TCSJOHNHUXLEY has its origins in Technical Casino Services (TCS), a U.K. firm established three decades ago this month to provide service and support for the Chipper Champ roulette chip-sorting machine. The Chipper Champ was the first product to introduce automated electronics into what was a highly traditional arena, and there are still many thousands operating in various locations around the world. Prior to the debut of Chipper Champ, roulette tables required two dealers and the speed of play was considerably slower. But the Chipper Champ, along with its Chipper Champ Plus and Chipper Champ 2 successors, changed this by organizing chips by color quickly and efficiently. Dealers were, therefore, freed to concentrate on payouts and the actual game, while casinos were quick to discover the benefits of increasing the speed of play and reducing staffing costs.
In 1994, current Chairman Bertil Knutsson acquired TCS and helped the firm diversify by developing and introducing additional products, such as shuffling machines, gaming displays, electronic roulette terminals, slot machines and casino systems, via key strategic partners.
Nine years later, TCS bought the business interests of the John Huxley Group, a premier supplier of high-quality gaming tables, chips, layouts and table accessories. This British firm had been established in 1973 to manufacture traditional gaming products with its Huxley Roulette wheel, seen by many as the benchmark product by which all others were judged. The new TCSJOHNHUXLEY combined expertise in both the traditional and technical sectors allowing it to improve product integration.
Today, TCSJOHNHUXLEY is the world’s largest single source supplier for the live casino industry and operates out of 11 locations around the world, covering every major gaming jurisdiction. This allows its sales, service and support teams to respond to customers quickly, reliably and efficiently, no matter where they happen to be.
“There is no magic formula to the company’s success,” said David Heap, CEO of TCSJOHNHUXLEY. “We just focus on key factors—investment in research and development, a great range of products, superior after-sales service and support, and most importantly, understanding what our customers want.”
In the past five years, TCSJOHNHUXLEY has also decentralized its manufacturing operations from the U.K. with localized facilities in Las Vegas, Johannesburg, Sydney and Macau, enabling it to deliver turnkey solutions around the world. Following this blueprint, the firm can now deliver the same standards of excellence in quality and craftsmanship in products such as tables, wheels and layouts. In addition, local manufacturing also improves project management and communication functions, meaning TCSJOHNHUXLEY can respond quickly if a specific project requires design modifications or refinements.
In each of TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s manufacturing facilities, all products have a full audit trail from customer design brief through installation. Serial number identification codes are stored for every product alongside specific details relating to the site. This makes it possible to refer to quality control test results, a pre-shipped photograph or detailed order specifications for each product, thus increasing the speed, accuracy and cost effectiveness of future repeat orders.
TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s global reach is perhaps best illustrated by a project it undertook in South America for Gauteng, South Africa-based operator Sun International late last year. Embarking on a new project in a country that has large differences from its traditional market, Sun International required a global supplier with worldwide experience and infrastructure. The project saw all of the 80 gaming tables destined for Chile’s new Casino Monticello manufactured in TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s Johannesburg facility, ensuring high standards and continuity throughout the operator’s various properties. “This was closely overseen by the Sun International project managers, so any changes of design could be effected immediately without having to worry about world time zones, dealing with a local company in Chile, or any misinterpretations through language barriers,” Heap said.
While the tables and layouts for the new casino were manufactured and exported from South Africa, the gaming chips were produced and exported from South Korea. In addition, e-FX multimedia displays were supplied by TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s Las Vegas operation and roulette wheels were manufactured and supplied by its U.K. facility. “No other gaming equipment supplier is able to deliver a complete turnkey project on a worldwide basis, and this is totally unique,” Heap said. “The Monticello project fully illustrates how all of TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s international offices used their umbrella of experience and knowledge to deliver a seamless solution.”
While the Chipper Champ 2 chip-sorting machine continues to underpin TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s product range alongside traditional high-quality gaming tables, layouts and roulette wheels, the firm has also expanded its range of live gaming electronic multi-player products with TouchTable MultiPlay, AccuPlay and Novo TouchBet. “The future is about electronic/live hybrids using the latest technology, and TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s current portfolio has the ability to revolutionize live gaming by bringing all the inherent advantages of electronic betting to the live gaming floor,” Heap said. “Covering roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker and sic-bo, TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s live game multi-player solutions proudly uphold the true essence of live gaming while delivering added game security, increased speed and ease of play to guarantee excitement for players [and] while driving improved profits for operators.”
TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette
One of the most popular table games is roulette, and TCSJOHNHUXLEY has capitalized on this with its TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette table, which merges a traditional roulette table and live dealer with a full-sized electronic multi-player betting surface. Unlike other touchscreen betting interfaces, TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette can identify individual players and their betting activity simultaneously. In addition, each of its seven to 21 player positions (which are fed from a single croupier and live wheel) display a personalized touch menu that provides access to a host of game features.
Most of the game time lost during busy periods is due to clearing a table and settling bets between spins, but with TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette, the chips are virtual and all handling, winning calculation and payout functions are fully automated to deliver increased game security while reducing costs and increasing the number of games played per hour. In addition, no chip sorters, wheel checks or consumables are necessary. “One of the most important attributes of the TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette system—and something that seems increasingly forgotten among the plethora of modern games arriving on the market—is that it still allows players to enjoy the game of roulette in an authentic way,” Heap said. “While it delivers all the benefits of electronic gaming, such as increased profitability and reduced time between games, TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette doesn’t alter the game in any way.”
For the Asian market, TCSJOHNHUXLEY recently launched TouchTable MultiPlay Sic-Bo to quench demand for more content on the platform, and fans of card-based games can also take advantage of another new development, AccuPlay. AccuPlay Blackjack is a touchscreen live card table offering action at electronic speeds. The patented system enables up to six players at each table to enjoy the game at a much faster rate. The benefits of this become most apparent when the table is linked to electronic player terminals throughout a casino or via an online web service that can support hundreds of players from a single dealer.
In addition, the AccuPlay table features integral electronics that enhance security and remove the time-consuming chip handling element for the dealer and players. Each seating position is equipped with its own credit meter and touchscreen interface to increase player decisions per hour and make table games more engaging for customers. TCSJOHNHUXLEY stated that AccuPlay has the potential to increase turnover by approximately 70 percent, due to its automated bet and payout transactions.
AccuPlay Blackjack uses standard house cards in a traditional card shoe that are then drawn across a reader to be shown on screens in front of the players. These displays also reveal a player’s credits, which can be purchased from the dealer with cash or chips, and participants can use the touchscreen interface to buy-in, take a card, split, double or stand.
TCSJOHNHUXLEY also revealed that its AccuPlay system is fully adaptable to most existing live table games. In addition to blackjack, it offers parallel deal live draw poker, baccarat and specialty card games.
The firm’s latest Novo TouchBet platform, Unity II, was launched earlier this year and offers a host of new functionalities for increased flexibility. The Unity II platform permits operators to make any number and combination of Novomatic live, automated and virtual casino multi-player games available on individual electronic player terminals. Up to 250 players can enjoy a range of different live games, including blackjack, sic-bo, baccarat, and roulette, from the comfort of a single terminal, whether they be live, automated or driven by a random number generator.
Combined with automated bet and payout transactions, Novo TouchBet with Unity II increases turnover by speeding up the action and reducing the time between games. Developed as the future platform for multi-player gaming, TCSJOHNHUXLEY says that it is a future-proof product casino operators can rely on. In addition to offering proven game content, the firm revealed that a variety of upcoming Novomatic multi-player product developments would also be available.
Secrets to Success
TCSJOHNHUXLEY says that the secret of its success over the years has come down to understanding what its customers want, which has also enabled it to stay ahead of the competition. The company stated that its main focus has been in developing partnerships with operators in order to streamline every stage of the process, from improved consultation at project conception right through to strengthened communications in after-sales and service. This process is also employed in product research and development, as many of its products and services have been introduced as a result of these collaborations, whether through product partners or operator input.
This close collaboration is illustrated, for example, by TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette platform, for which the company looked to major U.K. casino operator Rank to provide valuable insights into player and operator requirements. Rank was also the first to trial the system in its Grosvenor and G Casino brands, and to fully exploit the ability of the table to drive the game with a greater number of spins per hour in conjunction with its existing electronic roulette terminals. “Grosvenor has supported TouchTable MultiPlay Roulette from the outset, so we were very keen to work with TCSJOHNHUXLEY on its first technical field trials,” said Simon Beacham, head of electronic gaming for Grosvenor. “Following good results at one of our provincial clubs, Grosvenor then moved to a full commercial evaluation of the product at the Victoria Casino in London. As the U.K.’s busiest roulette club, Victoria Casino was the obvious location for us to highlight the full potential of this system. Reaction from players has been very encouraging and we will be installing the system across more of our casinos including our G Casino venues.”
TCSJOHNHUXLEY says that its ability to provide flexible live table gaming products and service solutions has also been important to its success. The recent opening of its dedicated Technical Support Centre has led the company into new areas of expertise. The 12,000-square-foot facility houses a dedicated team that has expanded rapidly over the last four years, seeing an annual growth rate of 40 percent. Because there is an increasing demand for technical support in the fields of server and PC-based technologies, the new Technical Support Centre features a dial-in facility for remote diagnostics, while investment in training for these products means that support can be provided wherever a customer may be around the world.
In addition, TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s network of field-based technicians has resulted in a series of contracts to service products for almost every major gaming equipment manufacturer. The firm has made service a value-added “product” and has stated that many operators are initially attracted to its products due to this element.
To celebrate its milestone 30th anniversary, TCSJOHNHUXLEY has launched a new corporate logo to symbolize its future ambitions and illustrate an even more cohesive approach. The company also debuted a new website at www.TCSJOHNHUXLEY.com after a year of research, design and implementation. The new site allows clients to view the TCSJOHNHUXLEY product range along with associated press releases and information on upcoming events categorized by region.
“We are a customer-focused and technology-driven company, and we will go wherever the technology takes us,” Heap said. “Our success can be measured by our flexible approach with the focus of achieving the highest levels of service and support for our customers.”