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November 20, 2018

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Konami’s old-school horse racing game rides new technology in test run

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Konami Gaming

This image from the Fortune Cup horse racing game appears on a 65-inch LCD display that is surrounded by 10 betting stations.

Sigma Derby, the retro electro-mechanical horse racing game made by defunct slot maker Sigma Game Inc., could soon have competition. The Nevada Gaming Control Board today will be asked to approve Konami Gaming’s Fortune Cup, its version of the horse racing game.

Fortune Cup is the modern version of the cult classic slot horse racing game found only at the D Las Vegas and at MGM Grand. Sigma Derby shipped the game, where gamblers wager on mechanical horses that race around a table top track, for years before it stopped operations in 2004.

Konami officials say its Fortune Cup will incorporate the latest slot and arcade technology.

The basic action is still a series of tiny horse figurines “racing” around a track roughly the size of a foosball table. However, Konami describes Fortune Cup as a multistation mechanical horse racing game with real-time digital video animation.

Each of the 10 betting stations around the track has an HD touchscreen where players can manage bets and get statistics on the race. There’s also a central 65-inch LCD display so people not standing immediately next to the game can watch the action.

Also, unlike the old game where the horses could only move in slots cut into the surface of the game, Fortune Cup horses can pass one another and switch directions. The game also has a randomly triggered progressive jackpot that can award players a maxi, major or mini jackpot.

Fortune Cup is currently in field trials at MGM Grand and the Venetian. If the board approves the game, it will then go before the Nevada Gaming Commission later this month. If the commission approves it, Fortune Cup will be in Red Rock Resort and the Orleans on Jan. 29 and 31 respectively and in the Cosmopolitan and the Bellagio the following week.

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The basic action of the Fortune Cup game is a series of tiny horse figurines “racing” around a track roughly the size of a foosball table.