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Are Hybrid Slot Machines the future?

2016-08-30 09:58:25

The US tends to be at the forefront of innovation. For that reason, looking beyond the pond is a great way to get an idea of emerging trends – also, within the gaming industry. One such trend, so-called ‘hybrid slot machine’, are about to get approval from the New Jersey authorities.

First things first, why are these slot machines described as hybrids?

Simple. These slot machines move away from being purely a game of chance and combine chance with skill.

Skill gaming machines are subject to conditions published by the US Division of Gaming and Enforcement. These games have been developed with a younger generation in mind, which is much more likely to visit casinos for games of skill, rather than games that are purely down to luck. The explanation for the generational shift lies in the younger generation having grown up with advanced console games, such as FIFA or Grand Theft Auto. For that reason, they are much less inclined to enjoy games that require passive participation.

Why do hybrid or skill gaming machines require special laws?

In May 2015, the US Division of Gaming and Enforcement legalised the concept of ‘variable payouts’ for Nevada. This marked an important change, given that traditional laws hold that the payout odds require being the same for all players of a certain gaming machine. For that reason, slot machines never come with the ability to assess skill, which would subsequently increase the odds for skilful players.

New conditions intend to set a payout level at a set rate, for example, 70 percent, and the level that can be improved based on skill at another level. For example, the skill level of a player could improve the payout levels to 80 percent. This system could potentially attract regular older players, as well as a younger generation.