Slot manufacturer Casino Technology has already conquered its home market in Eastern Europe. Now, the U.S. beckons, via an “alternative” route.
Alternative Gaming Solutions, or Alto Gaming, was established last year with the goal of offering effective gaming solutions and a full range of gaming equipment for U.S. casinos. As a first step to company positioning, it has licensed some of the best-performing and most popular products of Casino Technology, whose broad experience in different international markets provides the knowledge base needed to create successful products.
“As the U.S. market is among the most competitive worldwide, it’s been a real challenge to position the brand and place our products here,” says Sonia Nikolova, sales and marketing director for Casino Technology. “We have been very diligent to research the market and local requirements, and present products in U.S. markets that meet the players’ requirements.
“Our first installations in U.S. started two years ago. Some of our proven games were placed in casinos in California and soon in Oklahoma to test the market. The performance was good and indicated players’ acceptance of the games, which motivated us to continue and develop new games and technology for the U.S. market. The time to achieve a better presence in U.S. was right, when Alto Gaming came aboard and offered to partner and license the technology and games from CT for the U.S.”
The first official presentation of Alto Gaming to U.S. customers took place at November’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, where Alto participated jointly with Casino Technology to launch the Penthouse series of slots.
The Penthouse slots deal is regarded as a very important step for Casino Technology, not only in terms of enlarging the company’s portfolio with completely new concepts, but also as a fast-forward to the company’s success in the Americas, where Penthouse is one of the most popular brands in the adult entertainment and lifestyle field.
“Penthouse slots are the first licensed games developed by Casino Technology,” says Rossi McKee, vice president of Casino Technology. “We, as a European manufacturer, didn’t enter the licensed games market in the past, as the licensed games were not very popular in Europe. Two years ago, when we started approaching the U.S. market actively, we decided to explore the opportunities that could appear through developing games under a popular brand. We discussed various options, ranging from licensing musical brands to movie brands, show brands—but all those seemed way too exploited by the other gaming companies.
“Exploring the options, we decided to look for a partner who can provide a brand that is well-known in all parts of the world, bringing excitement and entertainment at the same time, which has a long life span and provides room for creativity. Penthouse appeared to fit this description perfectly. Now, we are very proud that after the long research and negotiation we were chosen by (Penthouse magazine publisher) General Media Communications to be their partner in the gaming industry.
“We approached the development of Penthouse games with the understanding that they will be played both by female and male players. This was an opportunity to present through the games and the products the attraction and importance of women’s beauty. And that was the underlying concept in the development both of the cabinet, with its unique sexy silhouette, and the games. Starting with three games for the launch, we are planning a series of Penthouse Slots games to be offered to the operators. Each game will have different presentation and approach utilizing in full force the creativity of our game design team.”
The partnership between CT and GMC was facilitated by veteran executive adviser Roy Student, founder of Applied Management Strategies, Inc. of Las Vegas, who consulted for Casino Technology, and now is the president of Alto Gaming, and taking on the challenge of marketing and distributing Penthouse slots in the U.S.
“I believe in the potential of those products to meet the taste of the U.S. players with the unique game concepts of CT and with the support of Penthouse, who are more than happy to cooperate with us,” says Student. “We can make the products really attractive and winning for the operators, enabling them to introduce the newest Penthouse slot games to their players and to attract new customers by hosting on-site Penthouse promotions and parties, utilizing the popularity of the brand.”
At G2E, the first games in the series, “Umbrella Dance,” “Wild Temptations” and “Butterfly Dreaming,” were demonstrated personally by Penthouse Pets Jelena Jensen and Mckenzee Miles, who were also featured in some of the games. Visitors lined up to play the games and take photos with the Pets.
The branded line includes a full set of equipment, with video slot games presented in the unique Sensational Plus cabinet or in the state-of-the-art PlayMe grand piano multi-player station.
Alto Gaming plans to offer the Penthouse slot products and a range of new Class III games to U.S. customers. The newly opened office in Las Vegas will provide customer support and manage the sales activities. After licensing by the Chickasaw tribe in Oklahoma, the company is now working on the final stages of an installation in the Winstar casino.
As the Native American markets have become a priority for Alto Gaming, the company is looking forward to the next important event, the NIGA show in San Diego, where more new products from the Penthouse Slots series will be presented. The showcase will be supported by Penthouse and Penthouse Pets Jena Rose and Shay Laren, who will demonstrate the games. Customers also will find a selection of the latest GLI-approved gaming products available for the market, including “Chinese Gate Treasure,” “Taj Mahal” and the “Motormania” multi-game suite.