The term ‘casino’ is one that comes with connotations of rolling dice, spinning wheels and the unmistakable noise of the slot machine section, but in recent years, we’re seeing a shift in land-based casinos.
The deafening tone of slots on the casino floor is becoming more of a distant flutter as more casinos take away the machines. Not because of the (bloodcurdling) noise, but because there’s a serious decline in land-based slots – and it is their online counterparts that are to blame.
In 2016, Las Vegas experienced a slump in revenue from slots for the ninth year in a row and it isn’t by a small margin, either. Although table games have also dropped during this period (3%), slots have dropped by a huge 17%, and that’s in the same casinos, too.
The pattern is not only seen in the fabulous Las Vegas – it’s a global phenomenon. Casinos around the world and pubs across the UK have noticed the shift of fewer investing in slot machines. A great example comes with the infamous chain ‘JD Wetherspoon’ sporting a 50% reduction in revenue from slots over the past 16 years – huge numbers for the 900-strong chain.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for those in the gambling industry, because there has never been a more popular time for slots – you just have to look in the right place. Land-based slots may be dropping in popularity, but online slots are gaining traction at an alarming rate.
So why are online slot games are constantly on the rise?
1. They’re super convenient and accessible
One of the biggest reasons for the rise of online slots is the convenience and accessibility that comes with online play.
With a laptop, tablet or smartphone on hand, slots can be accessed from anywhere in the globe – providing there’s an internet connection. That means no more staying out until the early morning in casinos, leaving your mates for the corner of the pub or heading to the local arcade to play slots – you can have a flutter wherever you are.
This has led to some recent controversy in the media with the rise of online gaming addictions, but with so many opportunities to play from the palm of your hand – it’s not hard to see why there is so much interest.
It’s a blessing, but it comes with a curse.
2. There are countless games to play
Sign up to any online casino and you’ll no doubt be impressed with the number of games, in particular slots, from which you can choose.
Most casinos are jam-packed with countless themes, game-modes, and wagers into which you can lose yourself. There is no more need to play sub-par slots in the dingy corner of your local bar. Play online and all of your favorite games can be found in one place.
It is sometimes argued that all slots are the same – but take a look through any games library and you’ll soon retract that statement. From classics such as The Wizard of Oz and Starburst to cutting edge AI and VR online gaming that blur the lines between video games and gambling – there’s a huge variety of games available and they are all waiting for you to play them.
3. Try before you buy
Not sure that you will become a fan of your chosen slot? There’s nothing to worry about, not with so many try-before-you-buy options available to new customers.
Whether you’re using specific free sites to get a feel for any game within a huge library or work to take advantage of the new player bonuses available when signing up, there’s seemingly always a way to try before you buy.
Look for promo codes, new player offers and even in-game bonuses and you’ll be surprised at just what you’ll be able to pick up.
You don’t get that at any land-based casino…
4. Bonus after bonus
Speaking of bonuses, if there is one factor online casinos have over their land-based counterparts, it’s the sheer number of bonuses you’ll be given for your playing time.
From new player bonuses and loyalty schemes to special occasions and unique promos, there is always some form of bonus available when playing online. When it comes to slots, it’s no different.
Of course, it’s always wise to check what your bonuses actually are – online casinos tend to be very careful with their wording and in their wagering requirements. Read the small print and be wary, it’s not always something for nothing – sometimes you must have a little skin in the game.
5. Larger than life jackpots
Online slots are famous for their larger than life jackpots. If you’re playing in the progressive slot rooms, you will be no stranger to this phenomenon.
In September 2018, the Mega Moolah slot cashed out a huge $21.7 million to one lucky player. Perhaps most surprisingly, it’s not the biggest slot payout to date. The largest-ever payout remains the famous $39.7 million jackpot win at the MGM’s Excalibur from the $100 Megabucks slot. It’s Megabucks by name, and by nature.
With such large jackpots available, it is no wonder that online slots are appealing to more and more who fancy their chances. After all, someone has got to win it -right?
6. Unrivaled graphics
Last but not least in the rise of online slots comes the unrivaled graphics from the sizeable investments bringing videogame-like realism into the online gambling world.
There are countless games without outrageous visuals already available and there are no signs of any slowdowns in progress. There are always new themes and visuals regularly released to go alongside the classics so there really is something for everyone.
If you’re in the mood for some fully immersive gaming, you’re in luck. Adaptations and brand new slot themes are on the way, making the most of AI and VR capabilities and keeping up with technology in an astonishing way.
It beats struggling to see the BAR-BAR-O in the back of a bar, that’s for sure…