Slot Machines Help Louisiana Track Rise From the Waters

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In yet another story of the struggle to rebuild after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina, the AP reports that the Louisiana Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans will open its second season of live racing since the flood on Thanksgiving Day, only this time with an assist tracks across America are receiving.

Up to 245 slot machines have been installed at the venerable track, and are pumping in money to help raise purses and bring this historic site back from the dead. The machines began running in September, and the income after the first full month of operation was $1.3 million. Track officials expect this number to more than double during the 81 day live racing season.

Over the next year, the facility will add a permanent room holding over 700 machines.

The economic and historic value of the track is huge. According to a study done by the University of New Orleans, the Fair Grounds has a yearly impact of over $350 million on the New Orleans economy, and more than 1500 jobs are directly provided by the track.

The Fair Grounds dates back to 1852 and is the third-oldest racing operation currently in the United States. George Custer, Pat Garrett, who shot Billy the Kid, and Jesse James’ brother Frank are among the famous who have watched their horses run at the track. Jack Dempsey and gambling legend Diamond Jim Brady have attended events.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and The Louisiana Derby are major annual events at the Fair Grounds.

With its broad influence on the local economy and its amazing past, one can only hope the Fair Grounds finds an able assist from its slots, helping it back to its former prominence.

Slot Machines Evolve To Please Video Game Generation

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Gambling executives know that their demographics show the majority of customers to be over 40, particularly among slot players. In order to try to draw the younger crowd, casino planners have asked slot machine designers to make some evolutionary changes to the format of the machines.

For a long time, slot machines have consisted of mild variations on a hundred-year-od theme of entering cash, pressing abutton or pulling a lever, and waiting for a result. New machines, however, will incorporate ideas and styles from video games that younger generations have grown up playing.

Skill, in the forms of hand-eye coordination and dexterity, will now be rewarded as well as pure chance. Joysticks will take the place of buttons as the method of play. Machines will be linkable, allowing players to play in groups, as in online gaming.

George Maloof is the owner of the Palms Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Palms has a clientele younger than most Vegas casinos, and Maloof understands the problem with getting play from his crowd. “Younger players come to town to party. They drink, they go to nightclubs, they go to the after-hours clubs, they check out the pool for the scene there. Gambling in general is not high on their agenda,” he said.

Tim Stanley, spokesman for Harrah’s Entertainment, noted that young people have shown a marked preference for table games over slots.

So, to attract the 21-40 crowd, slots are turning to popular technological improvements in video and audio. Surround sound, high defintion pictures, and interactive machines are all in the plans for slots’ future.

Atari, the company that started the advent of video games with Pong, has signed a deal with Bally Technologies to develop a string of slot games to be beased on skill of play, starting with a paddle game similar to Pong.

Even as authorities are striving to put games of chance out of play, as previously reported, the games themselves are becoming more skill-based. The evolution of gambling to combine with other aspects of entertainment and meld with “normal” life seems to be a tide no one can stop.

Slot Machine Manufacturers The Big Winner in U.S. Casino Expansion

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With every state and county that moves towards legalized casino gambling, more and more slot machines are being needed. That leaves slot machine manufacturers as an industry that is reaping the benefits of casino expansion.

In California, there are four propositions on this Tuesday’s ballot that will determine whether the state allows for 17,000 more slot machines at existing casinos. Governor Schwartzenegger is pushing for Propositions 94, 95, 96, and 97.

If approved, that would mean that the 17,000 machines would have to come from somewhere. Enter International Game Technology.

The company is based out of Nevada. It is only one of many slot machine manufacturers that are seeing big paydays everytime another state expands their casino gambling laws.

While much of Nevada will not be affected by Tuesday’s vote, the machine companies are hoping, as they do in every vote of this kind, that the propositions pass.

While many see the economic advantage of voting for casino gambling, it is companies like IGT that are seeing the benefits of a positive vote. With millions of dollars being paid by casino operators for the rights to the state licenses, there is no denying how lucrative the slot business has become.

BetXTech Launches New Mobile Betting Devices For Casinos

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BetXTech has built their business over the past three years coming up with solutions for no risk sports betting for casinos and bookmakers. Now the company has launched their latest equipment.

The International Casino Exhibition was held last week in London. Among the things that came out of those meetings was BetXTech launching their new mobile sports betting solution.

The company also revealed some of their other new products in London. They have developed a casino slot redemption solution. They also showcased their No-Risk, Self-Service Sports Betting kiosk terminals.

“We believe that the flexibility of mobile betting is a very attractive proposition for any gaming operator and their clients, and the 2008 ICE show was the perfect venue for us to announce the wireless delivery of our sports betting solution,” said Melcom Copeland, a Director at BetXTech.

The company has been primarily focused on servicing London and Ireland with their self-service Sports Betting Kiosk Terminals. The terminals cut out the need for actual employees, and allows easier access for potential gamblers within a casino.