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AC Coin & Slot: Banking On Success

AC Coin banks on the success of proven game themes

AC Coin & Slot turns 30 this year, and, unlike some slot manufacturers, the company is celebrating the anniversary with robust sales and a backlog of orders.
“We have our biggest order queue ever,” comments Jerry Seelig, the company’s executive vice president and general manager. “It’s awesome. A lot of the themes we brought out this year are doing very well.” He rattles off the titles—“Super Bankroll Bonus,” “When In Rome,” “Chef’s Daily Special,” “Big Game Show Gold Edition”—of all the games currently performing at up to twice the house average at casinos across the country.
AC Coin is something of an anomaly in today’s slot business: Everything the manufacturer sells is on a recurring-revenue basis—a business model that is falling out of favor in some places—but sales have never  been stronger. Seelig credits this success to the slot-maker’s size, and the comparatively low volume of new games developed every year.
There also is an efficiency of operation and low overhead at AC Coin that allow for close attention to each individual game. The company’s proprietary products are all bonus games combined with base games from slot-maker International Game Technology. This frees up the company’s game developers to concentrate on creating unique bonus events.
AC Coin has been IGT’s exclusive distributor in Atlantic City and the Caribbean since 1983—a deal founder and CEO Mac Seelig sealed with IGT founder Si Redd the year Redd’s company was officially incorporated—which provides a steady stream of revenues and another reason the company’s game designers are able to be quick on their feet in responding to what players like.
“While everyone else is chasing things that are light years away, we’re trying to create simple things that work on casino floors today,” says Jerry Seelig. “We continue to build products at a much faster pace, so it’s not a two-year time to market for new products we introduce. We’re able to provide customers with solutions they’re looking for now—recurring-revenue products that earn multiples of the house average.”
What that has meant in recent years has been a constant refining of the game concepts that have proven themselves to be most successful. For AC Coin, that means the product groups that have been the company’s franchise products for the entire decade—the “Slotto” series of top-box bonus games that utilize the lottery-style ball-blower as a bonus event; and the “Bankroll” series of games featuring a top-box bonus that appears as a scrolling sheet of banknotes.
AC Coin’s most successful games in recent years have used one of these two themes, and the most recent incarnations are communal-style games. The first, introduced two years ago, was “Super Slotto;” that giant, eight-station unit was tweaked last year and released in smaller versions. This year, the communal-style genre has been perfected with six-station versions of both Slotto and Bankroll-style games.
“We learned valuable lessons from our Super Slotto launch,” Seelig says. “We’ve reworked the product into a smaller, more manageable format that can fit anywhere on a casino floor.”
The communal-style “Super Bankroll Bonus” has been reworked into a six-station unit. Six base Double Diamond five-reel stepper games are placed in compact, upright cabinets surrounding a giant scrolling top-box bonus apparatus. Several players go into the bonus at once, and players receive the credits and multipliers that wind up above each machine.
“Super Bankroll Bonus was very fun to develop,” Seelig notes. “It gets people sitting very close to each other and sharing a pretty unique experience. The hit frequency is very quick on that game. With players on six games, if you’re sitting for a minute, chances are that bonus device is spinning around and someone is winning.”
AC Coin is launching a beautiful new version of the communal Bankroll-style game designed for the Native American markets, called “Wild Native Spirit.” The base games in this, another six-station communal setup, are three-reel, nine-line versions of the IGT game “3X4X5X Times Pay,” but the banknotes on the roller bonus apparatus employ artwork and images drawn from Native American culture.
“This was only conceived in July, and we’ve already started selling them,” Seelig says. “One of the benefits of being more stealthy is that we can see what themes are working, and we’re able to capitalize on that very quickly.”
The Wild Native Spirit game also is being released in a stand-alone version.
One other new game in the Bankroll genre is a communal version of “Sparky’s Red Hot Jackpots,” the popular theme that first appeared in a stepper with a hybrid LCD video/mechanical top-box bonus sequence. In this case, the big scrolling bonus contains both rows of credit amounts and complete rows of multiplier amounts. Each bonus event scrolls the big bonus twice—once for a credit amount and once for a multiplier.
AC Coin is launching several new games in the Slotto genre. “Double 3X4X5X Times Pay Slotto” and “Slotto Big Cash Sweepstakes” each attach the Slotto bonus sphere to one of IGT’s most popular reel-spinners.
Both games also combine the Slotto bonus round with another popular bonus event, first seen on a slot called “Big Game Show Bonus.” It is a square game show-style bonus board on the face of the slot which multiplies the bonus the player gets from the Slotto balls swirling in the familiar bonus apparatus up to 10 times.
The Big Game Show Bonus slot itself also is being launched in a communal version, with three upright five-reel slots under a giant game board display,
The communal game style soon will be applied to another legendary AC Coin game, “Empire.” In December, the company will launch a six-station version of the game, which features a miniature Kong-like gorilla climbing the face of an Empire State Building display toward bonus “floors.”
AC Coin also is launching a new series of progressive slots this fall, using several different base games and game styles under the banner “Pay Day Progressive.” The idea is that a progressive equal to a typical paycheck—between $600 and $700—is awarded very frequently. In this case, it’s once every 16,484 spins on average.
Finally, one theme that has hit several markets running is “Slingo,” a communal-style version of the popular internet game that was originally developed by Dave Lyons, former slot VP of Bally’s Atlantic City. The communal version of Slingo—a combination of “slots” and “bingo”—is a three-machine bank under a giant LCD video display that enables a very frequent communal bonus round. Every 46 spins on average, players go into the Slingo game, with numbers on the individual reels matching up with numbers on the big board, the object being to complete a “Slingo”—all the numbers in a column, row or diagonal on the big Slingo board.
Seelig says the company’s continuing mission is to find what works in each market, and then to develop products to fit those needs. “We do things in a real-time environment,” he says. “We don’t want to be one of those companies prognosticating what’s going to work in five years. We live in the here and now.”