IAG April 2014 - page 7

April 2014
|
INSIDE
ASIAN
GAMING
7
COVER STORY
B
accarat inAsia isall about theprocess.
In a drawn-out ritual known as “squeezing,” Chinese players
slowly and deliberately peel back their cards to reveal the
outcomes. It’s a titillating striptease that elicits oohs and aahs from
players and onlookers. Although casino operators would prefer to
dispense with card squeezing at their
tables in order to runmore hands per
hour, that would destroy the spirit of
thegame formany of their customers.
Afterall,goingby thecold,hardstatsof
the outcomes alone, a bet on “Banker”
or“Player” isprettymuchequivalent to
calling the tossof acoin.
By contrast, on the majority of
Asia’s electronic gamingmachines the
process could arguably be done away
with. IfMacau’sgaming regulatorshad
not decreed the deactivation of the
auto-play function on the city’s slots,
the biggest players would probably
continue stickingguitarpicks into the spinbuttonswhile theyeither
dozedofforwentandplayeda tablegame, only returningafter their
credits ranoutor abonus featurewas triggered.
HisaoOguchi, president of SEGA SAMMYCREATION INC., is on a
mission toget thoseplayersexcitedabout theprocessagain.
Mr Oguchi, a legendary video and arcade game developer now
intentoncreating revolutionarygamingmachines, hasbeenvisiting
casinosacross the regionandcheckingoutwhat’s currentlyonoffer.
Heconcludes that“Although thegameshadvariety in thepast, now
theyall tend tobemoreor less the same.”
He understands the rationale
for homogeneous products—they
make development and production
more efficient for manufacturers—
but the result is “Players are no
longer interested in the process
because on any game they play it’s
almost the same. So they would
rather just press the button and
have anoutcome.”
Mr Oguchi observes: “Right now a
lot of the people gambling in Macau
have dreams of winning enough
money to buy a home, raise their
children, and so on, but I believe a
casino floor should be a place where people don’t just win or lose
but enjoy theprocess.
“It would be better if you spent $1,000 and got $2,000 worth
of entertainment, not spent $1,000 trying to win $1 million but
probably lost it all.”
“Put simply, agaming
machine is just amethodof
determiningwhowins and
who loses.Oneachof our
gameswe focusmost of our
timeandeffort inmaking
thedeterminationprocess as
entertainingas possible.”
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