Casino Tampere Hits the Jackpot with Genelec Smart IP
Casino Tampere is a far cry from the glitz and bling-bling of Las Vegas. Located at Tampere’s Nokia Arena, it’s only the second casino in Finland and is owned and operated by the Finnish state-owned company Veikkaus. Casino Tampere operates a Responsible Gaming policy with tools in place to enable players to self-regulate as well as mandatory loss limits on slot machines. Exuding Finnish style with lots of natural wood and greenery, Casino Tampere combines Nordic design with the world’s most advanced casino concepts for a thoroughly modern, and unique, casino environment. Over 100 Genelec (opens in new tab) Smart IP loudspeakers contribute to a complete sensory experience that sets Casino Tampere apart from any other gaming venue.
Digital AV solutions experts, Craneworks Oy, won an open tender to design and supply all of the digital AV solutions for the new casino thanks to their imaginative, ideas-driven approach combined with solid technical expertise. "Our aim was to design the world’s most advanced casino experience with a Nordic twist and a bit of magic," explained Craneworks managing director, Sami Käyhkö.
Genelec’s Smart IP loudspeakers fitted perfectly into Craneworks’ vision: "We wanted all of the casino AV technology to be built on an IP network with full remote controllability," explained Käyhkö. "That includes audio, video, lighting, digital signage, the AV matrix and scaler, and even scent control." The Genelec Smart IP loudspeakers made perfect sense in this context. "Aesthetically, their rounded form works very well with the casino’s Finnish-inspired interior—in certain areas we even have some of the models with the RAW aluminum finish, which look amazing—and of course they are very easy to install with just one Ethernet cable and no external amplifiers to worry about."
"From a sound quality and durability point of view, you can’t ask for more—Genelec stands for quality and we’re pleased to use a Finnish brand," he continues. "The other major bonus points were full remote control—our HQ is in Helsinki about 150 km from the casino, so you don’t want to have to drive there just to adjust one speaker—and easy on-the-fly configuration."
Part of what makes Casino Tampere unique is a "nature 2.0" concept called ‘Virta’ or ‘stream’ in English. Virta runs through the whole casino and is an experience in itself. Virta’s architecture brings together the best in wood construction along with smart lighting and digital signage solutions, creating around 250 metres of digital screen that are used to display a wide range of continually updated, seasonally themed content. Premium audio is an integral part of the experience and includes six separate 12.1 surround sound zones throughout the Virta space. A series of adjoining "bays" serve as lounges and other seating areas that patrons can use for dining, or to play mobile sports games. There are also large screens for catching up on the latest live sports.
In addition to Virta—which also features sophisticated scent design created by sensory marketing experts Sevende Aromas—there are several stereo sound areas in various gaming rooms, lounges, the check-in area and even the rest rooms. In total, over 100 Genelec 4420 Smart IP loudspeakers supported by thirteen 7050 subwoofers deliver the audio experience throughout the casino.
All the audio, video, lighting and scent distribution systems are controlled via a Crestron server accessed by several touchscreens, both fixed and wireless. "The customer can change the volume in any sound zone—or even the volume of an individual speaker—via the touchscreen as well as route different sources to different zones," explained Käyhkö. "For example, in certain sports areas, the nearest IP speakers are normally part of the Virta 12.1 soundscape, but if a customer wants to see and hear the match at levels greater than the screen will allow, we can mix the sport sound to the nearest loudspeakers."
Indeed, as part of the 15,000-seat Nokia Arena complex—a premier venue for national and international ice hockey—sport plays an important role in Casino Tampere. Whenever there is a major game, sound and video feeds from the arena can be delivered to any or all loudspeakers and screens in the casino. "It’s as if you had your own private VIP box," said Käyhkö. When a goal is scored, it triggers a ‘goal show’ across the casino’s AV system so that gamers are kept up to speed with progress from the hockey rink.
Ari Tuuli, project manager for Casino Tampere operators, Veikkaus Oy, is proud of what has been achieved. "Casino Tampere is an experience," he said. "There is no other casino in the world like it. We have created a lush, inviting environment that engages all the senses—specially developed soundscapes, video content and scent design evoke the different seasons, encouraging relaxation and socializing as well as gaming."
"This has been a fascinating project at every level," reflected Käyhkö. "We developed the multisensory approach as a whole customer experience, of which audio is an integral part, rather than separate silos of sound, video, lighting etc. Thanks to the easy on-the-fly configuration of Genelec Smart IP loudspeakers, we can create new sound zones at will and mix easily between different zones, enabling us to be extremely reactive to changing circumstances or the addition of new content. Achieving the same functionality with a traditional analogue loudspeaker setup would have been virtually impossible, but with Genelec’s Smart IP loudspeakers, it was actually very easy to execute, and the results are stunning. Big thanks to our team of professionals who made this happen."