Say Goodbye to Coin Slot Machines in Las Vegas

Slot machines have become synonymous with the idea of pumping quarters into a machine and pulling the lever. But visit any Las Vegas casino today and the one-armed bandit stereotype quickly disappears. The vast majority of Vegas slot machines operate with tickets – not coins. The Nevada Gaming Control Board reports that less than 3% […]

slots-playerSlot machines have become synonymous with the idea of pumping quarters into a machine and pulling the lever. But visit any Las Vegas casino today and the one-armed bandit stereotype quickly disappears.

The vast majority of Vegas slot machines operate with tickets – not coins.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reports that less than 3% of the $50.5 billion wagered on slots was done through coin-operated machines. The LA Times reports that only a small number of Vegas casino properties even have quarter slots, including Bellagio, Circus Circus, MGM Grand, and New York New York.

It’s hard to even count some of these places because MGM Grand only has one such machine – a mechanical horse race track that has you insert quarters, at which point you watch plastic horses go down a toy track.

Circus Circus offers a relatively large number of coin-operated slot machines, with 30 in total.

“Those machines will be around as long as we can keep them working,” says Circus Circus General Manager Eric Fitzgerald. “It’s become more and more difficult to find parts for them, but we have a few slots we can take parts from still.”

circus-circus-casinoBut Circus Circus is an exception to the norm, with most casinos opting for ticket-based slots because they have more revenue potential.

Mark Yoseloff, who heads UNLV’s Center for Gaming Innovation, says that coin-operated slots do a poor job of keeping up with the “velocity of money.” Casinos need cash on hand, and they can’t afford to have a significant amount of money laying in slot machines.

In addition to this, coin-operated games slow players down.

“Machines today will get maybe 500 spins an hour or more, whereas in the old days, you were lucky to get 200 to 300 spins per hour,” says Yoseloff. “It almost doubled the velocity of money.”

These are big reasons why you won’t find many coin-operated slot machines in Vegas today. Nevertheless, there are still a few dozen coin slots available around the city for those who have nostalgia on their mind.

 

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