Issue 260
September 5 - September 11, 2005
Volume 5
page 3

Trump Picks Up Pace in Competitive Slots Market
By John Brokopp

No other component of the casino gaming industry undergoes as many changes or as quickly as the slot machine sector. Technological advances and the latest trends have a way of creating premature obsolescence on the casino floors of properties which don't keep up with them, especially in competitive market situations.

This business climate is brought on by the manufacturers of slot machines. Competition for commercial licensing rights, investment in research and development and raising the bar on the entertainment and interactive value of the games combine to constantly fuel the industry.

Every year the manufacturers converge on Las Vegas for the Global Gaming Expo, a trade show where the new product lines are introduced. Executives from casinos around the world have an opportunity to check out what's new as they formulate their business plans. Nobody wants to get caught off guard in the all important slots sector.

Revenues from slot play comprise the greatest source of income for casinos, which is why they are willing to make huge monetary investments in the purchase of new product.

When Brian Marsh came on board earlier this year as the new director of slot operations for the Trump Casino & Hotel in Gary, he immediately realized the need to revitalize the property's inventory of slots and re-energize the gaming atmosphere on the vessel.

Marsh invested $1.5 million in new units last March and is in the process of spending over $3 million more. To date more than 275 new slots have been placed aboard the Trump gaming vessel, strengthening the property's emphasis on multi-denomination capabilities and creating a greater presence in the market in the popular penny, two-cent and nickel games.

In addition to the new slot machines, there are new, more comfortable chairs for players to sit while playing, plus the lower level of the vessel was reconfigured to create wider aisles and a more pleasing, relaxing atmosphere for players. A similar project is taking place on the main level of the casino.

In April a new on-board entertainment and promotions center was unveiled on the lower level of the vessel. Called the Spotlight Stage, it will bring live entertainment to the casino floor on a regular basis.

Proceeding with an ambitious capital improvements plan such as Trump is doing isn't always easy in an industry that is subject to strict controls and regulations by the state. Permission has to be asked and approval granted before new machines are purchased.

The renovation and improvement project at Trump also includes the on-property hotel. All 300 rooms are in the process of undergoing complete makeovers, including new furnishings, window treatments and carpeting. It is expected to be completed by the end of August, while other improvements will be ongoing right into the fall.

About the Author

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by the Author

Thrifty Gambling

Thrifty Gambling explains the best methods for recreational gamblers to use to reduce their risk while still giving them a good shot to win and a great deal of fun! This book can make you a winner.

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