hat is the company showing here in IGE?
As usual at IGE, our focus is on RFID, with new and exciting applications dedicated at saving money and improving the balance sheet of the casinos. With the RFIDPoker, for instance, the automatic reading of the poker pot and calculation of the rake allows 25% more hands per hour, which translates to more revenue for the casino.
We now have player rating solutions available for the mini baccarat and blackjack tables. When the casino goes to monitor the games and rate the players, the system is able to tell how much players are playing and for how long. When a player puts an RFID chip on the reader, the casino can read how much the player is betting each time they place a bet: the casino then gets an accurate player’s rating. This type of solution offers additional value for the casinos because they not only are able to read exactly what players are doing, which is good for the membership process, it is also done automatically which eliminates the need to do it manually.
On roulette, with a membership card and RFID chips from GPI, the casino can record every player transaction. So when the customer covers the table, it gives value chips in exchange of color chips and the transaction is authenticated and regarded. And when the player ends his game session, he gives back his membership card to the dealer and exchanges color chips for value chips, and then the casino knows the exact calculation of how much it has been paid on the table and how long the session lasted. Thanks to GPI’s RFID chips, player ratings and closer game monitoring can be automated and accomplished. Of course, this also means less paperwork, a better accounting procedure and a better monitoring of the game, which all together means more savings for the casinos.
Which response did you get from visitors?
The response we received from visitors to our booth was a very positive one. In particular, the RFID application-specific software for the mini baccarat has generated very strong interest for UK customers, and the roulette applications are truly unique. We are looking for good prospect this year with our new RFID applications, in addition to the numerous applications we currently offer for security and table monitoring.
Are those new products and systems very expensive for the casinos?
RFID is a long-term investment since the RFID chips are valid for years. We now have over 12 million RFID chips deployed worldwide, many of which have been in casinos for more than 10 years now. The advantages for casinos in cost savings, less paperwork, less staff needed, a better speed of play, etc. all make RFID a very worthy investment.
How did you see the show this year?
Although the overall traffic at the show was lighter than years before, we certainly had key people and key decision-makers visiting the GPI booth and we were able to spend more time with them and sit down and discuss more specifically our RFID applications. We also had the chance to discuss their projects, so, from that perspective it was good to be able to spend more time with decision makers and key accounts.
How did the global crisis affect the company during last year?
While the global financial situation affected all gaming companies last year, we can not complain. We were fortunate to supply numerous casino openings throughout the world. We also have good prospects for 2010 in South America, with new openings and new business for chips, table layouts and original equipment. We are expanding our product offering in Europe and are hopeful to work with casinos in that market, particularly in the Eastern European block countries. And, of course, we will continue to focus on Asia, with expansions in Macao and Singapore.