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When I stayed at SLS Las Vegas in December, I sat down to play video poker on my way back to the room. The session lasted longer than I expected for a $20 buy in. While playing, I noticed that the machines next to me were turned off. While stretching and taking a breath of fresh casino air, I noticed that all of the machines within eyesight were turned off. After about 20-30 minutes, I noticed that the area had been roped off and that there was a sign posted for a tournament in that section.
Tournament areas are usually roped off well in advance of special events. Perhaps, the casino at SLS isn’t large enough to close off so many multi-game machines for so long. But, this leads to a reader question from Dan P.:
Lost Vegas / Slot Machines / Gambling / Gaming / IGT / TITO / Video Poker / Sigma Derby / The D Hotel / Slots-A-Fun / Circus Circus / Eastside Cannery / Gold Strike / → All Tags
If you’re under 30 years old you may not remember the days when video poker and slot machines only paid out in coins. When I first started visiting casinos, each cashier window had a stack of wet wipes to clean the change off. Things changed in 2001 when, after a year of testing, IGT introduced the ticket in, ticket out system (a.k.a. TITO) that you see in most casinos today. Ahhhh... no more filthy fingers. TITO is now the standard on all machine games. We can just grab the ticket and redeem for cash at the cashier or TITO machine.
But, have no fear if you love casino history or just miss the clanking of change. There are still a handful of casinos in Las Vegas where you can find coin-operated slot machines. As a bonus we also found one just under an hour away in Jean.
MyVEGAS / Apps / Blackjack / Video Poker / Slot Machines / Station Casinos / MGM Resorts / Facebook / Free Vegas / → All Tags
Late last year, MyVEGAS launched a slots app for mobile phones and tablets. Due to its popularity, a blackjack app was added this year. And, it won’t be the last for the franchise as a video poker app is already planned.
Social casino games, in general, are having a great year. Revenue is expected to be north of $3 billion. Sixty million of that will be earned by MyVEGAS alone. That sounds like a lot, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Here's what 2014 brought for MyVEGAS:
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It isn’t a secret that slot machines are some of the worst bets in the casino. Unfortunately for some gamblers, like this writer, they’re also the most fun bets in the casino. The penny slots with the mainstream entertainment themes are the biggest winners for casinos in Las Vegas. Here’s a look at how much casinos won from different denomination slot machines in 2013.
1 cent - 11.90%
5 cent - 9.03%
25 cent - 8.63%
$1 - 6.70%
$5 - 5.26%
$25 - 4.80%
$100 - 3.74%
Megabucks slot machines are as close to having a lottery as the state of Nevada has. The allure of playing Megabucks is to be the lucky winner of a jackpot that’s always north of $10 million. The most recent hit was less than a month ago for $14 million at Rampart Casino. The largest we could find on record was for over $33 mil at Terrible’s in Sparks, NV back in 2009.
Those big jackpots are pretty sweet, but the odds of hitting are 1 in 49,836,032. Returns for Megabucks can legally be set to about 75%, but history tells us that’s not typically the case. Overall, casinos return about 88% of money played in Megabucks to players when you include jackpots hit. This is just slightly less than returns for penny slots, if you’re curious.
Gambling / Pachinko / Slot Machines / Gaming / → All Tags
If you’ve never been to a casino outside of America, you may not have played one of the fastest-growing gambling games in Asia. Pachinko originated in Japan and was originally used as a recreational arcade-style game. More recently, Pachinko is being used as a rival to slot machines in America.
A Pachinko machine looks like a vertical pinball machine without flippers. The game is played with a large number of small metal balls. Like slot machines, it's a fairly mindless game as it simply fires balls into the machine. The balls rush down through a maze of of pins and, hopefully, fall into certain slots. The object is to have as many balls as possible captured. Captured balls may set off sequences of events that trigger more balls being released. These balls can then be exchanged for prizes. In the gambling version of Pachinko, you can exchange the prizes for money.
Mergers / Slot Machines / IGT / WMS Gaming / Scientific Games / SHFL / Bally Technologies / Gambling / → All Tags
Last week, there was another big merger in the casino gaming universe. A union between Scientific Games and Bally Technologies was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission. You may not be familiar with Scientific Games as they’re mostly a lottery system and equipment provider. Last year, Scientific Games acquired a slot machine manufacturer with more name recognition: WMS Gaming.When Scientific purchased WMS there was little effect felt by consumers still playing slot machines like Wizard of Oz, Monopoly and Willy Wonka.
Casinos / Suncoast / Gaming / Gambling / Video Poker / Slot Machines / G2E / Global Gaming Expo / → All Tags
Last year at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), we saw the introduction of crazy huge gaming cabinets. The sheer size of these games was impressive. The games came equipped with equally large chairs, which may have been made for one person but could comfortably fit two. These chairs have become so popular that we’re now seeing them paired with slot machines closer to the size of traditional machines.
Slot Machines / G2E / Penny Slots / Gaming / Global Gaming Expo / Casinos / Tips / Survival Strategies / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Things have settled down since we spent a few days looking at the newest slot machines at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E). If you noticed most -- if not, all -- of the slot machines we highlighted this year were themed. These slot machines are usually penny slots when they hit casino floors. Penny slots aren’t what they used to be. You can now wager upwards of $5 per spin on a slot machine that, by name, makes you think you're only going to risk a penny or so. That’s just one of the dirty little secrets about our favorite penny slots in the casino.
The bright lights and loud music from these slot machines are great fun, but the real dirty secret of the uber popular penny slots is that they are some of the worst bets in the casino. Casinos win almost twice as often when you play penny slots as they do when you play any other denomination of machine.
Gambling / Casinos / Roulette / Slot Machines / Video Poker / Baccarat / Pai Gow Poker / Blackjack / → All Tags
Gambling is as healthy as anything else you do for hours without moving. Yeah, it's not all that healthy and the habits developed while gambling, like drinking and smoking, only make things worse. That said, gamblers aren’t any less healthy than the rest of the population. This is according to a survey of 2,000 gamblers in England.
The poll found gamblers in England have the same general Body Mass Index (BMI), 27, as the rest of the population. According to the CDC, Americans have a similar BMI. For the sake of commonality among gamblers, let's assume that Americans and English have similar lifestyles, too.
Slot Machines / G2E / Gambling / OpenThread / Global Gaming Expo / Gaming / → All Tags
As always, G2E (the Global Gaming Expo) was a haze of slot machines and casino wares. It’s going to take a minute to collect our thoughts on everything we saw. There’s one thing that’s certain and that is themed slot machines are taking over. There were more themed slot machines at G2E this year than this writer can remember ever before.
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