It’s been quite the year for the gaming industry in Canada as well as the United States, but one thing that has stayed the same is the rapid increase in slot machines’ popularity in casinos. In fact, both the US & Canada had growth of 15.7% in slot sales. During the second quarter, revenues on slot games grew in spite of an “overall flat market”.
A History of Slots in North America
Slot machines go back quite a while with the very first one created in late 19th century San Francisco for entertainment. Early slot machines were built with three reels which could be spun by players pulling a lever on the side. Helping to give slot machines the name of “one-armed bandits”. Payouts on these early slot machines were 10 nickels.
Over the years, slots were to be found in bars across the states. However, the crackdown on alcohol and gambling before the Great Depression in the 20s put a stop to the spins. However, slot machines made their big comeback in Las Vegas casinos in the 50s
It wasn't too long after Canada got slots. Laws had to change first though. Up until 1969, all forms of gambling were illegal in Canada. Once the law changed land-based casinos spread to Canada, and slots became popular with Canadians.
Slot Machines in North America Today
While it’s true that some slot machines have chosen to stick to small deposits and payouts. Many slots have changed over the years to include several reels and pay lines. The lever used to spin is now a button that can be pushed to spin the reels. Each spin on a slot can cost from a few cents to $100. Meanwhile, newer jackpot slots have the chance to pay out millions of dollars. The largest payout ever recorded in Vegas amounting to almost $40 million. Despite their odds, slots machines are the most popular of casino games. In both US & Canadian casinos slot machines make up the largest part of casino floors.
Why have slot sales increased?
Experts claim that the reason for this surge in popularity of slot games is mostly due to the large amount casinos opening throughout both countries, thanks to the revival of the economies. The recession of a few years ago caused many casinos to shut their doors. While riverboat casinos were also forced to shut down because of the severe hurricane activity.
Investment in casinos has shot up again with numerous establishments opening in Atlantic City, New Jersey and other states across North America.Including the end of a 3-month long strike at the Caesars Windsor casino in Ontario. Millions of dollars were lost in the strike.
One thing that could stop slots sales growing more is online casinos. In fact, online casinos are the biggest threat to land casinos. Mainly, in Canada where the market for online casinos is quite big. Casino players are drawn to online casinos for a number of reasons. One of the biggest is the number of casino games like online slots available. Unlike land casinos, online casinos are not short on space. Meaning, they can offer far more than any brick and mortar casino.