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IGT Wows Crowd at Global Gaming Expo

24 December 2008

International Game Technology (IGT), the world's largest slot machine maker and developer, never fails to disappoint attendees of the Global Gaming Expo, which was held last month in Las Vegas.

The sheer magnitude of the company's display is one thing, but the new products and technologies it unveils every year are among the highlights of the annual exposition which attracts a "Who's Who" of the gaming industry.

One of the company's showcase slot innovations this time around borrows a page from the popularity of its multi-play video poker line. It's called MultiPlay, a feature that will give slot players the opportunity to play their favorite game theme up to four times simultaneously on the same machine.

In some configurations there'll be a progressive jackpot common to all four games. Others will have a progressive dedicated to each game.

The first generation of MultiPlay video slots will debut in such iconic IGT themes as Cleopatra, Wolf Run, Lil' Lady, Hawaiian Sunset, and Golden Eagle.

IGT is also banking heavily on its answer to WMS Gaming's Transmissive Reels slot technology. The company's patented REELdepth games will incorporate a multi-layer display in which two liquid crystal displays will create a 3-D screen effect.

More than a dozen new games will feature REELdepth, including Magic Butterfly and 7s Storm.

At the touch of a button, players can opt to play three, four or five reel slot games, video slots, keno and even video poker on the same REELdepth machine.

Video poker fans will be happy to learn about a new Dream Card component that has been added to its line of Triple Play, Five Play and Ten Play games.

When the Dream Card feature kicks in, an automatic hold strategy is activated which selects the perfect card to complete a dealt hand to give that hand its highest expected return for the player.

For example, if you are dealt three-of-a-kind and the Dream Card feature is activated, you will automatically get the card you need to complete the quad.

This particular buy-a-pay feature comes with a price. It requires a side bet of five credits per hand to be eligible.

Something else for video poker players is Random Rewards Poker, which will feature randomly designated jackpots for premium hands that will pay up to an additional 2,000 credits per qualified hand.

The designated jackpots will apply, for example, to a flush, full house, 4-of-a-kind in 5s through Kings, 4-of-a-kind in 2s, 3s and 4s, and four aces. The jackpots are funded by a buy-a-pay feature of one extra credit per hand.

IGT also is expanding the Guaranteed Play concept it debuted in 2006 on its video poker line in which players buy a pre-determined number of hands instead of credits.

This time they're applying Guaranteed Play (which is still a work in progress) to blackjack, whereby players buy in for a guaranteed number of hands for which they are issued Guaranteed Play chips. The feature is applicable to existing blackjack tables.

CASINO NEWS:

HOLLYWOOD AURORA

After taking a hiatus for the holidays, the weekly Wednesday Texas Hold'em No Limit Poker Tournaments will resume at Hollywood Casino Aurora on January 7. The $160 entry fee, which includes $10 to be placed in the Hollywood Championship Tournament prize pool, buys $2,500 in tournament chips. Blinds for the tournament start at $25/$50. Registration, which opens at 10 am on the day of the tournament, is limited to maximum of 88 players. Up to $8,500 in prize money, depending on the number of players, is distributed. For information call the poker room directly at 630-801-7471.

GRAND VICTORIA ELGIN

Las Vegas-style double-deck "pitch" blackjack, a Grand Victoria exclusive in this region, may be expanded to three tables in the near future according to the casino's director of table games operations, Mark Blackman. Currently available at one table in the high limit room and one table on the main casino floor, the game allows players to double on any two cards and double after splitting. The house edge, assuming the player uses basic strategy, is less than one-half percent. The minimum bet is $100.

HARRAH'S JOLIET

Now that Harrah's Entertainment has entered into an agreement with WMS Gaming to bring a customized Total Rewards version of the new Star Trek video gaming experience to properties nationwide, look for Harrah's Joliet to have the game on its casino floor as soon as regulatory approval is granted. Star Trek is played on the revolutionary WMS Adaptive Gaming platform, which allows slot enthusiasts to save their progress and pick-up where they left off on their next casino visit. The Star Trek slots feature the patented WMS Sensory Immersion experience, a blend of real time 3D graphics and the Bose 3Space audio system.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp