MathExtremist
MathExtremist
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
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September 8th, 2010 at 12:33:53 PM permalink
Before July, getting a game variation (e.g. side bet) approved in Nevada was pretty straightforward. You'd send in a letter with the game details including rules and math, and some time later the lab would verify everything and either approve or deny the game. There was no charge for this.

Recently, the law was changed to allow the NGCB to change their process to be equivalent to the approval process for new games. A new game approval in Nevada requires a field trial, a $3000 deposit, a full background check, financial history statements, etc. People who have gone through that process (at least PaiGowDan) can give you more details.

I just found out that the NGCB did not make the game variation process as stringent as the new game process. Instead, they're just making it cost the same. Here's the latest approval form for side bets:

Game Variation process

FYI.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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September 8th, 2010 at 1:53:21 PM permalink
Math Extremist,
This Is A Very Important post.

The field trial Process for a brand new game is just a complete nightmare that KILLED the new games gaming industry here in Nevada itself - THE NATIONAL HOME OF THE GAMING INDUSTRY, - as opposed to the Barona and other So-Cal casinos who became the saviors of game designers, along with Atlantic City and the Mid West and CRUISE SHIPS introducing cutting edge games. WHAT IS THE NEVADA GAMING COMMISSION AND NGCB doing to promote both fair and "facilitated" good new games introduction here in Nevada? The answer: Squat - they leave it to The Barona and the Pala in California, the Trump Properties in Atlantic City, and to Ameristar showcasing games in teh Mid West!

This left Nevada far behind in the gambling dust when it came to showcasing the new cutting edge of new games.
Game Distributors and New game designers complain about this in Conferences that are held at - where else? - The Mandalay Bay (Raving Table game conference) and the G2E at the Expo, both here in Las Vegas.

I myself just barely escaped a new game design field trial on EZ Pai Gow, because:
a) it was a variation of an existring game, even though not a side bet, but a main-game variation;
b) The basic rules and procedures are still the same on the game, except that players get paid full pay with no commission, on the exception that if the dealer gets a very rare Queen-high Pai Gow hand, then the "flat" bet pushes instead of typically loses, to generate house edge.
c) We had a math report done by Charles R. Mousseau, who the Board knows that he knows his stuff.

The Field Trial Process is very unfair and should be changed, so that new game designers can get fair treatment.

1. A wide initial showing of their game at multiple casinos as a fair practice is a must. If ONE field trial table is mishandled for a new game because of a floor supervisor's incompetence - or their own dealer's dislike of learning a new game, - then a worthy game is wrongfully killed off. If one single sh]t-head old-school floorman happens to dislike your new game at the field trial house - you are dead in the state of Nevada. Fair Play? Mathematical and statistical fairness? From a Single table that is open part-time - in some nickle house way off the strip? Is this Nevada's "fair and balanced" evaluation of a new game in its life-or-death field trial? This current "Nevada Single-game" field trial practice is wide open to mathematical and industry challenges on a "fair public viewing practice," or "potential of fraud or destruction actions in an isolated table in an isolated casino." This has got to be changed. Shoot, if the floormen put out wrong table betting limit cards on the table, they could kill the new game ("Main bet "$100" or "main bet - $1 only" like it was a freak carnival game) - no one would even play it.

One of the great things about the Barona casino is that they impliment "team-level" education on a new game that THEY introduce, so that the VERY best is done and shown for your new game's introduction, including table place location, advertising, promotion, with complete and thorough dealer training and support, etc. Here in Nevada, there is no guarantee that your new game - being shown in some old moldy $5 casino - won't put the game in a dead pit that's normally closed with little action, with dealers who weren't trained on it, or who openly resent being stuck with it - or who can't even deal. Can you imaginge if your game is field trialed and the LxngHxrn Casino on Boulder Highway, that is attached to a motel drug-house/sex-house motel that charges room rentals in three-hour increments? Or at the Western in Downtown Las Vegas?

This is one aspect of Field trialing your new game.

2. What about having the number of display tables at only one table - versus a so-called "statistically valid field trial? What if your new poker game gives up a Seven-card straight flush? One one table, it would take 6 months to balance that out - to normailze it's true house edge or tablehold percentage behavior! By then you've failed the feild trial, and your game is DEAD in Nevada.
Nevada Gaming should Not consider a field trial valid unless there's about TEN tables in at least FIVE casinos, to counteract statistical streaks that could unfairly kill a game, and to counter-act individual casino employees playing favorites at a casino house. My own game gave up FIVE ACES at a $2,500 payout on the first day it was introduced in Nevada (Aauuuggh!) - but DEQ systems had the Barona Casino running two live tables for six months prior to this - to provide for stable table figures, to show it was just rare jackpot, so my game was kept at the Fiesta Henderson. It made its money back in the next few days, and stabilized into a fine performing game. I and Rob Scott of DEQ had used all the live tables WE HAD RUNNING OUT OF STATE before we had the first table in Nevada.

In addition, certain RULES must be enforced for a fair field trial:

Ideally your table should be given - with Nevada gaming verifying that you table recieves:
1. Open hours of operation - or be open everyday during swing shift hours, approximately from 4PM until 1AM; this is essentially only one shift at a minimum, - but it is WHEN players PLAY.
2. Table limits should be the same as their standard blackjack table bet, or crap table pass-line bet amount, common to that casino, usually $5 to $500.

ALSO:
Dealer and floor training must be done: usually, the inventor or the game distributor goes in and conducts a 30-minute class.
Dealer training is especially crucial, because it is the dealers who are selling and showcasing your game! All things being equal, your game will do about as well as they deal your game!
You should work with the sponsoring casino and your distributor, to insure that all of the following will be addressed in dealer training:
1. That the dealers deal it well, with experienced dealers dealing the game. If your field trial house puts only "newbie" dealers on your game, they could be trying to kill it.
2. That the dealers and executives like and support the game.
3. Improving the game quality and production values, to promote player acceptance, by spending a few minutes to teach the game to players - even if it costs a few dollars because the game is not active when their teaching a new game to new players.
4. That dealers properly babysit, and handle shot-takers on your game. Keep in mind that a competitor to your game could send in players to mess up the flow your your game when it goes live.

The game inventor does have to write a product guide and sell-cards, and do short training sessions for the sponsoring casino and their dealers, but the distributor and inventor are at the mercy of a thousand and one things that can go wrong when one table is placed in a struggling $5 casino house - with Nevada gaming countiung THAT as a valid field trial.

The reason why NEVADA or ANY game inventors CONSISTENTLY introduce their games out-of-state first - is because the Nevada field trial process is statiscally invalid at a single table for 90 days, with who-know-what break-in dealer is struggling to deal your new game, and what hours it is open to the puclic, and with what advertising and promotion the sponsoring casino gave it. If a new game fails a field trial under any one or more of these circumstances, then Nevada gaming must not disallow the protest or argue the distrbutor or inventor.

Nevada gaming should have a "non-fail" clause under these circumstances, but indeed a "pass clause," particularly if a game happens to do well under such obtsacles.

The whole field trial process needs to be re-thought and re-implemented here in NV, the home of table game gambling. Sad but true.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
Switch
Switch
Joined: Apr 29, 2010
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September 8th, 2010 at 7:53:06 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

Before July, getting a game variation (e.g. side bet) approved in Nevada was pretty straightforward. You'd send in a letter with the game details including rules and math, and some time later the lab would verify everything and either approve or deny the game. There was no charge for this.

Recently, the law was changed to allow the NGCB to change their process to be equivalent to the approval process for new games. A new game approval in Nevada requires a field trial, a $3000 deposit, a full background check, financial history statements, etc. People who have gone through that process (at least PaiGowDan) can give you more details.

I just found out that the NGCB did not make the game variation process as stringent as the new game process. Instead, they're just making it cost the same. Here's the latest approval form for side bets:

Game Variation process

FYI.



To be honest, I've always wondered why sidebets were approved with no cost involved while variations were charged the full amount, particularly as some side bets can be more complicated to analyse than a variation.

It's a shame about the timing though as I have 2 side bets, for Blackjack, that I am looking to market in Las Vegas, so it looks as though it will cost an additional $6,000 :-(
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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September 8th, 2010 at 8:02:49 PM permalink
Quote: Switch

It's a shame about the timing though as I have 2 side bets, for Blackjack, that I am looking to market in Las Vegas, so it looks as though it will cost an additional $6,000 :-(



The 3K is actually a deposit. You'll owe more (or get a refund) based on the actual time spent by the tech lab and enforcement agents. I don't know how long it takes them to do a BJ variant, though I'd imagine they're very used to it by now.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Wizard
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Wizard
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September 8th, 2010 at 11:00:56 PM permalink
I had to pay about $6,000 for lab time, or whatever they called it, for my Ties Win Blackjack game.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Switch
Switch
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September 8th, 2010 at 11:37:00 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I had to pay about $6,000 for lab time, or whatever they called it, for my Ties Win Blackjack game.



I paid a total of $8,000 for 'BJ Switch' and $0 to get a sidebet approved.
Wizard
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Wizard
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September 8th, 2010 at 11:40:35 PM permalink
Quote: Switch

I paid a total of $8,000 for 'BJ Switch' and $0 to get a sidebet approved.



Welcome to the forum! I hope you'll stay a while.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Switch
Switch
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September 9th, 2010 at 2:26:32 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Welcome to the forum! I hope you'll stay a while.



Thanks Mike,

It's quite a diverse forum although I'll focus on this thread mainly. Will certainly drop by regularly to see if anything is developing.

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