Digital poker tables arriving at Oregon's Three Rivers Casino

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: December 13, 2021 14:58 PST

Digital poker tables in casinos might get a second long look, if a British Columbia firm has its way. Vancouver's Jackpot Digital, an electronic-games manufacturer, hopes a five-table deal with Florence, Oregon's Three Rivers Casino might be part of a new wave of digital-table installations wherever poker can be found.

The deal between Jackpot Digital and Three Rivers Casino calls for the installation of five Jackpot Blitz™ Electronic Table Games, subject, of course, to Oregon regulatory approval. Three Rivers is one of two casinos operated in coastal Oregon by the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, & Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI). The tribal nation also operates a casino venue in nearby Coos Bay, though the deal is only for the Three Rivers venue, where its live poker room has been dormant since the early phases of the pandemic.

Whether or not the ongoing pandemic remains the primary reason for the poker room's continued closure is another matter, however. Poker rooms large and small have been impacted by pandemic-induced shortages of trained poker deals and floor staff. In that light, installing digital poker tables makes even more sense if Three Rivers plans on returning poker to its floor in the near future.

Largest land-based casino order in Jackpot's history

Land-based digital poker tables had appeared to many to be an idea whose time had come and went. Many land-based casinos experimented with such tables a decade or more ago but found them largely unpopular with players. That unpopularity reigned despite the tables' economic advantages. No dealers were required, and players got in more hands per hour and felt less obligated to proffer dealer tokes, any of which just went to the floor instead. There was a small learning curve involved which also disinterested many live players.

Digital poker tables did find success in one niche, however: aboard cruise ships. Jackpot Digital describes itself as "a leading electronic table games manufacturer for the cruise ship industry and regulated casino industry," inferring its entrenchment in that space. With staffing and space issues caused by the pandemic that still show no sign of easy resolution, it's possible digital tables could see a resurgence.

There's also more gaming innovation behind Jackpot Blitz and other modern digital poker tables, a second generation of such tables, perhaps. One of the features action junkies are likely to enjoy is the table's ability to allow players to also take part in some of the casino's house-banked games -- blackjack, for example -- while simultaneously playing digital poker. That offers some relief to one of live digital poker's earlier drawbacks, in that it was a different game of reads and tells than many players hoped, due to the nature of the digital interactions. That frustration may be defused to some extent by the simultaneous gaming opportunity.

Experimental wave or permanent market solution?

Three Rivers Casino looks set to reopen with the Jackpot Blitz tables in place whenever they're approved. According to Rick Ray, the casino's director of gaming, " “Offering a large variety of gaming products, including Poker in a dedicated poker room, is what make Three Rivers Casino Resort a resort, not just a casino. The addition of Jackpot Blitz, with its creative design and user-friendly interface will allow us to take our poker product to the next level. I’ve introduced many of our current poker players to Jackpot Blitz and they are very excited that we’re bringing it to our floor.”

Jackpot's president and CEO Mr. Jake Kalpakian, focused on the market-expansion aspects of the deal. Kalpakian said, “While this is the largest one-time order from a land-based casino we have received to date, we believe this type of order is indicative of even bigger things to come based on our sales pipeline and negotiations with other casinos and card rooms throughout the USA and elsewhere. Oregon represents yet another new territory as we continue our expansion into land-based casinos.”

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