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Best of John Grochowski

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Shuffle through the gambling mailbag

17 September 2012

QUESTION. Didn’t there used to be more companies making video poker games? Is IGT’s control of the market the reason pay tables are going down?

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 CDS 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 put out pay tables on the machines that are any higher than those on their existing games.
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