Next year could see arcade-style slot machines making an appearance in Nevada casinos. These skill based machines require just one regulatory vote to be approved. Are you ready for skill based slots?
The Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended some legal language this week that would see skill based slot machines become a reality. These games would require skill to win or a combination of luck and talent.
The changes however still need to be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission before they can come into effect. This decision could come as soon as the 17th of September when the five-member regulatory board will meet to discuss the new language. This meeting is just a couple of weeks ahead of the annual Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, where slots creators will show off their latest innovations.
Eric Meyerhofer, CEO for Gamblit Gaming said, "if the changes are approved the store will be open for business, so to speak". Gamblit Gaming has been developing skill-based games in the style of "Angry Birds" and "Battleship" that can be played by multiple players. Mr. Meyerhofer went on to estimate that once the game submission process has been approved and technical standards have been written, casinos could be offering skill-based video slots gambling by early 2016.
These changes would also simplify rules that have governed the themes of casino games so that they don't appeal to children. Under the new proposal, anything that is obscene or offensive based on race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation will be forbidden. Game developers will also be prohibited from using themes based on products that are marketed to people under the age of 21.
In 2007 casino revenue was at an all-time high of $12.9 billion but this fell to about $11 billion in 2014. Slots revenues fell almost 20 percent and according to industry experts, gamblers today want to do more than just press a button and watch reels spin. They want to become involved and skill-based games like those that are being created for smartphones and video game consoles are what they are interested in. This means that with skill-based slots, players will have all of this with real money gambling built in - similar to the existing real money online slots games that mimic some of these popular mainstream games like the Happy Birds slot game and Sugar Pop, an online slot designed to resemble a Sugar Crush slot game.
In order to deliver on arcade-style games, the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers put in a great deal of work and effort to encourage innovation. They directed the Gaming Control Board to make regulations on games of chance less strict and allow elements of skill to be included.
We don't yet know what these skill-based games will look like except for what some development companies have shown and this includes a digital pinball machines and first-person shooter games that award points when targets are hit.
There were a lot of suggestions make to the board by the manufacturers' group including one that allows flexibility to waive the technical standards of a game if a good enough reason is shown. Are you ready for skill-based slots games? Can you see them taking off?
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