Casinos want to add skill to slot machines

ONE-ARM BANDITS make a killing for gambling dens. In America and Europe slot machines usually account for two-thirds of the house’s takings. Their relative unpopularity among younger punters is therefore a worry for casino operators keen to preserve gaming revenues, which exceeded $40bn in 2017 in America alone. Surveys in Las Vegas find that the typical player of slots is around 58, compared with 36 for all casino-goers. To make the machines more attractive to a new generation of gamblers—who are also cooler towards table games, where they fear looking gauche in front of a supercilious croupier—casinos are looking at machines that resemble video games millennials favour.

Many gambling authorities require each slot machine to offer all bettors an equal probability of winning. They fear that skill-based contraptions feed the “illusion of control”, which in turn fuels gambling addiction (Japan’s ubiquitous pinball-like Pachinko machines, which are played for prizes rather than cash, are a long-standing exception). But several are reconsidering their skill-aversion—possibly fearful of losing sin-tax revenues, which generate $9bn annually for American states. In 2016 Nevada permitted slots that award greater winnings to players who demonstrate aptitude. New Jersey, home to Atlantic City, followed suit later that year.

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via Business Feeds

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