Region's First 'Social Gaming' System To Debut At Rivers Casino SoonBy David Highfield

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you walk into the Rivers Casino these days, you’re likely to notice some new types of slot machines.

In fact, they’re hard to miss. You might call them the “next generation” of slots.

“I can’t believe it, it’s ‘The Simpsons’!” shouted Cindy Graziani from New Castle as she pointed to one of the new machines with giant screens.

The new slots at the Rivers are huge and in-your-face with big screens. They also have TV show or movie themes.

The Simpsons and Willy Wonka slots are also interactive.

For instance, The Simpsons one has a motion sensor that can tell you where you put your hand. You’re supposed to catch video donuts as they fall down the screen.

They also have an immersive feeling with speakers and screens that begin to curve around you.

Andre Barnabei, VP of Slot Operations at the Rivers, says so far these new games are a hit.

“Last week, when we were testing these games, I was personally testing them, and I turned around and there were about twelve people watching and waiting,” said Barnabei. He said they wanted to play immediately.

Also popular are oversized “Breaking Bad” and “Orange Is The New Black” slots, again with big monitors and an obvious tie-in to popular shows.

“We’re always looking to offer the next generation of slot machines,” said Barnabei.

Another trend in the industry are games that involve skill, more like video games, complete with a joystick.

They’re aimed at younger players who grew up playing games.

But while they’re available at some locations, such as Atlantic City, so far, they’re not allowed in our state.

“It is something we would look forward to offering at Rivers Casino,” said Barnabei. “It is not approved in the state of Pennsylvania.”

But the new slots they’ve been adding already offer something different. There have even been lines of people waiting to play some of them.

Jason Gray from McCandless enjoys the Simpsons slot machines: “There is a lot going on, and it’s not the same boring stuff going on over and over again. There’s no monotony in it.”

Meanwhile, there’s something else cooking at the Rivers.

Right now, they’re installing and testing a system that will allow multiple players at terminals to play both blackjack and roulette.

The dealing will be displayed with the help of cameras on big screens, same for the roulette wheel.

They’re calling it “social gaming,” and it’s supposed to make the table game experience less nerve-racking.

They hope to have it up and running very soon and will explain more about how it works in the coming days.

They say the system is a first for western Pennsylvania.

David Highfield