Forum: What is your take on electronic table games? And what do they bring to the gaming floor?
Rick Scheer, director of slot operations, Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.:
Electronic table games have already landed on the Riviera gaming floor and they are performing exceptionally well. We kind of eased into these games. We started off last December with two Shuffle Master TableMaster Crown Match tables, which is a blackjack game with side bets. By last spring we added two each of electronic tables playing Bet the Set and the ever-popular Let It Ride card games. And we will soon add even more of these tables.
In addition to blackjack and poker-based tables, I’m considering adding electronic versions of roulette, craps and horserace games not unlike the Sigma Derby and Quarter Horse games casinos used to offer years ago. I’m very impressed with a horserace game offered by IGT, and a multiplayer roulette electronic table marketed by Aristocrat.
Buddy Frank, vice president of slot operations, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, Calif.:
Electronic table games have become extremely popular at the Pechanga, and while they will never replace live table games they do appeal to people who are crowd shy and like the privacy they get while playing slot machines. They also appeal to people who like playing against (and beating) machines, to those who like fast action (they play faster than live games), or who prefer the lower betting limits.
What we like about these electronic games is that most can be equipped with automatic tracking systems that work with players’ cards to determine individual customer rewards. The information these systems provide is very accurate.
We currently offer a broad range of electronic games systems. These include blackjack and roulette games from IGT, Shuffle Master’s electronic card tables with the dealers appearing on film, and a horserace game. For our Asian customers who prefer baccarat, with also have an electronic version of that game.
While one might expect electronic table games to appeal to younger players who were raised on video games, we find that all ages play them.
Gregg Solomon, CEO, MotorCity Casino, Detroit, Mich.:
Recent results from our new electronic table games have been most encouraging. Since we equipped them with bill validators, play of these devices has gone up, as has the revenues they generate. Among these games, electronic roulette has been the most successful, followed by electronic blackjack and poker.
What we find most interesting about our electronic table games is that while they do not attract many customers away from live table games, they are attracting slot players. In fact, they are becoming a bridge between slots and live table games, in that slot players can learn table game rules the way they learn the rules of assorted slot games. They insert $20 in the bill validator and play. Once comfortable with the rules, some of these players gravitate to the live table games, though some shyer players uneasy with the communal factors at work on live tables may stick with the electronic versions. The learning process also costs less on electronic table games as, since there are no live salaried dealers or croupiers, they have much lower betting limits. We are looking at acquiring electronic horseracing games to add to our mix.
Eric Pearson, director of slot operations, Luxor Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas:
Even though we’ve had electronic table games for only 45 days, I’m extremely pleased at how well they are working. Players are flocking to these TableMaster blackjack tables in such numbers, I’m planning to order additional tables playing Three Card Poker and a table game version of Texas Hold’em.
What makes these tables so successful is that you can keep them open longer than you can with a live dealer, so they are taking in revenue around the clock. They also are attracting all ages of players, though they do skew younger than average for table games. This may be due to younger players having played cards online, but popularity also may have something to do with lower betting limits. While betting limits on Luxor’s live tables games is $10 ($15 during peak attendance periods), automated tables have only a $5 limit.
I’m eager to try other electronic table games. These may include tables playing the games baccarat, sic bo and craps. My plan is to put these tables on the floor to see how they work. If the concept of the electronic game works for our customers, I’ll add more. I’m also looking at a video roulette game from Bally (a one-person game) as well as a community roulette table from Aristocrat. That latter game hasn’t yet received jurisdictional approval in Nevada, but it has in Arizona where I hear it’s doing good business. Why should the Arizona casino customers have all the fun?