SPIELO International™ recently carried out one of its largest casino systems installations in Asia at Kangwon Land in South Korea. Kangwon Land offers the perfect venue to demonstrate the robustness and flexibility of the company’s offering Kangwon Land is the largest of South
Korea’s 17 casinos. It is also the only one where locals are allowed to play, and owing to that exclusive position, there’s hardly ever an empty seat in the house. On weekends, there are line-ups for seats at the tables. The slots, meanwhile, operate at around 95% occupancy.
That high occupancy made the migration of Kangwon Land’s slots over to a new management system a challenge. “Of the 960 machines, 940 of them are always online, and the reason 10 or 20 are vacant is because players go for smoking or toilet breaks,” explains Chiang Lai Fatt, General Manager-Asia Pacific Casino Systems for SPIELO International.
“Initially we only had four hours a day to migrate, and each day we could only work on migrating one bank so it didn’t affect income,” adds Mr Chiang. ”Despite those challenges, SPIELO International was able to ramp up its resources to complete the entire migration between August and November last year, accomplishing a smooth transition on time and on budget. The SPIELO system continues to run securely and robustly since its start in August 2012.
“We are extremely happy and satisfied with SPIELO International, their Casino Systems products, and also all of their staff that we had to deal with. The whole migration was so smooth that it hardly affected our daily business. We would like to thank SPIELO International for their efforts on this project,” commented Ju Haejung, Senior Manager, System Management Department at Kangwon Land.
The Kangwon Land IT team, from left to right: Seonuk Choi, Assistant Manager; Haejung Ju, Senior Manager; Do Hwan Kim, Manager; Namgyun Kim, Assistant Manager
Kangwon Land issued the request for proposals to replace its existing casino systems in 2012, and SPIELO International was the selected supplier because of its flexibility in pricing and its ability to respond to the customer’s specific requirements. A key strength of the GALAXIS™ casino system is that it offers robust, market-tested modular solutions that operators can “just plug and play,” as Mr Chiang points out. “We also allow our customers to choose the modules they need, which most of the major systems providers do not allow.” SPIELO International also customized certain elements of GALAXIS for Kangwon Land; for example, providing Korean language support for the system.
Kangwon Land offers the ideal proving ground for a casino system’s robustness. “This project highlights our system’s reliability to handle high levels of player traffic. To give you some examples, every second at Kangwon Land there are dozens of ticketing transactions, and every hour there are over 150,000 system transactions, from cash in/out to jackpots, etc.,” according to Mr Chiang.
GALAXIS enhances the ability of operators to attract, analyze and reward players based on their activity. It is particularly adept at handling jackpots. “Our jackpot solution is able to manage all the jackpots —progressive and mystery— without the need for an external controller. In many cases customers use a management system, but still need an external controller to run the jackpot. Our system can manage all jackpot activity, which in the end simplifies the IT requirement and saves the customer money,” stresses Mr Chiang.
Kangwon Land management agrees. “SPIELO International has a very powerful and stable jackpot engine which is currently running all our jackpots on the floor, from progressives to mystery jackpots. The system has been running smoothly since Day 1,” says Kim Dohwan, Project Manager, CMS Project.
Testing Times Ahead
Kangwon Land is majority owned by the South Korean government and located in Gangwon Province, an economically depressed former coal mining region. It was envisioned as a means to help resuscitate the local economy. The resort opened in 2003 and features 199 hotel rooms, 10 restaurants, a spa, theater, golf course and ski resort, in addition to 960 slots and 100 gaming tables. The casino is slated for further expansion, and the successful relationship with SPIELO International is likely to continue.
Kangwon Land could see competitive pressure escalate in coming years. The property’s exclusive right to serve domesticgamblers expires in 2025, and authorities say that licensing for at least one new venue catering to locals could take place in 2025 or soon after. Furthermore, official plans call for the licensing of up to five resort-scale casinos over the next decade or so.
The competitive edge conferred by SPIELO International’s casino system is set to become increasingly important for Kangwon Land as these developments unfold. GALAXIS will also help the property deal with an expected huge influx of visitors to Gangwon Province in 2018 for the Winter Olympics—the event will be held at Pyeongchang, up the road from Kangwon Land.
The competitive edge conferred by SPIELO International’s casino system will help it face future competitve pressure in South Korea’s casino market.
Marc Attal, Managing Director of Casino Systems at SPIELO International, reiterates the company’s commitment to Kangwon Land: “We will continue to work closely with Kangwon Land in supporting its ambitious development,” he said. “We are ramping up our operations in Asia with the recruitment of additional technical support resources.” Among the SPIELO International Casino Systems products installed at Kangwon Land are:
• GALAXIS JACKPOTS—there are 153 jackpots running in the Kangwon Land casino, of which 80 are standalone, and there are 18 different types of jackpot managed centrally by the GALAXIS JACKPOTS engine, including progressive, mystery and gift prize mystery jackpots (e.g. car giveaways). GALAXIS JACKPOTS also provides wide area progressive management.
• GALAXIS SLOTS for accounting. GALAXIS SLOTS is SPIELO International’s advanced and powerful slot management system for fast and efficient slot accounting, reporting, monitoring and maintenance of the slot floor.
• GALAXIS CASHLESS portfolio offering qpon cash™ a ticket-in/ticket-out solution to issue and redeem tickets. At Kangwon Land, 25,000 qpon cash tickets are issued to players each day.
• GALAXIS MARKETING is used by Kangwon Land for its Player Services functions. GALAXIS MARKETING also includes solutions for loyalty club management, player management, marketing campaigns and a wide range of applications for enhancing the player experience.
• GALAXIS CONNECT presents the CRYSTAL.net platform with its touch screen player interface. CRYSTAL.net connects any number and type of slot machines on the casino floor. The inmachine player screen is used for direct messaging, marketing and presenting a wealth of additional applications to the player, right at the slot. Such player applications include: myBar, myInfo, myPromo, Live Messages, EGM Reservation and language selection support and work in conjunction with the GALAXIS MARKETING loyalty club card as well as GALAXIS CASHLESS payment systems.
• GALAXIS MULTIMEDIA presented in GALAXIS MARKETING, powers 14 different Jackpot displays at Kangwon Land. All the Jackpot displays are managed centrally, allowing greater flexibility to change the media throughout the casino for special events.