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GameCo Brings Skill-Based Gambling to Atlantic City

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Atlantic City casinos could add their first skill-based gaming machines as soon as next week, if state regulators sign off on the plan.

An Tuesday, New York-based startup Gameco announced that it would debut its new video game gambling machines (VGM) on the casino floors of Caesars Entertainment’s three Atlantic City properties this fall.

GameCo plans to install 21 gaming positions in “high-traffic, prominent locations” at each of the three Caesars’ properties. There will be triple-unit carousels at Caesars Atlantic City, two at Harrah’s resort and two more at Bally’s. A GameCo spokesperson said the games will go live “most likely in two weeks.”

The first game will be a first-person action game titled Danger Arena. Players will be presented with a random game scenario and the payout will be determined by how many robots one manages to vanquish along the way, although GameCo claims the VGM will maintain “the same casino economics as slot machines.”

In February, New Jersey published its temporary regulations regarding skill-based casino games but the Division of Gaming Enforcement has yet to give its final blessing to the games.”

DGE director David Rebuck said his outfit was reviewing GameCo’s product through its New Jersey First program, which prioritizes inspection of new products if developers choose New Jersey as their debut market.

GameCo says future VGM will feature genres ranging from sports, racing and fighting to casual games. GameCo CEO Blain Graboyes said it was “tremendously exciting to be first-to-market in an industry effort to attract the next generation of players to the casino floor.”

Graboyes told the Associated Press that there was “a great focus on being first” to market but insisted that his company was “interested in this being a long-term proposition.” GameCo says it plants to roll out its VGM in other casino markets within the next six months.

However, it remains to be seen whether GameCo will be beaten to the punch by rival Gamblit Gaming, which announced its own deal with Caesars to put skill-based games in casinos in California and Nevada.

The past week has seen Gamblit announce a flurry of new signings to “gamblify” game developers products, including a deal with Halfbrick Studios to add real -money gaming elements to its Jetpack Joyride adventure title. Gamblit says the gamblified Jetpack Joyride will hit casino floors in late 2017.