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Best of John G. Brokopp

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New Slots a Reflection of Our High-Tech World

23 August 2006

Do you ever wonder, in light of all the advanced technology we're seen introduced to casinos during the last 10 years, what the next decade will bring? The showroom of your local home entertainment and electronics store is the crystal ball you're looking for.

High-tech casino floors, impacting both slot machine and table game play, are the wave of the future in gambling according to Ed Rogich, Vice-President of Marketing for International Game Technology (IGT), the world's leading electronic gaming device developer and manufacturer.

During my recent conversation with Rogich, he highlighted three of the most notable trends to watch: (1) Server-based slot machine technology. (2) The new frontiers in slot play blazed by penny and other low-denomination games, and (3) State-of-the-art video and audio reproduction.

"Our world revolves around networks," Rogich said. "The same concept applies when you network all the slot machines on the floor (server-based technology). You can deliver games on demand to all the different machines that are hooked up on the network."

Similarly, high-definition, wide-screen video technology is going to replace the slot screens we're used to looking at in much the same way as the movies of today make flicks made 25 years ago appear technologically primitive, or that new flat-screen HD TV you bought makes the good old "picture tube" a relic of the past.

"A perfect example of all the technologies coming together is the IGT Star Wars series," Rogich said. "We're coming out with our second chapter of games which are in high definition on IGT's Advanced Video Platform (AVP) and include actual video from the movie that recreates the look that you saw on the big screen with better sound than we have ever before put on a machine."

Other examples of the new video display IGT has launched will be coming to casinos soon in the form of a Soul Train 70's musical themed slot carousel as well as a Price is Right themed group of games. Both formats will feature the hot new industry trend of multi-level progressives with mystery bonuses.

When it comes to penny games, Rogich cited two examples of the impact low-denomination slots have had upon the gaming world.

"Our MegaBucks wide-area progressive is available in Nevada in a five-reel penny denomination," he said. "It's a linked progressive 'for pennies on steroids'. A three-dollar bet buys 60 pay lines with the chance to win $10 million or more."

Pennies have even won over one of the industry's icons, something nobody would have ever thought possible:

"We've got a special Steve Wynn version of video penny Megabucks that's in the Wynn Las Vegas property," Rogich said. "Who ever thought Steve Wynn would have penny machines? Ten years ago he would have said that you're absolutely crazy to think he'd ever offer a penny machine on his floor."

But then, who would have ever dreamed a penny slot would offer a jackpot of $10 million?

CASINO NEWS: The Majestic Star Casinos & Hotel in Gary, Indiana is holding the "Burning Down the House Blackjack Tournament" August 26-27 featuring a guaranteed $100,000 prize pool and no-limit max betting. The entry fee of $199 per person includes the tournament, weekend hotel accommodations, a welcome reception Friday evening, breakfast both Saturday and Sunday, and an awards banquet Sunday evening. Register on property at the cashier's cage on the first level or call (219) 977-7800 for information. Space is limited.

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