Slot machines are a huge attraction for casino visitors up and down the country. The high-definition (HD) screens with their pop culture-themed designs (based on cult classic movies like “The Goonies” and “Grease”) are often irresistible for many people.
Over time, the machines and the technologies that power them have also improved considerably. These days, you hardly find casino slot machines with a long crank handle and spinning reels that give out player winnings in actual clanking coins. Computer-connected jackpots and other modern gaming technology have replaced the clunky old slot units as manufacturers try to cater to an ever-evolving audience that’s young, highly tech-savvy, and more brand-conscious.
Quite a few of these changes have also been the result of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world. In this piece, we’ll take a look at some of the major changes that slot machines are undergoing. Many reputable manufacturers are certain that these trends will dominate the industry in the coming years.
4 Ways Slot Machines Are Changing
Following are the changes that modern casino slot machines are undergoing.
Cashless Technology for Safety, Security, and Transparency
In an increasingly digital age, cashless payments have already become the norm in many places. They’re no longer an exception or some novel technology that few know about and understand. Many casinos around the world have also adopted cashless transaction systems. Their safety and security makes it easy for players to reload without needing to go to a nearby ATM (if they can find one, that is).
To keep up with the trend of cashless payments, casinos have adopted different methods. Some of them have developed transaction mechanisms similar to that of Uber, where you can simply cash in through the app using a credit or debit card.
IGT’s Resort Wallet is another common method of cashless payments for customers. You can access your account and load money into it through the Resort Wallet app. After that, all you have to do to make payments at a slot machine is to scan the provided QR code.
As mentioned already, the future of so many industries appears to be cashless. The casino industry has also picked up on the trend and recognized the importance of adopting safe and secure technologies to create memorable gaming experiences. Besides, slot machines are the most tech-intensive of all casino games, which is why their evolution in the digital age is hardly surprising.
Targeting a Younger Audience
Many casinos have witnessed an influx of younger and relatively less experienced slot players in recent times. The trend has grown further since the COVID-induced lockdowns (and other restrictions on movement and socializing) with extroverted and highly outgoing individuals itching to leave their homes again.
Sensing an opportunity, the gaming industry is looking for ways to hold onto this new bulge of young, enthusiastic, and tech-savvy audience for the long haul. This group of customers eagerly seeks out gamification and values brand loyalty more than older generations.
For casino owners and slot machine manufacturers, the aim is to create engaging and emotionally fulfilling gaming experiences. When that happens, these young and avid gamers would consider casinos as a viable form of regular entertainment rather than an occasional hangout place.
Among the existing casino gaming floor technologies, this generation of players has been particularly interested in Kyber, the AR (augmented reality)-powered electronic table game by Scientific Game. It utilizes a laser projector to create bonuses. These are then depicted onto a tabletop, which has a smartphone-like interface.
Tapping Into the Potential of YouTube & Other Digital Platforms
Compared to the past, players of today have a much better understanding of slot machines and their working mechanism. YouTube has played a significant part in making that happen. The world’s largest video-sharing forum includes thousands of videos (made by slot machine specialists) showing how to play different slot games in a casino. There are even tutorials on testing out a machine’s bonus rounds.
Amazingly, keeping a tab on slot specialist YouTubers and bloggers was unheard of until a few years ago. However, there’s a groundswell of players and “digital instructors” these days. They’re well aware of the different manufacturers (such as Aristocrat) along with the key technicalities and mechanics of various slot games. Thanks to their advanced knowledge and expertise of casino slots, building a dedicated online audience has been a smooth process for them.
Manufacturers like Aristocrat have already seized onto the potential offered by such organic marketing ploys. When the company released “Cashman Bingo” in northern Nevada towards the end of 2020, the game started being featured in YouTube videos within no time. To make the most of this viral popularity, Aristocrat shared these instances on its own social channels to drum up support for the game and enhance its own digital footprint in the process.
Pop Culture Rules the Roost
Slot machines themed around famous movies and TV shows isn’t anything new. In fact, it’s the one trend that’s been around for a while and isn’t expected to go away anytime soon. This is why slots unit manufacturers sometimes try to plan the introduction of new machine models around the release of a much-anticipated mainstream entertainment project.
It can usually take around 18 months following the release of a movie or TV show to come up with a slot machine adaptation. However, manufacturers are actively trying to bring down this waiting period to under 12 months. Ideally, they would want this interim duration to be not more than a couple of months at most.
Here again, Aristocrat is one of the manufacturing companies leading the way. Others are set to follow as time goes on.
Being able to play the most innovative and hi-tech games within the iGaming industry is an extremely exciting prospect. If you’re also a tech-savvy individual with an interest in casino games, specifically slots, then the trends mentioned in this piece will help you better understand the latest versions of digital slot machines.
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