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Seiko Instruments Micro Printer Division and IGT Reap Rewards from
Gambling on Investment for Cash Optional Ticket Machine for Gaming Industry
TORRANCE, Calif., July 11, 2001 - Seiko Instruments USA Inc. Micro Printer Division and IGT, a subsidiary of International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT), have undertaken a highly successful venture to provide a coinless cash optional gaming solution to the casino industry that has brought about a rapid integration of what was originally an unknown. Determining whether the gaming public would be willing to forego the familiar use of coins for something cleaner and more efficient was not clear. The IGT/Seiko Instruments collaboration has resulted in the introduction of the IGT EZ Play™ slot machine that eliminates the need for coins in gaming machines. Taking the lead to develop this technology has resulted in a ticket-in/ticket-out solution, which is fast becoming the norm, rather than the exception, and has boosted sales revenues for both Seiko and IGT.
Since their introduction in early 2000, the EZ Play™ machines have been embraced in many areas by casino owners and customers alike with installations by such major casinos as Bally's, Texas Station, and Terrible's Casino in Las Vegas, as well as numerous Native American casinos, including San Manuel and Soboba in California. Current EZ Play™ gaming machine installations as of May 31, 2001 number over 20,000 at 38 different casino properties.
The most recent success of the new technology is an agreement announced on June 19 between Park Place Entertainment (NYSE: PPE) and IGT for a multi-year/multi-property installation which includes Park Place's installation of IGT's EZ Play™ machines in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, Bally's, Paris and the Flamingo; and in Atlantic City at the Hilton, Caesars, Bally's, Claridge and Wild Wild West casinos.
The EZ Play™ Ticket Machine includes a Seiko Instruments PSA-66 thermal printing subassembly to provide bar-coded tickets. Players can reinsert the tickets, just like currency, into machines instead of coins or bills. The machine also provides realistic sounds of actual coins dropping into a tray while printing tickets to satisfy players who enjoy the sound of coins filling the hopper.
"Thermal printing was selected for the ticket-in-ticket-out machine due to its speed and the security already associated with this technology as the accepted standard being used in both the banking and point of sale industries," said Randy Hedrick, IGT Vice President of Hardware Engineering. "Seiko Instruments was selected as the printer manufacturer because of its 20-year history in thermal printing, their reputation, and because they stepped forward to take the risk with us as part of a speculative development - they were willing to do whatever it took to meet the needs of IGT and the casino industry."
The ticket-in/ticket-out technology reduces or eliminates hopper fills, simplifies hand pays, and promotes selectable-denomination gaming to provide significant benefits to casino management over coin-based gaming operations in terms of cost-savings, ease of use, quality of output, minimal maintenance, and dependability of operation. Tickets can also be customized to print logos, promotions and graphics. The ticket machine also provides several benefits to customers, including convenience and more sanitary gaming by eliminating the need to handle coins.
"Our alliance with IGT has bought Seiko Instruments a unique opportunity to penetrate an exciting and rapidly growing market," said Bob Falco, Director of Marketing for Seiko Instruments Micro Printer Division. "And with the obvious labor-saving advantages for casino owners from minimal coin handling, combined with the convenience and cleanliness offered to customers, we expect the machine to continue their upward spiral of sales to this industry."
In addition to reduced coin handling and labor costs, the EZ Play™ Ticket machines also offer casino owners a number of other benefits. The Seiko Instruments thermal print technology provides jam-free operation, dramatically reduced game machine downtime, and consistent print quality. Print quality is critical to the accurate reading of bar codes used for denoting cash valuations and for tracking patron activities. Thermal printing provides a virtually fail-safe method for maintaining print quality, while impact printers can experience problems such as ribbon wear that can result in poor imprinting and cause significant problems from lost data to inaccurate voucher valuations and patron frustration.
Thermal printing also eliminates the need to change messy ribbons as with dot matrix printing and the fan-fold design allows a large supply of paper to be stacked, minimizing paper replenishment and associated labor costs. Additional features of the system include compact size, a paper replenishment indicator, and perforated, fan-fold paper to avoid the problems associated with cut sheets such as improper paper loading and jamming.
About Seiko Instruments USA Inc.
Seiko Instruments uses its well-recognized expertise in precision engineering, design miniaturization and quality manufacturing to develop and market over 100 industrial high technology and consumer electronic products in the United States and around the world. The company's Micro Printer Division offers a wide range of thermal printers, subassemblies, mechanisms and accessories. Four other divisions offer electronic components, fiber optics, factory automation robotic systems, and office and home office products. Contact Seiko Instruments USA Inc., 2990 West Lomita Boulevard, Torrance, CA 90505; (800) 553-6570; Fax: (310) 517-8154; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the web site at Seiko Printers
IGT is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of microprocessor-based gaming products and software systems in all jurisdictions where gaming is legal. For more information on International Game Technology, visit the company web site at IGT
All trademarks are properties of their respective companies.
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