Paul Tjoumakaris, senior vice president of gaming operations, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hollywood, Fla.
We already have the latest and greatest products of all the vendors as we’ve spent the last year getting rid of our Class II games and replacing them with Class III product. We’re pleased with our new selection of slots from manufacturers like Bally, IGT, WMS and Aristocrat. But we’ll be looking at G2E for products with new technologies. For instance, we’d like more Transmissive Reel games like WMS markets. And more multi-play games, games that offer multiple denominations and multiple themes. And we’ll definitely be looking for games that have the option to become wide area progressives. One thing we’d like to see more of from manufacturers are upgrade packages that not only update the software in slots but also include in the package the new panels and buttons that are required by the upgrades. And we’ll be looking for more server-ready games that we can switch over to server-based as soon as that technology is ready.
Frank Neborsky, vice president of slot operations, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Conn.
Community games are at the top of my list. These slot games have proven very popular with our customers, so I’d like to see manufacturers show a greater variety of them with exciting new themes. I’d also like to see more novelty slots that offer more excitement, more bonus rounds and an overall greater entertainment value. Casinos are currently in a battle for the entertainment dollar in this down economy. People don’t have as much discretionary income as they did more than a year ago, so we are competing against restaurants, movies and assorted other entertainment venues. Slot games that thrill customers and leave them satisfied that the trip out to the casino was worthwhile are what I’d like to see in greater numbers at G2E. Things like multiline, multcoin stepper slots with transmissive reels and sensory immersion systems. Of the games the manufacturers have previewed for me, I think they are on the right track and should do more in that direction. As for server-based slots, manufacturers need to broaden the game selection. The initial generation of server download systems offers tried-and-true games, but they need to offer game options that we don’t already have elsewhere on our floor.
Ken Carnahan, executive director of slot performance, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Palm Springs, Calif.
From a personal standpoint, the things I would like to see more new math concepts for slots, not just rehash of older themes with new colors and wacky names. I’d like to see real differences in the way the games play, more interesting bonus rounds, more fairness to the player (this is a perception issues at times with players). Another wish is for more recurring revenue products with more flexible lease/payment options. With the economic downturn, many operators are hard pressed to find capital so a solid core of lease/rental products with flexibility in pricing would be good for the industry overall. I’d further like to see the focus of games diverted from denomination and win-per-day mentality, focus on obtainable average bet, frequency, loyalty and flexible options to alter the math from a gambler model to a time-on-device model.
Wager-based, sliding pay tables are another wish. These would include options to give the better players a better pay table without sacrificing optimization during peak business times, without the need for server-based technology. And also more focus on forward looks at EFT/AFT and strategies to move that direction if the operator chooses. And more technology for analytics and understanding the player so that the operator can rapidly assimilate information and make solid business decisions that drive profitability and player loyalty. These are things that I think whose time have come or at least more focus should be placed on them.
Glen Sawhill, vice president of gaming operations, Caesars Windsor Casino, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I always love going to G2E to see all the new technology, but this year’s show will be more interesting as because of the down economy we have to be more frugal. So I will be checking all new equipment more closely to get the best performing games that meet my current needs. One need is for more penny slots, which is where the players are gravitating these days, so I’d like to see more of this type of machines. Another need is to entice the Generation X player, who has grown up with video games that have become increasing sophisticated over the years, to become a casino patron. So I’d like to see more slot games with cutting-edge technologies that offer better and more detailed graphics, more bonus rounds that generate excitement, and a total sensory experience that they cannot get at home. And I’d like to see more products that help with our customer service efforts. A big part of what turns casual players into regulars is the customer service they receive. Games that from player cards recognize a player’s birthday and other events, and automatically provide comp credits for them improve patron enjoyment of the overall casino experience.