Slot Manager asks: What games and products piqued your interest at NIGA’s 2011 Indian Gaming Expo?

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Buddy Frank

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

I always like coming to the NIGA show because a lot of the products that you saw at G2E are now more complete, more ready to go. They’re much closer to final form. There was some really good stuff at NIGA this year. For instance, at G2E, Bally was just showing their curved LCD in the back room. Here they had it out in front for the world to see. That is a really, really interesting product. A lot of the companies have come out with similar products that simulate mechanical reel. WMS has its Transmissive Reels and IGT has its MLD. They’re both very good, but what Bally did was put it on the curved LCD, and the curved LCD is in the shape of a small reel. Konami showed a brand-new slant cabinet that was really nice. Their product has been really hot on our floor. Williams had its xD cabinet, and they showed the version with the larger top box and the pirate battle.

IGT had a lot of nice games. IGT’s universal slant is a really nice-looking slant. They seem to be really engineering it and the upright to be friendly for the slot tech. IGT also showed a game based on Ghostbusters. It’s not out yet, but I really liked that. IGT also had a nice pinball feature. Cadillac Jack showcased its new cabinet. It’s a nice new look for Cadillac Jack. It’s edge-lit, and that gives it a really fresh look. [Pechanga has the cabinet on its floor.] We saw our coin-in jump by 10 to 15 percent just by replacing the cabinet. Cadillac Jack also had a nice new pick ‘em bonus that they didn’t have before. Multimedia introduced a lot of new titles and they’ve really refined their tournament package. Rocket Gaming has expanded on its Gold Series and has a very good wheel-based product. Atronic’s new Deal or No Deal is a really nice package. They’ve added the ability to pick your cases and a pretty nice shared bonus.

Don Koller, gaming systems manager, Dejope Casino/Ho-Chunk Gaming, Madison, Wis.:

Don Koller, gaming systems manager, Dejope Casino/Ho-Chunk Gaming, Madison, Wis.:

There was a lot of nice stuff at NIGA. I liked a lot of the newer stuff that manufacturers had – especially the dual screens and the lighting on the games, things like that. It’s very attractive, and it draws people to the games. We lease all our games, so we can pretty much get what we want. If something’s not working, we can just switch it out with something else. We get quite a variety here. I thought a lot of the themes and a lot of the game titles at the show were good. [One area Koller focused on was slanttops.] I like them for my players. It creates more visibility on my floor so people can better see something they want to play on the floor. I was actually looking at some of the smaller vendors. I may try a couple more vendors that were at the show.

Charlie Lombardo

Charlie Lombardo, gaming consultant, Las Vegas, Nev:

I thought the three-wheel Wheel of Fortune that IGT has [Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin] was pretty cute. [The game combines two slant-top machines with a shared top-box bonus and a 32-inch LCD]. The [size and] presentation of the game from an operator’s standpoint and from a guy who’s done an awful lot of floor layouts all over the country is great. I’m always looking for games and licensed product to put in nooks and crannies so they’re not blocking anything. In my opinion I would much rather see more sets of twos, threes and fours of the premium games than the six, eights and 12s. And they would do much better in smaller groups. And most people haven’t figured that out. You can put in six or 12 Wheel of Fortunes, but you do much better if you put them in groups of threes and fours.

Rocket Gaming’s Risk & Reward game is pretty good. It’s just neat, the way that they put it all together. I really like Bally’s Code Red. The curved reels are nice. You’ve got a lot of things happening. The way they integrated the bonuses – it’s all integrated. It’s all working together. It’s all new technology. It all looks good, plays well. Nothing’s static so you always have something going on. And I just think the way they did the whole package is great. SlotManager