Slot Machines Are Driving the Gambling Industry

When most people think of casinos, they imagine high-stakes bouts of chance where fortunes can be won or lost in the blink of an eye. But that image is quickly fading. Slot machines, which were once thought of as arcade devices occupied by little old ladies, are now driving the gambling industry and bringing in most of the profits. In fact, they’re twice as profitable as table games like blackjack or roulette.

Schull explains that this transformation was a result of several factors, but the most important one was a technological advance. Until the 2000s, slot machines were all-or-nothing affairs: you yanked a lever and either cherries or lucky sevens lined up, or they didn’t. But advances in computer technology allowed casinos to control the odds and percentage paybacks much more precisely, giving them an advantage over other casino games.

In addition, the invention of new payment systems meant that players no longer had to physically feed coins into the machine. This change was crucial: as Schull’s research shows, it allowed players to play for longer and to spend more money than they would have otherwise.

For this reason, it is no surprise that fewer and fewer people are going to casinos to take a chance at a jackpot. But Schull says that casinos have an array of strategies to keep players hooked. These might include displaying a pop-up message when they’re losing too much, or making the machine slow down the reels to make it harder to quit.

Previous post How to Become a Better Poker Player
Next post The Casino Scene in Movies