having a single baccarat dealer tied to dozens of play stations. When you look at the product offering outside of Macau, the range of products is significantly more complicated. Instead of one primary game called baccarat, we have several additional games offered within our live table game areas: Craps, Sic Bo, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, et cetera. The product offering a company would need to provide within the ETG segment was unavailable until recently.

CI: What has made it viable to replace a low-stakes table with an ETG that was not before? Has the cost of machines reduced or is it something else?

JC: It’s several factors. Technology today versus even five years ago has allowed the ETG to generate far more handle per hour than historically, so you are able to effectively produce significantly greater revenue without the labour involved than you were before. You also have player acceptance that is considerably higher today, due to not only the advancements in ETGs but technology in general. When you check-in at the airport you go to a kiosk now, but five years ago you waited in line to be helped by an airline employee. Acceptance of touchscreens and interactive kiosks has certainly been a factor. The product offering of Interblock, a market leader in ETGs, was five years ago predominantly roulette; fast forward to today and you now have every game you would find in a traditional table game environment. In addition, you can add multiple features and functionality to improve hold, which is where we find the greatest profit; that has evolved considerably from even two years ago. Companies failed to focus on live table games when it

came to ETGs historically. One theory is because the ETG had a bill acceptor and a ticket printer, it was perceived as a

slot and

slot and was managed accordingly hard

d was managed d as an ind d accordingly. W. We have worked very e have worked very

hard as an industry to under and ETGs more effectiv now have analyses showing ETG Players are some of the highest new carded patrons entering the casino floors around the world. The capability of ETGs to reduce costs is only now being measured and understood, along with a greater understanding that an ETG is much more aligned with a table game than the historical slot machine. ETGs should not be looked at in terms of house average; rather the incremental EBITDA this segment can offer operators through automation and technology.

dustry to understand ETGs more effef ctively Wy.. We

CI: If I were an operator, the efficiency and security aspects make total sense – but many operators will not want to lose customer-facing staff, and the benefits that come from human contact.

JC: The good news is, various forms of ETGs offer a Live Dealer element, which allows players to continue having the human interface but in a Stadium environment. Greater efficiencies and a more social atmosphere is created. ETGs come in several distribution methods; everything from having a live dealer to an automated unit on the floor. What makes this even more interesting, is the data indicating the players within each offering are different. Certain players prefer the Stadium concept with a more community approach, while others migrate more towards a solitary environment on an automated product. From a

come in ving a s th s w

efer th oach onm

an operat u in

games ag d fffer

dii e enc prone tp o ma n ab

bili iti y fo allow ng yo

Our experience thus far is that casinos have been more comomfortable investing capital into their table gaming areas because they can see the potential to reduce costs and incr dat

ounger Our ex

comfor a b

because in

ncrease d ta sug

se handle. I see the logic of the question – but the da a suggests quite the opposite trend within the industry.

MAY 2019 33

From a profitability perspective, it is the opportunity for a or to grow and meet the demand for table games;

us ng tec using technology to drive-down costs and increase profitpro tabi ga

ofi ability. When you analyse the trend towards table games against the trend on slots, there is a distinct difference. The new generation of players are much more one toward table games, yet there is a labour shortage to maintain maintain this trend. This is a 1+1=3 situation; you have the ability for your existing staff to generate more profit, while allowi

wing the operator to expand their table offering to a younger demographic of new players.

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