Gary Platt’s 91st Birthday Video!

Gary Platt’s 91st Birthday Video!

Gary Platt, pioneer of the slot seating in Las Vegas casinos, celebrated his 91st birthday at the Gary Platt Manufacturing’s booth on the first day of the Global Gaming Exposition 2016. Filled with smiles and well wishes, the crowd watched as Gary Platt (Founder) and Skip Davis (President) shared a moment of reflection on how the casino industry has changed over the last 60 years.

“I really love coming to G2E, because I get to see so many old friends and we remember the old days and reminisce on how naïve we were to what our efforts were creating. We were the founders of an entire industry and we had little idea as to how it would grow. Now, I come here (to G2E) and see the next generation evolving our efforts in ways we didn’t even think possible. This makes me so grateful to be a part of this industry and so excited to witness the next chapter!” said Gary, as he squeezed Skip’s shoulder.

The Origins of Slot Seating in Las Vegas

The Origins of Slot Seating in Las Vegas

Look at any Vegas picture of the casino floor in the 1950’s and 60’s. See the old fashioned, pulley slot machines and imagine the clanging of coins hitting metal and the “ding, ding, ding” of someone getting a triple 7… It brings nostalgia to the minds of those not even born to the era! However, you can’t help but notice one jarring difference between the 50’s casino and the modern casino when evaluating the pictures… where is the slot seating?

slot seating

slot seating

slot seating

Chairs are completely missing from the 1950’s casino floor set-up and patrons are standing as they play nearly shoulder to shoulder. Looking at these pictures begs the question: When and how did chairs become standard on the casino floor?

Someone else was just as curious about this as we are and asked Anthony Curtis (the Las Vegas Advisor), a world renown authority on Las Vegas and gambling, to shed some light on the origins of chairs in casinos. Here is how it played out:

“Q: (Curious Player)

I was looking at some Vegas pictures from the ’50s and ’60s and there were no seats at any of the slots. When were seats put on the casino floor for slot players? Which casino was the first to do so?

A: (Las Vegas Advisor)

We’ve consulted several historians, but have been unable to pin down when or where the practice of sitting while playing slot machines first took root. (As recently as 1960’s Ocean’s Eleven, you can see stand-up slot machines.) We do know that some casinos had already adopted the practice in the 1950s.

Gary Platt, head of the eponymous manufacturing company that now dominates slot-stool supply, recalls a fateful visit to Las Vegas in January 1959, at which time he was representing L&B Manufacturing. Based in Santa Monica, California, L&B specialized in booths, tables, and counter and bar stools for restaurants.

Platt was playing blackjack in Vegas “and noticed that the stools were not nearly as well constructed or as comfortable as the bar stools that we manufactured. As a salesman, this looked like a new source of business, so I tried to call upon the hotel casinos, without any success. The answer was, ‘We purchase all our gaming equipment and supplies from Paul Endy at Paul-son Dice & Card. I contacted Paul, had a great meeting with him, and learned that the stools must be narrower, so that seven of them would fit around a blackjack table. The seat also had to be shorter, so the player sits closer and, most important of all, the seat height must be 27 inches [vertical], so players are comfortable. I told Paul, ‘These are all things we can do’ and made him a few samples. Paul-son began to distribute our blackjack stools and did a nice volume of business for us.”

Platt couldn’t shake the feeling that if similar stools were placed in front of slot machines, it would increase time on device (the holy grail of casino floor managers). However, he always ran up against the same answer: It would make the aisles too narrow and there would be no room for players to walk past.

“I kept bugging Paul to find some small casino that owed him a favor and would listen to me. He finally called me and said to come up and meet with him,” Platt resumes. “It was a small casino on the Strip near Flamingo [Road] and I can’t remember the name. I knew I’d get the same ‘aisles too narrow’ answer, so I came prepared with a large pad and a 12-inch square drawn on it, and told the casino manager that I would manufacture 24 stools with a 12-inch square seat and three-quarter-inch square-tube legs that went straight down so they wouldn’t trip the players. I’d drop them off and pick them up in two weeks: no cost, no obligation.”

As a favor to Paul Endy, the casino owner reluctantly agreed to the experiment. Platt delivered the stools and two days later received a call from Endy: “How soon can we get another hundred stools?” The coin-in on the slots that had stools had been “astronomical.” Over time, as the big boys in the industry adopted the practice, Platt’s business boomed and casino floors evolved to have wider aisles and more seating.

Thus, like so many trends and traditions in the history of Las Vegas, a major change in casino design hinged on one owner sufficiently daring to take a chance. ( September 20, 2016 – Question of the Day)”

Gary Platt Manufacturing featured in Canadian Gaming Business

Gary Platt Manufacturing

Gary Platt Manufacturing featured in Canadian Gaming Business

In the Spring 2014 issue of Canadian Gaming Business, a company profile was done on Gary Platt Manufacturing. Read the profile below:

Since its 1997 founding in California, the managing partners of Gary Platt Manufacturing have had one goal: To provide comfortable, innovative casino seating with excellent customer service.

Named for 45-year seating veteran Gary Platt, the company’s first chairman/director of sales, the company soon became IGT’s casino seating supplier. As business increased, Gary and President Bob Yabroff decided that relocating to Reno, Nevada in 1999 would improve access to major slot machine manufacturers and ultimately help grow the company.

Gary Platt has always considered casino seating as a key component to the customer’s overall gaming experience. The company says the 2000 debut of the X-tended Play ChairTM, gaming’s first ergonomically engineered chair, forever altered the seating landscape.

Gary Platt has grown steadily over the years to its current 90,000 square foot facility and 76 employees who produce and distribute exclusively to the gaming industry worldwide. Gary Platt’s international sales representation now includes partnerships with Bet Rite in Canada, PHaT Sourcing in Australia and New Zealand, Intergames in Europe, and ACG in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Canadian Expertise

Bet Rite Inc. is Gary Platt’s exclusive Canadian representative and distributor. Bet Rite is a Canadian owned and operated company with over 40 years of Canadian Gaming experience focused solely on bringing world class gaming products and services to the Canadian casino market. Bet Rite has brought their past work experience in project management, interior slot signage, slot machines, table games, systems hardware, bill validators, progressive products, LCD display solutions, and more to give customers a well rounded solution that most companies simply cannot.

“We are very pleased to have established a relationship with Bet Rite to represent us in Canada,” says Skip Davis, President of Gary Platt.  “They are a dedicated group of professionals building a name for themselves by bringing the best available products to the Canadian market and backing it up with superior customer service.”

WIn addition to Gary Platt, Bet Rite is the Canadian distributor and service provider for Interblock electronic table games, MEI bill validators, TransAct printers, 3M touch screens, Mappedin interactive solutions, Flexible EL Signs, and additional custom casino signage.

Comfort Means Profits

Bet Rite prides itself on representing best-in-class products and as the only manufacturer that focuses solely on casino gaming chairs, Gary Platt chairs incorporate superior performance design features with ergonomic design, longevity, and level of comfort resulting in more time on-device. Gary Platt is founded on the concept that a high-quality, more comfortable chair will increase players’ time on-device and as a result increase casino revenues.

Bet Rite has worked with casinos of all sizes and multiple VLT retailers across Canada to deploy Gary Platt casino seating to help these properties enhance their players gaming experience.  Their most recent major deployment was providing all table and slot chairs for the new Hard Rock Vancouver.

Bet Rite is pleased to note that Gary Platt X-Tended Play Seating is exclusively used by almost all major OEM slot vendors for leased and participation games. This exclusive-use policy underscores the direct revenue value to operators of their unique seating design and quality construction.  IGT, Bally, WMS, Aristocrat, Konami, Aruze, Shufflemaster, Multimedia and Cadillac Jack all select Gary Platt Seating as their preferred seating partner to complement their products.

New Innovations On the Horizon

Gary Platt has consistently added innovative new features to their existing product line as well as creating some of the most exciting interactive sound chairs in the industry.  They are currently engineering the next generation of X2-Tended Play Seating planned for release later this year.

Gary Platt is committed to collaborating with customers and designers to create custom designs to satisfy their individual needs and requirements. They recently hired a full-time ergonomic engineer who has made a name for himself in the chair industry over the last 25 years helping create cutting-edge products.

Last year was Gary Platt’s best sales year and the growth is expected to continue in 2014.  Replacement business from repeat customers has been strong, reflecting the company’s high level of customer retention and satisfaction. They have also earned a healthy share of the new construction orders throughout North America. International sales have reached a record level, thanks in part to the strong partnerships formed with strategic distributors like Bet Rite in Canada.

For information on the Canadian gaming industry, go to the Canadian Gaming Business Website.