- With slot floors looking more and more alike, casinos jockeying
for the latest hot games are using another tool to woo gamblers:
Entertainment Corp., which has offered its own customized jackpot
games for years, upped the ante on April 9th by unveiling the
latest addition to a growing niche of slots. "Park Place
Millions" slots, developed by Alliance Gaming Corp., will
debut in Park Place casinos before the end of the year and will
offer progressive jackpots starting at $1 million.
machines funnel a percentage of each wager into a central jackpot
that grows over time. Over the past several years, major Nevada
slot makers International Game Technology and Alliance Gaming
Corp. have created progressive jackpots that link games within
a certain casino or games between several casinos owned by the
differs from progressive games offered to any casino company
willing to pay for them, including such popular titles as IGT's
"Megabucks" and "Wheel of Fortune" as well
as Alliance Gaming's "Popeye" and
"Park Place Millions" games will be crafted to the
company's specifications, from the look and feel of the game
down to the number of linked slots, the game's odds and frequency
of payout, Alliance Gaming Senior Vice President of Marketing
Marcus Prater said.
while not new, could become "an emerging trend in the industry,"
Deutsche Bank casino analyst Marc Falcone said in a note to
think the largest operators will increasingly use their national
scale to develop unique products to offer their customers, especially
as gaming as proliferated and casino floors have become more
commoditized," Falcone said.
Place has about 50,000 slot machines across its casinos, giving
it the kind of critical mass that make exclusive game development
worthwhile for Alliance, he said. Also, the two companies typically
share in the developments costs of the game, helping to defray
some of the research and development costs. Alliance will also
share in the revenue stream, he said.
would be offered in 17 Park Place casinos with separate links
planned for Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi. "The ability
to offer an exclusive multi-regional progressive game gives
us a competitive advantage in our major markets and it gives
slot customers yet another benefit of playing at our properties,"
Park Place senior slot executive Dave Lyons said. Park
Place already offers a customized progressive game by Alliance
Millions won't replace or otherwise interfere with any other
jackpot progressive games offered by the company, Park Place
spokesman Robert Stewart said. The game would compete with IGT's
popular Megabucks jackpot games, which are linked across casinos
throughout Nevada and offer jackpots starting at $7 million.
Megabucks is one of several brands offered under the company's
"MegaJackpots" series, which include jackpot games
such as "Wheel of Fortune," "Elvis" and
"I Love Lucy."
a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles won the largest
slot jackpot in history when he hit the near-$40 million Megabucks
pool at the Excalibur resort.
Poker Tour TV Series Debuts
ANGELES, CA - Hot off a sizzling debut that's been generating
tremendous buzz and viewer ship, "World Poker Tour,"
a 13-week series on The Travel Channel, will film its
championship event next week - a tournament with a $25,000
buy-in per player, the richest in poker history!
Championship episode, which will air in June, is attracting
poker's most elite and colorful pro players, but under
the format created by the World Poker Tour (WPT), anyone
with a cool $25,000 can claim a spot at the table. More
than 50 players are already signed up and the estimated
prize pool at the start of the tourney at Las Vegas' Bellagio
is expected to be $2 million to $3 million.
tournament will feature all of the drama that has hooked
viewers across the nation. "We are very excited about
the World Poker Tour series on the Travel Channel and
the significant increases in viewer ship we've experienced
since the series premiere at the end of March," said
Travel Channel General Manager Steve Cheskin. "The
success of the series shows that poker makes for good
television -- and that's a testament to the World Poker
Tour's unique and compelling format."
bringing viewers inside high stakes poker tournaments
filmed in exotic casino locations throughout the world
and using state-of-the-art technology to reveal the cards
held by the world's elite poker players, the World Poker
Tour has turned a popular card game into a must-watch
spectator sport with millions of dollars on the table.
With the record buy-in, the series finale and championship,
taping April 18th at the Bellagio,
marks a high point in the game. For players who are confident
of their skills, the estimated multimillion-dollar pool
is well worth the risk.
viewers are also putting their cards on the table. Some
of the comments the Travel Channel has received include:
knew televised poker could be so exciting and strategy
format is fantastic! Oh my God! WPT is my new favorite
think it's also going to create millions of new poker
is nothing on TV I would rather watch."
hooked on it -- can't stop watching. It's amazing how
much you can learn watching pros in a couple of hours.
I think the hole card cameras put the show over the
thrilled with the early ratings success of the World Poker
Tour series," said World Poker Tour CEO Steve Lipscomb.
"The series' success further emboldens our feeling
that we're on the crest of a wave - with the best yet
to come. Poker is a hugely popular pastime with an estimated
40-50 million players nationwide. However, poker as a
prime time television series is brand new, and it is clearly
resonating with audiences - players and non-players alike.
We really feel the World Poker Tour is the next major
sports league in this country, and our continued success
on the Travel Channel will help make that vision a reality."
don't have to wait for the dramatic series finale that
will air on June 25, from 9-11 p.m. (ET/PT) to see heart-
and wallet-wrenching poker action. World Poker Tour tournaments
air on Wednesdays on the Travel Channel at 9 (ET/PT),
and remaining episodes take audiences to some of the most
famous casinos and card rooms in the world, including:
Europa Card Club in San Jose, Costa Rica; Lucky
Chances Casino in Colma, CA; Foxwoods
Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT; Horseshoe
Strike Casino in Tunica, MS; Aviation
Club de France in Paris, France; Commerce
Casino in Commerce, CA; PartyPoker.com aboard a Caribbean
cruise; the Reno
Hilton in Reno, NV; and Bellagio
in Las Vegas, NV. (Check local listings.)
World Poker Tour is a global series of 13 poker tournaments
united under one banner for television. The WPT will widen
the television audience for poker by injecting high concept,
cutting-edge television production values into the dramatic
world of high-stakes, upscale, tournament poker. By projecting
poker's true image -- a stylish and exhilarating sport
combining cunning, skill and nerve -- the WPT will revolutionize
poker in the same way the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"
revolutionized game shows.