At the London trade show last January there was a new excitement at the Casino Technology stand. The Bulgaria-based slot manufacturer was working on a licensing deal with the Penthouse brand of magazine, club and “pet” fame. Or, as a later press release was to describe Penthouse: “a globally recognized premier adult entertainment and lifestyle brand of General Media Communications Inc., a subsidiary of FriendFinder Networks Inc.”
The move could be seen as a natural step for the company to apply further its previous, classically creative approach to a new challenge. It fits Casino Technology’s partiality for original products with a special focus on the entertainment and artistic side of gaming.
“When it comes to the entertainment factor, we have always had our unconventional approach,” says Rossi McKee, vice president of Casino Technology and head of the company’s U.S. office. “The result, we believe, has been original and brave gaming solutions, responding to the latest market trends.”
Sonia Nikolova, board chair and sales & marketing director, explains further:
“Such a state-of-the-art product is the popular PlayMe series, which actually can bring cheers from the audience as it is an automated roulette table couched in a fully playable grand piano.”
The creative potential of the company has been particularly evident in the development of new concepts in the video slot segment. After many years of experience and hundreds of game titles, Casino Technology is moving into licensed branded games.
The signed licensing arrangement for the Penthouse brand was not officially announced until late July. The deal with General Media Communications calls for the development of slot machines themed on the popular brands “Penthouse” and “Penthouse Club.”
“Penthouse provides a great opportunity for a technology company like us to develop a different product with a unique concept, innovative math and sex appeal,” says McKee. “We trust that the new Penthouse slots series will enrich our portfolio with even more adventures, passion and fun.”
Built on the Casino Technology Gemini Sensa Plus series, the new Penthouse SENSAtional Plus cabinet is designed exclusively for the Penthouse branded slot games. Hot-pink highlighted, the white Sensa Plus cabinet is topped with a huge pair of bright red lips in full pucker and is easily spotted from a distance. Add to that the fact that visitors to G2E will be able to meet Penthouse pets/adult film stars Jelena Jensen and Mckenzee Miles at the Casino Technology booth, and the battle for the attention of the crowd is won.
As potential players pass by the machine, a built-in motion sensor will trigger a sexy, enticing voice inviting them to try their luck. An interactive multimedia screen will provide many options for players who sign into the Penthouse-dedicated Players Bonus Club program. Players will accrue points while playing, then use the points for discounts and promotions offered to club members. The interactive screen will enable players to access additional information and entertaining features while playing. The capabilities and user interaction area are expanded with multiple channels for entertainment, allowing players to enjoy the Penthouse concept in its entirety.
The first Penthouse slots will be launched at G2E 2011 and are scheduled to be available to customers by the end of the year. The Penthouse and Penthouse Club slot machines will also feature the “Penthouse Pet” and “Penthouse Key Girl” brands.
A number of game variations will be offered that include special features, bonuses and jackpots. In addition to developing branded games, the two companies will partner on cross-marketing opportunities. Operators will be eligible for the added bonus of having Casino Technology host on-site Penthouse promotions in their casinos, to spotlight the new slots and bring extra excitement, diversification and entertainment to the property.
Other products from Casino Technology are scheduled to be presented as themed groups of game suites.
The “7 Wonders of the World” suite presents an entertainment concept which allows players to explore the world with seven different video slot games featuring a variety of math models and bonus events, but based on common themes and symbols.
“Motormania” is based on a passion for high speeds and powerful cars and motorcycles. The theme is re-created in a number of stylish games and a jackpot system featuring top-level 3D animation and sound effects.
Both Motormania and 7 Wonders of the World are offered as multi-game sets and provide greater operator flexibility, player comfort and options for effective layout on the casino floor.
Following the expansion of the successful multi-game series “Gamopolis” with the release of four new modules of 10 games each, Casino Technology is launching a new and improved version. “Gamopolis Plus” features 15 game modules for even greater variety.
The U.S. Proving Ground
Casino Technology finds that interaction with the U.S. market is beneficial to keeping its commercial edge. The company has been exhibiting at G2E since 2004, demonstrating its latest products and innovations to elicit feedback from a wide range of clients from North America and also Latin America, where the slot manufacturer has traditionally maintained a strong market presence.
“The U.S. market is very important for us because it is one the most competitive world- wide,” says McKee. “It defines the quality criteria for gaming equipment manufacturers and offers a great opportunity for companies to prove their concept, their competitiveness, and to differentiate their own products from the existing offering.”
McKee says that carefully planned expansion, along with appealing products, successful concepts and reliable customer support, are key to Casino Technology’s approach to the U.S. markets.
“This year we are introducing and certifying a number of innovative products. We hope to achieve the same positive acceptance and success among the tribal gaming operators of North America that we have experienced in the rest of the world.”
G2E will also see the introduction of a newly established partnership between Casino Technology and Alto Gaming. The U.S.-based Alto Gaming will distribute and market Casino Technology products in the country.
“We feel very proud that our new partner has chosen to work with us,” says McKee. “We take it as a sign that Alto Gaming recognizes the quality, reliability and suitability of our products to the American casino markets. Being present for a long time in America, we believe this partnership will provide increased opportunities for rapid expansion in a market that is the goal of gaming manufacturers the world over.”