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Casino slot manufacturer attributes success to hard work, vision, and dedication to core values

Jun 07, 2016
Credit : GMI Post


For the past 20 years, the highly regulated casino industry has made a dramatic shift from a limited number of select destinations — Las Vegas representing the most famous — to a global industry powerhouse that provides casino entertainment to more customers than at any time in its history.

Gaming entertainment and technology, once restricted to a few select places, have over time arrived in countless international markets, U.S. tribal areas, racetracks, riverboat operations, large corporate portfolios and even online mediums.

As the era of extreme global growth was beginning, gaming entertainment giant Konami Holdings Corp. (TSE: 9766) established its first casino gaming operation with the launch of Konami Australia Pty Ltd. in 1996.

Konami Gaming, Inc. CEO and President Satoshi Sakamoto Credit: Konami

One year later, in 1997, Konami expanded its casino division to what became the global headquarters when Konami Gaming, Inc. was founded in Las Vegas. Since then, Konami’s casino gaming companies have demonstrated success under the leadership of President and CEO Satoshi Sakamoto.

Entry into the heavily regulated casino gambling sector occurred for Konami only after it carried out extensive research and investment to realize its vision.

“With each new market we examined, there was a great depth of strict regulatory requirements and licensing conditions unique to the individual jurisdiction’s authority. It was a monumental task to become a global supplier for a sector so strongly protected by legislative and governmental control. But today, Konami has secured gaming licenses in 392 locations worldwide, enabling us to responsibly reach the broadest scope of casino players and properties,” Sakamoto said.

Konami exercised measured investment and committed to organic growth as its video slot machines and mechanical steppers saw sustained success in the field in part due to the company’s heritage in gaming entertainment.

Creative gameplay, captivating sounds and graphics and proven slot mathematics were the core elements of Konami’s earliest casino games. These same components still contribute to the success of Konami games found at casinos today, such as the all new Concerto slot machine, the Rapid Revolver video-mechanical hybrid slot and the revolutionary Titan 360 multistation machine. 

"As we pursue emerging game development, our organization maintains a focus on creating what we call ‘valuable time’ – that players not simply spend a length of time with our games, but that they experience a premium level of entertainment and delight that goes beyond the minutes on the clock."

Just five years after the company’s casino division was created, Konami entered the casino management systems business by acquiring Paradigm Gaming Systems, Inc. and developing industry-leading systems technology.

Crucial operational functions such as slot and table accounting systems, player account tracking, and marketing analytics form the reliable backbone for Konami’s award-winning casino management system, SYNKROS, which is being used to manage successful casino operations around the world.

Operator partners, including Star Entertainment, Casinos du Quebec, New Mexico-based Sandia Resort & Casino and Barona Resort & Casino in southern California, are among those key companies relying on the strength and advantage of SYNKROS to compete in their markets.

The period from 2014 to 2015 marked unparalleled merger and acquisition activity for the casino gaming manufacturer market. Many of the top ten slot suppliers were involved in some form of ownership change. 

Konami stands in marked contrast, relying on the steady organic growth characteristic of its culture. In terms of annual market share, Konami consistently maintains its top tier position.

Konami Gaming, Inc.’s Las Vegas headquarters, spanning 360,000+ square feet of R&D, administrative, and manufacturing facilities. Credit: Konami

Tens of thousands of Konami machines are currently operating across the globe largely because of the success of the Podium slot cabinet and the global expansion of its new Concerto slot cabinet.

“Our central locations in Las Vegas, Sydney and Japan have empowered us to support the worldwide casino market with our primary objective being the delivery of long-term product quality and service. Those enduring values are a primary contributor to the success of our company as a leading gaming equipment and technology supplier,” said Sakamoto.

Amid historic regulatory changes in the passage of skill-based gambling legislation in limited areas of the U.S., Konami has expressed its intent to pioneer this new gambling product sector. 

In the past, Konami Holdings Corp. assisted in strategic projects for its casino division, including the development of the Titan 360 machine, creation of the Advantage Revolution slot, and the introduction of iconic Konami arcade brands such as Frogger to casino audiences for the first time.

This relationship becomes very critical as casino operators look to attract new segments of millennial consumers with alternatives to traditional slot products.

“As we pursue emerging game development, our organization maintains a focus on creating what we call ‘valuable time’ – that players not simply spend a length of time with our games, but that they experience a premium level of entertainment and delight that goes beyond the minutes on the clock,” said Sakamoto.

“Working alongside our customers and parent organization, Konami Holdings Corp., we are well-positioned to simultaneously deliver world-class products in emerging gaming sectors, while continuing to innovate across our library of proven core products,” he added. 

Las Vegas airport gets facelift for the luxury traveler

Jun 07, 2016
Credit : GMI Post


As airlines engage in the so-called luxury arms race 30,000 feet up the air, several airports around the world have built new terminals and renovated their facilities to accommodate more flights and attract a new breed of discriminating travelers.

Keeping up with the competition, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas unveiled its newest terminal in 2012 and has provided the kind of world-class service and amenities expected by the growing number of premium cabin passengers arriving from Asia and Europe.

: In the last few years, travel to Las Vegas has grown sharply and required a renovation of its airport. Credit: McCarran International Airport

Located in the heart of Las Vegas, landing at McCarran International Airport gives passengers an early glimpse of the iconic hotels and casinos along the Las Vegas Strip before they even step off the plane.

Upon arrival at the airport, visitors get an instant taste of the city’s world-famous buzz, with a mural of showgirls greeting passengers in the arrivals hall, signage reminiscent of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and slot machines throughout its terminals.

It’s apparent that Las Vegas has recovered from the 2008 global recession and has seen a fresh entry of luxury hotels, top-rated restaurants and futuristic convention centers. In the past few years, the city’s economy has grown by an average of 4 percent every year.

“We doubled the number of international passengers once we inaugurated Terminal 3,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of aviation for Clark County, the owner and operator of McCarran International Airport and four other general aviation airports in Southern Nevada.

Beyond tourism, business travel to and from Asia has also been expanding. With more than 22,000 business meetings taking place in Las Vegas in 2015, the destination remains the busiest city in the Americas for trade shows and conventions.

Between 2010 and 2014, the number of visitors from Asia to Las Vegas has increased by more than 41 percent. In response, McCarran International Airport has allotted more gates for Asian carriers and is making a concerted effort to cater to Asian aesthetics.

“Highlighting the expansion of Asian-focused business meetings and events in Las Vegas has strengthened our position as the gateway to the Southwest U.S. for many Asian travelers. We are grateful for our current Asian airline partners and look forward to building new partnerships and bringing on additional routes that will allow us to expand our reach throughout Asia,” Vassiliadis also said. 

 

Nikkiso Cryo: a valuable link in the LNG supply chain

Jun 07, 2016
Credit : GMI Post


Submerged electric motor pumps are indispensible components in the oil and energy industry for the safety and efficiency they bring to the extraction and transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other liquefied gases.

Nikkiso Cryo, Inc. CEO Dave Cameron. Credit: Nikkiso Cryo

Located in North Las Vegas, Nevada, Nikkiso Cryo, Inc. (NCI) became a pioneer in its industry for having designed the first cryogenic submerged electric motor pumps for use on LNG gravity-based structures (GBS). Among its innovative products are compact high-flow pumps for what will be the world’s largest floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in the world.

NCI’s original technologies have increased the reliability of submerged motor cryogenic pumps that is unmatched by other suppliers. Their pumps are able to operate for up to 40,000 hours before maintenance is required.

Nikkiso Cryo’s production plant in Las Vegas. Credit: Nikkiso Cryo

With their innovations to the pump hydraulics, NCI developed a compact, high-flow design that can be applied to the latest FPSO vessels for cargo offloading in a removable configuration to allow for pump maintenance without the need to empty their tanks. The design includes an advanced high-speed suction feature that enables liquefied gas to be pumped down to an extremely low level. 

Southwest USA 2016 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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