SKILL-BASED SLOTS APPROVED FOR ATLANTIC CITY LAND CASINOS
 
DGE approves GameCo slots for three Atlantic City land casinos.
 
In what is being hailed as a first for the United States gambling industry, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has approved skill-based slot games developed by New York firm GameCo for use in three Caesars Entertainment-owned Atlantic City land casinos.
 
The machines will soon be installed at Harrahs, Caesars and Ballys according to an Associated Press news agency report Wednesday, but the machines – called VGMs – are expected to undergo several weeks of practical on-floor trialling.
 
Land casino operators have become increasingly interested in skill-based machines as a means to engage with the younger so-called millennial demographic, which has grown up  playing skill-based video games.
 
Blaine Graboyes, CEO and co-founder of GameCo, said in a press statement Wednesday:
 

"With this approval from the DGE, the VGM is officially the first skill-based video game gambling product approved by any U.S. gaming jurisdiction regulator."

 
AP reports that GameCo has been competing in the skill-based sector with Gamblit, which has targeted California and Nevada with similar products. Other competitors in the space are IGT and NanoTech Gaming.
 
GameCos product is titled  "Danger Arena," and gives players a brief tutorial on the game controls before opening the game with a map, or game scenario. This scenario will vary randomly, and constitutes the element of chance or randomness that is the hallmark of traditional slot machines. It is then up to the player to maneuver through the playing field in 45-to-90-second increments.
 
Each game also includes a secondary random winning opportunity, with a possible instant cash win ranging from $1 to $5,000, Graboyes explained in his statement, so that even poorly skilled players have a chance at winning, he said.
 
GameCos initial move into Atlantic City with the new games will see the installation of a total of 21 play stations, and the company has plans to expand further, including to other US states.
 
DGE director David Rebuck said:
 
"We have been at the forefront of encouraging innovation, and are pleased that the efforts of GameCo and division staff have culminated in this skill-based video game becoming available in Atlantic City before any other jurisdiction in the United States."
 
The Associated Press report reveals that Gamblit plans to debut its machines at Harrahs Rincon in southern California. After field trials, Caesars Entertainment anticipates putting machines with 125 Gamblit gambling positions into multiple Nevada casinos, and intends to put 100 more positions into additional markets in early 2017.