A little more than a year after publishing the first EILERS-FANTINI Game Performance Report which is based on our Central Game Performance Database (GPD), we have reported on many different variations and metrics from game level performance and supplier trends.
Starting earlier this year we added a new report to the GPD vertical, the Monthly Cabinet Performance Report. This report pivots indexing and trending metrics on individual slot cabinets and includes additional insight, much of which has been featured in this column series. The Cabinet Performance Report also has new segmentations within the slot cabinet category. These segments are similarly utilized by suppliers, but I have seen few operators complete the same slot cabinet segmentations.
Over the previous few decades, the standard segmentations of slot cabinets have been stagnant. From an operator perspective, I would classify each slot cabinet in two buckets:
- The first is by the physical stature of the cabinet, either slant or upright—a slant cabinet which sat directly on the casino floor and the upright needing to be placed on a slot stand sitting approximately an additional 18 inches from the casino floor.
- The second segmentation is by the game play and display type. A slot is either a mechanical reel game featuring physical reels that spin and mimic the actual mechanical slots of days past; a video reel requiring, of course, a video display; or lastly video poker, which also requires a video display and sometimes utilizes the same cabinet and processor as its video reel counterpart.
While the latter of these groupings has somewhat easily expanded to be inclusive of vastly different game types like the electronic table games (ETGs) and skill-based games (SBGs), the former has stayed relatively consistent as technology has advanced.
But rewind about six years, and a major change took place with the introduction of a curved-screen slant that sat directly on the casino floor—The Alpha 2 Pro Wave from then Bally Technologies, now Scientific Games, and the subsequent Arc Single from Aristocrat. This not only caused a major shift in core video reel performance as these cabinets dominated the industry, but also in how we viewed and classified slot cabinets. The Wave and Arc cabinets sit directly on the floor like a traditional low-profile slant game but matched, and even surpassed, the height of many upright games. The Wave cabinet, which by the GPD’s estimate still accounts for more than 3 percent of an average North American slot floor, stands at just over 7 feet tall with the installed topper and boasts a main display screen that is not only a concave curve but measures 40 inches.
Compare the Wave to any standard upright at the time such as IGT’s G23, Aristocrat’s Viridian WS, or WMS’ Blade—where the game play took place on a 23-inch monitor with a cabinet that stood near 6 feet including the traditional 18-inch slot base—and this was bound to bring a change in classifications as well. But at the time it didn’t… as an operator myself I didn’t know how to reclassify these games, I just knew I could no longer utilize these cabinets on aisle ways and near areas where sightlines were pertinent. To this day, I see many operators listing these cabinets as slants. When I initially brought up a reclassification to an upright based on my placement needs for sightlines, I was met with pushback. My tech manager stated an upright classification wouldn’t work as he and his team needed a way to keep track of the slot bases so they would know when they were needed for floor projects. As a result of the gap needed to be filled, I created the Slot Cabinet Segmentation in our Slot Master Database, and in the case of the Wave, the resulting slot segmentation was “Portrait.”
Currently in the GPD, we segment slot cabinets into the following eight cabinet segmentations: Dual-Screen Upright, Slant, Large Top Box, Mechanical Reel, Jumbo, Premium Reel, Premium Video and the aforementioned Portrait. Many of these are self-explanatory, but below are examples of each segmentation using slot cabinets that are currently in production:
- Portrait: TwinStar J43 & Helix Xt
- Dual-Screen Upright: Muso Triple 27 & CrystalDual 27
- Slant: Orion Slant & Concerto Slant
- Large Top Box: Empire 5527 & TwinStar Ultra
- Mechanical Reel: S3000 & Player Classic
- Jumbo: TwinStar v75 & MegaTower
- Premium Reel: CrystalWheel & Realm XL
- Premium Video: Flame 55 & Gamefield 2.0
Since the days of cabinets lasting the better part of a decade or longer is virtually over, this segmentation allows us to further divide and analyze the ever-increasing number of cabinets currently in production to better grasp current top performers and future placements for slot floor optimization. Featured in our May 2019 report, the top performing Dual-Screen Upright cabinets were ranked as follows: (1) Muso Triple 27, (2) Icon, (3) CrystalDual 27 and (4) TwinStar. These insights and more are free for all qualified participants of the EILERS-FANTINI Central Game Performance Database. The GPD collects and tracks relative slot machine performance data provided by individual casinos on a monthly basis and then standardizes and aggregates the data. All data is held in a secure online database and no individual casino data is viewable. Database subscribers are able to look up game performance information on individual games as well as create custom performance reports tailored to their specific business needs and geographic location.
The GPD is an extension to the existing EILERS-FANTINI Slot Survey which is the gaming industry’s largest survey tracking purchasing and performance trends across over 500,000 slot machines worldwide.