With so much talk in the gaming world these days about skill-based slots and eSports tournaments, it seems that New Jersey has snuck one by everybody by announcing the addition of arcade-style gambling next month.
Three Caesars Entertainment casinos in Atlantic City – Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s – will offer Danger Arena, a first-person shooter game that’s similar to Halo or Call of Duty.
Released by GameCo, Danger Arena will see players use a controller to blast robots for 45 seconds, earning points for every robot that they hit. Bets range from 50 cents to $20, and you need to hit 7 robots to break even on your wager.
According to North Jersey, these Atlantic City casinos are able to offer arcade-style gaming thanks to a 2014 measure that allows for certain skill-based contests.
Unlike Nevada, Atlantic city hasn’t started the process of bringing skill-based slot machines to their casinos. But they are looking at alternative forms of gambling to draw younger customers, who aren’t taking to slot machines in their current form.
David Rebuck, director of the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), expressed excitement over what GameCo is doing in Atlantic City.
“The division has been actively encouraging the industry to submit innovative products, and we are glad to have the opportunity to review GameCo’s skill-based game through our New Jersey First program,” said Rebuck. “That program allows products that are submitted to our technical services lab before any other jurisdiction and that meet our high regulatory standards to get out onto the casino floor expeditiously.”
As for more on Danger Arena, this game offers 10,000 video screens called “maps.” Some of the maps are more difficult than others with regard to finding robots, and the difficulty is completely random with every bet.
“We are a data-driven company, and we have looked at the distribution of skill across many of these games and found a lot of similarities,” said Blaine Graboyes, head of GameCo. “Less than 1 percent [of players] are ‘perfect,’ or highly skilled.”
One notable difference between this arcade style of gaming and slot machines is that the former won’t offer big jackpots. Instead, players can earn up to 20x their bet, and “power ups” that can earn them more money.
Obviously this won’t appeal to slots types who want to get rich through gaming. But it will be nice for players who want to win money through their gaming skill.