Gamble With Asteroids, Centipede And Other Atari Games

Atari Casino
Hey, It’s The Atari Casino

It looks as if the Atari Casino will be launching online in just a few months.The casino will offer gambling for real and virtual currency.  Atari Casino will be considered a social gaming platform since gambling is a dirty word more than simply an online casino. The casino will available on the Web, as well as Facebook and mobile devices.

Even though I never owned an Atari video game system when I was growing up (I was a ColecoVision guy) I played their games way too often. Older brands like Atari are a link to my childhood and that’s what they’re is banking on to acquire players.

The idea of gambling online isn’t very attractive to me because I prefer gambling with some form of human interaction. Having said that I might consider playing craps, slot machines or blackjack at the Atari Casino if it’s branded with Centipede, Missile Command or Asteroids for a little while. This might not be Atari’s only gambling play. Last year at G2E I reported that IGT was re-introducing skill-based gaming with a Centipede branded slot machine for Vegas Chatter. We shouldn’t expect to see anything in casinos until next year. Photo: Engadget

Big Deal For Slot Machine Manufacturer That You’ll Probably Never See

Walking Dead Slot Machines
Walking Dead

Aristocrat Technologies announced a major acquisition a few days ago when they purchased Video Gaming Technologies (VGT) for about $1.3 billion. According to Bloomberg this would triple Aristocrat’s slot machine space on casino floors in North America.

The acquisition would boost Aristocrat’s exposure to 28,400 machines from 8,200 in North America.

This should give Aristocrat more slot machines on casino floors in North America but you probably won’t notice. The majority of VGT’s slot machines are located in Native American casinos and smaller emerging markets across the United States.

Aristocrat is one of the slot machine manufacturers taking floor space away from IGT in larger casino markets like Vegas. While they may have paid a premium for VGT this all but makes them king of slot machine manufacturers on casino floors across America.

You probably won’t see major changes with Aristocrat in the near future but that should change over time. The revenue from this deal can make Aristocrat a serious player for major world-wide slot machine (include bingo and lottery games) licenses.

This is only just the beginning and it could really become a big deal for slot machine players and casinos alike.

Konami Gaming Or Apollo Management Could Be New Owners Of IGT

IGT Logo

When I first saw the news about IGT being for sale I didn’t think much of it. The headline was shaped by IGT’s stock price being up 15%. I’m not in the market, so I wasn’t concerned. Then it hit me that one of the largest slot machine and the biggest video poker machine company is on the market and I was full of WOW.

Evidently this wasn’t a surprise to the stock market as IGT’s value has dropped 31% in the past year. They laid off 7% of their staff earlier this year in hopes of cutting enough costs to salvage the company. It doesn’t look like that’s working as the company is rumored to be on the market just to keep it alive. Reuters says IGT has been planning for a sale for the past two months.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that a number of private equity companies and gaming companies are interested in acquiring IGT. The most interesting to me are Konami Gaming and Apollo Global Management. Let’s take a quick look at how both could work with IGT.

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Expect A Wider Variety Of Slot Machines In The Casino

Walking Dead Slot Machines
Walking Dead

Lost in last week’s dreadful earnings report from earnings report from IGT was this little nugget of information about the slot machine manufacturer losing floor space.

Eilers Research principal Todd Eilers said Tuesday IGT was losing “premium leased” space on casino floors to smaller competitors. In the his company’s recent survey of slot floor managers that he conducts with Fantini Research, IGT faces intense competition from large and small vendors.

“Based on our latest slot survey, we believe Aristocrat (Technologies) took significant market share in the premium leased segment once again in the quarter,” Eilers said. “In addition, smaller vendors continue to chip away at the nonwide area progressive premium leased space.”

No doubt that Aristocrat gained space on casino floors when they released The Walking Dead slot machine. It was easily the most anticipated slot machine in my few years of covering casinos and gaming. That can’t be the only machine taking up space formerly occupied with IGT slot machines.

Besides Buffalo (also Aristocrat) I haven’t noticed any other non-IGT slot machines. Have you?

Get Ready For Legal Internet Gambling

As 2011, we could see the legalization of internet gambling around the corner with Poker being legalized in Nevada and the state government beginning to accept applications from gaming companies (casinos and game manufacturers alike) for online gambling licenses.

The acceptance of those online gambling licenses began this week. While this is news, there’s nothing ready to happen.

The state Gaming Control Board has recommended approval for an Internet license for International Game Technology, which had stressed it is running online gaming already in other regulated countries.

It was the second license in two days approved by the Control Board, and they are the first issued in the United States by a regulation authority. Bally Technologies was cleared for approval on Wednesday.

Bally Technology and IGT application acceptances are still just the beginning of the future of online gambling. Some will say that this is kind of a big deal, but it isn’t. It’s just government bureaucracy in action.

Poker will remain first on the online gambling activity to be open to the public in Nevada.

For the sports gamblers looking for online legalization, just hang in there. Once all of the other ways to gamble online are secured over the next couple year, the attention will turn to legalizing sports betting.

Global Gaming Expo

Next week is the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas.  I first learned about G2E last year.  G2E is like most expos and where most of the gambling companies will be debuting their latest and greatest casino games.

IGT was the first company to announce some of their new games.  Slots in their case.  I look forward to seeing what else is coming out next year.

Numerous new games from pop culture joining the MegaJackpots family include Godzilla, Dirty Dancing, Ghostbusters, and a new addition to the popular Sex and the City family of games.

I’m already bored with the slots that came out this year and I could enjoy Godzilla and Ghostbusters penny slots.