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SERVER-BASED GAMING


scale installations it’s much more efficient – in both cost and managerial terms – to centralise the operation of software on a server, rather than having hundreds of discrete iterations of the software running separately on individual machines.


For much of that very long time, however, they


didn’t take over the world, in part because the capability of localised intelligence – i.e. the PC, or the standalone slot machine – was advancing so quickly thanks to ever-fast processors and cheaper memory, and the capacity of network connections wasn’t keeping up. In that scenario, confining all the


potential of iView is by combining it with its Elite Bonusing Suite, software that automates promotional and loyalty programmes. Customers can receive rewards literally while they play.


BetStone XGS Core is BetStone’s product in the


server-based gaming arena, complementing management features with a library of exclusive games. Particular emphasis is laid on reporting and performance data.


IGT


International Game Technology (IGT) is a major player in server-based gaming with its sbX system and game library. Compliant with the Gaming Standards Association Game-to- System (G2S) and System-to-System (S2S)


32 SEPTEMBER 2011


action to the server would have actually imposed pointless limits on functionality. Maybe the server could have done everything the one-per-user machine could, but it very often couldn’t transmit the results of its work quickly or reliably enough.


Now, however, the ubiquity of very fast network connections is closing that gap in the client-server logic, and just as mainstream computing is increasingly moving to the cloud model (see boxout, “Clouds on the horizon?”), so in casinos, server-based gaming’s time may have come.


protocols to ensure interoperability with other vendors’ equipment, sbX is built on modular principles.


For example, the Floor Manager allows


instant, remote changes to the game mix, perhaps in response to different customer demographics at different times of the day or week. The Media Manager enables delivery of marketing messages to players – on the game screen, on an IGT sb NexGen IIx touchscreen, on a top screen, or even on a dedicated digital-signage-style plasma display.


One of IGT’s main innovations is what it calls the Service Window, a screen area for communicating with the player on the gaming floor, and it continues to develop applications for this. Among recent releases, for example, is


the Taxable Accrual application, which (for US casinos) automates the process of completing tax forms when large jackpots require them.


Already installed at Aria in Las Vegas, it not


only saves the player paperwork – it also generates the required reports for the casino’s own tax accounting. According to Eric Tom, IGT’s COO, Taxable Accrual “helps to reduce operational costs as well as labour and machine downtime and, most important, lets the players continue to enjoy themselves. This app gives both operators and players an unprecedented level of control.”


Other applications for the Service


Window include the self-explanatory Message Blast; Point Pursuit, which allows the delivery of points, comps or other


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