GameCo, creator of the world’s first skill-based video game gambling machines (VGM), has received approval from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) in New Jersey to debut its product exclusively at Caesars Entertainment resorts in Atlantic City.
As previously announced, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Bally’s Wild Wild West, will be the first to feature the VGM, which could be on casino floors as early as next week.
“We are thrilled to be the market leader in a global industry effort to attract the next generation of players to the casino floor,” said Blaine Graboyes, CEO and co-founder of GameCo. “With this approval from the DGE, the VGM is officially the first skill-based video game gambling product approved by any U.S. gaming jurisdiction regulator,” he added.
GameCo’s historic debut of the VGM provides gamers with the opportunity to gamble playing video games at the casino for the first time ever. The VGM’s premier game, titled “Danger Arena” is a first-person action video game in which player skill determines the payout. Caesars Entertainment will feature 21 gaming positions in high traffic, prominent locations in all three properties, with three triple-unit carousels at Caesars, two at Harrah’s Resort, and two at Bally’s Wild Wild West. The VGM’s launch will be celebrated with both consumer and media events planned for November.
“The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement was excited to have the opportunity to review and approve this game through our New Jersey First program,” said David Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. “We have been at the forefront of encouraging innovation and are pleased that the efforts of GameCo and Division staff have culminated in this skill-based video game becoming available in Atlantic City before any other jurisdiction in the United States.”
GameCo committed to New Jersey as the first market to launch its VGM, and plans to be in a number of additional gaming jurisdictions within the next six months.
As it prepares to roll out its first product, GameCo is expanding its management team and opening a second office in Las Vegas.
New hires include Rich Maryyanek, Head of Global Business Development; Tommy Florio, Vice President of Sales; Eli Weissman, Head of Production; Patricia Morelli, Vice President of Regulatory and Product Compliance, andJoe Galante, Vice President of Operations and Field Services. Maryyanek, Florio, and Weissman are based in the company’s New York City headquarters while Morelli and Galante run the Las Vegas office.
Blaine Graboyes, CEO of GameCo, said: “We’re thrilled to be adding such wonderful talent and experience to the team at GameCo. Our vision is to create a VIP destination for gamers at casinos and this requires bringing together the best people from the worlds of casinos, video games, and events. No other company is able to offer the combination of experience and resources, especially as esports continues to become critical to the casino industry.”
Head of Global Business Development at GameCo, Mr. Maryyanek handles the licensing of I.P. and games, working with property holders, game developers and publishers, as well as the distribution of GameCo’s proprietary Video Game Gambling Machines (VGM) throughout the world. Maryyanek has worked with leading marketing, branded consumer products, retail, and entertainment companies for more than 25 years, managing marketing, research, sales, licensing, information technology, and digital/social media.
Florio, Vice President of Sales, is a seasoned gaming industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience in both casino operations and gaming manufacturing. Florio has held executive level positions with Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Group, Penn – Argosy Group, and tribal gaming venues in both the U.S. and Canada. From the manufacturer side of the gaming industry, Florio has held senior sales and development positions with Shuffle Master, TCS-John Huxley, Aristocrat, ISD, Amaya-Cadillac Jack, and AGS.
Weissman, Head of Production, is an experienced manager, game designer, and executive producer who has completed several successful launches for various products, including some of the largest video games releases in history, such as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Weissman was the founder of Highline Games, a successful boutique game development studio and was department head at both Rockstar Games and New York Times Television. He was also the managing director at multiple successful post-production facilities, including Great City Productions.
Vice President of Regulatory and Product Compliance, Morelli oversees GameCo’s game product and licensing compliance activities and works directly with all worldwide gaming regulatory agencies, including state testing facilities and independent test laboratories. Morelli will also take a lead role in external customer relations for GameCo. Previously, Morelli spent 20 years in compliance positions at CG Technology, Bally Technologies, Inc., Shuffle Master, and Anchor Games, holding key management positions including product compliance, regulatory compliance, and project management.
Galante, Vice President of Operations and Field Services,has more than 26 years of gaming operations experience with both gaming manufacturers and casino operators. At GameCo, Galante oversees the production, installation, and maintenance of all products and is responsible for the strategy, planning, and execution of manufacturing, procurement, and service operations. Throughout his career, Galante has held management level positions with the largest gaming manufacturers in the world such as IGT, Bally Gaming, and Aristocrat. He has successfully led departments such as slot manufacturing, installation and service, parts, and finished goods warehouse and many more.