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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.2, February 2009, Posted On: 2/10/2009


Nova Licenses Benchmark For American PokerKard Production


Tim Sanford
Editor@vendingtimes.net
HYPOLUXO, FL -- Benchmark Games Inc. reports that it has won a license from Nova Productions Ltd. to produce the PokerKard amusement-only touchscreen video poker cocktail table game, and distribute the piece in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

PokerKard, which runs a lively computer simulation of Texas Hold’Em poker, is a four-player sit-down game for bar, club and hospitality locations. The touchscreen interface eliminates the need for buttons or joysticks, and players can place their drinks on the sleek table without fear of damage. The game made its debut in Britain late last year (see VT, Nov. 2008, or see story here).

"We’ve loved PokerKard ever since we saw it last October in the UK," said Benchmark president Al Kress. “We heard about its great earnings there, and are excited that we’ve been able to replicate them in multiple test bar locations here in the U.S.

Kress explained that PokerKard is based on Nova’s “play for fun ethos” in which players get to pit their poker skills against each other for fun. His firm plans to have samples available in February, and is gearing up to begin shipping in March.

Nova’s Peter Robinson described Benchmark as “the ideal partner for Nova and PokerKard in the American market. We’re excited about the relationship, and Benchmark’s ability to deliver a quality product at a competitive price.” He predicted that operators on this continent will love PokerKard, “and their customers will love it even more.”

Kevin Hayes, Nova’s American representative, added that Benchmark will do a great job in delivering this great game to the U.S. operating community over the next several years. Hayes, a 30-year industry veteran and the former chief executive of Namco’s operating and manufacturing business, began his venture with Nova late last year.

Benchmark plans to manufacture the North American version of PokerKard in its Hypoluxo facility. Like the British original, it will incorporate a bill validator; it will differ in not including a coin mech. In the UK, PokerKard’s minimum play price is £1 (about $1.50) and the “round pound” coin circulates widely. No equivalent coin exists in the U.S. market, and Benchmark has been testing the game successfully at a $2 play price.

The PokerKard system can be used with player ID cards that can store points and other data, allowing players to continue play at different locations. Machines are equipped with dispensers. Benchmark plans to offer an optional base to raise the table so patrons can enjoy it while seated on barstools or standing.

Nova Productions is a longtime leader in the British SWP (skill with prize) game market. Benchmark is a leading maker of redemption games. It can be contacted at (561) 588-5200; benchmarkgames.com.

Topic: Music and Games Features

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