Interblock dd’s Universal cabinets – and in particular the automated dice games presented via that platform type – have been performing “extremely well” in the Macau and Philippines gaming markets this year. That is according to Michael Hu (pictured), the electronic table game (ETG) supplier’s president for the Asia-Pacific region, in an interview with GGRAsia at the 2023 MGS Entertainment Show, a Macau-based trade show and conference for the casino industry.
“For Macau, it is more on the sic bo side; while for the Philippines, it is more on the craps side,” said Mr Hu, referring to the popularity of Interblock standalone dice games supported by its Universal cabinets.
“Those two [dice games] are performing extremely well,” and were some of the “top performing machines at the Venetian [Macao] for the past six months,” he added, referring to a Macau flagship resort of Sands China Ltd in the city’s Cotai district.
The Universal platform allows players to set the pace of their own gaming sessions, and to have “a sense of control” over the games, says Mr Hu. “It is mechanical equipment; there is no video-generated game,” he stated.
Slovenia-based Interblock sees growing demand for ETGs in Asia-Pacific, and has been doing “fairly well” with its market share in that segment in the region, Mr Hu told GGRAsia. “In Vietnam we are doing 95 percent,” in market-share terms. “For Cambodia and the Philippines, we are doing about 70 percent,” he added.
ETGs are a “still-growing” segment in Asia-Pacific, and are already a “standard” product category in casinos and even some slot clubs in the region, especially in terms of so-called stadium configurations with many machines, observed Mr Hu. Depending on the market, that can involve “live baccarat play”, via ETGs, “plus automated roulette and sic bo games with about 15 to up to 200 stations linked together,” said the Interblock executive.
He stated: “ETGs can increase the occupancy of the seats [for casino games], because, for one seat, you can play multiple games… for Interblock we can enable one seat [linked to] up to 18 games.”
Growth organically and via acquisition
In a July announcement, Interblock said it was acquiring “specific assets” related to the ETG technology of Aruze Gaming America Inc. In February, Aruze had filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States’ Bankruptcy Code
Aruze assets going to Interblock included “Lucky Roulette”, “Roll to Win Craps”, and “Shoot to Win Craps”, mentioned Interblock in another release following industry trade show the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) held in October in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States.
The acquisition of a section of Aruze Gaming’s ETG assets helps Interblock to enlarge its presence in Asia Pacific, remarked Mr Hu to GGRAsia.
“Aruze has been doing very well in the Philippines, [at] Genting Malaysia, [in] Australia and New Zealand,” he noted, referring secondly to the operator of Malaysia’s only licensed casino resort, Resorts World Genting. “For all these markets, Aruze is a bonus in our product portfolio,” said Mr Hu.
“Aruze has very popular sic bo games… it has more than 2,000 stations in Macau…. We [also] have the Universal cabinet that also has sic bo as an individual, standalone game.
“So in the sic bo segment, now we have [Aruze’s] sic bo games with multi-terminals, and our standalone sic bo games: we have fully…covered this segment,” Mr Hu added.
For 2024, Interblock is to promote in Asia its Smart Pit product, a technology developed for ETGs that can can also be used with traditional live-dealer tables. The company says it enables dealers to process a greater number of game outcomes per hour, and ensure accurate payouts via chipless technology. Smart Pit has already seen “massive” promotion in the U.S. market, Mr Hu said.
“We are in the process of getting it approved by different [Asia] jurisdictions,” said Mr Hu, noting those include the major gaming markets of Macau, Singapore, and the Philippines.
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