Ask the Experts: Slots

Featuring Ainsworth and Incredible Technologies

Every issue we ask slot manufacturers what tools and strategies slot directors can benefit from that they might not be taking full advantage of. Check out our previous articles on: How to drive more revenue on the slot floorMarketing solutionsprogressive hit levels, and more. 

In this article we interviewed Mike Trask (MT), Vice President of Product Marketing & Global Communications and Erin Stefanowicz (ES), Senior Manager of Product Marketing, Ainsworth Game Technology, and Dan Schrementi (DS), President of Gaming, Incredible Technologies

Social distancing protocols shifted the layout of our gaming floors for a time. How are you as a gaming manufacturer addressing this in your product and layout? How is this impacting your casinos today?

DS/Incredible: Our industry has always known that smaller bank configurations in circular or triangular shapes were the best producing in a casino’s retail environment. Many operators have been space or power-constrained, preventing investment of time and money to reconfigure this way. The pandemic offered up the time for many operators to do these upgrades, and the effect is still carrying through today. Just this week I heard my first request from an operator working on a large expansion saying, “our expansion area will only feature circular pods.” With time, the days of the long “grocery aisles” of games will be gone.

MT/Ainsworth: The most tangible example of this is the launch of our A-STAR Curve XL cabinet. Our initial launch focuses on three-game pods with attractive infills between the games. This sort of configuration naturally provides social distancing. Perhaps in the past, we would have launches with some kind of side-by-side seating.

When you see the slot floor of the future, what does it look like? The pandemic pushed cashless gaming and virtual wallets … but really, what is next?

DS/Incredible: What’s really next? In my opinion, the answer will rely heavily on the integration of online gaming with the land-based experience. Through the pandemic, more and more states are looking to examples of online gaming working in the handful of states that pioneered it. States, operators and vendors have learned how to adequately manage online gaming, regulate it, and offer great experiences for players. In my opinion, online gaming will be a major component of the slot floor of the future.

ES/Ainsworth: The emergence of new virtual reality (VR) technologies being used within the decentralized Metaverse is presenting a major opportunity for the future of the online gaming industry. Companies like Amazon, Roblox and Nvidia are all preparing for the financial opportunities inside the Metaverse. Cashless-pay and virtual wallets will be a simple and effective way to grow the sector of online gaming. The mass adoption of cryptocurrency and decentralized virtual platforms, such as Decentraland and Sandbox, could be the future of online/gaming overall. When going to a casino, many people are looking for a real interaction and a certain type of experience. The Metaverse and virtual reality will open doors for an all-new, “almost real” type of experience for the online/gaming player.