Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 | 12:34 p.m.
Pac-Man could be munching through gamblers’ cash next year, after interactive slot manufacturer Gamblit Gaming announced today it signed an agreement with Pac-Man’s creator, Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., to design a casino version of the arcade classic.
In a news release, Gamblit said it plans to unveil the game, called Pac-Man Battle Casino, next week at the Global Gaming Expo, one of the gaming industry’s biggest conventions, at the Sands Expo.
The gambling version of the game will be based on Pac-Man Battle Royale, one of the more recent Pac-Man incarnations. Two to four people will be able to play each other for a cash prize in a contest that keeps the game’s familiar maze and much of its original look and feel.
Pac-Man first hit U.S. arcades in 1980. According to Bandai Namco, more than 100,000 units sold that year, and Pac-Man quickly became a cultural phenomenon, spawning multiple spinoffs, as well as television cartoons and hit songs.
If resorts in Nevada decide to put Pac-Man Battle Casino on their gaming floors, it would be the first time people could legally gamble on Pac-Man, but it wouldn’t be the first classic video game people can wager on.
Konami Gaming now offers three slot machines based on Frogger, the arcade game where players must help a small frog navigate a busy road and cross a river without being squashed or drowning. A skill-based version of the game — Frogger: Get Hoppin’ — was tested at the MGM Grand Level Up gaming lounge in February and is in a few other locations, although it hasn’t officially been released.
Some even older video and arcade classic titles appeared as a bonus play on slots in the early to mid-2000s. Bally Technologies, later purchased by Scientific Games, offered Pong and Breakout as a bonus feature on slots in 2006 and 2007.