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AGE 2003 Review - Part II

29 October 2003

Sarah Lawrence completes the picture for AGE 2003 by rounding up our coverage of Casino World's visit and highlighting what was new at this year's Australasian Gaming Expo at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Konami launched the new link progressives 'Sport of Kings' and 'Firestorm' along with 'Feature World', the first dual screen game from Konami, providing new ranges for clubs, hotels and casinos. Star Games' prominent stand showed slot machines, automated table games, including Rapid Roulette and electronic multi-terminal games, Vegas Star. Robert Sullivan, Director International Business Development commented that Star Games offers a "varied gaming solution particularly for casino markets, providing good leverage into international markets which are increasingly important, especially with the regulatory changes and rather depressed local market in Australia. International and interstate customers are committing more quickly." Three years old, the company claims 15% of the Australian market with expanding product ranges, including stand-alone and progressives, fuelling rapid growth. Indo Pacific Gaming displayed their Cash Clearance system for clearing notes and coins accurately and reducing manual clearance times for individual tables, with software linked to backroom functions. A full range of note sorters and coin handling systems was launched. Also new was the Martin Williams wheel, featuring a maintenance-free carbon bearing, successfully trialed in Sky City, Crown and Star City casinos, approved by the Queensland government and now for sale globally. Royal Roulette attracted attention, currently on trial at Star City. A new crypton synthetic suede layout was also displayed.

MEI debuted their Cashflow SC Series bill acceptor. Neil Young, MEI Marketing Manager explained: "the goal is to fulfill the needs of players, operators and manufacturers. The unit includes 14 pending patents covering 30 design features and the product is aggressively being launched to global gaming markets, with Australia being the current priority."

Bourgogne & Grasset, Bud Jones and Paulson Gaming Supplies were for the first time exhibiting at AGE under the same umbrella. All three brands are now exclusively distributed outside the US by Bourgogne & Grasset represented by Christophe Leparoux, Manager International Sales & Marketing. On display were the B&G 30 plaques and chips as well as chips and dice made by Bud Jones and Paulson. "This is definitely the best international show we exhibited at for years", said an enthusiastic Christophe." All three days were very busy with customers from Oz and New Zealand but also a lot of casino executives from Asia. Customers welcome our partnership with Bud Jones and Paulson as it gives them direct access to the widest range of table games supplies through a single source". Commenting on the recent increase in chips forgeries across the region Christophe said: "Gaming chips security is definitely becoming more of an issue nowadays and customers appreciate the various and sophisticated security features only experienced chips manufacturers can provide". Christophe said the Paulson group will definitely be back in Sydney next year as "AGE has become comparable to G2E in Las Vegas in terms of Australasian valuable contacts".

CARD joined the RGB stand, where the Pre-Shuffler -CARD's newest development, pre-shuffling up to eight card decks -was presented as a product highlight. Card's managing directors Ing. Ernst Blaha and Ewald Kirschenmann have signed an exclusive distributorship agreement with RGB Ltd., based in Labuan, Malaysia, to represent CARD's innovative products in their home market, i.e., Cambodia, Macao, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Taiwan and Korea. RGB has been in the market for several years and perfectly matches CARD's service orientated approach. Also, CARD has been approved by the Government of Western Australia, Department of Racing, Gaming & Liquor, as supplier for gaming equipment to Western Australia, i.e., the Burswood International Resort casino that ranks high among the big Australian casino resorts with approximately 110 -120 gaming tables and 1.300 slot machines.

Carta Mundi showed additions to their high quality card ranges, including decks with UV security printing, full plastic decks for substantially longer life and pre-shuffled decks to save time and increase efficiency for casinos." Our business is expanding in the Asia Pacific area and a main reference is Star Cruises", said Marnix Peelman, Business Development Manager. Global Gaming Industries reported that their live ball Roulette King is performing well in NSW clubs, attracting plenty of interest at the show, along with the X Series Central Credit Unit. "This year we've seen a lot of interest in slots from the international audience", said Scott Macdougall, MD. Traditionally focused on the domestic Australian market, now they are also looking globally.

Paltronics showed their new plasma jackpot controller. Max Gaming, suppliers of state-wide link products to hotels and clubs in NSW, introduced Bullionaire and Stash mystery-based link products and Dollar Dazzler jackpot for high denomination machines. AGE 2004 diary dates: 29-31 August - again at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a conference programme run by AGMMA on Sunday and Monday, with time for delegates to also visit the trade show floor.

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