AC Coin to debut Miss America slots

Sep 3, 2002 6:44 AM

SAY IT ISN’T SO! Some Miss America fans are turning their nose up at the idea that their ideal is now a one-armed bandit. That’s right, there’s a Miss America slot machine. It comes with the works, including Bert Parks singing "There She Is, Miss America." Some former beauty pageant winners are furious.

Their beef?

The use of the Miss America likeness on a slot machine is demeaning. So says Katie Harman, the reigning Miss America. Ditto, former winners Leanza Cornett and Marian Bergeron.

AC Coin and Slots developed the Miss America slots. It was officially licensed by the Miss America organization. It debuts Sept. 20 at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.

AC Coin, trying to do the right thing, approached Miss America organization officials with the idea and the pageant agreed to it in exchange for a licensing fee earmarked as scholarship funds. The group is mum on the amount but said it would receive millions of dollars in revenue from the machines over the next four years.

At the same time, the pageant struck separate deals to compensate the estates of Parks, who was Master of Ceremonies from 1955 to 1980, and Bernie Wayne, who wrote the lyrics to the pageant’s theme song.

The 25-cent machine offers jackpots up to $625 for three-coin plays. At the same time it features a bonus round in which reels line up ”” heads, torso and feet ”” to form the image of a Miss America winner. No likeness of actual winners appears on the machine.

The machine is topped with a red velvet pillow and a version of the Miss America crown.

Listen to Jerry Seelig, executive vice president of AC Coin and Slot: "The challenge was to make a game with class and finesse because Miss America is an icon."

YOU DON’T SAY! What is an expert’s opinion worth? In the case of Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK), shares fell nearly 3% on Friday after Banc of America Securities analyst J. Cogan downgraded the company to "market performer" from "buy." The stock dropped $.25 to close at $8.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

What does it mean?

On the same day, other casino stocks finished mixed ”” with most closing up or down less than 1.5%.

Cogan said that the company’s casino in Bossier City, La., would soon face new competition from Harrah’s Entertainment (HET), which announced plans to build a racetrack in the area and build a new casino on the grounds of the racetrack.

BETTER LURES? The Global Gaming Expo (Sept. 17-20) will debut the showing of Shuffle Master’s (SHFL) Budweiser slots. If sipping a Bud is your pleasure, you’d like to see what new products are on their way and you’re a member of the industry, stop by their booth and take a peek.

IT’S GAME TIME! Alliance Gaming (ALLY) says that their Bally Gaming unit has entered into a licensing agreement with NBC Enterprises Inc. for a series of slot machines featuring the trademarks, art and images, of "Saturday Night Live."

Game themes will include the Blues Brothers, Hans and Frans, Church Lady and the Coneheads.

REMEMBERING "STUEY!" That was the aka for Stu Ungar, an ace poker player who won a number of World Series of Poker championships (1980, 1981, 1997). He died in late 1998 at a motel on Las Vegas Boulevard. Stuey was hooked on drugs, but never lost the compassion of friends who knew him well.

The flick, "Stuey," is the story of the legend who graced our presence for 43 years before his untimely demise. His role will be played by "Sopranos" star Michael Imperioli. I am told that scenes of the flick will be shot at the Riviera.

Steve Schirripa and Imperioli are in town to film the story of the local poker legend. It is written that Imperioli was in our midst recently meeting with locals to get an insight into Stuey. I wish my name had been on the list. I have plenty of Stuey stories. As a gambler he was my hero. He used to tee it high and let it fly.

DENNIS RODMAN would love another shot at playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, but published reports say he has been talking to the Sacramento Kings.

BOTTOMS UP! My pal, Norm, opened my eyes wide when he reported that Michael Jackson has a beverage of choice! What? He was downing Shirley Temples while catching Wayne Newton at the Stardust last weekend.