Category: News

09 Aug 2012

Innovative Bally products win five of six honors in hospitaly operation technology (hot) awards 2012

bally-technologies-logoBally Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BYI), a leader in slots, video machines, casino-management, interactive applications, and networked and server-based systems for the global gaming industry, today announced it won five of the six awards in Casino Enterprise Management’s third annual Hospitality Operations Technology (HOT) Awards.

The HOT awards honor leading gaming-technology products that make a positive difference in a casino-hotel’s operations. A panel of expert judges, including several gaming and hospitality executives, evaluated the award submissions. Bally’s winning products are:

Service Tracking Manager™ (STM) for Employee Productivity and Efficiency.

Bally iGaming Platform for Internet Services.

Bally Mobile Platform for Self-Service Products.

CoolSign® Video Wall Controller for Media and Content Management.

Elite Bonusing Suite™ with Virtual Racing™ for Guest Experience Enhancement.

“Winning first place in five of the six categories is great recognition of our innovation momentum and the extraordinary work of our engineering team,” said Bally Technologies’ President and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Srinivasan. “Our forward-thinking team is continuously innovating solutions for trailblazing technologies that ensure our customers can provide their guests with exceptional service, an exciting gaming experience, and most of all, a good return-on-investment.”

STM is a browser-based dispatch system that interfaces with handheld smart devices such as the iPhone® and iPad® for faster routing of casino-floor personnel to customers. When a service request is generated through the system such as a machine malfunction or patron requesting service help, casino personnel closest to the patron are immediately notified, increasing the efficiency of casino operations and customer satisfaction.

Bally iGaming Platform enables casino operators to quickly enter the online gaming space with free-play, virtual credits, and wager-based gaming as it is legalized in their jurisdiction. The platform creates an additional revenue stream as well as a new channel through which operators can market their products and services while collecting valuable player data. Bally’s business-to-business iGaming platform, with mobile integration, helps gaming operators create a seamless view of the player between the traditional and online casino environments. The platform’s open architecture enables operators to choose from best-of-class content from a multitude of providers for poker, casino table games, video slots, bingo, keno, and sports wagering when authorized.

Bally Mobile Platform enables casinos to create custom applications and mobile websites running across all devices from one central content manager, enabling casino personnel to create special content and offers and immediately distribute them to targeted customers and potential customers. Operators may alert players anytime about special offers, even if they are just driving by the property. Casinos can target content in countless ways – from age to player’s card level, from the month of customers’ birthdays to how far they are from the property. Nearly 5 million Bally apps have been downloaded from dozens of casinos.

With this cloud-based solution, operators input the information directly into the content-management system, and Bally’s Mobile Platform translates the information to an iPhone® app, a native Android® app, a native BlackBerry® app, an iPad® app, and even a mobile website that works across hundreds of devices. From there, operators can track how the patrons who receive the information behave, seeing if they react to offers immediately.

CoolSign Video Wall Controller technologies link directly into Bally’s casino-management and slot-management systems, and provide real-time alerts to players about promotions, winners, and last-minute specials for items such as show tickets, dining, and even discounted rooms. The integration of CoolSign with other Bally Systems products provides a significant competitive advantage for the hundreds of casinos currently using Bally Systems.

Elite Bonusing Suite – Virtual Racing puts players in the driver’s seat and creates a thrilling community event. This entertaining and interactive secondary bonus game is already proven to increase coin-in and carded play. The Virtual Racing application allows casino operators to create exciting community events that every player currently at a machine on the floor can participate in – from any gaming manufacturer. Players select their favorite horse, race car, or other contest-driven event.

07 Aug 2012

MiGS|12 Promises Most Diverse Programme To Date

malta5With organisers applying the finishing touches, the 2012 Malta iGaming Seminar is set to cement its position as the most informative and enjoyable event of the iGaming calendar. Malta is regarded by many as the home of iGaming and the organisers of MiGS|12 are keen to ensure that delegates benefit from a packed programme in a stunning location.

MiGS|12 has secured the services of more than 20 prominent speakers representing every facet of the international iGaming industry whilst seminar content has been driven by requests from delegates and will be wide reaching and topical.

Subjects to be covered include, amongst others, Cloud-Based online gaming, The Changing European Landscape, Malta-Regulation (Lessons Learned), Tax Options in The New Europe and The Future of Gambling.

MiGS|12 has attracted sponsorship from several prominent members of the iGaming sector including Experian, EUK Host, Megabyte, NMi, PayPoint.net and Betting Promotion as well as the MIGS members BMIT Ltd, Greentube Malta, RE/MAX Malta and Trust Alliance Project, all of which plan to be active participants in the proceedings.

In its short life MiGS has acquired a reputation as an extremely sociable event. Indeed, the first night cocktail party held overlooking the Portomaso waterfront, a free poker tournament, and the final afternoon pool party all promise to deliver extensive networking opportunities.

Anyone wishing to secure one of the remaining few spaces should register at www.maltaigamingseminar.com or, alternatively, call Karen Cooke of Swan Events on +44(0)1582 767 254

02 Aug 2012

Bally Technologies and Hig 5 Games announce multi-year game development agreement

accordoBally Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BYI) and High 5 Games (H5G) announced today that they have entered into an agreement that will publish a substantial number of new H5G games under the Bally brand for the worldwide land-based, mobile, and online business-to-business casino gaming markets.

The multi-year agreement includes the creation and development of a variety of unique games for Bally Technologies.

“We’re excited to partner with a game creator that has such a world-class track record of developing high-performing and engaging game content,” said Jean Venneman, Vice President of Product Management and Licensing at Bally Technologies. “We look forward to leveraging H5G’s newest game content to help casino operators across the world drive revenues and delight players.”

Ramesh Srinivasan, Bally’s President and Chief Operating Officer, added, “The partnership with H5G reflects our commitment to delivering best-of-breed, cross-platform game content to our customers. This promise is reflected in the more than 25 game studios we have established across the globe, augmented by relationships with proven game developers like H5G that enable us to deliver a diverse array of creative, interactive, and exciting game content.”

“We are delighted to partner with Bally Technologies, a long-time leader in the casino gaming industry,” said Anthony Singer, Chief Executive Officer of High 5 Games. “With Bally’s sophisticated new ALPHA 2™ game platform, and a new Bally Interactive division committed to mobile, online, and social business-to-business game content, we believe that the sky is the limit for this next generation of H5G games.”

In recent years, H5G has created some of the most popular slot-machine games in the industry.

“We are very proud of our tradition of creating high-performing games to fuel the success of our partners,” Singer said.

27 Jul 2012

Lottomatica Group announces 2012 second-quarter results: Sala (Ceo), “Resiliency and sustainability of our business”

lottomatica stand2Lottomatica Group S.p.A.’s Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Lorenzo Pellicioli, today examined both the second-quarter and six-month consolidated results, and approved the financial statements for the first six months of 2012 which ended June 30, 2012. “Lottomatica Group had a good quarter,” said Marco Sala, CEO of Lottomatica Group.  “The results underscore the resiliency and sustainability of our business. Our diversified product offerings and the wide-ranging geographies we serve have supported the Group well in the face of economic uncertainties in some of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Notably, the potential for additional private manager opportunities is very encouraging. Through the half year, we are delivering on our commitments and are confident that we will achieve our full-year guidance”.

“The underlying operating cash generation for the Group was good,” said Alberto Fornaro, CFO of Lottomatica Group. “Strong cash flow provided the capacity to fund payments for dividends, minorities, and income taxes in the quarter. Net income attributable to the parent in the second quarter grew by 38% when compared to the prior year.”

Second-Quarter Consolidated Results – For the second quarter ended June 30, 2012, Revenues totaled €742.7 million, compared to €702.6 million in the second quarter of 2011, up 5.7%. Revenue growth was driven by business performance outside of Italy and favorable foreign exchange rates. On a constant currency basis, revenues for the second quarter of 2012 grew approximately €11.5 million, or approximately 2%, compared to the same period last year.

EBITDA increased 5.8% in the second quarter of 2012 to €259.7 million versus €245.4 million in the same period last year, driven by positive performance of all business segments, led by GTECH Lottery. At constant currency, EBITDA grew approximately €6.3 million, or approximately 3%, compared to the second quarter of 2011.

Italian Operations – Total revenues from Italian operations were approximately €444.7 million, compared to €451.9 million in the second quarter of 2011. The 1.6% decrease is the result of lower instant-ticket sales, lower late number lotto wagers, and higher sports betting payouts, which were partially offset by higher interactive revenues and machine gaming wagers.

Machine gaming wagers grew 12.5% in the second quarter to €2.99 billion from €2.65 billion in the same period last year, driven by a 19.7% increase in Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) wagers to €1.88 billion, including replayed credits. Revenues from machine gaming increased to €162.2 million from €160.8 million in the second quarter of 2011.  Second quarter machine gaming revenues are net of the 4% gaming tax on VLTs, up from 2% last year. At June 30, 2012, approximately 63,700 AWP machines and 10,000 VLTs were installed.

Lotto wagers for the quarter were €1.55 billion compared to €1.61 billion last year. In the second quarter of 2011, a higher incidence of late numbers occured which did not recur in the second quarter of 2012.

Instant-ticket wagers were approximately €2.43 billion in the quarter, compared to €2.64 billion in the same period last year. Approximately 534 million Scratch & Win tickets were sold in the quarter, with an average price point of €4.56.

Wagers from sports betting in Italy increased to €209.1 million in the second quarter from €207.9 million last year.

Interactive wagers totaled €572.4 million, up over 400% versus €107.6 million in the second quarter of 2011. The increase was principally driven by the launch of new games including Poker Cash and Casino games in July 2011.

Total GTECH Lottery revenue for the second quarter of 2012 was up 24.0% to €238.3 million compared to €192.2 million last year.  On a constant currency basis, revenues grew by 10.9%. GTECH Lottery U.S. same store service revenue grew approximately 7% in the second quarter of 2012 versus the same period last year.  GTECH benefited from strong performance in California, Illinois, and Texas where instant-ticket sales grew by 32%, 24%, and 9%, respectively.  International Lottery same store service revenue also grew approximately 7% compared to the second quarter of last year due to solid performance in Poland and Colombia as well as the positive sales impact from GTECH’s customer in the Czech Republic, following its bankruptcy last year.

GTECH also benefited from compensation for Northstar’s management services in Illinois and favorable foreign exchange.

During the quarter, GTECH secured a lottery operator contract in Costa Rica, as well as announced and/or signed contract extensions with customers in Oregon, Finland, and Ireland.

SPIELO International – Second-quarter revenues for SPIELO International were up 10.7% to €71.9 million when compared to the same period last year, primarily due to higher service revenue from VLTs in Italy as well as favorable foreign exchange.

SPIELO International continued working with Canadian lottery customers to finalize VLT and central systems replacement agreements, including an agreement to provide 1,700 VLTs to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. SPIELO International now provides gaming equipment and services to four gaming machine concessionaires in Italy, including Lottomatica.

23 Jul 2012

Sports Pinball: Krisztián Szalai won in Marmore, but it is a joy for the Italian pinball world and not only for it

marmore premiazioniMarmore – Krisztián Szalai wins the Marmore Pinball Tournament – Pinball at the Waterfalls, that took place last weekend in the beautiful setting of the Marmore Waterfall next to Terni, in Umbria. For the Hungarian player, number 26 in the international ranking, this is a very important victory in their personal prizewinners because it could bring him in the top 20 of the ranking. This time Daniel Acciari, our Italian super champion, didn’t win and he only ends in the third position, after has been defeated in the semifinal match by Cesare D’Atri, the revelation of the Marmore tournament, who ended in the second position, giving up only under the undisputed supremacy of Szalai that during these two days dedicated to the sports pinball never lost a match, qualifying himself in the first qualifying session on Saturday with an en plein, winning all the nine games.

On the first day of the tournament, moreover, added to the qualifying games of the main tournament, also a classic tournament took place, that is to say a second tournament held on the so-called ‘classical’ pinball machines, the electro-mechanical ones, of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s . Also in this case the Hungarian Krisztián Szalai distinguish himself, but he ended at the fourth position after the compatriot Istvan Szabo, and Super Mario Anzini, coming from Verona, won the tournament, failing the qualification for the main tournament, despite according to the forecasts, he was the favourite for both the competitions. Marino Milan, the other player coming from Veneto, arrived at the second position in the classic tournament.

acciari premiazione ifpaitaliaAt the end of the weekend in Marmore all the players come satisfied at home, thanks to a very successful two days in the middle of nature and carachterized by the sports pinball, where we have been moments of great competitive spirit, but above all, where we have been a lot of fun. And the Marmore tournament also gave the opportunity to celebrate  Daniel Acciari, the World Champion in office, and number one of international rankings, with a prize given to the national Italian player of sports pinball by Ifpa Italia, to thank him for the extraordinary performances that make the Italian pinball world pride. “I’m incredibly happy for the results I obtained in these 5 years of competitions that caused to me many sacrifices – the champion said receiving the award – and I must thank IFPA Italia and the Tecnoplay sponsor who supported me in this extraordinary journey. But now I have a request, directed especially to the players: I wish that many more of them would follow me in the tournaments abroad, because often I went to win some points in competitions outside of Italy leaving alone or at maximum in two persons for these journeys. It would be the time to start believing in this sport and in our chances also among the other players because I am sure that in this way we can further strengthen the role of Italy at the international level “.

Today the Italian sports pinball can count on another important event that is added between the leading appointments of our country – the IFPA Italia association writes in an official statement – given the great success of the Marmore Pinball Tournament also at an international level, it becomes a duty to repeat the event also next year considering the edition of this weekend, then, as the number one edition and as the beginning of a new way. Sincere thanks, as well as players who came to Marmore from various parts of Europe, to Casa Lina, the local cultural association that co-organized the event, and to the companies and the individuals who offered their machines and their time: to Tecnoplay – historical partner of IFPA Italia and of the national sports pinball –  to Italgiochi2001 in Rieti, to Automatic Service in Terni and to the collectors Claudio Mortini, Dino Merluzzi and Daniele Verrocchio“.

20 Jul 2012

Cjeu concerns on compliance of polish and latvian gambling law with eu rules

corteueEGBA welcomes two separate judgments from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today; on the Polish failure to notify draft gambling legislation and the Latvian restrictions to the freedom to provide gambling services;    

CJEU QUESTIONS POLISH RESPECT OF OBLIGATION TO NOTIFY GAMBLING PROVISIONS
The first ruling in the joined Fortuna case (C-213/11, C-214/11, C-217/11) looked at the key question “whether the provisions of that Law may be relied upon against an individual when they were not notified to the Commission under the procedure prescribed by Directive 98/34”(see below, and paragraph 20 of the ruling). The ruling casts serious doubts on the respect by Polish authorities of important procedural EU rules when adopting the 2010 Gambling Act.

The CJEU confirms that:

  • The provisions at stake “are capable of constituting ‘technical regulations’…drafts of which must be the subject of communication” (paragraph 40) in line with Directive 98/34
  • It is to the national judge to establish “those provisions constitute conditions which can significantly influence the nature or the marketing of the product” (paragraph 40)

The European Parliament was alerted in 2010 to the Polish Gambling Act regarding issues of compliance with EU law, including the lack of notification; consequently the Petition Committee questioned the European Commission and issued a report in 2011.(1)   

LATVIAN RESTRICTIONS ON GAMBLING MUST MEET STRICT CONDITIONS UNDER EU LAW
The second ruling regards the Latvian Garkalns case (C-470/11), questioning whether the gambling law, which allows Latvian authorities to restrict the market on the particularly broad grounds of ‘substantial impairment of the interests of the State and of the residents of the administrative area concerned’, is compatible with the Treaty.

This specific case gave the CJEU the opportunity to recall that:

  • such restrictions; “must be based on objective, non-discriminatory criteria known in advance, in such a way as to circumscribe the exercise by the authorities of their discretion so that it is not used arbitrarily” (paragraph 42)
  • “it is also necessary for the competent authorities to base each of their decisions on reasoning which is accessible to the public, stating precisely the reasons for which, as the case may be, authorisation has been refused” (paragraph 43)
  • For the national courts to ensure … that legislation genuinely meets the concern to reduce opportunities for gambling and to limit activities in that domain in a consistent and systematic manner.” (paragraph 44)
  • “it is therefore for the national court to verify, in particular, that the State strictly supervises the activities related to betting and gaming; that the refusal of the local authorities to authorise the opening of new establishments of that type genuinely pursues the declared objective of protecting consumers; and that the criterion of ‘substantial impairment of the interests of the State and of the residents of the administrative area concerned’ is applied without discrimination.” (paragraph 47)

EGBA Secretary General Sigrid Ligné comments: “The Court has reconfirmed that Member States are required to notify draft gambling legislation. If they fail to do so, the legislation can´t be enforced against operators. Likewise, we are satisfied that the Court firmly recalls that restrictions to the market can only be justifiable subject to strict conditions.”

Ligné added: “What is worrying is that these are well known and longstanding requirements that Member States should, but many do not comply with. As recently confirmed by Commissioner Barnier, Member States’ compliance with European rules is essential. The Commission has acknowledged that in addition to the 9 pending infringement procedures, 28 complaints against 12 Member States will now be investigated. We are confident that the Commission will take appropriate legal action.” 

12 Jul 2012

The Hippodrome Casino in Leicester square will be officially opening its doors

HippodromeThe new Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square, London, will launch in July 2012, after a 30-month rebuild and renovation of the former Hippodrome Theatre and adjacent Cranbourn Mansions. Following a £40 million investment by father and son team Jimmy and Simon Thomas, it will mark an important new era for gaming in the UK as its first truly international-style casino and comprises: three floors of gaming; a 180 seat cabaret theatre – The Matcham Room; a 150 cover restaurant – Heliot; 4 private dining rooms; five bars; a two-level smoking terrace; and events spaces throughout (www.hippodromecasino.com).

And this year, EASITRAX Soft Count will make its European debut when the Hippodrome Casino in London opens exclusively with CASHFLOW SC note acceptors. Since its release in 2008, EASITRAX has been installed in nearly 80,000 games worldwide – a number that continues to grow as more operators join MEI in the global movement towards optimised cash management.

“We have sought out the latest, most state-of-the-art technologies to multiply returns while also providing the best service to our patrons,” explains John Strydom, Manager of Slots at the Hippodrome. “We chose EASITRAX and CASHFLOW SC because of MEI’s strong reputation for value and performance. The global feedback for the marriage of these two products is exemplary, and we’re eager to be the first European casino to take advantage of it.”

“This is a proud moment for MEI,” says James Boje, MEI VP of Gaming and Retail – EMEA. “It is both an honour and a responsibility that we enthusiastically embrace, striving to provide both products and service that maximise expectations. Together with the Hippodrome, we are raising the bar for satisfied players and superior cash management in Europe.”

First introduced in 2002, CASHFLOW SC redefined the role of note acceptors in operator profitability and customer satisfaction with improvements made to acceptance, jam rate, security and cost of ownership. 1.3 million units have been installed globally, with a ship share of more than 70% for three consecutive years in the US and wins in the Asia-Pacific Region, including Singapore and Macau.  

The addition of EASITRAX Soft Count to CASHFLOW SC creates a comprehensive software/hardware cash management system designed to improve operational efficiencies from the slot floor to the soft count room. It works by gathering data from multiple note acceptors and funnelling that information into a single remote location, where it can be securely accessed to manage assets. Because cashboxes no longer need to be tied to specific slot machines, EASITRAX typically saves 20-30 seconds per cash drop.

“By opening with EASITRAX, the Hippodrome Casino will leverage the industry’s best cash management solution from day one,” adds Boje. “We expect this is the start of cash management systems, like EASITRAX, being installed in gaming operations across Europe – and with convenient retrofit kits, current MEI CASHFLOW SC customers will enjoy easy installations while getting the most from their previous investments.”

11 Jul 2012

7 Cedars Casino Launches Bally Mobile Applications

bally-technologies-logoBally Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BYI), a leader in slots, video machines, casino-management, mobile and interactive applications, and networked systems for the global gaming industry, today announced that the Apple® and Android™ mobile applications it created for 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim, Wash. are now available, along with a new mobile website also created by Bally Technologies.

“We make a continuous effort to provide our guests with the highest level of service possible,” said Judy Walz, Marketing Director at 7 Cedars Casino. “That effort includes offering them the best tools and technology on and off our property to enhance their experience at 7 Cedars. Our new apps deliver convenience, information, and entertainment through a host of easy-to-use features that we can’t wait for our guests to use and enjoy.”

Anyone can download the apps, which are available in the Apple iTunes® store and in Google Play®. They enable users to:

– See the hottest slots and table games and view current promotions in just a few clicks.

– Access the Totem Rewards Club to check point balances.

– Enjoy Bally’s popular Vegas Hits™ free-to-play slot game for iPhone® and iPad® users.

– Get info about the Cedars at Dungeness golf course such as the latest weather conditions, view the live webcam, check tournament results, or contact the Pro Shop.

– Find out what’s being offered at the Longhouse Market and take a photo tour.

– View dining menus instantly and discover what nightlife and events are happening around the property.

– Access overhead custom GPS maps or view detailed property maps of the casino, golf course, and surrounding area.

– Use the embedded smart-search bar to find content by keyword.

– Bookmark information and create your own itinerary with My 7 Cedars.

– Easily reach key contacts like group sales and the casino staff.

– Check out 7 Cedars’ live Twitter feed or Facebook wall directly from the app.

“We are so pleased to partner with 7 Cedars Casino and provide them with this custom mobile solution,” said Bally’s Vice President of Regional Sales Mike Walsh. “The 7 Cedars apps will be an incredible customer-service tool and a powerful new way to interact with and entertain their patrons.”

05 Jul 2012

Spielo International to work with Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission

spielo topSpielo International has announced that it has been selected by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) in Canada to work toward a Player Experience solution through Spielo International’s Value-Added Player Services Manager Application for its Intelligen™ video lottery terminal (VLT) central system. The solution was selected as part of a competitive procurement process.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with AGLC to enhance the functionality of their Intelligen Central System with our Player Experience solution. Our goal is to provide Aglc with future capabilities for a two-way communication conduit between the operator and the player, and significantly enhance the program’s entertainment value,” said Spielo International President and Ceo Walter Bugno.

“Spielo International’s groundbreaking open-standards-based technology for distributed gaming customers means that this solution could eventually be available from every gaming machine in AGLC’s VLT program, so that all Alberta players can enjoy a more customized and personalized gaming experience.”

The Player Experience solution provides technology that enables two-way communication between the operator and the player through a portion of the screen of a VLT, without affecting the appearance or functionality of the base game. With the Player Experience solution, AGLC would over time be able to enhance the value of its existing gaming program and allow the player to customize his or her game experience.

Because the Player Experience solution is based on industry open standard protocols and is designed to operate using the Game to System® (G2S®) protocol, it can be integrated with any G2S compliant VLT acquired by AGLC from any manufacturer.

As announced in July 2011, Spielo International signed a five-year contract with AGLC to provide the Intelligen Central System following a separate competitive procurement process. In December 2011, Spielo International also announced that AGLC had selected Spielo International’s Distributed Game Management application for the Intelligen Central System.

Following a second public competitive procurement process, Spielo International signed a multi-year contract on November 8, 2011 to provide AGLC with new VLTs and a set of compelling VLT games.

02 Jul 2012

Vlt: the network continues to grow with 3900 active rooms and 39 thiusand terminals net to 380 thousand Awps

vlt igtThe Italian network of videolotteries continues to grow – even if in a milder way than the previous months – and it prepares to cross, in the coming days, the finishing line of 3900 rooms operating in our country, with about 41 thousand terminals that already collect bets. The datum related to the rooms has not yet released by AAMS but Gioconews.it can anticipate it, together with the one of the real distribution of new slots, while official data are of last March.

At the end of June 2012 the number of licences issued by the Administration is of about 410 thousand while the number of active machines (Awp) is of about 380 thousand: these figures that show a rationalization of the market compared to the ones released since the last update of AAMS.