Focus on EZ Baccarat: EZ Baccarat carries momentum out of G2E with new distributors

November 7, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
November 7, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

The EZ Baccarat table game is carrying momentum out of the Global Gaming Expo after introducing a new progressive and with Galaxy Gaming taking over the distribution rights in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom just ahead of the trade show.

Galaxy Gaming, which also became their exclusive distributor globally for online gaming, has joined other new distributors, UK-based Cammegh and Panamanian-based Interra Latin.

The momentum continues to build an opportunity for growth, not only for tables but other platforms such as Electronic Table Games, online and live dealer – the direction where the industry is moving to complement brick-and-mortar operations.

EZ Baccarat is the world’s leading no-commission baccarat game with over 700+ table games installed in more than 140 casinos worldwide. Earlier this year, EZ Baccarat set a record with 140 live tables at Commerce Casino in Southern California.

EZ Baccarat continues to dominate the Canadian market with more than 170 tables, notably in Ontario and Quebec at Great Canadian Casino, Pickering Casino, River Cree, Pure Casino Calgary, and Casino de Montréal, among others.

EZ Baccarat was co-created by Robin Powell and Francisco “TJ” Tejeda of Talisman Group. It’s the only proprietary table game that, after losing its patent protection in 2013, continues to gain market share 10 years later.

When a table game loses proprietary patent protection, the market will quickly determine whether the game was a commodity –  with competitors racing to undercut its price for a while, said Tejeda. A brand has loyal operators sticking with the original regardless of price and players asking for it by name.

“Every large manufacturer has introduced a knock-off of EZ Baccarat using the same math, yet EZ has remained the leading brand for 15 years. Why? EZ Baccarat is not just a game; it’s a brand,” he said. “It proves you can duplicate the methodology, but you cannot duplicate the essence of the brand. EZ Baccarat has earned and retained something far more valuable than any patent: the loyalty of its customers.”

The Talisman Group selected Galaxy Gaming to be its distributor because the company’s specialty is table games.

“It’s a watershed year for us because we were lucky to entice Galaxy Gaming to distribute us in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom,” reported Tejeda. “When we were looking for a new distributor, we wanted to have somebody with the same DNA as us. We have one product, and they are table-game specialists and would be excited to have us as a complement to their stable of games. We have been customer-centric, and this seemed to be the perfect match for us.”

Cammegh is the world’s leading roulette and luxury display manufacturer that distributes EZ Baccarat in the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand. One reason Talisman selected Cammegh is that virtually every baccarat table in Australia and New Zealand has a Cammegh display – meaning any operator wanting to turn on the EZ software requires simply the flip of a switch.

“For Europe, what we wanted was a company that was really part of the network of gaming establishments,” Tejeda said. “It’s family run and a company that kind of looks like us, only they are the manufacturers of the No. 1 roulette wheel in the world.”

Interra Latin has already placed EZ Baccarat tables in Mexico and Costa Rica.

Barcelona-based Roger Tomas, head of Interra Latin, is one of Latin America’s most respected gaming operators and distributors. He has served as a general director of CIRSA and vice president of Sabia Corp. in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Panama. “He’s a well-known executive throughout Latin America,” Tejeda said. “He’s run major casinos and corporations in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.”

Tejeda noted that for each of the three distributor companies, EZ Baccarat is a “real get” and was looking forward to selecting a distributor in Asia.

EZ Baccarat is unmatched in that it offers value for operators and is more fun for players, creating loyalty among both, Tejeda said. Operationally, EZ Baccarat eliminates the commission, making it easier and much faster (hands-per-hour) to deal and with fewer errors.

Players love the EZ Baccarat game experience, finding it more entertaining and less stressful than alternatives. Without the commission, the game is less complicated and easier to play – an unusual win-win in gaming, he added.

“By understanding its audience, acknowledging its competition, and highlighting the brand’s significant differences,” explained Tejeda. “EZ Baccarat ensures that operators perceive the brand as exceptional and, most importantly, delivering value – the very definition of a brand.”

EZ Baccarat is a brand that’s easily recognized and beloved by players. It was the first to introduce avatars – the Dragon 7 and Panda 8 side bets/avatars that were incorporated into the game in 2008 and 2012.

Talisman and Galaxy Gaming introduced the new EZ Baccarat Progressive at G2E, and Tejeda said they expect a big impact on the market.

“Progressives seem to be the ‘It girl’ in the market,” he said. “Everybody wants a progressive, and we are a couple of months away from setting it loose on the market. We believe it will be a real player and the progressive of the 21st century. It has very specific features that we think will make it a winner and player-pleaser on the market.”

The Dragon 7 and Panda 8 Progressive stands out with every seat position having a player and banker suited combination. This allows 100% jackpots to be won by a single player, Tejeda said.

“This has been a point of contention for the customers because they hate sharing a major jackpot,” he said. “And additionally there are eight prizes besides the 100% jackpots, increasing the hit frequency to a player-pleasing level.”

All prizes, and most importantly the major 100% jackpots, are organic to the EZ Baccarat game, Tejeda said. They are all derived from the Dragon 7 and Panda 8 side bets on the EZ Baccarat game.

“All other progressives have picked number combinations at random without any relation to the table game itself,” he explained. “For the operator, the house advantage is approximately 20%.”

EZ Baccarat is popular with operators with its one-price policy – the only one for table games in the industry – and targeted promotions like Chinese New Year, where operators get as many free EZ Baccarat tables as they need for 30 days.

“If you’re a mom-and-pop operation, you pay one price, and if you’re a giant gaming corporation with a hundred tables you pay the same price,” Tejeda shared. “EZ Baccarat has been the same price – $600 per-table-per-month for 15 years. Talisman Group has every intention of keeping it that way for the foreseeable future, making cost-forecasting a certainty. Finance loves this.”

Dan Sanbrotti, a former executive vice president and general manager at Hustler Casino in Los Angeles, gave EZ Baccarat a glowing endorsement.

“I remember when competitors tried to move us away from EZ Baccarat,” Sanbrotti said. “And, I would always say that when you’re at the movie theater, you never order popcorn and a soda. You order popcorn and a Pepsi or Coke. EZ Baccarat is Coke.”