Massachusetts Gaming Commission is considering whether to approve a new kind of skill based slots that could increase interest in slot machines among millennials. The regulating body released draft regulations, which if approved, might introduce these games into state casinos very soon.
Some game manufacturers have already presented slot options of which gamblers can enjoy classic games such as Pac Man and Space Invaders during bonus rounds. Good performance, expectedly, earns players more credits and increases their winnings. Other popular game concepts used on these skill-based bonus features are Pinball and even Guitar Hero. Mobile hit games like Words with Friends and Angry Birds have also been used as inspiration by software companies.
Such features are believed to be attractive to younger gamblers that see traditional slot machines as old-fashioned and monotonous; at least that’s what Marcus Prater, who is the executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturer, said. He called the products “something totally new” and highlighted the unique option to influence the outcome of the game they provide to players.
Not surprisingly, anti-gambling groups and activists used the opportunity to express their concern of the addictive potential skill-based slot machines may have on players. They claimed with such products the line between real money gambling and children’s games would be blurred.
Les Bernal, national director of Stop Predatory Gambling, described the games as new ways of getting people hooked on betting. He concluded that gambling in general was “an incredibly predatory business.” Similar concerns were revealed by the executive director of National Council on Problem Gambling Keith Whyte; according to the director, preventing and treating gambling problems would be more challenging if these games are accepted.
In fact, Massachusetts has already approved for skill-based machines in the state; however, they can’t be placed in casinos unless there are regulations for them first. Aside from the Bay State, these games are both accepted and regulated in Nevada and New Jersey. Maryland and New York, on the other hand, have been discussing the issue without a final conclusion on the matter.