The Plastic Ponies Get A 21st-Century Upgrade With Fortune Cup

Written By Marc Meltzer on February 21, 2018 - Last Updated on February 22, 2018
plastic toy ponies

Casino horse racing games have had a strange existence over the years. The games are popular, but only with a small segment of casino guests. Sigma Derby has achieved cult status, but there are only two machines still operating in Nevada casinos. You can still find the popular mechanical horse racing game at The D in downtown Las Vegas and MGM Grand on the Vegas Strip. The game is beloved but not quite as popular as Wheel of Fortune slot machines.

Konami Gaming is hoping to bring the cult status of Sigma Derby into more casinos with the release of a new mechanical horse racing game. Fortune Cup is a mechanical horse racing game for the 21st century. Following months of success being tested on the Las Vegas Strip at The Venetian and MGM Grand under Nevada’s New Innovation Beta program Fortune Cup is now live at the casino all around Las Vegas and will be released across North America.

Where to play Fortune Cup in Nevada

Fortune Cup is located in Las Vegas at the following casinos:

Vegas Strip:

  • MGM Grand
  • The Venetian


  • The Orleans
  • Red Rock Casino

Bellagio, Cosmopolitan, New York New York, and The D in downtown Las Vegas plan to install Fortune Cup before the end of February.

Fortune cup is a 21st-century game

Fortune Cup features a nine-foot-wide mechanical track with eight horses that travel freely and independently across the course. The horses flow smoothly around the track. There are 10 betting stations around each game. Unlike the 1980’s horse racing game, Sigma Derby, Fortune Cup has a track announcer and a giant video screen so passers-by can hear and see the action on the track if the seats are occupied.

The new horse racing game allows players to place bets on touchscreen stations that offer race statistics, horse odds, mystery progressive jackpots, and a variety of betting options including win, place, and quinella.

Fortune Cup also offers players USB chargers for mobile devices. The games also include card readers so that casino players club cards at each station. The touchscreens are dynamic and can even show the race if the game and giant screen above the track aren’t convenient.

Playing Fortune Cup

Since there are more betting options than older horse racing games, playing Fortune Cup might seem a bit confusing at first. Thankfully, the screens at each betting station are intuitive and offer help if needed.

Each Fortune Cup race lasts about 40 seconds. There are 40 seconds in between each race. This allows players can relax while the horses set up for the next race. This short break allows players to study the odds screen if that’s even helpful.

Gameplay is very smooth. What Fortune Cup makes up for with technology it loses in kitsch. The vintage Sigma Derby horse racing game is fun in part because of its age. It’s not possible to recreate the novelty of playing a casino game for a physical quarter. The bouncing horse movements can’t be recreated either. However, Fortune Cup offers more of everything that horse racing fans should enjoy in a casino game.

According to the Wizard of Odds, Fortune Cup has a return-to-player percentage between 81 percent and 84 percent depending on location and wagers made. This is a bad return and worse than penny slots in most casinos. That said, Fortune Cup isn’t a game for advantage gamblers. It’s simply a fun way to spend a few bucks in a casino if you’re looking for something different to play.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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