Exclusive article content from The Drop

One of the hardest decisions to make in purchasing gaming machines is how to work out what to buy with so many great games available from all of the manufacturers. It’s easy to get lost in the sizzle and take your eye off the steak, particularly at trade show when all the games are new!

So before you go near a trade show you should have an idea of what you can put on your gaming floor. It can change, but you should still have a rough idea. If you are a gaming manager who is still learning the craft, having a list of what you want submitted to your CEO before you go to a trade show, and the evidence for what you need to focus on, will make it easier to argue for a machine purchase when you see something that fits your players.

The key to a successful gaming floor is to have the biggest variety of games for your players. In a club these often fall into two different markets: those who are playing big to win big, and those who want to spend hours and have some fun. This second group generally spend the same amount of money, but don’t want to feel like they are chewing through their money too quickly.

There is also a split between what men and women like to play and women fall into the “spend all day at the venue” group.  In most clubs, if you look at your top few tiers of players, the majority of these players are women these days and you ignore their preferences at your peril. Their expectations are very different.

It is a little different in hotels where you are limited by machine numbers and still have a largely male player base, but even here it is ineffective if all you have on your floor are ‘5 Dragons’, ‘Choy Sun Doa’, ‘5 Koi’, and Players Choice games also containing ‘5 Dragons’. All are the same game mathematically to a player and it will become boring very quickly.

Adding in something different such as an IGT ‘Multistar – Champion Series’, a SHFL ‘MultiDeluxe’ or an AGT ‘Multiplay’ game is enough to interest your regulars.

So how do you check that your floor is balanced? The easiest calculation is a floor matrix which compares the turnover, net and installation percentage for any group of machines such as the example below.


Group Number of Machines Installation % Total Turnover Turnover % Total Net Net %
$1 Games 5 8.1 376,000 10.4 35,500 10.7
5c games 7 11.3 295,000 8.1 28,250 8.5
1c games 50 80.6 2,950,000 81.5 269,000 80.8
TOTAL 62 3,621,000 332,750

In this example, the dollar games take up 8% of the floor space but produce 10% of the turnover and net so increasing the dollar games by a machine would be an advantage. Equally the 5 cent games are taking up 11% of the floor space but only producing 8% of the turnover and net so this could be reduced.

Gaming is based around emotions as well as mathematical statistics and art themes, so we can only use this method as a guide, but it should give you a good idea of what you need to focus on.  It can be used to calculate the balance across lots of machine groups such as:

  • Manufacturer comparisons – e.g. Aristocrat, IGT, Scientific Games, Konami, AGT
  • Product types – Aristocrat Excite, Viridian WS, Helix, IGT Neo, Crystal, Bluechip
  • Denominations – as above example
  • Specific games – do you have too many ‘5 Dragons’
  • In-house links, premium links, on-screen links, standard games – do you need more and are your standard games making you more profit than you assumed?
  • Game types – Scatter pays, 243 ways, ante bets. What do your players like?

This process has even been used with art colour (red and purple art work more successfully than green and yellow art) and art themes (tropical, Asian, casino, animals), with some interesting findings that can help you  choose successful games.