Products to touch and feel.
Music — in one case a DJ.
And plenty of swag.
All could be found Tuesday at Global Gaming Expo, the gaming industry’s top trade show.
Though as 9,500 exhibitors tried to distinguish themselves from competitors, many game providers had a similar booth setup and seemed to be moving in the same direction toward live dealer stadium gambling and multi-functional play stations.
“Stadium gaming allows dealers to be entertainers and to spend more time engaging with the players and creating an atmosphere,” said Colleen Stanton, global vice president of marketing at Interblock.
Interblock was one of several companies at the Sands Expo and Convention Center debuting new types of hybrid electronic machines that are run by live dealers on the exhibition floor.
“They’ve had a very strong performance in Europe and Asia and they’re popping up now more across North America,” said Mike McKiski, Interblock vice president of sales.
The new electronic games allow players to instant message each other and also has an educational mode that that teaches a user how to to play.
“Players who don’t know how to play a game can be intimidated by not knowing the rules and they don’t necessarily want to pay to learn how to play,” Stanton said. “Now they can get educated about the game and then start to put money in.”
Each play station offers a multiple games, including blackjack, baccarat and roulette. Players can play multiple games at once.
Gaming companies are aiming to keep players at their terminals longer and longer by having slots and other devices be multi-game functional.
International Game Technology is building on that idea by creating experience-oriented devices, debuting the company’s new 4-D Sphinx slot machine.
“Once you have them at that chair and at that seat, you need to make sure the math, the game, the art, provides an entertaining experience,” said Dallas Orchard, IGT senior vice president of global premium products.
The 4-D slot machine incorporates gesture recognition technology, enabling players to pull out bonus features with their hand gestures.
Popular game-show hostess Vanna White made an appearance at IGT’s massive booth Tuesday.
White accepted a key to the city from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who jokingly said it could open slot machines.
The Wheel of Fortune slot, creeping up on its 20-year anniversary, has 230 versions on the market and the game has paid out more than $3 billion, making more than 1,000 millionaires in the process. A 3-D version of the game was introduced earlier this year on Carnival Cruise Line casinos.
Other celebrities on the show floor Tuesday included basketball great Shaquille O’Neal for the Inspired Gaming Group’s virtual sports game and Larry Thomas, the actor who portrayed “The Soup Nazi” on “Seinfeld,” on behalf of Scientific Games.
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