For those of you who’ve followed along my coverage of various games with a persistent state element or elements, you may sometimes wonder why a casino would offer such a game. Why would casinos allow games that set up a scenario where an Advantage Player could successfully win money?
It’s quite simple: Many persistent state games encourage more coin-in, or wagering, on a given slot machine.
Must Hit By progressives drive players to put more money through a machine as it gets closer to its Must Hit By number. Left behind symbols on games like Golden Egypt or Wheel of Fortune 4D encourage players to give the game a shot. High free games counts on games like Buffalo Diamond entice those who believe they can hit that bonus and get a massive payout.
And for those already playing any of these games, those mechanics can encourage players to stay much longer than they might on any regular old slot machine. And that’s the point, really.
I shared details from a study that WMS did a number of years ago about why players’ money doesn’t last as long as it did. Some of the changes were around slot game design and encouraging players to put more money through the machine. Some are straightforward changes like increasing the bet levels.
But others are game designs that encourage players to spin more, such as games with spin cycles, or collect x, get y; savvier players will play in sessions that maximize the games, and Advantage Players will clean up what unsavvy players don’t realize they’re leaving behind. But in both cases the outcome is more wagers on the machine.
Regardless of whether a short term Advantage Play is created and set up, all of the slots on the casino floor have a set of payback options, and all are designed to make money for the casino over time. Even on standard slots there are winners and losers; the casino isn’t against winners per se, as having winners helps create excitement that encourages more players (and thereby, even more coin-in).
Many casinos have pruned their casino floors to be less dense in recent years, and new floor layouts in the world of COVID-19 space out slots even further. Having games that encourage more play is critical as having a machine sitting idle for lengthy periods of time is more costly right now.
If you have any doubt that these games are doing the job they are doing, go to Las Vegas or other major markets and notice the expansion of games with these elements. I saw big banks with games like Zodiac Lion set up throughout the strip, for instance, during my visit earlier this month. They perform well enough to get visible locations on the slot floor. Pretty much every major manufacturer is experimenting with ideas on how to leverage these capabilities to success.
Many aspects of what makes a slot machine game successful is various elements that encourage more play. In the case of persistent state games, that knowledge that something’s coming drive coin-in, and by connection, profits, for the casinos.