GPI: World-leading currency design and currency security providers

Gaming Partners International has been designing and manufacturing gaming currency since 1925. Since then, GPI has established itself as the industry’s leading provider of innovative chips, plaques and jetons to licensed casinos all over the world. In addition to gaming currency, GPI offers a full range of table game products serving as a full service provider offering customers a complete suite of state-of-the-art table game products.

GPI produces the most extensive range of secure gaming currency solutions available in the industry and is best known for its popular gaming currency brands; Bourgogne et Grasset (BG), Paulson, Bud Jones, Gemaco and Dolphin. The combined currency lines offer a diverse selection of European-style plaques and jetons and American-style injection molded and compression molded chips. Walk into just about any casino in the world and there are very high odds that the chips you see on the table were produced by GPI. What you probably won’t notice, is all the security solutions that have been incorporated into the chips and tables. For a casino, keeping their currency (their money) secure, is one of their highest priorities.

As an active member of the ICC Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau (CIB), GPI is globally recognized as the monetary authority on gaming currency security. Having created thousands of unique currency designs for the world casino market, GPI has established the benchmarks by which currency security features are measured. Drawing from the same anti-counterfeiting techniques used by governments and financial institutions, GPI incorporates the most advanced technologies into the development of its new and innovative security features and solutions. We talked with Gregory Gronau, President & CEO of GPI, to discuss how gaming currency and currency security has evolved.

CI: With over 90 years’ experience manufacturing casino currency, what has driven the evolution of gaming currency?

GG: First you have to consider how much and how fast the gaming industry has grown globally. While Las Vegas has been known as the gaming capital of the world for decades, in the last 15 years, Macau has grown significantly and is now a major world gaming market. Each new casino requires chips that are unique and representative of their brand but also secure to help prevent counterfeit and cheat attempts. GPI answers this need with a wide selection of chip designs and configurations to provide differentiation and offer an unmatched selection of currency security solutions. These solutions use a combination of our new and innovative overt (easily seen to the naked eye) and covert (require a special device to authenticate) security features to provide each customer with the optimum combination of design and security options to help protect their money.

GPI is the only gaming currency provider that has actually developed, not one, but two brand new currency lines in the last few years. First was our BG J3, which is made of the same materials as our plaques and jetons, but handles like an American- style chip and includes decal. We then introduced our unique BG V-Series line, a new injection molded chip line that uses a unique system to maximize the number of edge patterns and decal size options for our customers.

CI: In addition to offering the largest selection of chip lines in the industry, GPI is well known for its innovative currency security features. How did GPI earn this distinction and what does it take to achieve that?

GG: Gaming currency is essentially a casino’s money so currency security is extremely important. Being at the forefront of gaming currency security, GPI invests a significant amount of its resources into the research and development of new and technologically advanced offerings. Our suite of security features and solutions is not only the most expansive, it also includes some of the most technologically advanced offerings. We draw from the same anti-counterfeiting techniques used by governments and financial institutions. What we choose to develop and offer is a combination of listening and working with our customers, watching and forecasting changes in the technology marketplace, and the experience of our in- house research and development team who are experts in the field.

Many technologies that used to be exclusive to the commercial industry, are now readily available to the regular consumer. This is why you find casino operators evolving in terms of their currency and currency security, they understand the potential risks to their money if they don’t. GPI develops and offers customers a combination of new and innovative overt and covert security features that can be used with our other new and advanced solutions and various types of RFID including GPI’s exclusive SMART RFID. Customers can layer these features as needed on their chips to provide an optimum level of counterfeit deterrence. We understand the importance of making these complex and innovative security solutions quick and easy to authenticate so we offer and develop new tools to simplify the validation process.

CI: It seems lately there has been a great renewed interest in RFID. What has changed for that to have happened?

GG: Since its introduction, we have helped evolve RFID technology significantly. Other suppliers place the RFID tag under the decal. This can easily cause the tag to be damaged as chips are handled or easily accessed by players by lifting the decal. GPI is the only manufacturer that uses a special encapsulation process that helps protect the tag and the information on it.

Operators want more security and functionality for their RFID investment. GPI responded to this need with its exclusive Chip Inventory System (CIS) which can perform a wide range of functions to streamline casino operations thus providing potential revenue enhancements and operational savings. It is important to note, that CIS was developed and built on an open source platform which means it is easily integrated with third party analytics systems and peripherals. With a high level of scalability, CIS can serve as the backbone of a robust security and informational database that can store a near infinite amount of data that operators can mine and interact with to provide valuable information about their operations. Our commitment to RFID technology and RFID solutions has made GPI the leading supplier of RFID enabled currency in the world.

CI: What’s next in the evolution of gaming currency security?

GG: The future lies in creating an integrated solution comprising all of the new and innovative technologies and systems available. As a standalone, GPI’s combination of its technologically advanced gaming currency and Chip Inventory System, offers a robust currency security and inventory tracking solution with customizable, user friendly functions. However, we designed our Chip Inventory System to easily integrate with third party applications. This is why GPI develops cooperative partnerships with a shared vision to develop and offer the most innovative and comprehensive table game solutions that best serve our customers.

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