They say poker is a game of skill. As they do blackjack. And even roulette to an extent. But slots? Well that’s a game you just put a nickel in, pull the one-armed bandit and hope you’re greeted with three lemons right?
Well, not quite. In fact, the gaming control board in Nevada are actually working on rules to introduce elements of skill into the Strip’s vast amount of slot machines, in a bid to offer something different and introduce an arcade-style element to the bright lights of the world’s biggest casinos.
It could be revolutionary for the Strip, which has seen a downturn in revenue over the last few years, and is in desperate need for a shake-up. In the first five months of the year, the Strip has been down 3.25%, and has been a growing trend with the rise of the online industry.
Online poker has become huge over the last few years with the rise of technology, enabling users to play on mobile or desktop, whilst online slots are also having a similar effect, replicating those of Las Vegas toe-to-toe with the likes of Kitty Cabana, a cat themed slot game, even offering fun themes just as you would find in the likes of the Luxor or Excalibur.
The decision to implement skill is hoped that the new slots will counteract this and bring in a new generation of gamers.
Chairman of the Gaming Control Board, A.G. Burnett said, “Really, what we are looking at is attempting to steer the state onto a new path, onto a new road, in terms of gaming.”
The idea is that it will attract a younger audience who have been brought up on console games, with the skill elements appealing to the Xbox and PlayStation gamers of this world.
That could mean that gamblers could be paid out for scoring a goal, or blasting a UFO in outer space. Anything which you might necessarily find on a console.
Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers said, “It’s certainly not your father’s one armed bandit anymore.”
That’s certainly for sure. The next generation of gamers aren’t necessarily going to be standing still playing traditional slots, they can now do that at home, so by Las Vegas offering something different, it could see waves of new revellers arrive for the new attractions.
Of course if that pays off for the Nevada gambling haven, other states will surely follow. The increasingly dwindling Atlantic City will no doubt become an adopter, whilst the likes of Macau, Vegas’ eastern twin could also welcome the machines.
It marks a new wave of gaming, and is certainly a huge move away from traditional gaming. Of course that was bound to happen. We’re more technological than ever before, playing slot games on our phones, tablets, and desktops. This will undoubtedly reinvigorate land-based slot machines, but will skill games be harder than a simple game of chance?