New Fortune Cup Game Brings the Horse Racing Experience to Casinos

Posted by freemexy on August 5th, 2019

Late one night at the Borgata in Atlantic City, my poker game broke up before I was even for the night. I was in no mood to go home still a loser, so I signed up to get in another game that was going that looked loose and wild with lots of big pots. Despite the late hour, the list for the game was as long as my arm. I gave the floorperson my initials and then went off in search of some other gambling game to whet my appetite while I casino software

It was too late to bet on racing. The race and sports book was deserted. So I wandered the casino floor. The blackjack tables were all full. The craps games that were going were already crowded. The Wheel of Fortune dollar machines were all occupied. It was, as they say, hopping that night. I was prepared to shuffle back to the poker room and sit in a chair looking at my phone for the next hour or however long it took me to get into the wild game with the big pots. Then, I bumped into Fortune Cup.

It was a jarring sight. A giant contraption on the casino floor, with a huge LCD screen on one end, encircled by individual video terminals and a large toy racetrack in the middle enclosed by a plastic bubble. Inside the bubble, every 40 seconds nine plastic racehorses and jockeys lined up at the starting gate and then were let loose into a clunky galloping trip around the circle. The screens had their computer generated names like Money God or Graceful Lotus. When the race was over, the results were posted, along with the various payoffs for the different bets. It was all music to my ears. I could bet on the horses after all! There were a handful of empty seats, so I sat down and pumped a few twenties into Fortune Cup to see if my handicapping skills would be any use on this strange, gigantic machine.

Fortune Cup first appeared in Las Vegas last year. Created by the Konami Corporation, Fortune Cup was one of a number of unusual casino games developed by the video game company, like Frogger: Get Hoppin’ and Crystal Cyclone. Fortune Cup was an attempt by Konami to capture what was popular about Sigma Derby, a mechanical horse racing game from 1985 that has developed a cult-like following around the two remaining machines in operation at The D and the MGM Grand. Sigma Derby’s parent company no longer exists, and parts and new machines are no longer being produced, but the vintage look and feel of the game has created devoted fans, and most nights it is impossible to get a seat. Sigma Derby looks a lot like Konami’s Fortune Cup, except much older and more mechanical, without any touchscreens, or screens at all. Best of all, Sigma Derby uses actual physical quarters to play.

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