Revenue Department Announces Computer Protocol For Slots Gaming
Department executes central control computer system contract with GTECH Corporation
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue today announced that SAS 6.01 will be the initial communications protocol for slots gaming in the commonwealth.
Revenue Secretary Gregory C. Fajt said SAS 6.01 is the most widely used communications protocol in the gaming industry. He said using SAS 6.01 will ensure that the broadest possible range of manufacturers can participate in the rollout of slots gaming in Pennsylvania.
The communications protocol will be used to link slot machines at Pennsylvania gaming facilities to a central control computer system that will be overseen by the Department of Revenue. The computer system will monitor activity at each of up to 61,000 slot machines. It will eventually be the largest such system in the world.
Pennsylvania’s central control computer system will be operated by GTECH Corporation, of West Greenwich, R.I., a global leader in gaming technology. The Revenue Department selected GTECH in March following an open and competitive procurement process. The company was recommended by a committee of Revenue Department employees that analyzed vendor proposals for seven months. The committee determined that GTECH’s proposal offered the best combination of experience in the gaming industry, technical expertise and cost.
“We are committed to using the best available technology to ensure the integrity and the success of slots gaming in Pennsylvania, and the best available company to implement that technology,” Fajt said. “Adopting the SAS 6.01 communications protocol will help attract a broad range of slot machine manufacturers to supply Pennsylvania’s new gaming industry.
“GTECH is an industry leader in the design and implementation of gaming technology. The company’s state-of-the-art gaming central control computer system will give the Revenue Department and the Gaming Control Board sophisticated tools to monitor cash flow and other activity at each Pennsylvania slot machine, in real time.”
Fajt said the Department’s contract with GTECH has completed the Commonwealth’s review process and was formally executed this week. The contract will not go into effect until GTECH has undergone a comprehensive background check by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and been licensed by the PGCB as a manufacturer.
Although the central control computer system will initially use the SAS 6.01 communications protocol, GTECH’s contract allows the Revenue Department to require the company to implement a different standard industry protocol if one is adopted by slots manufacturers.
Additional details about GTECH’s contract are attached. Representatives of the news media may obtain copies of the full contract through the Revenue Department Press Office.
Pennsylvania Gaming Central Computer System
• Contract is effective for five years from the date GTECH is licensed as a manufacturer by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The PGCB will conduct an extensive background check/investigation of GTECH, as it will any licensed manufacturer.
• GTECH will deliver, install and operate - with Department of Revenue (DOR) oversight - its Enterprise Series Central Control System. The system is already in use in seven other gaming jurisdictions.
• GTECH will operate the system from a Pennsylvania data center. A back-up data center will be located at the GTECH facility in Austin, TX.
• GTECH has engaged Gaming Labs Incorporated to assist DOR in independently certifying the system for production.
• Slot machines in Pennsylvania must initially communicate via the SAS 6.01 slots gaming protocol.
• If/when the industry begins to employ a new standard protocol, GTECH will support that protocol (as well as SAS 6.01 during any transition), at no cost to DOR.
• DOR will pay GTECH a percentage of slots revenue. The percentage will decline as the number of operational slot machines increases.
• Payments to GTECH under the contract are capped at $6.3 million a year.
• The contract went though the Commonwealth’s normal review and approval process, which includes the DOR Chief Counsel, Governor’s Office of General Counsel, Attorney General and Comptroller.
• As with all large contracts, the contract contains numerous penalty clauses to protect the Commonwealth in the event of non-performance by GTECH.
• To assure maximum “up time” for slots operators, the contract requires redundancy in operating hardware, software, backup and telecommunications.
The above summary is provided for informational purposes only and does not and is not intended to bind the Commonwealth, the Department of Revenue and its agencies to any contractual terms. The only document that contains the terms and conditions of the agreement between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue and GTECH Corporation is the Contract for Slot Machine Gaming Central Control Computer System and Related Services.