The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened casino-operator interest in deploying electronic table games (ETGs) on gaming floors, says John Connelly (pictured), global chief executive of Interblock DD, a maker of such products.
So-called ‘stadium’ setups of such games were “by far the fastest-growing” product line for the company at the moment, he stated.
Mr Connelly cited factors including player and dealer safety, due to bets being placed electronically rather than cash changing hands, and the fact electronic table games might typically offer a lower price point for players – in terms of minimum bets – compared to traditional tables.
“That social distancing aspect – for players and dealers – that sense of comfort and security – is definitely driving that demand,” said the CEO.
“We are experiencing one to two stadium installs per week at the moment,” added the United States-based executive.
Stadium installations involve multiple individual electronic betting terminals being arranged around one or more table game, with such games commonly having one or more live dealer overseeing them.
Mr Connelly was speaking in an online interview with Frank Fantini, of Fantini Research, a gaming industry news provider and consultancy.
Interblock had “redesigned” some of the stadium setups it recommends to casino operators for its products, in order to “create social distancing, not only for players, but [also] for the dealers,” said the Interblock CEO.
The firm had also “redesigned” some of the configurations it recommends to casino operators regarding its standalone electronic table game terminals, in order “to have 6 feet between [units], and inserted plexiglass” to separate the players, “in some cases”.
Mr Connelly observed that “five years ago,” Interblock “primarily” had one product: mechanical roulette.
“Today we have over 15 products – ranging from single-player [terminals], to a stadium environment, to mechanical, to video [dealer], to live dealer,” he stated.
Mr Connelly suggested that with electronic table games, “different” player demographics required “different types of product: it’s not one size fits all”.
The CEO added: “On a casino floor, the ability to offer multiple distribution channels on electronic tables games… is attracting a lot of new players. It’s incremental revenue.”
He added, referring to the operating costs of electronic table games for casino operators relative to traditional tables: “Quite frankly, with what’s going on in the world today, the ability to reduce costs for operators is very appealing.”