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Better Games, Bigger Wins at Scientific Games

 Interview with Roger Snow, Senior Vice President, Scientific Games. By Victor H. Royer

Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media recently had the opportunity to interview Roger Snow, senior vice president at Scientific Games. Roger is responsible for business development and product innovation, and is the creator of some of the most successful proprietary table games and side bets in the industry.

Roger joined Scientific in 2014 with the acquisition of Bally Technologies as senior vice president of table products, bringing in-depth understanding and extensive experience in card shufflers and table games. In 2016, Roger was profiled in Bloomberg Business Week as part of its annual “Interview Edition.”

Roger, first I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Please tell our readers about yourself and your role at Scientific Games.

If you’re among the small contingent of people in the industry that actually know who I am, you’re probably familiar with my work in card shufflers and table games. But my role today at Sci Games is kind of like a Swiss Army knife: taking care of any job that comes up. Could be an acquisition of another company, or coming up with a game idea, or helping a fledgling business or product get off the ground. Could be making marketing videos for customers. Or it could be talking to you, Vic!

Now that the G2E gaming convention is again “live” in Las Vegas, which are the video games and related technologies which Scientific Games is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them?

Yes, it’s good to see everyone face-to-face again. If there was any benefit to the slowdown and shutdown for much of 2020 it’s that our development teams were able to hyper focus on creating some great products for the industry. And our lineup, across the board, was better than ever.

In slots, we showed three new cabinets. MuralTM is our super-tall, double-curved screen for our participation games like WILLY WONKATM – Dreamer of DreamersTM. We also had KascadaTM, a single-curved screen that’s used both for participation and for-sale games. We’ve had it out for a while and it’s off to the fastest start in terms of installs than any cabinet in our history. Doesn’t hurt, of course, that we have great games like Coin ComboTM and MONOPOLY Money GrabTM.

On the systems side, there’s our Unified Wallet for cashless wagering that’s gaining momentum in the marketplace. We also showed this great little product called Player Boutique®, which is really disrupting the gifting business for casinos. Instead of making players queue up for their hair dryer or whatever, players can choose the gift they want and have it shipped to their house from a little company called Amazon. Ever heard of them?

We lead the industry, of course, in card shufflers, and we have a new model this year. It’s a multi-deck shuffler called “MDXTM.” It’s the first machine to ever accommodate 10 decks of cards, and has applications primarily for baccarat and blackjack.

In tables, we had several new games, including Three Card SabotageTM and 235 Poker, plus our new system with two progressive jackpots. And in e-tables, we have our new QuartzTM cabinet for fully-electronic and dealer-assisted games.

For these titles, which of them have new, or re-imagined cabinets?

Yes – Coin Combo, MONOPOLY Money GrabTM and WILLY WONKATM – Dreamer of DreamersTM all have new cabinets.

What is new and innovative about these cabinets, or their hardware components?

We went all the way! Everything is new and innovative. Bigger screens. Curved. 4K resolution. Immersive sound. Bigger, brighter and more immersive sign packages for slot machines. It’s awesome and wherever you are in the casino, you can’t miss it!

Which of Scientific’s featured games from G2E 2021 are lease, sales or participation? What percentage of each is the future for Scientific? Is the future in sales, lease or participation products?

Scientific was proud to show a breadth of portfolio options and configurations on the EGM side for our customers across both games sales and lease. We believe the future will be flexibility and we will continue to provide a wide variety of cabinets and content across both the sale portfolio and premium portfolio.

On the sale side we have a robust roadmap across our new Kascada™ Portrait cabinet with five titles currently featured on Eilers top 25 that support this cabinet configuration, plus we debuted two new cabinets at the show that will support sale in 2022 (the Kascada™ Dual Screen and the LandmarkTM 7000 mechanical stepper focusing on the high-denom segment).

On the lease side, we have new options across our TwinStar® Wave XL, Kascada™ Portrait and our Mural footprint. Some of our key products on display at the show were Coin Combo on the Kascada™ portrait, which has been a strong Eilers performer, and new games like Super Reel Em In on the Mural which is a brand-new extension of a player favorite.

From a partiicpation perspective we also support multiple cabinets with new titles like MONOPOLY Lunar New Year on the wide-area-progressive side supporting Kascada™ Portrait and Ultimate Fire Link Explosion on the Mural footprint.

We are excited to provide both internal brands/franchises and licenses across the lease and participation side plus a breadth of portfolio on the for-sale side.

How does Scientific consider the future of cashless gaming? Is this something that you are actively pursuing?

Absolutely. Scientific is all-in on cashless. We have our Unified Wallet in a dozen casinos, with many more coming on board. In addition, we just announced the acquisition of a debit card reader for table games that’s deployed in 25 casinos.

Which are the stepper (reel) games and related technologies which Scientific is presenting, and what is new and innovative about them?

Our new Landmark 7000 cabinet has the look and feel of a classic stepper, but it’s got all the modern features as well. It’s like one of those retro-mod cars that looks old but inside the guts are all state-of-the-art.

In the gaming industry, manufacturers sometimes refer to a segment of their products as “premium.” Which are those that Scientific is showcasing?

Scientific showcased a variety of content and hardware across the premium portfolio – we were excited to showcase a robust roadmap of content on our new Mural cabinet (which is exclusive to premium), this included the recently released and top performing WILLY WONKATM – Dreamer of DreamersTM – plus a roadmap including great internal brands like Super Reel Em In and new licensed content MONOPOLY Hot Shot Waterworks.

Likewise we offer our Kascada™ Portrait cabinet in both premium and for-sale, but on the premium side we had some very exciting new content and merchandising. A couple of our key premium Kascada™ Portrait products at the show were continued support for the hit Coin Combo franchise, a new extension of our brand Ultimate Fire Link with Golden Fire Link (featuring a new POD signage package for Kascada™) and a newly licensed wide-area-progressive called MONOPOLY Lunar New Year which is coming out just in time for the auspicious Lunar New Year.

Does – or will – Scientific provide gaming content to online casinos?

Scientific is one of the most successful providers of online content, both in real-money gaming as well as social. I’d line our game developers across the line of scrimmage from any of our competitors, fully confident that we knock them on their butts. Our company is dedicated to become the number-one source of games, regardless of platform, in the world. Full stop.

How would you sum-up the post-pandemic future for Scientific in Las Vegas? And elsewhere in the world?

Las Vegas definitely has its mojo back...and so does Scientific. We’re coming out of G2E with all the momentum you could ask for. The booth was wall-to-wall with terrific products. Games, systems, tables, shufflers, online, e-tables, progressives. I could go on and on...and oops, I nearly did.

Finally, in your career with Scientific, what would you consider to be the highlights?

I was going to say all the great products launched or all the great friendships formed, or maybe being part of the Shuffle Master team that executed the sale to Bally Technologies. But now, without a doubt, I’d have to say the highest highlight is talking to you, Vegas Vic!


Well, thank you, Roger – I appreciate the kind words! So in closing, and on behalf of Casino Life Magazine and Outsource Digital Media, I would like to thank you again, Roger, for your time, and for sharing this with us and our many readers worldwide.