Gaming News Australia - AGE trade show review
15 September 2004
, Australian Hotelier
The 14th Annual Australasian Gaming Expo was held recently at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, attracting over 10,000 visitors. The trade exhibition was held in an area of 20,000 m2 with more than 200 exhibitors, demonstrating a full product range of the latest in gaming equipment, technology and services.
Australia’s leading gaming companies are spending a total of more than $73 million annually in research and development in Australia to ensure they retain their global position as producing the world’s best gaming products.
At the opening of the Australasian Gaming Expo, Chairman of the Australasian Gaming Machine Manufacturers Association (AGMMA), David Creary, said the current over-regulation of the industry was putting at risk some of the 250,000 jobs created by the industry, $5 billion in government revenue and taxes annually and tens of millions of export dollars at risk.
“Currently we have to provide up to 27 versions of the same gaming machines to fit within the requirements of every state and territory. That is one example that demonstrates that regulation is not well aligned across Australia,” said Mr Creary.
Mr Creary told delegates that gaming policy is currently developed in isolation from the gaming industry and each jurisdiction.
“For example one of our members had a picture of a woman in silhouette on their new game and in one state they were forced to add bra straps along the shoulder line just in case anyone thought it was possible that she may be naked.”
Judi Kelly reviews the latest products on offer for hotel gaming venues.
NOTE: Submission to Australian Hotelier magazine - edited in final version due to space restrictions.
Feature spins and bonuses released by Konami
Konami Australia released two new games for the hotel market in August that were featured at the AGE, and were extremely popular with hotel guests attending the show.
Themed with a native American Indian chief, Indian Legend offers players the chance to triple their wins during the free games. The triple game feature kicks in when three or more wolves appear, triggering 15 free games. In addition, when 2 or more wolves appear, bonus wolves can randomly appear, awarding additional free games.
“Indian Legend is a high denomination game that created a lot of interest at the AGE,” said Denis Muddle, Hotel Sales Agent for Konami Australia.
“We also released a 1¢, 2¢, or 5¢ game called Show Queen, for players that prefer free game style pokies. Show Queen is quite different in its theming and features, and we expect both games to perform well in NSW gaming venues,” he told Hotelier.
Any three of more Las Vegas signs trigger the Show Queen Cabaret bonus. The Cabaret bonus spin displays a number of showgirls, and the prize is awarded on five up to a maximum of 15 showgirls appearing. The more Showgirls, the higher the bonus prize awarded. Also an additional bonus prize is awarded after every free game. The Free games will commence and play until three or more scattered Las Vegas signs occur. All bonus prizes and free game wins are added and awarded to the player at the end of the feature.
Other games shown aimed at the hotel market include Spice it Up, Mystic India, Sultan's Wish and some additional new Konxion games, [pronounced "Connection"], Ashanti Queen and Temple of the Sun - all of which will be released by the end of the year. Konxion games pay combinations whereever a particular symbol has a connection or is touching the same symbol in a specific pattern.
Pacific fires up at gaming show
Louise Heffernan, Regional Business Manager for NSW hotels, was ecstatic about the response to Pacific Gaming’s portfolio of games exhibited at the AGE.
“We had an extremely successful show this year, and the response to our games was tremendous,” she told Judi Kelly from Hotelier.
“It was also an opportunity to introduce our newly appointed General Manager Greg Hayim, who has been with Pacific for over three years as the Financial Controller.”
A number of games were shown which have been submitted for approval with the LAB, which generated interest from publicans visiting the show.
Red Hot Chilli is an old favourite, offering five free games with scatters and substitutes, which has been revamped for the Emax platform as a 25 line game.
Carnival Dreams offers 10,15, 20 or 25 free games with all prizes multiplied up to 5 times. Free games can be won again during the feature, which is triggered with three or more scattered Carnival Girl symbols.
Firebird is a low denomination game with captivating graphics. The player receives 10, 12 or 15 free games when the feature is triggered, and all wins are doubled except for the egg bonus, where total credits bet are awarded.
Pacific are also very excited with the popularity of their dollar game Super Roller, and there has been continued interest from the hotel market with proven performers Voodoo Magic, Dem Bones and Tokyo Rose.
New pricing options for maxgaming’s linked jackpot
Maxgaming have devised a new pricing structure for the hotel industry, with two different plans for The hotel statewide linked jackpot.
This hotel product currently has over 1200 machines on the network, with over 80 jackpots paid out in Stash jackpots daily
“A number of hoteliers were interested in our new pricing structure during the AGE, as we now offer both a fixed and variable plan,” John Newson, maxgaming’s Sales and Marketing Manager told Hotelier.
For high turnover hotels, the fixed daily fee plan is the most suitable. There is also a new variable plan for smaller hotels, which is linked to the turnover of participating machines and therefore more cost effective.
Hotels can also now acquire new equipment and machines from leading manufacturers with no upfront capital cost to meet the diverse gaming needs of hotel venues of all sizes. Benefits include attractive 6 month contract, themed point of sale pack, modern LCD displays with attractive graphics as well as game upgrades supplied to keep venues installations up to date.
With over 5% of the NSW hotel market now linked through maxgaming products and an overall 200% growth recorded in the last 12 months, maxgaming looks like being one of the major players in the NSW hotel market for a long time to come.
Ebet launches new gaming package for small venues
Gaming systems provider ebet launched a new product at the AGE for venues with up to 50 poker machines.
“Netcash generated a phenomenal amount of interest at the show,” Chief Executive Tony Toohey told Judi Kelly.
“Most hoteliers are aware of the incidence of theft, both externally with criminals or potential internal fraud.and the requirements to provide a safe environment for both employees and patrons. Sometimes it is hard for smaller operators to implement the state-of-the-art technology that is available to larger venues, or those with group interests.
“Now, ebet provides a solution for the smaller operators to prevent large amounts of funds being withdrawn from any gaming machine,” he said.
Essentially, with Netcash, no large amount of cash is available at any one time to the cashier – whether that be a hold-up, or a staff member with unauthorised access.
Netcash Transfer Secure provides a fully secure cash dispensing facility, that can only dispense moneys / credits that are transferred of a gaming machine at anyone time.
For instance, if an unauthorised person tried to cash out from the machine, the maximum amount would be $1000.
Tony Toohey and his team at ebet realised the need for an all-in-one gaming management package for smaller operators.
This is a product well suited to smaller hotels that have a limit of up to 30 machines.
Netcash is available in eight different versions, and is scaleable to suit those with limited budgets, as well as venues requiring more sophisticated monitoring solutions.
One of the key features of Netcash is it