Borgata’s Vice President of Gaming, Jimmy Bruno, has spent his entire career in the Atlantic City market, having worked for several of the largest and most popular properties in the region. In late 2002, he joined the pre-opening team at Borgata, and has been at the resort ever since. We sat down down with Jimmy to talk about gaming innovations coming to Borgata, and how a novice table games player can learn the ropes.
Tell us about your career in gaming—what path lead you to Borgata? I started my gaming career at the Tropicana in January 1984. I was 19 years old. I left Tropicana to open up Trump Plaza and I spent 19 years, just shy of 20 years, there on the Boardwalk. I saw the highs and lows, and I worked my way up. I got a phone call in late 2002 to help with the pre-opening of Borgata. I signed the commitment letter and started helping out at the Convention Center, and then opened up the property, and fast forward, now I’m the Vice President of Gaming. However, my career has always been in Atlantic City.
What are some of the most interesting and innovative new gaming trends that are at Borgata? With the market and the national emphasis on social distancing, the trend is ETG—electronic table games. Currently we have a ETG double roulette—it’s the same game as a table game, but people can learn it at a lower price point. You don’t have to buy in with a dealer. Fast forward to the future, we are going to have an entire experience of ETG that will have a stadium feel, So, if someone is too intimidated to try something with a real dealer, there’s the electronic game.
Speaking of which, what are the best ways for a novice table game player to learn without feeling too intimidated? One, you can download BetMGMCasino and you can go online. It’s a blackjack game, and no matter what jurisdiction it is in, it is the same game. That’s a great way to learn a game. No one wants to sit down at a blackjack table and make a soft hard, and when you do, players let you know it.
What are some of the unique safety features of the newly reopened Poker Room? There is a pent-up demand for people to play live poker. People want to sit down and look at another person— that’s the nuances of live poker. There’s no drinking or dining, and every 4 hours, we change every deck and every single card. We do it out in the open. Anyone who looks in the poker room can see they are wiping down every single card. We have the same exact protocols as on the floor.
When it comes to slots, what themes or machines do customers tend to love? Players absolutely love Lightening Link and Lightening Cash. People will line up to play those. Another really popular one is Dragon Link. Also, Buffalo Gold, Buffalo Gold Revolution, you name it—people go bonkers over the Buffalo themes. There’s so many unique themes out there and they all have a unique following. People want multilevel , and multi-bonus games. That’s the appeal. I think as product evolves, some day, we’ll see you sit down at a machine and you’ll be able to interact with social media.
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