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International Casino Exhibition News

By: Shirley Spicer, Sunday January 30th 2011
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The annual International Casino Exhibition (ICE) was held in London from January 25 to January 27. The online gaming industry participates in this exhibition in full force. The software providers, payment solutions providers and the regulators display their latest developments. These would be available to the industry in the coming months. In all there were over 400 exhibitors from 55 countries.

One of the key exhibitors was IGT. IGT has a presence in both land-based and online gaming. The online gaming wing is WagerWorks. The conversation piece at the IGT booth was the new online slot Star Trek, which incorporated the latest visual and audio technology. The IGT staff members were dressed up as the crew on the memorable starship Enterprise. The booth had huge Star Trek backdrops and demo games on consoles. IGT and MGM have collaborated to convert the popular WagerWorks slot game Cleopatra for iPhone application. It will be offered on a play for fun basis to all MGM Resorts M Life Player Club members via iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the purpose of introducing them to mobile gaming. The slot game Wipeout released at WagerWorks online casinos was also on display at ICE.

Playtech had a major presence at ICE and displayed its wide repertoire of online gambling products. The display that would most interest online casino players was the new User Interface. This interface is easy-to-navigate and player friendly and has a comprehensive search feature. This feature allows players to locate games with the best bonuses or a particular gaming style, or games similar to current favorites or using other criteria. The search results will provide full game descriptions and visuals. Playtech has also announced some new online slots titles with themes from The Mummy and Monty Python's Spamalot, along with a new version of Ironman.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was one of the regulatory authorities that participated at ICE. Kahnawake has refined its regulatory process on the basis if inputs from other licensing jurisdictions and eCOGRA. The commission's player dispute channel was on display at the exhibition. It is run independently by respected industry veteran Micki Oster. Board member Murray Marshall expressed the view that regulators that do not focus on player protection are making a grave mistake. At Kahnawake it is a critical element in the regulatory mix. Kahnawake Gaming Commission Chairman indicated that regulations are being further improved and that the new regulations are expected to be implemented by the middle of 2011. He added, "Our emphasis is on precision without over-complication; and a blend of practicality and relevance that benefits operators and players alike."

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