ATLANTIC CITY — With an expected launch over the next several days, New Jersey will become the first state in the nation to introduce machines that pay players based on skill.

Caesars Atlantic City (Michael Loccisano, Getty Images)

The move is aimed at attracting younger potential gamblers who grew up playing video games and may be less inclined to sit in front a slot machine.

According to Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, New Jersey's gaming regulators made a conscious effort to be the first to approve the technology and get it on the casino floor.

"They did it so quickly this time that they beat Nevada, and I think that's a real milestone for the state," Gros said.

According to Caesars Entertainment, which oversees operations at Bally's, Caesars and Harrah's in Atlantic City, two machines may arrive Friday, but most are arriving next week.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement gave approval last Wednesday to New York-based GameCo, Inc. to deploy its machines at the trio of gaming halls.

"New Jersey is the first here and if you want to play the game you have to come to Atlantic City," Gros said.

But rival skill-based firm Gamblit could have their own products running in other states such as California and Nevada in the near future.

While the games are designed to pay players based on their ability, the house does win in the end, just like every other game on the casino floor. Even the best players will encounter scenarios they can't beat.

GameCo's "Danger Arena," the game headed to Atlantic City, tasks players with shooting robots while racing against a timer. Players are paid based on their number of hits.

This particular game has the same look as a slot machine, minus the addition of a video game controller. Before the clock starts, the game ensures the controller is working properly and the player understands how to use the controls.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at

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