GameCo, the famous New York based casino video games developer, is seeking to take its range of arcade inspired poker video games to Australia’s casinos in a bid to discover what’s on offer in the country’s market. GameCo showcased its new product at the Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney and look forward to skill-based gaming becoming accepted in the country and also looking forward to exploring opportunities.
The company’s popular games, Danger Zone and Pharaoh’s Secret Temple which combine skill-based play and casino games had hit the casino floors of Atlantic City last November in 2016. Now according to news sources the casino operators in Australia “have expressed an interest in adopting the new games,” which are known as video gaming machines (VGM) and are being touted as a way of attracting a younger, millennial customer to land-based casinos.
Legal Approval from Australia
These games, commonly known as skill-based casino games, “determine payout on player ability as well as chance”. But one thing that is not yet known is which casinos will house the new VGMs by GameCo; as neither Crown Resorts nor the ALH Group, the country’s two largest gambling machine providers, had yet to share their views.
Before Australian casinos can put GameCo machines onto their floors, the products need to obtain legal approvals. While full-fledged casino resorts are located in all six states and both territories, Victoria is home to 18 casinos, the most of any jurisdiction. Apparently the government of Victoria is, at present, looking into various studies to see if the new skill-based games meet the required regulatory standards and requirements. They’re also being studied by the Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council and by the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic. Dr. Sally Gainsbury, a senior lecturer at the university, expressed concern that some gamblers “will not have an understanding of where skill is involved and what comes down to just chance.”
For some time the industry has been looking into methods of attracting a younger demographic to the casino floor, with some suggesting that traditional casino games don’t have enough pull to an audience that is more accustomed to mobile smartphones, tablets and on-the-go connectivity.
Skill-based casino games, such as those on offer from GameCo are seen as a way of addressing that problem, and providing some future-proofing to an industry that is seeing increased competition from online casinos.
Speaking of more traditional games, some compare classic pokies games with skill-based gaming in that they use a “similar financial model.” But the main difference is that players can decrease the house’s edge by holding more skill in the video-gaming element of the game.
Although, legally, everyone is entitled to the same chance of winning in a casino, various establishments across New Jersey and Nevada had to alter their regulations to allow ‘variable payouts’ before they could install VGMs there.
When Caesars launched GameCo’s skill-based games in Atlantic City in November 2016, they were highly anticipated. Earlier this year the games were removed from the casinos after a reported trial period as they failed to turn in a profit.
GameCo has since moved the terminals to Tropicana Atlantic City and the Borgata, and several machines are also located at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Gamblit, a rival based in California, has landed deals with several Las Vegas casinos, including MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, Paris, and the LINQ. Providing a bridge between traditional casino formats and the video games millennials grew up on is slow to take, but manufacturers remain optimistic.