he path towards a fully network-enabled gaming experience is embodied in WMS’ plan for new network-enabled product releases over the near-, medium- and long-term that benefit casino operators and slot players “one step at a time.” Two years ago, WMS launched its ground-breaking Big Event series of Community Gaming machines, the industry’s first casino slot product based on the fundamental technologies that support networked gaming.
At G2E 2008, WMS will advance its differentiated path with the debut of distinctive new products and unique software applications that enable casino operators to continue advancing their slot floors towards a server-enabled Casino Evolved environment, product-by-product and slot-bank-by-slot-bank.
WMS will debut new hallmark products and applications that are expected to be commercialized in 12-18 months that demonstrate the mid-term direction and benefits of WMS’ three-part Future Ready initiative. Products for this mid-term initiative include two new foundational technology platforms for the Company’s Wage-Net networked gaming solution: the WMS Account Based Wagering System and the WMS Portal Technology Platform, which includes both a Central Game Controller distribution application and the FreedomPort network display interface.
Brian R. Gamache, chairman and CEO of WMS commented, “WMS’ strategic approach to the networked casino slot floor is unique in the industry in that we recognize this path is best accomplished through a step-by-step progression. Two years ago, we introduced the first server-enabled products on our path towards WMS’ exciting Casino Evolved vision of a fully networked gaming environment.
These offerings, embodied in the first phase of our Future Ready initiative, are already delivering to casinos the initial benefits of networked gaming product solutions. Simultaneous with currently providing casino operators with differentiated, high-earning products enabled by foundational technologies required for networked gaming, WMS continues advancing the development of future products that will further progress casino floor evolution.”
Gamache added, “By leveraging our Culture of Innovation, WMS has established a strong pipeline of games and systems that we plan to commercialize over the next 24 months. These innovative offerings build on our renowned success for developing high player-appeal products. As such we are providing near- and mid-term high-return products to operators as they continue to evolve their slot floors, innovation-by-innovation and slot-bank by slot-bank.”
With four existing foundational platforms in place, WMS’ two new innovative platforms, ABWS and Portal Technology, will enable operators to continue the evolution of their casino slot floor “one step at a time” to more fully benefit from networked gaming in advance of floor-wide implementation. These products are based on an open, networked gaming environment with truly interoperable hardware, systems and applications that provide casino operators with freedom of choice in selecting the “best of breed” technologies to support their strategy execution, and players with personalized and unique entertainment experiences.
WMS Portal Platform
WMS’ Central Gaming Controller technology is a distribution server that administers secondary network applications to gaming machines on the casino floor. These applications are managed by the CGC server and sent directly to the game, adding new differentiated gaming experiences and features that increase the entertainment level for players. Beyond the ability to download additional content, the benefits of networked enabled gaming are optimized when casino operators have access to software that offers real-time data transparency. To accomplish this, the CGC works in conjunction with WMS’ Administrative and Operational Maintenance Server, which is a user-friendly interface that adds open-source networked functionality to existing casino floor technology and provides slot floor managers with a seamless tool to download new games along with housing all of WMS’ game enablement applications.
WMS’ FreedomPort technology is a fully flexible network display interface on the gaming machine that leverages open standards to enable gaming applications, promotional messages and information relevant to the player. The FreedomPort interface is easily programmable and controlled by the casino operator, and enables the operator to host several network applications providing for multiple media systems. Compared with other industry offerings that have been designed with restrictive elements or limitations, and which rely on single-source network content or a “media manager” that takes control out of the hands of a casino operator, FreedomPort allows operators to remain in control of their casino floors and establish the personalized content within it.
WMS Account Based Wagering System
The Account Based Wagering System is a robust cashless network system that provides casino players and operators with numerous benefits arising from its centralized transaction approach. Enabled by technological elements already operationally proven in the marketplace for over a decade, ABWS provides a level of real-time, customer personalization that allows casino operators to more effectively implement their casino patron strategies and simultaneously derive significant operational efficiencies.
WMS Expands Current Product Offerings Featuring Server-enabled Technologies
WMS’ casino customers are benefiting today from first-of-their-kind server-enabled products and networked gaming technologies, including games built on the company’s first four foundational networked gaming technologies - Community Gaming, Transmissive Reels, Sensory Immersion and Adaptive Gaming. These gaming platforms, uniquely enabled by the foundational technologies necessary for networked gaming, provide players with differentiated gaming experiences and enable operators to benefit in the near-term from networked gaming technology in advance of floor-wide networked gaming implementation. At this year’s G2E, WMS will showcase exciting new products enabled by the Company’s four existing foundational technology platforms along with its new Bluebird2 networked-ready gaming machines.
“The high level of success of games built on our first four foundational technology platforms and, more recently, the strong initial reception to the introduction of our Bluebird2 gaming cabinet confirm the benefits of our strategic approach to a bank-by-bank adoption of networked gaming capabilities,” Gamache stated. “Our successful execution of the near-term portion of our Future Ready strategic plan is leading to higher returns for our customers and improved entertainment experiences for their players. We are pleased that once again we will be showing our customers – not telling them about – new products that allow them to benefit from server-enabled technologies today, ahead of floor-wide adoption of networked gaming. WMS, in turn, benefits through increased market share and improved operating results, even as we further establish the framework for additional new product innovation and development. As customers see our broad range of new products and technologies on our road map to the next generation slot floor, we are confident that the promise of the benefits of fully networked gaming will be more fully realized.”
Gamache added, “In our quest to provide casino operators and patrons with games and applications that will provide all of the benefits enabled by a networked casino environment, we continue to emphasize that true open systems architecture and interoperability are must-haves for the industry. It will be clear to our customers at G2E that these must-have capabilities are supported by both our new ABWS and Portal technology platforms. We believe so strongly in the benefits that operators and players will garner from true open systems architecture and interoperability that WMS is taking a proactive leadership role in providing our customers with Freedom of Choice data they can use in selecting the respective technologies for their operations.”