The big new game from slot-machine giant International Game Technology is Star Wars. It’s really, really big. As in 14 feet high, topped with a circular video display that’s about 20 feet in circumference, or seemingly as big as the Death Star itself.

But it will be in some casinos, and it will be impossible to miss. With no major breakthroughs in slot technology this year, manufacturers are showing their brawn.


Towering banks of slot machines with zippy video monitors, revolving marquees, mechanical attractions and digital sound drew throngs of neck-craning casino bosses at the Global Gaming Expo last week.


Slot machines in City casinos theoretically are restricted to 5 feet, 8 inches by the state Department of Community Affairs. The agency fears that taller slots block a patron’s view of the exits.


Casinos, though, can work around the regulations by placing them against walls or pillars or sometimes in a group that might as well be a pillar. In any event, some of the gadgetry atop today’s slots is optional, for decorative purposes only.


Another Bally slot is getting plenty of attention – in Russia, Europe and South America. That’s because the bonus feature on its Playboy slots shows the full magazine centerfold.


The world’s biggest Slot Machine Manufacturers list at Gamble Tribune

On a more wholesome note, IGT uses its “advanced video platform” to make Drew Carey and Pat Sajak appear to talk with gamblers as they play their themed slots. Each celebrity videotaped numerous remarks that a computer cues up according to the play situation.

Forget to press the bonus button and Carey’s head pops up with a snappy command, “It’s the blinking button – press the button!” Wait a little longer and Carey implores, “Would you please press the …