Last November, many in the industry lauded the placement of the industry’s first skill-based slot offerings when GameCo, Inc. introduced its video game gambling machines, or VGMs, at the Atlantic City properties of Caesars Entertainment.
Caesars recently removed the machines, citing low earnings. However, according to GameCo founder and CEO Blaine Graboyes, it’s all part of the learning curve on how and where skill-based games will return profit for the casinos.
“We can do all the prototyping, focus groups, and game nights we want, but there is nothing like a live environment to learn from,” Graboyes told the NorthJersey.com news site. According to Graboyes, the decision of Caesars to remove the first two GameCo VGMs—a shooter game called Danger Arena and a mobile-style video game called Pharaoh’s Secret Temple—was a “collective decision” by the supplier and the operator, and that the machines will be redeployed at Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut.
The Tropicana is still offering its GameCo VGMs, and the Borgata is planning on adding some of the video game-style machines. Graboyes said the company is working with operators to find the best location and game mix to draw millennials and other video game enthusiasts, to whom the games are targeted.
Caesars Senior Vice President Melissa Price said that she remains committed to the concept of skill-based gaming, and that the operator will experiment with the next generation of GameCo games, as well as adding skill games from Gamblit Gaming, GameCo’s skill-based rival, as soon as they are approved by New Jersey regulators.
The Foxwoods placement marks GameCo’s move into its second gaming jurisdiction in the U.S., as well as the company’s introduction to tribal gaming of its skill-based gaming offerings.
The VGMs installed at Foxwoods also feature GameCo’s Nothin’ but Net, on two triple-unit VGM carousels in high-traffic, prominent locations in the Fox Tower casino. Nothin’ but Net lets players hit the basketball courts with 16 shots to win cash. Players’ skill in making virtual layups, jump shots, free throws and half-court bombs is challenged in the fast-paced game, which also includes bonus money balls.
“Skill-based slot machine technology is the next generation of gaming, and we welcome this addition to our already industry-leading resort casino experience,” said Felix Rappaport, Foxwoods Resort Casino president and CEO. “This partnership with GameCo is just another example of our commitment to provide our loyal guests new and exciting reasons to visit Foxwoods.”