The next “slot machine” you play in a gambling hall may not be a slot machine at all.
Instead, if marketing plans by Trilogy Gaming Corp. succeed, it could be a hybrid of gaming technologies that will create a new revenue stream both for the Phoenix company and for Indian tribes now forbidden to have slots.
Down the road, Trilogy hopes to market its gambling ticket-dispensing machines to other venues, including cruise ships, airlines, hotel-casinos and state lotteries.
But Trilogy is concentrating initially on marketing its machines to Indian tribes because they are more profit-minded and less bureaucratic than state lotteries, said Wayne Mullins, Trilogy’s president and the machine’s inventor.
In particular, Trilogy is targeting tribes that can have bingo halls but, because they lack tribal-state compacts required by federal law, can’t have slot machines.
“They’re more motivated. They don’t know how long the profits will last before the white eyes change the rules,” Mullins said.
Although his company isn’t alone in offering gambling devices to tribes and other casino operators, he said there is a market for his machines and its combination of pre-printed tickets and big jackpots created by pooling revenue from hundreds or thousands of machines.
The tickets, called “pull-tabs,” give players a chance to win in three different games and have potential million-dollar prizes. Players either can open the folded, perforated tickets to find out whether they’re winners, or insert them in the dispenser machine for a visual display similar to those provided by video slots.
Because the tickets already have predetermined results, they don’t fall under same restrictions as slot machines, Mullins said.
To players, however, the devices appear nearly the same as Online Slots, making them good draws for gambling halls which aren’t permitted the machines, he said.
“We designed it to look and sound like a slot machine, but it’s merely a pull-tab dispenser,” Mullins said. “It’s going to be the next evolution.”
State lotteries also could find Trilogy’s machines appealing because the slot machine-like dispensers would not require additional legal approvals, he said.
Federal regulators are now reviewing the company’s filing for an initial public stock offering planned for later this summer.
Mullins, who owns 51 percent of Trilogy’s stock with the remainder held by nearly 400 investors, said the company hopes to raise $10 million, which would enable it to produce at least 300 dispenser machines.
While he and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Pugh declined to identify tribes now negotiating with Trilogy, the company has said joint ventures are being explored for eight bingo halls and two casinos on Indian reservations.