Both games are provided by Konami Gaming, which also acts as the studio behind the popular slot China Shores in New Jersey, and whose titles are prominently featured on SugarHouse’s play-money casino sugarhouse4fun.com.
With the launch, the relative newcomer to the industry further differentiates itself from the crowded NJ online casino pack, as exclusivity has become something of a rare novelty in the marketplace.
An “exclusive” behind the scenes look
Gypsy Fire and Fortune Stacks feature staples of Konami gameplay that are bound to resonate with slot aficionados.
Both games are penny slots with five reels and minimum bets of $0.30 to cover all lines.
The most noteworthy feature is Free Games, which is triggered by spinning at least three special symbols.
As is often the case, more symbols equates to more free spins. In Fortune Stacks, up to 30 spins can be won by triggering five special symbols, while the initial free spin cap for Gypsy Fire is 20 spins.
That being said, it’s fairly routine for players to trigger even more free spins during the bonus feature. Reason being is that it only takes two special symbols to re-trigger the bonus.
What often results is cascades of added free spins, and subsequently, dozens of opportunities to score a substantial payout.
During this special feature all wild symbols multiply pays by between 2-5x.
Worth noting is that in Gypsy Fire, the free game wild symbols only appear in reels 2, 3, and 4. But in Fortune Stacks they can pop up in reels 2-5.
What results are two fairly volatile slots that lock up a lot of their returns in the bonus feature. The listed return-to-player for both games is approximately 96 percent, which is competitive for the industry.
How will they perform?
It wouldn’t surprise if the new Konami slots help bolster Play Sugarhouse’s revenue by a material amount:
- They currently cannot be played anywhere else in New Jersey, or at least not online. Given the amount of overlap from game library to game library in the NJ online casino market, that’s a fairly significant draw.
- Both games are already featured in SugarHouse’s play-money casino. Familiarity may prove to a strong driver or traffic.
- Along the same lines, these titles are ports of games that have already become popularized in land-based casinos.
It goes without saying that those already familiar and a fan of the land-based and/or social gambling equivalents will be more inclined to gravitate to the real-money games at SugarHouse.
Regarding this, president of Rush Street Interactive (developer and operator of Play SugarHouse) Richard Schwartz had this to say:
“These Konami games are found at hundreds of casino locations worldwide, and we’re the first to bring them to New Jersey’s online real-money space. Everything from the graphic animation to game play is the same as the land-based slot machines, and it’s right in the palm of your hand.”
Sure enough, the “palm of your hand” claim is no exaggeration, as the titles have already debuted on Play SugarHouse’s dedicated Android and iOS NJ mobile casino applications.
Measuring the SugarHouse impact
Although the NJ DGE doesn’t report individual NJ online casino revenue (only by license), we can say with some clarity that since entering the market in September, Play SugarHouse has contributed significantly to market growth.
Over the course of the past four months, Golden Nugget AC (which is comprised of Golden Nugget Casino, Betfair Casino, and now Play SugarHouse) averaged $4.085 million per month — far and away the highest tally among NJ online gambling operators.
In the eight months prior, before Play SugarHouse launched, it averaged just $3.239 million.
Of course, there have been other changes at Golden Nugget Casino that have probably influenced revenue. Most notably:
- the debut of Live Dealer games
- a flock of new online slot titles
- big holiday offers
But that likely doesn’t account for the bulk of the operator’s 26 percent revenue surge since September.
To reinforce the impact Play SugarHouse has had, consider that in 2015, GoldenNugget AC revenue experienced a slight decline from September through December versus January through August.
Granted, the nascent site is still probably the low man on the Golden Nugget’s totem pole.
But given its unique approach to NJ deposit bonuses (1x play through requirement), bingo rollout, and now, exclusively for select slots, that may not be the case come this time next year.
Image credit: Tupungato / Shutterstock, Inc.