In this new regular feature in IAG to celebrate 16 years covering the Asian gaming and leisure industry, we look back at our cover story from exactly 10 years ago, titled “The Battle of Big and Small,” to rediscover what was making the news in May 2011!
It was May 2011 when Inside Asian Gaming first outlined the concerns of some gaming product manufacturers that a ruling by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau around payouts on automated Sic Bo could have wider consequences for the electronic games market.
The ruling in question related to odds of up to 190-1 being offered on any Sic Bo triple bet – when all three dice show the same upturned number – in automated games compared to the maximum odds of 150-1 allowed on live Sic Bo games. After it became apparent that some hybrid versions of the game, which were restricted to odds of 150-1 on triple bets, may be at a competitive disadvantage compared with fully automated games offering 190-1, the DICJ sent notices to suppliers and operators informing them that automated games could no longer offer different odds to the live games from which they originated.
The ruling immediately caught the attention of the industry, with a representative of one leading supplier asking IAG at the time, “Does this ruling stop at Sic Bo, or could it be applied to other games such as video card games, baccarat and both video and automated roulette?”
The answer, as we now know, is that the ruling did not stop at Sic Bo at all, and it is now understood by suppliers market-wide that the maximum odds offered on any automated table game must match those offered on the live version.
It also remains one of the key reasons why the array of automated table games available on Macau’s casino floors is limited, given the challenges involved with getting new games approved.
A history lesson for all!