One of the difficulties for a gaming manager is deciding whether or not to purchase gaming machines that have a slightly different design to the standard machines from each manufacturer. Often these games have extra height or width to showcase premium themed games but don’t allow for as much flexibility on the gaming floor. A new generation of machines is changing how we deal with these machines. There are a couple of things to consider when purchasing them and positioning them on your gaming floor.

Game flexibility

The most important aspect when considering purchasing any machine of a non-standard style, is game support, game support and game support! It is very difficult to justify a purchase of a machine that only has a few games available. For the tall top machine designs, such as IGT’s new Curve, Aristocrats Arc and AGTs A640, the machines have one long “portrait’ style screen, so the graphic design of the game is very different from the two separate screens on a standard game. For example, IGT’s new Curve machine has two new games ‘Wild Fury’ and ‘Fortune Fury’ that have been specifically designed for that new machine. Performance has been very strong and they have more games coming soon to add to the range, so many clubs have already purchased them based on performance. However, the biggest advantage is that you can also convert in most of the standard Crystal games, so there is great game flexibility and the purchase risk is mitigated. Aristocrat and AGT have also ensured that there is a large range of games that can be placed in their non-standard machines.

Machine Height – Tall top machines

The majority of machines on our gaming floors currently are standard casino top machines from all manufacturers. The tall top machines can be the most difficult to deal with logistically. For a club with low ceiling heights, this can sometimes prevent a machine purchase. Even for a club with good ceiling heights placing them next to a standard machine on a normal bank can make the gaming floor look messy.

For these machines to be really featured on the gaming floor you need to buy enough so that you have a full bank if they are going in the middle of the floor. The tall top machines are commonly very effective games when banked along a wall, where the extra height is a visual advantage.

Machine Width – Slant Top machines

These games are simpler in some ways because you just need lots of space on your gaming floor. The current style of slant top machine, such as Aristocrats Helix slant have an advantage over the older styles in that they can be comfortably placed along a wall bank.  However, slant machines work best in a small banks (2 x 2 or 3 X 2, back to back), and can open out space on the centre of a gaming floor to allow a view across the room. Ideally, they should be placed where they allow a player entering the gaming room to see across them to other areas of the floor. They draw the player’s eye through the room, making the area look bigger. Despite a central position these games still provide privacy for the player.

Short Lowboy Machines

These machines used to be common in gaming rooms because the lower height of the machine banks meant there was vision across a gaming floor. However, at that time, the machines still had back-lit glass art panels that made them stand out on a gaming floor. Many machines now don’t have this belly art, with only a main screen and top box screen. From the side (as a player walks along a bank of machines) LCD screens lose their colour and look dull, so without any belly panel art a lowboy machine with no top box, is lost on the floor.  As a result lowboy machines are slowly moving out of the market…for now.

Specific themed games

Premium themed games are often released on to a non-standard tall machine where that graphic content of the game has the greatest visual impact. AGTs A640 games Pacman-Wild Edition and King Kong are classic examples. They are often very popular with the small-medium regular players that come into the club during the day and early evening on a regular basis, and the themes are commonly appropriate to a specific age demographic. With this in mind, these machines should be positioned where it is clearly visible to the players they are targeting, and in a highly visible position in a busy part of the gaming floor.