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Slots Out in Vegas

With popular slot machine games attracting a lot of attention in the casino world, you would think that options such as Gold Rally with its massive progressive jackpot would be safe on the casino floor. However, that may not be the case – as recent research has suggested that casinos in Las Vegas are gradually taking slot machines offer casino floors in order to focus on more lucrative table games such as baccarat which have a lot more fans. Data was collected by the University of Nevada Las Vegas Centre for Gaming Research, and also looked at poker games, seeing that those tables have shrunk in number too.

The number of slot machines in casinos throughout Nevada fell between 2000 and 2012 by an astonishing 38,000 units. Recently, slot machine revenue fell to $581 million in September, from $595 million in April. During the same period however, table game revenue jumped 47% to $369 million. It seems that the slot machine games are still dominant in terms of revenue, but venues such as those owned by Las Vegas Sands, MGM International, and Wynn Resorts are trying to focus on high return table games such as baccarat which are coming back into fashion. The increase in the amount of technology which is available has also led to this reduction in slot machines, as older slots would only have taken certain denominations such as quarters or dollars. New modern slots can except all kinds of terminations through the same machine, so there is less need for variety. It is worth noting that the three brands we described above gets the bulk of their revenue from their casinos in Macau rather than those in Las Vegas, and so they are trying to make sure that there is some way to increase the revenue at their Las Vegas venues by tempting higher income gamblers into the table game areas.

It is yet unclear whether this decrease in slots is a nationwide trend or just one that applies to Las Vegas, and whether it has any effect on the slot machine makers such as International Game Technology. The manufacturers of the games tend to sell to casinos around the world, and so it may well be that they are somewhat insulated from the shrinkage in slots in the US thanks to the fact that there are emerging and developing markets elsewhere. Whatever the results, shares of the Las Vegas Sands as well as MGM and Wynn were although in the stock market at the time of writing, and International Game Technology had also fallen slightly. Multimedia Games, a slot machine manufacturer that mostly sells to tribal casinos, plunged 13%, after the fourth quarter results were released that topped estimates but unfortunately forecasts lower profits in the coming year as a result. The trend of diminishing slot machine games is one that needs to be looked at more carefully in the future, in order to determine whether it is a serious threat to developers or not.


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