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Best of John Grochowski

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New machines at Global Gaming Expo

20 October 2016

A big part of the fun of the annual Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas is getting to see slot manufacturers’ newest attractions at their best.

Games are set up in demo mode. Attendees can play to your heart’s content with no cash involved.

And if you want to see how the bonus events work, an employee can demonstrate at the turn of a key and touch of the screen. I did guided tours in a number of booths, and in coming weeks I’ll tell you all about Scientific Games’ new Seinfeld slot machine, IGT’s Sphinx 4-D, Aristocrat’s Sharknado and more.

A few gamemakers leave a self-serve approach, and I was glad Everi was among them when I ran across its Casablanca slot. All I had to do was touch the demo icon and a menu of bonus events and features appeared. I could take my choice.

Casablanca is a five-reel video slot with a five-level progressive jackpot that at the expo was set up with a top level building from $250,000.

On the base game, reel symbols include characters from the classic Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman World War II-era drama of love and redemption. Other reel symbols include film icons such as Sam’s piano, chips on a roulette layout and the sign for Rick’s Café Americain, where proprietor Rick (Bogart) was drawn back into the good fight by lost love Ilsa (Bergman) and her husband, resistance leader Victor Lazlo (Paul Henreid).

When I touched the bonus menu to select a wheel spin, the sounds were of a roulette wheel – presumably the gaffed wheel where Rick enabled a stranded Bulgarian couple to win enough money to leave for America.

A big win with five Rick symbols brought a scene from the film as Rick tells Ilsa, “I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

And I just had to see what would happen after a progressive payout. This time, Ilsa urged Sam, “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’”

It’s a fun game with multiple bonuses, features and jackpots, made all the more fun by the imagery and classic scenes from one of the greatest movies ever made.

  • Everi is a merger between the slot manufacturer formerly known as Multimedia Game and the cash-handling giant Global Cash Access.

In the slot portion of the booth, there was much more than Casablanca. A new Penn and Teller slot brings a magical good time. And those in the mood for a little animated nostalgia will want to try Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Underdog.

All the cartoon favorites bring in other characters from their worlds. Some Casper bonus events feature Wendy, the Good Little Witch, with her red robe and hat instead of the black worn by the witchy evil-doers.

The presence of Richie, Casper and Underdog represents changing times in the slot industry. At the end of the 1990s, IGT could not get its South Park slot machine approved in Nevada because regulators held the animated TV favorite as too appealing to children. “South Park” was never aimed at kids, but it was animated and on TV, and that was enough.

Since then, we’ve seen successful slots based on TV animation including The Flintstones and The Pink Panther. One key is that they’re older properties, nostalgic for Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, but not currently appealing to the kids.


Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski