Konami posts significant loss amid pandemic
Entertainment and gaming conglomerate Konami Holdings has posted a loss for its gaming and systems division, including casino equipment, in the nine months to December 31.
GGR Asia reports that the loss was nearly US$14.1 million, compared to a profit of US$22.9 million in the nine months to December 2019.
The gaming and systems division of the Japanese company’s division includes the supply of casino slot machines and casino floor management systems.
In the casino gaming segment, Konami operates outside Japan via Konami Australia and US-based Konami Gaming.
Konami Holdings said the lacklustre performance at its gaming and systems division was linked to COVID-19 and related disruption caused to gaming business around the world, including temporary casino shutdowns in a number of jurisdictions starting from mid-March 2020.
“Although certain restrictions remain, most casino facilities in the United States have resumed operations in phases and the market is recovering,” said the parent.
But it added it will “take time for the market to recover fully under this severe business environment, due to continued travel restrictions, however, the market is expected to recover gradually.”
During the reporting period, the division had launched a new slot machine, the Dimension 49J, featuring a J curve display.
Konami said the new cabinet was aimed at the revenue share segment operated by the brand in tandem with casino businesses, in jurisdictions that permit it.
The group stated that in the reporting period, gaming and systems had also “recognised revenue for the sale of slot machines”, including the group’s KX43 upright cabinet and the Dimension 27, as well as “revenue from participation agreements in which profits are shared with casino operators.”
In addition, the group’s Synkros casino management system had been “introduced into major casino operators in the North American and Australian markets and new contracts were also executed,” Konami said.
Group profit for the nine months to December 31 actually increased 65.6 per cent.
Such increase was supported by a 79.4 per cent year-on-year rise in business profit in the digital entertainment division.
That division covers the production, manufacture and sale of “digital content and related products” including mobile games, card games and computer and video games.”
One of the division’s strongly performing products was eSports, as online entertainment proved popular due to other activities being limited by the coronavirus pandemic.
The parent said its interim dividend was 22.50JPY per share, and the dividend for the financial year ending March 31, 2021 would be the same and that “as a result, the dividend forecast on an annual basis will be JPY45 per share.”
Californian casino adds cashless gaming technology
A Californian gaming destination has launched a cashless wagering program, calling the move historic.
Casino Beats reported in December that Morongo Casino Resort and Spa had partnered with Marker Trax, which will run through the Konami Gaming’s Synkros casino management system, for a debut that Morongo says will make it the nation’s first tribal casino to offer cashless casino poker machines.
The aim is to allow guests to conveniently and securely apply, get approved and begin using their digital market, all in under five minutes, and electronically, rather than retrieving cash.
Those enrolled in a PIN-protected Synkros cashless wagering account can use their Marker Trax credit line to play electronically on any machine in the casino.
“We’re excited to be working with Marker Trax to introduce cashless wagering markers to our guests,” chief operating officer of Morongo Casino Richard St Jean said.
“The convenience and ease of Marker Trax will be a huge bonus for our players and underscores Morongo’s history of embracing state-of-the-art technology to enhance our gaming experience.
With Marker Trax, our guests can be approved for a gaming line and at the machine in minutes.”
Marker Trax will offer Morongo access to its players’ data analytics and marker tracking, with the information able to be accessed from any machine on the property.
When players wish to withdraw from their cashless wagering accounts, the system, along with Synkros, settles any outstanding balance prior to payout.
“Morongo guests will be the first outside Nevada to enjoy Marker Trax cashless slot markers, thanks to the leadership of Richard St Jean and his team, Marker Trax’s strong launch success, and Synkros’ robust core environment,” executive vice president and chief operating officer at Konami Gaming Tom Jingoli said.
“Konami’s Synkros casino management system is designed with the agility, data architecture and integration capabilities to help deliver these types of collaborative tech opportunities to players and properties.”
Marker Trax is a patented cashless wagering technology that allows casinos to digitally and securely issue funds, with the process digitally monitored through the casino management system.
Prior to signing up for Marker Trax, guests must first enrol in Morongo’s loyalty program.
“We’re looking forward to a successful launch at Morongo,” chief operating officer of Market Trax Charlie Skinner said.
“The technology behind the product is truly unmatched by any other product in the casino industry today and we could not be happier to be launching with the team at Morongo.”