One of the questions often asked of Cadillac Jack is how the gaming manufacturer got its name. Mike Macke, current chairman and chief executive officer, founded the company in 1995, and has that answer.
"My background is in game design," said Macke, "and about 13 years ago, after a self-imposed retirement, a friend of mine, who was involved in gaming in South Carolina, asked me to build a five-player electronic blackjack game that was very popular in the Southern states at the time. So I built one that was the Cadillac of blackjack games and named it Cadillac Jack. The rest, as they say, is history."
And what a history it has been, in spite of the times when the investment community suggested Macke change the name of the company.
"Our customers liked the name and I liked it and that's all that mattered," he said.
Cadillac Jack designs, manufactures and distributes server-based downloadable games and gaming equipment to Native American gaming, charity bingo, international markets and other venues. Macke has been the driving force in the continued growth of the company, while holding overall responsibility for directing corporate strategy and leading the company's efforts to identify new markets.
The newest one identified is Mexico.
"Our international sales are 50 percent now," said Macke, "and that market continues to grow as gaming moves rapidly around the world. We're in Bolivia, Peru, and the United Kingdom, and we have sold some games in Russia. But our next really big market is Mexico."
Cadillac Jack started in Mexico one year ago when the country issued 358 bingo licenses including both traditional paper bingo and electronic bingo machines.
"Our strength in the international marketplace comes from our vast market experience and our ability to leverage and adapt our core Class II offerings to meet stringent international requirements," explained Macke. "Those machines are very similar to Class II bingo machines that we have in Native American casinos. Now if you do the math of 358 locations at 200 machines per location that totals out to about 72,000 machines. We've already placed 1,000 machines there and expect to add another 5,000 in the coming year. Mexico is going to be a big market, not only for us, but for other gaming manufacturers as well."
Keeping it freshAnother strength that Cadillac Jack promotes is its extensive game library. According to Greg Gronau, president, about five new games are introduced every two months.
"We work closely with operators to maximize customer acceptance of our product," he said. "For instance, we evaluated the market appeal for games based on old schoolyard games. So we're about to introduce "Rock, Paper, Scissors." This will be the first in a series of games within an entire family of products that will go into this category."
Tim Minard, chief financial officer, is proud that Cadillac Jack has always stayed ahead of the technological curve and was one of the first companies to develop downloadable game systems. He said the ability to quickly and easily download new game titles provides greater efficiency for gaming operators, and allows them to adjust their floor mix for seasonal themes.
Bob Drew, chief operating officer, said the company's downloadable game capabilities provide a continual refresh of new games for the players and continual optimization for the operator.
"We enjoy working with our clients to develop an efficient casino floor," said Drew. "It benefits both of us as we continue optimization of our product while refreshing customer play and client satisfaction."
Rave reviewOne satisfied client is John Barrett, chairman of the Citizen Potawatami Nation.
"What really impresses me about Cadillac Jack is the reliability of their equipment," said Barrett. "I attribute this to Mr. Macke, whom I have known for years and find him to be the most creative and innovative person in gaming, especially when it comes to Class II equipment. He has the ability to foresee trends in the industry and identify new market opportunities. In my opinion, they lead the market in the combination of multidenomination games with bonus features."
Barrett said Cadillac Jack has become more creative and responsive to his casino's demographics and does a good job of analyzing market and understanding player preference.
"It seems that at the end of a meeting with them, they always walk away with a sense of what to do," said Barrett. "And sure enough, they'll return and bring in a game with a new pattern of play or rhythm. And the same can be said about the bonus features and graphics. They're very adaptive and will alter their product if need be. This is where they excel."
Sidebars:Cadillac Jack at a glance
Cadillac Jack developed its early success in the redemption and amusement markets. Both markets continue to be reliable and well-established for the company, despite changing legislation. Maintaining a focus on innovative game design, Cadillac Jack designs, manufactures, licenses and sells an extensive portfolio of revenue-producing games that provide player satisfaction. With a vast array of products deployed worldwide, Cadillac Jack has the games and experience to meet the needs of gaming operators worldwide.
2420 Meadowbrook Parkway
Duluth, Ga. 30096
Toll Free: (800) 684-4263
Fax: (770) 908-1790
Mike Macke-chairman and chief executive officer
Bob Drew-senior vice president of sales
Timothy J. Minard-chief financial officer
Jack Saltiel-chief technology officer
Michael Newell-vice president of Indian gaming division
The 'Devil' made me do it
One of the two most popular games for Cadillac Jack is where the devil is your friend. The other is just strange.The 5-reel, 20-line "Dr. StrangeLuck" is Cadillac Jack's most popular game. It features campy horror movie sounds and animation that give players the feeling of being in the mad scientist's lab. Upon entering the Lab bonus round, Dr. StrangeLuck greets his guests and invites them to create their own experiments. Players pick an element in the lab that triggers a series of random chain reactions that can result in more than 50 winning sequences.
The second most popular game is the 5-reel, 25-line "Lusty Devil." It is a penny slot that features a lady devil complete with pitchfork and flaming lucky eight balls. Three or more skulls, pitchforks or flaming hearts pay scatter wins, and multiple Lusty Devil symbols trigger the Match Your Fortune bonus round. The player throws a flaming pitchfork to reveal the Fortune symbol and then tries to match it to win up to 100 times the total bet.
And for the future, Cadillac Jack is going back to childhood nostalgia. "Rock, Paper, Scissors," the old schoolyard game, is the company's newest 5-reel, 15-line game where paper covers rock and scissors cut paper. It features such schoolyard characters as Ace, Sissy, Bully, Tough Girl and Nerd. Players become the characters as they rack up bonus points. Three to five Dynamite symbols create an interactive main screen bonus game. Combining certain token symbols jump-start the second screen bonus round, where players compete in "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to earn additional tokens and the chance to go to the Super Bonus round.