Tuesday October 4, 2011 : Launch was not planned to coincide with court case, says Bally spokesman
 
The tragic 2009 death of pop singer Michael Jackson has again been dominating world television screens and media headlines this week as the criminal trial of his doctor unfolds in a US courtroom, but this is all coincidental to the launch of a new slot that pays tribute to the idol, a spokesman for slot machine manufacturer Bally Technologies assured this week.
 
The new land casino slot themed on Jackson is being rolled out at the G2E expo in Las Vegas Tuesday, branded Michael Jackson King of Pop. It features iconic images of Jackson's trademark sequined glove and dancing shoes, four high definition screens, surround-sound and even a chair that pulses to the pop legend's music. And the sound effects are supported by video replays of classic Jackson hits.
 
Mike Mitchell, vice president of game design at Bally, said that work on the machine started over a year ago, and that his company negotiated the licensing of Jackson's music and videos with several parties, including the pop idol's family and estate.
 
Game designer David Schultz said the music list on the machine videos and sound system included six songs: "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Smooth Criminal," "Bad," "Dirty Diana" and "Don't Stop ‘Til You Get Enough."
 
He added that the game is designed so that during bonus rounds, Jackson's sequin glove shows the player where to touch the screen to spin a gaming wheel, designed like an album, to try to win a credit. In an animated feature, a celebrating Jackson moonwalks across the screen and awards the player Wild symbols, he said.
 
The minimum bet is 40 cents, with a maximum of $4, Bally officials revealed. Because the game will be networked with other Jackson machines across Nevada in a wide-area progressive system, the jackpots will start at $750,000 and extend into the millions.
 
The pop star died at age 50 in 2009 of an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, in combination with sedatives.