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EUROPEAN UPDATE Merkur InspiredlaunchinItaly

Partnership between Merkur Gaming and Inspired expects to shake up Italy’sVLT sector

Merkur Gaming and Inspired Gaming Group (Inspired) have formed a special partnership for the Italian VLT market. Inspired’s Open VLT platform is one of only three approved by AAMS for the Italian VLT market and the second to be installed in the country. The collaboration between the two will combine the power of Inspired’s Open VLT platform with Merkur Gaming’s popular casino-style cabinets and extensive library of games, developed for the Italian VLT market.

Merkur Gaming is launching a new range of VLT games: a mix of Merkur Gaming’s best performing Comma 6a games, modified for VLTs, and plenty of exciting new releases. As well as quality content from Merkur Gaming, Inspired’s Open VLT system also has top games from Inspired’s game development team and other leading content providers including Magic Dreams, Max Gaming, Psiclone and Blueprint.

The “Merkur Inspired” collaboration

Gamenet readies its firstVLTsite

Concessionaire Gamenet SpA has successfully completed the qualification phase of its platforms to enter theVLTmarket in Italy.The approved systemhas been supplied by SPIELO, part of the Lottomatica Group. Ezio Filippone, CEO of Gamenet SpA stated: “Thanks to the professionalismof those involved, AAMS, Sogei and SPIELO, I am pleased to announce the conclusion of the testing phase of our first game platform.This allows us to commence withVLT gaming activities as one of the first operators in this newmarket.We hope also to approve our second platformfromNovomatic, in the near future, which will complete the first operational phase of the introduction of GamenetVLTs in the Italian marketplace.”The firstVLT locations opened by Gamenet will be part of consortiumof operators involved in the concession.

Luke Alvarez, CEO Inspired.

offers an unprecedented range of cabinets and games, all available on Inspired’s Open VLT platform. The range of cabinets includes Inspired’s HD Gaming widescreen ‘Storm’ and casino-style ‘Prospero’, and Merkur Gaming’s elegant ‘WB4’ upright casino-style cabinet and innovative Slant Top.

Jens Stradtmann, CEO MerkurGaming

The two companies

will be exhibiting the results of their VLT partnership at the ENADA showin Rome

from6th- 8thOctober, where theywill be

sharing Stand 67 in Hall Four.

Jens Stradtmann, CEO of Merkur Gaming, commented: “Merkur Inspired is a winning combination of innovative Open VLT technology, the most successful and exciting games developed for the Italian VLT market and state of the art cabinets. Merkur Gaming is already very successful in the Comma 6a market and our focus has always been to deliver the best games and cabinets to the Italian gaming industry.

Luke Alvarez, CEO of Inspired, added: “Merkur Gaming is the perfect hardware and content partner for us on this project and we are very excited about the results of our collaboration. We’re proud to be one of only three approved suppliers and now we’re looking to strengthen our position by increasing access to a range of cabinets and content from Europe’s leading manufacturer and developer.”

Dates change for G2E as newshowon the horizon

The American Gaming Association (AGA) and Reed Exhibitions have stated that G2E 2011 will take place Oct. 4-6, reflecting a newly adjusted schedule that moves the annual trade show and conference ahead by more than one month. The move is seen as a precursor to the AGA and Reed announcing dates for a forthcoming G2E Europe event in January, at an as yet unspecified location.

The shift in dates in 2011 will also see G2E move from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The dates of G2E Asia, held annually in Macau, will also shift in order to create a more evenly spaced global calendar of events, making room on the calendar for the European event.

“G2E is the only international

event developed ‘by the industry, for the industry,’” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. “These changes, which were made with the needs of both exhibitors and attendees in mind, are concrete proof of our commitment to that creed. We expect the revised schedule to result in increased attendance and sales at all of our events.”

According to show organizers, the revised schedule brings with it numerous advantages, including allowing exhibitors more breathing room between major international gaming events (and the new exhibition planned for London/Europe). It also will help purchasing decision- makers at companies plan for the year ahead with greater ease and, ultimately, enhance exhibitors’ bottom lines.


FormerUKPrimeMinister,Tony Blair, has used his memoirs to launch an attack on his predecessor Gordon Brown’s decision to scrap plans for a super-casino in the UK city of Manchester – branding it ‘the worst form of puritanism’ in his recently launched autobiography. Mr. Blair said the decision to ditch the project, which would have created 3,500 jobs in the deprived east of the city, was a ‘partisan’ and ‘ineffectual’ gesture under pressure from the church and right-wing press. Tony Lloyd, MP for Manchester Central, said the axing of the casino was ‘grossly unfair and outrageous’ while Graham Stringer, MP for Manchester Blackley, said Mr. Brown had acted out of ‘weakness and cowardice’. Manchester was chosen to host the country’s first super-casino – under Mr. Blair’s premiership in 2007.

TheEuropeanCourtofJusticehasruledthat German laws, which protect state monopolies for gambling, are ‘unjustifiable.’ The ruling could open the way for foreign betting companies to establish a presence in Germany. A lobby group representing gambling firms, including PartyGaming and Bwin, called the judgement a ‘landmark verdict.’ German authorities have justified betting monopolies by saying that they help protect consumers from the negative effects of gambling. However, the ECJ said in its ruling that this was inconsistent with Germany’s promotion and ‘intensive advertising’ of its gambling operations. The court declared that ‘German rules on sporting bets constitute a restriction on the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment. The public monopoly of the organisation of sporting bets and lotteries in Germany does not pursue the objective of combating the dangers of gambling in a consistent and systematic manner.’

Followinglastmonth’s article regarding the casino backlash towards VLT locations opening in Italy, the mayor of San Remo has imposed upon the slot halls a mandatory closing time of 8pm. The order of Public Security was signed mid- September after hearing the opinion of the San Remo police. Proposed and supported by local business organisations worried that VLT competition and the prolifereation of this type of gaming in the region would attract criminal and anti-social activity, the priority of the move is to proctect the business interests of San Remo’s casino in the face of machine competition.

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