What are your expectations and objectives for G2E Asia?
This year at G2E Asia MEI expects to see more exhibitors, as well as higher traffic volume due to a raise in activity in the market. MEI will be exhibiting its portfolio of products including: CASHFLOW SC, SC Advance, EASITRAX Soft Count, MEI BNR (Banknote Recycler) and more. With the customizable nature of MEI products, we will work with operators to find them the right solution to make MEI their cash management partner.
Will the firm launch new products focused on the Asian market? Which are their main features?
MEI has introduced SC Advance, the next generation of the CASHFLOW SC, which applies new technology and market knowledge to make a great product even better. SC Advance further raises the bar for performance features that directly impact operator profitability: acceptance, jam rate, security and cost of operation.
Increased value created by SC Advance is highlighted by the following enhancements: an improved recognition system, faster bill-to-bill speed, expanded memory, comprehensive barcode recognition and upgrade to USB 2.0.
Because the enhancements are localized to the acceptor head, SC Advance can work hand-in-hand with legacy CASHFLOW SC units already in the field. This capability is facilitated by intelligent support tools, which are able to sense the product version and provide the appropriate software.
SC Advance not only is compatible with previous versions, but also with product extensions that have expanded the reach of bill acceptors from the slot machine to the entire cash management process. EASITRAX Soft Count, as an example, has changed rapidly the expectations for what a bill acceptor can offer by improving efficiencies associated with the cash drop process.
Which trends do you expect to see this year at the show?
This year Operators are looking beyond note validators, searching for product extensions that provide value to the entire cash management process. MEI continues to evolve from a component supplier to an integrator of cash management systems. Several additions to CASHFLOW SC, including enhanced security options and multiple sized cashboxes, allow operators to account for their environment and cash processing needs.
EASITRAX Soft Count is a great example of this evolution. This integrated software/hardware solution places information collected in the CASHFLOW SC bill validator into a database that can be accessed to analyze slot floor performance. SC Advance will be fully compatible with the 64,000 EASITRAX Soft Count games already installed globally. The capability of networking multiple gaming halls to one location allows operators to manage all of their properties on one system.
How important is Macau's market for your company?
Since the introduction of gaming in Macau, MEI has earned over 55% share of slot machines. We are excited for Galaxy Casino in Macau to open in May 2011 with 100% MEI note validators. MEI is committed to innovation—it does not rest on its laurels despite the leadership position it has built. Product extensions, such as EASITRAX Soft Count, continually expand the value that MEI provides the gaming industry.
EASITRAX Soft Count, a successful product extension with over 64,000 units installed globally, expands the reach of note acceptors from the slot machine to the entire cash management process. The integrated software/hardware solution uses information collected in the bill validator and makes it accessible in a database that can be networked to multiple locations and be accessed to analyze slot performance. RFID technology connects slot machine asset numbers to a specific cashbox to help eliminate “hot boxes” and increase operational efficiencies.
Macau is currently considered the leading international gaming market surpassing Las Vegas. Do you think that it is a market with options to keep on growing?
Development and tourism will facilitate steady growth over the next few years in Macau. This growth should continue as visitors from China and Southeast Asian countries visit Macau.
As operators from different Asian countries visit G2E in Macau, which is your strategy for the Asian market in general?
MEI values the trust customers place in its products. To reward past investment in MEI, the next generation SC Advance is fully compatible with CASHFLOW SC units in the field. Operators now have the luxury of updating the slot floor at their own pace as capital becomes available.
As new games are purchased with SC Advance, the enhanced heads can be strategically placed throughout the floor. For example, the high limit room would be optimal given the increased security offered by the next generation product.
Because tourism is essential to the success of many Asian gaming markets, expanded memory allows operators to enable up to 100 notes of multiple currencies in SC Advance. Players no longer need to be inconvenienced by currency exchange and operator profitability is optimized by increasing currencies accepted.
The modular design of MEI’s product portfolio allows operators to select the best product mix for the application. Casinos that use CASHFLOW SC can be easily upgraded to EASITRAX Soft Count with a simple upgrade kit and future purchases can be ordered with the hardware preinstalled. For high traffic areas on the floor CASHFLOW SCM offers 50% more capacity, helping operators manage the need for emergency drops.