DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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Thanks for this post from:
rdw4potusCalderBleedingChipsSlowlyJoeman
December 23rd, 2020 at 5:32:36 PM permalink
A couple months ago, I promised to provide a tell-all detail of what happened between me and Galaxy Gaming and my game, Poker For Roulette. Long post alert. Here it is.

For more info about my games, go to www.DaveMillerGaming.com

Note: Please keep comments in this thread about my adventure and relationship with Galaxy. If you have comments about the games, put them in one of the various threads about the games themselves.

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Spoiler alert: Tell-all? Sorry, it’s not that juicy, and not because I’m still somewhat bound by a non-disclosure. The details I omitted are really minor. And please don’t try to read between the lines. Truth is, I have no ill feelings towards Galaxy.

If you’ve been around WoV for a long time, and have read my prior posts on the subject, as well as the posts by PaiGowDan among others, then you probably already know most of this story. But let me fill in a couple gaps for those that either forgot, missed some of it, or are new here. Aspiring game developers may find it particularly interesting.

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Sometime in 2010, Dan talked about how he was a dealer at Fiesta Henderson, and that he created EZ-PaiGow. Both of these facts piqued my interest and I started asking questions. Truth it, not only is being a dealer my dream job, but I had an idea for a Roulette side bet and no idea of what to do with it. Dan helped me with the idea and the preliminary Patent application. Then in November, while in town for a wedding vendor’s seminar (I used to be a wedding DJ, hence my DJ Teddy Bear name), Dan introduced me to Mike, a relatively unknown game distribution company, a casino game patent lawyer, and others.

The following October, 2011, I attended my first G2E. While there, I had meetings with some game distributors, and met key people at Galaxy and other distributors, etc.

In May 2012, ShuffleMaster / Roger Snow hosted a game demo focus group, set up as something of a contest where each game would be scored on a variety of factors. Poker For Roulette (PFR) scored dead last. Two days later, I’m having a meeting with Roger where he tells me he thinks I have a not great idea, but a good idea, and that I probably had the hardest job of demoing it than any of the other games presented. He also points out that the first part of his company name is Shuffle. If I ever come up with a new, novel way to shuffle and deal cards, that I should come to him first.

Since this was my first official showcase of the game, I had shirts made with my PFR name & logo on them. I have since worn these shirts at almost all of my casino visits. The name often catches the eye of the dealer or floor person, “what’s poker for roulette?” which leads me to give business cards and a brief explanation of the game. I must have given out over 500 cards in this manner over the years.

I’ve also done the direct thing by asking for the casino manager or table games director and given them a brief demo and my literature. I’ve done that several dozen times.

Somewhere along the way, Dan quits dealing and starts working for Galaxy Gaming. One of his duties is to evaluate new games submissions.

I also attended G2E in 2012 and 2013, but I already am getting worn out doing the same thing year after year without getting the interest I was hoping for. In 2013 I inquire about a booth, and am blown away by the costs. I also find out about the Cutting Edge show and decided that if I ever get a booth to showcase PFR, it’ll be at Cutting Edge.

April 2014, my patent is approved. That’s something new to mention when I talk to people at G2E. I also think that I want to present it at Cutting Edge, but that going to Cutting Edge as an attendee, and seeing how that show works and what other presenters do before I get my own booth, would be beneficial, so I also plan on that.

At G2E in 2014, I see a 6 player Roulette machine that has a side bet option, Football Roulette. Although I don’t think that that’s a very compelling side bet, it proves that there is industry interest for a roulette side bet.

At Cutting Edge, Galaxy’s CEO Rob Saucier seems excited to see me, and openly asks me why PFR is not already on their roster. Good question. Without intending to throw Dan under the bus, I turn to him and repeat Rob’s question. We quickly schedule a meeting in their offices at the end of the week, where we come to a hand-shake agreement for them to distribute the game. I get the feeling that although I did have to sell the idea at the meeting, Dan had been instrumental in getting that meeting and that the interaction at Cutting Edge was planned or staged. That was November 2014.

For reasons that I’m not fully sure of, and would be covered by the non-disclosure anyway, getting a contract involved much foot-dragging on their part. I.E. Each time they presented us a new version, I would talk it over with my lawyer and he would respond a day or two later. Then we wouldn’t hear from them for weeks. Finally, late in March, they presented me a final version, and said that they want it signed by month end, otherwise, they’ll put the project on the shelf until the fall. Really? After all this back-and-forth foot-dragging, they want an instant conclusion? Whatever. Although I wasn’t 100% in love with the contract, I signed it, thinking now they can get the ball rolling on marketing the thing.

My contracted partnership with Galaxy officially started March 31, 2015, with a duration of 3 years, and options to extend based on a number of factors.

The four and a half months it took to get the contract should have clued me in to how those next 3 years would go.

Any time I made an effort to contact anyone at Galaxy other than Dan, it would take weeks to get a reply. I didn’t want to bug Dan because he wasn’t really involved in that part of the business. I.E. Once he evaluates and brings in a game, it’s someone else’s job to handle it. None of the ‘someone else’ people I ever worked with were particularly good at responding to emails or voicemails.

But during this time I continued to make several trips to Vegas each year. At the time, Galaxy was having open house events one night during G2E. At the events, they would showcase all of the games that they offered since there wasn’t room for all of them in their booth at G2E. Plus, it was a catered drinks & cocktails type schmooze event. But Poker For Roulette wasn’t one of the games shown. When I asked why, they said it’s because they didn’t own a roulette table. This REALLY annoyed me. I mean, I’ve been to the Gambler’s General Store. I’ve seen used roulette tables and wheels for sale. While not in pristine condition, even if there’s a slight wheel bias, it’s certainly good enough for a company that just needs to do a couple spins while trying to demo and market a roulette side bet, right? Sigh…

Whenever I was in town, I would have meetings at Galaxy’s office where we would discuss their progress, or in my opinion, the lack of progress. Sometimes they would show me their ideas about the dealer procedures, and I would give them my own ideas, which they claimed to like, but never implemented. Other times they would tell me what they’ve done with it at presentations, and in particular, at G2E type shows in England.

This is the part that really blows my mind. They were trying to market it in England (and Europe) because Roulette is huge there. More Roulette tables than other tables combined. My feeling was to try in such a location is a mistake. You don’t screw with their bread and butter. And even if you did, what kind of results would you get if you do a field trial on one Roulette table, when there are 10 other Roulette tables in the same room?

I asked why they didn’t just to a field trial in some little remote casino somewhere. The answer was, too much red tape. This also annoyed me. I mean, sooner or later, if they were serious, they would have to deal with the red tape eventually. Instead I gave them what I thought was a million dollar idea: Connect with some cruise line, where there are no regulations or red tape, and try it out for one cruise. I actually made that suggestion on multiple occasions, with reactions that indicated they loved the idea. I start to wonder, if it’s such a good idea, why didn’t they think of it? I later learn that they do have a relationship with a cruise line casino. Really? WTF!

At the second Cutting Edge I went to, 2015, while in the break-out sessions, I got the inspiration for a new game, which I started developing as soon as I got home. Pick A Card. (Note, I’ve never mentioned it here before, but I will be starting a thread about it soon. Please don’t comment about either game here.)

Somewhere along the way, Dan is no longer working for Galaxy. While in town for G2E (or was it Cutting Edge?) in 2016, I show him my PAC idea. He likes it. A LOT. We begin talking about adding something he called a ‘humdinger’. Once we figured that out, we started talking about a partnership to market it. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly in May 2017, before we could really get the ball rolling.

If Galaxy had done a better job with PFR, I would have shown them PAC next.

Instead, I showed it to Roger Snow. Despite the company name changes, he remembers his comment about shuffling cards. However, the industry has changed. He likes the idea, but If he spends time and money to develop it, it would be far too easy for someone to copy and steal it. If you’ve read some of the threads about casino game patents, you know what Roger was talking about.

Feeling somewhat down in the dumps, I skipped G2E in 2017. But since Galaxy giving me a Cutting Edge ticket each year of my contrtact, I went to that instead. Note that that wasn’t part of the contract, but a perk Rob Saucier did for me since. I’m not sure if or how much it cost them to do that.

Turns out that was the year of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting, which happened 2 days before G2E started. It was the day I would have flown into town if I were going. While I would have loved to have been in town to hug all my friends at G2E, I probably would have freaked out that night during the police activity. Knowing how I do Vegas, I’m sure I would not have been in the casino where I had a room when the lock-down began. Instead, I gave everyone my hugs at Cutting Edge.

I also shared my new idea with one of my Vegas honeys, Heather Ferris of Vegas-Aces.com. For those of you who don’t know, she does a variety of casino related things including online dealer training, marketing and consulting for casinos and game developers, and other interesting stuff. She also liked the PAC idea and gave me some pointers and ideas. She had also given me some ideas for PFR in the past.

The following February, 2018, Rob Saucier steps down as CEO of Galaxy. This does not sit well with me, since Dan had told me how much Rob loves the game. If Rob loves it, and it got little attention, what will happen now that Rob is out, and my contract is up for renewal a month later?

While Galaxy claimed to be interested in continuing our relationship, they made only one offer to renew. I had reasons to request a modification to their offer, and, although we continued to discuss it periodically (read: slow responses to my quick replies), we never got a second offer.

In October 2018, at a Wiz G2E dinner, I show Mike Shackelford and those in attendance the PAC game. He says he likes it. Mind you, this is the same guy who at one time had pages on his consulting web site discussing the steep uphill battle a game developer faces, and that he typically hates new game ideas.

At G2E in 2019, I visit the Galaxy booth to see that they are now offering a side bet for roulette called RouletteUp. I ignored the timing coincidence, and talked about that game with one of the guys who had been assigned to PFR. While chatting he mentioned that Galaxy finally bought a roulette table, and he complained that turned out to be a left-handed table. I only then noticed and said, from a game demo point of view, does it really matter?

I also talked about PAC. Some of those I spoke to about it, or about PFR, seemed interested and wanted to follow-up. Unfortunately, that follow-up was met with what I think was the only time I got a quick reply to an email. While courteous, it left no doubt that they were not interested in continuing our relationship. I begin to wonder if the last five years (FIVE YEARS!) had been nothing more than a delay tactic while they developed their own roulette side bet.

The timing of G2E worked out well that year. Two days later, the Vegas Internet Mafia held their semi-annual Summit. I had always wanted to go, but there was always a week or two in between, preventing me from doing both. As usual, I was wearing my PFR logo shirt at events where Derek Stevens (CEO of The D, Golden Gate and Circa) and Jonathan Jossel (CEO of the Plaza) would attend. These were separate events, but both asked about the shirt and gave me the opportunity to tell them briefly about both games. They were both intrigued by my ideas, and they each gave me the names of their people I should talk to.

I was making contact and had discussions, more with the person from the Plaza than the Stevens Group, when C-19 happened.

Heather also gave me great idea: test the games myself in real world settings. Contact party companies that do charity casino nights, and offer to deal the game for free. What a GREAT idea. Unfortunately, that also got sidelined by C-19 before I could make any headway.

Other than making minor tweaks to my websites, I have done nothing with either game since March.

Now that the vaccine is being rolled out, it might be time to get the ball rolling again. I just wish I knew which way to push that ball for the best results.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
gamerfreak
gamerfreak 
Joined: Dec 28, 2014
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December 23rd, 2020 at 6:12:55 PM permalink
Thanks for writing all this up. I have followed your game a bit after you mailed me a business card (and thank you again for cashing that Sands ticket!!) so I enjoyed reading the whole story.

It does make you wonder if Galaxy kept you in a holding pattern for 5 years just so you couldn’t shop it to competitors while they made their own side bet. If they come out with anything similar it will be really slimy.
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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December 23rd, 2020 at 6:20:02 PM permalink
I wish I would have known your story, I'm sure I could have helped you get a meeting with Mark Lipparelli and Bruce Benson.
Living longer does not always infer +EV
Zcore13
Zcore13 
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
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December 23rd, 2020 at 9:33:40 PM permalink
I dont want to sound mean, but I dont think it had much of a chance with any company. I'm guessing you didn't get much from Galaxy and they had no real market or interest in creating one for it.

It's also almost the polar opposite of how they were when I found High Card Flush for them. They were there looking at the game within a couple weeks, bought it in less than 6 months from my call if I recall. And I.think started rolling it out to casinos very shortly after that.

I think your newer guess the card game has a better shot of hitting a casino floor in a casino with a lot of tables. Its easy to explain, easy to play and not intimidating to females and non-table games veterans.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
darkoz
darkoz
Joined: Dec 22, 2009
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December 24th, 2020 at 5:41:33 AM permalink
DJ,

I had pretty much the same experience working in Hollywood on my Dark Oz project (hence my screen name).

I had an executive explain it to me so I will do the same.

Galaxy execs saw the potential of your idea and wanted to capitalize on it.

But Galaxy execs were afraid if they spent a ton of money and it failed, they would lose their jobs.

This corporate fear is incessant in the entertainment world because there is no magic formula. The most expensive projects fail while the least turn out to be sleeper hits and it's the executive who is held accountable.

What executive wants to put his job on the line for you?

So they snap up the good idea and wait for some impetus that spurs them into motion so they can say to the boss if it fails, here is why they moved forward with the project.

Without an external impetus to protect their asses your project just languishes while under contract.

The big companies don't wind up fighting for your project as you imagine but hindering you as they waste years of your time doing nothing.

It's the sad truth and I hope the best in your endeavors in the gaming world
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
  • Threads: 180
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December 24th, 2020 at 11:42:45 AM permalink
Thank you all for your kind words. Not just in response to this post, but thru the years. Hopefully, this isn’t the last you hear about either of my games.

Here’s the thing. I’m really not in it for the money. Oh, sure, I’d like to make a couple bucks off them, but I really just wanna see my babies live. And I told Galaxy that on more than one occasion.

And financially, it hasn’t been too bad. On Mike’s old consulting site, he showed what a game developer had paid, along with the comment “And the meter is still running.” My total expenses were about 1/3 of the amount on that page. Of course, I’m only including my actual costs, not expenses such as trips to Vegas and associated bankrolls. After all, I’d be a degen even if I didn’t create any games. Bottom line, I’ve gotten away rather cheap.

When you boil it down, Poker For Roulette is just another silly side bet. Hopefully one players and casinos would both like, but silly non-the-less. I get that. And like all silly side bets, it’s got a relatively high house edge. But from an operator’s point of view, doesn’t it make more sense to add a silly side bet, rather than suffer all the negative comments when installing triple zero?

Sigh, apparently not. Judging from the action that triple zero gets, it seems even that simple assumption is wrong.


Note: It occurs to me that there was one point I wanted to make that I totally forgot.

I think to be a successful game developer, you need to be an insider, or have an associate that is an insider, or something similar. Me? I live in Northern NJ, 70 miles from the closest casino. How can I make and maintain the kind of relationships needed to do something like this? That’s why I decided early on to team up with a gaming distributor company.

Dan was my insider. When he started working for Galaxy, and was instrumental in getting me in with them, I thought I was set. Unfortunately, Dan had a relatively short tenure at Galaxy, followed by his untimely death. Sigh...

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GameFreak -

Did you miss the part about Galaxy introducing a side bet called Roulette Up at G2E 2019? Or are you thinking that that’s not similar enough to PFR to be classified as ‘slimy’?

Was there a thread about Roulette Up? I don’t know. Basically, it’s a side bet where you’re hoping successive spins produce higher and higher results. That’s it. But it has some of the same dealer procedure issues that PFR has - primarily, protecting the bets until resolution.

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DRich -

I tend to be bad at remembering names, and even though our relationship ended, I don't want to throw anyone under the bus. I don’t know about Mark Lipparelli, but I DID have conversations with Bruce Benson.

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Zcore -

I didn’t wanna mention it earlier, nor do I really wanna go into it, but High Card Flush is part of the reason that getting my contract took so long. Read into that whatever you will, I won't give any additional details. Non-disclosure and all...

Also, I agree that Pick A Card is probably a better idea than Poker For Roulette.

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DarkOz -

Yeah, I know. Thanks.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
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December 24th, 2020 at 12:59:41 PM permalink
DJ—- I think your attitude is GREAT. You had a dream. You put in the time and effort to make that dream a reality. Whether it succeeds or not in the end, part of your dream is the PROCESS. And you got to live that out! You learned. You met people. You must have had nights you went to sleep thinking you were close. Nights when you thought WTF am I doing!?

I mean this seriously.... you deserve congratulations!
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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December 24th, 2020 at 1:50:13 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear


DRich -

I tend to be bad at remembering names, and even though our relationship ended, I don't want to throw anyone under the bus. I don’t know about Mark Lipparelli, but I DID have conversations with Bruce Benson.

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Mark was the CEO or Chairman when Nevada Gaming threw out Saucier. I believe he is the CEO at Westgate now. He was also a former Chairman of Nevada Gaming.
Living longer does not always infer +EV
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
  • Threads: 180
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December 24th, 2020 at 3:17:15 PM permalink
SooPoo -

Thanks. Too bad attitude and process, etc doesn't do anything for my bankroll. LOL.

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DRich -

Although I won't remember, thanks for the info.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁

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