TCS John Huxley Ltd – a specialist supplier of products and technology for casino table games – says it is seeing a shift toward electronic table games (ETGs) in Asian markets, amid a slowdown in revenue from traditional table operations in the region’s gaming capital, Macau.
The key to grasping the new opportunities is to listen to, and work closely with, the casino operators, said Rebecca Kingswell (pictured), managing director – Asia Pacific for TCS John Huxley. The United Kingdom-based supplier exhibited a range of products and technology at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia 2016, held at the Venetian Macao casino resort from May 17 to 19.
“I’ve been in Asia for 20 years and it’s really now that I can see there is going to be a big shift toward ETGs [in the Macau and other Asian markets],” said Ms Kingswell. “[Baccarat] tables are traditionally very strong in the market but more [operators] look for electronic games with the downturn [in the Macau gaming industry] and [for] the efficiency in running the electronic games,” she added.
Macau casino gross gaming revenue has been on a 23-month losing streak judged year-on-year – mostly driven by declines in VIP baccarat and mass-market baccarat.
“I think we have to change our strategies in some of the ways we do things,” Ms Kingswell said. “For example, some casinos used to change the layout [of their table games] on a monthly basis but now they don’t want to change it every month and want to extend its life to [between] one to three years.”
“For us that product line slows down but… we are getting a lot of interest on other products like Gaming Floor Live,” the regional managing director said.
She was referring to the firm’s table games management system that helps casino operators improve the operational efficiency of traditional table games. It does so via up to seven modules that offer the possibility of drawing data from several aspects of table play, including game speed. The product is scalable to suit venues of all sizes.
On the first day of G2E Asia, TCS John Huxley announced that its Gaming Floor Live Media module was to be deployed in Casino Canberra in Australia, a venue operated by Aquis Entertainment Ltd. The product enables a casino to link tableside electronic displays and communicate across a floor – or specific floor area – game statistics, events and promotions to players. In the case of Casino Canberra, Gaming Floor Live Media Media will link tableside displays for 30 gaming tables offering either baccarat or roulette.
“We ensure we are listening to what the operators want and need, and working very closely with them rather than developing products that we think they need,” said Ms Kingswell. The company is now working on other technology that could help enhance the efficiency of game operations and reduce operational risk for casinos.
“We are particularly looking at how we can minimise the dealers’ interactions with things. By that I mean, for example, we are using a technology on a dice shaker [so] that the dealer no longer enters the results, but a camera will enter the results: therefore minimis[ing] the security risk that the dealer is in collusion with the players,” she explained.
Comparing Macau with other Asian gaming markets, Ms Kingswell found the Macau operators “don’t move like other operators in Asia where they will try a lot of things.” She stated: “In Macau once one person [operator] moves, the rest will follow but it’s a little bit slow to have the first one trying new things.”
With new casino projects due to open in Macau in the next 12 months, such as Parisian Macao by Sands China Ltd and Wynn Palace from Wynn Macau Ltd, the TCS John Huxley executive said the firm was hopeful of writing more business.
TCS John Huxley also has a presence respectively in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia. Fresh sales are in the pipeline for casino resorts in the Philippines, Ms Kingswell added.
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