As has been the trend of late, most of the talk and sstanding room-only sessions at the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) convention, held last month in San Diego, revolved around the topic of sports betting.
That said, the vibe and discussion on the event’s tradeshow floor was of a much more traditional nature—focusing on the latest games and technologies and how they can help gaming operators attract and retain customers or cut cost from the bottom line to make facilities more profitable. For readers who may have missed NIGA or those who may have attended the event but need their memory jogged a bit, what follows is a recap of the products showcased at various vendor booths on the show floor, as described by the companies in their own words.
Taking center stage at the ASG NIGA show booth was Orion Upright, a new core cabinet with many of the same features as the company’s award-winning Orion Portrait and Orion Slant platforms, including the distinctive starwall design featuring 420 game-synchronized full-color LED lights to celebrate gameplay.
The Orion Upright is launching with a library of exclusive new titles and greatest hits from AGS’ ICON cabinet. Debuting was the new Fortune Blast family or Orion Upright content featuring four brand-new titles—Luck and Luxury, Imperial Luck, Goddess Treasures, and Blazing Luck. This new series offers ways or line-pay evaluation for more winning opportunities, and a symbol-locking feature to keep players on the edge of their seats.
AGS also displayed its hottest new Class II and Class III titles for the Orion Portrait platform, including Crystal Magic, Hearts and Horns, Enchanted Pearl and the popular Rakin’ Bacon! with its cherubic pig that gets fatter and fatter as the wins add up. Hailing from the company’s Australia game-development studio, the title Red Silk showcased a fresh new family on Orion Portrait featuring a three-level linked progressive, a wild reel feature, and up to 10 free games. For the Orion Slant, AGS spotlighted the Fa Cai Shu and Kingdom Ca$h families, which offer themed banking, linked progressive jackpots, and a variety of math models for a diverse and exciting gaming experience.
Aristocrat launched several groundbreaking cabinets and game titles at NIGA, underscoring the company’s longstanding commitment to tribal gaming operators.
One showcased product was the all-new Edge X cabinet, which offers operators and players a unique form factor. Edge X has two curved 43-inch cinematic LCD screens displaying panoramic views combined with stereo symphonic surround sound and virtual button deck, all in a cabinet that occupies a larger-than-life footprint. Edge X comes to market with some of pop culture’s biggest brands: Madonna, FarmVille, The Walking Dead 3 and Mad Max Fury Road.
Aristocrat also showed its new Winners World Multi-Game featuring Buffalo. Available in Aristocrat’s Helix+ bar top, slant and upright configurations, the new multigame houses player-favorite Aristocrat slot games, including Buffalo.
Dozens of new games were also displayed on the popular OVATION platform across a wide variety of cabinets—a mix that allows operators to cater to every type of player preference. Titles include player-favorite titles Buffalo Xtreme and Timber Wolf Xtreme on the Helix XT. A barn full of PBR-themed games including Ryan Dirteater, Blazin’ Bulls, Iron Cowboy and Stormin’ Wilds were featured, all on the on the $uper Hit$ Jackpot$ wide area progressive.
All-new versions of player-favorite games for the flame55 cabinet were also in the booth—The Big Bang Theory and Wicked Winnings 2. Additionally, from the designers of Lightning Link, the new linked product Dollar Storm blew into NIGA with six new titles for the Helix+ Select cabinet, each with a $50,000 rapid jackpot feature.
In addition to new products, Eclipse Gaming also used its NIGA floor space to formally introduce a new company executive to the tribal gaming industry— Steven Slotwinski, who is the company’s new chief technology officer. He joins Eclipse Gaming with extensive experience directing the creation of successful games for land-based and social casinos. Leading the company’s product strategy, Slotwinski will direct new product development and innovation, performance optimization and portfolio growth to support key gaming industry trends. He most recently served as chief operating officer of Monarc Gaming Labs, a subsidiary of NHN Entertainment, where he was responsible for all operations of the company including strategic initiatives, organizational restructuring, and expansion of the company’s casino gaming library for the social, online and crypto markets, while significantly reducing operating expenses.
A few weeks later, Eclipse announced another new executive was joining the company—industry veteran Orrin J. Edidin, who will take on the role of president and chief business officer. Throughout his extensive 23-year career in gaming, Edidin has successfully guided industry-leading companies to peak levels of performance and growth. While serving as president of WMS Gaming, Edidin led its transition from a small arcade company into one of the leading global suppliers of gaming platforms and content. He was also a founding member and past vice president of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers.
Everi Holding’s Everi FinTech division focused on showing products that provide intuitive, flexible financial technology solutions that enable operators to maximize funds to their floor while providing a premium experience for their guests. Items showcased at the company’s NIGA booth included:
- CashClub Concierge: A personalized cash access cage service for VIPs as well as table game and high-limit room players that integrates mobile tablets and mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices through Everi’s CashClub software. CashClub Concierge eliminates the need for a player to leave their gaming position to access additional funds by bringing the cage to the player.
- CXC 5.0 / 5.0 L: Everi’s fully integrated kiosks offer enhanced security features including a real-time rearview camera as well as plentiful branding and marketing space. Designed for smaller volume properties, the CXC 5.0 L offers similar services as the CXC 5.0, but with a smaller footprint and a lower price point.
- Jackpot Xpress: An award-winning software platform that enables floor staff to securely and efficiently process jackpots using a mobile device (Jackpot Xpress Mobile) right at the player’s gaming machine or at the JackpotXchange Lite (JXC-L) kiosk.
- CashComplete RCS-700: This powerful note recycler has the ability to count, store and sort notes to maximize cash inventory and tighten cash controls, fully automating a property’s cash management.
- CageXchange cash dispenser: Speeds up transactions, reduces cash shrinkage and improves overall casino staff productivity.
- Everi Compliance AML: The gold standard for AML compliance across the industry provides real-time tracking for all transactions on the floor and integrates with all major casino management systems.
Everi Games also displayed a number of new slot concepts at NIGA. A recap can be found in the May issue of Slot Management & Marketing, which is poly-bagged with May Casino Journal.
GARY PLATT MANUFACTURING
Tribal operators seeking to provide unsurpassed comfort to their sportsbook and casino guests found everything they were looking for in Gary Platt’s NIGA booth.
Leading Gary Platt’s exhibit was its new sportsbook chair and dual sportsbook options. Whether it’s football, baseball, basketball or a day at the races, sports fans spend a good amount of time sitting, and the researchers and designers at Gary Platt have carefully handcrafted ideal solutions for the sportsbook. Features include Gary Platt’s proprietary foam blend; ergonomics throughout the design, such as curved leg edge and lumbar support; and creature-comforts such as oversized arm rests and large cup holders.
Gary Platt also showed many other styles that offer seating solutions for the entire operation, including slots, tables, restaurants, bars, office and convention area. Models include the patented Monaco design, the best-selling chair in North America.
Also displayed at the booth was Gary Platt’s new quick-change seat. With just two bolts, the quick-change seat allows operators to change seats and get the chair back in the game in under two minutes.
International Game Technology PLC (IGT) showcased exciting new games and solutions from its vast product portfolio at NIGA 2019. Highlights from the company’s trade floor booth included:
- IGT PlayShot sports betting solution: Now powering sports betting at tribal, commercial, and lottery-run casinos across six states, the turnkey PlayShot sports betting solution underscores how tribal casino operators can partner with IGT to capture opportunities within the rapidly evolving U.S. sports betting market with market-ready technology. IGT also demonstrated compelling new sports betting technologies such as the PlayShot QuickBet sports betting kiosk and the CrystalBetting terminal.
- Proven core content: NIGA attendees experienced titles such as the Griffin’s Throne and Fortune Coin games, which have earned “Proven Performer” status in the company’s performance testing process. IGT also showcased new games such as Coin O Mania and Golden Jungle Grand on the CrystalCurve cabinet, and the Wild Pirates game on CrystalSlant cabinet.
- Legendary brands on proven hardware: IGT displayed the depth and breadth of its premium portfolio with games inspired by top-tier licensed brands, such as the Wheel of Fortune Cash Link and Wheel of Fortune 4D More Money games. NIGA attendees could also experience IGT’s trio of The Price is Right games including The Price is Right Showcase Showdown on the new Megatower Universal cabinet, The Price is Right on CrystalCurve ULTRA hardware and The Price is Right Plinko on the CrystalDual+ Stepper cabinet.
- New Class II and CDS content and hardware: NIGA marked the world debut for IGT’s large-format S3000 XL cabinet for Class II content, premiering with the Red Rich Girl game. Building on the success of Class III Proven Performer titles, the company presented Class II versions of games such as Fortune Coin and Wild Fury Jackpotson the CrystalCurve cabinet. Additionally, IGT displayed CDS-compatible offerings on the large-format Video XL gaming machine with titles such as the Triple Fortune Dragon and Dangerous Beauty games. Other CDS-compatible games on display included Scarab and Wu Wang Zhe on the CrystalDual 27 cabinet, and the Golden Jungle Grand game on the CrystalCurve cabinet.
Incredible Technologies (IT) continued to push performance and innovation at its NIGA booth, showcasing their latest hardware and software packages, including more industry-first angled bank configurations utilizing 4K video wedge displays.
The Infinity V55 Edge, which debuted at G2E 2018, is a first-of-its-kind back-to-back sawtooth configuration, using a serpentine-like shape to boost player comfort, casino aesthetics and performance. Debuting at NIGA were new angled Edge configurations including a pinwheel-shaped carousel, a diamond shape and a v-shaped configuration dubbed “The Flying V.”
IT also showcased new slot titles for Infinity V55, Skybox and Super Skybox platforms in San Diego. Featured themes included Pure Luxe, the first-ever completely configurable high-denomination theme with three titles debuting on the V55. Additionally, new proven core games like Fireworks Festival and Sky Dragons were on display.
Interblock exhibited its leading electronic table game (ETG) at NIGA, showcasing innovative products such as Diamond Stadium, Universal Cabinet, Diamond Video Blackjack, MiniStar Dice, MiniStar Roulette and StarBar bar tops.
The highlight of Interblock’s booth was the breakthrough form-factor, Universal Cabinet, which is a standalone unit with slot-like hardware designed to support a variety of games. Available in both video and automated formats, the product demonstrated craps, roulette, blackjack and baccarat games and its ability to connect to external Interblock generators.
Interblock also displayed Diamond Stadium, which can be configured with automated, video, dealer-assist generators and/or live table platforms based on footprint availability. This flexible platform provides operators with the most efficient use of floor space when multiple games are activate. It offers the most versatile Stadium game portfolio to generating play 24/7 and reduces operating expenses. At the show, the Stadium was configured with live, automated and video versions of roulette and multi-hand blackjack.
MiniStar Dice was also showcased at the booth. This product is composed of Interblock’s new micro-dice generator and play stations that are closely situated around it, providing excellent dice visibility for the player. It offers most of Interblock’s Diamond Craps features, but in a smaller footprint.
Also shown was Diamond Video Blackjack, which features an enhanced virtual dealer with fast-deal graphics to reduce waiting time for participating players resulting in more hands per hour. Each play station offers 27-inch high definition screens that allow players to play up to three industry-leading side bets at a time.
JCM Global showed its award-winning portfolio of products that deepen connections while also enhancing security.
Customer connection points start with the bill validator, and JCM’s iVIZION is the most secure on the casino market. iVIZION reads more than 9.5 data points, which is more than twice as many as the nearest competitive product. Its powerful combination of optical and mechanical sensors offer tribes protection against counterfeits and cheats, all at a fast acceptance rate.
JCM’s ICB Intelligent Cash Box with web reporting is a perfect companion tool for iVIZION. ICB’s drop management capabilities are field-proven to save operators hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Because ICB provides real-time health monitoring data and predictive drop and maintenance scheduling, operators can dramatically increase operational efficiency.
The gaming industry’s better, faster, smarter printer is JCM’s GEN5. It has an incredibly fast CPU and print speed, combined with the flexibility to print TITO and promotional tickets, as well as various wager tickets and templated promo coupons.
When paired with iVIZION and GEN5, JCM’s patented technology FUZION v1.0 unleashes a world of features and security measures including security monitoring, health performance reporting, transaction recording database, remote firmware updates, and iPromo system-driven printing.
JCM also showcased its line of leading display technologies. Incredibly flexible and energy-efficient, JCM’s line of LED Direct View digital displays suit every taste, need and budget.
Konami Gaming, Inc.’s new KX 43™ video slot cabinet, leading 4K resolution game library, and mobile systems solutions were a key interest at NIGA. Over the course of the two-day event, gaming professionals had the chance to experience Konami’s largest mix of KX 43 game options shown to date, including several original linked progressive series and compelling brand extensions like Chili Chili Fire Boosted Wins & Wilds.
Guests also enjoyed access to top-anticipated titles across the Concerto collection, including Thunder Arrow, Star Watch Jungle, Treasure Ball and a limited release Dragon’s Law SeleXion multi-game pack for its big-screen Opus cabinet. In addition, Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system was operating live for on-the-spot demos of its award-winning mobile solutions and more.
With a standard cabinet width, four times the pixel depth of standard HD, and leading library of 4K-resolution game themes, Konami’s new KX 43 is designed as a trim-fit champion for any area of the floor. Its 43-inch, edge-lit portrait screen carries custom-programed graphic interaction with the LCD button panel, which is inlaid a relaxed slant top. KX 43 includes the core comforts and conveniences for today’s players, including USB charging port, dual cup holders and dual classic bash buttons.
During NIGA 2019, KX 43 showcased a competitive lineup of launch titles covering everything from symbol-driven linked progressives to original jackpot bonuses. A variety of game themes were displayed, all developed in 4K Ultra HD for graphics that catch attention and celebrate wins with stunning excitement. Reels Up is among the linked progressive launch series on Konami’s KX 43 machine. Games in the series feature Reels Up arrow symbol across all reels. Whenever the arrow symbols appear across reels one and two, it causes reel three to expand upward for the chance at various bonus events, depending on the base game. Reel four and reel five also expand up if arrow symbols appear on additional consecutive reels. Konami’s Reels Up series spans four original base game options: Vegas Rise, Mayan Times, Expanding Egypt, and Hong Kong Lights.
The star of the Merkur NIGA booth was Rapid Thunder, a new five level, static value, non-progressive jackpot feature for the company’s line of successful slot games that includes Taco Tuesday, Land of Charms, Amulet of the Pharaoh and the Asia-themed Immortal Emperor, Immortal Princess and Baozang.
In the Rapid Thunder feature bonus, players must reveal (and automatically capture) Rapid Thunder symbols. When the Rapid Thunder symbols land on the reels, they leave behind an electrified halo and, when a reel is fully covered by halos, the player has completed a Rapid Reel. Two or more Rapid Reels earn the player a Mini Jackpot, three Rapid Reels earn the player a Minor Jackpot, four equals a Major Jackpot and five reveals the Grand Jackpot. If the player has selected max bet and has filled all reels with Rapid Reels, they are awarded the Max Grand prize of $10,000.
Sleek cabinets, sports betting technology, licensed content and exhilarating progressives were the focus of NOVOMATIC Americas NIGA stand this year. Tribal gaming customers saw NOVOMATIC’s product lines showcased alongside a substantial variety of entertaining, licensed content, core content, systems, sports betting kiosks and exciting new progressive jackpot product lines.
Featured at the NOVOMATIC Americas booth was the company’s latest suite of linked progressive product lines including the official U.S. premiere of the THUNDER CASH Link.
With the latest hardware solutions featuring exclusive gaming content, the PANTHERA Curve 1.43 and PANTHERA 2.27 command attention. The PANTHERA Curve 1.43 featured an imposing curve 43-inch UHD screen providing visibility for the sophisticated and fun player experience. Meanwhile, Pay Day Progressives debuted on the PANTHERA 2.27 cabinet.
NOVOMATIC Americas also introduced Prized Panda and Prize of the Nile, the first of a series of high-energy standalone progressive games from the U.S.-based Mount Prospect, Ill., game development studio.
Expanded ETG side bets, the proven myACP casino management system, NOVOMATIC ActionBook Self-Service betting kiosks, Absolute Vision content management system, and the successful Greentube iGaming experience were also on display at the booth.
Scientific Games demonstrated its commitment to developing the gaming industry’s most innovative products, content and technology for casinos, mobile gaming and sports betting at its NIGA booth.
At the heart of Scientific Games is an intense focus on creating amazing player experiences and great games. The company continues to build a state-of-the-art entertainment ecosystem that delivers content across all gaming verticals, from the casino floor to mobile to sports.
Some of the dynamic slot games and products Scientific Games shared at NIGA included:
- MONOPOLY Grand, the company’s first licensed Class II wide-area progressive jackpot game. The iconic game offers a thrilling, lightning-fast gaming experience with bonuses that highlight the classic board game such as the Electric Company free games and Free Parking feature.
- Lock It Link—Lu Lu Tong and Lock It Link—Shi Shi Shun are the first Asian-themed games in the hugely successful Lock It Link game series, debuting exclusively in the Class II market. Lu Lu Tong is a five-reel, 50-line game and Shi Shi Shun is a five-reel, 243 ways-to-win game.
- MUNCHKINLAND, the newest game in the Company’s successful THE WIZARD OF OZ slot series, was also be on display. This highly anticipated game, showcased on the Gamefield 2.0 cabinet, features the beloved characters and classic scenes from the iconic film, and is the first WIZARD OF OZ slot to utilize 3D rendered characters, including the first-ever appearance of The Wicked Witch of the East as an integral part of the game’s features and bonuses.
- Many player favorites were also be available for sale on the new TwinStar Wave XL cabinet. The TwinStar Wave XL offers a bigger and better player experience, showcasing a curved, 49-inch, 4K resolution, ultra-high-definition display, generating the kind of sensational graphics seen in high-end home theatres.
- As a top provider of gaming systems, Scientific Games demonstrated its cardless, cashless, connected player experience with systems products that create an exciting gaming environment and a more profitable and informed operator including the iVIEW4, which offers cardless loyalty enablement and a cashless wallet.
Scientific Games also showcased its sportsbook solution which features the most complete, reliable and scalable sports platform, providing customers with a full service, fast-to-market, versatile solution. The company provides trading, marketing and product management services to partners through the powerful combination of its leading sports betting technology, OpenBet.