Covid-19 ups cashless casino tech role: Sci Games CEO

Covid-19 ups cashless casino tech role: Sci Games CEO

Covid-19 has “raised the importance” of some technology Scientific Games Corp has been working on “for years”, says Barry Cottle (pictured), the group’s chief executive.

Mr Cottle noted that the diversified nature of Scientific Games’ operations had helped support the business during the pandemic crisis. The group has lottery operations and online products – including a sports book platform – as well as being a supplier of slot machines and other games to land-based casinos.

“We’ve structured our business to operate effectively… through any environment,” said the CEO. He was speaking in an online interview with Frank Fantini, of Fantini Research, a gaming industry news provider and consultancy.

Mr Cottle added: “We took quick action on the operating expenses side, streamlining our operations,” focusing on “the things that serve our customers the best.”

In March the firm announced Mr Cottle had “volunteered a 100-percent reduction” in base salary as part of cost-cutting measures amid the pandemic, while the group’s other senior executives had committed themselves to a “voluntary 50 percent salary reduction.”

Other measures applicable to the workforce had included “workforce-hour and -pay reductions to preserve as many jobs as possible and furloughs for those support roles that have seen a decrease in industry work”.

In terms of serving land-based casino operators, Mr Cottle said the firm’s Unified Wallet product was “a good example “of something that the company had been “working on for a while now”.

He added: “We have had contactless products for years, but it’s obviously now much more relevant in the Covid[-19] environment.”

Unified Wallet enables casino players – via use of a mobile application – to access funds to play slots and table games, without the players needing to handle cash.

Covid-19 had “been a very disruptive event in our lives, and something we can’t control, but [with] the things we can control, I think we did a really good job,” added the CEO, referring to his firm’s response to the pandemic in terms of products and business practices.

Mr Cottle also praised the group’s new Kascada slot machine cabinet and the firm’s new “Coin Combo” game which is being made available on the new cabinet. The launch was announced recently for those products, initially in North America.

“The game looks and plays beautifully and we are super-excited about that,” said Mr Cottle.

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