Borgata Casino in Atlantic City Installs Skill-Based Casino Games for Special Event

The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City is weeks away from hosting a skill-based casino games competition. The event is seen by certain gaming analysts as a test-run for such games becoming a permanent part of the gaming floor at the Borgata.

The games in question are played on slot machines, but they involve sports competitions and word games similar to Scrabble. Such game elements would allow gamblers to increase their chances through word skills, hand-to-eye coordination, and trivia knowledge.

Atlantic City Financial Issues

Atlantic City is facing crippling financial troubles, so finding ways to draw more customers is seen as essential by business and political leaders. Borgata is the leading casino in Atlantic City, but it can widen its lead and perhaps show other local casinos how to make more money.

Appealing casino features are one of the key ways to attract more customers, along with non-gaming revenue sources like shows, concerts, shopping outlets, and other attractions. Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian is trying to transition his city into a non-gaming tourist destination, but the Borgata’s initiative might dovetail with the same ideas.

Slot Machine Revenues

Slot machines have been the staple of the Atlantic City financial picture for two decades. After the inception of electronic gaming machines, licensed slots, and progressive jackpots, the slot machines became the biggest attraction at land-based casinos. In some places, slots account for 70% of a casino’s revenue.

Data shows that the American public is beginning to stay away from the slots, as more information disseminates through the Internet that the slots are one of the worst bets in the casino. Also, plenty of gamblers have learned their lessons through the school of hard knocks, as they see their paycheck frittered away on slots row.

Skill Added to the Slots

Under the circumstances, adding a skill element to a video slots game makes a lot of sense. By offering players the chance to control their own destiny through skill and expertise, a casino might lure back a significant portion of the gaming public.

That’s how blackjack and video poker became so popular, because they offer a low house edge to gamblers who can master the strategies. That’s why poker attracts so many colorful professionals, because those who can combine mastery of card playing math, bluffing, acting, knowlege of body language, and a bit of human psychology can make a living at the poker tables.

Nevada Skill Games Initiative

The state legislature of Nevada is currently debating whether to institute similar laws in the western desert. It has been reported, if the lawmakers pass such a law, Las Vegas slot machines might include a skill element within six months.

Apparently, the Borgata is ahead of that time table. The Division of Gaming Enforcement has given permission to test out such gaming options. Meanwhile, Borgata’s executives say they have “taken imminent actions” to install special skill-based slot machines in their casino.

Tropicana Also Considering Skill-Slots

Other Atlantic City casinos are considering the possibilities, too. The Tropicana is said to be considering the installation of skilled-based gaming machines. The six other Atlantic City casinos are weighing the options, as well, though it should be said that a high up-front investment might prove to be an obstacle.

Outside Borgata, most of the Atlantic City casinos have posted disappointing revenue numbers of late. Some have been significantly worse than disappointing. For instance, the Trump Taj Mahal just came out of a bankruptcy process and was days away from closing at several points.

Trump Taj Mahal Slots?

Of course, Carl Icahn now owns the Trump Taj Mahal. With a financial operator of Icahn’s stature at the head, Trump Taj Mahal might become a market leader again. Several prominent figures, including Ivanka and Donald Trump, have suggested Icahn will make the Taj Mahal a huge excess.

Whether that means skilled-based gaming is another matter. Carl Icahn might not have spend several hundred million dollars into order to run an operation with games of skill.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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