Getting in the Swing
What’s the first thing you do when you get to Las Vegas? Yep, you guessed it, Play Golf!
I was lucky enough to be given a complimentary round on the only golf course on the strip, the Wynn Las Vegas.
It’s 18 holes of lush green fairways, with six par threes and a good selection of par fours and fives.
It reopened about four weeks ago following an extensive re-seeding maintenance program.
The course played nice, with relatively quick greens, making two putts a challenge.
I recommend it as an experience, but the hefty green fees of $750 may put most off! Thank goodness for comps!
The next stop is, of course — Video Poker.
Why can’t UK casinos or online casinos do better with VP?
It’s a cracking game, the RTP is good, and you can have some excellent long-playing sessions.
Lunch With A Legend
Before I got to the conference, industry legend Michael Shackleford, The Wizard Of Odds, contacted me, wanting to meet up for lunch.
I’d previously had a few discussions with Michael at his forum, discussing strategies for new live casino games and my videos on youtube. Who knew he was such a fan?
We met for lunch at a Mexican, where we discussed various topics. During the rather long wait for service Michael gave me an impromptu magic show of card tricks. I worked one out; the rest had me baffled.
The lunch went well, with Michael offering to help me with my strategies for future games, so look out for more mathematically proven strategies from the Wizard.
The gaming conference runs for three days, with every possible business connected to gaming displaying their wares. I have to admit that land-based wasn’t my focus, but the games manufacturers were out in force, so you can see what’s likely to head online if you look closely.
My interest is live dealer casinos for the online market, which is gaining traction in the US. There were a few recognisable operators in attendance.
Evolution at G2E
It was the first show for Evolution, which dominates the regulated markets in the US for live casinos. They have studios in New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania, with more planned for the future.
I was lucky enough to bump into Todd Haushalter, Chief product officer at Evolution, and we had a quick chat about some of the challenges in the US. It was also lovely to hear we will get some new games soon, with Dead or Alive Saloon being the latest.
Playtech was attending their third show in a row.
I met with Kevin Kilminster, Head of Innovation at Playtech, and we discussed how Playtech was doing in the US. They also have studios in New Jersey and Michigan, with more to follow.
A new game release is on the cards – The Greatest Cards show. This is a flat-wheel game with animated characters and bonus rounds. It goes on release at the end of October 2022.
Light and Wonder has a large stand that now owns Authentic Gaming. They were displaying their live-streamed roulette and studio-based tables to the American market. I don’t think it will be long before we see Authentic games in the US.
The only other operator I could find was Creezdroom, with no US tables or firm plans for the regulated states.
They have their robotic arm, which they can use in the US without further licensing. I’m not sure this is the market for it, but I’ll watch with interest.
Inside Auto Roulette
Have you ever wondered what is inside an auto roulette wheel?
Well, one of the exhibitors was kind enough to open the back of an Auto Roulette wheel and let me look inside.
There is a logic board of their own making, which provides the connection to the computer systems and the operating module, which is a stock part.
The module controls spin speeds, direction etc.
The unit does not use compressed air as it’s too noisy, so an electric fan fires the ball into the wheel.
Other variations exist between suppliers, but this is typically what you’ll find.
Advantage Play in Las Vegas
I get to meet some incredible people while I’m in Las Vegas. The best are at the tables or slot machines/video poker.
Everyone usually has a story.
But this time, I chatted with a guy with lots of stories. He’s been banned from almost all casinos in Vegas and has had quite a checkered history of being caught out as an advantage player.
He agreed, in principle, to share some more of his stories with me. So hopefully, very soon, I’ll be publishing them on my website, so you can read what it’s like to be a professional advantage player in Las Vegas!