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DIGIWHEEL


Reinventing the wheel


W


hile the big wheel games at the entrance to many casinos are still enjoyed by many players, it’s usually a one-time visit to play before they go and find the main action. But what if that wheel could be part of your


marketing, a promotional tool that’s fun for the players to use that also looks amazing? DigiWheel have reinvented the big wheel game and come up with something potentially crucial for a modern, forward-thinking casino.


Casino International: What is DigiWheel? John Purcell: It is a next-generation spinning wheel for the gambling industry. We have reinvented the wheel for the industry. CI: Did it need reinventing? The large wheels we see in the entrance to many casinos seems to be doing a good job already… JP: We’ve invented a wheel that can be changed after every spin or every hour, every day, it can be a game, played for free, for promotion, for money… we are empowering gaming operators to have any game they want combined with an immersive entertainment experience. This means customers will love the additional attraction of entertainment as well as enjoying a traditional wheel-style game.


CI: So it’s a large spinning screen? JP: For all intents it is the world’s first 360-degree rotating screen.


CI: Why not animate a rotation on a static screen? JP: There are two reasons – one is legislative. Different regulations cover animation as opposed to a physical device that rotates, which is not computer generated; human-actuated, gravity-stopped means it is a truly random wheel. Obviously we do have RNG versions, but it’s the difference


between a casino game and a lottery game. So it could be used for promotion without any gaming on it, and not be a gaming device at all. Free spins for loyalty customers, or a meal promo…


The other factor is that we believe the public does not


necessarily trust an animation, as it is basically a slot that they have no input into. The slots player – which is maybe 6% of


38 JANUARY 2020


DigiWheel have created a next-generation spinning wheel for the gaming industry, taking the traditional promo or fun-bet wheel at the casino entrance and bringing it right up to date, giving the casino a multi-purpose gaming and promotional tool that players will love. DigiWheel CEO John Purcell spoke to Casino International about their creation


people – will accept it for what it is, but the uninitiated or more casual visitor, there is an inherent mistrust because they see it as a pre-determined result. A wheel that is spun by a human, they can buy into the result being random because they can see it evolve in front of their eyes.


CI: In terms of the wheel’s structure, did you have to do much re-engineering because of weight distribution? JP: I wouldn’t call it re-engineering, it was initial engineering. We have massively over-specified the bearings, metal, and balancing. We rejected many metals for our shell and surround, going with higher grade steel and aluminium to ensure we do get a balance, and having the high-end bearing for rotation we are going to get millions of spins before any issues occur. So you could call it over-specified rather than re-engineered, to mitigate against any potential bias in the wheel at any point. In load terms, we have ensured that the load-bearing weight is equal but it has to come from a radial-perfect centre. The load has to be distributed completely equally between all 360 degrees of the circle, so there is no favour. We have a piece of software to test this in real time as well, so it is not in question. We have had to make sure the physical materials – the metals, LED modules, cabling, power supplies, graphic controllers, every button, switch – everything in the device has to be either 100% quadratically symmetrical, or we don’t have it on the wheel itself and it’s on the supporting tower. If it’s a one-off component, it’s likely to be in the supporting pillar. The wheel is 500kg though, it would take a lot to create a


bias externally.


CI: Is DigiWheel installed anywhere? JP: We are anticipating our first casino installation early in 2020. But we actually have a prototype installed in Ireland’s largest bingo hall, where it’s been for over a year. They use it every day, and its high-volume use is a genuine test. From the installation we have learned that people love the game show element of the big wheel; people are allowed to spin the wheel themselves there, which means it was a true acid test for the device. It’s had some huge variances in wheel spins and public handling and it’s still there, working for them like a dream.


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