Friday, May 06, 2005

Apprentice TV Show Donald Trump slot machine

Donald Trump doesn't discriminate. The real estate tycoon will fire anyone, including a 48-year-old woman from Biloxi.
A slot machine modeled after Trump's television show "The Apprentice" will hit the market later this year, allowing gamblers to fire the likes of Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, one of the most recognizable characters from the show's first season.
A sneak preview of the machine was available for casino representatives and others attending the Southern Gaming Summit on Wednesday at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.
"Oh, I didn't like her," said Charlotte Sims, a slot marketing representative from the Beau Rivage, as she pointed to "Apprentice" castoff Ereka Vetrini.
With one touch of the screen, Sims gave Trump the order to fire Vetrini.
Then with another spin of the wheel, Trump delivered bad news to Sims.
"You finished right there at the top of the contestants, but I hate to tell you, you're fired," Trump said as he was beamed from a video screen.
Casino goers can shell out anywhere from a penny to a dollar to watch a few of Trump's favorite things - golf clubs, planes, and his aides George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher - spin across the multiline machine.
"The Apprentice" slot machine was developed by International Gaming Technology. The Trump program is one of the reality television shows that may be finding a home on the casino floor.
Joe Kaminkow, IGT vice president of product design, said reality programs have become the new game shows for 20-somethings.
While older gamblers may flock to popular machines like "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy," Kaminkow said it's important to realize that both older and younger generations have become hooked shows like "Survivor" and "Amazing Race."
"It will appeal not only to the 45-plus, but that will also help you find that 20-plus player," Kaminkow said.
Bally Gaming and Systems is trying to strike a chord with the children of the 1980s, who grew up with Underdog and Atari.
Mick Roemer, senior vice president of products and marketing for Bally, said the company will be releasing a slot machine paying homage to "Pong," an Atari video game where a computerized ball is bounced back and forth across a screen.
"It is the first game that really has a skill component in it," Roemer said.
Clint Eastwood is so popular that WMS Gaming has developed two games featuring the squinty-eyed actor. Both showcase Eastwood early in his career, when he was starring in westerns.
Irma White, 79, of Biloxi, used the touch screen on an Eastwood-themed machine to have a virtual shootout of windows, bottles and anything else that got in her way during the game's bonus round.
White and sister Audrey Snyder, 80, said they normally play once a week at Boomtown casino in Biloxi and love to try new games - but only penny machines.
Penny-machine gamblers have become a trend in recent years, prompting game developers to develop a wide variety of machines.
Roemer thinks the key to keeping penny players happy is a high rate of return.
"It is a certain kind of player that really enjoys that frequency (of hits)," Roemer said.


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