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New Slots at Trump Casino in Gary16 September 2003
For the last several weeks, Trump Casino in Gary has been trumpeting its 515 new slot machines. All casinos change games from time to time, mostly by switching software and glass on machines already on the floor.
The Trump shift is something different. There's been some software shifting, changing over some of its former video slot games to add more video poker. But in addition to such normal changes, there's plenty of new hardware--515 brand new games, mostly reel-spinning slots on Bally's new upgraded S-6000 game platform and IGT's new S-2000 platform. Many are marked with signs on the tops of slot banks saying "Hot New Slots."
Mark Kashuda, Trump's director of slots, gave me a guided tour of the new games.
"We want as big a variety as we can to give our players plenty of choice," he said. "We certainly have enough product to offer a good variety."
All the new machines have ticket printers for payoffs, meaning Trump now has 1,160 machines with ticket pays among the 1,746 electronic gaming devices on the slot floor. When the player cashes out, the machine prints out a bar-coded ticket that the player can either slide into another machine for credits to play or take to the cage to exchange for cash.
I took full advantage when I sat down to try a little nickel Hundred Play Poker--it's far easier to tote a ticket than to lug buckets of nickels to the cashier, and far quicker than waiting for a hand pay or a hopper fill.
The ticket printers are just part of the push to modernize the slot floor at Trump. It has a sampling of multidenominational machines. At some, players can choose to play for nickels, dimes or quarters; others allow quarter, 50-cent or dollar play. Trump was the test site for multidenominational games in Indiana, and so far it's the only casino in the state with such machines.
After what Kashuda says was a successful test "with well over 90 percent satisfaction in our customer surveys," Trump is awaiting final approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission to keep the machines.
Video slots have been the biggest growth area in the casino industry for the last several years, but demand for reel-spinning games remains strong. Trump moved to meet that demand this time. All but 37 of the 515 new machines are reel-spinners. Some are old favorite themes such as Red, White and Blue and Blazing 7s that get a little extra pop from the new platforms. Others are games designed for the new systems.
I sat down to test a couple of games. One was Frankie and Annette's Beach Party from Bally Gaming, complete with graphics of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello carrying their surfboards on the glass in the top box. The top box also includes a display that lights up whenever a 45 rpm record symbol lands within one stop of the pay line on the third reel. Lights flash around spaces on the top box that could add credits or multiply the payoff. The player pushes a button on the machine to stop the lights and collect the payoff. A 1,000-coin bonus is possible. I managed a 45-coin bonus that was by far my biggest payoff on the machine.
The other reel-spinner I sampled was IGT's Super Spin Sizzling 7s. This one includes a fourth reel that can multiply or add credits to winning spins, or nudge symbols that can turn losing spins into winners. I had just that happen when the bonus reel nudged a couple of bars to the payline, giving me a small winner. Alas, I received no multipliers on any winners and quickly lost the $20 I'd budgeted for trying the game.
Non-reel-spinning games among the additions are all video poker, including the Hundred Play I mentioned. Trump is the first casino in Indiana with Multi Strike Poker, and it has it on both quarter and nickel games. There's quite a lot of nickel poker here, but watch your bets if you're in the habit of pressing the "Max Bet" button. I tried a little Ten Play, and instead of 50 credits, I saw 300 credits go up at once, meaning the maximum bet of $15 on a nickel Ten Play game is actually higher than the $12.50 max on most quarter Ten Play machines.
All the additions and changes have left Trump with a good variety on its slot floor, one that is looking more modern all the time with plenty of player-friendly ticket printers. Look for most of the new reel-spinners on the entry level and one deck down, while the new poker games are one deck up from entry level.
OVERNIGHT SENSATION: Man does not live by slots alone--a little food and a little sleep help, too. I'd never stayed overnight in the Trump hotel, so I decided to do just that before my slot tour. I had a very comfortable suite and had a good night's sleep that was only briefly interrupted by a train whistle.
But what makes the hotel a big plus for Trump is that it has its own restaurants apart from those in the casino pavilion that Trump shares with Majestic Star. The Lakeside Cafe is a solid breakfast option, with egg dishes, pancakes and the like. I was really impressed with Chops steakhouse. One bite of my ribeye told me that this was a far, far better restaurant than the Buffington Harbor casinos have previously boasted.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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