Please see our exclusive interview with Raquel Pomplun below…
Empire City Casino in Yonkers, New York is bustling today with a new bank of electronic table games from Bally. Raquel Pomplun, the 2013 Playboy Playmate of the Year will be inside the games forever, but only on the casino floor for a little while this afternoon. We’re talking about Bally’s Playboy Bonus Blackjack slots.
Guests of the casino can meet and greet Ms. Pomplun today beginning at 3:00 p.m. in the casino’s biggest electronic table game area near the valet entrance. Lucky fans can get autographs and photos with one of the stars of the game, and Playboy’s first Mexican-American Playmate of the Year. If you’re an Empire Club Member you’ll even get a free commemorative t-shirt. Look for 10x comps and other perks on all Bally electronic table games all day!
Raquel was gracious enough to give a few moments of her time to answer some questions for our readers. Below is a quick interview followed by some more background on the hybrid game that lets players place side bets for a slot-style progressive bonus or simply enjoy the game with five other players while four virtual dealers including Raquel herself keep the action moving.
Without further ado…
World Casino News (WCD): Hi Raquel, thank you for sharing some time with us before you are besieged by fans on the casino floor today.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about your engagement at the casino?
Raquel Pomplun (RP): Yes! I’ll be doing a meet and greet at the casino, signing autographs and taking pictures with all the attendees.
WCD: With all of the mergers and acquisitions going on at top levels of the industry it can be hard to sort out who’s who in the gaming world. Most of our readers are aware that Bally acquired Shuffle Master in 2013 and the company was acquired by Scientific Games the next year.
Many may not know that Scientific Games companies have been making Playboy-branded gambling games for over 15 years. Some of the most popular games to date include Playboy Hot Zone, Playboy Platinum, and Playboy Down Under. I haven’t had a chance to play on the Playboy Bonus Blackjack tables yet. Are you one of the dealers featured in the game?
RP: Yes I am, along with three other fellow playmates.
WCD: I thought so. You’ve been helping to promote the game at casinos for some time now. While researching the article we see your ambassadorship going back to at least February 2016, when you and Playmate, Hiromi Oshima launched the virtual table game at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Palm Springs, California. Was that your first experience introducing Playboy-branded games?
RP: That was one of the first times. The first time, if I am not mistaken, was at the Las Vegas G2E Convention the previous fall. It was definitely an electrifying experience because it was then that I realized how big of a deal it was to be in this game! Very exciting to know I’m part of SciGames’ history in a way!
WCD: You seem to be very industrious and hard working. According to our research, you studied biochemistry at Southwestern College, you did the Playboy photo shoot even though you had a fever of 103, you took ballet lessons, and you were the first Mexican-American Playboy Playmate of the Year when you received the honor in 2013.
And then we have your budding acting career! Among other notables you also appeared on Agents of Shield and were in the 2014 Mark Wahlberg movie, The Gambler. Where do you see your career taking you in the next 5 years?
RP: I see it flourishing in the acting field. I also started stand up comedy, so that is something I am looking forward to grow on as well. My main goal and focus now is acting and it’s definitely something I will not only also give it my 110% but also will love doing.
WCD: Can we look forward to more casino appearances in the near future?
RP: I love these casino appearances, so as long as no one gets tired of me, of course!
WCD: Well, Raquel, we’ll let you get back to your busy schedule. Thanks again for sharing your time with our readers. We wish you, and the game continued success.
When Playboy Bonus Blackjack was introduced at G2E 2015 in Las Vegas, it was light years ahead of any other similar game. It was the first licensed/branded electronic table system to incorporate a community bonus round resembling a slot machine bonus.
One of four virtual live dealers, who also happen to be Playboy Playmates, is displayed on a 75″ 4k display for life-size interaction with up to five players. Bettors sit at 22″ touchscreen betting terminals that include regular blackjack bets, for low stakes if desired and multiple side bets.
The three side bets include a community bonus round. Whenever the dealer’s first two cards are a same-colored pair, players who have placed the bet are awarded a quick bonus round that begins when the current hand is completed. Other players wait for the bonus to conclude and regular gameplay resumes.
The first step is for players to choose one of the Playmates – she will eventually reveal her lucky multiplier. A pyramid of tiles is presented and each player chooses one from the base row. If it is an arrow they advance one tier up and choose again. If a number is revealed, they receive that number of coins x the lucky multiplier.
Choosing an arrow will advance the player toward one of the progressive bonuses – Grotto, Mansion, or VIP.
Following is a brief tutorial…
President of Global Licensing at Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Matthew Nordby, said in a press release announcing the game’s debut: “Scientific Games has the exclusive rights to Playboy-themed wagering games for use on casino premises worldwide. Over the past 15 years, Scientific Games’ brands have created more than 50 Playboy-themed gaming machines.”
Playboy has been involved in gaming to some degree for decades. A London club and casino opened in 1965 and closed in 1981 or 1982 in Mayfair. A new Playboy Club London Casino opened nearby in 2011.
While Sci-Games holds or held exclusives in the terrestrial casino sphere, Microgaming has enjoyed an online partnership with the iconic brand for several years as well.
The “godfather of online software” launched their Playboy Live Dealer Studio in early 2013. A few months later they released the first Playboy-branded slot online.
In February this year, Microgaming unveiled a new Playboy-branded game with a preview of Playboy Gold at ICE in London. The 100-payline, multi-feature online slot was developed exclusively for Microgaming by Triple Edge Studios and went live to all markets in March. Previous Triple Edge titles released under the Microgaming brand include 108 Heroes, Halloween, and Oink Country Love.
Those fortunate enough to have access to Microgaming slots online may notice one of the hostesses of the game is none other than Raquel Pomplun – she is joined by fellow Playmate Audrey Allen in the game.
The Playboy symbolism and name are arguably the most well-known icons in the world. Thanks to the careful protection of their image, every game released under the brand is from the top-shelf and finds its niche among players.
Playboy Bonus Blackjack has wide appeal due to the virtual interaction gamblers have with beautiful Playmates and the community gaming aspect of the bonus games. It also appeals to gamblers who may be intimidated by high table limits in some casino pits or the evil eye some players at the tables cast when they think your choice has affected their chance to win.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on 9-6-2018 to add further information following the interview