New Slot Machines Promise More for Gamblers

Gamblers accustomed to using traditional rigid mechanical slot machines may soon be playing on a new generation of devices equipped with three-dimensional digital screens offering multiple games and more complex wagers.

One of the world's largest makers of gaming machines, International Game Technology (IGT), is designing a new slot machine that will offer a greatly enhanced display. The new machine will include LCD screen technology licensed from PureDepth Inc. last October. PureDepth has developed screen technology with multilayer displays.

To date, gamblers haven't embraced the few digital slot machines available now because they lack the handles and spinning wheels of traditional machine, said a spokesman for PureDepth.

The PureDepth technology layers multiple LCD screens into a single monitor with some distance between each screen, creating depth and the illusion that wheels are turning inside, the spokesman noted. Also, he said, a single monitor presenting multiple screens at once can offer more betting choices without confusing the gambler.

"From a consumer point of view, these are new and exciting developments," he said. "You can see a lot more information, but it's still digestible to the brain."

Such systems also offer benefits to casinos, he said. The devices can be electronically updated and reprogrammed quickly, allowing the casino to quickly change the payout or price of a machine.

This technology will also allow casinos to quickly change the face of generic slot machines for different audiences or needs for a low cost, said analyst Rob Enderle, an analyst at San Jose-based Enderle Group. "It increases flexibility and lowers cost because you don't have to change out the machines to retheme them," he said.

A spokesman for IGT declined to offer any firm details on the benefits of the new screens or their development schedule. However, he predicted that some sort of prototype would be put on display at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) industry trade show in Las Vegas in November.

This story, "New Slot Machines Promise More for Gamblers" was originally published by Computerworld.

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