Regulators Green Light Skill-Based Gambling Games

Regulators Green Light Skill-Based Gambling Games

In this week’s gaming industry in 2016. Casino City’s Gary Trask said the biggest challenge for the industry right now is attracting younger generations.

Millennials aren’t interested in slot machines. They grew up playing video games and demand a more interactive experience. Casinos have been searching for ways to cater to younger tastes, and the latest response is skill-based games.

This week, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved skill-based slot machines for deployment on the casino floors in Atlantic City. The machines tick all the regulatory boxes and could be introduced as early as this coming Monday.


The machines, known as VGMs, are made by New York-based company GameCo. While other companies have been working to put out similar machines, GameCo will become the first-to-market in an industry effort to attract the next generation of players to the casino floor.

What makes the VGM special? The arcade-style video game allows a player’s skill to determine the payout and winnings, with a financial model similar to that of traditional slot machines. GameCo say each VGM features a single-player game, which takes about 60-90 seconds to play.

The first skill-based gambling game in casino history is likely to be “Danger Arena”, GameCo’s first-person shooter.


Danger Arena has been compared to hit video game Call of Duty. Players can bet anywhere from $0.50 to $20.00 to play, as they attempt to shoot as many robots as they can in the allotted time. It takes 7 hits to break even, and GameCo founder Blaine Graboyes says players have the opportunity to win up to 25x their bet by hitting 10 or more robots.

Its obvious that GameCo are trying to model their games after titles that have proved popular with young people, from first-person shooters to puzzle games. The major difference between the VGMs and traditional slot machines is the “variable payouts,” which means skilled players have a higher chance to win.

However, Graboyes says each game will include a secondary winning opportunity, with a possible instant cash win ranging from $1 to $5,000. This means even the least skilled players have a chance to win some money.

How does the machine work? It begins with a brief tutorial to make sure the customer understands the controls and the rules of the game. The players will then be presented with the game scenario, which will vary randomly and constitutes the element of chance that is the hallmark of traditional slot machines.

The company says future games will draw on a wide variety of different genres, such as action, adventure, sports, racing, fighting and others.


The company issued a press release last month announcing its VGMs would debut at Caesars Entertainment resorts. The latest plans are to deploy three triple-unit carousels at Caesars, two at Harrah's and two at Bally's, with a total of 21 playing stations.

There are further plans to expand into additional states within the next six months.

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(Image Credit - MsSaraKelly)

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