Since its inception in 1894, the slot machine has become a staple at nearly every gambling establishment. Just about everyone who has ever walked into a casino has at least given these fun games a try.

While the system has remained largely the same since around 1970, slot machines are undergoing an evolution that’s worth mentioning. They may not be reinventing the wheel per se, but they are giving the business of slots a much needed boost of relevance.

In this article, lets touch on some of the history of these iconic machines and see how the entire playing experience might look a little different in the future.

#1 A More Intimate Experience

For the most part, slot machines are tightly bunched together with only a foot or two of space between each machine. Once casinos reopened following the world health crisis, this changed protocols to ensure Surprise, surprise, players liked the increased privacy and space; they enjoyed it significantly more than having fellow slot players sitting right next to them as they played. Simply put, those who are playing slots now have a little more room to breathe and focus on their main goal—winning money.

Recently, one slots developer in particular — Scientific Games — has been working on creating a slot machine experience that feels a bit more “business-class” and high-end.

Though the ideas have not fully been ironed out yet, early speculation is predicting games that are more individualized than they are currently. This could mean that instead of an entire section of casino dedicated to slots, they’ll be placed on their own throughout different areas of the casino.

From a technology standpoint, nobody would deny that slots could benefit from a hardware upgrade. The company referenced previously, Scientific Games, is experimenting with a 43” curved display monitor that totally envelopes the player and immerses him or her in the gaming experience.

These expected changes are going to be rolling out slowly over the next couple of years, but make no mistake about it—they’re coming.

#2 Getting Younger

Slot machines aren’t known for attracting the youngest audience. In fact, quite the opposite is arguably true.

One casino expert has revealed that the pandemic has actually driven younger audiences to participate in gambling at the casino. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been trying their hand at the slot machines with varying degrees of success.

A generation that has grown up with infinite gaming options right in their pocket via smartphone has different preferences than slot machine players of the past. With this in mind, casino and game designers are looking to make the experience easier to learn and more intuitive for new players.

A number of new games have been tested, including some that have an oversized “smartphone” display. While it’s unlikely that older gamblers will take to these games, it’s long past time to pave the way for the next generation. With so much data available to help companies understand player preferences, the insights will help craft the most ideal games for new players.

#3 YouTube

For nearly a century, nobody know how real money slot machines really worked aside from the game designers and engineers themselves. Then, YouTube came along and let everyone in on all the inner-workings(literally) of the machines.

To be fair, very few have taken the information learned on YouTube and tried to cheat the system. Even if they did, there are plenty of systems in place to make sure that doesn’t happen. With that being said, lost machine makers still aren’t thrilled about having their machines tested endlessly online for all to see… until now.

One gaming executive recently spoke on what he thought was an important issue facing the future of the slot machine community, mainly having a pulse on what the bloggers are saying about their products. Often times, this is the first introduction players will have, and it’s important to use YouTube to understand who’s interested in which products.

Nowadays, please know slot machines brands in an individual basis and are familiar with all the different functions and ways to win without ever having played the game themselves. They can even develop specific strategies to try to find a machine’s weakness if it exists.

Finally, YouTube has presented a clear opportunity to get the word out there when a company is getting ready to release a new product or game theme. By utilizing the services of “influencers,’ gaming companies are able to reach their intended audience in a much more cost-efficient way than at any time in the past.

#4 Going Cashless

This has been a trend that’s slowly been building for more than a decade, and the gaming industry has been one of the forces leading the charge. The future of payment (for all industries it seems) is decidedly cashless, and slot machines are making it easier than ever to reload your balance without ever having to mess with an ATM.

The methods may vary from company to company, but all the major players in the industry have been investing heavily is safe and secure cashless technology. For example, one company is developing a “resort wallet” feature which allows players to load money onto an account that can be accessed from each machine within a matter of seconds.

The goal is to reduce the “friction” that might be standing in the way of someone sitting down and testing their luck.

So, what would this cashless payment look like? IGT gaming executive has stated that his vision is something similar to the way customers pay at Starbucks. If you’re unfamiliar with that process, it simply involves someone loading money onto an account via mobile application. From there, the QR code can be scanned to pay, or payment can simply be done online before the customer even arrives.

Nearly all industries are adopting cashless payment options so it’s expected that the transition will be relatively seamless for gaming companies. Even now, you might notice your local casino taking this approach for a number of different games on the floor.

Just be careful when you find a system that you haven’t used before. Make sure to read how everything works so you don’t get a nasty surprise.


Slot machines are ready to make their way into the future by relying on the latest technology to make the games more appealing to younger audiences. In addition, new marketing channels can reveal their latest developments at little or no cost via digital media influencers.

The gambling industry will always need to innovate in order to stay relevant to an audience that has unlimited games right in their pockets. This article proves that although slot machines are essentially the same in practice, they’re evolving the experience to stay current with the times.

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