The casino industry came to terms with some sad news on Saturday, when slot innovator Robert Manz suffered a medical emergency while driving, lost control of his vehicle, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
Manz, who had the belief that generating slots that actually gave players big wins would be a smart business move, had a long career in gaming and was responsible for the design of some of the most successful slot machine games including Blazing 7s and the Black and White slot series. Manz came up with a generous payout system as well as the bunching of several machines together on a casino floor. While the hit frequency was roughly one jackpot in every 4,096 plays, casinos would place 10 Blazing 7s machines together. At an average 10 plays a minute, players could expect to see a jackpot every half hour – making slots more and more enticing to casino players.
“People in the industry would come into our office and just want to shake his hand,” said Ron Harris, CEO of Rocket Gaming Systems, who said that Manz had turned his start-up company into a billion-dollar operation in just four years. “He hated the spotlight and didn’t like accolades. When I would introduce him as the person responsible for making our company what it is, he would interrupt me and correct me and say it was the result of the efforts of the team.”
In 2006, Manz stepped down from this role but continued to design games for Rocket Gaming Systems.
“He had a gambler’s mentality,” colleague Charlie Lombardo said. “He believed if you take care of the player and give him value, he would eventually give you his money. He firmly believed that you had to let the player win once in a while and that it was OK to let them go home with money in their pockets.”
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