp redemption, marketing services and check-cashing, according to company information.

One of GCA’s newest kiosks is the CXC 2.0 Lite, a sleek, light, modern multi-function kiosk designed to offer casino self-service, innovative cash handling solutions and critical cash access services for casino, route and lottery operators with a smaller device footprint than its larger cousin the CXC 4.0 and a more attractive price point.

JCJ Architecture
For JCJ Architecture, being at NIGA presented the opportunity to not only meet up with old friends, but also the chance to greet new clients. Design Principal Kristina Ennis and Chief Project Officer Scott Celella were in high spirits as they discussed JCJ’s involvement with the Indian gaming industry. “Indian gaming is a part of our DNA. It’s not just a part of our business, it’s a part of who we are and how we express ourselves,” Celella said.

JCJ started in Indian gaming and has now expanded to include an entire range of hospitality, along with the whole entertainment experience that uses a very intentional relationship-building model to work with clients. “It’s not just about making a building,” Ennis said. “It’s about creating these spaces that people engage in and interact with. If you’re a guest of the casino, whether you’ve won or lost money, you come away from the environment with a really positive experience and the desire to come back again.”

JCM Global
JCM Global showcased its newest solutions to help tribal operators evolve their floors.

“We have been very fortunate to work with Native American operators in all areas of the United States, and we have continued to evolve our product line and service offerings, based on valuable client feedback,” Mark Henderson, JCM Global vice president for worldwide sales, said in a news release.

The company used a special room at the convention center to showcase its solutions, such as its award-winning validator, iVIZION®, which features powerful anti-counterfeiting and anti-stringing technology and an acceptance rate of 99-plus percent. Also on display was JCM’s award-winning PayCheck 4™ thermal printer, the fastest and longest-lasting printer in its class. PayCheck 4 prints a complete ticket in just 0.6 seconds, has 8mb of standard memory, and an average life span of 640,000 slot-type tickets—twice that of other printers, according to the news release.

Incredible Technologies
A highlight of Chicago-based Incredible Technologies’ booth was the showing of the company’s new Infinity® platform.

“This is big. Everything we’ve kind of worked for is in this box. We’re excited about it. It was years in the making, and it’s on test right now at three properties,” said Dan Schrementi, vice president of marketing for Incredible Technologies. “This is going to be the future of the company.”

The Infinity platform cabinet, called the U23, features two 23-inch monitors, better graphics and sound and “Infinity lights.” “We’re calling it our Intelligent Bank Display,” he said of the patented product. “We treat the bank as a whole. The bank knows its status. It knows if someone’s playing or not. If no one’s playing, the lights go into attract mode. If someone’s playing, the lights change their behavior,” he said.

The moment a player hits a bonus or other feature, the lights integrate dynamically “to a degree no one else has ever integrated,” a definite differentiating point for the product, Schrementi said.

The company also exhibited its Simple Sign™ Display Kit, which it describes as the ultimate bank signage solution—easy-to-install, economical and impactful.

The company also showed several new titles that will be available on the new platform, including Medusa: The Quest of Perseus™, Lady of the Dead™, Fortuno the Great™ and FiredUp™

Incredible Technologies also showcased a variety of other games, including Archie’s® Money Funnies, which delivers a “money” twist on the longest running comic book in history. Other games on display included Medieval Gold™ and Leonidas™ King of the Spartans.

A Jurassic Park dinosaur sign juts out from a display in IGT’s booth.International Game Technology
IGT underscored the company’s commitment to both the Indian gaming Class II and Class III markets, with a brand-new lineup of Class II-only titles, along with its MegaJackpots® games, core titles and systems products.

Knute Knudson, IGT vice president of Native American development, said the show has been a “really good” one for IGT.

He noted that attendees expressed interest in IGT’s newly minted games created specifically for the Class II market. Seven new Class II-exclusive titles were shown, including Golden Rooster™, Cattle Run™, Bayou Nights™, The Horseman™ and Bengal Eyes™. “We’re doing games that are unique for Class II. We’re developing things that you won’t see in Class III,” he said.

Knudson said he gave a demonstration to an official with a California tribe that already has 162 Class II games and wants to possibly double that number. He noted that Class II games can be added to a gaming mix without affecting machine caps under gaming compacts.

“Tribes are looking aggressively at adding them,” Knudson said.

Show attendees also saw James Cameron’s Avatar™ Treasures of Pandora, the first game produced on IGT’s CrystalCore® cabinet, which features a 42-inch vertical LED touch-screen display, 10-inch dynamic player panel and Super Button, new high-volatility MegaJackpots titles, new Azure Dragon® and Gold and Dragon®, and Jenga Tower of Money™.

The company also demonstrated its commitment to Indian country through a $25,000 donation to the American Indian College Fund to be awarded through the International Game Technology Tribal Scholarship Program to deserving American Indian students pursuing higher education at tribal colleges and mainstream institutions across the U.S.

A fierce dragon perched atop a bank of Dungeons & Dragons™ games proved to be a beacon drawing visitors to Konami Gaming’s booth at Indian Gaming 2014.Konami Gaming
Show goers couldn’t miss the towering 3D dragon topper that heralded Konami Gaming’s new Dungeons & Dragons® themed slot machines.

Konami has a long history of providing games that perform well based on solid math models, game features and game mechanics, said Matt Reback, vice president of marketing at Konami.

Konami created the Dungeons & Dragons games in close collaboration with Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast in order to deliver an entertaining fantasy-themed game based on the classic adventure game D&D, he said.

Dungeons & Dragons are available in two rich fantasy themes, Conquests & Treasures and Enchanted Riches. The games will be placed in pods of two, three or four and will be merchandised with custom logo premium chairs, a themed bezel with glowing runes, faux stone design elements, hand-painted 3D dragon toppers and a variety of sign packages including one with a large rotating red dragon.

“We wanted to build a game that was approachable to players but also have a brand and theme associated with it so you could play this game having never heard of Dungeons & Dragons in your life, and you would still have a really good gaming experience,” Reback said. The game is feature-rich, with “obscured Action Stacked Symbols” that add a level of mystery as well as other bonuses and features designed to appeal to both D&D enthusiasts and other players.

Among the other products highlighted at Konami’s booth are titles for the Monument cabinet, including Rock Around the Clock, Snow Stars and Quick Strike Quad with more to come. “You’re starting to see a deep library around this cabinet,” Reback said. “By the end of the year, you’ll have six to eight themes on this product.”

Konami has also come out with some new clone games for its highly popular games, Solstice Celebration and Dragon’s Law.

Micro Gaming Technology
Show attendees interested in Micro Gaming Technology’s solutions for automating, tracking and reporting casino promotions kept the company’s booth solidly busy during the show’s two days.

“It’s going great. We’ve had an overwhelming response,” said Travis Carrico, MGT vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ve never had a show this successful before at NIGA.”

Carrico praised the quality of attendees at the show and noted that MGT closed several deals for its products at the show.

The MGT Promo Suite™ gives the casino management the tools to create, design, qualify and schedule multiple promotions on a self-serve touch screen kiosk. MGT software applications interface bi-directionally with your existing player tracking system and a touch-screen kiosk. The kiosk becomes an employee that knows every player in your database. It can evaluate the historical gaming activity and use the information to determine an appropriate prize based on the patron’s gaming value, according to the company.

The kiosk can issue prizes by printing a bar-coded voucher or electronically posting the prize to the player’s account. Electronic prizes include slot free play, ticketless drawing entries, points, comps, ticketless drawing entry multipliers, point multipliers and comp multipliers.

Morse Watchmans Inc.
Morse Watchmans Inc.’s KeyWatcher is a highly recognized key control system with more than 100 Native American properties using the product. KeyWatcher has been on the market for more than 18 years, proving it to be one of the most versatile, dependable and cost efficient key control system in use today.

The idea is simple. Casinos lock up their keys in the KeyWatcher cabinet, program what keys they can have and when they can have them. The system then tracks and records everything that takes place in the system.

At NIGA, Account Executive George Lawson introduced the newly updated KeyWatcher, now with a brand new CPU and a state of the art touchscreen display. One of the features of this update was the ability to monitor multiple systems from a wide range of properties. As Lawson explained, “You can actually network all those KeyWatchers and run a central report back in corporate to see what’s going on individually [or] across the whole spectrum of all your systems.”

A row of TournEvent games await visits from show attendees at Multimedia Games’ booth.Multimedia Games
Among the products Multimedia Games highlighted at the show were its premium cabinet and top box—the Maximum Player Experience (MPX) and the Skyline top box.

“NIGA is always a very important trade show because it represents such a large part of the business,” said Mick Roemer, Multimedia senior vice president of sales.

Multimedia’s overall message at the show was “to demonstrate that we’re continuing to invest in our product line,” he said.

MPX includes a 40-inch full 1080p LCD display, as well as an interactive sound chair with custom surround sound and Earthquake Shakers and game-controlled runway lighting. MPX is designed to deliver an entertaining experience for players who sit down to play the games Thundering Herd and Invasion 2: The Return, which are available on the cabinet.

We’re getting close to our initial alpha trials of the MPX. We’re going to launch to a very small subset of our customers about 21 properties over the next 90 days,” he said. “By G2E we should have been through those trials and start to have a full rollout of the MPX, which is our newest premium game cabinet.”

Multimedia also is delivering a new take on high-denomination mechanical reels with its new Skyline top box, which features a vintage-inspired bezel showcasing RGB lighting and a 24-inch LCD display. With initial titles Ultra Mega Meltdown and Canary Diamonds, Skyline eventually will offer five high-denomination games. “We’re very excited about Skyline and really focusing on that dollar denom mechanical reel, which has been very successful for us,” Roemer said, noting it Class II markets will see its introduction in late June, with an introduction for Class III in late August.

NEWave showcased its compliance, audit, document and data software solutions to Indian Gaming 2014.

NEWave solutions are found in 420 casinos throughout the United States.

“Compliance must be at the forefront of every operator’s mind, now more than ever. FinCEN has made it very clear on multiple occasions that minimal compliance with federal guidelines is no longer enough. Operators must make concerted efforts at maximum compliance, and our myCompliance Manager™ helps them achieve that while streamlining operations and eliminating waste at the same time,” NEWave COO Tom Bechtel said in a recent press release.

NEWave also displayed its myRevenue Manager™, myDocument Manager® and myData Manager™ software suites.

NRT Technology
Jay Tang, product manager for NRT Technology Corp., was eager to highlight several products at NIGA this year. Among them was the Center Payment Systems™ (CPS), a top-of-the-line cash access solution. According to a company press release, the CPS gives casino patrons immediate access to ATM, credit card cash advance, debit transactions, Dynamic Currency Conversion and Check Cashing Services all from one easily accessible unit.

The CPS and the QuickJack™ lines, including the QuickJack™ 2 and the QuickJack™ 88, are just one part of what makes NRT such a strong player in the financial cash access market. The commitment NRT has to their customers was also apparent. “With NRT, you’re not just buying into our company and our innovation,” said Tang, “you’re also buying into our whole company and the people behind it.” NRT’s software developed, support center and sales team are all in-house. This allows for a cohesive team that is committed to their customer’s needs. As Tang stated, “NRT’s slogan is ‘innovation delivered.’ We’re listening, we want to know what [the customers] want, and we will build to suit their needs.”

NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. leans over to speak with game show host Bob Eubanks, right, and former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey, as they sign memorabilia for attendees.Novomatic Americas
Novomatic Americas showed its commitment to the market with a substantial booth at the show.

Among the products it highlighted in its booth was The Dominator® cabinet.

The Dominator offers advanced ergonomic features, top-notch graphics and sound, along with game-synchronized LED lighting effects.

Novomatic also showed its Novostar slant top cabinet, which comes in three modular versions for video slot gaming.
The company also showed the latest evolution of its popular Pinball Roulette game—Panther Roulette. Panther Roulette features a new start button on the right hand side of the hand rest for increased player comfort.

Ortiz Gaming
Excitement was the word of the week for Ortiz Gaming. Ortiz was ready to take old-fashioned bingo to a new level, featuring games such as Triple Bonus and Ace Mania. These games have a great ability to create time-in-chair. Combining a simple game like bingo with celebratory confetti was just one way these games raised excitement for the customer and kept them playing the game longer.

Community gaming was another noteworthy feature of these products. If one player won a jackpot then all the other players in that bank of games would receive a bit of that jackpot as well. This encourages players to root for each other’s success and keeps the energy pumping.

As Gary Green, senior consultant to the president, stated, “Sometimes the simplest things in life can also be the most exciting and, most importantly, the most profitable.”

A bank of Rocket Xtreme Rewards games draws visitors in to Rocket Gaming Systems’ booth.Rocket Gaming Systems
Rocket Gaming made a splash at this year’s show with its not only its stable of proven products, such as its Gold Series®, a suite of games that feature a $1,000,000+ progressive prize, but with two newer products that are turning heads.

John Eary, head of marketing and communications for Rocket, said the company’s new Rocket Xtreme Rewards (RXR) awards added bonus prizes to players.

On May 1, a lucky Canadian visiting 4 Bears Casino and Lodge in New Town, North Dakota, won one of those prizes as he played a Golden Sunrise® game when the game suddenly froze and the famous Las Vegas sign popped up on the display. He won a Rocket Xtreme Rewards™ Las Vegas package that included round-trip airfare, a three‐night stay at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, passes to Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, free meals and a limousine to the MGM Grand upon arrival.

Rocket generated buzz about the product by giving away small prizes while showcasing the product in the booth, he said.

As a Class II supplier, it’s sometimes difficult to compete with the Class III licensed titles such as Wheel of Fortune or Avatar, he said. “Rocket is coming out with some very innovative things to compete in an obviously very competitive industry, and this is how we’ve done it,” he said.

Another new product the company showed was its ability to offer a “game within a game” on a Class II game. “You’re able to play the regular machine game but at the same time you’re able to play a second game,” he said, showing a video scratch card game right on the screen.

Gaming consultant Charlie Lombardo called the game “one of the better innovations that’s come along in our industry to enhance play and win in the box in a long, long time.”

TransAct Technologies
Excitement was running high at the TransAct Technologies booth as they presented their new product, Epicentral®. NIGA’s easy-going atmosphere made it possible for potential clients to come and go as they pleased and to ask questions without the urgency of a sales environment.

Lou Kelly, vice president of sales, global gaming and lottery, demonstrated the key features of this product. “It allows us to do promotional couponing to the player right at the slot machine.” This software connects to the game and the casino management system at the same time—allowing for greater communication with the patron while they are playing. “The system’s been able to drive longer play, it’s been able to drive more popular play, and we’ve increased the ADT of everybody,” said Kelly.

Vantiv Gaming Solutions
For Vantiv Gaming Solutions officials, Indian Gaming 2014 provided an opportunity to establish relationships with tribal gaming leaders and offer details about their company’s comprehensive, customizable merchant services solutions offered on a proprietary platform.

“My responsibility is market development so things like building relationships with tribal leaders, building relationships with the heads of Indian gaming associations, that has been good for me,” said Joe Feldkamp, Vantiv Gaming Solutions vice president of market planning and development.

Vantiv’s Merchant Services include credit and debit card processing; ACH and other alternative payments; Internet and mobile gateways; prepaid loyalty and rewards; customer intelligence; cardholder data security; least-cost transaction routing; treasury management and currency processing; and network and regulatory consulting. Vantiv’s solutions support casino, iGaming, lottery, advance deposit wagering, social gaming and fantasy sports gaming.

Vantiv runs transactions for some 20 of 25 top merchants in the everyday retail spend category, a staggering $600 billion in transactions a year. Those transactions can provide valuable information on purchasing behavior. “We’re not going to violate the consumer trust, but we can certainly help them understand the value of their player. The value of the player is not limited to whether or not they presented their card or slipped it into a slot machine; the value of their player is the total wallet value,” he said.

WMS/Williams Interactive
WMS showcased new themes on its proven Blade platform, including a local area progressive Winning Fortune game that includes three base themes with unique bonus rounds. Other booth favorites included a new premium for sale Gold FishTM3 theme featuring a unique 4x3x4x3x4 interface, and the Blade Stepper cabinet, powered by the CPU-NXT3 platform, launching with high denomination themes, Rolls 7 Progressive, 777 Wheel Hot and AfterShock games.

In addition, the company offered its Monopoly Luxury Diamonds game, which includes a top mechanical wheel and jackpots.

Williams Interactive exhibited its white-label Play4Fun Network, a social casino platform designed to help land-based casinos to build an engaged online player community under their brand.

Booth visitors got a chance to find out how the Play4Fun Network can help their casino extend their brand online and leverage the platform to deploy marketing messages and offers to drive incremental casino visits.

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