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Aristocrat to launch
$1 million penny slot

Dec 16, 2003 7:42 AM

Aristocrat and Coast Casinos are joining forces to offer the first-ever million dollar slot jackpot for penny slot players.

Australia-based Aristocrat Technologies, the world’s second largest slot machine manufacturer behind IGT, recently received approval from Nevada regulators for its Millioni$er progressive slot link system.

Unveiled at this year’s G2E Expo, Aristocrat’s Million$er is a touch-screen video slot with four different jackpot levels that are triggered with its second screen bonus.

Beginning this week, Aristocrat will begin installing the first of 40 machines into Coast Casinos ”” the Barbary Coast, Gold Coast, Orleans and Suncoast ”” which will, for 45 days, have an exclusive right to offer the machines.

After that time, the game will be released to other locals-oriented casinos.

"Aristocrat’s Millioni$er game offers the fun and excitement that our players demand, especially the anticipation of four different jackpot levels and the chance to win a $1 million jackpot," said Marcus Suan, Coast Casinos vice president of slot marketing. "We’re very pleased about this partnership with Aristocrat and the opportunity to be the first to offer such an innovative product to the growing segment of penny slot players."

While Millioni$er will be the first penny slot to offer a million dollar jackpot (paid in annual installments), it probably won’t be the last.

Aristocrat officials said the company is dedicated to offering more penny and two-penny denomination games.

"Without question, we’ve been focusing on penny slots as a strategy for two years," said Kent Young, Aristocrat’s vice president of sales. "We’re carving a nice niche in that segment of the market."

Actually, Aristocrat’s "niche" has grown to quite a chasm. Young said that 90 percent of the market for slots in Australia is for penny slots, and that he expects the trend to continue in North America.

"About half the slots shipped from our factory are penny slots," Young said, "and 80 percent of our machines are available in penny denominations."

Young added that the industry "thought we were mad initially," but many manufacturers are now jumping onto the penny-slot bandwagon.

"Casino operators are finding that players enjoy penny slots because they can get a higher level of excitement," Young said. "Moreover, players get more entertainment value, they play longer, and enjoy a higher hit rate on these machines."

In addition, the new games appeal to players who tend to visit casinos frequently. "Our games are targeted to customers who play three times a week, and not three times a year," Young said.

Young said the Millioni$er slots are not linked progressives, thus each one is capable of paying the top award of one million dollars.

Over the next few months, Aristocrat will debut additional low-denomination machines, including video poker machines and stepper slots (reel spinning slots).

"We’re getting good feedback from casinos throughout North America, including California, where the operators say our slots out-perform most of the slots on the floor," Young said.