Global Games 2019 - Introduction

Our annual spotlight of the slot sector

Like everything else in the casino industry, the slot sector is changing. Slot manufacturers are branching out to serve rapidly growing sectors of the industry in sports betting and online gaming. Systems and software are being adapted to allow wagering on these activities on mobile phones and, increasingly, right at the slot machine.

The slot machines themselves are changing as well. In this, the 18th edition of Global Games—our annual sneak-peek at the slot games coming to the industry in the coming year—you will see these trends amplified.

Some of the trends amid a sea of innovation pouring from the slot suppliers of the world have to do with technology—the technology that allows those games to offer experiences not possible in the past. Most prominent, perhaps, is the proliferation of 4D Ultra High Definition video technology.

This year’s video slots feature 4D UHD monitors of all shapes and sizes. The portrait-style monitor is becoming ubiquitous—those suppliers that hadn’t offered them previously continue to introduce new cabinets and new ways to position those typically vertical monitors—including positioning them horizontally in what’s become known as the “landscape” monitor.

The flat-screen 4K monitors are becoming larger—everyone has a giant cabinet these days—and the curved monitors are becoming curvier, from “J” shapes to “S” shapes to… well, the details are all here.

Other trends in this “new model year” of slot machines relate to the game-play styles of the machines. Perhaps the largest is the so-called “persistent state” game. Another new piece of jargon in the slot-machine lexicon, persistent-play or persistent-state games feature a chase by the player for credits, multipliers, progressives or other rewards within a finite time. The player sees his or her own progress toward a goal, and just has to stay at the game at least until it plays itself out.

Perhaps the most popular of these is the hold-and-spin, sometimes called lock-and-spin. A wild symbol or paying symbol will land and stay in place for a number of consecutive spins, or until a particular goal is reached. It’s a hot new game-play mechanic, and it’s still spreading.

The other guarantee as one peruses the product libraries of the top slot-makers is the progressive. Or more specifically, the multiple progressive. Good luck finding a slot supplier that doesn’t have a complete and growing lineup of all types of progressives—those 4K top boxes typically hosting four meters, the bottom ones often fixed awards but the top ones stand-alone, near-area or wide-area progressives.

High-denomination games, new ways to present the classic mechanical-reel format, and the future of the slot floor in terms of cardless, cashless and mobile play are all on tap for this year’s Global Gaming Expo. Use this annual feature as your guide to the very best the slot supply sector is rolling out for 2020 and beyond.

COMPANIES PROFILED IN GLOBAL GAMES 2019

Frank Legato
Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the recently published book on gaming, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying.  

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