Genting Casino saves £250,000 in Virgin Media fibre network deal

By Graeme Burton
25 Feb 2013 View Comments
Playing cards and casino chips

Casino group Genting Casino claims to have saved at least £250,000 by rolling out an all-fibre network with Virgin Media Business.

According to Max Lintott, head of IT at Genting Casinos, the annual flat-rate charge from Virgin Media Business for the "superfast" network weighed in at £350,000 per annum on a three-year deal, more than 40 per cent less than the next most competitive bid, of around £600,000.

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The shift to an all-fibre network, completed at the end of last year, became a necessity when the company's existing multi-protocol label switching (MPLS)-based network started to suffer bottlenecks. In 2011, therefore, Genting went out to tender on the construction of an all-fibre network.

BT and Easynet were both in the bidding for the three-year deal, along with Virgin Media Business. "Cable & Wireless were in at one stage, but their costs were prohibitive," said Lintott.

"In the second stage, Virgin Media came in with running costs of some £250,000 per year less than the other two, with no set-up costs. Considering we'd laid 2,000 kilometres of fibre, dug up a lot of roads, gone through a hell of a lot of wayleave, that cost was taken on by Virgin," he adds.

The casino group runs both physical casinos across the UK, as well as an online version, and needed a fast all-fibre network in order to be able to link its casinos, games and gamers across the country in real-time.

"Predominantly, [it carries] our loyalty system data, and our gaming data from live gaming, whether that is the slot machines, electronic roulette or table gaming," Lintott told Computing.

It also handles data from the company's business intelligence system, backs-up to the company's disaster recovery centre and ought to be able to accommodate the company's networking needs for the next five to seven years, he added.

The new network now stretches from Edinburgh to Plymouth, linking Genting's Birmingham headquarters and two satellite offices together with 40 casinos. "We've been able to deliver a fibre-optic network for the same price as the previous copper-based network, giving a huge boost to productivity and the customer experience," said Lintott.

The network will enable Genting to develop the wide-area-network tournaments it runs, involving its casinos across the country "The links have to be fast and stable. If someone wins a 'jackpot' in Edinburgh, they need to know in real-time that it's happened in Plymouth so that the pot can adjust itself," said Lintott.

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