ICE Totally Gaming is an annual conference held in London focused on the international gaming industry. It is the largest and most comprehensive trade event in gaming in the world. Many companies from over the world come here every year to take part in this unique event. We are extremely happy to present our readers with a one-of-a-kind interview with Max Pessnegger, APEX CEO, who participated in this year’s ICE Totally Gaming and answered our questions.
DID ICE 2016 MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
Absolutely – we had a very busy show and even though we had a large stand, it was often not big enough to support the number of people coming to see us.
As a premium manufacturer of gaming machines, we introduced for the first time at ICE our solution for the premium player segment. This VIP slot is called Pinnacle Premium and is equipped with a very large wide-screen upper monitor and comfortable chair that can be slid in position – with the most important buttons integrated into the chair armrest and speakers placed in the headrest. This takes the gaming experience to the next level. The Pinnacle Premium is available with either a flat or curved upper screen.
The Pinnacle NSL 27, Pinnacle SL 27 and Pinnacle 24 now all have LED lighting placed around the screens. The latest gaming platform – EVO 3 – was launched at ICE with exciting new games such as Book of the 7 Seas, Eye of the Dragon and Queen Cleopatra.
The iDROP is the complete solution at live tables that require a banknote reader to securely accept and report the cash handling at the table. The iDROP is much more than this – it contains a banknote reader with bulk note feeder – meaning that the croupier can enter up to 50 notes or tickets at a time and each is individually checked and stored inside the iDROP. The iDROP also accepts tickets and can print out tickets – for player cash-out or when the player wishes to bet only part of the ticket value. The integrated touchscreen makes it simple for operators to run. The iDROP connects with the SAS communication and can run with any casino management system (CMS) – so providing clear and reliable instant reports on the drop. The iDROP was one of the hits at last year’s ICE.
The iDROP will be joined by the iDROPe. The ‘e’ is for ‘external’ – so it can be fitted to the gaming table without having to make any major adjustments and so can simply be added-on to the table. Just like the iDROP, croupiers can enter notes or tickets in a bundle of up to 50 at a time and print out a ticket. The iDROPe has an integrated stacker with the banknote vaildator that can store up to 2,000 notes / tickets. In addition to this, the iDROP and the iDROPe both have player tracking capabilities. The player card can be entered into the new slot on the iDROP/iDROPe and players can profit from the casino player tracking scheme and naturally operators can make great use of this new data from the live gaming area. Alongside ticket-in, ticket-out and player tracking, the iDROP/iDROPe can manage cashless gaming – making it the most complete live table cash management system in the market.
The APEX PLAYER STATION (APS) is the automated, electronic roulette multiplayer from APEX. Not only the stylish design attracts players – the APS is extremely flexible thanks to its modular build. The APS is terminal-based so the customer decides how many player positions there should be and any future expansion is simple to manage. The APS can be connected to a total of four roulette wheels, including both electronic and live wheels. The slot games as well as the electronic table games like Roulette, Baccarat, Sic-Bo and Quikker can also be integrated into the APEX Pinnacle gaming machines. Last and not least – the APEX MOBILE SLOTS can linked to the APS – so that players can use a tablet to play on this – an ideal solution at peak times.
The possibility to incorporate mobile gaming right within the casino is made reality thanks to APEX MOBIILE SLOTS. Players can play on a tablet, for example in the casino bar or restaurant. On a busy evening when the APS is full, players can join in the action via the tablet. Money can simply be transferred to the tablet or paid back from the tablet to the player when using the iDROPe.
The visitors to ICE know and trust APEX as a premium Austrian manufacturer that can provide complete solutions. The Pinnacle Premium has closed the niche for the VIP segment. The interest for the iDROP continues to be amazing – simply because it has so many benefits. Players love it as well as they can move between slots and live gaming tables without having to go to the cash desk. Our electronic roulette looks even more professional with the infill panels and large display so creating a closed unit. And more and more operators were asking how they can make use of tablet gaming in their own operations.
YOU HAVE RECENTLY MANAGED TO ENTER THE AFRICAN MARKET. ARE YOU GOING TO ENTER OTHER REGULATED MARKETS IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
The African market has embraced our gaming machines and we see plenty of opportunities there both in the LPM and casino segments. That is why we opened our own subsidiary in Johannesburg. We strengthened our sales team over 12 months ago with the appointment of Kubilay Özer as Global Sales Director. We are continuing to grow our business, so, yes, when the opportunity arises, we plan to enter into further regulated markets.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE UPCOMING MONTHS?
The first job is to follow up from the many enquiries from ICE. We will be rolling out the Pinnacle Premium to our customers. Furthermore, we have several casinos who are testing the iDROP and we expect to turn these trials into sales as we have done in the past. So expect to hear more from us about successful iDROP installations. And lastly, we will continue to support our customers at the local level – the next show we will be attending is in Ireland at the beginning of March.