Introduction

Why is the Data Exchange Architecture Important?

The COINSvg Solution

Advantages to the Regulator

Advantages to the Gaming Industry

   
       
 
     
 

Introduction

COINSvg is an extension of GRT's proven COINS system. Where COINS is designed to monitor larger casino operations, COINSvg is designed to monitor hundreds or thousands of smaller gaming operations such as truck stop casinos and restaurants and lounges that may have only a few machines at each of them.

COINSvg offers the same central site functionality and high performance provided by COINS. But COINSvg promotes the use of a data collection architecture - the methods used to exchange data with gaming locations - that offers substantial benefits to the regulation community. It also gives casino/route owners and operators the ability to competitively choose a vendor for their on-site controller and tracking systems, and it encourages competition between vendors and manufacturers of site controllers and gaming machines by helping to maintain a "level playing field."

Why is the Data Exchange Architecture Important? [back to top]

It's important because the choice of methods used to exchange data with gaming sites can have ramifications to the long-term operation of a regulator's central monitoring system far beyond what might be expected, ramifications that can complicate or hinder your operations and limit your migration options.

This is because many monitoring systems offered today use proprietary (closed) communication protocols and sometimes, patented methods, concepts, or processes for information exchange. Often, the providers of these systems also have interests in the manufacturing and sale of video gaming machines and machine controllers to casinos and other gaming locations.

When a regulator's monitoring system depends on the use of such closed components, they can find that their operations are influenced in ways that they never intended. For example, the owner of a proprietary protocol may chose to cease support for it ("planned obsolescence"), effectively forcing the regulator to upgrade or replace parts - or all - of their systems.

And when a regulator has chosen a closed product they also have to require that the entities that must communicate data to them using that system - casino owners, route operators, small gaming locations - must also use products that may only be available from a single source, and that likewise would have to be upgraded or replaced if that single source decided to cease support for a product.

Clearly, it is desirable to have the ability to implement a system that reduces or eliminates the dependence of the regulator on a single vendor, and especially when that vendor may have interests in areas that are part of the regulator's jurisdiction! And, it is also desirable to be able to implement a solution that will not force casinos, whatever their size, to use data communication products that are available from a single vendor and that could also impact other areas of their operations, such as the type of gaming machines they can use or when they have to upgrade or replace those machines.

The COINSvg Solution [back to top]

Gaming Regulation Technologies has developed the COINSvg architecture to address these issues. COINSvg is an "open" system that utilizes a published and license-free protocol that can be used by the State and casino system vendors indefinitely.

COINSvg includes all of the required central system components, databases, and functionality but has only a small footprint at the gaming site. This is because site controllers can be supplied by any of a number of vendors that use the open protocol to communicate with the central system. How VGMs communicate with the site controllers is left to the gaming industry and VGM operators - (as long as any other requirements of the regulator in those areas are met).

Advantages to the Regulator [back to top]

• Separates the regulatory body from the gaming industry; allowing the market to dictate site controller and VGM selection,
• Gaming site implementation costs become the responsibility of the gaming industry,
• Separates the central system provider from the gaming industry - a truly independent solution provided by a vendor with no stake in the VGM marketplace,
• Regulators are not faced with the prospect of a single vendor "holding the keys" to an adopted protocol,
• The interface to the gaming locations and the central system itself have an indefinite life-expectancy decided on by the regulator,
• Gaming revenues will not stagnate due to old machines that eventually get less and less play,
• Gaming revenues will not be impacted across the board when a single vendor's actions might otherwise take a toll on State revenues,
• COINSvg was designed specifically for regulators offering all required functionality and is easily modified to handle new functions if regulatory requirements change,
• COINSvg, like the original COINS product, utilizes a standard browser for its user interface, requiring no additional software distribution to the user workstations,
• COINSvg will accept VGM data (meter values) entered through a secure web service until a certified site controller and/or certified VGMs are employed at various gaming locations, instantly reducing regulator accounting overhead,
• COINSvg is extremely reliable (with redundant critical components) and scalable, capable of handling twice the existing VGM load with little or no upgrading required,
• COINSvg is built on COTS hardware and Operating System platforms (Intel and Microsoft) offering a huge technical support base, and
• COINSvg utilizes Microsoft's SQL DBMS allowing easy data integration with other systems.

Advantages to the Gaming Industry [back to top]

• Level playing field for all site controller and VGM manufacturers
• Allows true competition and expansion capabilities for the gaming environment without impacting central system capabilities (e.g., multi-denomination games, progressives, etc.),
• Allows more games into the market now and new games in the future when revenue statistics indicate a need - not when a protocol is no longer supported,
• Game manufacturers do not have to worry about making re-engineering investments that will no longer be valid or compatible in a jurisdiction when a single protocol vendor decides to change the rules of licensure because of economics or changes in requirements for other venues.