Casinos grapple with where to place new skill-based games

Updated October 6, 2017 - 7:58 pm

When Blaine Graboyes approached what he estimates as “a dozen or more” casino operators in 2014 with his idea for skill-based video gaming machines, he pretty much heard the same responses.

“They said, ‘Oh, it will be 10 years before the games end up on the floor,’” said Graboyes. Or “’By the time you have the games on the floor, we’ll have these dedicated areas for’ — back then it was called millennial areas, but now it’s grown into integrated entertainment zones or adult arcades. I hear different terms, but I don’t think any of them are perfect yet in terms of branding the space.”

Graboyes, CEO and co-founder of GameCo, got the green light from New Jersey gambling regulators in 2016. And casino operators as a whole haven’t quite figured out where and how to install these new skill-based games from GameCo, Gamblit Gaming and others on their casino floors.

Steve Sirianni, vice president of slot operations at the MGM Grand, said this week at the Global Gaming Expo that his company has been tweaking exactly how to market the units in high-traffic areas of the casino floor and at which angles to place the machines so they face customers as they pass by.

Salim Adatia, vice president of iGaming and Canadian services at Gaming Laboratories International, said operators in Canada have tried to create environments within the casino that are more geared toward engaging the youngest demographics.

“Rather than dropping a machine right in the middle of the floor, there might be a portion of a venue allocated to interactive games,” Adatia said.

Another risk to dropping a machine right in the middle of the floor is scaring away traditional gaming customers, said Steve Walther, senior director of marketing and product management for Konami Gaming Inc.

“With a skill-based game or different style game, they’re (players) are going to look at it and go, ‘I don’t know what this is’ and then move on,” he said.

Graboyes said a casino operator should consider putting skilled-base games in high-traffic areas, near bars and restaurants.

“It’s so new that no one knows that these games are available,” Graboyes said.

Sirianni said the MGM Grand sees “a big opportunity to introduce new” skill-based games to the market with new demographics interacting more with video games, he said, but it will be a gradual process.

“We’re not ready to immediately carve out a huge portion of our casino to dedicate to skill-based games,” he said. “Traditional gaming is a staple of our business, and we see that as being the case for the long term.”

A lot of that is because there aren’t very many machines on the market and licensed for casinos yet, he said.

“I’m anxious for other manufacturers to start releasing these games so we can hit these volumes and critical mass,” he said.

Graboyes said he understands the hesitancy to jump right into remodeling the entire casino floor, but there is enough product out there to start building out areas on the casino floor to give the games more prominence.

“If I was an operator, I would be looking at how to make these spaces based on the products that are available now. We see people who play our games also play poker, blackjack, roulette and maybe branded slot machines with brands and themes that appeal to younger audiences,” Graboyes said.

Mike Stewart, director of design at YWS Design & Architecture, said casinos have a tricky task to appeal to vastly different audiences on the casino floor without alienating any of them.

Contact Nicole Raz at nraz@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Mecum Car Auction in Las Vegas
The Mecum Auctions is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Construction underway for new Google Data Center
Henderson is slated to be home to a new Google data center in December 2020. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved $25.2 million in tax abatements for Design LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google. The company plans to build the data center on 64 acres of land on Warm Springs Road west of Boulder Highway.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, an in-home digital companion and monitor.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, HAPPIE Home technology, an in-home digital companion and monitor designed for unpaid family caregivers that gives personalized alerts, messages and reminders. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Holiday parades help bring shoppers to Downtown Summerlin
Sports Town USA floor manager Angela Gardonio talks about the work that goes into the Downtown Summerlin holiday parades and how they benefit her and other businesses there.
Final vote on CG Technology
Final commission vote on the $2 million settlement for CG Technology.
Happie Home Startup Establishing Headquarters In Las Vegas
Digital companion startup company Happie Home is establishing its headquarters in Las Vegas after receiving tax abatements from the Governor's Office of Economic Development on Nov. 15. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center will showcase 13 small businesses in November and December and seven in January. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
T-Mobile uses ticketing data to plan for event
T-Mobile Executive Director of Arena Operations explains how ticket sales data and demographics help plan staffing, vendors, parking and operations for an event.
Costco opens its doors in southwest Henderson
Costco has opened its fifth Las Vegas-area location near the intersection of St. Rose Parkway and Amigo Street. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas strip mall and office park
The Krausz Cos. and WG Group bought a strip mall and an office park in Las Vegas for nearly $80 million total. They acquired a portion of Tropicana Beltway Center in the southwest valley for $59 million. They also acquired the Westbay office complex in the Las Vegas Medical District. The buyers are former owners of The Gramercy, a once-mothballed mixed-use project in the Las Vegas suburbs. They sold The Gramercy in phases for more than $100 million.
Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry
Celebrity tattoo artist and business owner Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry at The World of Tattoo industry trade show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas
$7.5M Las Vegas pot dispensary opens near Las Vegas Strip
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. It has entertainment including an interactive floor and floating orbs. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars CEO to step down next year
Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora will leave the casino company in February. Frissora has been CEO since July 2015. He was named CEO right after Caesars' operating company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Caesars Entertainment emerged from bankruptcy protection in October 2017 Before Caesars, Frissora spent seven years as chairman and CEO of Naples, Fla.,-based Hertz He led the consolidation of the rental-car industry through Hertz‘s acquisition of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
Planet 13 in Las Vegas adds twist to marijuana dispensary look
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. The dispensary is located near the intersection of Desert Inn Road and Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, near Trump International, in Las Vegas. Planet 13 has plans in the future for a coffee shop, a tasting room for marijuana-infused beer and wine, a lounge for consuming marijuana on site if that is legalized and space for food.
Caesars Entertainment opening 2 resorts in Dubai
Cove Beach will open on Meraas’ Bluewaters Island in Dubai in November and Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and The Residences at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai will open in December. (Caesars Entertainment)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like