Slots to go multiplayer

Slot machine makers are looking at a new selling point for their machines and increase the social characteristics of their games by linking up machines so players can share winnings and the excitement of playing.

In Nevada, slot machines make around $8 billion in revenue for machine producers according to the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers. However, the speed of U.S slot machine sales has decreased over the past few years, leading to this new innovation.

"I think the whole industry has to look at ways of making the industry more interactive. I think there will be much more communal playing -- it adds to the overall excitement," said Paul Oneile, CEO of Aristocrat Technologies.

The first machine of this kind was the “Wheel of Fortune” slot game by International Game Technology, which was launched last year. Up to 9 players sit around a large spinning wheel, with winnings being divided amongst all of them.

"The interest was incredible," said Ed Rogich, vice president of marketing at IGT. "The spectator value really makes it a fun draw."

It seems the number of multiplayer slot machines will now increase in land-based casinos as companies find new and interesting ways of implementing the technology.

"A powerful and developing trend over the next two years will be the movement toward multi-station, communal play gaming devices," Merrill Lynch analyst David Anders stated.

If the multiplayer slot games prove successful, as expected, it may only be a matter of time before they are introduced into online casinos.

Editor, - 2006-11-21 12:07:38

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