Bingo slots are a type of gambling machine. The outcome is determined based on the mechanics of a Bingo draw. It may sound a bit confusing at this point, but to fully understand what a Bingo slot machine is, you have to know what the two different types of gaming machines are and the mechanics of each. In this article, we will break down the differences and explain exactly what is and is not a Bingo slot.
There Are Two Different Classes of Gaming Machines
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that became law in 1988 defined the federal regulations for Native American gaming. In that document are clear definitions of two different classes of gaming machines. They are commonly known as Class II and Class III. Although the definition was intended for use exclusively on tribal casino sites, the terminology has spread to become the standard definition for the two classes of machines elsewhere in the country and internationally as well. One such example is north of the United States where one can often find free bingo in Canada. Although that does not always refer to Class II machines. Let’s look closer at what each of these classes contains related to gaming regulations.
Class II Regulations
The regulations that govern Class II gaming activities focus primarily on the game of Bingo. The guidelines permit any Indian tribe the right to offer bingo games and the regulations also govern all electronic equipment required to make bingo games possible. This would include the boards, cards, balls, and any other tool needed for a game of bingo.
Class III Regulations
The regulations in this classification govern almost all other casino games including craps, roulette, blackjack, and slot machines. The confusing part here is that although they name slot machines in this class of gaming machines, Class II bingo machines are also slots. However, not the same as the ones you are accustomed to.
Let’s dig into that a bit deeper…
If we were to give each classification of gaming machines a better description in their names, we would call Class II Bingo Machines and Class III Vegas-style Slot Machines. The difference between them should be apparent once we break them down even further.
Class II – Bingo Machines
Machines that fall under this classification are supposed to help you play Bingo. One way to visualize what this means is to think about all the gaming devices you would have seen a Bingo hall or a seniors hall or Legion use to conduct the Bingo games. That is the basic premise of a Class II Bingo machine. Here’s how it works: Your wager and those of other bingo players, and all the bingo cards for the specific game enter into a time-delineated bingo game. In other words, all the data related to the particular game is put together in a short window of time measured in milliseconds. The bingo balls get drawn and the resulting outcomes appear through the Class II bingo machines. There are sometimes delays in the outcomes coming to the machines but that is only because each game requires a set number of players and the game has to be complete before the outcomes are known. These Bingo slots are not everywhere casinos exist but are gaining in popularity. They are easy to spot as the screen of the machine displays a large-format bingo card and the game is played out before your eyes as the slot reels spin behind the video graphics.
Class III – Vegas-style Slot Machines
These are the 3-reel, 4-reel, and 5-reel slot machines that are commonly found in casinos throughout Las Vegas. The outcomes of these casino slot games come from something in the game mechanism that is known as a Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG is forever operational within the game and generates new numbers or number combinations each time the play, spin, or repeat bet button is activated. How this works is simple. The RNGs have chosen the winning numbers when someone touches the button. They are known once the reels stop spinning. So, while it may appear that the spinning action is choosing the winning outcome, it was complete seconds before when a player touches the button to launch the reels into spin mode. The interesting thing to note about RNGs is that if a player touches the button a fraction of a second before or after, the results would be completely different. The RNGs are connected to the spin button and can only work through that button. Hitting the spin button during a game does not change the outcome as the RNGs lock in the results at the moment a player touches the spin button.
The Difference In Pay Outs
There are a few variables that come into play at this point. For example, Class III machines are set by the casino as to what level of payout they provide. This means that the payout level is set differently on each machine. But there is some control in that there are only so many payout choices that a machine can be set to. According to one source, there are about six different settings. Ideally, the casino would choose the payout level that matches whatever their desired goals are for the casino. As for the Class II bingo machines, a tribal casino can also set their machines which put some control in place. The difference here is that in some locations, the RTP (Return-To-Player) percentages are not made public by tribal casinos but other non-tribal casinos must have that information easy to access for gamblers on site.
You may not have been aware of the fact that there are two very distinct types of slot machines in a casino. Both intend to provide fair games of chance to the player. However, the mechanics inside the machine differ in how they create the game outcomes. Both are still fair, and both still provide payouts. Only one uses the random number generator (RNG) system and the other one doesn’t. To the average gambler, it may not be easy to distinguish one from the other but it most certainly helps gamblers to be aware that not all slot machines are equal, although they should perform like they are.