How Much Does It Cost To Make A Slot Machine?

Video slots are of tremendous interest these days, now that the floodgates have been all but opened up for worldwide gaming. It’s a known fact that video slots from such top games-makers as Real Time Gaming, Betsoft, Rival Gaming and others are costly to procure, given the realities of supply and demand. Simply put, it is difficult to make a really good slot, and many software programmers are employed to turn out a truly good one. Thus, the casino Houses that procure these libraries must pay a hefty price for them, which of course must be transferred to the player.

In the offline space, the costs are even greater since the slot machines require a massive, computerized chassis. To get a better idea of what you’d be in store for - just in case you’re thinking about setting up your own mini-casino (just kidding; these things are difficult to set-up and require all kinds of state and federal licenses), we will nonetheless go through the costs that are involved with making a casino slot machine from start to finish.

From Start to Finish - Cost of a Slot Machine

Anything with multiple moving, interacting parts is going to have costs associated with putting it together and then maintaining it. The run of the mill slot machine, for example, has a cash-handling component, a chassis (which is sometimes called a cabinet) and a display that is usually liquid-crystal, but has increasingly become replaced by light-emitting diodes for energy efficiency purposes. Obviously, the particular level of advancement of each machine has a big effect on the flyaway cost; but this article seeks only to “speak” in general terms for how much ti costs to make a slot machine.

The chassis will run you between $500 and $2000; generally, this range is for casinos that need to buy slot machines in bulk. Basically, these are wholesale prices - at least, the lower spectrum of the listed price range is. Inside of the chassis/cabinet, you’ll find the music components that are capable of delivering the latest video slot soundtracks as intended by the software engineers, as well as an attendant driver and power source, of course. The slot machine chassis also comes with lights and card readers for accepting deposits, etc. The option to brand it with your casino logo is available at an added cost.

Some of the latest, top of the line additions to slot machines include touchscreen capability, as well as larger LED/LCD display screens for ease of view for the consumer. Expect to pay up to $300 for each of these features, separately. The embedded gaming board can run you up to $1000 for the very high end options; but the low end, functional ones can be had for as cheaply as several hundred bucks. The embedded gaming board is necessary to host the chosen casino software on the slot machine. Said software can cost you the most out of anything, since months of work probably went into developing it - even if there was a preexisting game template. The price for the software is usually around $3,000. This is the base amount; if you want it professionally installed, it will cost you more.

Lastly, are the components to the LCD/LED display; the first one is the VGA Converter device. It is essential to the proper functioning of an LCD display; but if you’ve chosen the higher-end LED display, you needn’t worry about this. The converter costs about $100 for a reputable brand - get the same brand as the LCD screen if you can, or make sure it’s compatible. Cross-compatibility lists exist on the internet and on the manufacturer’s pamphlet or website. Finally, we have the Input-Output Evaluation board, known as the I/O Eval. This basically bridges the gape between machine and human, and costs about $200 for a very good one, or $100 for a solid one.

Out of Pocket Costs in Procuring a Slot Machine

As you can see, a slot machine is not a bad investment - this, of course depends on the size of your casino and whether or not you operate an parallel online endeavor. You can make money from the latter to easily cover some of the costs of the land-based variant. Alternatively, you can also choose to rent or lease slot machines, paying a pittance (relatively) monthly on a contract. Because you have to buy casino games separately, of course, the costs can really start to sky-rocket since software companies employ a lot of coding manpower to produce video slots.Thus, accounting for this added price, a new slot machine can easily set you back between $15,000 to $30,000. The higher end numbers are for themed slots (Aztec template, Ancient Egypt, the Far East, etc) that can command considerable licensing clout.

Slot Costs and How Casinos Deal With Them

Ultimately, one should not go into either an offline or online casino thinking that everyone starts with an even playing field - casinos have to have a House Edge in order to exist, otherwise they couldn’t reliably cover overhead costs. Thus, the RTP acronym exists, which stands for Return to Player. For different games, it has a different value; for example, the RTP for penny slots is 88.30%, which gives the House an edge of 11.7% - thus, it is one of the worst ones to play inside the casino!. The dollar slot is much better with an RTP of 92.30%, meaning the House has an edge of just 7.70%. You do not usually find some of these in the online space, but the RTP value for the nickel slot is 91.36% (House edge is just 100% minus the RTP so it’s 8.37% in this case). The quarter slot has a House edge of 89.40% and the one with the best chances is the multi-denomination slot: RTP = 93.61%; House edge of 6.39%.

When you play at online casinos, the RTP and thus House edges become much more favorable towards the gamer. For example, most of the video slots from places such as Real Time Gaming, Betsoft, NextGen and Net Entertainment have RTPs ranging from 95% to 97%; this the House only has an advantage of 5% to 3%. Keep in mind that this is offset somewhat by the high variance inherent in the slots.