You could argue that slots are the building blocks of the modern casino offering. Despite numerous makeovers to accommodate updated technology and modern trends, the slot machine has remained a continuous staple in casinos for decades.
But will it always be that way? What technology is on the horizon that will revolutionise the industry further? Will slots as we know them even exist in a decade’s time? Two of the industry’s premier slot suppliers give us the answers
MOBILE & AR IS THE WAY FORWARD
Matteo Monteverdi SVP of Global Product Marketing, Interactive IGT
We can expect casinos to greatly advance the integration of mobile experiences into the traditional retail casino entertainment experiences and beyond. This includes everything from playing games anytime, anywhere, to social interactive experiences, to earning and claiming player’s rewards or even making payments via mobile devices. IGT is already introducing new products in these areas and development will continue at a rapid pace.
Mobile is offering new experiences that are being adopted rapidly by different age segments of our population. Think about the craze augmented reality has brought to social gaming and consider the possibilities that IGT can develop for the smartphone-connected casino of tomorrow.
By working closely with our customers, we’ve discovered that traditional land-based operators are looking to expand their game offerings into the interactive and mobile space in new and creative ways. IGT’s capability to provide seamless integration across all platforms while combining it with a CRM/big data solution further drives convergence, and will enable operators to engage personally with customers in real time and allow players to get the most out of casino offerings.
In the last few years, mobile games reached nearly 30% of all interactive gaming, and we expect it to become the dominant interactive channel over the next five years. Games need to be developed to operate on several types of devices that change rapidly and use a variety of technologies and operating systems.
We offer our customers content, platforms and services such as front-end web development and back-end operational management. Recognising the broad appeal for different types of gameplay, we support all gaming verticals including casino, poker, bingo, iLottery, Instant Play, and sports betting.
IGT leverages its industry-leading R&D investment to develop the latest technological advances to push innovation forward. For example, the IGT OnPremise solution is an advanced integrated mobile solution that delivers cross-platform customised game content and services directly through a player’s mobile device. This enables interactive gameplay on a mobile device within the boundaries of a casino resort and also remote mobile and desktop play in a play-for-fun social format. We are integrating IGT OnPremise into new areas too, such as enabling players to access live table games and make transactions with a simple tap of the phone. IGT OnPremise is a perfect example of how we are helping to visualise the casino of the future – offering content wherever and whenever players wish to access it.
SLOTS NEED TO GET MORE SOCIAL
Elena Shaterova Global Sales Director, Casino Technology
Slots machines have had to adapt over and over again in order to survive in casinos.
Can you imagine that once upon a time they were considered as a game only for women and that they had just three reels with only 20 symbols? Since those early days a lot of modifications have of course been added so the “one armed bandit” looks incredibly different today. The rules of the game are basically the same though, the stakes have just skyrocketed. The main difference is that slots have evolved into big machines equipped with a variety of lights, sounds and plenty of interactive features.
With the rise of cloud computing technology and the rapid development of mobile phones, the casino industry has to catch up. But the possibility of an incredible change in slots machines compared with the rate of change we saw in the past is not likely.
When you consider that more than 100 years after the first slot machine was introduced little has changed to the basic gameplay, ten years from now the difference in slot games will probably not be a significant one. One major way the gameplay may change is the introduction of new games allowing customers to compete against each other rather than only playing against the house.
Maybe slots will be linked to the players phones or mobile devices as well. Some big changes could be games being located in more social settings, more interactive games, and more social games where people are playing against one another. Slot machines account for approximately 60-65% of the average casinos profit, so getting this right is essential for operators.