Last month, Mohegan Sun was home to an attempt by Bally Technologies to set a Guinness World Record for the Largest Virtual Race. The platform for this event was a combination of cutting-edge Bally systems and products, specifically its iVIEW Display Manager (DM) with Elite Bonusing Suite (EBS) and Virtual Racing NASCAR game.
With Bally’s iVIEW DM and DM Tournaments, any machine with the technology installed, anywhere on the floor, can be turned into a tournament slot and then turned back to normal game-play mode immediately following the tournament. Mohegan Sun is home to 5,000 slots across three casinos. Bally’s goal was to get as many slot patrons as possible to participate in the virtual race event while still stationed at their machines, playing as they normally would.
The attractant would be Bally’s EBS equipped with its latest game: Virtual Racing NASCAR, a NASCAR-themed car-racing event that lets players choose their favorite driver and cheer him across the finish line. Players can select one of eight famous NASCAR drivers—Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, or Martin Truex Jr.—from the touch-screen on the iVIEW or iVIEW DM player-user-interface on each of Mohegan Sun’s slot or video poker machines.
As added incentive, Mohegan Sun threw in a $100,000 free-play prize pool for participants who happened to pick the winning driver. “We were thrilled to work with Bally Technologies to provide a tremendous amount of excitement on the casino floor and drive thousands of guests to our casinos,” said Bobby Soper, president and CEO of Mohegan Sun. “These were exactly the type of events that get people excited to visit Mohegan Sun and help set us apart.”
True Time Tournaments
True-Time Tournaments is a system-delivered slot tournament product available with Konami Gaming, Inc.’s SYNKROS. True-Time Tournaments allows casino operators to configure on-demand slot tournaments and consists of a Tournament Director module designed to manage the operational functions of the tournament (i.e. monitoring players, leaderboard management, tournament start and end times).
Player invitations to the tournaments are managed through the True-Time Bonusing Toolkit and are issued based on criteria defined by the casino, including but not limited to amount wagered, video or reel type, day of the week, zip code, new card sign up, card tier status, group membership or trip frequency. Depending on how the tournament is set up and designed, players can receive multiple entries into a particular tournament to improve their odds of winning.
On-demand, automated slot tournaments have never been done before. To date, casino slot tournaments have followed a more traditional group-start or roped-off format. These events require customers to adjust their schedules and then frequently wait in lines to compete, create expenses associated with gaming floor disruption and result in labor expenses associated with managing group start events. True-Time Tournaments eliminate these issues while preserving the casino’s ability to offer slot tournaments, a popular promotional event. Additionally, the Midway Madness True-Time Tournament theme is easily customizable, which is a unique offering for casino customers seeking to differentiate their experience from competitors.
On the day of the event, crowds started to gather in earnest 10 minutes before the race, many congregating around the bank of Bally NASCAR slots set up specifically for the record attempt. The slot bank was hard to miss since it featured a full-size working replica of NASCAR stock racer. As the final countdown for the virtual race began, the iVIEW DM screens on slots throughout the facility urged players to select a winner among the participating drivers. As the race began, moans and squeals could be heard across the slot floor as virtual drivers sped around an oval, passing one another and narrowly avoiding crashes and pile ups. A small roar let out a minute or so later when the winning racer finally crossed the finish line: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
All told, 4,230 participants competing in the virtual racing event. Roughly 588 players split a $100,000 prize pool, with each person who selected Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning $170 in free play. In addition the record was set and verified by an official from Guinness World Records, who later presented a plaque and certificates to Bally Technology and Mohegan Sun officials.
Record setting aside, the combination of Bally iVIEW DM, EBS and Virtual Racing NASCAR creates a floor-wide promotional vehicle designed not only to entertain patrons but to provide operators with revenue opportunities by driving coin-in, carded play and new players’ club signups.
“These events were tremendous examples of how EBS applications can create an amazing level of anticipation and excitement across a casino floor, while helping to increase revenues for a casino operator,” said Bally Technologies President and CEO Ramesh Srinivasan.
Indeed, EBS and Virtual Racing NASCAR have proven so popular among casino customers and operators that Bally has plans to introduce two to three new virtual events each year, according to Dan Savage, vice president of corporate marketing for the company.
At last year’s G2E trade show, Multimedia Games showcased new highly anticipated operator features to the TournEvent 4.0 system, as well as, the exciting statewide slot tournament competition, TournEvent of Champions.
Adding to the enhanced player experience with its Jump to First, Crazy Carnival and Team Tournaments featured in TournEvent 4.0, Multimedia Games unveiled new operator features to the award-winning slot tournament system. The newest release features an upgraded user interface providing operators with a more intuitive and efficient system to run tournaments with ease right on the casino floor. The system also features a bulk import and player card swipe function to increase operator efficiency while decreasing time spent entering player names. Debuting alongside these features was the newest TournEvent out-of-revenue game, Candy Shop.
The company’s 2013 TournEvent of Champions is a high-energy national tour of fast-paced and interactive slot tournaments that will arrive at participating casinos via the 45-foot TournEvent of Champions tour bus.
The first event of its kind, TournEvent of Champions is traveling to more than 60 casinos across 20 states in seven months in search of America’s best slot tournament player. Arriving at each stop on the tour with a chance to win a spot to compete for the national title and a $100,000 grand prize at the tournament finale, TournEvent of Champions will be anticipated by casinos and players alike for its unmatched fanfare, according to a company press release.