For the most part, every slot machine is the same. You put money in, you give it a spin (well, a button push), and you hope that you win (spoiler: you mostly don’t). But, because of your smartphone, slot machines could look much different in the not-too-distant future.
While some newer slots have added features like vibrating seats, fancier graphics, and themes like “Walking Dead” or “Willy Wonka”, companies are working on changing slot machines to be more like an Xbox or PlayStation game to attract younger users reports The Las Vegas Sun:
But time and technology are catching up with traditional slot machines, which don’t hold anywhere near the same appeal for younger players as they do for their parents. Slots simply can’t compete with the variability and social nature of the window through which most young people view the world — their smartphones.
Slots play “has kind of been slowing down nationally. It’s not advancing as fast as table play,” said David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the UNLV. “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.”
Anxious about millennials’ indifference to slot machines, manufacturers are testing more social and interactive games that would make the casino floor of the future look like a cross between a TV game show and a NASA flight control room.
And the biggest change to come is how you interact with the machine. Rather than just you, the player, going on-on-one against the slot machine – in the future, you will go up against other players in the casino and you will need more skills than simply inserting money and pressing a button:
But experts say an important lure is missing from the games of chance: skill-based tasks allowing players to compete against each other rather than passively playing only against the house. Game manufacturers even envision players tracking their progress and the competition on their phones.
“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,” MGM’s (chairman and CEO) James Murren said.
Experts even predict that resorts will have leader boards above the casino floor showing top scores from players.
In the meantime, casinos are still making a shit on of money from slot machines. In 2014, Nevada casinos brought in a whopping $6.7 billion from slot machines.