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Best of John G. Brokopp

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'Mr. Monopoly' celebrates 10 years as slot tycoon

9 April 2008

The classic board game of Monopoly has sold an estimated 200 million copies worldwide during its 73-year history.

"Mr. Monopoly", the iconic millionaire cartoon character, gained his fame in homes on kitchen and dining room tables when it was time for family and friends to gather together for "game night".

For the past decade, Mr. Monopoly has become just as well known in casinos, thanks to the many slot games that feature him along with other components for which the game is so universally recognized and beloved.

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the first appearance of Monopoly-themed slot machines produced by WMS Gaming, which signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Hasbro, Inc. in 1997 to develop electronic gaming devices using the brand.

It proved to be a very successful partnership. WMS has launched nearly three dozen separate Monopoly titles, an incredible achievement for an industry in which slot products are not known for their longevity.

The core elements of Monopoly and the mass appeal the game enjoys are seamlessly transferred into a gaming format. What's more, the concepts of the pursuit of wealth, the accumulation of riches, and the possibility of setbacks combine to give the format seemingly limitless opportunities for expansion.

WMS has worked the brand for all it's worth and then some, starting with Monopoly slots that came out during the infancy of low-denomination, multi-line/multi-coin units with second screen bonus features, all the way to the present high-tech games.

Many of the slot innovations that WMS has developed made their debut with a Monopoly-themed product, most notably Transmissive Reel technology in the form of "Monopoly Super Money Grab".

The distinctive game features a holographic presentation created by layering an LCD screen over a mechanical 5-reel display. It was highly acclaimed when it was unveiled at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas in 2006. Today it is one of the most popular new games on casino floors nationwide, including Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area.

WMS also made Monopoly the theme of its entry into the realm of community gaming with "Monopoly Big Event". This format puts every eligible player into the bonus round simultaneously, giving table game-style camaraderie to the slot playing experience.

The only brand licensing success story that rivals WMS and Monopoly is International Game Technology (IGT) and Wheel of Fortune, another format that has discovered the "Fountain of Youth" in the volatile and ever-changing slot world.

Wheel of Fortune slots, patterned after the TV game show of the same name, continue to hold players spellbound as they peer upward to see how many credits they've won during a bonus round spin of the famous wheel.

The brand resonates so powerfully among players that even though the concept is one dimensional when compared to the more complex themes of Monopoly, its appeal never seems to wane through the generations of products on which it has been featured.

CASINO NEWS: March was an eventful month for slot jackpot winners at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin. A Chicago woman won $193,137.17 on a five-dollar Double Blackjack progressive to get things started, followed a week later by a $362,199.40 bonanza to a Geneva man playing a five-dollar Five Times Pay progressive. Two days later a player from Stockton won $177,041.95 on a Triple Gold Bar machine.

They're giving away "6 Jeeps in 6 Weeks" at the Majestic Star Casinos in Gary. The promotion began last weekend and will continue every Sunday through April 20. Ten lucky Club Majestic player's club members will be selected at 8 pm on each drawing day. One will go home in a 2008 Jeep while the others will be guaranteed $250 in cash. Six different Jeep models will be awarded.

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