Inside Asian Gaming

55 O n the main floors of Macau casinos— in contrast to VIP rooms, where players like their privacy—crowds attract more crowds, as reflected by the familiar scene of players jostled three-deep around one sic bo table, while the adjacent table sits empty. Observing that gambling in Macau is a spectator sport, casino architect Paul Steelman came up with Sands Macao’s revolutionary stadium-style design, which is considered one of the main factor’s behind the property’s tremendous popularity among Chinese visitors. In such an environment, slot tournaments offer clear appeal given their potential to create excitement and camaraderie among the participants. Following its December opening, MGM Grand Macao held its first slot tournament in mid-May in a bid to “further enhance the MGM experience,” according to Senior Vice President of Casino Operations Gabe Hunterton, who adds the tournaments allow participants “to get to know each other and enjoy different parts of the property.” The success of the first tournament led to a second tournament in July. MGM Grand Macau ran both its slot tournaments on Atronic’s new Chinese- themed Dragonboat™, powered by the successful Tournamania™ slot tournament concept. Entry to the tournaments is by invitation only. Each participant is given the same number of credits, “the machine plays in a credit only mode, and your score is however many credits you win. Each person plays three sessions. We add up the scores from all sessions. Whoever has the highest score wins,” explains Mr Hunterton. The energy of the tournaments is heightened by pitting players against the clock with a ten-minute limit on each of the sessions. MGM Grand Macau adds to the tournament experience by giving all participants a complimentary room for the two nights of the tournament and a gift on arrival.At the endof the event,all participants The Tournament Draw Slot tournaments offer a potent promotional tool for Macau casino operators New Games By combining tournament gaming with a solid Chinese-theme, Dragonboat™ looks set to gain a strong following at other Macau casinos. After the success of Tournamania™ at its stadium-style Sands Macao, Las Vegas Sands Corp installed Dragonboat™ at its sprawling follow-up property,VenetianMacao. ADragonboat™promotioniscurrentlyrunning at Venetian Macao. The promotion started on June 8 and ends July 27,with tournaments held every Sunday during the seven-week period. Dragonboat™ was one of the products Atronic showcased under the banner ‘Gaming Solutions for Asia’ at last month’s G2E Asia in Macau.This was the first time Atronic exhibited on its own at the event. In previous years, Atronic shared a booth with Asian distributor RGB.By going it alone and showcasing a range of new products specifically developed for the Asian market, Atronic proclaimed its greater commitment to the region. Another new Asian-focused product showcased by Atronic at G2E Asia 2008 was the new 5-level jackpot link Fishing for Jackpots™. enjoy a banquet together, with the winner awarded a prize on stage. Although the two tournaments held thus far have followed the same format, Mr Hunterton points out “we’ll probably change the format a number of times” in the interests of “keeping it fresh and new.” Dragonboat™ offers the flexibility to run tournaments in a variety of structures at random or preset times for a predefined period. Among the possible structures are: • The Classic Tournament - During the preset duration, players have to accumulate as many score points as possible by using their own funds. The player ranked first at the conclusion of the tournament wins the prize and a special win animation celebrates the victory. • The Special Event Tournament - During the preset duration, players play with pre-loaded credits and have to accumulate as many score points as quickly as possible. Multiple heats are played to determine the top-ranking players who will qualify for the finals.The prizes (usually cash prizes) are funded from participation fees. • “All Winners“ Tournament - During the configured period, all players are winners: Either players collect wins through the base game, or they are awarded Dragonboat™ prizes. Minimum play activity is required. The ranking of the players is continually displayed on the upper TFT-screen of Atronic’s e²™ cabinet. At the end, the “first” ranked player (with the largest loss during the tournament) wins the consolation prize.