New technology allows hot swap for hottest slots |

New technology allows hot swap for hottest slots

Jim Grant/Nevada AppealCasino Fandango General Manager Court Cardinal stands next to one of the many "Hot New Game Zones" that have been placed around the casino floor.

Changing the theme of a slot machine used to be a cumbersome experience, said Court Cardinal, the general manager of Carson City’s Casino Fandango.

“When you used to change the theme you had to physically change the glass,” Cardinal said.

Today, most slot machines are more and more starting to resemble video games than the clanking, mechanical contraptions that used to cover casino floors a generation ago. Many of the slot machines inside the Casino Fandango use this digital technology, which features two computer screens instead of spinning wheels.

The latest and greatest, Cardinal said, are slot machines that are able to display games that were downloaded from a remote server. Cardinal said it’s just as easy as switching a desktop image on a computer.

Last week, Casino Fandango announced it had inked a deal with International Gaming Technology to install these new slot machines that not only feature this digital technology, but also have access to IGT’s library of 300 games with others released monthly.

The casino is marketing the new machines with faux-flame lights, calling them “hot new game zones.”

“It also gives us the ability to experiment with far more new games and give choices to our players,” Cardinal said.

That means one of these new slot machines could offer Dakota Thunder one day and the next it could be Black Widow or any one of the 300 games offered by the IGT.

The idea isn’t to switch games just willy-nilly, Cardinal said. Instead, he said the server-based machines will give the casino a chance to test which games draw an audience and those that don’t.

Those that are successful will be installed on other digital machines further into the casino.

While there’s a monthly lease on the new slot machine system, Cardinal said they have reduced the financial risk of trying new games.

“Before there was a hard financial cost associated with that risk,” he said. “(The new systems) just gives us so many more options.”

The IGT product has been installed in more than 40 casinos in 10 countries, according to IGT. The Casino Fandango is the first in Northern Nevada to use it.

“We are seeing an increase in the adoption of IGT’s server-based technology around the world with operators of all sizes because, like Casino Fandango, they are looking for a range of new solutions to optimize the management of their casino floors,” said Ron Rivera, IGT senior vice president of North American sales.