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THE 60th ATEI already looks set to beat last year's record number of 273 exhibiting companies. At the time of going to press, companies who had already booked space represented 24 different nations and 42 per cent of them were suppliers based outside the UK. In addition, almost 20 per cent of the companies exhibiting will be doing so for the first time.
With figures like these, it can be difficult for the visitor to find the products and services they need, so ab:UK has compiled a sector-by-sector guide to what's new at ATEI.
Visitors can expect to see further consolidation of the themes which were already apparent at last year's show in the competitive AWP sector. There is another shift toward the casino sector from companies such as Maygay, which is showing a range of multi-line video slots with Australian partner Star Games (the first time in its history the Maygay Group will be showing at both ATEI and ICE in 2004). Astra will not only show an innovative multi-player roulette for casinos, but another version for Sections 16 and 21 of the UK Gaming Act. All that the Bridgend-based company would reveal was that the product would put a new spill on the Touchbet Roulette model.
Games are now being designed with more than one type of location in mind. Project Coin's Freestyle Gaming is a new product grouping which has applications across the arcade, bingo and international casino sectors. Tony Boulton describes it as, "The biggest single development ever taken by the company in its 25-year history."
Multi-players for arcade centrepieces are getting bigger and better every year. A new Party Games Surprise featuring a 42ins. plasma screen will be shown on the Astra Games stand. And topping the bill for Mazooma is Big Screen Monopoly with, once again, a massive 42ins. plasma screen.
Which leads us to video AWPs. Perhaps not as much progress was made in this sector last year as some might have expected. However, in the intervening 12 months, Barcrest has been very successful with its Video Star product. This will be exhibited in a number of new cabinets at the show and Red Gaming will have its first ever video AWP in a brand new cabinet. Novo Gaming plans to unveil its multi game video product for arcade and bingo sectors, Magic Games II. With video fruits high on Mazooma's agenda, a range of different games are displayed in their American Casino cabinet. These PC-driven games are aimed at growing the single-site player base, in addition to catering for expanding applications in forward-thinking bingo and other multi-site locations.
There will be a lot of new cabinets to choose from, possibly catering for the new payment deregulation. Barcrest …