For casino business server-based gambling still in the cards

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superiorcasino.comHigh-tech slot machines must get a big-shot in the arm with the beginning of Nevada' City-center later this year. However, a lot of rewiring remains to be done.nby Daniel Terdiman February 3, 2009 12:01 PM PST nFollow @GreeterDan nIn the summer of 2005, the casino industry was abuzz with excitement over what was then regarded as the next great thing--server-based gaming, a major technological shift in how slot machines work. nEssentially, this innovation was going to be able for the machines to provide a broad variety of games, all selected at that moment by players, and served up from sources. This is a sea change from your conventional style, in which a device had one game included in it. As a result, I wrote then, the technology was 'planned to become the largest information at (the September 2005) Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, the casino industry's huge annual trade show.' nFlash forward, however, for the November 2008 edition of G2E, the place where a technology panel entitled 'Server-based gaming: Just starting to begin' offered a rousing discussion on the theme, and one that belied the extreme optimism of four years ago. 'While it may still be uncertain when and how server-based gambling will be introduced widely across the business and for the consumer,' the panel's information mentioned, 'the question of if it'll is no longer.' nnLong viewed as the next great thing in the casino industry, server-based gambling may eventually get ready for primetime. These machines, from WMS Gaming, are allowed with the technology, that allows specific machines on a casino floor to acquire new games on the fly, as well as give the casino a way to present players promotions.n( Credit: WMS Gaming) nSo yes, the market was jumping the gun with its 2005 excitement. And needless to say, considering the fact that history, any new passion should be seen through a significantly skeptical contact. nBut now, industry executives say, the time is ultimately correct for sever-based gaming, and the first signs of the technology--albeit a new form of it that has been modified considerably from what it was originally--may actually be coming. The next great thing may at long last be here. nThat suggests a host of new slot machine-based innovations could possibly be on the way. Among them, said Rob Bone, the vice president of marketing for WMS Gaming, one of the casino industry's big-four makers, is a community-gaming system that can allow multiple visitors to play games across a series of devices. And still another, known as 'adaptive gaming,' can make it easy for the machines to keep an eye on a player's improvement and let them rejoin their game, even in a different area. nFor all the four manufacturers, then, within a bigger server-based gambling movement the improvements that may come are diverse and wide-ranging. At its core to-day, however, the technology is all about systems by which the machines can talk to databases on back-room servers, rendering it possible to obtain new information and information to a machine at any time, as well as to change the denomination of games on the fly to reply to casino occupation numbers. nThe world's first all-server-based gaming floornAnd if your new technology needed to be openly rolled out with a splash, the casino industry could not have plumped for a much better way to formally present server-based gaming for the world: CityCenter, a large, $8 thousand, mutual MGM Mirage/Dubai World development project now under construction to the Las Vegas Strip that features thousands of rooms in hotels, luxury condominiums and soccer fields' worth of casino space. And the world's first all-server-based gaming floor. nThis start, that will include 2000 models, is slated for late 2009, and may, after all these years, finally pave the way for server-based gaming to become the new industry standard. nBut the delay was caused by what? nAccording to business professionals, soon following the 2005 G2E, there was a major philosophical shift, in which the major vendors--International Game Technology (IGT), WMS, Bally Technologies, and Aristocrat--came towards the conclusion, along side regulators, that in the place of each wanting to develop their own proprietary types of the technology, they would put their heads together and devise some new technology standards. n'In 2005, there have been no criteria, and no protocols by which we could generate help software,' said Javier Saenz, the vice president of product management for community systems at IGT. 'We had a need to produce standards, interfaces that worked, and some official technology.' nAround that time, then, a fresh standards body emerged, the Gaming Standards Association (GSA), and what resulted were standards that could make it possible the casino employees to quickly tube in communications to players--promotional messages, notices of free buffets and the like--in pop-up windows to the monitors, irrespective of which manufacturer's machines they were playing. Formerly, it'd not have been possible. nFor companies like IGT and WMS, this change in philosophy was nothing short of a significant retrenching, but one they thought they no choice but to look at. n'Pretty much, IGT had to.abandon all past development that leveraged old, proprietary protocols,' Saenz said. 'It was a massive undertaking.' nInstead, he said, the four companies have followed what they call open networks, a new term for server-based gambling built around systems designed to give casino providers the kind of new server-based technology they want, while also meeting the security and communications objectives of the GSA. nGetting the standards in place was the first step, naturally, and based on Mark Lipparelli, a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board--which adjusts casinos in that state--they were executed in November of 2005, just weeks after that year's G2E. nThe bigger question, then, was just how long it would take for the outcomes of the standardization to manifest in industrywide roll-outs of server-based gaming. n'The common adoption and implementation of the secure system technologies,' Lipparelli said, 'could be more of market function.' nOne unanticipated--at the time, at least--result of the philosophical shift is that the industry's major companies came around, for the first time, towards the conclusion that their technology has to be interoperable, in at least some basic ways. nBanking on consumer loyaltynThese days, a huge part of successful casino operations is most beneficial finding out how not merely to get a player to bring her or his income onto your ground, but also how to get that person to join your loyalty program and come back to one of your properties again and again. Here's more information on kasino games review our own web-page. nFor companies like MGM/Mirage, for example, that sort of customer acquisition and preservation is critical, particularly in a town like Las Vegas, where the giant already owns ten major properties--including Bellagio, the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Luxor and others--and will soon start City Center. Which makes it feasible for its clients to play games and feel welcome and valued at every one of its casinos is simply in regards to the most important thing MGM/Mirage or some of its competitors can perform. nAnd that's why, while an IGT equipment still won't run games from Bally--at least not any moment soon--the four manufacturers seem to have come around to the thought that their technology needed to give the casino operators a lot more get a grip on over the messaging players would see on those machines. nAdditionally, Saenz said, the gambling machines will need to find a way to access the casinos' databases of client names and information, regardless of who made the equipment, so as to offer information that is specific to each user. nnA schematic of a server-based gaming system from WMS Gaming.n( Credit: WMS Gaming) nBut whilst huge businesses like MGM/Mirage get into server-based gaming, the adoption of such machines is going to be slow. nAs of today, Bone said, WMS has about 1,500 server-based machines implemented all over the world. He thinks that casinos will begin to roll out server-based gaming on a 'bank by bank' base, meaning one part of models at a time, as opposed to by replacing whole floors at once. nThat means, Bone said, the technology is going gain footing throughout the casino industry within the next 2-3 years. nIGT's Saenz agreed with that assessment. nAt the moment, he explained, the business has five server-based gaming area trials, two in Nevada and one each in California, Missouri, and Michigan. nLots of machines, a great deal of rewiringnOf class, the forthcoming City Center beginning will likely be the big coming out party IGT's--and the industry's--server-based gambling technology has been awaiting. But while that start will mean that up-to 2,000 models think about it line simultaneously, Saenz said that there are practical reasons why the technology will be slow to spread, even now. nPart of the could be because of structure. In order to throw out server-based activities, Saenz directed out, casinos must have Ethernet networks deployed on their floors. That's something that several casinos have achieved currently, he said, adding that those who do have a much quicker way to the newest technology. n'Historically, there was an expectation that after server-based gaming arrived, (casinos) would amazingly improve their entire floors,' Saenz said, 'and instantly there would be server-based gaming. But that is not useful.' nThat is just why he needs to find out roll-outs one hundred machines at any given time throughout the business, although not much faster than that. n'In a few years,' Saenz said, 'nearly all casinos will possess some server-based games, and (a few) will be 100 percent' rolled-out.