Arcade cabinet manufacturer Arcade1Up has introduced the Wheel of Fortune Casinocade Deluxe, a play-at-home arcade resembling a casino slot. Arcade1UP developed the machine through an official licensing deal with Sony Pictures Television, which owns the rights to the show.
The arcade maker says it has collaborated with Las Vegas slot machine designers to bring familiar features like buttons, sounds, and lights to resemble a casino slot. The Wheel of Fortune Casinocade Deluxe allows users to play 24 games, including four Wheel of Fortune games. Other games include:
- Three Card Poker
- Video poker
There’s no real money gambling involved. However, the company says players can collect Virtual Gems to unlock additional games and earn avatars through features like Daily Spins. The cabinet also has Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing participation in online leaderboards.
The Wheel of Fortune brand has found great success in the gambling space, both real and simulated. Wheel of Fortune-branded slots have become a staple at retail casinos, real money online casinos, and social casino products alike. Like the show, these slots have retained their popularity over the decades. The show first aired in 1975 and began its first syndicated season in 1983, while the first Wheel of Fortune slot appeared in 1996.
Introducing a play-at-home product further proves Wheel of Fortune’s popularity. As the show is now in its 41st season on TV, it’s still thriving and plans significant updates next year, including a new host following the retirement of Pat Sajak.
Arcade Nostalgia is High
There’s no question that Wheel of Fortune Casinocade Deluxe is a nostalgia product. In fact, it plays to customers’ nostalgia on three fronts:
- The original Wheel of Fortune show, which hit peak viewership in the 1980s
- Video arcades, which were likewise at their most popular in that decade
- Old-school slots design
And Arcade1Up has been making bank in that niche. Video arcades may be less common now than in the late 20th century, but sales of home arcade consoles are on the rise. Even as public arcades closed during the pandemic, sales boomed due to that residential market.
Scott Bachrach, the CEO of Arcade1Up’s parent company, Tastemakers, told Yahoo Finance at the time:
We could have never anticipated these numbers given the current state of the world. We noticed that with a new norm, there are new patterns and behaviors that are starting to show. People are obviously spending more time at home, and […] we feel that because our arcade machines have authentic artwork, gameplay and controls, they hit a certain nostalgic nerve bringing people back to a simpler time.
IGT’s Wheel of Fortune Exclusivity is Real-Money Only
All real money Wheel of Fortune-branded slots are developed by International Game Technology (IGT), one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. IGT has an exclusive agreement with Sony Pictures Television for real-money gaming products with the Wheel of Fortune brand. The two recently announced a 10-year extension to that deal.
However, the exclusivity doesn’t apply to play money gambling products. If you find a Wheel of Fortune game on a play-money social casino or sweepstakes casino, it may not be the same as the ones you’re used to.
The same goes for Arcade1Up’s product. Although it emulates the features of a Las Vegas slot machine, it isn’t identical to the Wheel of Fortune slots you’ll find in Nevada casinos because it wasn’t made with IGT’s involvement.
Brand’s Popularity Led to a Specialized Online Casino
It’s no wonder that more companies are trying to produce Wheel of Fortune slots content any way they can. The expansion of regulated online gambling in the US has breathed new life into the brand. Players switching from brick-and-mortar to online play seek familiarity, so IGT’s Wheel of Fortune slots have been top performers, including its most recent release, Triple Gold Gold Spin.
Earlier this year, New Jersey players witnessed the launch of Wheel of Fortune Online Casino, further demonstrating the brand’s influence. The online casino was launched after BetMGM signed an agreement with Sony and IGT. The operator even got Vanna White as the face of the ad campaign for the casino.
Aside from the branded slots, the online casino offers over 40 jackpot slots (connected to the BetMGM network), table games, and several exclusive slots. Being part of BetMGM, there are also BetMGM exclusive products like blackjack and roulette.