Tropicana Casino Becomes Fourth AC Casino To House Danger Arena
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Skill-Based Gambling Games “Shoot” Over To A Fourth Atlantic City Property

Skill-Based Games

Less than two months after launching the first skill-based slot machines at three Caesars properties in Atlantic City, GameCo Inc. has rolled out its flagship product, Danger Arena, at another venue.

In a press release, Tropicana Atlantic City announced it will be adding nine instances of the first-person shooter to the casino floor on Friday, December 23.

Danger Arena receives red carpet treatment

Similar to their location at Caesars’ properties, the triple-unit carousels will be placed in high traffic, prominent locations on Tropicana’s casino floor.

“Tropicana is thrilled to bring you MORE exciting experiences with the addition of GameCo,” said Steve Callender, General Manager of Tropicana Atlantic City. “GameCo provides the first gambling experience that appeals to video gamers. It will bring a new level of fun and entertainment to Tropicana and is a perfect addition for our Slots In The Quarter gaming area.”

“We’re thrilled to be expanding deployment of our VGMs in Atlantic City with Tropicana,” said Blaine Graboyes, CEO and co-founder of GameCo.

“As someone who spent my childhood summers on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, it’s equally exciting and humbling to be the leader in bringing video game gambling to casinos. Gamers deserve a “VIP Experience” and casinos such as Tropicana are the perfect venue to provide a unique destination and entertainment program.”

GameCo continues to expand its footprint

Once the Tropicana machines go live, there will be a total of 30 Danger Arena game terminals spread across four AC properties. This is an impressive number of machines for a startup gaming company to rollout in the span of a couple months.

The press release also notes that GameCo is working on a national and international rollout, and expects the number and titles of its skill-based games to spread to other jurisdictions.

Graboyes told Online Poker Report the company has, “immediate plans in Connecticut, Florida, and Tribal casinos across the country,” and has a goal of launching in Las Vegas in the first half of 2017.

“In 2017, we will be releasing many new games in multiple genres including sports, fighting, racing, platformers, and casual games,” Graboyes went on to say. “Many of these games will incorporate well-known brands from film, TV, and video games.”

Proof of concept was primary objective

As Graboyes notes, receiving regulatory approval and getting its machines on a casino floor is no easy feat.

At G2E in September Graboyes talked about the obstacles (some unexpected) GameCo had to conquer in order to gain regulatory approval:

“The 21 positions across Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s have served as a proof of concept of GameCo’s ability to secure regulatory approvals and begin the process of placing our highly innovative skill based gaming devices at commercial casinos,” Graboyes said.

He added that the company is excited about the latest placement of nine more terminals at Tropicana Atlantic City.

Customer feedback critical for future development

Graboyes told OPR the company is, “overall pleased with the highly favorable feedback from those who have played the games.”

He also noted that he and his team are listening to all of the feedback to help fine tune their products for the casino environment.

“As a company with a “technology startup” philosophy in a highly regulated space, GameCo is leveraging our position as market leader in video game gambling to learn and iterate quickly to develop the best skill-based gaming products for the market of both casinos and players,” Graboyes said.

Performance at Caesars properties mixed

And how have GameCo machines fared?

Graboyes couldn’t provide actual operating metrics, but was able to offer an overview of the early results.

“We have had mixed results thus far with some sites performing better than others which we largely attribute to awareness and audience levels,” Graboyes said. “Following the initial proof of concept phase neither we, nor the operators, have yet to launch marketing programs to promote the differentiated play features and awareness of the games.

“Importantly, given the early stages of deployment, the placements at Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s are providing us with critical user feedback that we are incorporating into our ongoing game development and improvements in the true manner of a technology startup.”

Upshot

After several months, GameCo’s skill-based machines have achieved their primary mission: proving skill-based games can work on the casino floor.

The next mission is to promote the games and raise awareness, which will certainly be helped along as more and more casino properties, like Tropicana, add GameCo machines.

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.