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Are skill-based slot machines a gold mine for casino owners looking to attract new players? This is required by every casino in Oklahoma, Nevada and other gambling states. Study after study shows that when it comes to 20- and 30-year-olds and their trips to casinos, they find one thing: Millennials just don’t like slot machines.
There’s a reason casinos have a reputation for catering to a more mature crowd. Most people who Google “casinos near me” are not under 40. But why?According to the Yale Tribune, younger generations are less likely to gamble than their parents and grandparents. Since people under 30 are born with tech-based games at home, embracing younger gamers will require more than a few bells and whistles. This makes it difficult for casino owners to appeal to younger audiences, with one major exception: skill-based slot machines.
What are Skill-Based Slot Machines?
Skill-based slot machines are now available in Las Vegas, Oklahoma casinos and gaming sites around the world. While most casino floors have remained the same for decades, many are finding that gambling technology needs to change to attract younger players.
So, if anything, would a 20- or 30-something go to a casino instead of a nightclub and play online games with friends? There are actually two things: adding a skill element and making game play a social activity.
Skill-based slot machines still involve wagering and luck (otherwise it wouldn’t be gambling). However, they also allow the player to control what happens in certain parts of the game. While players thrive on the thrill of winning and losing, players prefer themes, competition, and opportunities to advance through the game. The skill-based game maker aims to merge the two into an interactive slot machine that appeals to everyone.
How many skills are in these types of slots is a major misunderstanding behind skill-based slots. To better understand what this sentence means, consider Reina’s experience.
When the Game Changes
After a few spins on Space Invaders, something interesting happened. The bonus round came. In the bonus round, cousins have a choice: luck or skill.The first time they opted for the “lucky bonus”, they won a few bucks. It wasn’t until the second bonus came, that they opted for the “skill bonus”, that the two were able to influence the gameplay.
During the skill bonus, the duo can use controls to shoot at aliens and earn points based on the targets they hit. Instead of winning the jackpot, they were left with a fortune of $20. They also had a great time, and returned to the same Oklahoma casino a few weeks later.
Skill-Based Games: The Biggest Misconception
The problem with casino games like Space Invaders, Pac Man, and Deal or No Deal is that the term “skill-based” falsely implies that the player has a large degree of control over the outcome. For most games, this is not true. In fact, each player’s impact on the reward is minimal at best. However, casinos have done a good job of convincing tourists.
As in the case of Reina and her cousin, pennies/dollars can be calculated based on player performance in the bonus round, but little time is spent on player-influenced gameplay. In fact, skill slots are just like any other floor game. Even the best bonus round players are beaten by a 4% house edge.The casino games are truly interactive, which gives them an edge over traditional slot machines, whether the odds increase or not.
Why aren’t these slot machines more common?
Despite the growing popularity of skill games, they still far outnumber regular slot machines for a number of reasons. For one thing, until a few years ago, most casinos didn’t allow skill-based slot games. In 2015, Nevada regulations changed to allow this type of slot machine and variable payout percentages.
Other jurisdictions followed, although not all gaming communities were comfortable with the introduction of player-influenced interactive games. Still, these platforms dominated the show and did a lot to attract new demographics into the casino space.
This begs an important question: Can casinos in Nevada, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oklahoma combine the aspirations of players and gamblers in one innovative machine? As always, the odds seem to be in their favor!