Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products
Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming ProductsLast year, slots and slot products reigned supreme in Casino Journal's Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products competition. This year, gaming technology and efficiency ruled as judges placed less emphasis on slot machines and made winners out of the best products of 2003 that aided customer relationship management, cashless gaming, cash handling, slot lighting and graphics and bingo/video lottery operations.
From bingo daubers to patron management programs to, yes, even slot machines, this year's field of winners for the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products are a truly diverse mix. Fifteen different companies found their way onto the list this year. Some notable newcomers include Arrow International, CI Innovations, Compudigm International and InfoGenesis.
Judges had their work cut out for them this year as they had to sort through and analyze 71 different entries. Products were scored on a point scale of 1 to 10 in eight different categories. Judges were firm but fair in their critiques of the entries, oftentimes having widely varying opinions.
To be listed as a Top 20 winner is to be among the very best in the business. Now in its seventh year, the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products award has been recognized as the most prestigious of its kind in the industry since the awards' inception in 1997.
Of this year's 20 winners, three will be selected as the industry's Top 3 by a secret ballot vote of attendees at this year's American Gaming Summit (Feb. 3-4 at the Four Seasons, Las Vegas). Based on the votes they received, those products will be awarded Silver, Gold and Platinum awards during a breakfast reception at the show.
Judges for this year's Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products were:
-John Ferrucci-vice president/general manager, Casino Magic Biloxi, Biloxi, Miss.
-Lee Skelley-assistant general manager, Barona Valley Ranch Resort-Casino, San Diego
-Frank Neborsky-vice president of slot operations, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Ct.
-Dennis Conrad-president/chief strategist, Raving Consulting, Reno, Nev.
This year's contest was a significantly close race and many products just missed the cut. Some "honorable mentions" include: Transact Technologies' Ithaca Model 850 thermal ticket printer, Nter Technologies' Live Table player tracking and management system, VendingData Corp.'s Deck-Checker, Acres Gaming's Player Specific Game System and Paltronics Inc.'s One Link Slot System.
The following is this year's list of winners. Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all those who participated.
Now, without further ado, the 2003 Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products.
-Millioni$er penny slot
Aristocrat Technologies has raised the stakes of penny slot play with Millioni$er, the company's latest offering on its MKVI(tm) slot platform. The draw of Millioni$er is that players have a chance to win a $1 million jackpot-something unique for penny slots.
Millioni$er utilizes Aristocrat's Hyperlink(r) progressive technology. The game's patented touch-screen-based second screen feature offers four progressive jackpots that can be won at random during any game. These four tiered progressives-Mini, Minor, Major and Grand-give Millioni$er a higher hit frequency that will keep players playing for the ultimate $1 million-plus prize (The top progressive prize starts at $1 million, but can be increased with game play).
In the bonus screen features, players touch animated coins on the screen until they match three of a kind, determining which jackpot they've won.
The penny-only denomination of the game could dissuade some casinos from adding the game, but judges said that Millioni$er is a good fit for casino properties with a strong mix of penny slots.
"It's a very good product and I'd have it on my floor if the denomination were right," one noted.
However, the potential for a large jackpot could be just as enticing for penny gamblers as games like Megabucks or Wheel of Fortune.
While some judges noted the game's aesthetic value could be slightly improved, they added that it shouldn't deter the loyal penny gamblers.
"This game brings the power of pennies together with the lure of a life-changing prize," one judge said. "A simple, but powerful gaming innovation."
Arrow International Inc.
-"New Bingo Pals(tm)" Character Ink Daubers
You don't always need technology to be innovative. A comfortable bottle shape design and a wide variety of cute characters helped launch Arrow International's "New Bingo Pals(tm) ink daubers into this year's Top 20.
The daubers have created incremental sales for bingo halls throughout the United States as players have shown interest in collecting whole sets and different colors.
"This is an excellent product," one judge said. "It's appealing, within price ranges of the target audience and it's a great attention-getter."
Arrow International has several themed sets of daubers for holidays like Christmas and Halloween, as well as licensed characters such as Blondie(r), Popeye(r) and Betty Boop(tm).
The daubers' sculptured design ensures a comfortable grip for the player and each bottle is filled with three ounces of Arrow's player-preferred Dabbin Fever(tm) ink. All designs have a full color sleeve, accented in four colors and well as four-bottle multicolor gift sets.
Judges were most impressed by the ability to generate more interest in bingo halls/operations through a novelty item. One judge even went so far as to call it one of the most innovative products he had reviewed, despite its simplicity.
"This should become a (gaming industry) standard and the character lineup will undoubtedly be enhanced," the judge noted. "The characters are appealing and really bring to life the common dauber."
Bally Gaming & Systems
Judges gave high praise for Bally Gaming's ePRINTER(tm), which transforms almost any older slot machine into a cashless machine.
Already successfully deployed in several casinos, the ePRINTER(tm) is a ticket-in/ticket-out functionality that is driven by the slot system, not the individual game.
One judge called the ePRINTER(tm) "a breakthrough" for casino operators in that they can transform their casino floor to cashless without having to be rid of profitable older machines.
"This is a good product to have with older machines," one judge said.
The only question judges seemed to have was how much of a future the ePRINTER(tm) had once most older games were retrofitted.
"This provides nice add-ons for older equipment, but it seems to have a limited application for the future," one judge said.
Bally, however, noted that the ePRINTER(tm) functionality can be used by casinos to print comp slips, marketing messages, coupons, W2G receipts and jackpot slips, giving older games and even longer shelf life. The company added that ePRINTER(tm) is still in its early stages of development and that additional enhancements will be added to it.
Allowing the printer to generate other documents also enables every slot machine retrofitted with the printer to serve as its own player kiosk as well.
"This is an excellent product that should be mainstreamed as soon as protocol," another judge noted. "It adds functionality where it was not available before. (Casino operators) do not have to replace their games."
Bally Gaming & Systems
Bally Gaming's eTICKET(tm) made its way back to the Top 20 this year as judges lauded its popularity and flexibility with other gaming manufacturer's systems.
There are no shortage of ticket-in/ticket-out options now that cashless gaming has become an industry standard. But Bally's eTICKET(tm), released for Bally's SDS slot monitoring system, continues to impress. The concept is simple: printed tickets with assigned dollar values replace coins in a slot machine, making for a more efficient slot floor in terms of costs and labor. Gamblers, meanwhile, are rid the hassles of exchanging buckets of dirty coins or waiting for slot floor personnel to refill hoppers.
The tickets can be redeemed for cash at a cashier's cage, replayed in another slot machine, or saved for another visit.
"This is a good cashless system that's easy to use," one judge noted.
Bally's eTICKET(tm) works on a variety of machines from nearly every slot manufacturer. This means casinos can retrofit existing slot machines and make their slot floors almost completely cashless with a single ticket-in/ticket-out solution.
Bally's SDS Ticket Cashiering, a companion product to the eTICKET(tm), allows cashier station ticket redemption as well as soft count ticket functionality, together offering a complete ticketing solution for the casino floor.
Judges noted that where ticket-in/ticket-out advancements stand today, there is little differentiation between the eTICKET(tm) and other cashless systems-something they feel Bally would be able to improve on in the future.
"This has already become an industry standard," one judge said. "But it's still the wave of the future."
Casino Data Imaging
-CasinoCAD(c) Software Network V4.2
CasinoCAD(c) is a scalable analysis tool intended to help identify opportunities to boost revenue and profit earnings for slot departments. Ranking high among its impressive features is the system's ability to dynamically color-code slot machine symbols in a user-friendly CAD environment.
By linking information from the slot system to these machine symbols, users can quickly produce graphical floor presentations essential in the examination of key performance indicators.
CasinoCAD(c) also enables drill-down information viewing and dynamic text displays for individual machines, banks, or any user-defined group of machines, giving operators a unique perspective of associated financial information that was previously unavailable using conventional analytical methods. The system integrates a flexible query editor and report template designer, incorporating easy-to-use drop-down menus for viewing or printing detailed information to help determine the ultimate slot machine mix.
The CasinoCAD(c) Software Network is compatible with SDS, ACSC, Aristocrat Oasis, SDG, IGT Smart and IGT slot systems.
The system can work on an enterprise level as well, bringing all the operator's casinos together under one graphical umbrella.
Judges noted that CasinoCAD(c) could have a long future in the gaming industry.
"It can change as the casino floor can change. It's an excellent product," one judge said.
"It speaks directly to slot revenues," another noted. "It's a good tool for slot directors. It's solid, practical and user-friendly."
But with increasing competition in the field of casino analysis, more than one judge wondered how CasinoCAD(c) would alter itself to stand out from other systems in the future.
CI Innovations Inc.
-Replacement lighting systems for slot and video poker machines
CI Innovations' primary product is the direct replacement of standard fluorescent lighting systems now used in casino slot and video poker machines. The company has created lighting systems designed to significantly decrease energy consumption that is used by the machines' fluorescent bulbs, starter and ballasts-by up to 66 percent.
The company's patent-pending, UL approved design for its CI-3 cold cathode slot lighting system requires only one-third of the power that other slot lighting systems need, and produces the same results. The system comes with a two-year warranty and CI Innovations uses long-life cold cathode bulbs.
Installation of the system into slot machines takes only five minutes. The CI-3 unit is placed in a central location inside the machine, fluorescent bulbs are removed, cold cathode bulbs with modifier caps that allow them to work in fluorescent fixtures are added and the job is complete.
The quick installation and long life of the bulbs reduces labor time that slot technicians would normally spend replacing fluorescent bulbs. CI Innovations' system also produces far less heat, helping to reduce cooling expenses throughout the casino.
Judges were impressed with the system's energy saving ability and durability, though some felt a trial period in longer-lasting games should be warranted.
"If it can deliver on its claims, then this is a very good product," one judge said.
"I like it. It appears to be an innovative, breakthrough product," another judge noted.
Compudigm International-seePOWER(tm) V4 Gaming Intelligence
"Every casino has a need for the information this product delivers," one judge noted in his evaluation of Compudigm's seePOWER(tm) Gaming Solution "It's very creative and useful."
seePOWER(tm) is one of the latest business intelligence solutions for detailed player tracking and analytic programs. The program utilizes still and animated visualizations to give hotel-casino management an easy to access, easy to read picture of their business segment.
Compudigm's systems allow the massive amounts of data collected by casinos' player tracking programs to be categorized, stored and broken down with in-depth analytical features and queries. These detailed reports are then displayed with graphic elements that make even the most confusing statistics seem easy to grasp.
One of seePOWER's(tm) more popular features is what those in the gaming industry have commonly referred to as the "heat map" program. In this feature, statistical information-such as slot play at certain machines or drop at table games-can be entered and correlated with a map of the casino floor. Then, using animated visualizations of varying points of the day, week, etc., seePOWER(tm) will show where the "hot spots" are on the floor.
One judge called the "heat map" seePOWER's(tm) strongest feature, but others noted that Compudigm is relatively new to the gaming industry and that seePOWER(tm) is somewhat unproven.
"This is an excellent niche product," one judge said. "If all you need is slot analysis, seePOWER(tm) is a strong product."
Compudigm recently teamed with Teradata to create the bulk of the CRM platform for Harrah's Entertainment. Compudigm has also worked with the Crown Casino in Australia and Hollywood Casinos. Judges noted that Compudigm's client list could grow significantly.
Elo Touchsystems-1229L Multifunction Integrated Monitor
"Very user-friendly," is how one judge described Elo Touchsystems' new 1229L Multifunction Integrated Monitor.
The 1229L foundation is Elo's new "designed for touch" monitor design. The 1229L has a low center of gravity base and mount to ensure stability in all quadrants of the touchmonitor while being activated by a touch input.
The inside of the monitor includes speakers, signal and power LEDS, and a USB hub. Monitor controls have been moved from the front of the monitor to the side to prevent accidental changes to configuration. Power and OSD lockout button sequences are also designed into the controls.
The 1229L was also created with an intelligent cable management design. All of the peripherals are connected to the USB hub inside the monitor where they receive their power, eliminating six cables from the setup. Elo has also reduced the number of peripheral communication and power cables to ensure space-saving simplicity and clean, easy installation.
The 1229L includes options for a three-track magnetic strip reader, rear-facing LED display and a biometric fingerprint recognition device.
The monitor is available with a choice of optimized Elo touch technologies: Intellitouch surface-wave, AccuTouch five-wire resistive and CarrollTouch infrared. Touch input can be activated by a broad range of styli, including finger, fingernail, gloved hand and loyalty card. There are no styli material limitations with the 1229L monitor.
Judges liked the 1229L's multifunction capabilities and easier setup with fewer cables. They also noted the monitor's ability to integrate fingerprint and the loyalty/smart card technology.
"This appears to be an improvement over the existing touch-screen monitors," one judge said.
Global Cash Access/NRT Technology Corp.
The QuickJack Plus cash handling system is the result of a formed alliance between Global Cash Access and NRT Technology. GCA combined its ATM, debit and credit card cash advance services with NTR's QuickJack Plus multi-function patron kiosk.
This combination lets patrons cash in vouchers and access other services in one stop at a QuickJack kiosk. The QuickJack Plus system incorporates GCA's Casino Cash Plus(r) 3-in-1 ATM, which has a patented rollover feature that gives patrons the option of obtaining funds via ATM cash withdrawals, credit card cash advances of POS debit cash advances.
QuickJack's user-friendly, intuitive interface also allows patrons to cash in slot tickets, vouchers and coupons, redeem player's club points for complimentary services and cash, break bills to exchange currency, and can perform other functions such as allow for purchases of show tickets or making restaurant reservations.
"The combination of all facets of cash/ticket redemption, patron services and ATM functions will certainly put (QuickJack Plus) in the lead of cash handling systems," one judge said.
Judges also noted that with the increase in kiosks and self-serve features within casinos that it would become increasingly important to provide "one-stop" services like those that QuickJack Plus offer. But one judge questioned casinos' dependency on machines rather than customer service.
Another judge called the system a "good idea," and that he expected it to become "very popular" on the ever-changing casino floor, with a good shelf life based on its ability to adapt to advances.
-Rendezvous Enterprise Reservation System
InfoGenesis' Rendezvous Enterprise Reservation system gives hotel/resort operators the tools they need for complete restaurant reservation management.
Rendezvous is a three-module program designed for reservation management in all types of environments, from the smallest bar or delicatessen to the largest multi-outlet casino, resort or cruise ship. It uses the Web to streamline call center resources, reduce duplicate bookings, standardize-and improve-guest experiences and track restaurant and guest dining activity.
The system allows operators to keep detailed guest records and help instantly spot valued or VIP customers. Using the system allows operators to get a better feel for their customers wants and needs, and it can be operated across multiple chains or a single restaurant.
Rendezvous is easy to use and maintain, with no special hardware or software to install or manage. It can support thousands of users and millions of transactions. It will process reservations quickly and accurately creating greater guest satisfaction.
By having the Rendezvous system in place, casino resorts are afforded better efficiency in their food and beverage departments and can increase additional revenue with satisfied return customers.
"I think that this is a good tool for large casinos with multiple restaurants," one judge said. "This product replaces the old reservation book. It should help with maximizing table turns."
"This is an excellent use of technology and management and enhances the guest experience," another judge noted.
-Revelation Enterprise POS solution
Multi-unit operators often struggle to manage point-of-sale functions as a single, seamless enterprise. Traditional POS requires individual application/database servers as each site and complex polling methods to transfer sales and labor data to corporate reporting systems.
Revelation, by InfoGenesis, however, addresses these concerns with cutting-edge technology, flexible configuration and reporting options and reliability for a truly complete POS solution. The Revelation Universal Desktop allows for complete, browser-based configuration, reporting and system maintenance functions across the board. Offline capabilities allow customers to continue to operate in the event of a network disruption or failure.
Revelation offers many hospitality POS features: wireless networking, F&B inventory, liquor gun control and PMS interfaces, credit card authorization, multi-revenue reporting, flexible price and menu scheduling.
Windows CE-based hand-held terminals make use of Revelation's transaction processing gateway web service, facilitating guest service from any location. The system's multi-tiered architecture also boasts a powerful centralized database and scalability for operations on 1,000-plus terminals.
"This product is able to handle a large casino with many outlets," one judge said. "Other systems have a problem handling that large flow of data."
Revelation lets customers manage systems on a store, division or enterprise level anywhere in the world over an Internet connection in real time.
"It's the next generation POS," another judge noted. "It's a very flexible system, with access from any location. It's a nice improvement over previous systems."
International Game Technology
-PromoPAK(tm) Modules for EZ Pay(tm) and IGS(tm) products
New features included with IGT's PromoPAK(tm) Modules for EZ Pay(tm) and IGS(tm) allow casino marketing departments to cater to players like never before, allowing operators to entice new players, while rewarding loyal ones.
For EZ Pay(tm), the PromoPAK(tm) Module offers both promo ticket and purchase ticket features. Promo tickets give the casino marketing department the ability to control, report and evaluate the promotional credits used to attract new players and reward loyal customers. Promo tickets can be redeemed for cash or credits on Advanced Funds Transfer (AFT)-ready machines.
The purchase ticket feature allows customers to purchase tickets at any cashier workstation and redeem them in ticket-in/ticket-out machines.
"This allows the operators to target new customers very efficiently," one judge said.
The PromoPAK(tm) Module for the IGS product creates marketing opportunities with the new promo card feature. Casinos can use this function to
create specific promotions and issue rewards cards for that promotion to players, complete with an assigned, predetermined dollar value on the card. This way, promotional expenses incurred by marketing departments do not go to waste.
The new features enable casino operators to manage promotions and determine their worth better, while creating flexibility and convenience for the players on the casino floor.
One judge said that IGT's customer support /guest service on the new products could be improved, but overall, judges gave PromoPAK(tm) high marks.
"These are excellent innovations on an already tremendously successful product," one judge said.
International Game Technology
-Reel Touch(tm) Series slots
IGT's Reel Touch(tm) Series slots bridge the gap between slots and video games in an effort to focus on greater player entertainment.
The slot series adds high-quality features such as enhanced stereo sound and backlit reels that players have lauded and come to expect from new games. Reel Touch also delivers all-new interactive hardware features including a 15-inch touchscreen LCD in a prominent 31-inch top box and an optional EZ Touch selectable multi-denominational touchpad that adds convenience and fun to the games' play.
The top box's LCD display offers a host of graphics and creates an interactive bonus game environment for spinning reel players. The EZ Touch touchpad displays two, three or four operator-selectable denominations in a conveniently-located area of the machine.
Expandable credit meters allow for higher credit values to be shown and the machine's illuminated bezel changes color during game play, enhancing the machines' appeal with gamblers.
"It's attractive and speaks directly to the slot entertainment component," one judge said. "It's innovative in its simplicity and ability to improve
Judges also noted that several of the features IGT added into the product line-LCD touchscreen, EZ Touch multi-denomination touchpad and the expanded credit meter-have long-standing value, given the gaming industry's recent technology shifts. They agree those elements could lengthen the games' shelf lives.
"The better technology leads to an improved experience," one judge noted.
-Advantage Series(tm) slots
The Advantage Series (tm) (AS) is a new three-reel slot line developed jointly by Konami's game development divisions in Japan and the United States. The company says the components of the slot line will revamp traditional slot play. The AS games are multi-denominational, which is player selectable. The games are SAS 6.0 compatible, and support tokenization, SDS, EZ-Pay and AFT.
The game's reels operate within a Sharp 7-inch TFT-LCD screen. The screen has the potential for a variety of additional functions, including: software, audit, diagnostic and event meters; setting system options; display of pay tables; bonus round play; and the possibilities for a fourth reel and streaming video.
"Not only is (this product) visually appealing, but also very playable," one judge said. "It's a very good product."
The AS platform utilizes compact flash data storage, which is capable of holding large amounts of data, thereby ensuring high quality graphics and sound for the TFT-LCD screen. This also enables easier game conversion, as reel replacement is a one-step process.
Unique lighting techniques accentuate reels and highlight individual symbols. Multi-colored LEDs accentuate each reel when a bonus is awarded. Reel symbols are also backlit to provide greater vibrancy and visual impact for players.
Among the game titles Konami has released under the AS line are "Flame Jumper," "Golden Theater," and "Solstice Gold."
"This appears to be a breakthrough product," another judge noted. "I like it very much and would consider it seriously."
Multimedia Games Inc.
-Reel Time Bingo(tm)
When the National Indian Gaming Commission published a set of new rules in early 2003 outlining how technological aids can be used to play electronic bingo on Indian reservations, Multimedia Games responded by releasing the Reel Time Bingo(tm) gaming engine. The development enabled exciting, entertaining and compelling electronic games within a traditional Class II environment.
The Reel Time Bingo(tm) gaming engine powers Class II interactive games while incorporating the essential elements of bingo. A player purchases cards to participate and then the Reel Time Bingo(tm) engine distributes the cards and draws the number sequence, determining the outcome of the game.
"It looks and feels like a legitimate slot-in a Class II environment," one judge noted. "This is an excellent alternative for Class II properties."
The machines have enhanced graphics and sound, offer large payouts and operate like a linked progressive.
Reel Time Bingo(tm) connects players in different locations who want to join a bingo game via a centralized server. As a result, the gaming engine creates competition between players all over the country who are gathered together in different casinos attached to the network.
Multimedia Games' certified ball draw is based on a proprietary random number generator algorithm.
Popular game titles so far include: "High Noon Stud Poker," "Yahtzee" and "Black & White Double Jackpot."
"This is a good product to have in the VLT market," another judge noted. "The VLT market is very strong and it needs variety. With good graphics, presentation and game variety, this is a winner."
Multimedia Games Inc.
-Video Lottery Central Determinant System
Fresh off its selection as the core gaming engine for the New York State Lottery's new video lottery program, Multimedia Games' Video Lottery Central Determinant System makes a splash in the Top 20 by impressing judges with its functionality, efficiency and potential for revenue.
The Video Lottery Central Determinant System controls the wagering, accounting, monitoring, auditing and security processes for a gaming network from a central computer. It includes an interactive player communication and display terminal that, when activated by the player, requests and retrieves a lottery outcome from a randomly sorted, finite pool of outcomes using proprietary, truly random shuffling algorithms.
As a "single engine" operation the system differs from the traditional VLT environment, where vendors supply the central systems to power their own games. Each of those systems, being proprietary themselves, have to be installed, housed and maintained separately. With the Video Lottery Central Determinant System, those issues are alleviated by providing a single game source in a multi-vendor environment.
The system has the ability to run jackpots, connect all of its guests and can run popular game titles from known manufacturers. It combines proven VLT technology with e-commerce technology, creating a more reliable and flexible system.
"This could prove to be a very good option for those jurisdictions that allow only Class II gaming," one judge said. "Competition could escalate in the Class II market, so this product must keep pace to prove successful."
"This is a quantum step forward and no doubt was the reason it was selected by New York," another judge added.
Venture Catalyst Inc.
Judges hailed the revenue potential and CRM abilities of Venture Catalyst's Mariposa Software, a suite of customer tracking and management applications specifically designed for the gaming industry.
"This is the type of product for which 'Most Innovative' contests were created," one judge said. "It's cutting-edge with a great value on the marketing side. Tremendous."
With several modules for implementation, Mariposa's core program enables executives and managers to know more about their guests' gaming behavior than guests know (or tell) about themselves. Using detailed analytics in light of individual customer activity and behavior patterns, Mariposa Software allows operators to create "predictability monitoring" of their customers. With this information, operators can then forecast economic value of individuals or groups of customers, whether it be per visit, per year, or throughout the customer's lifetime.
By utilizing Mariposa Software, casino operators can develop a more "hands-on" approach with their customers, creating relationships that generate loyalty and add desirable revenue to companies' bottom lines.
The software's capabilities include recognition programs to let operators know when certain guests are in their properties and mapping/visualization programs to give operators an easier-to-comprehend look at the different demographics of their business.
"The gaming industry needs the functionality in Mariposa to be competitive and successful," one judge said, while another noted that the software helps operators/hosts with less CRM experience stay on top of the latest trends and demographic shifts of their customers with ease.
Already in use at several resort casinos, Mariposa Software is quickly developing a positive track record in the gaming industry.
WMS Gaming Inc.
-Can't Lose!(tm) mechanical reel slots
"The 'Can't Lose!(tm)' slogan is catchy and the concept is very strong," said one judge of WMS Gaming's new patent pending Can't Lose!(tm) mechanical reel slots, a new line the company unveiled just months ago at the Global Gaming Expo.
The three-reel slots feature a new proprietary bonus feature that awards players with free spins that guarantee a winning combination. When players bet the maximum amount of credits and a Can't Lose! (tm) reel symbol appears on the payline, the player earns free spins that can be banked and used by the player whenever they wish.
WMS is banking on the game line's brand name to draw customers by appealing to the concept of guaranteed winning spins. Other games, using similar name recognition have fared well in the recent past, including Bally Gaming's "Cash For Life" series and International Game Technology's "Megabucks"-both of which draw players with the allure of life-changing payouts.
Judge's noted that as long as winning symbols triggering the guaranteed wins occur often enough in the Can't Lose!(tm) games to keep gamblers interested, it will prove to be a hit on casino floors.
Judge's also liked the games' mechanical spinning reels, which they note are still popular on the casino floor, even with the push to video reel screens.
"Reel slots are still necessary," one judge said. "Games like this give us more variety."
WMS currently has four games in the Can't Lose!(tm) series: "X-Tra Hot(tm)," "American Spirit(tm)," "Forever Sevens(tm)" and "Diamonds in the Rough(tm)." CJ