Global Gaming Expo Opens This Week with New Slot Machines Designs
The Global Gaming Expo on the Las Vegas Strip this weekend is expected to see the debut of slot machines with skill gaming elements. The exposure provided by the GGE could be a make-or-break proposition for some aspiring game designers, while it’s a chance for gamblers to see what the future holds on slots row.
On September 29 at 3:15 in Bellini 2010, a conference will be held to discuss the advent of skill gaming machines for casino. The luminaries set to discuss the changes are Gamblit Gaming CEO Eric Meyerhofer, Global Gaming Business editor Frank Legato, New Jersey Divison of Gaming Enforcement director David Rebuck, and Gaming Laboratories International’s Technical Compliance director, Chad Kornett.
Skill Based Games Debut
The Global Gaming Expo is an annual conference of the world’s leading gambling executives and game designers. The event takes place on the Las Vegas Strip. Former key note speakers have included Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson. Gaming companies also use the exposition to debut innovations in gaming technology. The most talked-about innovation in 2015 is the skill game slot machines, which is a radical departure from any kind of slots design which has come before it.
The reason for the rollout of new game designs are two-fold: a drop in slots revenues on the Las Vegas Strip and the Nevada state legislature’s reaction to that decline. When the Vegas casino companies began to analyze their numbers, they noticed that millennials were not spending as much money on slots row. Slots row traditionally accounts for about 70% of casino revenues. Millennials, defined as people who turned 18 sometime in the 21st century, are the future of the casino industry, so that was a bad thing for the casino operators.
New Nevada Gaming Law
Armed with that troubling information, casino operators asked Nevada lawmakers to approve skill-based slot machines. Analysts decided that millennials had grown up playing skill-based video games and online games, so they didn’t much like the game mechanics of traditional slots. A classic slot machine has no skill or strategy element whatsoever, no matter what the con men and the misinformed have said over the years.
Slots also have a high house edge, meaning an average spin takes more money from a gambler than the average hand of blackjack or rolls of the dice in craps. The average slot machine in Las Vegas pays out 93.6%, meaning you would expect to receive back $93.60 every time you wager $100. Adding a skill game to a slot machine therefore gives younger players the hope they can increase payouts with skillful play, eliminating two major complaints. It’s thought a skill game would have a base payout of 88%, but with good strategy and skillful play, the payout could increase to 98%.
Downtown Grand’s Skill Games
The Downtown Grand is redesigning its slots floor to accommodate skill gaming. When the redesign is complete and the new machines arrive, the boutique casino is likely to become a trendy spot for younger casino gamblers.
Seth Schorr: “Gamblified” Video Games
Seth Schorr, the chairman of Fifth Street Gambling (owner of the Downtown Grand), says he expects to be one of the cutting edge resorts in Las Vegas for new gaming. Schorr hopes to host e-sports tournaments on the floor of the Downtown Grand, so skill gaming slots dovetails quite nicely with his concept for marketing.
Schorr sits on the board of directors for one of the companies trying to revolutionize slots: GameCo. The young executive says GameCo is taking the first-person shooter games and racing games which millennials prefer and have added gambling mechanics to gameplay. As Schorr says, “They’ve ‘gamblified’ them.”
Blaine Graboyes on Slots Gaming
Blaine Graboyes, the CEO and co-founder of GameCo, says the new law is a chance for casinos and game designers to change the playing field altogether. The next generation of gamblers are not going to be interested in passive chance-based games. Graboyes said, “This is really the opportunity for casinos to reinvigorate slots.”
This is not the first attempt to placate the younger generation.
MGM Grand’s Video Gambling
The MGM Grand created a great deal of space for dealer-less versions of games like craps, roulette, and baccarat, hoping to bring a younger customer base into their resort. The MGM Grand even built a stadium-style gaming room for video baccarat.
Justin Andrews, VP of Slots for the MGM Grand, says the players in the video gaming area are 11 years younger than the average casino gambler. Andrews told Hawaii News Now, “Millennials are more attracted to the electronic table games than the traditional slots.”
What about Old Style Slots?
Not everyone is likely to prefer the new style of gaming. For the older generation, such games are likely to be a bane. If they don’t learn the skills to play the game well, the payout percentage on the game is likely to drop.
Older generation slots players might prefer the old-style slot machines, because it’s a relaxing way to spend a vacation. Lisa Navarro, a New Yorker found playing slots at the Linq, said she had been playing the penny slots all week. Navarro said, “It keeps you entertained for a long time.”
Thus, skill gaming is thought to be a diversification of slots row–not a 100% revolution. Traditional gamblers are going to continue to be the main demographic for years to come, so people can expect to see classic 3-reels and 5-reel video slots for a long time yet.
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