The Casino Journal’s Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products Awards is perhaps not the shortest or easiest title to say, but what the title lacks for in catchiness it more than makes up for in prestige.
Each year the industry highlights its finest innovations and inventions from the previous year, and twenty finalists are then selected by a panel of judges to make up the shortlist. These twenty are then featured in the Casino Journal’s June edition. Of those twenty, four are then selected, with the Platinum, Gold and Silver winners chosen by the judges. These are then presented the following month at the Casino Marketing and Technology Conference held in Las Vegas, along with an ‘Attendees Choice Award’, which is chosen by the visitors at said conference.
Because the prizes are for the innovations of the previous year, the 2016 summer awards will therefore see the announcement of the shortlisted companies and the winning companies from 2015. Everyone in the industry keenly views the competition, as it showcases the finest in casino evolution. Though there’s no way to know for sure what will be turning up in Vegas this July, if the past entries are any indication, the shortlist is sure to be impressive.
For example, last year one of the entrants was the Arc Double Cabinet. Designed by Aristocrat, the Arc Double was a new take on the traditional cabinet used for slot machines. Twice as high and with double touch screens, its ergonomic design was made for it to stand out on a crowded casino floor, and it was equipped with state of the art graphics and sound systems for the best gaming experience.
The inventions presented are all literally game changers. Baccarat, for example, is one of the highest profit games on the entire casino floor, making it a prime target for those who are less scrupulous in their efforts to make a profit. This means that additional security is often required around baccarat games, which can be extremely costly. One of the innovations presented, the Safe-Bacc, not only shuffles but also verifies the cards it deals, in order to keep the game secure. It provides a service with the speed of a top-level dealer, whilst ensuring that additional security is not required. In addition, it can link the results of the game directly to devices.
And the winner is…
Despite these innovations and more, last year’s first prize was not given to any of the examples described above. Instead, it was given to the Mobile Connect Suite, developed by the company SkyWire, which allowed not just casinos, but also services such as restaurants and hotels, to communicate with their customers via text message or coupon, instead of by email or pager. This allows companies to communicate more efficiently and allows them to be more flexible, increasing customer satisfaction and therefore loyalty. This is especially useful in these hospitality industries, as some of them are sometimes known to be slow to adapt to technology.
Given the shortlists presented in previous years, whatever turns up on that list is sure to add new spins to the gaming market, though unfortunately we will have to wait until summer to find out what they are.