Tropicana gets VGMs
GameCo made good on its desires to break new ground by debuting its skill-based gambling machines at AC properties Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s. This week, it announced three of its video gaming machines (VGMs) are launching at Tropicana.
According to a press release from the company, both sides are happy about the deal. GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes waxed nostalgic about the partnership, reminiscing about a childhood in which he spent many hours on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk.
His quotes were similar to what was released when GameCo struck a deal with Caesars. The company is happy to deploy its machines at a new location and considers it a way for Tropicana to add a VIP gaming experience to its casino floor.
Trop CEO Steve Callender also said he’s happy to have machines that cater to video gamers.
VGMs designed to reach video game generation
GameCo wants to provide a gambling platform for millennials who are more than happy to commune with their Xbox but find the thought of going to a casino to gamble unappealing.
GameCo’s VGMs feature video-game scenarios – first-person shooters and racing games — in which players place a wager, then win money based on their performance. As such, the company is hailing its games as skill-based and not the “pull-and-pray” slots experience that millennials generally avoid.
GameCo didn’t reveal which game it debuted, but there’s a good chance it could be Danger Arena, the machine it rolled out for Caesars properties earlier this year.
The game is akin to a time-sensitive version of map-based video games. Players pay for a round of competition, then have 45 seconds to navigate a randomized game board and kill as many robot-enemies as they can.
GameCo doesn’t seem to be slowing down
Danger Arena, it seems, will be one of many different machines GameCo plans to roll out in the near future. In November, the company announced a partnership with Paramount Pictures.
GameCo is developing gambling machines based on three different Paramount properties: Mission: Impossible, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Paranormal Activity.
The VGMs feature a three-sided design where three players can play simultaneously. Players use an Xbox-style controller to navigate the screen in front of them.
This new format of gambling — GameCo says its machines are the first of their kind to hit casino floors — presents some very interesting scenarios:
- As millennials become the biggest generational population in the country, will their taste for skill-based gaming make slots obsolete?
- How will casinos handle expert gamers who might flock to VGMs?
- How long will it take VGMs to appear in other casino markets, like Nevada?
- Will competing companies like Gamblit be able to challenge GameCo’s first-mover status?
Those questions and more are the ones facing VGMs and US casinos.