The casino industry uses the server-based gaming (SBG) hardware system to operate Video Lottery Terminals slot machines. General non-casino gaming systems differ from the casino systems in various ways. Server-Based Gaming (SBG) is built upon the server-centric gaming technology borrowing the principles from thin client. Reliability, scalability and stability are few of the requirements in the casino industry. Scalability of some of the models of servers made them prominence in this industry. As casino business involves high volume transaction, high availability becomes the need from the hardware. A Server-Based Gaming (SBG) system involves a central system. The gaming terminals connect with this central system. One Server-Based Gaming system can be operated locally or over the internet.
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Basics of Server-Based Gaming (SBG)
Most of the online games work in the same way. The client software for the game is on the remote server which connects to the centralized game servers. Before the actual playing, there are login servers. The login server confirms the data of user account in the database, the login server redirects to the correct game server. When the client is connected to the game server, the game functions (including random number generation) become usable on the remote client. These servers also regularly send user data checking if the player is still online, else the terminal or the user (depending on the situation) will be logged out. Other software, such as Centralized CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and CMS (Casino Management System) can be on the main server. A Casino Management System (CMS) maintains the day to day processing and recording of operational
How Server-Based Gaming (SBG) Differs From the Other Gaming Systems
As pointed in the introduction, nobody likes to lose, but unfortunately, it is a large part of gambling and this is because much of the time the odds are stacked against the gambler. Gambling on slots lies in the hands of a computer chip that produces random spins that have no consideration for who is on the other side of the game. The random slots are not all bad news as they can produce big winning spins along with infuriating empty ones unless the system becomes faulty. The rule is that the best slots are money-pinners for casinos, as they naturally give the house an edge over the punter. A malfunctioning server can be a jackpot for an innocent gamer making a serious loss of the business owner, or it may create a reverse scenario making the innocent gamer technical issue related loser.
Unlike any the simple web server, they have specific game-related tasks. The gamer on the remote client sees a slightly delayed parallel view because of latency. Also, as for the many others, the industry needs to keep vigilant attention to regulatory compliance. Work of the IT staffs is hard on these systems.
The Server-Based Gaming (SBG) systems are different as both the game logic and random number generation is centralized. The game terminals demand to be authorized to connect to the central system. This is more like the servers of the banking industries with the ATMs.
Types of Server-Based Gaming (SBG) System
They can be classified depending on the location :
- The game is located on the terminal. This type not always satisfy the definition of SBG but it is Server Supported Gaming system.
- The game and the game logic are located on the terminal.
- The game logic is executed on the server.
Benefits of Employing a Server-Based Gaming (SBG) System
Shifting to Server-Based Gaming (SBG) is a shift of paradigm as because the game logic and random number generator reside on the remote server. SBG lowers the maintenance cost of the hardware and software at the game terminal end. As the number of the game terminal will be more, it significantly reduces the cost from the next financial years.
This technology allows the gamers to access the games on other different operating systems as well as different type of devices, such as mobile phones. Out of centralizing, the support for wide area multiplayer gaming become feasible. There are certain long tail effects such as updating catalogue throughout the network, personalization, real-time monitoring, centralized digital signature verification and so on. Gaming Laboratories International has a standard specifying the requirements and definitions for the Server Centric Gaming systems.
- Improves the operational efficiency by using a distributed gaming environment
- Can be made more engaging the players with loyalty programs
- Ability to offer games from several different providers
- Terminal updates remotely
- Centralized CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and CMS (Casino Management System)
- Implementations of standard protocols such as G2S and S2S
- Implementation Business Intelligence (BI), Data Warehousing and Reinforcement Learning
Problems of Employing a Server-Based Gaming (SBG) System
Server-based technology came in 2007. In the U.K., probably a third of the gaming machines are now fully server-based, downloadable, multi-game machines. But, penetration of server-based technology is lesser in the U.S. Still today, there is no one single vendor who offers all of the software under one roof. The most problematic part is the connection between the server and the client, which we can influence too little. High latency results delay in games. Increasing distance from the server causes the latency oscillation. To ensure a good gaming experience, invested in deploying infrastructure specialized in this sector is mandatory which demands expert manpower to hire. As a result, capital investment becomes higher. It will take between three and six months to reach the point where a business is fully adept at using the system which demands both backup systems and manpower. Exactly like happening with mobile devices, with successive generations of the technology, the start-up costs are decreasing, and the technology itself is improving.Tagged With server based gaming slot machines