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Featured Editorials

Farewell Frank

When Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. took the helm of the newly created American Gaming Association in 1995, the U.S. gaming industry had just begun to experience a tremendous wave of expansion that would spread across the country, and faced lingering misperceptions that the gaming industry remained a shady enterprise that contributed little good to society, and federal gaming commission scrutiny that threatened to potentially regulate and tax the industry. Fahrenkopf’s AGA ably navigated those rough waters and successfully guided the industry forward, along the way creating the National Center for Responsible Gaming as well as the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) and its Asian counterpart (G2E Asia).

Triumph through adveristy

New Zealand Casino

Image: Brett Anderson CEO Christchurch Casinos

Can you explain a little more about Christchurch Casino, how it has evolved from the original opening to in comparison to present day?

Christchurch Casino is New Zealand’s first Casino, opening in November 1994. In the time since the curiosity has worn off as such and it is not enough to be just a Casino, competition for the discretionary spend is high so a greater emphasis is placed on the overall guest experience rather than just the gaming. We consider ourselves to be Christchurch’s Premier Entertainment destination and feedback from guests supports this. The addition of a new hospitality venue referred to later in the interview will enhance this further.

Dynamic Changes

“Our objective at Groupe JOA is to change the way people in France view casinos. We have 13% visitation from French consumers, and to grow we want to attract new customers,” commented Laurent Lassiaz, CEO of Groupe JOA.

Groupe JOA is definitely making changes to try and achieve growth. When I visited, I toured both its head office and its latest property, Casino de Montrond – you can read about that in the March issue of Casino Life. Montrond has some amazing features for a casino; it’s well worth visiting. And its décor is very bright and colourful…a design I found very pleasing and uplifting to experience.

Calculated Risks

Casino Life on the Ocean Waves

Cruise Ship Casino

What are amongst your many responsibilities are what you would consider the most essential involved your role of as VP of Casino Operations?

Developing and executing strategic plans for the casino are of the utmost importance. These plans set the direction of the organization for many years and dictate where we will spend our time and money to build a sustainable competitive advantage over our competition.

What aspects of your role do you find most satisfying?

I find it very satisfying when I am out on our ships interacting with guests and team members. These interactions provide an opportunity to learn more about the wants and needs of both our guests and team members. Without these interactions, it is difficult to lead an organization in the right direction for financial growth.

Smile a La Olympic Casino

Glyn Thomas talks to Armin Karu after Olympic Casinos wins the “Land-Based Casino Operator of the Year” Award at the ICE Totally Gaming Awards

You must be delighted with wining the Best Land-based Casino Operator of the Year Award?

Winning the Best Land-based Casino Operator of the Year award is a true recognition for the years of hard work done by the whole team of Olympic Entertainment Group. Last year showed that the right decisions and all our efforts made during the years of global economic crisis had given us a strong competitive advantage and comparing to the period before the recession, we have increased market shares in almost all of the countries where we operate. 2012 was also remarkable for entering the Italian market and breaking into the so-called Old European market where we now aim to gain even more foothold.

Security – Simplicity – Service

Chris Sanson talks to Lorenzo Verona, Commercial Director at VNE

VNE launched the new 2 pence change machine specifically for the UK market at this year’s ICE Totally gaming.  Although it’s only a short time since the show, what was the general opinion of this new machine that incorporates a stunning high quality video along with over 18,000 coin storage capacity?

Recollections - Charlie Chesters, London 1973

Chris Moore looks back at being a Lumpy

The job had been advertised in the Evening Standard newspaper. The interview had hinged on only two questions; did I have a criminal record and could I play football? A no and yes secured me a position as an unpaid trainee croupier at Charlie Chesters. I made my debut three weeks later on a freezing December night in 1973 on a weekly wage of twenty-two pounds fifty pence.

Three Pillars of Success

Chris Sanson talks to Thomas Engstberger, Sales Manager at AMATIC Industries

The new Performer Grand Arc slant top is an impressive innovative design. What are its key features that impressed visitors to your stand at ICE?


Peter White talks to Des Whitcher, Director of Gaming Development & Slots at Sun International

Sun International is Southern Africa’s undisputed casino leader with 376 tables and 10,770 slots across casinos in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, and Monticello in Chile.We spoke to Des Whitcher about the scale of the operation and the issues he faces in making sure Suns slots deliver.

Des, how did you start out in the gaming industry –and what has kept you there?


Glyn Thomas talks to Michelle Cummins, GM of Casino Bucharest in Romania and the Corinthian Casino in Glasgow.

Glyn Thomas talks to Michelle Cummins, GM of Casino Bucharest in Romania and the Corinthian Casino in Glasgow.

Michelle, can you introduce yourself to our readers?