Fruits are forever

Fruit symbols on slot machines are almost as old as slot machines themselves. But why fruits? And more interestingly, why oranges, cherries, plums? Historians haven’t yet come to an agreement, and there are many theories and conflicting statements on why these particular symbols were placed on the reels. But one thing is sure: once the fruits arrived, they were here to stay.

One-armed bandit’s instant success

While classic casino games like blackjack, baccarat and even roulette have longer histories, automated machines only started appearing at the end of the 19th century. They quickly gained popularity, and manufacturers could barely cope with the demand.

When the gambling – or should we say anti-gambling – laws prohibited cash payouts, bars offering the machines to customers had to adapt quickly. Some simply provided rewards in the form of drinks, snacks, cigarettes (maybe cigars for bigger wins) and similar bar items at the counter. Others went a step further and disguised the slot machines as vending machines, dispensing chewing gum with every pull. The gum would, of course, be traded back for the “unofficial official” award.

Forbidden fruits are the sweetest

One theory holds that these adaptations were the breakthrough moment for the fruit symbols. Symbols of fruits were added on the reels to match the candy and gum flavours available as prizes. As to why these specific flavours – orange, plum, cherry, lemon – were offered, one speculation sounds particularly plausible. As bar owners wanted to buy the cheapest gum to minimise their expenses, gum manufacturers sold them gum with flavours they had trouble selling.
One cannot but admire the poetry of this full circle. Unpopular fruits got associated with an underground, forbidden activity and – as it tends to happen with forbidden fruits – inevitably became the sweetest, most desired ones.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

Later, when the prohibition on alcohol struck, the whole bar scene went underground. The 1930s saw the emergence of speakeasies, establishments that served illegal alcohol, with a touch of gambling on the side. It wasn’t long before the owners realised since their enterprise was already illegal, they might as well start offering cash prizes again. This gave slots an additional boost in popularity. The fruit-flavoured prizes were gone, but the symbols stayed.

Long live the king

When the prohibition period ended, the production of slots grew exponentially for a couple of decades. The slot machine, the undisputed king of gambling establishments, was finally crowned, never to be dethroned again. Even though the industry evolved well beyond the fruit machine concept, fruit symbols continue to represent the roots of the slot machine identity to this very day.

Recent fruit releases from the Oryx RGS

The true testament to the never-ending popularity of fruit machines is the steady flow of fruit-themed slot games added to the Oryx RGS. Below is our cherry-picked selection:

Stacks of Jacks
Jack is a lighthearted jester beaming with joy. His smile is highly contagious, especially for players who catch Jack stacked across all reels.

Fruit Rush
Some players like fruits, and then some players can’t get enough of fruits. No matter the type, the 6-reels-4-rows Fruit Rush makes sure no one ever runs out of vitamins.

Asian Fruits Combo
In Asia, the charismatic fruit king Durian reigns supreme and brings entertainment and winnings to players worldwide. Make a spin here.

Fruit Love
True love might be hard to find, but Fruit Love certainly isn’t. You can find it on Oryx RGS.

Sunny Sevens
It’s a known fact that fruit machines usually don’t have any special features. Fancy features, that is, as Sunny Seven symbols pay up to 5000x total bet.

Sevens & Books
Fruits in fruit machines always have companions in various forms like a 7 symbol, a BAR symbol, a Bell … So Gamomat added one of their own: the notorious Book symbol.

Fruit Lines
Last but not least, let’s not forget about Fruit Lines, the latest release from “yours truly”. The first game from the new generation of Oryx games is a 5-line fruit machine with lean looks and mean rewards. Be sure to check it out!

Author: Jernej Demšar, Copywriter at Oryx Gaming

Get ready for the Mafiosi with top 5 mafia movies

At the end of this week, we are releasing another fantastic game from Peter & Son’sThe Mafiosi. The game takes us back to the 1920’s prohibition-era New York where dry law was set to squeeze the booze industry. What it actually did was drive it underground, where the Mafiosi took matters into their own hands. One may disagree with their ways, but no one can argue they inspired some of the most iconic movies of our time.

Get yourself in the mafia mood and prepare for some action with our top mafia movie selection.

Goodfellas (1990)

American biographical crime film directed by Martin Scorsese is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, particularly in the gangster genre. It is a film adaptation of the 1985 nonfiction book Wiseguy by Pileggi. Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, the film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends and family from 1955 to 1980.

Fun facts about the movie:

  • Scorsese gave his actors conflicting directions to create tension.
  • Scorsese cast real mobsters in the film. Lots of extras were guys who were connected, in some way or another, to organized crime. Many of them actually knew the main characters in real life. This casting was Scorsese’s way of blurring real life with Hollywood.
  • There are 300 usages of the word f*ck in Goodfellas, which, for a time, made it the record holder for most uses in a film.
  • Goodfellas infamous “funny how?” scene wasn’t in the script

Godfather (1972)

The Godfather is an American film series that consists of three crime films directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It was inspired by the 1969 novel of the same name by Italian American author Mario Puzo. The movies follow the trials of the fictional Corleone family, whose patriarch, Vito Corleone, rises to be a major figure in American organized crime. The Godfather series was nominated for 28 Academy Awards and won 9.

Fun facts about the movie:

  • Many famous actors failed to be cast in the film: Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, and Robert DeNiro all wanted to play the part of Michael, which was ultimately given to Al Pacino.
  • One of the movie’s most famous lines was improvised. “Leave the gun, take the cannoli” was uttered by capo Peter Clemenza after a certain dirty deed. Actor Richard Castellano improvised that line after the director added a line in an earlier scene where Clemenza’s wife says, “Don’t forget the cannoli!”

Scarface (1983)

Scarface is an American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma, a remake of the 1932 film of the same name. It tells the story of a Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino), who arrives penniless in 1980s Miami and goes on to become a powerful drug lord.

Fun facts about the movie:

  • Steven Spielberg directed a scene. The E.T. director visited the set and ended up directing a scene in which a henchman scales the outer walls of Tony’s home.
  • Scarface was initially rated X. In 1983, a movie could get slapped with an X just for excessive swearing and graphic violence. An appeals board overturned the X rating and awarded Scarface a less restrictive R which allowed children under 17 to see the film if accompanied by an adult.

Casino (1995)

Casino is an American epic crime film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the 1995 nonfiction book “Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas”. Author Nicholas Pileggi also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese. Casino stars Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. The film marks the eighth collaboration between director Scorsese and De Niro.

Fun facts about the movie:

  • Most dialogues between Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were improvised. The director just told them where to start and where to end.
  • The movie was shot in a real casino. Scorsese used real dealers and pit bosses where possible for extra authenticity (and to spare the hassle of teaching actors how to do it). 

Irishman (2019)

The Irishman is an American epic crime film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese, based on the 2004 nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. The film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman for the mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family, including his time working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).

Fun fact about the movie:

  • The Irishman had the longest shoot of Martin Scorsese’s career: 108 shooting days total. Across those 108 days, the cast and crew were required to shoot 309 scenes across 117 locations. All of this required a gargantuan budget of around $160 million, which no major studio was willing to fork out. Only Netflix would agree to it.

Author: Špela Bric, Project Manager at Oryx Gaming


Taking Oryx Gaming to the next level of compliance

Working in the product compliance team at Oryx Gaming means playing a crucial part in ensuring the company can operate in chosen markets. In 2020, on top of everyday tasks, our team worked on an important project to get Oryx ISO 27001 certified. Everyone who participated had to use their whole skill set to juggle their regular workload with this big project in order to meet the deadline. It’s safe to say that all of us picked up new skills in the process. We learned a lot and really enjoyed being part of such an exciting project – one of many that working at Oryx allows you to be involved in.

iGaming is a specific industry where regulations have changed dramatically in the last few years. We are working in a heavily regulated field where every country, and sometimes even state or province, adapt and enforce their own iGaming regulations. As a result, we need to constantly adapt our products to comply rules in individual target jurisdictions.

A certified lab checks if the products (games, RNG, aggregator, iGaming platform), processes, systems and information security are in line with local requirements. Final products are tested before the first launch and after any major changes. Audits are usually done periodically, often once a year although in some regions they occur every two years. Some demands, like change management, can be monitored quarterly.

There is a major advantage to being checked for compliance regularly. When jurisdictions write certain regulation, they often go by a certain standard. If a supplier already holds that standard, there is no need to further examine the processes. Some countries, like Switzerland, go a step further and demand a ISO 27001 certificate.

The compliance process should be ongoing so our compliance team consistently and accurately governs our compliance policies over time.

In modern iGaming regulation, there is a strong emphasis on the detailed and precise definition of Information Security and Change Management which result in direct or indirect periodic, usually annual, compliance checks and security tests.

Due to appropriate management of Information Security and Change Management, Oryx started the journey to acquire the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certificate last year and was awarded it in June 2020.

The aim of the system is to help Oryx make the information assets we hold more secure.

The project team developed Oryx’s Information Security Management System (ISMS) – including several policies and documented procedures, that help us keep a level of security for the information system. The aim of the system is to help Oryx make the information assets we hold more secure.

ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard on how to manage information security. The standard was originally published jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 2005 and then revised in 2013. It details requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS). 

ISO 27001 certification covers information security management policies and procedures in the software development process. It focuses on:

•           Information security policies

•           Organization of information security

•           Human resource security

•           Asset management

•           Access control

•           Cryptography

•           Physical and environmental security

•           Operations security

•           Communications security

•           System acquisition, development and maintenance

•           Supplier relationships

•           Information security incident management

•           Information security aspects of business continuity management

•           Compliance.

This certification is an industry-standard and enables the company to easier obtain new clients and can also demonstrate compliance with jurisdiction/licence requirements.

The ISO27001 standard proves the level of processes and development that Oryx undertakes. Our strategy is focused on usability and not just to fulfill bureaucratic demands.

Acquiring the ISO27001 standard was a big project and we proved to be extremely efficient, making sure we gained the certificate in a record-breaking time. It was amazing to see how the team was effective in preparing tons of wiki pages of documentation in such a short time. We were glad to see that most of the procedures where already in place, we just needed to define them.

I am proud to say I was a part of this team.

In taking Oryx to the next level of compliance, it was obvious that we were already there, which was confirmed by the positive response from SIQ. I am proud to say I was a part of this team, along with Peter Lavrič, Peter Zorin, Simon Tomažič, Anja Rožac, Samo Jamnik and Peter Žagar!

Oryx Gaming Web Cashier 2.0: An eye candy delivering increase in deposits for online casinos

Here is a story about how we revamped a vital component of our product – web cashier – and cranked up our client’s results. It is a story about teamwork, success and our workplace culture.

Web Cashier is a product and component implemented onto a casino or sportsbook website. It handles deposits and withdrawals, supports many different payment methods, enables handling of player details, allows for limit setting and exclusions, and so much more. It is the part of the website that handles financial transactions, enables players to see what is going on with their account and to make changes such as validate their phone number, change password, convert comp points, etc.

Oryx created its own Web Cashier component, as part of its omni-channel iGaming Platform, a long time ago and it served its purpose for a long time. But time flies and industry and standards change, so it was time to create an improved version – Web cashier 2.0.

The biggest objective was to cover all needs of our users and clients, so we started with a fully customised solution for one of our major partners.

We created an improved user experience through improved UX, revamped UI design, updating existing features and by adding some new ones such as phone validation on Cash Deposit claimable bonuses. We went into details, changing colours, buttons, fields, navigation – everything to assure the best user experience as possible.

The product team went back to the drawing board back in mid-2019 and after a few months, the development had started. As Web Cashier includes a lot of functionalities, we developed in phases. We started with the most important features, like deposits, and continued with the rest – withdrawals, bonuses, player details, transaction history and game history, to name just a few.

The whole product was finished in December 2019 and rapidly launched with the first client. After the release, the client has reported an increase in the deposit rate which is a confirmation that we achieved an improved user experience that guides users through the deposit funnel. We improved deposit flow by changing the order of where we offer welcome bonuses. This increased the players’ incentive to deposit.

Our basic Web Cashier visual template is responsive and adaptable to any customer brand identity. If the client has special wishes we can adhere to that too.

For one of our clients we created and developed a very special Web Cashier version that has many eye candies and special effects. Everything from pretty colours to exploding canons after a successful deposit. It is a treat to see and use. We tracked changes in the deposit rate and saw an increase on a yearly basis.

Revamped web cashier

It is a real privilege working in a company where you get a chance to partake in such complex projects.

We are planning to have all our platform clients successfully migrated to the new Web Cashier 2.0 by the end of 2021. We are certain that this will bring an improved experience to our players across the globe. We will continue to work on improvements and new features to be added along the way.

This project demanded cross-collaboration across many of the Oryx teams including product, development, operation, design, customer support and sales. On top of that, we worked closely with our clients’ different teams. It is a real privilege working in a company where you get a chance to partake in such complex projects, but most of all, to see satisfied customers and their great results.