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Trucking Ahead

I'm going to give you my assessment of this year's remarkable lineup of games, and identify those slot-sector trends that pop out like Barney Fife's eyeballs.

Trucking Ahead

As you probably know, this is the issue of GGB where we tell you about all the great games coming to slot floors next year, via our annual “Global Games” section. (Motto: “Your Advertising Dollars At Work.”)

I’m going to give you my assessment of this year’s remarkable lineup of games, and identify those slot-sector trends that pop out like Barney Fife’s eyeballs.

(With all the work you slot-makers are doing these days, I figured a good simile was in order.)

(I’ll let you know if I think of one.)

Before I get into this year’s crop of games, let me divert your attention to some casino news of the day.

One week last month was a bad one for truck drivers venturing close to casinos. First, a truck crashed into the “Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas” sign. Don’t worry—nothing happened to the famous icon that greets motorists coming up Las Vegas Boulevard from the south. It’s the replica—the fake Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign put up a couple of years ago to attract people to the Fremont Street Experience Downtown.

After hearing of the crash, local historians and preservationists expressed simulated horror and mock outrage.

The truck ended up landing on a large rock, where it lodged with its wheels in the air. The wreck will be permanently displayed to attract tourists to the Fremont Street Experience.

(Not really. They hauled it away.)

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, a city truck crunched into the skywalk leading to the JACK Casino. Reportedly, the driver became startled by the casino’s name, which is in capital letters:

“Hey, look, Phil—JACK!”

“Whoa, look out for the skywalk, Sammy!”

This next story comes from our Italy Desk.

What, you don’t think we can have an Italy Desk? We gave them 500 square feet, which is twice what we gave the Bora Bora Desk.

Our dedicated staff of seasoned-pro reporters on the Italy Desk reports that the city of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy has opened a permanent pubic display of works in the art collection of mafia boss Gioaccino Campolo, also know as the “Video Poker King.”

Reading this story made me feel really Italian, even more than the half I actually am. I went out and tipped the mailman a couple of fazools.

Gioaccino “Gino Ducks” Campolo was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he was convicted of making a fortune tampering with slot machines. The city of Reggio Calabria reportedly seized assets worth €330 million, including paintings by Salvador Dalí, Lucio Fontana and Giorgio de Chirico.

You know, I knew a Reggio Calabria in ninth grade back in Pittsburgh. He could burp the entire Gettysburg Address.

And OK, I made up the Gino Ducks nickname. I just thought it fit.

Anyway, the city of Reggio Calabria has made this particular art collection into a permanent exhibit at the city’s National Archaeological Museum, billed as “a symbol of a heritage restored to the community.”

Or as Gino Ducks called them, “a bunch of friggin’ pictures, of melted clocks and stuff.”

Finally, a casino in Pennsylvania caught a dealer trying to sneak a bunch of chips off the property in her bra. Her surname is Cheatham.

I swear.

I wonder if she has any ties to the law firm Dewey, Cheatham & Howe. (Stooge fans: Tweet me if you get the reference.)

OK, on to this year’s crop of offerings that you’ll find in our annual Global Games section (second motto: “Where Every Single Game Is Awesome”). First, just about every one of the world’s slot-makers seems to have a new cabinet this year, or two or three. By the time I got home after visiting all the slot manufacturers, I just had to get new cabinets.

They’re in the kitchen. They’re fabulous.

The games themselves are as innovative and creative as ever, from Everi’s Penn & Teller game to IGT’s Sherlock Holmes, to Aristocrat’s My Cousin Vinny. (Yeah!)

And of course, this year’s offerings will afford ample opportunities to attract the millennials. There are several regular slots with skill-based, arcade-style bonus games—which, of course, will probably appeal to people who are 50—combined with some mobile-style slot games, taking their cues from the games all those twenty-somethings are playing on their phones.

Umm… For free.

Here’s how you get the millennials into the casino. Offer the chance to wager student-loan debt on an even-money table game. High card, double or nothing.

Oh, relax—I’m kidding.

Besides, casinos would never take that bet.

At least I don’t think so.

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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