Animal-themed slots are some of the most popular in the iGaming industry, and now animal lovers have a brand new slot game to enjoy in 7 Monkeys. Topgame is the developer responsible for creating 7 Monkeys, which will be available from July 2015 at casinos like 21 Dukes Casino and Rich Casino. Each is a worthy destination for sampling the monkey-based fun of 7 Monkeys.
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7 Monkeys

Take an adventure into this jungle for a vibrant slot-based journey. Topgame has designed 7 Monkeys with a five-reel structure complemented by seven paylines. Minimum bets can be made from $0.01 per payline, while players who want to go bigger can wager $5 per payline.

In building out the slot further, Topgame has integrated wild symbols and scatter symbols. Fittingly, the wild symbol is a baboon that can appear from nowhere to substitute for missing symbols on paylines. Bananas are then used for the scatter symbols, which will unleash free spins and multipliers when three or more appear. Topgame has made it possible to unlock up to 150 free spins complemented by a 3x multiplier.

Quest for the Minotaur

Topgame has been responsible for many other video slots in addition to 7 Monkeys. One of other most recent releases was Quest for the Minotaur, a slot that transports players to the Greek underworld for an unforgettable adventure that is accessible on desktop and mobile.

With 5 reels and 20 paylines, Quest for the Minotaur brings the mythological creature to life as players actually get to venture inside his eerie lair, where they can find this man-bull and fight him for bonus prizes.

Prolific Year for Topgame

Going back a little further, there are other great Topgame slots. Graveyard Shift is a game with a creepy edge for scary movie enthusiasts, Sugar Rush is a visual feast of treats for those with a sweet tooth, and Reel Gangsters needs to be experienced by gangster movie lovers.

Payback can be a number of things, and in the casino business it’s left to chance.

The web site ranked the 12 casinos across the state by slot machine payback percentages for June and the Mohegan Sun Pocono fell below the state average.
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Mohegan posted an 89.96 percent payback rate compared to the state average of 90.03 percent. It ranked sixth overall, three places behind Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County with a 90.23 percent payback.

Parx Casino in Bensalem topped the list with a 90.74 percent payback and Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie came in last with at 89.18 percent.

Mike Bean, president of Mohegan Sun Pocono, didn’t argue with the casino’s percentage

“I think it’s accurate,” Bean said.

But, the comparison wasn’t apples to apples in his opinion.

The casinos differ in size, location, clientele and more importantly, the slot machines. The Plains Township venue has 2,332 machines on the gaming floor of various makes, models and denominations. It’s an ever changing mix, based on what the customers demand and that’s based on what they get back. The casino monitors the machines and replaces those that don’t put out.

“As we do that paybacks are a result of the mix” rather than a target to hit, Bean said Thursday.

The web site contained the caveat that one month’s numbers shouldn’t be used to predict future paybacks to patrons.

It included rankings based on data from the July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 that showed Mohegan matched the state average of 89.94 percent.

Mount Airy

Mount Airy still ranked third, but its percentage fell to 90.12 percent. Parx held firm in first with 90.73 percent and Presque Isle didn’t budge from the bottom at 89.19 percent.

The high and low paybacks differed by less than 1 percentage point across the state, but when millions of dollars are wagered each month, it adds up.

For example, at Mohegan for every $100 put into a slot machine, $89.96 was paid back in June and the house kept $10.04. At Mount Airy, the payback was $90.23 and the house kept $9.77 of every $100 wagered.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported $17.6 million were wagered on slots at Mohegan last month, the fifth largest amount among the 12 casinos. By comparison, $11.5 million were wagered on slots at Mount Airy that ranked ninth.

The slots’ payback, while lower than other casinos, might not be the deciding factor to go the Mohegan Sun Pocono, Bean said.

“We’re a resort destination,” he said, listing the bars and restaurants, hotel and entertainment offered. “It’s a complete experience. Gaming is a large part of the guest experience.”

Getting details

When he created, Mark Tevis knew people wanted to know the details.

Pennsylvania did not allocate a portion of casino revenues to support marketing, leaving it to the casinos to do it. With 12 operating casinos and two more licensed, there was no central location to provide information about each one. “That was kind of an unmet need,” Tevis said Friday.

Tevis, of Erie, transitioned from accounting to web site designer and internet marketer to concentrate on the developing the site that launched this year. It’s one-stop shop that provides objective data and indisputable number sourced from the PA Gaming Control Board.

The reception has been favorable from the public and the casinos, he said.

Parx Casino was appreciative of the payback rankings, he said.

“It kind of makes everyone step up their game,” Tevis said. “If those rankings come out and you’re lower, you could lose your clientele.”

The public and casinos have taken notice and so have lawmakers. He counted them among the subscribers to his monthly newsletter.

Police are seeking this suspect in the theft.[/caption]A Queens thief snatched $2,000 out of a gambler’s hand while the victim was playing a slot machine at the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack, cops said Tuesday.
The crook approached the victim on the casino floor, grabbed the cash and dashed out a side exit at 11:30 p.m. last Thursday.
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He was last seen on surveillance video running down the stairs on his way out of the gaming facility.
Police said the thief is in his early 20s with a thin build.
He was still at large Tuesday night, police investigators said.

Those of us who try our luck on the slots at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun hope the next pull of the lever will be life changing. But what are the odds you’ll really walk away with cash?
Connecticut’s two tribal casinos rank in the middle of the pack in terms of slot payouts when compared with other states around the country.
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According to the Connecticut Gaming Commission, Foxwoods' slot payout average is 91.85 percent. Mohegan Sun pays back at a rate of 91.71 percent. That means Connecticut has the eighth-highest payout rate of the 20 states requiring casinos to report.
The best payout percentage by state is in neighboring New York. The Empire State, with its nine reporting casinos, pays back 93.75 percent. Resorts World in Queens, New York, pays the highest returns, at 95.05 percent.
The second state by average is Nevada, at 93.54 percent. West Virginia is at the bottom of the list, with an average of 89.12 percent payback.
NEW YORK – 93.75 percent
NEVADA – 93.54 percent
COLORADO – 92.85 percent
MISSISSIPPI – 92.77 percent
FLORIDA – 92.46 percent
DELAWARE – 92.36 percent
**KENTUCKY– 92.06 percent
*CONNECTICUT – 91.77 percent
NEW JERSEY – 91.41 percent
SOUTH DAKOTA – 91.36 percent
ILLINOIS – 91.00 percent
RHODE ISLAND – 90.88 percent
LOUISIANA – 90.74 percent
INDIANA – 90.71 percent
IOWA – 90.69 percent
MAINE – 90.68 percent
MISSOURI – 90.64 percent
OHIO – 90.34 percent
PENNSYLVANIA – 90.16 percent
WEST VIRGINIA – 89.72 percent
Percentages for include slots, blackjack, keno and video poker unless otherwise noted.
*Only slot machines
**Historical Horse Wagering
It’s not an exact science. Most states include video poker, Keno and video blackjack in their percentages, which tend to give better odds. Connecticut is the only state to include only slots. States like Nevada and Louisiana report area averages, not individual casinos. Other states, like New York and Florida, exempt tribes from reporting.
The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters sorted through slot revenue reports submitted to gaming, lottery and racing commissions for all reporting states. The Troubleshooters found that the areas with more competition tend to pay out higher averages.
Also, the lower the denomination, the lower the payback. Penny slots at both Connecticut casinos pay lower than 90 percent and receive almost half the total money wagered. The highest payouts at Foxwoods are the multi-denomination machines. They pay out 95.77 percent. Mohegan Sun’s $10 machines return 96.96 percent.
Foxwoods: July 2014 - May 2015
$0.01: 89.34 percent
$0.02: 90.83 percent
$0.05: 90.40 percent
$0.25: 92.06 percent
$0.50: 91.47 percent
$1.00: 93.50 percent
$2.00: 93.34 percent
$5.00: 93.96 percent
$10.00: 94.70 percent
$25.00: 94.25 percent
$100.00: 95.56 percent
Multi-Denomination: 95.77 percent
Total: 91.85 percent
Mohegan Sun: July 2014 - May 2015
$0.0025: 85.84 percent
$0.005: 85.45 percent
$0.01: 88.93 percent
$0.02: 89.21 percent
$0.05: 88.39 percent
$0.25: 91.64 percent
$0.50: 91.94 percent
$1.00: 93.04 percent
$2.00: 96.62 percent
$5.00: 93.82 percent
$10.00: 96.96 percent
$25.00: 95.38 percent
$100.00: 93.85 percent
Multi-Denomination: 95.19 percent
Total: 91.71 percent
Mohegan Sun president Bobby Soper argues his casino is as competitive as any around the country. He points out the economy and amount of free play credits they give to entice bettors plays a big part in keeping them from being even higher on the list.
"There are certainly a higher percentage of penny machines and nickel machines than previous," said Soper. "That across the board, across the industry is going to drive hold percentage."
This investigation comes at a time when Connecticut is exploring the option of allowing Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to jointly operate a third state casino, off tribal land, north of Hartford.
Locations being considered include the Enfield Square Mall, the Bradley Off-Track Betting property in Windsor Locks and the former Showcase Cinemas property in East Windsor.
The legislature approved the right for tribes to consider proposals from towns willing to host a satellite casino. Soper expects its cost could save thousands of jobs in the state and cost close to $300 million. It will include slots, table games and a poker room.
Soper hopes to see it as close to the Connecticut border as possible. Just 5 miles from the border, MGM is building a $1 billion resort casino in Springfield. A spokesman for MGM estimates its slot payouts will be in the mid-90 percent.
State Sen. John Kissel believes casino expansion is bad policy. He argues a casino in his area of North Central Connecticut will not stop people, especially high-end gamblers, from traveling to Springfield.
"They’re aware of payouts and they’re going to travel," said Kissel, a Republican from Enfield. "If Massachusetts is better than Connecticut, all the high-end gamblers are going to Massachusetts and the people that are struggling to just make ends meet are going to end up in North Central Connecticut."
In Connecticut, the tribes are required to pay 25 percent of all slot revenue to the state. They don’t need to pay anything on table games. The state has received nearly $7 billion total since Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods opened in the 1990s.

Regulated online poker in the United States has brought with it the return of long-absent iPoker platforms Party Poker and 888, as well as the launch of a couple new platforms, Ultimate Poker and Real Gaming.
Unfortunately, a fresh start hasn’t brought about fresh software.
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When it comes to 888 and Party, absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder. Both platforms have received their fair share of criticism from the poker community – some deserved and some not so deserved, as players rightfully compare their current options to their memories of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Party and 888 may have taken quite a few shots, but they are still standing and soldiering on.
On the other hand, the new platforms, Ultimate Poker and Real Gaming, have fared far worse.
Ultimate Poker took one right on the chin and was unable to get off the canvas, shutting down its online poker sites in New Jersey and Nevada in 2014. From the beginning, the site struggled to gain any type of market share and lost millions before finally closing its doors.
Real Gaming has peak cash game traffic of 12 players according to Most online poker players are likely unaware the site even exists, and that might be a good thing considering the lackluster graphics and features.
Looking to the future
Fortunately, there are other operators sitting on the sidelines. Unfortunately, these companies haven’t entered the market to date as they wait for one or more of the following to occur:
A more robust market.
A partner.
A license.
Here is a look at the platforms waiting in the wings, and what the poker community can expect from these operators in the coming years.
PokerStars and Full Tilt
Arguably the two best online poker platforms around, both PokerStars and Full Tilt would like to be operational in the U.S., but have so far been left sitting on the sidelines as they wait for regulatory approval in New Jersey, and continue to fight for their right to apply for licenses in other locales.
When it comes to PokerStars in New Jersey it appears to be a matter of when, not if they will receive a license (approval could come any day now), but what their plans are for Full Tilt Poker is still anyone’s guess.
Amaya, the parent company of both platforms hasn’t commented on Full Tilt Poker’s U.S. future, likely because of the bad taste the previous incarnation of Full Tilt Poker left in the U.S. online poker community’s mouth.
HDPoker is cross-platform poker software originally designed as Siena Casino’s real-money online poker platform in Nevada, but later amended to accommodate social and mobile operating systems.
With the Nevada market the size it is, and with’s virtual monopoly in the state, it appears Siena is content to develop HDPoker as a social poker platform for the time being.
HDPoker is available on Facebook, and even this beta “flash” version seems pretty impressive.
While not as fast as the upper echelon of software in the real-money online poker sector – such as PokerStars – HDPoker still possesses a responsiveness similar to a high quality video game.
However, HDPoker is far more aesthetically pleasing than PokerStars and other platforms, with tremendous, highly-customizable graphics also fit for a high-end video game.
A fully downloadable version of HDPoker would likely increase both the GUI as well as the speed of the software.
Pala Poker
Pala Poker’s software is a bit of a mystery. Some sardonically expect the site to have a similar look to the now defunct UB (Ultimate Bet) software considering the man at the helm of Pala Interactive, Jim Ryan, was a former CEO of Ultimate Bet’s parent company, Exscapa.
Ryan also held the title of co-CEO at Party Poker and before moving on to head Pala Interactive.
Truth be told, we have no idea what Pala’s online poker room will look like, but it will likely have a similar style to its already-launched online casino. We should know in the not so distant future, as a Pala spokesman indicated they still plan on unveiling their online poker room in New Jersey in Q4 of 2015.
Gamesys has been extremely successful in the online casino market in Europe and in New Jersey, where they power the Tropicana and Virgin online casinos.
Even though the company has never operated an online poker platform, there were some early intimations that Gamesys would be developing an online poker site for New Jersey. Market size seems to have put these plans on hold.
The chances of Gamesys launching an online poker platform in the U.S. will heavily depend on the following three future developments occurring:
Other states legalizing online poker.
Those states partnering with New Jersey.
Gamesys securing partners in those markets.
Churchill Downs Interactive
This is yet another company with big designs on the U.S. online gaming market, considering CDI has been developing an online poker product for several years, and has sunk quite a bit of money into it – at least $10 million as of July 2014.
CDI now appears ready to launch its online poker software, as it has partnered with Oceans 11 and Crystal Casino in California. Unfortunately, at the rate that state is going, it’s more likely we’ll see CDI’s product in another state first, perhaps in Pennsylvania, or in New Jersey by piggybacking off one of the current licensees.
Expectations are pretty high for CDI’s online poker platform.
Churchill has a good deal of online gaming experience as it runs the extremely successful online horse racing site. Later in 2014, the company acquired the social casino company Big Fish Games.
NYX is partnered with two New Jersey casinos, Resorts and Golden Nugget. And while this is speculation, the company could be considering developing/unveiling an online poker platform.
NYX has purchased OnGame from Amaya, which could allow them to quickly fine-tune an online poker product for Golden Nugget.
The problem is, OnGame online poker software is considered second- or even third-tier at best. It will have to be overhauled by NYX to be a viable online poker site in 2015.
Golden Nugget’s Thomas Winter said the company is still considering online poker, but it’s not in its immediate plans.
AcePlay or ACEP is the online poker product developed for the Stratosphere Casino in Las Vegas. Similar to other platforms, market constraints seem to have stalled ACEP’s real-money launch, but the product is available as a play money site.
ACEP is the OnGame Network’s latest incarnation, as it was sold to Amaya following the merger between bwin (OnGame’s previous owner) and Party Gaming, and later to NYX.

LAS VEGAS, July 13, 2015 /CNW/ – NYX Gaming Group is proud to announce the launch of its Open Gaming System (OGS™) with Full Tilt, enabling Full Tilt to launch hundreds of casino games in both mobile and desktop formats immediately. The partnership covers the licensing of a significant number of NextGen Gaming slots (NYX’s proprietary games studio) and a wealth of third party content delivered via the single NYX OGS™ integration.
NYX Gaming Group Commercial Director David Johnson said, “We are delighted to announce our go-live with Full Tilt, who complement a wide roster of premium, regulated operators licensing content via NYX OGS™. NYX Gaming Group boast the widest distribution network of real money wagering slots games in the online marketplace.”

Dominic Mansour, Managing Director of Full Tilt said, “The agreement with NYX Gaming Group supports our strategy of enabling our customers to enjoy the best in multi-vendor content. I look forward to future releases of proprietary NextGen content and the wide array of third party providers also available via NYX OGS™.”

The launch of OGS™ to Full Tilt is the result of the excellent working relationship between both parties and further evidence of the concrete demand for NYX Gaming Group supplied content to leading, regulated B2C providers worldwide.

NYX Gaming Group are also celebrating the recent award of Innovation In Slot Provision at 2015’s EGR B2B Awards, which recognized the group’s breadth of distribution opportunities, speed of integration and premium content delivery.

NYX Gaming Group is headquartered in Las Vegas with development out of Stockholm and Sydney. The group provides flexible gaming solutions to some of the largest lotteries, casinos, poker rooms and I-gaming operators across the globe.

NYX Poker Network, is a leading internet poker network deliver poker solutions for online poker operators world-wide.

Game development arm NextGen Gaming is the industry’s leading platform agnostic provider of engaging, repeat play Slots, providing entertainment for players and profits for Operators.

The technology division, NYX Interactive, specialize in developing gaming system solutions for World Lottery Association members, media companies and both private and publicly listed Gaming companies worldwide. Through its Open Platform System (OPS™), operators can take advantage of best of breed products and services, including their own, all managed via a single interface. Through its fully hosted Open Gaming System (OGS™), licensees can leverage the best in multi-vendor Casino content from around the world.

The Las Vegas office provides social Poker & Casino solutions out of the group headquarters.

NYX Gaming Group is a proud recipient of the Special Achievement Award from EGR Magazine, which recognized the group’s consistent growth and innovation in multiple e-gaming verticals.

Full Tilt is a leading gaming brand known for delivering some of the most innovative online poker games in the world. It is home to the revolutionary poker format of ‘Rush Poker’, which offer its players fast-paced, quick-fold gameplay on both desktop and mobile.

There are four Full Tilt licensed sites –, which serves players in various countries around the world under license from the Isle of Man;, which serves players in European markets under license from Malta; and and which serves players in the United Kingdom and Denmarkrespectively. In 2014, Full Tilt began expanding its game portfolio by adding a variety of slot offerings and a range of single- and multi-player variations of Blackjack and Roulette.

Full Tilt was re-launched in November 2012 under new ownership of Rational Group, which also operates PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Rational Group companies in the UK and Isle of Man won recognition as one of the best workplaces in the UK, being awarded a top 25 position by the Great Place to Work Institute’s Best Workplaces – Large category rankings. Rational Group entities in Costa Rica and Dublin also achieved the same accolade in their respective local rankings in 2014. Full Tilt is owned by Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA).