Slovenia’s interblock strives to stay ahead of the competition in supplying eye-catching and innovative multiplayer gaming machines
The first thing that strikes you about Interblock’s products is their sleek design. But more than looks, it is performance, value and innovative features that have garnered the company an installed base of 35,000 terminals worldwide.
At last month’s G2E Asia, Interblock displayed several key products among its G4 Organic range, including G4 Organic Twins featuring roulette, G4 Organic Virtual with baccarat, and G4 Organic Dice.
At the show, Inside Asian Gaming caught up with Interblock Vice President of Sales Tom O’Brien and asked him about the company’s exhibit and wider plans.
IAG: Your principal marketing campaign for this year is titled ‘Fight for the Revenue’, and you are keenly focused on helping casino operators achieve their revenue goals.
Interblock’s G4 Organic Live Pulse—also known as Pulse Arena—was named “Best Multi-Terminal Innovation” at Inside Asian Gaming’s 2012 Supplier Awards, which were voted on by a panel of judges at major casinos and slot venues around Asia. At last month’s G2E Asia, IAG Editor James Rutherford presented Interblock Vice President of Sales Tom O’Brien with the award.
The recently launched G4 Organic Live Pulse is the arena-style version of Interblock’s Organic games platform and provides casino operators with anything from tens to hundreds of terminals served by only a handful of human dealers, and can be configured with different game mixes. The main distinctive feature of the G4 Organic Live pulse “is the fact that you can switch between dealer-assisted, semi-automated games and fully-automated games using the fully-automated generator we have in the vicinity,” explains Mr O’Brien. So, if it’s a slow night and a casino wants to send its staff home, it can just switch right over to fullyautomated. So you just shut the pulse down and our game will switch right over to a fully-automated game.”
In addition, Pulse Arena can be configured with different numbers of terminals as well as different game mixes. The configuration pictured below has 32 play stations and two games, roulette and baccarat.
G4 Organic Live Pulse
Can you give us an example of how you do that?
Well, because there is a very low hold on live table games, you need a lot of volume to make money. Especially on baccarat, which holds less than 2%. What we’re doing with our baccarat game is providing a side bet that doesn’t change any of the rules or the nature of the game, which is very key to players—as you know, they’re very superstitious, so you don’t change the rules of baccarat, you leave it the same. But we have a side bet feature on there that we call Lucky Nines, where you can bet anywhere from a minimum bet of $1 up to the minimum bet of the player. All that has to happen is for both the banker and player hands to contain natural 9s. So if a natural 9 comes out, one for you [banker], one for me [player], we have two, which pays 5 to 1. If there are three, it pays 35 to 1. And if you get two natural 9s dealt and I get two natural 9s, as the banker and player, it’s 1,000 to 1.
The hold percentage on that bet really increases for the operator to between 4% and 6%. Now they’ve got something to go with, and depending on volume, for example some casinos, where they’re doing US$20,000 to $40,000 a day in handle per terminal, if you can imagine getting another 4% on top of that game, instead of holding US$ 800-900 a day per terminal at some of these casinos we think we could take it up to US$1,200–1,400 a day by adding that side feature.
How does Interblock keep coming up with these standout innovative products?
Crazily enough, our owner is the person who comes up with most of the ideas. Joc [Pečečnik, Chairman of the Board] is actually a super-intelligent guy who comes up with a lot of side bet ideas. And we also hired a guy in the United States who’s really our game concept guy. So he’s trying to come up with ways to make the games and the features even better.
That’s our primary challenge. We want to improve the games we currently have, so we can increase the hold for all the operators.
Importantly, most traditional baccarat players don’t want to play baccarat if it’s got some fancy different bet that will change the rules of the game—that’s what we’ve found so far. But if you make a traditional game of baccarat, and then you add a side feature that doesn’t change it, they’re going to keep playing. If you get 10%, 20%, 30% utilization on the side bet, then all of a sudden your win per unit goes way up.
Everything on display here at your G2E Asia exhibit is in your distinctive black and red, but I guess the colors are customisable.
Correct. Depending on the size of the project, for instance Resorts World in New York, with 295 stations, we have allowed them to design whatever they want to put on the floor.
What markets are you targeting in Asia and beyond?
In Asia, our goal is to get back into Resorts World Sentosa, get back in there and show them what we are really capable of.
In the United States, the State of Pennsylvania just went with live table products about three years ago, and what that did was it wiped out all the fully automated games. Now the goal is to bring back fully automated games there and make them dealer assisted.
And then you have a province in Canada, Quebec, where they are very interested in going with dealer assisted games. So our goal is to develop as many products as we can, and make as many offers as we can.
What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
We go to G2E every year [in Las Vegas, with this year’s event falling 1st to 4th October], and it’s the biggest show that we have coming up. This year, we’re looking to have probably about 12 brand new products at the show.
Interblock’s stand at last month’s G2E Asia