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Genting leaves UK while Rank bets on Brit future

Plans for extra sites focus on north, Midlands Exit Genting, enter Rank?

Britain's casino landscape is altering as Genting Singapore discards its UK operations in order to focus on its Resorts World Sentosa project, while Rank promises to open ten more venues in the country. Genting's £340m ($530m) sale of its sites to a subsidiary of Malaysian- listed Genting Malaysia Berhad may not change much for ordinary players. But Rank's ambitious plans will.

The company – which in the first half of 2010 more than doubled its operating profit compared to the previous year – plans five new casinos in northern and central England by 2012, followed by a further five, bringing its total estate to 45.

Although it seems to be focusing its expansion programme away from London, it will also bid for the licence to build a new casino in Newham in the eastern part of the capital, near the site of the 2012 Olympics. Also likely is a continued commitment to Rank's new G Casino brand: it

recently closed the Grosvenor in Hove on England's south coast, after opening a G Casino in next-door Brighton. Exit Grosvenor, enter G?

Touchingly profitable

New touchscreen tech doesn’t just please gamers: it can increase revenue, too

Replacing chips and cards with bytes and pixels can hike revenue and hamper cheats, according to proponents. And in the latest twist on fashionable retro, the newest casino technology is also mimicking some of the oldest.

Slovenian vendor Gold Club is using 3M's surface capacitive technology – touchscreens, in plainer words – in a range of machines including video slots. The MicroTouch technology provided by 3M includes feedback effects, so that when the player presses an on-screen button they see it depress, hear a click, and feel a vibration, just as they would with an old-fashioned mechanical button.

Said Francesco Fasoglio, Business Manager at 3M's Touch Systems Division: “Game designers are looking for new ways to enhance players’ gaming experience and keep them engaged for longer. Tactile feedback response enlivens the usual slot functions and heightens bonus-round play experience.”

The technology is “fast, intuitive and has solved problems we have had in the past with mechanical integration and calibration”, confirmed Boštjan Stopar, General Manager of Gold Club, which is also using it for electronic roulette tables housing up to ten screens apiece. Touchscreen technology seems to have more tangible bottom-line benefits, too. Shuffle Master, which is using 10.4-inch Zybrid screens from Zytronic in its i-Table gaming tables, says U.S. installations are increasing the number of rounds played per hour by 30 percent as well as cutting out dealing errors, theft of chips, and cheating. Each of the i-Table units, as big as a traditional gaming table, has six touchscreens for players plus a dealer station, offering Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker and Texas Hold 'Em. “The i-Table has the look and feel of the live tables that customers prefer without the heavy operating costs or risks of theft and cheating associated with them,” according to Nathan Wadds, Senior VP of R&D at Shuffle Master.


IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ’EM... British Columbia's Lottery Corporation is adding casino games to, its online gaming site, to staunch the estimated $97m annual flow of cash from the province to gambling Websites in other countries.

WYNNING IDEAWynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn isn't happy with Barack Obama, saying his Financial Reform Act “has the potential of being a catastrophic interference with business”.

MACAU MADNESS Gross gambling revenue in Macau soared 70 percent in July from the previous year's figure, and was 20 percent up on June, when the World Cup distracted some patrons from casino gambling.

SWITCHED OFF TV channels devoted to gaming are among those most likely to fail, with one in five going dark during their first year, according to UK broadcasting services firm Information TV.

ISLE SAY The Isle of Man's Gambling Supervision Commission has granted a gaming licence to Novigroup, owner of the Novibet online sportsbook. Also gone live on the island is, which allows punters to bet on the price of gold and on currency markets.

PENN BONANZA Gaming Partners International says it shipped orders of equipment including currency and table games worth $4.5m to eight Pennsylvanian casinos during the second quarter – a sign of the new investment being made by venues in the state following the legalisation of table games there.

ALL WELL There was no suspicious betting on World Cup football matches, according to the European Sports Security Association, and no attempts at match-fixing, according to soccer's governing body FIFA.

LOGICAL DECISION Logical Games 46 is to represent casino sign-maker Signs4U in Spain. Other firms whose product it sells into the market include Atronic and Shuffle Master.

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