Cadillac Jack: Building Loyalty
The Class II leader enters Class III with games designed to build player loyalty
Casino owners in Indian Country know Cadillac Jack. As the leading supplier of Class II games in several U.S. markets, as well as the emerging Mexican gaming market, Cadillac Jack’s knack for creating profitable games is well-known.
For the past few years, the company that was founded in 1995 to serve the Indian gaming market has sought to bring that reputation for profitability to the Class III world. Last year, the company made strides in its first Class III installation in Oklahoma, and began making most of its video and reel-spinning slots available in either Class II or Class III versions. This year, with GLI certification under its belt, the company moved into the California market.
“Cadillac Jack is finding its way into Class III, and at the same time, big companies like IGT are finding their way into Class II,” comments Mauro Franic, director of product management for Cadillac Jack. “California, where we entered in Class III this year, has a limit on its compact. In that moment of hesitation, casinos opened their doors to Class II.
“Cadillac Jack will be in an outstanding position when those casinos convert the majority of their floors to Class III, because Cadillac Jack titles are already on the floor.”
Franic, who has been with Cadillac Jack two and a half years, says the past eight months have been the most exciting. A new management team, headed by recently appointed chairman and CEO Gene Chayevsky, has focused on strengthening the core product.
“The new management team focused with external consultants and our sales people on the style of games we needed and the markets to go after, and we developed products around that research,” Franic says. “In both the U.S. and Mexico, the profitability of our games is the highest it’s ever been. Our product portfolio did not shrink, but our product brands have become a lot more targeted.”
The company’s strategy this year has been to focus resources on the products that are achieving the highest profitability. “Our slogan for the year is, ‘Focusing on What Plays Best—And Getting It Right,’” says Franic. “Having our resources limited like most companies, our focus is on products that make the most dollars per square foot—what plays best, and gives casinos the most profitable product line.”
The hottest product for Cadillac Jack as it has moved into Class III markets has been “Cadillac Cash,” its wide-area progressive link. Cadillac Cash was developed for Class II markets—it is still the only wide-area link in Mexico, and remains one of the few multi-site progressives in Class II Indian Country in the U.S.
The Cadillac Cash link features various base games connected to the same progressive, and according to Franic, it will remain the company’s main progressive link as it moves into Class III.
However, the G2E show will concentrate on the company’s new stand-alone Class III slots, in both video and reel-spinning modes.
Cadillac Jack has developed an impressive library of stand-alone games available in both Class II and Class III, including five-reel video slots like “Double the Devil” and “Mythic Knights,” which feature bonus rounds that can max out at 60 free spins; and “Sugar Delight,” with a pick-a-tile second-screen bonus round that can award up to 100 times the total bet.
The company has also released strong traditional games, including the three-reel classic “Hot7s” in video and five-reel mechanical games with LCD video-screen bonus events, like “Cave-Age Cash” and “Crazy Vegas.”
For G2E, Franic says the company will launch a showcase of high-volatility video slots in 20-line or 25-line, 200-coin configurations with free-spin bonuses, and a full line of 50-line stand-alone video slots as well. These latter games are essentially half-penny games—one penny activates two paylines.
According to Franic, the company will launch between 12 and 15 new stand-alone titles at G2E, running the gamut of bonus styles.
All of the new games feature play styles the company launched last year, “SpeedPLAY” and “PlusPLAY.”
SpeedPLAY is an optional mode for the player that cuts out nearly all the animation of spinning reels to go directly to the result of each spin. The player simply touches the screen to cut to the chase for the result of the spin.
“SpeedPLAY has the ability to scale out to an almost instantaneous cycle between spins,” Franic explains. “If the player chooses not to watch animation and go directly from one play to the next, that is marvelous for the casino.”
PlusPLAY is designed to reward players with random bonus events in exchange for extended play. “It is designed to generate loyalty in players by awarding bonus events,” Franic says. Extended play triggers expanding wild symbols, free-spin bonus rounds and scatter-pay jackpots.
The company also will launch a new game for the Cadillac Cash link, called “Pump It Up.” The company pulled out all the stops for this game, which features free spins, a second-screen bonus event, scatter pays and wild symbols that expand to entire reels. “This game has everything which we know works,” says Franic.
Finally, the company’s G2E booth will include a large section devoted to Latin American games in all video and reel-slot styles, as well as new games for the company’s “Latin Bingo” series.
The progressive jackpot in this series has a unique feature: As the window for the progressive jackpot narrows, animation lets players know that the jackpot has entered the area in which it has hit in the past. According to Franic, the casino can set the system to notify players of an impending jackpot either based on historical information, or on a tier system. In the latter, the casino can set three tiers preceding the jackpot, and actually can change the payback percentage as the higher-tier jackpot nears.
It’s a formula for jackpot fever in the progressive, and it’s one more example of the ideas that are sure to bring Cadillac Jack into the fold as an important supplier to both Class II and commercial casino markets.