Australia’s casinos may be next to see introduction of skill-based casino games

  • Developer GameCo, responsible for skill-based casino games, reportedly keen to explore Australian market
  • The company’s games, Danger Zone and Pharaoh’s Secret Temple combine skill-based play and casino games

New York-based GameCo, a specialist in skill-based casino video games, is reportedly seeking to take its range of arcade inspired poker video games to Australia’s casinos in a bid to discover what’s on offer in the country’s market.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that casino operators in Australia “have expressed an interest [in adopting the new games],” which are known as video gaming machines (VGM) and are being touted as a way of attracting a younger, millennial customer to land-based casinos.

GameCo Danger Zone
Above: a scene from GameCo’s skill-based casino game, Danger Zone

These games, commonly known as skill-based casino games, “determine payout on player ability as well as chance,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

But one thing that is not yet known is which casinos will house the new VGMs by GameCo; neither Crown Resorts nor the ALH Group, the country’s two largest gambling machine providers, have yet to comment.

Millennials not impressed by traditional games

Danger Arena and Pharaoh’s Secret Temple, the developer’s first titles, were rolled out on casino floors across Las Vegas and Atlantic City in the latter months of 2016.

Now, GameCo is scheduled to showcase its new product at the Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney next month. GameCo’s chief executive officer Blaine Graboyes has said that he and his team look forward to skill-based gaming becoming accepted in the country, and that they’re looking forward to exploring opportunities.

Apparently the government of Victoria is, at present, looking into various studies to see if the new skill-based games meet the required regulatory standards and requirements.

For some time the industry has been looking into methods of attracting a younger demographic to the casino floor, with some suggesting that traditional casino games don’t have enough pull to an audience that is more accustomed to smartphones, tablets and on-the-go connectivity.

Skill-based casino games, such as those on offer from GameCo are seen as a way of addressing that problem, and providing some future-proofing to an industry that is seeing increased competition from online casinos.

Slow on the uptake

Speaking of more traditional games, some compare classic slot games with skill-based gaming in that they use a “similar financial model.” But the main difference is that players can decrease the house’s edge by holding more skill in the video-gaming element of the game.

Although, legally, everyone is entitled to the same chance of winning in a casino, various establishments across New Jersey and Nevada had to alter their regulations to allow ‘variable payouts’ before they could install VGMs there.

When Caesars launched GameCo’s skill-based games in Atlantic City in November 2016, they were highly anticipated. Earlier this year the games were removed from the casinos after a reported trial period.

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