Future Slot Machines
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by: Gene Koprowski. Online casino gambling articles.
The gaming industry is this week holding its annual convention in Las Vegas, and slot-machine makers are optimistic that new technology that provides "community gaming" and "sensory immersion"...
will soon become as standard as the classical "three cherries" on traditional, winning slot machines.

"The products are the stars this year," said Brian Gamache, president and CEO of gaming-technology developer WMS Gaming.

Gamache said that the new slots feature graphics and sound that rival the X-Box. What is more, the next generation of slot machines will be able to "talk" to each other, to players and to casino executives.

"This is still a hardware business but eventually, it will be a software business...It is going to be a paradigm shift," said Gamache.

To be sure, some slot machines have been linked together for years to create mega-million-dollar jackpots. But, Gamache -- and other analysts -- foresee something even more high tech.

One day, soon, Gamache said, all the devices on a casino floor will be linked to a central server so they can be reprogrammed on the fly, perhaps increasing the minimum bet at very busy times.
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"Right now, once you put a game out there, it is there," Gamache said. "If it's a failure, the only option is to yank it out and buy a new one, which is time consuming."
But if you can turn a dog into a winner with a few clicks on a keyboard, casinos can increase their profits, and make the games even more fun to play, at the same time.  Another future feature will include the ability to give players special incentives - maybe half-price tickets - right on the slot machine itself.
Community Gaming

Another trend is "community gaming," a concept borrowed from the Dungeons and Dragons world of kids' gaming. For adults, a bank of slot machines can be programmed so if one player wins a bonus, everyone playing at the same cluster also wins. Early stage versions of the technology are now on the market, and in some casinos.
"We can't install them fast enough to meet demand," said Ed Rogich, vice president at International Game Technology. "The play levels are phenomenal and that attracts spectators."
One analyst, Steve Kent of Goldman Sachs, enthused, "we would characterize the technology as evolutionary, rather than revolutionary."
However, he thinks that it could be a spell before gambling-equipment suppliers, and their casino customers, see jackpot returns on their investments in the technologies.
"It was clear to us that the potential of central server/downloadable is moving ahead," said Kent. "The ability to change games on the fly and target the consumer with the slots by game theme, bonusing variety, interactivity among players, and time on the machine was very exciting, and eventually, we suspect casinos will adopt this technology."
Kent said he thinks the slots will proliferate in late 2007 and early 2008, and eventually completely replace today's standard slot machines.

© Copyright 2006 Gene Koprowski's material. It may not be published, broadcasted, rewritten, or redistributed.

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