It’s been a decade since any significant multi-game machines have been introduced in Nevada, but U1 Gaming has changed that with the introduction of its U1 Keno, Poker and Slot machine, a revolutionary game with innovative features for both player and operator alike.
United Coin Machine Company, Nevada’s largest slot route operator with nearly 600 locations, is the exclusive distributor of the U1 machine, which is manufactured by U1 Gaming, based in Montana.
Note that United Coin also distributes the U1 machine in Montana, where it is also the largest slot route operator.
The first thing a player notices about the U1 machine is its size – it’s nearly double the width of most machines, featuring a 4-foot console with a 24-inch high-resolution LCD monitor and touchscreen, which can be tilted for player comfort.
Players will also feel a sense of privacy with the wrap-around console, that features a desktop big enough for food, drink and personal belongings, high-fidelity speakers with adjustable volume control, touchscreens that can be “reversed” for left or right-handed players and a plush, adjustable chair with expanded leg room.
Players have a choice of seven different games with payouts up to $250,000 and 14 different payouts up to $225,000.
Among the games are a variety of novel keno concepts and multi-card games, including a 20-card game with a maximum bet of $15 and payout of $225,000.
Note that the U1 machine doesn’t have different denomination games, such as 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, etc. Instead, there are “bet keys” that allow the player to fashion virtually any sized bet up to the maximum.
The roster of keno games is truly unique, featuring novel sound and graphics, as well as different ways to win with a variety of bonus features.
In Montana, where U1 is the game of choice for most players, keno enjoys a substantial following – about 80 percent of the play is keno.
In Las Vegas, video poker is the most-played game at non-casino locations, but the introduction of the U1 game could result in more keno converts.
With the entire suite of games, players can for the first time ever view the game’s payback percentage right on the playing screen. The feature is especially intriguing since the payback percentage increases with the size of the bet.
“This provides players with greater knowledge so they can better determine their personal risk and reward level for each game,” said Steve Arntzen, chief operating officer of United Coin Machine Company. “Multiple bet keys offer a wide range of wagers and the payback percentage increases with higher wagers.
“So far, response has been terrific,” Arntzen continued. “Once players get acquainted with all the options, they are playing significantly longer.”
In addition to innovative keno games, the U1 offers a variety of video poker games, from traditional Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Joker Poker to Bullet Fever and Spot-On Poker with payouts of $120,000 and $240,000, respectively.
The poker games can be set up in a traditional fashion with the “touch to hold” function, or the machine can switch to “Pro Hold Poker,” in which the cards that are “supposed” to be held, using basic strategy, are highlighted.
The eight slot themes offer a choice of pay lines with multipliers, wilds, scatters, free games and bonus features. Top awards range from $34,700 up to $240,000.
In addition to the numerous game features for players, the U1 is cutting-edge for its unique three-way split between the manufacturer, location owner and United Coin.
Rather than passing the risk of large jackpots onto either the location owner or route operator, U1’s weekly revenue split on these machines is based on theoretical win, instead of actual results.
Under this new economic model, location owners are now guaranteed a weekly check for having the device in their establishment, regardless of whether the actual performance on the game is positive or not.
Thus the more the customers play the U1 gaming machines, the higher the revenue to the location, and since U1 Gaming picks up the cost of say, a $240,000 jackpot, the location owner can actually celebrate with the winner!
“Much like IGT’s wildly famous linked progressive game, Megabucks, the U1 spreads both the risk and the profits across their entire spectrum of games in the field via this formula to enhance both player payouts and operator revenues,” Arntzen said. “It’s a proven formula that works for everyone.
“We are very excited about the revenue-generating potential of the U1 and are equally confident it will resonate with players given all its bells and whistles.”
Arntzen said that, so far, the U1 machine has been installed in nine locations, with dozens more on the way. The current locations include Stetson’s, Casino Valle Verde, Chaser’s Pub, R-Bar and several 7-Elevens.
Other possible United Coin locations will include bars, taverns, casinos and grocery stores such as Food 4 Less.
Players will recognize United Coin locations with the Gamblers Bonus brand, a cutting-edge rewards program which features a variety of contests, giveaways and other special promotions.