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ANSWER. IGT’s dominance of the video poker market isn’t driving video poker pay tables down at all. In fact, IGT would prefer that casinos put higher-paying games on the floor. Higher-paying games mean more winners, and more winners attract more customers to the games.
That pay tables have been dropping is solely an operator choice.
You are correct that more gamemakers used to be involved in video poker, though IGT has been dominant ever since the game was created. Sigma Gaming used to have a share of the market. It tried to go toe-to-toe with IGT’s Double Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker by creating Double Jackpot and Double Double Jackpot Poker, with increased pays on four Jacks, Queens and Kings instead of four 2s, 3s or 4s. Casino Data Systems tried to get a foothold with Reel Deal Video Poker. That one had a bonus event with tiny video slot reels on the screen.
But Sigma and IGT are both out of business, and the fourth major manufacturer involved in years past, Bally, has backed off video poker. It continues to put video poker games that include its creation, Pick’em Poker, on Bally Game Makers, but hasn’t introduced a new video poker product in several years.
WMS Gaming, which had a brief run of success with Multi Pay Poker more than a decade ago, is about to re-enter the video poker market. Its Poker Life machines will debut at Stations Casinos in Las Vegas late this year. Casino operators would love to have another manufacturer give IGT a little competition, but that doesn’t mean they’ll out pay tables on the machines that are any higher than those on their existing games.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.