Skill-based slots are coming to Pennsylvania.

Changes ahead for Valley Forge

Valley Forge Casino Resort CEO Eric Pearson recently announced he’s adding 60 new slots to the casino floor. While there were no specific details as to the type of slots to be added, we do know that many of them will be video-game gambling machines (VGMs).

These machines already debuted at the likes of Caesars Entertainment casinos and the Tropicana in Atlantic City, but this is the first time they have popped up in Pennsylvania.

Pearson’s explanation of how the games work belies the potential in VGMs.

“Your skill can have an effect on the outcome,” he said. “It’s like if you play Tetris or Candy Crush, if you have more practice and you’re a better player, you can improve the outcome through your skills.”

A few slots details are still unknown at Valley Forge

Pearson didn’t say what company will provide the slots. It certainly could be GameCo, the developer that debuted VGMs at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. The other company in the space is Gamblit Gaming.

What we do know is that the big spend on new slots will bring more new slots to Valley Forge than it’s bought in the past five years.

This new development is part of Valley Forge’s $6 million facelift, which started late in 2016 and finished up this month. Things had already been looking up for Valley Forge — one of two Category 3 casinos in the state — on the revenue front in some recent months.

The King of Prussia property’s Casino Tower was the focus of the renovation.

According to a Valley Forge press release, the renovation project included the addition of two “Super Suites” boasting more than 1,400 square feet of space, a kitchen, ice maker and dishwasher.

The tower’s suites also received and upgrade, moving from outdated decor to a more modern and understated tone.

Why so many skill-based slots?

At some point, researchers say, millennials lost interest in slots. The repetition and chance-laden odds of the games don’t interest them.

Developers like GameCo realized the opportunity in this segment of the population and chose to integrate video games with slot machines.

In reality, the “slots” aren’t slots at all, but video game terminals linked to one another and integrated with regulated betting systems.

Players bet on one round of gameplay — 60 to 90 seconds in the case of GameCo’s Danger Arena — and competition commences. However, players aren’t battling each other on the same game. Participants plays their own game, trying to rack up as many points as possible. Scores are tallied at the end of the round, and payouts are given to the top finishers.

What’s interesting about all of this is that the philosophy behind these terminals was proved correct by Pearson, a 34-year-old millennial who has said he took to the games after trying one himself.

J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren is a freelance writer and author. He is a three-time winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest. His work has appeared in numerous blogs and publications including Bespoke Post, Snooth, Our Amazing Norway, Barcelona Metropolitan and The Villages Daily Sun.