Exclusive interview with Igor Rus, Director of Systems, Comtrade Gaming

"South America's interest in sports betting and Colombia's adoption of a nationwide, regulated framework shows the demand for a standardized market"

"Comtrade Gaming's focus on casino and distributed gaming systems are an appropriate choice given the legislative landscape and emphasis on land-based gaming," Rus emphasized.

United States 
| 19/09/2017

The leading technology provider to the gaming industry will attend the 2017 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas on October 3 – 5 and Yogonet caught up with Comtrade Gaming’s Director of Systems ahead of the exhibition.

What are your key areas of focus to ensure business growth in the Americas?

Comtrade Gaming's focus on casino and distributed gaming systems are an appropriate choice given the legislative landscape and emphasis on land-based gaming.EGM and VLT monitoring technologies are an option to improve the gaming industry as it becomes more regulated and complex. Macro-views of land-based operations provide the most benefit with regulated markets because they monitor the operation activity and products are available for both operators and regulators. Comtrade Gaming's sCore central monitoring solution produces statistical reports, archives tax records and allows only legal gaming practices, guaranteeing that venues follow industry regulations, and operational demands. These systems not only enhance business intelligence, but ensure secure gaming operations and remote management capabilities to provide the most technologically reliable casino operation.

The G2S Protocol is a land-based addition present in multiple locations in North America namely, Cananda, Illinois, Massachusettes and Oregon, and enables the connection of any EGM to a back-end host system. It's multi-platform compatibility and flexible customisation model communicate between slot machine platforms and G2S host systems regardless of venue layout. The G2S Protocol streamlines data collection, remote configuration, software downloads and media display components. As major domestic and international vendors continue to support G2S, it provides operators with a greater choice of machines for their venues to decrease operational costs and increase venue efficiency.

Gaming-based technology ensures business transparency especially when coordinated with market-specific priority points to curate the modern gaming experience.

Sports betting legalization was one of the hot topics during the 2016 event. What do you reckon will be this year’s trends?

The emphasis in the United States will spotlight legalization endeavors, especially at the state-level. Responsible gaming and regulation is gaining increasing importance as individual markets create legislation and adjust their market strategies.

With more operators noticing that land-based only operations are unsustainable, and that multi-channel operations are considerably more viable than casinos, there will be a push for cohesion between these two industries. Every other market optimized processes and business strategies to utilize modern technologies, except for the American gaming market. Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company and Chairman of Cirque Du Soleil summarizes the issue in the following way: "If you're playing 80-90% of your games on the internet, the business model that expects a person to sit behind a casino without access to the internet is broken."

South America's interest in sports betting and Colombia's adoption of a nationwide, regulated framework shows the demand for a standardized market. Activity in Brazil, Chile and Peru leads the industry to believe that we can expect a decisions to protect and support a gaming industry.

The United States positioned itself as an »emerging market»

We anticipate an emphasis on monitoring systems for both operators and regulators. Casino monitoring systems are necessary to improve the gaming industry as it becomes more regulated and complex. Comtrade Gaming's response to this market demand is the sCore Central Control System, a solution designed for gaming regulators that provides access to all gaming activities, including betting, lottery, bingo and online to provide macro-views of land-based operations. The sCore – Central Control System ensures secure gaming operations and authorizes remote verification to ensure legal and tax compliance.

In the United States, the regulatory landscape is less straightforward than in Europe. How do you see the market evolving across the different states under the Trump administration? Despite online gaming only being legal in New Jersey, what are your projections for America's online gaming growth in the near future? When will we see some action in states such as Pennsylvania, California and Michigan?

The United States positioned itself as an »emerging market» in the gaming industry and national policies show the each year there is an increasing emphasis on creating an industry on par with international standards. Integrity is the backbone of regulated markets and responsible gaming measures are an integral part of multi-channel products. Even fraud can be mitigated with intelligent systems assess individual player patterns and recognise fraud tactics. Predictive customer behaviour with machine learning technology is very much bound to preventing fraud and data breaches. By monitoring financial activity, card usage and playing patterns monitoring within gaming products is not only proactive, but reactive.

Considering that G2E Las Vegas is one of the world's largest gathering of gaming professionals, technologies and products, what can we expect from Comtrade Gaming in the next few months?

Comtrade Gaming reaffirms that through our product development and are emphasizing the standardization of EGM communication with G2S Protocols to drive revenue and optimize Capex. Comtrade Gaming's G2S protocol enables the connection of any EGM platform to a back-end host system and will serve as a technical addition to Tatts Group's monitoring platform in New South Wales later this year for up to 100,000 machines.

With robust monitoring features and support for standing functionality (progressives, bonusing, cashless, TITO, etc..), connecting to G2S offers a complete suite of player engagement and management modules optimised for EGMs. The G2S protocol streamlines data collection, remote configuration, software downloads and media display components. As major domestic and international vendors continue to support G2S, it provides operators with a greater choice of machines for their venues and full oversight over EGM activity to decrease operational costs and increase venue efficiency.

One of the most prominent characteristics of the modern casino are simplified processes for operators and gaming experiences that immerse players in gameplay. A single technology is used to the advantage of both consumers and casino management and utilises advanced features to drive retail businesses forward.The significance of this is most necessary with distributed gaming as operators dynamically adjust their gaming environments with minimal floor maintenance and manages remote optimisation possibilities.

 

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