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Casino Helsinki Upgrades to MEI After VAT

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Grand Casino Helsinki (left) and Heikki Kuusela, Head Technician at Grand Casino Helsinki, holding MEI Cashflow (right).

Reading, England –October 2007

MEI, a leading supplier of currency acceptors used worldwide in the casino gaming, retail, vending, and transportation industries announces the success of their Value Added Trial (VAT) of MEI Cashflow® bill acceptor at the Grand Casino Helsinki. Due to the success of the trial, Grand Casino Helsinki has decided to retrofit two-thirds of their slot floor.

The future-driven approach of Grand Casino Helsinki ensured that the growing trend of TITO was welcomed in Finland. In January 2007, the casino moved 100% to TITO and they replaced 200 of the 300 slots—all these new slots are fitted with the MEI Cashflow. Heikki Kuusela explains the reason for standardizing with MEI for note reader technology: “There are three reasons for our decision to place our trust in MEI. Firstly the units perform excellently. Linking with this, my technical team appreciates the MEI technology, as the units have not caused us a single problem in the trial period. And the second reason underlines this; our customers recognized pretty quickly the slots that had MEI fitted. In a way this gave the players added confidence in the slots and we saw a move from players to slots equipped with MEI. And lastly the MEI Cashflow outperformed competitive note readers”.

Finnish companies are traditionally forward thinking and this philosophy is embedded in the casino management. When Grand Casino Helsinki was introduced to the MEI Cashflow SC series note reader in spring 2006, the management welcomed the opportunity to take part in the VATs. The VATs give the casinos the opportunity to get to know the MEI Cashflow SC series first hand. Mark Greenawalt, MEI’s European Gaming Director, explains, “At MEI, we are customer-driven. Both Casino operators and players can understand the benefit of top performing games, machines and components. A real measure of this is found in our Cashflow value added trials. We began the VAT process several years ago in the United States and have gained the trust of many casinos through this process. We firmly believe in the VAT process, and casinos can benefit from the unrivalled quality of the Cashflow SC Series.”

It is MEI’s forward-thinking, customer-oriented approach that Heikki Kuusela, Head Technician at the casino, welcomed. Heikki ensured that this new product would be well tested and receive the correct casino placing to ensure comparative measuring with note readers that were already fitted in the slots. “We fitted the MEI Cashflow on popular, well-played machines but also between competitor product so we could compare results”, explained Heikki.

Grand Casino Helsinki tested the MEI Cashflow note readers for six months before making any conclusions. This ties in with the MEI philosophy as Mark Greenawalt explains, “We acknowledge that we are entering a competitive market. Before developing the Cashflow SC series our sales and marketing team spent considerable time at casinos understanding their needs and how note acceptors impact customer satisfaction. This effort resulted in a completely new type of note reader. In a fast-moving competitive market it is always tempting to move quickly into the market, potentially rushing in with new technology. This does not reflect with the MEI way of thinking. We want our customers to be convinced of our product quality and the team of MEI that stands behind it. That is why we firmly believe in the VAT process – that the casinos themselves should be introduced to new technology first hand and then given the time to get to know the product.”

Everyone who has visited the Grand Casino Helsinki will agree that the 300 slot machines and 30 table games are embedded in a very stylish atmosphere. Gaming law in Finland allows only one casino, based in the capital Helsinki. Thus, Grand Casino Helsinki is a very prestigious customer in the European casino sector. This is underlined by the casino design, carried out by American casino architect Paul Steelman and Finnish company Evata Finland Oy. On the statistical side, the casino had approx. 290,000 visitors in 2006 with a turnover in 2005 of 24.4 million euros.

The positive feedback from Grand Casino Helsinki is being echoed by casinos around the globe. Mark Greenawalt sums up the VAT success in Finland , “We would sincerely like to thank the team at Grand Casino Helsinki for accepting our offer to test our note reader. This positive feedback from the marketplace confirms the value MEI can offer to casino customers around the world.”


About MEI Gaming:
MEI has conducted hundreds of successful Value Added Trials, convincing casino owners worldwide to choose MEI products. In the last 12 months, MEI won 100% of the slot floor for five of the six casinos opened Pennsylvania, plus 100% of the floor in 2/3 of the casinos in Florida. Additionally, MEI is used in 50% of the slot machines on the strip of Las Vegas and in Atlantic City. Globally, the leading casino operators in Europe, Macau, and South Africa have increased their slot revenue by using MEI. Contact MEI to discuss how we can improve your casino operation.

About MEI:
Today, MEI systems are relied upon for more than 2 billion transactions per week in over 100 countries. The company developed the first electronic coin mechanism in the 1960s followed by the first electronic non-contact bill acceptor, and more recently the vending management system. Today MEI has the largest worldwide installed base of unattended payment mechanisms. In 2007, MEI reached a milestone of selling more than four million bill acceptors and five million coin mechanisms worldwide. Its products are in widespread use in the vending, soft drink, gaming, amusement, transportation, retail, and kiosk markets. For more information on MEI and its products, visit www.meigroup.com or call 1-800-345-8215.