AWARDS REVIEW: Ahead of the CLASS
by Charles Anderer
July 6, 2012
Bally Technologies headed the list of winners of Casino Journal’s Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products of 2011, which announced platinum, gold, silver and attendees choice award recipients at the Gaming Technology Summit, which took place last month at Green Valley Ranch Resort in Las Vegas.
Bally Mobile Platform received the platinum award. Bally also received the gold award for its Skee-Ball Slot Games product. Also receiving a gold award was Aruze Gaming’s Amazon Fishing, which had the same amount of points in the judged contest. The silver went to Diamond Stream/GCA for Las Vegas Casino Share Intelligence.
The platinum, gold and silver winners received the three highest scores of over 60 submitted products in the annual contest, which was judged by Warren Davidson, slot director, Coushatta Resort; Donne Grable, vice president, gaming operations, VCAT; and Gregg Solomon, chief executive officer, MotorCity Casino. The full Top 20 list of winners was profiles in the June issue of Casino Journal.
Bally also received the attendees choice award at the Summit for Skee-Ball Slots, in voting that took place over two days on the trade show floor.
Here’s a recap and description of the winning products:
PLATINUM AWARD WINNER
Bally’s Mobile Platform allows casinos to build their apps once, and then have that content displayed as native apps and a mobile Web site. Casino personnel can manage their entire mobile suite by logging on to the content management system through an application data management portal. The platform enables casino operators to create and easily update special content and offers, and immediately distribute the information to targeted potential customers. Operators may alert players 24 hours a day, seven days a week about special offers, whether the players are currently at the casino, at home, or even if they are just driving by the property. Operators can target content in countless ways, including a player’s age, player’s club card level, month of their birthday, or their proximity to the property.
The platform also allows operators to use one Content Management System (CMS) that makes sure the appropriate features and content are served up to the appropriate device to optimize the user’s experience. This custom-built CMS provides operators with the flexibility to manage when content goes live, when it expires, who can see it, and more. A single CMS can be used across all of a casino’s properties, allowing one manager to upload, edit, delete and organize the text, photo, audio and video content for each property’s app with one log-in. The data engine is a powerful analysis tool that tracks and catalogs everything users do—from where they are when they make a purchase, to what times of day see usage spikes, to what keywords people search for, to how they’re rating a game in the app.
Amazon Fishing is a six-seat communal game that offers players multiple bonus events, the option to choose their volatility, and Aruze’s Reel Feel gaming technology interaction. When a player first sits down, they are presented the option of three types of bait to use. The game’s volatility adjusts depending on the type of bait the player selects. Large bait “encourages” larger fish to catch with less frequency and smaller bait allows for more frequent but smaller catches; both in individual bonuses and linked competition. The games payout remains the same but the players have different experiences.
The four communal games are Amazon Fishing Competition, Good Catch Competition, Massive Fishing Competition, and Big Game Competition. These games consist of competitions to catch the most fish, the largest fish, and the highest credit amount. Credits awarded are multiplied by the multiplier earned during base game play. Included in the variety of fish to catch are three massive jackpot fish with their credit award amount displayed. The largest fish, worth 100,000 credits, is a catfish too large to fit on one of the 60-inch monitors, and different portions of its body may be seen on all three monitors simultaneously as it swims through.
GOLD AWARD & ATTENDEE CHOICE
Skee-Ball is another evolution of touch-and-slide interactivity, taking Bally’s U-Spin play mechanic to a more advanced level. Rather than just having a little cursor where the players interact, Skee-Ball lets players move the ball along the side, bounce it where they want to, try different levels of speed, all of which react in real time, making it as close to the world’s most popular arcade amusement game as possible.
The bonus round is 100 percent skill-based. The player “rolls” the nine balls, and those balls award “tickets” which are dispensed from the left of the main playing field. The higher the score, the more tickets the player wins. Those tickets are then used in the Pick-A-Prize Bonus, with five shelves holding “prizes” that the player selects to win credits. The underlying math conveys a strong feeling of difference between the different levels. On the one-level shelf, four numbers would be at the lower range, while one is significantly higher. In the five-level shelf, for example, all the numbers are higher and there is less of a differentiation between the highest high and the lowest lows.
Las Vegas Casino Share Intelligence (CSI) is a four-in-one actionable business intelligence tool that enables Las Vegas directors of marketing, casino operators and player hosts to pinpoint the pockets of opportunity and at-risk areas with gamers across the entire country. Hosted on a secure online platform, decision makers have access to the data 24/7. Each casino can benchmark its performance with top gamers against a highly relevant competitor set. This competitor set consists of ‘peer’ casinos, other peer groups in Las Vegas, and regional properties. Each casino’s peer group is determined by casino location and quality—casinos can even specify which particular peer groups they would like to benchmark their performance against. The peer group self-adjusts to account for new competition.
is executive editor of BNP Media Gaming Group and also oversees content development, sales and marketing for the company’s trade shows and conferences, which include Bingo World, Southern Gaming Summit, Gaming Technology Summit, New York Gaming Summit and Casino Marketing. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.