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GLOBAL GAMES 2007

Our annual roundup of the best and the brightest in the newest slot machines and systems.

AC Coin & Slot – All About The Win

Communal play and innovative bonuses mark a strong game lineup

 

AC Coin & Slot long ago established its reputation as one of the top producers of slot bonus games in the industry. For the past few years, though, the Pleasantville, N.J.-based company has been building on that reputation in a big way.

AC Coin celebrates its 30th anniversary next year-it was founded by Mac Seelig in 1978 to serve the nascent Atlantic City casino industry-by rolling out new products in what is now a huge library of bonus games under the product brand “Mega Bonus Slots.”

The new brand name was revealed earlier this year, placing all games under a banner that reflects what the company is now all about-innovative bonus games-as opposed to what the company originally was, a supplier and partner solely to Atlantic City casinos. AC Coin originally provided everything from slot stands and table-game furniture to slot signage for the young Atlantic City casino market, as well as select machines. The company originally distributed slot machines for the old Jennings company, but in 1982, Mac Seelig forged a deal with Si Redd to become the exclusive Atlantic City distributor for what was then an unknown slot-maker, International Game Technology.

The IGT distributorship, eventually to include Caribbean casinos, remains lucrative to this day. However, for the past decade, AC Coin has moved way beyond the shadow of its famous partner to forge its own identity as a game developer. That identity began in 1996 with “Bonus Road Rally,” an arcade-style race of miniature cars on top of IGT dollar slots in Atlantic City. AC Coin took off nationally two years after that with “Empire,” the company’s first big hit, which featured a miniature gorilla climbing up a slot top box fashioned into a replica of the Empire State Building.

Its biggest hit, of course, came in 2000 with “Slotto,” the bonus game conceived by AC Coin Executive Vice President Jerry Seelig that features a Plexiglas sphere in a slot top box that is a replica of the apparatus used to draw the balls in televised lottery drawings.

Slotto has been a smash hit for AC Coin, and the company has spent its positive capital from the game on a host of sequels using the bonus-ball concept.

This year, AC Coin again capitalizes on the popularity of Slotto and its other greatest games with new versions, as well as launching totally new game concepts and improved versions of the new play concepts the company has introduced during the past few years.

One of those is the “communal play” concept, first seen earlier this year when the company released “Super Slotto Celebration,” an eight-player carousel of individual Slotto games surrounding a giant version of the patented Slotto sphere.

According to Jerry Seelig, that game, launched in June at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, is spreading as quickly as the company’s New Jersey facility can crank the behemoth units out. He says there will be perhaps a dozen in the field in various jurisdictions around the country by the time the Global Gaming Expo begins.

The company is wasting no time in applying the communal play concept to both current themes and innovative new games, which will be well-represented at AC Coin’s G2E booth.

Seelig says the company will launch no less than seven new communal play concepts at the show, but that’s only part of what’s in store as AC Coin celebrates 30 years in the slot business. The company is using the show to launch new games in every one of its successful genres, from mechanical top-box bonus games using the Slotto concept in a variety of ways to new versions of its unique hybrid video slots.

Winning Concepts – Seelig says AC Coin’s slogan for this year’s G2E show is “It’s all about the win,” a credo directed both at casino operators and players. The specific products being launched, he says, are the results of the company’s research and feedback from operators on ways to achieve higher win and make the games more popular.

A good result of this is the collection of communal slot game presentations, which are all smaller setups than the eight-machine Super Slotto Celebration that is still spreading across the industry. “The seven communal games we’re bringing to the show are mainly in four-game configurations,” Seelig explains. “These are nice, manageable events that operators are going to be able to give players, including several different experiences from AC Coin. Each experience will be unique.”

He adds that Super Slotto Celebration taught the company’s game developers how to refine the communal experience. “It showed us what people like and don’t like, and what operators like and don’t like,” he says. “We found ourselves shrinking the communal experience a bit so it will fit on casino floors without displacing so many slots.” While the eight-player giant is popular, the smaller version allows for multiple purchases by one casino, he says.

Players will find some of the multi-player setups familiar. There is a four-player bank of the popular “Bankroll” bonus slot, which in its stand-alone version features a scrolling top-box display representing a continuous sheet of cash in various bill denominations. The display scrolls until stopping with an indicator arrow pointing to the player’s bonus award.

The new version of the game, called “Bankroll Bonus Reserve,” positions individual video-slot player stations around a giant cylinder. During the bonus round, a continuous sheet of bills scrolls horizontally around the giant display until landing in front of arrows in front of each player’s machine. The math is timed so several players can be entering the bonus at a time-bonus rounds are triggered on various machines during 15-second activation periods. Bills on the horizontal display indicate either bills or multipliers. If a player’s arrow lines up with a multiplier, the big display scrolls again for an amount to multiply. If two multipliers land, the player gets the combined multipliers times 200 credits.

Several of the other communal-style games employ methods such as these, which allow players to, as Seelig notes, “share the experience of the bonus without having to share the jackpot.” Beyond that, AC Coin has rolled out the Slotto bonus-ball concept in a variety of creative and entertaining new ways.

In “Pirate’s Cove,” the giant central sphere in the middle of the four player stations contains a ring of pirate-ship cannons, which shoot bonus “cannonballs” until each player in the bonus has two, one representing a credit amount and the other a multiplier. In “Sparky’s Smokin’ Hot Jackpots,” the bonus balls spew into the chamber from a fireplug-if the “Smokin’ Hot” ball lands twice in front of the player, the award is 10,000 credits. In “Mushroom Mojo,” the bonus balls fall from a mushroom umbrella; in “Slotto Volcano,” they spew from a simulated volcanic mountain, sculpted with AC Coin’s typical artistic flair. (“It’s nice to have your own sculpting shop,” says Seelig.)

Other communal games revive tried-and-true concepts in a new format. The scrolling Bankroll concept is revived with “Carousel Cash.” Instead of dollar bills, the scrolling horizontal display depicts horses in a carousel in an entertaining presentation of the same kind of bonus concept. “Super Big game Show Bonus” reprises AC Coin’s “Big Game Show” stand-alone slot in a three-game unit with a common central bonus display. Players in the bonus round get up to three chances at bonus awards-as lights flash around the display, the player presses a button to stop it on credit wins, multipliers or a devil character that ends the bonus.

Finally, AC Coin’s big news in communal play this year is the return of the game which arguably started it all-Empire. The new, communal version of Empire positions four individual slots around a four-sided replica of the Empire State building, each with a miniature gorilla climbing toward multiple bonus zones. As with the other communal games, one or several players can enter the bonus at the same time, although each bonus is awarded individually.

The company’s lineup of communal-style games is sometimes accompanied by some unique hardware other than the big sphere-namely, two-player loveseats instead of the standard slot stool.

Stand-Alone Strength – AC Coin’s new emphasis on communal play certainly does not mean the slot-maker has abandoned stand-alone slots. The manufacturer is launching new stand-alone games in all of its popular genres.

“Diamond Time” extends the theme of IGT’s five-reel, 20-line Double Diamond base game to a vertically scrolling, Bankroll-style bonus game with credit and multiplier awards

There are several new versions of the Slotto concept, each with its own unique way of displaying the swirling bonus balls. In “Great Goldfish Giveaway,” the bonus balls appear as “bubbles” inside the sphere, which is done up as an aquarium. In “Chef’s Daily Special Bonus” the bonus balls are presented as bubbling out of a steaming soup pot.

“Four Corners Bingo” is a clever extension of AC Coin’s bingo-style Slotto games. This one features four partially completed bingo cards, with the simulated bingo tumbler rolling to drop balls to accumulate bonus credits until one of the four cards is completed.

The company also is launching a great follow-up to its hybrid video game “Sparky’s Red Hot Jackpots.” The new game extends the series begun with that game, featuring a five-reel base game and a bonus game that combines one of the company’s signature physical figurines with a 3-D video bonus event on a giant color LCD screen.

This one’s called “The Masked Seven: Casino Hero.” The idea is that the mild-mannered casino employee transforms into the proverbial hero-with a slot-style “7” on his chest-when he sees casino thieves. Three bonus symbols on the base five-reel game trigger a sequence in which the video screen depicts the hero going into a change booth, a phone booth or another location on the casino floor-it changes every time-to change into his costume and save the day through one of four separate, random bonus sequences. Each sequence ends with the physical figurine of the masked hero blasting a villain to reveal a bonus amount.

“Sparky’s Red Hot Jackpots taught us a lot about doing video,” says Seelig, whose game developers traditionally dealt only in mechanical top-box bonuses. “It taught us how you need a solid storyboard before you start development of a video bonus sequence. Our video bonus genre has now reached its maturity.”

Other aspects of game development at AC Coin have reached maturity as well, including a Mac-configurable pay table from IGT that allows much more flexibility in the design of pay schedules. “It lets us get more creative,” says Seelig.

Expect to see a lot more games in the market from AC Coin in the coming year. “We’ve had great success this year,” Seelig says. “With growth comes challenges, and we’re rising to meet those challenges with lots of new games and lots of new platforms. We’re excited.”

The company’s expanding markets go beyond the nascent Pennsylvania market. AC Coin, which is licensed in all North American jurisdictions and all provinces in Canada, is currently examining several international markets for expansion of its products and its operations.

As the company expands further, Seelig says its credo remains the same: “It’s all about the win,” he says. “It’s what our customers expect of us. We’re committed to making as much money for our customers as we can.”

Aristocrat Technologies – Power and Performance

 

Aristocrat augments its slot library with ever-more innovative game styles

 

Aristocrat Technologies, the Las Vegas-based arm of Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure Industries, has been a clear leader in technological advances in the area of slot machines during this decade.

In rapid succession during the first half of the decade, we saw product introductions like Hyperlink multiple progressives, Bonus Bank ante-driven bonus games, the Reel Power scatter-pay configuration, 50-line and 100-line video slots-all groundbreaking game styles, and all much-copied within the slot manufacturing sector.

For the past couple of years, Aristocrat has been capitalizing on those innovations, augmenting its ever-growing game library by mixing and matching the various unique play methods and bonus features. The company also has positioned itself as a much more complete supplier to casinos, with efforts ranging from an alliance with North Carolina’s PokerTek to distribute the PokerPro electronic poker tables outside the U.S. (and purchase of a substantial stake in that company) to the acquisition of a 50 percent interest in Electroncek, the prominent Slovenian manufacturer of multi-player electronic table games carrying the famous Interblock brand.

Aristocrat also has made a point of improving its readiness for the coming age of digital slot floors, refining its systems for both server-based and server-supported slot gaming, and refining its “Gen 7” content delivery technology for those coming systems.

At this year’s G2E, Aristocrat has even more new game styles to unveil, as well as a blitz of new products and technological improvements in all of its existing genres of product.
“Our message this year is power and performance,” says Sean Evans, Aristocrat’s vice president of sales. “We’re taking our products to the next level.”

Slants and Steppers – Aristocrat is augmenting its improvements on the successes of the early decade with completely new product categories.

One is Aristocrat’s first slant-top offering, called Crown. Introduced last year, the new slant-top series offers the option of dual monitors-a giant color screen in the top box in addition to the one in front of the player.

“The second LCD in the top box was an addition we made over the past year,” says Evans. “In all, the slant-top has accounted for 15-20 percent of our total sales over the past few months.”

The Crown slant-top is available in three different finishes, including a sleek, 100 percent chrome version.

Another new series is the MAV Stepper series. While Aristocrat introduced its first steppers three years ago, Evans notes that the company’s engineers have since been making refinements and improvements to its nascent reel-spinning series.

This year, games in the MAV Stepper series are available in both standard-size and slim-cabinet reel-spinners, mostly in the low-denomination, five-reel, multi-line setup that Aristocrat made famous-but not forgetting the traditional player either. Titles such as Pompeii, Liberty 777 and Razzle Dazzle are available in denominations up to $5. They are traditional reel-spinners, with multiple paylines and free-spin bonus features bringing them into the 21st century.

“We’re happy with all the upgrades we’ve made to the MAV Stepper series, and all the trials are over,” Evans explains. “We’re in full selling mode now, and customers have commented that we got it right.” He says officials at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun, which bought hundreds of the Aristocrat stepper games, say “ours are the best steppers they have in terms of reliability.”

The first suite of games for the MAV Stepper series are stepper versions of some of Aristocrat’s most popular MKVI video slots, including Big Ben, Queen of the Nile, K.G. Bird and Inca Sun, as well as new titles like Peacock Magic and Flame of Olympics.

Progressive Progression – While the hardware improvements have definitely boosted sales, Aristocrat’s content-in particular, more new game styles-is what has been driving new sales and increases in market share.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the manufacturer’s various progressive game groups, from the well-established Hyperlink four-level progressive series to the newest progressive group, called “Xtreme Mystery.”

The new Xtreme Mystery series, which is being launched officially at the G2E show, adds a three-level mystery progressive jackpot to any bank of video slots in the MKVI series-Aristocrat’s most familiar games. According to Evans, the operator can pick between three programs when deciding how quickly the progressive should increment-operators can choose to devote 2.1 percent, 2.5 percent or 3 percent of coin-in to the mystery jackpots. Once that’s set, the jackpot controller will use coin-in triggers to send a random jackpot to any of the linked machines.

“In Macau, 70 percent of our product is under this link,” Evans says. “You can use your whole library and interchange these mystery jackpot themes. With the mystery jackpot added, a new graphics package is loaded in that changes some graphics on the machines, and offers a unique way to display the jackpot in the top box.”

Other new progressive game groups for Aristocrat include the follow-up to last year’s Jackpot Deluxe series, called “Bank Buster.”

The Bank Buster series combines the Hyperlink multi-level progressive concept with an ante bet-and-bonus setup made popular by the “Bonus Bank” series. Like Jackpot Deluxe, Bank Buster offers the player the option to cover all the paylines and make a 25-cent ante bet to activate all the features. In Jackpot Deluxe, the ante qualifies the player for a free-spin bonus in which you can win up to all four levels of progressive bonus.

In Bank Buster, the ante qualities the player for entry into any of six separate Bonus Bank-style bonus features, each of which can lead to one of the four progressive jackpots. The bonus games are all simple pick-a-tile games or straight awards with no action required by the player. Two of the six games, “Hot Cash” an “Money Grab,” can lead to more than one jackpot being won multiple times.

“A four-level progressive with six bonus features represents a unique math structure for us,” says Doug Fallon, Aristocrat’s director of marketing. “In two of the bonus features, you can win all of the jackpots multiple times. In all of them, you can win up to all four jackpots. The second-screen feature is interactive, and it will keep the player on the product forever. It’s the most feature-rich game we’ve ever done.”

The “Mini” jackpot starts at $20, as opposed to $5 in most Hyperlink games. The top “Grand” jackpot resets at either $10,000 or $20,000. Familiar Aristocrat penny multi-line video slots K.G. Bird, Sun & Moon and Treasure King serve as the base games for the initial Bank Buster link.

In other progressive offerings, the penny Millioni$er multiple-progressive game makes its debut as a wide-area progressive, with a big-money top jackpot on games like Cash Express, Zorro, Loco Loot and Scorchin’ Fortune.

Cash Express, which was the first Hyperlink multi-progressive title, is being offered this year as a multi-game unit-players will be able to pick the base game they want to play under the common Hyperlink progressive bonus round.

Power Pay and More – Another new brand being applied to all of Aristocrat’s standard MKVI video slots is called “Power Pay.” This mode of play enables an ante wager to be made that switches a game from normal line configuration to the “Reel Power” mode, in which reels are purchased instead of paylines and all wins are paid as scatters.

The games are all 25-line video slots, so the minimum bet to activate the Power Pay mode in the penny denomination is a 25-cent wager to activate all the paylines, and another 25 cents for the ante.

Initial games being displayed in the Power Pay format include Wild Cougar, Tahiti Magic, Wicked Winnings II and Cho Sun Returns. However, Evans notes that any of Aristocrat’s games that employ an ante bet can be converted to the new format. “The ante bet allows us to be pretty flexible with our product categories,” he says. “The key thing we want to communicate bout this product category is that once the player makes that ante wager of five to 20 coins, it increases their overall return by anywhere from .5 percent to 3 percent.”

Other new game groups being launched by Aristocrat at G2E are improvements on popular existing setups. “Xtra Reel Power” adds an extra row of symbols to the Reel Power pay window-there are four symbols on each of the five reels instead of the normal three. That increases the ways to win from 247 to 1,024 possible winning combinations on each spin.

In the Bonus Bank series, Aristocrat’s new offering is called “Banana King.” According to Fallon, any MKVI base video slot can be converted to this theme and package, which adds five random bonus events with an extra ante wager.

Mobbed Up – New game groups for Aristocrat always mean new ways to mix and match the new game styles to create unique packages. One such game that will dominate Aristocrat’s booth this year is “The Sopranos,” a beautifully designed game depicting the hit HBO mob series. It combines the three-level mystery progressive concept from Xtreme Mystery with the new MAV Stepper reel-spinning series.

There are two initial base games-Top Boss and Welcome to the Family. Both are five-reel, 20-line games on the sleek new reel-spinning cabinet. On the top of each game is a large color LCD video screen, and banks of the machine are linked together under a giant video display showing scenes from the series. One unique feature that is a result of linking the games to a computer controller is that the title of the series runs across the video screens of all four games in a bank in a continuous motion, depicting the opening sequence from the show.

Both games have free-spin bonus rounds. On Top Boss, from five to 50 free games are awarded depending on how many triggering symbols hit, and all wins during the free games are doubled. On Welcome to the Family, eight free games are awarded with symbols depicting characters from the show becoming wild in free spins.

At any time, coin-in levels on the bank can trigger a random award of one of the three progressive jackpots, “Soldier” (starting at $10), “Capo” ($100) or “Boss” (starting at $500 or $5,000). When that happens, the overhead screen and the top screens of each game launch into a video sequence from the show as the jackpot is awarded.

A third Sopranos title, Play to Get Made, will be released in December. This will be the first reel-spinning slot to use Aristocrat’s “Reel Power” configuration, in which the player purchases reels instead of paylines and all wins are paid as scatters.

“We’re going to be the first company with a Reel Power-style game on a stepper slot,” says Mitchell Bowen, Aristocrat’s regional marketing manager in Nevada. “This is one of our games that will target the three-to-five-line, higher-denomination market.”

In fact, the new Sopranos offering will be joined by other Aristocrat slots in all categories that are designed for higher denominations, in a section of Aristocrat’s booth called “Player’s World.”

“This is a segment of the market we feel has been neglected,” says Fallon. “Moving the dollar segment from a three-reel world to a five-reel world certainly makes sense.”

All of the new and improved game groups will be accompanied by new titles in stand-alone form, in the Double Standalone Progressive series, and in every other category. In all, there will be 192 games in 10 different product categories, in a G2E booth that looks more like a casino than a show display.

Into the Future – One section of Aristocrat’s G2E booth will be devoted to the coming world of server-based and server-supported gaming. Aristocrat is launching several products, and an entire new platform, designed for the coming digital age of slots.

The company’s system division will be showing both of its server-based solutions, the “DL” series for server-supported gaming and “ACE Interactive” (for “Aristocrat Contact Exchange,” a result of the company’s purchase two years ago of the Swedish system company Essnet) for full-blown server-based gaming. “Our DL system is thick-client, and still very proprietary,” says Evans, “with all the intelligence residing in the machine. We see the world going to thin-client, with the RNG residing at the server.”

Both systems will use Aristocrat’s new “Viridian” cabinet, a thin-profile cabinet with two large LCD screens-the top screen substituting for slot glass to enable quick game change-outs.

In line with the preparations for networked gaming, Aristocrat will use G2E to launch what will be the basic slot format that will succeed the MKVI platform that it has used for several years.

Called “Gen 7,” the technology employs compact flash content instead of the EPROM-based motherboard used in MKVI. According to Evans, it is a technology that can be introduced now, in current slot floor configurations, and move seamlessly into server-based and server-supported applications. Moreover, all MKVI games produced from 2005 on will be upgradeable to Gen 7.

“The Gen 7 platform can drive MKVI-generated content, so we will be carrying our entire game library forward,” Evans says. “It is a platform for today, tomorrow and the future.”

Atronic Group – Harmony and Passion

Atronic gives its innovative game groups new looks and classic style

 

The Atronic Group of Companies is undergoing yet another transformation in a history that has crammed great success and monumental change into a couple of brief decades.

It was, after all, only 14 years ago that Germany’s Gauselmann Group bought what was then a small Austrian producer of video slots, at the time a pioneer in the use of 3-D animation in gaming applications. Today, the Atronic Group consists of three major divisions-Atronic Americas in Arizona; and Atronic International and Atronic Systems, both in Austria-and is one of the most highly regarded slot manufacturers both in Europe and the U.S.

Next year, there will be another major change for Atronic. GTECH Holdings Corporation, the Rhode Island-based lottery giant which entered the casino business a few years ago with the acquisition of Canada’s Spielo, will, in 2008, complete its acquisition of a 50 percent controlling interest in the Atronic Group.

With the acquisition, the Gauselmann Group will return its management attention to the amusement-with-prizes game business on which its fortune was built, and Atronic will gain a partner with extensive footholds in lottery markets and in central system technology, which will lead the slot-maker into the future with server-based gaming applications.

These changes, however, will not change what Atronic is today. Instead, the developments stand to augment Atronic’s position as a force to be reckoned with in slot game and system development, and the combined resources of Gauselmann and GTECH will mean that all three of Atronic’s international R&D groups will continue to crank out innovation after innovation.

These in-house groups will be aided by some outside developers-most notably Games 4 You, formed last year by former Atronic game development manager Jason Stage, with an equity stake by none other than Gauselmann Group CEO Michael Gauselmann. Games 4 You has gotten off to a big start, developing new slots exclusively for Atronic at the outset.

For the past few years, Atronic has introduced groundbreaking new game groups, from its innovative “e-motion” series to multiple progressive games like “Cash Fever” to “eMillions,” the clever multi-site progressive system that pays off a top prize resetting at $1 million at max-coin or a million credits with less than a maximum bet.

Atronic also has broken into the branded slot market with some carefully chosen and masterfully executed brands-most notably Deal Or No Deal, The Game of Life and the newest, released last summer, “King Kong Cash.”

This year, Atronic uses the G2E show to showcase expansions and improvements in all its existing game groups, as well as a few brand-new game groups that stand to break even more ground.

“We’ve spent the year expanding our product line and providing depth to our product groups,” says Krista Colonna, senior marketing manager. “Our goal has been to provide a better product not only for players, but to casino operators.”

New Looks – Many of Atronic’s product line improvements and additions are revealing some decidedly new looks to the company’s strongest games.

For instance, the Harmony Slant Top, the manufacturer’s first slant-top offering, is a radically designed game offering with an ergonomic cabinet and a sleek, space-age look. Atronic has done more than provide new hardware for existing game content, though. The Harmony Slant Top comes to casinos ready-made with an entirely new game library.

“We have created titles for Harmony that have not been introduced in the North American market,” says Stage. “It has its own library of games separate from e-motion and Atronic’s other existing game groups.”

Among the new games loaded into the Harmony Slant Top is Mystical Journey, a game marked by beautiful artwork and a lot of innovative features. There are several wild symbols in the base game, and the player gets a choice between two bonus rounds-free games with all jackpots tripled, or Atronic’s special “Spin As Long As You Win” bonus. In the latter, the player continues to spin free games as long as he achieves at least one winning combination. Joker symbols extend the bonus if no wins are achieved.

Another emerging game group for Atronic is the manufacturer’s first stepper series, known as “Passion Slots.” According to Ken Bossingham, Atronic’s chief operating officer, the reel-spinning series, launched at G2E last year, is ready for widespread release. “We’ve now had some placement in the market, and we have a complete range of approvals,” he says. “So, we’re taking it to the next level with more depth in game performance and product offerings.”

“We had a core series of games for the series,” adds Stage, “and now, with our Deluxe Top series, we have a premium line that constitutes the next evolution of our stepper.”

The Deluxe Top series adds an interactive touch-screen LCD monitor in the top box, taking the series beyond the traditional reel-spinners to create stepper versions of Atronic’s top video slots.

Among the first two Passion Slots entries in the Deluxe Top version will be the first reel-spinning versions of Atronic’s strongest branded video slots, Deal Or No Deal and The Game of Life.

Branding Success – Speaking of the company’s big brands, Atronic is releasing new versions this year of “Deal” and “Life,” as well as new titles for its King Kong Cash video series.

“We have two new Deal Or No Deal links, and we’re expanding our base game library for King Kong Cash and Game of Life,” says Colonna. “Also, we have four new stand-alone titles for Game of Life. It all fits our overall theme of expansion and product depth. We’ve been seeing tremendous success with all three of our big licenses, so we’re expanding the product depth in all three series.”

“Deal or No Deal: The Experience” will be a linked bank of video slots featuring three interactive bonus rounds and a multi-level progressive. “Deal or No Deal: Mega Deal” is a is a multi-site progressive with two levels of progressive jackpot. According to Colonna, both levels of jackpot are set to hit at least once a month, on average.

Both new versions of Deal Or No Deal feature the original game’s re-creation of the “briefcase round” from the popular TV game show as the central bonus feature. The “Briefcase Bonus” is a pure gambler’s feature, giving players the chance to pick a briefcase and decide whether or not to take successive offers from the “bank”-wheth

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 books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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