Pot of Gold is a machine that’s been out there almost 20 years, and the only reason it’s not gone is the guests just flat love it - Buddy Frank, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Todd Deremer, vice president of gaming operations, at Excalibur Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.:

Probably the only thing that falls under that category is the old S6000 Bally Blazing 7s games. People still really like them. They just really like that traditional slot, and they like that gambling appeal. That’s their favorite so even though the technology’s old, we still have them on the floor because they do really well and outperform other games. It’s the math and the frequency of the hits, that it can hit multiple times in a cycle if they happen to get lucky. They’ll always give them a shot. We have customers who have been coming here since 1990, and they just love the place. They tell us, “You can change this; you can change that,” but there’s certain stuff they just don’t want you to change. We have probably 60 to 80 of those games, and it’s a little bit of a challenge [when it comes to upkeep and repairs]. They’re starting to discontinue [the products] When that happens, we will be stockpiling an inventory for them. At some point we might not be able to continue offering them. At that point, we’ll grab the players and [explain] the deal and try to get them involved in choosing what we replace those games with.

Jerry Roed, director of slot operations, Ellis Island Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.:

We went to pretty much all tickets at the end of 2004, early 2005. We had a lot of complaints from customers then about games we took off the floor, and that’s normal. We did keep six, dollar token, video poker machines. There are just kinds of things the customers love so you’ve got to keep them there. We still have players who are superstitious and who do not want to play with a card. One of those players is a huge dollar player, and that [dollar token game] is exactly where he plays. They’re playing enough that it was worth it to keep those games. [The next time Ellis Island upgrades its games] we’re still planning on keeping those six poker games. Some of those players are so huge you don’t mind keeping those games. The game is fully functional, but it’s the kind of game you’re unable to put tickets on. It’s coin in. The floor people love it, because they get a nice tip when there’s a hand pay every now and then. We don’t think it’s much of a problem to keep a few of them. Eventually we’d like them [the machines] to go away, but I’m not willing to kick out the players who are on them. It’s very evident they’re popular. It’s always an issue. Just like any casino that changes out games, you’ll always have a few customers who their favorites have gone away. Some are very superstitious about that.

Buddy Frank, vice president of slot operations, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, Calif.:

There’s one in particular that kind of fits that category. It was a game first made by a company called U.S. Games, then Leisuretime and now Vision Gaming. Pot of Gold is a machine that’s been out there almost 20 years, and the only reason it’s not gone is the guests just flat love it. It has a very unique progressive controller. Any individual game can be a slave or a master. It just has a variety of keno games and poker games that the customers just love. It essentially was way ahead of the other slot manufacturers in having a very successful multigame. Early on in California [before the gaming initiatives passed] when keno was one of the few gray market games, the players got used to having it and playing it. They couldn’t get video poker in those days. [The game has earned their play]. It’s got good graphics. They like those progressive meters that build on each game. Each game is a progressive, [as opposed to individual progressives in which once the progressive has hit, players have to move on to another machine.] So you could be playing Power Ball Keno and hit a progressive jackpot, and then just switch over to a draw poker that has a great jackpot going. It’s really been a great game. Almost everyone in Southern California has some. We have 24. When I was at Viejas, we had 240. Sycuan has some…{Other products that fall into this category are Bally Technologies’ Pro Series Blazing 7s and Bonus Times 2x 5x 10x. and Blazing 7s, and IGT’s Game King cabinet products.]

Because of new regulations requiring that game manufacturers get the lead out of machines, the Bally Pro Series reel spinning game is no longer manufactured or sold. They’re no longer available new. Here at Pechanga [Bonus Times 2x 5x and 10x is probably the Number One game. Its numbers are probably numbers that any casino would love to have. It’s just an unbelievable performing game, a good performing game for an older game.

The IGT Game King platform is another. It’s the older platform that IGT has replaced with the AVP video. Many slot directors feel that the guests prefer the game on the older Game King cabinet. IGT has always been the king of poker, and that Game King cabinet, that early poker cabinet it’s still popular.

[Keeping the games maintained can be an issue] A lot of times it’s hard, but now they’ve come out with a motherboard update you can get, an LCD upgrade path.

With the Pot of Gold, they even offer upgrades on that. That’s one old favorite that they’ve kept current.