Latest News | 19 Mar 2023 | By Sun International
Carnival City’s Wang Huang claims 2023 Slots Royale title and R1.5 million
Slots Royale 2023 Champion with Sun International staff | Photo by Jordan Milton
Carnival City punter scoops grand prize in sizzling Slots Royale finale at Sun City.
East Rand-based slots supremo Wang Huang razed 81 rivals on his way to claiming the title of 2023 Slots Royale champion and the R1.5 million grand prize in the finale of Sun International nationwide gaming extravaganza at Sun City on Saturday. The passionate punter is a long-time patron of Carnival City near Brakpan in Gauteng.
Huang’s stunning victory was a fitting conclusion to a 10-week process that began on 13 January. Some 1 200 registrants battled at Sun International resorts and casinos to book their ticket to the final.
The 82 finalists, all high-tier members of the Sun MVG loyalty programme, came from 11 Sun International casinos and units across the country – Boardwalk, Carnival City, Flamingo, Golden Valley, GrandWest, Meropa, Sibaya, Sun City, Time Square, Wild Coast Sun, Windmill, and SunBet.
Roaring to riches
The host venue pulled out all the stops in providing a warm F1-themed welcome to the contestants. Finalists were chauffeured in luxury to Sun City and a champagne-drenched pre-event cocktail evening. Cheerleaders waved chequered flags and staff resembled a pit crew in mechanic shirts, while the finalists and supporters donned colour-coded polo shirts reflecting their home hotel or resort to create an inter-property gala spectacle.
Including the grand prize, consolation winnings, and bonus draws, R2.3 million was doled out on Saturday, bringing the total prize money for the tournament up to an astounding R6.3 million.
Nationwide gaming extravaganzas have long been a Sun International trademark – Slots Royale is one of four group tournaments, alongside the baccarat-based Black Opal, Black Pearl roulette tournament, and the SunBet Poker Tour.
Minus a skills barrier and available in a multitude of themes and configurations, slot machines are the definition of instant gratification. This is reflected in their immense popularity in gaming hotspots the world over, in Las Vegas, Macau and of course, Sun International’s legendary Sun City hotspot.
After the Sun International anthem We Will Rock You blared through the club speakers, Sun City GM Brett Hoppé upped the ante by offering the best supporters a weekend at The Palace. The teams responded by roaring their combatants on, with the placard-wielding GrandWest crew being judged the most vociferous in the end.
“There’s a huge amount of excitement. It’s a privilege being able to meet our customers from all our resorts and properties. This tournament is all about them. We’re able to give them an amazing experience on the diverse canvas that is Sun City. These tournaments are a huge differentiator for Sun International. We have the right formula and the capacity to execute them,” said Hoppé.
The setting for the final, Sun City’s storied Encore night club, resembled a football stadium, packed to the rafters with cheering finalists and their supporters constantly urged on by livewire MC Khotso “K-Rams” Rammopo. The intensity grew white-hot during the manic three-minute heats, which took the form of a “quick-hit” tournament – finalists had to batter the spin button, testing their wrist and finger strength to emerge with the most points.
The energy levels remained high during a lull in proceedings due to technical difficulties, with Rammopo hosting an impromptu dance-off. There were a number of interesting techniques on display, from the 1mm punch and two-finger ringer to the more elaborate piano maestro approach, as finalists took their efforts to the limit.
Port Shepstone native Ashen Rugdeo, who does his gaming at Wild Coast Sun, dubbed the weekend the “best I’ve ever had”.
“We’ve had the best welcome. It’s heartwarming to see the happy faces everywhere and the appreciation Sun International has for our support. You can see the value of playing at the group’s casinos. You simply don’t get this kind of royal treatment anywhere else,” smiled Rugdeo, who bagged R100 000 for placing in the top 10.
In the end, it was Huang’s measured approach that saw him secure the victory. He’ll be back to defend his title in 2024 – do you have what it takes to go up against him in a slots-shattering frenzy?