World Gaming Congress and Expo
I just returned from Las Vegas where I had the opportunity to attend the World Gaming Conference and Expo. This is the trade show of the gaming industry. It featured lectures and conferences for casino executives and a large exhibition hall with about 800 merchants showing off gaming related products. If anyone has doubts that gaming is not about big business, a trip to the Expo will quickly dispel any of these doubts.
One focus of the show is how the corporations can increase their bottom line. They can do this by enticing players to play longer, bet more, and still enjoy themselves while exposing their money to the house edge. To do this they need entertaining table games and slot machines.
The highlight of the show was the introduction of the new slot machines and table games. This week I would like to give you a quick look at some of the highlights of the show. I will go into more detail on some of the products I saw in future columns.
The companies designing new table game are all hoping their games will be the next big hit like Let It Ride by Shufflemaster. Unfortunately casinos are cutting back on the space allocated for table games in preference to slot machines which give them a higher return. Most of the table games I saw at the show were variations of Blackjack. Many of these offered the basic blackjack game with various different side bets. One interesting game was called Blackjack Switch. In this game the player was dealt two hands and had the option of switching the up cards on each hand. The dumbest game I saw was called no hit Blackjack. The player receives three cards. If he goes over twenty-one he busts. That's it. No decisions make. It is pretty brainless and I doubt it will ever catch on. The other table games I saw were either confusing or very slow playing which is not what the casino execs are looking for.
There were several electronic table games including a roulette table and a blackjack game with a virtual dealer on the screen. Most of these would be best classified as multi-player electronic games rather than table games. There was one game called Digital 21 by PDS Gaming that featured a traditional blackjack game with a live dealer played with electronic cards. I will have more on this game in a future article. Lets take a look at the slot machines
Until next time, remember:
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge stays forever."