Derby-themed slot slow out of the gate

2013-04-26T00:00:00Z Derby-themed slot slow out of the gateJohn G. Brokopp Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

In spite of the fact casinos and race tracks are related through gambling, slot machine manufacturers have been unsuccessful in developing a game that incorporates the excitement of horse racing.

That looked like it was going to change a few years ago when one of the world's leading gaming companies, Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., joined forces with historic Churchill Downs to create the first Kentucky Derby-themed slot machine.

The company unveiled the product at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. The game was launched in casinos just prior to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Aristocrat became the first company in the gaming industry to license the Kentucky Derby brand.

The Kentucky Derby slot is a five-reel unit with a choice of two unique, theme-launched base games: Oaks Day and Run for the Roses. The games allow players to "race" for a four-level interactive jackpot with a Hyperlink trigger.

If for nothing else, casino goers who love the slots know Aristocrat for its popular platform of games introduced in the United States in late 2002.

You may not recognize the name of the platform, but you'll certainly recognize the game titles, such as Scatter Magic, Flame of Olympus, Geisha, Tiki Torch, and Double Dolphins.

That's only scratching the surface of a portfolio of a multitude of themes that Aristocrat's prolific game developers have unveiled over the years.

Those games, and many more, including Pompei, Queen of the Nile, Wild Cougar, and Penguin Pays, enjoy enduring popularity among gaming fans who favor low denomination, multi-coin/multi-line games.

Aside from their longevity, the most amazing quality they have in common is simplicity. No elaborate electronic platforms, enhanced audio/visual capabilities, engaging interactive touch-screen bonus features, or marquee top boxes.

Just back-lighted cabinet and top box glass with game graphics and title, a video grid of symbols that is surprisingly uniform with many of the titles, and a bonus that gives players what they apparently want most of all from slot games: free spins and multipliers.

Perhaps what's most familiar among all the game components to players is the "fire alarm" bell that sounds when a player enters a second screen free spin bonus round, not to forget the celebratory electronic tunes that play when a big payoff is hit, or the prompts that pop up on the screen congratulating players on "Dream Result" or "Sensational".

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at jbrokopp@comcast.net. John Brokopp's Beat the Odds tips air Sundays at 8:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 10:42 p.m. on WBBM Newsradio 780.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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