There have been plenty of news reports on how casinos are looking to add video game elements to slots. This is especially true with Nevada casinos, where, as the Baltimore Sun reports, they’ve already passed a bill that clears the way for video game-style slots in the near future. The reason for this fascination is that casinos want to find a way to appeal to younger generations, which are dwindling on slot machines. Taking everything into account, it’s worth asking if slots games will totally morph into video games someday.
Casino Slots still need the House Edge
The first thing worth discussing here is that, no matter what, casinos still need some way to keep their edge with slots. And if slots completely went the way of video gaming, then many skilled players would be able to cut the house edge really low. In the case of Nevada, gaming regulators have thrown out potential 98% payback for those who use perfect strategy, which is an incredibly low take for the house.
The good thing about slots games is that they lock in an average expected payout for casinos because there’s little-to-no skill involved. For example, if the payback is set at 95%, the average player will be giving up 5 cents for every dollar they bet because their skill doesn’t factor into the equation. And while there are bonus rounds that involve a little skill, it’s not enough to really have an effect.
Expect a Mix of Video Games and Slots for Decades
Based on what we just discussed, don’t expect the slots industry to change any time soon. Casinos want to keep a reasonable edge while still being able to attract younger generations to the slots. So you can look forward to a new breed of hybrid slots/video games that combine some skill, but, in the end, leave casinos with around a 2%-5% (with excellent skill).