Oscar Flores has held the position of video gaming director at the Coeur d’Alene Casino for less than a year and the property and its guests are already reaping the benefits. In March the casino reported more than $1.5 million in jackpots, up 40 percent from 2016, and the casino floor is seeing a flurry of updates with new machines installed weekly.

Flores came to Coeur d’Alene Casino via a chance conversation with CEO Francis SiJohn at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, Nev. SiJohn saw an opportunity and mentioned the position to Flores, a 19-year veteran in the industry having worked for some of the largest manufacturers including Aristocrat, IGT, Konami and Ortiz. Months later, Flores packed up and moved to northern Idaho.

So far in his four months Flores has been focused on improving the player experience.

“The first step was to give the player options and improve their experience, or the fun factor as we like to call it,” said Flores. “We are replacing more than 25 percent of our floor with new and exciting titles while also increasing our jackpots.”

Flores is particularly excited about introducing Lighting Link and the new King Kong Skull Island game. The Lighting Link machine includes a choice of four games as well as key features including a free spins game and linked multidenominational progression jackpot. King Kong, by Ainsworth, debuted at this year’s G2E, which features high definition screen with a touch screen LCD button deck and mechanical “bash button.” The game offers players a free games feature with random multipliers, re-triggers and big wins.

A major factor that drew Flores from the bright lights of Las Vegas was Coeur d’Alene Casino’s welcoming atmosphere.

“We are working hard to make updates and improve the experience while also concentrating on giving our players the superb customer service and that welcoming environment the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has provided for so long,” said Flores. “It’s the player experience and comfort that everyone deserves.”

Flores isn’t close to being finished and looks forward to the future. He is working alongside SiJohn to be part of the vision the new CEO has implemented.

“I’m excited to be a part of making Coeur d’Alene Casino the premier local’s choice, providing all the amenities of a large resort without losing that personal touch and welcome home feeling.”