Reprinted from the American Casino Guide – 1999 edition By Steve Bourie Today, the average U. casino makes about 65% of its profits off its slot machines. Table games were the big revenue producers for the casinos and it was usually the men who played those games while their wives were kept busy at the slot machines.
Actually, that number represents all different kinds of a casino’s machines including video poker, video keno, video blackjack and all other varieties of electronic games. Back in the 40s and early 50s, the old mechanical slots were full of gears and springs and were actually powered by pulling the handle which started the reels spinning.
One of the problems with these machines was that they were limited in the size of the jackpots they could offer because they could only accept one coin, plus the hoppers, still relying on those springs and gears, were limited in the number of coins they could pay out.
In the 60s the next generation of slots was introduced: the electromechanical.
These machines still had a handle on the outside, but this time when you pulled it you activated an electric switch which started a motor to spin the reels.
These machines increased the popularity of slots because they allowed multiple coin play and they also had electrically-powered hoppers that could pay out much larger jackpots.
In the 80s computer controlled slots were introduced.
These new machines revolutionized the industry because everything was now controlled by a computer chip.
These electronic marvels could offer progressive jackpots that were linked among different machines and it wasn’t long before this new computer technology led to the introduction of a new game called video poker.
Today, the technology is so advanced that it allows slot machines that are hundreds of miles apart to be linked together by computer and offer jackpots that start at $10 million (Super Megabucks), or video poker to be played from five different decks at the same time (Five Deck Frenzy).
Although the technology constantly changes, one thing remains the same: the person responsible for the operation of the slot department is the slot manager.
It is the slot manager who determines how the slot department will be laid out and how much the machines will be set to pay back.