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Optimal Player Satisfaction

Kubilay Özer, Global Sales Director, APEX Gaming speaks to Rebecca Green

How was 2015 for Apex Gaming and how has 2016 been so far?
2015 was a focal year. Our goal was to further strengthen our product range – to provide even better and more 
entertaining gaming solutions. We set the goal high – as our credo is to take gaming to the next level. We spent much time talking with and listening to our customers. 2015 was the year where we widely expanded our product range and 
the markets / countries we deal in.  We introduced the iDROP to the market and placed new focus on the U.S.A. 2016 has been the year to reap the benefits from our efforts we sowed last year. There is great demand for our EVO platform with the exciting, high-definition games. The iDROP is revolutionising the way cash handling is managed at live gaming tables. We were presented with two major gaming awards in the U.S.A. for the iDROPe during the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference that took place between 12th and 14th of July at Paris- Las Vegas. The two accolades for the iDROPe were in the categories ‘Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products’ and ‘Attendees’ Choice.’ Our APS multiplayer brings new, added value to this market segment. And our mobilegaming offer continues to expand. 2016 has so far been better than we expected. And we will continue to innovate and bring new solutions to the market.
Can you explain the benefits of the EVO three-games platform?
We have further optimised our gaming platform. That means the games can be played in an even better definition. The new platform includes new HD games and bingo. The games are better configured for simple operator use and player satisfaction. The features have been created with different player mentalities in mind. The optimal solution from us is the EVO3 platform with our APEX Pinnacle Premium VIP solution.  The largescreen monitors, in particular the curved gaming screen and high-end chair make this the perfect way to enjoy the EVO3 games.
From a European aspect, the German, Austrian, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Swiss, French, Belgium and Luxemburg markets have proven successful for Apex Gaming. Is that success contributing to further opportunities with operators across North and South Eastern Europe, that can be seen with the deal with  Bulgarian Operator Impera Games earlier this year?

We work in a global market. Our customers often are looking for possibilities to expand their business and grow internationally. Operators who have their focus purely on their own domestic market still remain interested to learn what is happening outside their borders. It is a vital source of information for operators to know about the general success of the gaming products they have on their floor. One of our latest successes is – as you mention – at Impera Games in Bulgaria. This great feedback stems from the longstanding hard work we have invested in creating top-rate gaming innovations. We are naturally proud to have received such a glowing report from our valued customers. Westspiel Flagship casino in Spielbank Duisburg selected eight Pinnacle SL slant-top premium slot machines from APEX Gaming. Michael Wiebeck, slots director at Spielbank Duisburg, explained the decision by saying, “The graphics are excellent – the HD quality and the way the games are shown – that attracts players.

APEX offers a wide range of entertaining games in varying volatilities and so appeals to all types of players” These endorsements from leading casino operations must be very satisfying for you and everyone at Apex Gaming?

Just like the international focus of our customers, the players are global as well. That means we have to cater to all types of players and all types of cultures. Our focus is on the player psychology – to create the games that players want to play. It’s as simple as that. Yet that requires great experience and continuing hard work. That is what we invest into the market and the response at Spielbank Duisburg reflects the dedication we put into our work. Our games provide the player entertainment to take gaming to the next level. Can you explain to readers what is involved in the Apex Slot Challenge www.apex-challenge.net This website offers a range of popular APEX games for free play. The games can thus be accessed from any mobile/computer device. People interested in APEX  games can get to know them. Some people like to play  test their luck against others and the Apex Slots Challenge is the perfect way to do this.This is just another example of how we at APEX are providing the right solutions for mobile gaming. The  integration of mobile gaming into casinos is something we are particularly excited about.
The Apex Player Sstation (APS) is the terminal-based roulette solution proved a big hit at ICE Totally Gaming 2016. What are its key features and what have been amongst the main comments and observations you have received from visitors to your booth at exhibitions to this eye catching EGM?
Yes, that’s true – our APS attracted a lot of attention at the ICE. It boasts a really stylish/ergonomic design and so people first came just to look at it. When we explained how flexible and modular it is and how it can be run with several roulette wheels, then we developed in-depth conversations how we can support operators in providing optimal multiplayer solutions. The APS can  be linked to four roulette wheels – these can be both electronic or live. This gives players more options and means they don’t necessarily have to wait between each spin to place their bets anew. The APS can be supplied as a stand-alone with separate terminals or we can provide a complete multiplayer solution. This technology enables operators to find exactly the right APS that fits to their gaming location. Furthermore, we can link the  APS to our Pinnacle slots or slots to APS – so that APS players can play EVO games and Pinnacle players can  bet on the APS. Even if no Pinnacles are present on the floor, we enable EVO game play on the APS. Last but not  least – we enable operators to link roulette onto tablets. Even when all the seats are taken, by offering tablets to  players in the casino, they can also participate in roulette at the APS. All these benefits together made the APS a real star at ICE. 
What has been the response from casino operators to the possibility of incorporating mobile gaming right within the casino is made reality thanks to APEX  MOBIILE SLOTS?
This is a great extension of the choice we offer. We can provide the right solution according to the regulations of each gaming jurisdiction. Whether slots games or roulette, operators have optimal flexibility to ensure that their customers get the best of the APEX products on their floor. 
What has been Apex Gaming’s approach to the growing market in Africa and countries that include South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi and the Seychelles?
There is no doubt about it that the African continent holds plenty of opportunities for gaming innovators. We are well set up with our own APEX Africa subsidiary that is managed by my colleague Andy Hudson. We have just introduced a new way to enjoy gaming entertainment in Africa and the feedback has been excellent.
What do you think are they key features of the Pinnacle gaming machine family that have made it so popular and what are the latest enhancements such as incorporated into the VIP Pinnacle Premium package?
We at APEX gaming have in-depth information  of operator requirements as we manage our own operations throughout several countries. Players often enjoy gaming more when they can play on top-class gaming machines. That is why we focused right from the start on creating a cabinet that oozes style yet provides all the latest technology and security features. The result was the Pinnacle family of slot machines. The latest member is the Pinnacle Premium VIP slot machine. The large curved monitor has been positioned for optimal player comfort. The casino chair is of the highest quality. Having the game buttons and loud speakers integrated into it means that the player can lean back and really relax and enjoy the APEX gaming experience.
What are the essential features of the iDROP & why should a Casino go ahead with the expenditure to incorporate the iDROP System in their Casinos?
The iDROP is the cash handling solution for live gaming tables. It is a win win-win scenario for the operator, croupier and player. The operator knows that all tickets and banknotes are securely counted and stored within the iDROP – and has instant information on how much is in each iDROP. The croupier can accept tickets and notes directly at the table and simply place them into the iDROP – even in a bundle of 50 at a time.
The iDROP validates and securely stacks them one at a time. A player who cashes out their tokens receives the value in ticket form. The player can then use the ticket on another live game or on a slot machine. Players no longer have to go to the cash desk to change their money for jetons – they do this at the table. This saves time. It also saves money as the operator requires less jetons (as they remain on the table and don’t have to be also available at the cash desk). Indeed, an operator could renounce upon a cash desk. The iDROP enables an operator to offer complete electronic cash handling. Players can also use a player card to purchase/redeem jetons. The gaming industry has had companies state claims of revenue optimization and increased productivity, all provided to impress and sell.
Can iDROP provide statistics and an example of a casino operation where your system has an impact?
Casino Leuna-Günthersdorf in Germany was the first casino in Germany to integrate the iDROP into their livemLager said, “The benefits for us as a casino operatorare overwhelming as well. We have complete and  direct feedback and control of the drop. Furthermore, we purchased about half the amount of chips a casino would normally need – as the chips all remain at the tables as none are required for a cash desk”. We are very proud of having just won a major award in the U.S.A . – as one of the Top 20 Most Innovative Products in the entire gaming industry – bestowed on us by Casino Journal.
With an ever-increasing capabilities of computing hardware that is enabling game developers to create even more complex levels of game interaction and complexity, what are the key aspects of the EVO Platform that you consider make it the first choice for casinos ahead of those provided by other manufacturers and supplier?
The games have been further optimised for the players: the new range of games, the high-resolution display, the games graphics, the game mathematics, the game offer. This is our strongest range of games we have ever had.
And finally what are the company’s main goals for 2016?
We will continue to focus on taking gaming to ‘the next level.’ Our strategy will remain to focus on real gaming innovation that increases player entertainment and adds value to the operator’s business.