Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Guaranteed Play Not Catching On, but Still Being Crammed Down Our Throats

Yesterday I read an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal about the "Guaranteed Play" machines not performing as expected, due to the slot playing public being leery of the whole concept.

For the life of me, today I can't find a link to the article -- perhaps it has been removed from the website -- but trust me, it was there, and I'm not just writing this as a "I told you so!" moment.

The article did say that IGT and Stations Casinos were not giving up on the machines, and would boldly press forward with the concept. They compared it to the TITO (ticket in, ticket out) technology which was slow to be trusted. I find this comparison highly amusing, as slot players warmed to the TITO machines as soon as they realized they didn't have to tote heavy buckets of coins around -- for me that took about two minutes.

In a related issue Doc Schwartz over at reports on a crew of wiley insiders who figured a way to rip-off their employers through a ticket slot scheme. It seems fairly sophisticated and lucrative, and I have to applaud the skimmers ingenuity. Schwartz goes on to question the stated figure of casinos' skim loss of 6% -- it does seem extremely high in the light that corporate gaming nickel and dimes every aspect of their industry.

At any rate, "Guaranteed Play" is no TITO, and IGT and Stations is fooling themselves if they think they can cram an unpopular slot concept down a slot jockey's throat. They can lead our horses to water, but they can't make us drink.

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