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Good as Golden

MGM Macau teams up with IGT to bring a unique mystery progressive bonus to baccarat

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 08:00
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A star-studded cast turned out at MGM Macau this month to celebrate the launch of a first for the industry—a mystery progressive bonus for baccarat that does not require a side bet. Developed in partnership with slot giant International Game Technology, Golden Chip, as it’s called, is exclusive to MGM Macau for the next 12 months and is being made available to members of the resort’s Golden Lion Club. 

Well-known Hong Kong actor Gordon Lam Ka Tung joined TVB star Nancy Wu to officiate at a “gold chip” ceremony to kick things off. The two celebrities were then invited to play a demo version of the game. 

“We strive to deliver original and diverse entertainment that offers something for everyone,” said Michael Jensen, executive director of Business Development-Casino Marketing for MGM Macau. “We are also constantly offering exciting and exclusive promotions to cater to the increasingly discerning tastes of our members.”

Golden Chip is a reimagining of the classic table game with a mystery jackpot bonus that can be triggered, with no side bet required, by any player at any time, thus heightening the anticipation and suspense at the table while creating an unparalleled and deeply immersive gaming experience. Linked to enrolled table games and available only to seated, rated players, the bonus was spiced up over an initial promotional period with a total prize pool of $8,888,888.

The casino has been operating the network on 16 tables for the past month, said Mr Jensen, who professed himself pleased with the performance, especially with the fact that it is attracting new players to the tables. He added that the resort is looking into expanding the bonus to other types of tables.

“Macau is a very competitive market,” he said. “To keep ahead in the competition, you need to be doing something different. We feel that [Golden Chip] is very different from what is out there.”

Reno, Nev.-based IGT has been making steady inroads into the Macau market with a growing portfolio of “market-attuned” games, as the company describes them, geared to Asian players and highlighted on the slot side by standout performers such as Four Great Chinese Beauties, Big Dragon Lounge and West Journey Treasure Hunt, all developed in collaboration with High 5 Games. 

To build on this the company has opened an R&D facility in Beijing that will be supplying a steady flow of new stand-alones, six of which were shown at last year’s G2E Asia prior to their release in the fall. They include Money Idol—a five-reel, 20-line game with a Multi-Layer Display-enabled 3D interface and wild reels in the free games bonus to heighten the volatility factor—and Silk Seduction, an even more volatile offering that features 60 betting lines and a special “1,024 Ways to Win” feature that is triggered by bet size. 

IGT also has been competing with increasing success in the linked progressives market that is coming to dominate Macau’s slot floors. Game Changer, as the network is called, has begun to develop a following by virtue of a portfolio of proven titles and the addition of new ones such as Money Idol, Silk Seduction, Pearl Dragon and Great Zodiac Race.

As with Golden Chip, the lure of mystery bonusing has been a focus for the developers at IGT. In Game Changer it’s blended with a four-level progressive that directly engages players by letting them choose symbols to reveal points that could bump them up to bigger prizes. Adding to the experience is a widescreen cabinet with a spacious playing area, enhanced sound effects and an optional highdefinition monitor.

The company continues to explore the virtual space as well and recently expanded its interactive portfolio with three new branded games developed through an existing licensing agreement with US toy manufacturer Hasbro. These include the company’s first simultaneous online and mobile launch, Battleship, based on the popular board game. “Dungeons and Dragons” provides the theme for the second release, Dungeons and Dragons Treasures of Icewind Dale, which is the third title developed around the fantasy roleplaying game. Rounding out the trio is Cluedo Classic, based on the popular crime-solving game and scheduled to go live online in March.


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