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Gaming Guru

 

Themed Slot Machines Continue to Grow in Popularity

3 September 2003

Calling all Baby Boomers. If there was ever a doubt in your mind as to your importance as a casino customer, one look at the slot mix on your favorite casino floor should convince you. Increasingly, the casino floor is beginning to look like a page out of the TV Guide, circa 1967.

In my mind, this trend started with the "Elvis" slot machines, which proved to be enormously popular and signaled the new trend. In recent years, new machines have used all sorts of sixties-era themes, including television sitcoms such as "Bewitched," "Beverly Hillbillies" and "I Dream of Jeannie." At the Global Gaming Expo last year, one entry was a "SPAM" - (yes, the meat in a can) themed machine. There have also, of course, been numerous successful themed slot machines based on television game shows (such as "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy" and "Family Feud"), and a number of popular machines based on popular board games, such as Yahtzee and Monopoly.

This year, it sounds as if the trend will continue with a focus on new themes based on new licensing agreements with Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, "Laverne & Shirley," "I Love Lucy," "Gilligan's Island," "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game."

What do all of these games have in common? A theme designed to appeal to the over-40 crowd. Given the success, it is clear that the technique must be working. Yet, it also is clear that it takes more than just a memorable theme to succeed. The particular game designed around the theme has to be fun, enjoyable and different. That was, and remains, the key to the long-term success of the "Elvis" machines, which play various Elvis videos while paying out different cash bonuses.

The upcoming Global Gaming Expo will showcase all of the new machines and allow those in the gaming industry and casino management to try them out. With a conference floor larger than the Detroit Auto Show, the Global Gaming Expo always does a terrific job in allowing all the manufacturing companies to show off - and they never disappoint. But, then again, I am part of the Baby Boom generation these machines are designed to attract. Someone must be doing their job right.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com