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Game Inventors Corner
This page is devoted to those persistent and tireless souls trying to break into the business of marketing their own casino game ideas. Here you will find plenty of advice and resources about how to get your game idea from your kitchen table to the floor of the Bellagio.
Advice for Newcomers
So, you think you have the next Three Card Poker? Your game is so great that casino managers will fall all over themselves to get your game on their floor. Players will line up to get a chance to play your game. You know this because your friends always enjoy playing it on your kitchen table.
If this describes you, then welcome to a very big and competitive club. The vast majority of casino game ideas are doomed to failure because they are too complicated, too slow to play, vulnerable to advantage play, or simply just aren't fun. However, your game is the exception, isn't it? It always is. If you are still not discouraged, then please read through the following resources created to help entrepreneurs new to the business of casino game inventing and marketing.
- Ten Commandments for Game Inventors by Michael Shackleford.
- The Elements of a Successful Carnival Game by Eliot Jacobson.
- GLOBAL GAMING EXPO 2006: Take my game, please by Benjamin Spillman of the Las Vegas Review Journal.
- Seeking a place at the gaming table, from the May 10, 2009 Las Vegas Sun.
- Pitfalls of Provisional Patent Applications by Jon H. Muskin.
- THE NEW TABLE GAME CRAZE: THE GAMBLE MAY PAY OFF BUT MANY INVENTORS SHOULD BE WARY TO PUT ALL THEIR CARDS ON THE TABLE by Madison Zornes of the UNLV Law Journal.
I also recommend 'Game Masters: Caribbean Stud, Three Card Poker, Let it Ride - New card games pop up in casinos every day. Meet the maverick inventors behind the latest gambling craze', from the August 2004 Playboy.
- For inexperienced game inventors, Contemporary Casino Table Game Design by Eliot Jacobson should be required reading. Eliot and I have seen all the mistakes that newcomers to the business make over and over. This books lays out, in detail, the usual flaws that destine most new games to failure, and how to avoid them. After reading this book, you may be scared off from ever taking the leap into the business. Given the low odds of success, even with a good game, you probably would be right.
- The Essentials of Casino Game Design by Dan Lubin. Here an an excerpt (PDF 144k).
Dan Lubin interview.My interview with Dan Lubin, inventor of EZ Pai Gow, on the business of inventing and marketing new casino games.
New Casino Games — the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Dr. Eliot Jacobson put together this montage of some of the casino games he has seen. It just goes to show that if you think you have the next Three Card Poker, then you have a lot of company.
Dragon's Den. This is a Canadian show about some venture capitalists, much like our own Shark Tank. In this show the makers of a game called Chuck 'Em try to get them to invest in their dice game.
You will need a lot of help getting a casino game from your kitchen table to a casino floor. Namely:
- A mathematical analysis.
- At the very least, a provisional patent, if not a full blown one.
- Game cloth.
- Rack cards.
- Web site, preferably with game demo and video.
Below are some people and companies we endorse to help you out.
- Total Gaming Science, by Charles R. Mousseau.
- Vegas Math, by Diana Gruber.
Intellectual Property Attorneys
- Jon Muskin in Philadelphia (E-mail)
- Richard Newman in Las Vegas.
- Vegas Aces. Not only does Heather Ferris do dealer training, but she also does web sites and instructional videos. For showing off your game to the world, I highly recommend Heather. You can reach her through her Vegas Aces web site.
- Olympian Gaming: They design and market new casino games and do expert witness work.
- Nicely Done Gaming — For expert witness reports & testimony, table and slot game design & math analysis
- For table game cloths Steve Tamura. ( E-mail) , phone: 206-920-2181, address: 1423 South Plum St. (Lower), Seattle Wa 98144.
Services to Casinos
- Lollipop Guild, by Michael Shackleford.
- Bill Zender. Game protection and promotions expert.
Our forum at Wizard of Vegas has a section devoted to game inventors. Here you can ask questions, get feedback on ideas, and generally support each other. A lot of experienced game inventors are active members so you will be in very good company.
Written by: Michael Shackleford