November 24, 2021 3 min read


Experts See Skill-Based Slots as Industry’s Future

Slot machines have been around since the 1900s’ and their popularity around the globe is synonymous with casinos. While some casinos offer table games as well, other venues feature slots only. Since the invention of the first mechanical slots, the popularity of the machine has been growing at an unstoppable rate.

Slot Machines Continue to Evolve

The first all electronic slot machine was built around the 1960s by Nevada Electronic. Since then, slot machines have introduced new and exciting ways to attract consumers such as jackpots. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the first video slot machines were introduced.

But the machines kept evolving. Modern-day slot machines offer an immersive experience featuring audio and visual effects. Some machines are themed after famous movies or popular series and catch the attention of gamblers with attractive jackpots as well.

The Popularity of Skill-Based Slots Grows

Although slots tend to be more attractive to the older generation, some young people enjoy them as well. With that in mind, a new type of slot machine has been making its way to casino floors over the last few years. Those are the so-called skill-based or skill-influenced slot machines.

The standard video slot machine features a payout based on a random number generator (RNG). However, skill-based machines introduce a skill component that collaborates with the RNG, allowing players to influence some of the payouts. That skill can involve entering a specific key pattern or shooting at targets within the game.

Two major US markets approved the use of skill-based slot machines. Those are New Jersey and Nevada. Since then, gradually, the popularity of those machines has been increasing. According to Mike Darley, Next Gaming’s CEO, who recently spoke to CDC Gaming Reports, there is significant demand for skill-based slot machines.

Skill-Based Slots Are More Appealing to the Younger Demographic

Next Gaming was founded back in 2006 by Terry Caudill who is the owner of Binion and Four Queens casinos in Las Vegas. Since then, the company has proved to be a highly successful slot developer and innovator in the field. In fact, Next Gaming has teamed up with Atari and Taito in an effort to “create fun, imaginative, immersive, and exciting new skill-based slot machines.”

According to Darley, Next Gaming is on a successful path. He revealed that while some industry players have “dabbled” with skill-based games, Next Gaming is the company that remains committed to filling a “void” that has been created. Besides offering incredible variety, Darley stressed that collecting feedback from the players remains a key factor for the skill-based slot machines.

Focusing on the demographic, he revealed that while some consumers age 50 or older are attracted to skill-based slots, but the innovative slot machines prove to be more attractive to the younger demographic. Darley explained that “the 25- to 35-year-olds – want engagement, socialization, all those things that our games provide – tend to be the larger population that become loyal to those games.”


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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