DigiDeal Corp., the Spokane Valley maker of electronic gaming tables, has won approval from the Washington state Gambling Commission to sell its newest table for use in Washington casinos.
The gaming table, upon which DigiDeals five-card stud poker game called Trips is played, already is approved for use in other states, but the recent approval in Washington is an important step for the company because it opens up new markets here, says President and CEO Michael Kuhn.
The Trips game, which like DigiDeals other tables uses the companys proprietary digital card system, is the companys first poker game, and its approval in Washington as a Class II, or player-banked game, means it can be used in commercial card rooms, rather than just in tribal casinos, Kuhn says. The companys other gaming tables, which offer versions of blackjack and baccarat, are used in house-banked games and are approved as Class III devices by the state.
DigiDeal already has scheduled about a dozen installations of the Trips table in Washington state, and expects to have 50 of the devices placed in the state by the end of the year.
The companys gaming devices generally are leased to gambling establishments, which make lease payments of about $2,000 to $3,000 a month.
DigiDeal previously has placed about four of the Trips tables in other states, and one in Ireland, and currently is seeking approval for their use in Colorado and California. Kuhn says 25 of the tables already have been ordered by California gambling operations in anticipation of state approval there in October.
Adding a poker table to the companys offerings was an important step, Kuhn says. This approval positions us perfectly to begin taking advantage of the immense popularity of poker across the state and the entire country, he says.
Kuhn says DigiDeal is developing other new poker games, and company officials say the approval of its Trips poker game should speed up future approvals of such games. Its next player-banked poker game will be called Wheelem, a version of low-ball poker.
Says Larry Martin, vice president of government affairs and product support, It is our intention to offer both the tribal and card-room casinos a full and complete array of DigiDeals tables. The number and variety of games we can put on our platform is nearly limitless.
DigiDeals gaming tables look similar to conventional gaming tables, but there are no cards to deal or shuffle. Instead, cards show up on small screens in front of each player. Players place real chips on sensors near their playing screen and a live dealer pushes buttons to deal.
Kuhn says the company plans to unveil the use of virtual chips for such tables next month. The announcement will come at the G2E global gaming expo in Las Vegas, and he declines for now to elaborate on the technology.
DigiDeals tables are modified for use in each state, as gambling regulations differ from state to state. Not all tables are approved for use in all of the states the company serves.
In the Inland Northwest, DigiDeals tables are in use at Northern Quest Casino, in Airway Heights, and will be installed at the Season Ticket, 1221 N. Howard, when it opens its new card room next month, Kuhn says. Big Daddys Poker Room in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center also plans to install a Trips table.
DigiDeal employs 13 people, but is in the process of hiring four more workers in sales, dealer training, technical support, and office administration.
The company also plans soon to expand its facility at 5207 E. Third. Kuhn says that Baker Construction, of Spokane, will add 3,700 square feet of floor space to DigiDeals current 7,500-square-foot facility. The company continues to contract out some of the manufacturing work for its tables, but does all of the final assembly at its facility. After the expansion, the company will be producing more games, with hopes to produce 80 tables a month, Kuhn says.
Kuhn declines to disclose the companys annual revenues, but anticipates its revenues will grow by about 15 percent overall as a result of the recent approval of its Trips game by Washington state.
The company has distribution agreements throughout the U.S., as well as Singapore and Eastern Europe.
Currently, DigiDeals hottest market is in Vietnam, where gaming has exploded, Kuhn says. He says several orders are pending with 30 tables to be shipped there in the next few weeks.
Overall, the company produces seven gaming tables.
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