CHUCK – Can you tell us a little about InterContinental and your involvement with USA Casino and New York Casino?
SHAUN – InterContinental Casinos is the trading name of ServiceNet Ltd, and is the gaming arm of an international investment group based in Switzerland and Antigua. I am the company Vice President General Manager of International Operations and my role, in addition to ongoing business development strategies, is to broaden our player base from within the South East Asia Pacific regions.
What do you think makes your casinos successful? Is it the software?
Obviously having good software is important but so is our 24-hour customer support and our commitment to giving our players a fair deal. And, of course, having a well-rounded team of professionals to manage and develop the business, as InterContinental does, is, in my view, equally important to ensuring a successful operation.
I had a sneak preview of your new multi-player games and they look absolutely sensational. When do you expect to have them up and running?
This new software will be the benchmark for other online casinos to follow, and will be available within the next few weeks.
What are the most popular games at USA and New York?
Currently blackjack, roulette and slots.
I hear from a lot of Internet gamblers and many are skeptical about the fairness of Internet casinos. How do you win over their trust?
We ensure that our payments to winners are done as efficiently and as quickly as possible. We pay close attention to the timely answering of questions and queries from our players. We feel it is important to be as open and honest with our players as we possibly can, even to the extent of meeting with them personally to discuss their problems whenever a business trip to their country allows us to do so.
Nothing makes a cybergambler more irate than slow 789 payment on winnings. How are payouts handled at USA and New York?
As I mentioned, the efficient and timely payment of winnings is we believe critical to our ongoing success. It is closely monitored to ensure this happens.
Why don’t your casinos offer any sign-up bonuses or comps?
We do offer sign-up bonuses and comps on a promotional basis for time-limited periods but you’re right we don’t have any open-ended schemes. There are many deceptive comp schemes available online, which in our opinion do not rebate back to the player the correct rewards they have earned based on their levels of play. We do not believe this is the right approach to take. We are currently evaluating two groundbreaking comp programs that we believe will set the standards for other operators to follow.
I understand you’re based in Perth. How do Australians in general feel about Internet gambling? Do they support the idea?
Very much so. It is hoped that Australia will become the leader in this field, particularly if the Americans pass legislation to ban online gaming. Most federal governments support the idea in principle, as they see the dollars that can be raised through effective control and taxation of the industry.
What do you make of all the hoopla in the United States about Internet gambling?
I find it hard to believe that a nation with such a high regard for the protection of the individual’s right to choose would even contemplate the banning of online gaming. Surely their thinking should be to regulate not prohibit.
So what’s next for InterContinental? What can we look forward to seeing in future?
State of the art games, and market leadership in the areas of probity and customer service.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your casinos?
We feel that we offer one of the best products online today, and would challenge anybody to dispute this fact. From a customer perspective, we offer a good choice of games with healthy table limits and with a special emphasis on high levels of customer service. From an industry point of view we favor and support regulation and control of all online gaming whether it is casino or any other form of gaming product.