Land-based Casinos Looking to Add Skill-based Slot MachinesPublished August 29, 2015 by Elana K
Slot machines are not as popular as they used to be due to the rise of smartphones and online casinos; which is why land-based casinos are looking to change their slot machines into real competitors.
Classic slot machines are on the decline, according to David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; which is why many land-based casinos are seeking to add games of skill to their casino floors.
“Today, anybody who has the disposable income to play a slot machine has something in their pocket that is way more entertaining than that slot machine,” said Schwartz, referring to smartphones.
Plans for New Slot Machines
Realizing that traditional slot machines are becoming less and less popular, James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, envisions a new kind of traditional casino. According to him, the classic slot floors that many have come to associate with traditional casinos will look totally different in ten years.
"The products are going to look different, it's going to be configured differently. You can have more social settings, more interactive games, more social games where people are playing against one another," he said.
Lack of Allure
In addition to younger players preferring their smartphones to land-based slot machines, experts think that another reason behind the decline of traditional slots is that they lack a certain allure: skill-based tasks and competition.
The games that Las Vegas casinos are seeking to add will use more console and app-based style and themes that will be more enticing to a younger audience. Towards this end, the Gaming Control Board of Nevada held its second workshop in early August to discuss regulations for skill-based slot machines in traditional casinos; as of now, no progress has been made. There will be another meeting in September, and if the regulation changes are approved, they will be submitted to the Nevada Gaming Commission for approval.
What Will New Slot Machines Mean for iGaming?
While traditional casinos are fighting for regulations to allow skill-based slot machines, online casinos are fighting for licenses to operate at all. As of now, only three states allow online gambling, though more are keen to follow suit. If traditional casinos are able to offer a competitive option to iGaming in the US, players might gravitate towards them - that is, unless internet gambling is legalized at a federal level. Then, traditional casinos will have to go back to the drawing board, and continue to come up with ways to compete with online and mobile casinos.