Slot Machine Gaming – Slots influencer Brian Christopher, who has a slot room at the Plaza, films a video of himself playing the new Wild Wild Buffalo game at the Aristocrat Gaming booth during the Indian Gaming Trade Show and Convention at the Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. next are Britt Carter of bcslots.com, right, and Meghan Sleik and Jon Hanlin of Aristocrat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Members of the Yaaw Tei Yi Tlingit/Haida Tribal Dance Group from Juneau, Alaska, including drummers, from left, Andrea Ebona-Michel, Amber Forrester and Fausto Paulo, open the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 .(K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
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Aristocrat Technologies’ Ryan Scott, right, shows Clint Koehn of Newscastle, Okla. A Game of Thrones slot machine at the Aristocrat Technologies booth during the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (K.M. /Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
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Wendy Merrill, assistant general manager at Grand Casino Mille Lacs in Onamia, Minn., plays a Game of Thrones slot machine with the signature curved cabinet at the Aristocrat Technologies booth during the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention at the Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Thursday, July 22, 2021 .(K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Aristocrat slot machines with the signature curved cabinet at the Aristocrat Technologies booth during the Indian Gaming Expo at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas Thursday, July 22, 2021. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Ali Ahmadian, manager of systems engineering at IGT, demonstrates cashless gaming at the IGT booth during the Indian Gaming Expo at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ KMCannonPhoto
Jason Thompson, director of slots at Spirit Lake Casino & Resort in Saint Michael, N.D., left, and Collette Brown, CEO of Spirit Lake, right, look at a Lucky Ox slot machine with John McMullen, director of sales at IGT, second from left, and Jed Ingalls, IGT product manager, at the IGT booth during the Indian Gaming Expo at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
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Karen Sanchez of Albuquerque, N.M. sets up Navajo jewelry and crafts at her booth during the Indian Gaming Expo at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhot
Members of the Yaaw Tei Yi Tlingit/Haida Tribal Dance Group from Juneau, Alaska, including Gerald Mayeda, open the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @ KMCannonPhoto
Gaming industry vendors gathered in Las Vegas this week for the first time in over a year to showcase their latest and greatest products at India’s gaming trade show and convention.
“This is like a celebration of the industry. We’ve been virtual and remote for 18 months now, with Zoom calls and all that stuff. And this is really a people job. It’s about long-term, sustainable partnerships,” said Matt Wilson, CEO of Games for Science Games. “So it’s good to be back, face to face.”
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Gaming technology companies showcased their products at Caesars Forum, including several that they have recently introduced or will be coming to Las Vegas casinos in the near future. Here are some trends to watch out for at the casino:
Cashless gaming continues to be a hot topic for gaming technology companies. Manufacturers and analysts say the pandemic has accelerated casino interest in contactless cashless products, even though such technology has existed or been in development for years.
Las Vegas-based companies such as International Game Technology, Scientific Games and Everi all touted their various financial technology products at the convention, which was put on by the National Indian Gaming Association.
“We’ve already had a good base of customer interest in our IGT cashless technologies,” said Vice President of Global Communications Phil O’Shaughnessy. “With the pandemic, I mean, literally, the phones started ringing, ‘Hey, how can we implement this?’
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IGT offers a Resort Wallet product that gives players the opportunity to fund an account and play slots without cash using a player’s casino-branded loyalty card or a digital wallet integrated into the resort’s app, said Michael Ratner, director of product management.
A partnership with digital casino marker maker Marker Trax, announced Tuesday at the convention, adds the ability to play slots with casino credit, something usually limited to table games.
Ratner said a player can transfer funds to and from slots within any property using IGT’s casino management system, IGT Advantage. Two Las Vegas casinos have installed Resort Wallet — one on the Strip and one off — and are preparing before going live, he said. IGT is testing the external funding feature “at a large corporate client here in Las Vegas.”
Everi’s digital wallet, the CashClub Wallet, holds real money on behalf of the casino guest and is “gaming system agnostic,” says Darren Simmons, Everi’s executive vice president who oversees financial technology operations.
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The wallet is actually a bank account with accompanying licenses and federal insurance, Simmons said. Guests can deposit money into the account and use it to fund slot machines, table games, mobile gambling games or retail purchases at the property.
Players can fund their CashClub wallet using a debit or credit card or direct payment from their bank account. The funds are available through a mobile app or a self-service kiosk that allows players to withdraw cash from their wallets, Simmons said.
“You definitely want to be able to make the customer feel good and comfortable about where their money is,” Simmons said.
Aristocrat Technologies also announced Tuesday a partnership with Sightline Payments that facilitates cashless payments at any casino using Aristocrat’s management system. These efforts were originally launched at the properties of Boyd Gaming Corp. in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana through BoydPay.
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Buffalo slot machine maker Aristocrat Technologies launched this month a new line of “Game of Thrones: King’s Landing” slot games and a new twist on Buffalo machines, Wild Wild Buffalo.
Slots influencer Brian Christopher, who owns a slot room at the Plaza, was seen at the Aristocrat gaming booth on Wednesday filming a video of himself playing Wild Wild Buffalo.
It will be hard to miss the games. They’re in the company’s Double Neptune cabinets, which launched earlier this year, according to Ryan Scott, vice president of gaming operations at Aristocrat. Each Neptune cabinet features two 49-inch, 4-K definition curved screens, 23.5-inch buttons that bend to fit the screen, and eye-level side video displays.
Wild Wild Buffalo combines the Wild Wild West chase mechanics and Buffalo gameplay with the wheel feature from previous games, Scott said. In May, the company launched another combo game with Dragon Link and Buffalo called Buffalo link.
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Scientific Games worked to design its own extra-tall game in the closet – an 11-foot mural featuring two 55-inch, 4k curved screens and the popular game “WILLY WONKA – Dreamer of Dreams” – during the pandemic with a specific cause in mind.
“People are stuck inside on their couches, consuming media on their little iPhone or up there on a 42-inch LCD screen. What experience can you bring to life that you can’t get in your own home?” Wilson said.
The new game, Wilson said, offers an immersive experience that they hope can draw people back to gaming floors “with an experience they won’t get sitting on their couch.”
Electronic table games – essentially digitized versions of popular games such as blackjack, baccarat, roulette, etc. – are not new technology by any means.
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These types of games, often referred to as ETGs, have been popular in Asian gambling markets for years. But during the pandemic, ETG makers said they saw a surge in demand from North American casinos looking for alternatives to traditional table games as they tried to restructure their gaming rooms amid social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions.
This is where products like Interblock’s Pulse Arena come into play. The company’s setup allows for a live dealer for some games, located at the front of the arena with a large screen behind them showing the game board, or fully automated games, and gamblers can play multiple games at once. But most importantly, the setup is modular, where each machine can be moved around to create almost any type of setup a casino might want or need due to restrictions.
“This is a really great solution because you can socially distance. You can space it as far as you want,” said Stephanie Kozal, director of marketing for Interblock.
Digitized tabletop games often require less buy-in than their traditional counterparts, and new players can learn as they go without worrying about slowing down the game.
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“Many new players are getting used to this type of betting experience,” said Koval. “You can sit here and enjoy and learn without really feeling intimidated by some of the more advanced players.”
Avery is also testing its digital jackpot system, Jackpot Xpress, at El Cortez and Caesars Palace. The program speeds up what can be a lengthy process for a casino jackpot