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Boyd Gaming unveils ‘Gone With the Wind’

John Grochowski

John Grochowski

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Updated: August 14, 2012 6:06AM



On a hot summer’s morning, one of the coolest places I could be was at WMS Gaming’s studios on the North Side. There, Bill Pfund, WMS vice president of investor relations, and Jami Thornton, senior product marketing professional, were walking me through the latest and greatest video slot machine, Gone With the Wind.

It’s all based on the 1939 Clark Gable-Vivien Leigh movie classic, chock full of video clips and bonus events that carry through the theme.

Thornton was demonstrating the Kissing Bonus, launching an image of Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara fills all three spots on the left-hand reel and Gable’s Rhett Butler fills the right. In the pick’em game that followed, with a touch-screen full of heart lockets, Thornton found images of Scarlett and Leslie Howard’s Ashley Wilkes for a concluding kiss.

I stepped up for a turn. In locket after locket, I found credit amounts. One touch uncovered Scarlett, and after a few more credit awards, there was Rhett. That was what we all were waiting for: Scarlett and Rhett kissed, and kissed, and kissed some more. The longer they kiss, the more credits mount on the screen. Had it been for money, it would have been one very profitable smooch.

The Kissing Bonus and the Locket Bonus, which involves three top-box wheels, are showcase events in a showcase game. It’s rolling out first at Boyd Gaming properties in Las Vegas, along with its Borgata in Atlantic City. Boyd has an exclusivity period on the games, but how soon we’ll see it at the company’s Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Ind., or Par-A-Dice casino in East Peoria depends on jurisdictional approval. For Las Vegas visitors, the Orleans will get it first, with Sam’s Town, the Suncoast, Main Street Station, Fremont, California and other Boyd properties to follow.

Gone With the Wind has an unusual reel configuration, with three symbols deep on the first and fifth reels, and four deep on the middle three reels. Rhett and Scarlett symbols pay on winning combinations reading both right to left and left to right.

And then there are those film clips. There are plenty of kisses in the movie, and plenty of variety on the slot machine. You’ll hear Rhett tell Scarlett, “You shall have the biggest and most vulgar ring in Atlanta,” and “No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly.”

It works as a slot, and it works as entertainment as you hope for the biggest, most vulgar bonus this side of Tara.

John Grochowski is a local free-lance writer.



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