Casino Management Review Exclusive - Walking the G2E floor the incredible bombardment of sensory overload was inescapable, particularly in the massive displays of dazzling innovation among the major slot manufacturers. As one would expect the epicenters of these technological wonders primarily emanated from the usual suspects: Ballys, IGT, Aristocrat, Williams. But by far, among the most intriguing exhibitors who were not per se, household names in US gaming properties yet–was Ortiz Gaming, a Florida-based maker whose games populate jurisdictions in 14 countries throughout Latin America and Europe and the US. The company’s prime business is in bingo slots, where at this show, they introduced a new line that generated much more than passing interest from show visitors.
The actual launch of their latest line mimicked a New Year’s Eve countdown at their booth which included a countdown, music, dramatic reveal of the models from behind covers and a confetti shower. The theme was “Raising Expectations” a phrase, which in itself had a pleasant hook for the curious. But it was in the definitive research and slot play math behind the claim that warranted a closer look for onlookers from the ranks of slot management. Ortiz did not shrink from presenting hard evidence that their models would redefine the standard revenue metrics by which most properties measure slot floor performance. Increases in win per unit. time in chair, player satisfaction, etc. Their new “O” line of models contained a variety of features to lengthen play time, sustain interest and incentivize both by bonus features. All this may appear at first glance to echo fairly standard claims slot manufacturers have been making for decades as the speed of technological change swept across the industry. However Ortiz has produced a white paper which presents the math behind their claims that makes it must reading for slot executives, who may approach it with a certain amount of skepticism—having experienced the gap between maker claims actual performance as slots have evolved over the past twenty years. Yet here, in the Ortiz presentation there were clear departures. The company has analyzed the performance of its models in detailed math, reality based patron behavior and basic human psychology. This is most interesting in the bingo, per se, as the core theme of slot machines have had an up and down history over time in various jurisdictions. The reasons for this according to industry observers are many: Bingo is a socializing game rooted deeply in the American psyche as an expression of community mores. That’s why the game sprung out of churches, social club halls and of course, commercial establishments long a fixture of many communities.
1. Bingo is a socializing game rooted deeply in the American psyche as an expression of community mores. That’s why the game sprung out of churches, social club halls and of course, commercial establishments long a fixture of many communities. Slots on the other hand tended to attract people who preferred to play in self contained psychological bubbles, or at most with a friend or two, eschewing the banter and social interaction of the bingo hall. Some observers believed that slots per se, in effect replaced bingo, as the preferred game of patrons of a certain age and gaming budget.
2. Yet bingo persisted, especially in Native American casinos, many of which sprung out of bingo class gaming and continued long after slots and table games had been added. That was telling. it spoke to the powerful, perennial appeal of the core bingo games and encouraged, over time, slot manufacturers to use bingo themes until this day.
Ortiz subsequently has developed the bingo themed slot to a high art with the underlying assumption, that stands up to the most skeptical scrutiny, that the kinetic, psychological and socializing appeal of bingo transformed into its newest models raises expectations of performance on the floor beyond what could have been anticipated for a regular bingo themed game. The math and research produced in its white paper should be must reading for believers as well as non-believers. It is available from Ortiz Gaming, which is headquartered in Boca Raton Florida. Send requests to the attention of Ms. Patricia McDonald.