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New Casino Tech: Holding a Slot Machine Temporarily

New York-New York slot floor
Written by Joshua

When you’re playing a slot for an extended period, sometimes nature calls. Other times, you may need to quickly run to the ATM or the ticket eater, but to do so risks the machine you’re playing.

Some players will leave credits in the machine or flip a chair, but for both casino staff and other players it’s uncertain how long it’s been that way, and if the player is actually going to return in any reasonable time frame.

Some casinos’ slot attendants will lock machines temporarily on a player’s behalf, although that can many times be a perk for higher tier cardholders. For many, that may not be an option.

Oneida Casino lock machine

So I was intrigued by this post from Oneida Casino, sent to me by a reader, where you can now on screen reserve a game temporarily if you need to quickly get up.

It seems like they nailed the basics:

  • The machine will only be locked for up to 10 minutes; putting your players card back in the machine will unlock it.
  • You can only lock up to 2 machines at a time by this method (nice if you’re playing with a friend or loved one next door or something like that)
  • You must cash out before locking the machine; that way there’s no credits left behind if the 10 minutes expires, opening the machine up for someone else.

Compared to other methods, this seems to give enough time for a quick restroom visit, or stop at an essentials store for a snack, a refill at the beverage station and so on. And with only a 10-minute clock, the machine isn’t blocked for an indeterminate period of time because there’s no immediately obvious way to track when that chair was flipped or machine locked by a human

As the technology continues to evolve in casinos, some of these features offer nice, player-friendly ways to solve common problems without causing too much of an inconvenience to other players.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.


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