Removal of a slot machine can catch regular casino visitors by surprise, especially if the game is popular. Is there a good reason for removing slots from the floor? Are players winning too much from these slots?
This article will go through why casinos remove slots from the gambling floor. The following answers can be shocking.
Reasons Why Casinos Remove Slot Machines
If you cannot find slots familiar to you, below are why they are removed from the floor.
Lack Of Players
The most common reason for removing a slot is its lack of players or how it is no longer making money for the house. Note that slots cost money to have active on the gambling floor. Part of a cabinet’s overhead is the electricity it needs. We are talking about the power needed to run its speakers, monitors, PCB board, lighting, printer, and bill acceptor. There is also the maintenance cost of repairing the machines when it breaks down.
Casinos are a business, and slots are part of their revenue stream. It must be stored when slots become a liability and no longer contribute to the house’s profit.
Unusual Payout Frequency
Loose slots are put back in storage if it is giving out more money than it is making. Unusually high payouts can occur when there is an unseen vulnerability in a slot’s software or hardware. You are likely thinking hackers or cheaters will take advantage of this vulnerability as soon as word gets out of Las Vegas slots that are paying too much. In most scenarios, however, regular patrons often unintentionally find these vulnerabilities and think it is their lucky day.
Remember that all slot machines are tested for their RNG (fairness) and hit frequency by a jurisdiction’s gambling or gaming commission. The cabinets do not get the regulator’s approval if a slot machine pays too much or too little. Sometimes, though these are extremely rare, testers did not notice a vulnerability before giving a green light for a slot.
End Of Lease
Casinos often would lease slot machines from vendors instead of buying them. Vendors get a cut of that cabinet’s profit when slots are leased. This agreement means the vendor and the house will share the risk by covering the player’s jackpot winnings even if it reaches more than a million.
Leasing is a feasible option for casinos when they want a popular slot machine on their gambling floor. Casino owners can save money by purchasing a machine, covering the maintenance costs, and paying for its storage when a slot is no longer profitable since they share the risk with the vendor. Not acquiring a slot machine’s full profit potential is the only disadvantage of leasing one. Casino owners will end the lease if the slot is no longer generating revenue or is not attracting many customers to their establishment as before.
End Of Service Life & Outdated
All slot cabinets have an expected service life or period when they are working. While preventive maintenance extends a slot’s life, it will eventually stop working. Casinos will also remove cabinets that can still be fixed if the repair costs outweigh their potential payouts.
Another scenario when slots are removed, even if they are still working, is outdated. Examples of these types of cabinets are mechanical slots before digital cabinets. Mechanical slots are more of a novelty or decoration piece than a money maker for casinos.
To be clear, slots that accept coins or tokens are not removed from a casino immediately. These machines are upgraded with a bill acceptor to take paper money from the players. Rather than showering players with their winnings in coins, a printer provides you with tickets you can redeem for cash. On the other hand, slots that are incompatible with bill acceptors are removed from the gambling floor.
Why would casinos remove slots that do not accept paper bills? The answer is overhead reduction. It takes time, workforce, and counting equipment to tally all the coins and tokens from slot machines before the 2000s. There are also instances of coin jams among slot machines that bring down the daily revenue while increasing maintenance costs. It is also difficult for casinos to get accurate data on how much earnings they made from slots. With the introduction of a ticket system, casinos can do away with counting equipment and coin jams while receiving an accurate profit report on their slots.
Casinos will put slots in storage, regardless of how much money they bring or if it requires repair, and add a new one on the gambling floor. The main reason managers would replace a slot is the profit potential of other titles. A licensed slot based on a hit movie or TV show may have just been released, and managers want to tap into a franchise’s popularity. Managers may also see slots getting lots of traffic from competing casinos and decide to have a similar cabinet in their slot den.
Having a popular slot on the gambling floor can also lead to an increase in casino visitors. A buzz about high-paying slots among Las Vegas or Atlantic City casinos is a significant marketing factor for operators. Increased visitors can also lead to more seats across the gambling floor, restaurants, shops, and attractions.
Reasons Why Online Slots Are Removed
Removing an online slot machine will likely not make sense for most people since these do not break like gaming cabinets nor consume as much electricity as casino machines. Below are the common reasons why operators remove slots from their casino platforms.
End Of Contract
Operators may stop using an iGaming aggregator at one point because they found better software for their online casino. Online casinos will also let go of a software platform for one that lets them add more gambling experiences for their visitors, such as sports betting, online poker, or bingo rooms. Another reason is to cut costs since aggregator services have a monthly cost.
A casino game aggregator is a software solution for online casinos to add an extensive library of games onto their platform. With a single API integrated into their casino, operators have a wide range of titles from different iGaming developers, such as Betsoft, Yggdrasil, Spinmatic, & Microgaming. Online slots are removed if operators will end an iGaming aggregator with a software provider.
A licensing issue occurs when the owner no longer allows software providers to use their IPs. License owners tend to do this when changing the image of their IPs into a family-friendly one. Unfortunately, slots and other gambling activities can ruin the image of an IP.
Marvel and Star Wars slots are the best example of this scenario, which occurred when Disney acquired the license for both franchises. Playtech had a series of Marvel slots based on popular movies from Marvel Studios, such as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Ghost Rider. With Disney stopping all casinos from hosting Marvel slots, Playtech was forced to remove these games from online platforms. Fortunately, the developers found a way to reuse the games by converting them into the Age of The Gods slots. Age of The Gods replaced Marvel Superheroes with popular Greek Mythology characters while retaining the Marvel Slot’s features.
Slots are removed for economic reasons, such as a lack of players or repair costs higher than their potential monthly profit. Online casino operators may have switched gaming aggregators or iGaming platforms, so specific slots are no longer available on the site.
This article was published on December 23, 2022, and last updated on November 22, 2022.