Server-based Gaming Summit offers insights, case studies

Jun 3, 2008 7:06 PM

by GT Staff | Virtually everyone in the casino industry agrees that server-based slots will change the face of gaming on the casino floor.

But few seem to agree on what that face will look like.

The picture will become clearer later this month as experts in the field descend on Las Vegas for the Server Based Gaming for Casinos Summit, June 25-26, at J.W. Marriott hotel in Summerlin.

In a sense, a subtitle could be, "Everything you wanted to know about server-based gaming, but couldn’t find anybody to ask."

What makes this forum so unique is that it will include guest speakers who have hands-on experience installing and operating server systems.

Moreover, the case studies that will be offered will feature vital information about how customers have reacted to newly implemented server networks.

A network-based slot floor would allow the casino operator to control nearly every aspect of the slot machine – cost, payout, even the images that line up on the payline – through back-end servers that talk to computer chips inside the machines.

In addition to changing games and altering the machine’s payback percentage, the network would open an expanded communications portal to the slot-playing customer, who could be offered everything from gaming promotions to dining outlets and entertainment venues.

While descriptions generally sound Utopian, network systems are basically untested and could suffer the malfunctions that now plague office computer and server systems. Moreover, there’s a security issue since any system could be susceptible to hackers or other breaches.

The Server Based Gaming summit will feature panel discussions, forums and networking with professionals on practically every aspect of server-based gaming.

Open the topics to be explored:

• Implementing server systems on your casino floor.

• Legal and regulatory requirements.

• Impact on existing casino management systems.

• Marketing strategies and tactics.

• Achieving standardization.

• Security, front end to end

• Current case studies

• Future applications

Among the experts to host seminars are Bob Soczyk, vice president of slots for Ameristar Casinos; Chad Getchell, product manager/server gaming for Bally Technologies; Todd Elsasser, technical compliance director for Cyberview; Roy Student, president and CEO of Applied Management Systems; and Dan Ahrens, manager and creator of the Gaming and Casino Fund.

Panelists who will lend their expertise include Chuck Hickey, director of slots for Barona Valley Ranch casino, which just installed a server-based system; Mark Pace, vice president of engineering systems for WMS; Jamal Azzam of Aristocrat Technologies; and Kevin Mullally, senior director of government relations for Gaming Labs International.

The Server Based Gaming Summit is organized by Casino Tech Today. For more information or to pre-register, visit their web site at casinotechtoday.com.