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Shining Star

Shuffle Master adds some innovations to a proven performer as Vegas Star Grand Baccarat goes live at MGM Macau

Tuesday, 01 February 2011 16:44
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Anyone who still questions the value proposition of quality automated baccarat games in Asia should take a look at the time and effort that’s gone into Shuffle Master’s biggest baccarat installation in Macau so far—at MGM Macau.

Shuffle Master has pulled out all the stops to ensure outstanding presence on the floor for its multi-terminal Vegas Star offering. The Vegas Star Grand Baccarat installation, on the edge of MGM Macau’s main gaming floor, provides optimal player excitement, and improved hold for the casino. MGM Macau’s management has also played its part with some very practical help in welcoming Vegas Star. The operator removed a partition near to the site of the installation so that the public on the floor have an excellent view of the giant video screen displaying the dealer.

The second thing you notice as you approach the virtual dealer display is that it’s a video recording of a real human being rather than an animated dealer. Queenie Li, the Hong Kong-based student and part-time model captured on camera as the dealer for the latest generation of Vegas Star, has brains as well as looks. She holds two master’s degrees—including one in international relations. She also speaks fluently the three languages used as dealer announcements and as player screen interfaces on the Vegas Star product—Cantonese (with traditional Chinese script), Mandarin (with simplified Chinese script) and English.

Betting options

When you sit down at one of the Vegas Star terminals, the third thing you notice is the availability of an attractive extra betting option compared to traditional live table baccarat—it’s the Grand Tie Side Bet. If there’s one thing that players everywhere love, it’s more ways to hedge their base bets via the excitement of another jackpot. The Grand Tie Side Bet is funded separately from the main game and triggered by tied eights or tied nines.

What enables Shuffle Master to build this kind of attractive feature into the game is the integrity and stability of the Vegas Star platform, and its staying power in the market. It’s now coming up to its eighth year as a concept. In Australia alone, the installed base for Vegas Star product stands at 2,500 units. And there’s a growing sense in Macau that operators are recognising that automated baccarat creates opportunities not only to bring in new customers, but also to entertain and delight existing live table players. It’s been a busy time for Shuffle Master in Macau following the opening last month of the Imperial Stadium at The Venetian. The 150-seat multi-terminal installation by Shuffle Master has two Rapid Roulette games and one Rapid Sic Bo game to draw in the players.

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