G2E: Gary Platt Manufacturing continues to innovate
When the discussion drifts to important developments in slot technology, the leading candidates are usually unsurprising: virtual reels, TITO, bill validators, player tracking, “Pennies,” wheels, and/or video slots. However, one earlier innovation was the critical key in slots moving out of the shadow of table games: seating.
The photo at right of Reno’s legendary Harold’s Club shows a typical 1950s-era slot layout, with seating provided only at bars and restaurants. This type of layout was standard from the birth of legalized gaming in 1931 until the mid-1970s.
In other words, the single biggest increase in the critical KPI of time on device wasn’t due to any technological advancements, but something far simpler: the introduction of the stool or chair.
With that single, simple change, average slot play went from minutes to hours. Today, a good chair can still make a major contribution to the bottom line. And while there are probably a dozen vendors at G2E displaying casino seating options, only one or two have the credentials and experience of Gary Platt Manufacturing.
Based in Reno since 1999, Gary Platt and his partners had years of seating experience when they founded their own company in southern California a few years earlier. The first slot chairs purchased at Harold’s Club were supplied by the Platt team, who were then working for a competitor. Since that time, they’ve pioneered several innovations, from simple to sophisticated, that are now considered standard.
One of those seemingly simple features was a boon to slot attendants and players everywhere. Platt engineered a small puck-like foot and welded it to the bottom of each leg of their stools. While it seems obvious, these attachments made moving chairs on thick casino carpets considerably easier. With this subtle innovation, the battle of sliding a chair to the perfect position was finally winnable.
Another major increase in what is now called “seat time” came from Platt’s use of ergonomics (essentially, a design theory that considers how the body’s musculature works.) Platt uses proprietary foam that’s injection molded with built-in contours, including lower back and thigh support. An added benefit of the process is that their foam doesn’t break down under heavy casino usage – and if you’ve ever seen the trough permanently left on a foam mattress, you’ll appreciate what this can mean to keeping your chairs looking factory fresh.
The company’s first trademarked design, X-Tended Play, quickly became standard issues on many of the licensed participation games from IGT, Bally, Aristocrat, Everi, Aruze, Konami, and others. Their latest, the Monaco chair, incorporates the evolution of these ergonomic principles.
Perhaps the hottest trend in gaming is the nationwide growth of sports betting. Platt has been aggressive in this area as well. Company materials boast that their seating is “as comfortable as the chair in your man cave.”
For those of us whose man cave chairs might be lacking, the company also offers the new ‘Sportsbook Club’ chair, which “is perfect for a day full of football games or a day watching the races.” This lounge-style chair is built for maximum comfort and features “oversized back and arm, reclining back, USB charger, and cup holder,” and is upholstered with the exclusive Gary Platt foam.
At G2E, Gary Platt will also showcase its new Signature collection, each chair of which bears the imprimatur of the company’s founder, Gary Platt. These premium chairs are ideal for high limit areas.
They were three original founders: Gary, Bob Yabroff and Leonard Einhorn. Platt retired nearly a decade ago, but he can’t seem to stay away and, despite being in his mid-90s, is always at G2E for day or two saying hello to customers who’ve become friends over the years. Likewise, Yabroff left seven years ago but is also very active and still a member of their Board of Directors.
Today, the company is headed by CEO Joe Esposito, who joined the firm in October of 2017. He was formerly with football helmet manufacturer, Xenith, and brought additional expertise in supply chain logistics and international operations to the firm.
Platt specializes in seating for the casino floor, but also supplies chairs for convention centers, banquets, hotel rooms, poker parlors, restaurants, bingo halls, bars, and eSports arenas.
So if your feet are tired from wandering the convention floor, there’s no better place to sit a spell than the Gary Platt booth (#2618) and test drive, or conduct a sit in of, their latest offerings. Their booth is located about mid-way down what the Sands Expo Center calls Harmon Avenue.