Europe, Middle East
Finland's Slot Machine Association (Raha-automaattiyhdistys, RAY) was established in 1938 to collect funds from gambling activities for Finnish social and health organizations to support their activities. Throughout its history, RAY has pursued the money machine business in Finland on an exclusive basis.
RAY is a public association, which currently consists of 99 social and health care member organizations. RAY employs nearly 1 700 full-time or part-time employees. RAY's slot machine games can be played in around 9 000 partner premises all over Finland.
Challenges and objectives In the past, all information was collected from gaming machines through modem link once a day. This started to be slow and old-fashioned in 2007, when the renovation project was started to be planned and implemented.
RAY wanted to replace dial-up connections with public network connection and with wireless networks between slot machines. This would ease placement of equipment, it would enable new online features to games and distribution of slot machines would be easier and less expensive.
Standard wireless router couldn't be used because slot machines' connections to the network and overall security required customizing of the devices. User interface needed to be a standard browser application with necessary menus only. Two different user levels were needed and both needed to have own device-specific passwords and different menus. In addition, automatic secure connections were needed.
Solution Buffalo Technology was selected as the supplier of Wireless routers. The main reason for the choice was Buffalo AirStation routers' capability of using open architecture Open-WRT firmware. It adds significantly to the router features (eg. VPN, IPv6 and RADIUS authentication) and could be customized for RAY's needs. Buffalo's low price and guarantee after firmware upgrades were significant factors why their routers were selected.
RAY chose Atostek Oy (http://www.atostek.com/) as the supplier of whole project through open competitive tendering.
The first Buffalo routers were delivered in December 2007 and so far a total of 4 000 devices have been supplied around Finland. RAY is very happy with the routers and wireless networks have been operating smoothly.