This article first appeared in the May/Jun 2011 issue of World Gaming magazine.
Following the explosive increase in electronic gaming in Macau, the Venetian and now the Sands have continued setting industry benchmarks with each casino creating a super sized e-gaming haven called ‘Imperial Stadium’.
In 2009, Sands Macau introduced the Sands e-Lounge, a new casino within a casino that catered for electronic table game enthusiasts. By incorporating customer comments into the design and co-locating popular electronic versions of sic bo, roulette and baccarat, Sands found a new group of loyal players. Its popularity saw Sands China Ltd embark on the 'Imperial Stadium' project, which offers a space that works for casino and player alike.
Both Imperial Stadiums offer comfortable surroundings for players to sit and enjoy roulette and sic bo. The Venetian version can accommodate up to 150 players with the Sands stadium seeing up to 100 players join the action. This style of gaming is perfect for lower limit players as it creates a fast paced atmosphere. From an operational perspective traditional roulette games can be very slow and roulette tables certainly take up a lot of space on a casino floor. It takes experienced dealers to run these games and there is only room for a few players at any one table. The Imperial Stadium model allows many more people at the table and it is easier to run. With these enhancements the popularity of roulette is sure to rise.
Shuffle Master's 'Rapid Roulette' has already demonstrated how the electronic version of the game can work in places like Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Ken Jolly, Executive Vice President for Shuffle Master Asia is at the forefront of this technological break-through in e-gaming.
"Shuffle Master is excited to have been selected by Sands China for the installation of our rapid terminal betting live-dealer table games. The Imperial Stadium project and the size of the installation marks a new direction in Macau for electronic table style games where players can play at the comfort of their own terminal."
The Imperial Stadium is a relaxed, private place to enjoy live table games. There is a live dealer and real equipment, but with your own terminal and sitting in your own seat you won't have to elbow people out of the way to get your bets on. It doesn't matter where you sit in the stadium as each seat has a clear line of sight to large televisions showing the live action. Jolly went on to say, "Table games will increasingly see electronic delivery methods being introduced over the next generations of products".
This system offers the best of both worlds as the integrity of the game can never be questioned. You can see the live game run by casino staff and the computer side of the operation takes away any human error. There are never any arguments about misplaced bets, fallen chips or payout amounts. Players can change their bets up until the 'no more bets' call is made. Roulette has been a game where there have always been disputes when players knock over or move other players' chips in a mad scramble to place their bets. This way there are no mistakes and players can have more spins with fewer headaches.
This project has been a labour of love for many Sands executives including Geoff Andres, Vice President of Slots for Venetian and Eric Persson, Vice President of Slots for Las Vegas Sands. They have worked to make Imperial Stadium a reality with the likes of Kerry Andrewartha, Vice President of Casino Operations, Venetian Macau and Pete Wu, Vice President of Operations, Sands Macau.
"Following on the success of the Imperial Stadium at the Venetian Macau, we are thrilled to launch the Imperial Stadium at Sands right in the heart of our legendary main gaming floor", said Pete Wu. "These live games with fast action are the perfect addition to our always exciting and energy-filled casino. 2011 is already shaping up to be a great year as we prepare to celebrate our seventh anniversary in Macau and announce the introduction of many exciting new products, services, and amenities for our guests."
If you like roulette or sic bo, Imperial Stadium offers a modern approach to a couple of old favourites.