Novomatic – the centre of attraction at the ICE in London

Reinhold Schmitt
ISA-GUIDE Chefredakteur (V.i.S.d.P.)

Casino managers from all over the world got together at the International Casino Exhibition, the world biggest trade fair for the casino sector.

On more than two floors and thousands of square meters the ICE showed a vast variety of games and novelties for casinos. There were for example new kinds of Roulettetables, covered with glass and illuminated. Special, nearly undestroyable coverings, for Baccara-, Roulette- and Blackjacktable were to bee seen. Very interesting, specially for card players, were the improved cards for Poker, Blackjack and Baccara. New card mixers, chips and slot machines were shown. Experts presented their security systems, new fabric colours, well known and brand new innovations could be seen.

Quite a lot of exhibitors introduced their games made fit for the internet. Clearer pictures by high resolution graphics and faster transmission are a real progress. Special emphasis was laid on roulette and cards at the internet. The vast diversity of theses games made it clear, that they play a leading role. A tendency which will grow within the next years, which is already known by the exhibitors.
A strong tendency could also been seen by the slot machines. A lot of companies prefer slot machines, but the living games like Blackjack, Roulette or Baccara take a back seat.

The Austrian Novomatic Group of Companies presented itself at the ICE in London with the largest stand in the history of the fair. Jens Halle, General Manager of the Austrian Gaming Industries (AGI), the zestful, developing and productive figurehead of Novomatic, explained to Mr. Schmitt of ISA-CASINOS, that the company put an emphasis on new games. Concerning the casinos, Novomatic holds quite a huge share in the market. European-Salesmanager Udo Nickel is heading for the same aim in the fields of AWP.
A real innovation are the StreamLine slot machines. They are slimmer, more elegant than usual slot machines. So they fit more neatly in the casinos, taking less space. „The slimness and the lesser weight of the StreamLine offers advantages not only to casinos, but also to liners or ferries. The area of the slot machines looks more elegant and ogives room for nearly forty percent more machines.“ explained Mr. Halle. New Bingo and Roulettemachines were presented as StreamLine uprights. Players are now able to follow the games more easily because of the language aided mode, which gives an real life feeling while playing. The rush on and the interest in the StreamLine machines was intense.
Another innovation Novomatic presented at the ICE was the real grouse game, highly popular as an computer game. Now the grouse may be hunted at slot machines. This grouse game really was a fast seller. The funny figure is well known from the internet and now it is available for casinos as a game for slot machines. Asian, European and US customers gazed and gathered round this new game. Rising this much interest, the grouse game will be a success for the casinos. Good news for all ISA-CASINOS visitors: you may prepare for shooting the grouse! Thomas Graf, Marketing Director of the AGI, promised to ISA-CASINOS, that the game will be introduced via ISA-CASINOS internet platform.

Novomatic showed a wide range of games, but also proved special interest in good service. The whole Sales- and Marketing Team travelled to London. Together with a lot of computing and technical experts they advised the customers professionally. Jens Halle, one of the most wanted persons at Novomatic, could only be caught running. He talked to customers all the time, presented demonstrations, or was making small talk. There was no one, who did not know him –or was not known by him. The technical staff of Novomatic was always in place when questions arouse. They explained the technical advantages and the inner life of the machines.

The Novomatic show room was busy like a bee-hive. Casino Managers from all over Germany like Mr. Wilhelm and Mr. Gnath form Casino Kassel, which will be opened at February 20th ISA-CASINOS will cover the event – thronged at the stand. Everyone was looked for personally by members of Novomatic, just like all other guests and friends from French, Dutch, US and Asian Casinos.

The Novomatic bar was the centre of attraction at the London fair. Snacks, coffee, above all sausages and fresh draught beer, wine, juices, crisps and pastries were offered for free. Obviously all visitors of the fair made use of this. The mindful Novomatic staff managed to serve three rows of hungry and thirsty visitors quietly and politely. Even the entertainment of the guests was guaranteed: a band played and some visitors were seen teetering.
Not only sales talks were held at the bar. Also gambling was discussed. And of course there were talks about personnel decisions, openings, reconstruction or expansion of casinos. The heads of the business got together.

There is one thing about this fair, that is totally clear: Novomatic is so important that no one working with or for casinos can pass by. Visitors from all over the world gathered at Novomatic.