2E is returning to Las Vegas as an in-person event next month, October 4-7, for the first time since the pandemic forced Global Gaming Expo to organize virtual-only activities since March 2020. One of the leading exhibitors guests will find at the Venetian Expo will be SUZOHAPP, stand 4233.
To have first-hand details and insights about the presentation of the cash management hardware solution provider for the global gaming and betting industry, Yogonet spoke in a video interview with Todd Sims, SUZOHAPP's Vice President of Sales, Gaming & Amusement for Americas.
"I'm glad that the show is going to happen. We're expecting that it will be mostly a domestic show. We're very hopeful that our international customers will be able to join and come over to the US. But I suppose there's still some question about that. For the recent gaming shows over the summer with NIGA for example, attendance was okay. I think, hopefully, that foreshadows what we'll see in the U.S. G2E," he tells Yogonet.
In Todd Sims' words, "sports betting is certainly the fastest-growing segment of our business." So one of the key products SUZOHAPP will focus on in Las Vegas is its new line of sports betting terminals. "I think we've all seen the first wave of sports betting terminals in the US have been the podium style kiosks. They're really designed to be a transaction or not have a queue of people in front of them, but rather the bettor should come out, place their bets, usually a pregame bet, get their bet slip and then move on, so the next person can come and make their transaction," Sims explains.
He further notes that in Europe, where sports betting is a more mature market, up to 70 to 80 percent of the betting is in-play betting, "meaning people are placing prop bets during the game, throughout the game, maybe during a timeout, or in-between plays of football. So that is what is driving the revenues in Europe, and a podium-style kiosk does not match with that type of play. And we expect, and we see that in-play betting is a growing part of the market in the US and you need the right terminals to do that."
"Certainly, a mobile device is one answer, but there's still quite a large demand for kiosks within the facility. So we've designed the right type of kiosk for that in-play betting to capture that in-play betting both in a tabletop type of device, and then also there's what gaming people would refer to as a slant-top, where someone can sit and it'll be a time-on-device machine, meaning somebody will sit in front of that kiosk, place their bets, watch the game, place bets throughout the game, and make it a much more leisurely experience," he describes.
SUZOHAPP's executive also offers his view on the sports betting experience at casinos, and says that sports betting has been like an island upon itself, so integration with the rest of the casino environment is needed. "A casino patron, maybe a carded player wants to have all of that play and all of the spin, within the casino resort tract. And the casino certainly wants that so that they can send the information or send coupons and promotions back to the player. But sports betting so far has been somewhat of an island and separated from the rest of the resort. So a tighter integration between the resort-play and the sports-betting play is becoming more and more important. So that's driven by both the players and the casino resorts themselves. And we'll be showing a demonstration of that at G2E."
Part of that integration with the rest of the resort includes the ability for a player to cash out, Sims continues, which sometimes could be a multi-step process for the player and "perhaps not the greatest experience. So we have worked hard with a cash redemption terminal manufacturer out of Germany. We're now a distributor for them here in the U.S., and we're showing an integration with the sports betting experience and a cash redemption terminal at G2E. So I think that will be very well received. The meetings that we've had so far have been exciting for both the players and the terminal operators."
When asked about the booming presence of cashless payments across the gambling industry, boosted by the pandemic, Sims notes new properties, like Resorts World in Las Vegas, start off with cashless offerings, and sees a lot of advantages to a cashless environment. However, he believes it could be challenging for the existing properties to move to cashless.
"It could be resolved in a system upgrade, which might include both software and hardware and be very, very expensive. So we are showing a method at G2E, I call it a 'bridge to a cashless environment'. So, for those properties that don't have a cashless system or system capable of being cashless, when a player is sitting at a slot machine in the middle of the floor, and it's time to get more money out of the bank, they typically have to go in search of an ATM machine to pull more cash out and then walk back to their game to put money on. So that takes a break in the action. That's time away from a machine which can result certainly in a decreasing coin end, and a little bit less of an experience for the player. So we're showing a device at G2E, it's smaller than an ATM and it's designed to fit at the end of a slot bank. It's an open-loop system where a player can put their bank card in and then make a transaction. Let's say I'm going to take one hundred dollars out of the machine, instead of giving a hundred dollar bill to the player, it'll give a one hundred dollar TITO ticket. So it's fully integrated with the casino CMS. Now you can take that ticket and put it right back into the machine. It's designed to be at place throughout the casino floor. It's at a size and a price that makes it conducive to put it up, sprinkle them throughout the casino floor and make it very easy for the casino patrons to make these transactions and keep the action going."