ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – With the blast of a “danger bot” the world of gaming began a new chapter and it’s starting in Atlantic City. Wednesday Harrah’s Resort launched “Danger Arena” by GameCo Inc which proclaims to be the world’s first skill-based video game gambling machine.
It’s a first person action game where you have 45 seconds to shot the proverbial bad guys to win money.
The target market is millennials who casino executives say have shown a willingness to visit casinos for the bars and clubs but aren’t very interested in slot machines.
“I think the slot manufacturers realized that there’s a need to evolve from the traditional based games to something that’s more exciting and skill based for this younger audience that’s coming of age,” says Rick Mazer, regional president for Caesars Entertainment which is introducing 21 arcade-style machines at their 3 Atlantic City casinos.
21-year-old Ryan Magee from Mullica Township was one of the first customers to play.
He spent a dollar and won $3 (which he subsequently returned to the machine) and says it was similar to video games he plays all the time like Halo and Call of Duty.
“I wasn’t going to play any games before I came here but this seemed like I could actually win,” says Magee.
Of course the casinos want to make money so the key is keeping players who are really good from winning all the time.
“There are 10 thousand maps in the game,” explains GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes who is from Bensalem, PA, “we have a patent on the math model that controls the game and it works a lot like blackjack – even the best blackjack or poker player in the world sometimes gets a deal that’s not going to let them win the highest possible payout.” State regulators require that the games payout similar to slots.
GameCo expects to be in more casinos within the next 6 months.