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COVER STORY


The floor of the future


talks tl o Casino International… T 32 MAY 2019


he technology now exists to replace the entire traditional table game floor with electronic table games (ETGs). The benefits are numerous – greater security and real-time analytics to name just two – but does that mean you should?


Interblock’s Global CEO John Connelly puts forward a compelling case…


Casino International: Are there any casinos worldwide with fully electronic table gaming floors?


John Connelly: In North America, we are seeing casinos removing all of their live table games and replacing them with strictly Interblock ETGs. El Dorado and Station Casinos have recently implemented this approach and we have active field trials going on right now with other leading operators. There is a momentum within the industry to remove $5 and $10 tables and replace them with electronic table games; thus helping to reduce costs and increase profitability.


CI: What is driving this replacement then?


JC: Being involved with gaming over the past 27-years, this is one of the few times I have seen the regulated gaming industry adopt a new approach so quickly. Traditionally I am used to regulatory hurdles, a culture of not wanting to be first, innovations taking two to four years to gain momentum, before we see any type of substantial change. About eight months ago, discussions took place between


myself and some casino executives, asking why no-one had really tried to automate live table game pits? For all intents


It’s possible to replace your table games with electronic versions – they can run all day and night, never collude with players, never steal, and never need a break. But should you? Interblock Global CEO John Connelly ta ks to Casino International…


and purposes they are very labour intensive, and the industry has known for a long time that $5, $10 tables typically fail to make any money; they’re more of a necessary offering to bring in other types of players. So why has this area remained virtually untouched? On top of that, there are significant labour shortages being felt in many parts of the world, not just North America. These costs, combined with the indirect expenses related to live table games, makes this an opportunity to use technology and improve those areas ripe for change. With an electronic solution you can drive more handle per hour; for example an automated blackjack game can do upwards of 110-120 hands per hour, where a traditional blackjack game does approximately 50-60. The ability to achieve upwards of double the handle per hour without labour costs is appealing in itself. Then there is the fact ETGs eliminate collusion, no mistakes, and on top of that you have a dramatically increased hold on an electronic game, due to the ability of offering multiple side bets simultaneously. You are unable to achieve this on a traditional table because it’s too complex and slows the game down. When you combine all of this together, you have to ask,


why have we not done something sooner? Step one toward this was the stadium concept. It gave the


operator the ability to operate with – instead of having one dealer to five player ratio – they are now able to offer up to 80 players. In Macau we have stadiums playing to hundreds of players with a single dealer. The efficiencies began there,


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