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Why Do Some Casinos Not Get Certain Slot Machines?

Paris Las Vegas slot floor
Written by Joshua

Most players have a favorite game, type of game, game series or so forth thta they seek out when they go to casino. Yet some casinos may not have it, leading players to sometimes want to know – why are certain games not available in a certain casino, or group of casinos in a region?

There is a variety of core reasons it happens, from economics to casino preference, but ultimately it’s pretty logical. In today’s post I’ll cover a few of the common reasons.

Wrong Class of Game

I’ve covered the various classes of games that exist in casinos in previous posts, including:

If a game is developed for one type of device, it won’t work for other types of devices. While some of the more popular themes may see versions made for multiple classes, not all games cross over.

If you have a favorite VGT red screen machine, which is Class II and only found in tribal gaming facilities in certain states, you’re not going to find it in Nevada, where slots are only Class III machines.

Similarly, if you’re fond of a slot in Las Vegas, but your home casino only has Bingo machines, you’re not likely to find the game in that casino, unless they have a Bingo-driven version of the theme.

Not Approved in a Market/State

While regulations don’t tend to differ hugely from market to market, sometimes there’s specific nuances to the regulations that make a game viable in one market and not another.

Slot makers will figure ways around these issues, sometimes releasing variations of the same game to get around the issue. In more extreme versions, like WMS’s Gremlins, the game was modified to only have one mode vs. two when it came out in some locations, to resolve such issues and make the game viable in more markets.

In other cases there may be more mundane reasons why a game simply isn’t approved, or the slot manufacturer doesn’t opt to release it to a certain market. Some games are designed and focused to specific markets as well.

The Hardware a Game Runs On

One challenge with slots is that they effectively run on computers. There’s dozens and dozens of slot machine types, with each manufacturer having a number of different machine formats available at any given time.

Some platforms are more successful than others, and casinos will buy or lease hardware and games at various points in time. This can lead to games not showing up broadly for pretty simple reasons.

Take the first Unicow version of the Planet Moolah line of games. The game was designed to play on WMS’ Blade series of machines, which was their core slot machine platform at the time. Those machines weren’t on the market as long as many other machine types because WMS was acquired, and their new owner moved on to an updated platform that was designed to house games for Bally, Shuffle Master and WMS.

A side effect of that is not as many of those machines hit casino floors as other WMS machine types. So many of the games released on that series of hardware didn’t make it into casinos, or were very limited in availability, relative to other games.

Eventually some of the titles from that era were backported to appear on older hardware from WMS, the same hardware that’s slowly disappearing because parts are no longer available. So that was more of a temporary patch than anything.

WMS is finally getting into a re-release program for popular titles, putting classic games on newer machines, but many games from the Blade era never saw the light of day in some casinos. If a casino didn’t invest much in those machines, it wouldn’t have much ability to bring in many games from that line-up.

The Casino Doesn’t Want Them

Casinos of course have their say in what games make it to their floor. They’re constantly reviewing what games are popular, what hardware they have or are getting, and then deciding what should be out there.

Sometimes a game isn’t present because it was tested and failed, so they swapped it out. They may decide a certain game doesn’t fit what they’re looking for at the time. They may be taking out old machines of low volatility games, and need new ones to replace them. If a casino has local competition it may add games their competitor doesn’t just to ensure players find something different.

All sorts of thinking goes into what appears on a casino floor, from the most popular titles all the way down. So it sometimes is simply a matter of what the casino is trying to accomplish at the time.

Players Aren’t Asking for Them

Casinos sometimes listen to their players. I’ve seen casino floor managers on forums gauging what people are talking about, adding games that people ask for. Social media and emails are read by casinos and processed.

Casinos are a service-oriented form of entertainment, so if players indicate they want a game, a casino will look at it. They can’t carry everything, but if players are very vocal about getting certain games in, that can sway a floor director to give them a shot.

So if you don’t see a game, you can certainly reach out and ask – the worst that will happen is nothing changes (or, if they have it, the embarrassment of being told it’s already there). But you never know – the game you want to play may make its way to the floor.

About the author

Joshua

My name is Joshua, and I’m a 30-something 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, games that give you a potential edge, casino promotions and systems and how you can get the most out of it.

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