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Author Topic: Coin-in, coin-out slots make a comeback at one Las Vegas casino  (Read 5636 times)
knagl
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Kevin


« on: April 20, 2010, 10:53:41 PM »

I guess everything old is new again.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/apr/20/many-players-eager-get-their-hands-dirty/

...with pictures of a bank of Fortune 1s!



Coin-operated slots bring back sound of old Vegas
Eastside Cannery among small number of casinos with aging machines


Sam Morris

The coin slot area at Eastside Cannery is one of the most popular parts of the casino, especially with those nostalgic for the trappings of vintage Las Vegas.


By Liz Benston
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | 2 a.m.


Like other casinos, the Eastside Cannery on Boulder Highway tries to keep players coming back by installing the latest and most elaborate slot machines on the market.

Yet the chairs in front of most of these glittering towers were empty on an afternoon last week, their noises and lights playing to a sparse crowd.

It’s a common scene in recession-plagued Las Vegas, where casinos are lucky to fill even half of their seats with gamblers — which makes the sights and sounds near a side entrance of the Eastside Cannery all the more unusual.

In a room off the main casino, gamblers occupy every available chair in front of a bank of red boxes that look more like small, box television sets than like modern slot machines. There are no blinking lights or animated images, only lighted glass with the words “Draw Poker” and a blue screen with images of five cards.

But the noise from these machines really sets them apart.

Modern slot floors are a rumble of recorded sounds, electronic soundtracks, voices captured from movies and television shows.

But the machines attracting the attention on this day have their own sound: the loud pinging of quarters hitting metal trays and the clink of coins as gamblers scoop them up and drop them, one by one, into the machines.

It’s the sound of old Las Vegas, resurrected.

Coin-operated slot machines have mostly been phased out of American casinos in the past several years. The Eastside Cannery is one of the first modern casinos in the country to install machines from the 1980s in an effort to appeal to older players.

It’s not that the machines couldn’t be found in Southern Nevada for those who were willing to hunt them down. The Gold Strike in Jean, for example, prides itself on using only coin slots — 32 miles south of Las Vegas. But in the valley, fewer than 20 casinos, all older properties that opened with coin slots, offer machines that accept and spit out quarters. They’re the leftover machines. Their ranks decline as casinos sell off aging slots in favor of digital ones that play faster and, in theory, make more money for casinos.

That assumption didn’t necessarily hold true at Eastside Cannery, however. The casino opened in 2008 with a bank of the Draw Poker machines — known as Fortune 1 to gambling enthusiasts — near its cashier cage. The machines were recycled from the Nevada Palace, torn down to make way for the new casino — but they were obviously popular.

“We wondered why these games were full when we’ve got all the latest and greatest games out there on the floor,” Eastside Cannery General Manager Marty Gross says. “And they were always full.”

So the casino bought more, along with a few other coin-operated machines that are no longer made. The games would get a new home near the main entrance, in a space formerly occupied by a high-limit slot room that got little use even when the economy was strong.

Like their vintage appearance, the names of these games are as basic as gambling gets: Deuces Wild, Jokers Wild, Double Diamond and Triple Diamond. A bank of “Humpback Keno” machines, their blue screens like small robotic eyes, are encased in a giant hunk of brown metal that looks out of place next to the tall, fancy games scattered about the casino.

The 56-machine “Classic Slot Room” has been a hit since it opened last month, Gross says.

“As much as people would like to think these are all in a graveyard somewhere, these machines are still out there,” he says. “And there are people who want to play them” — especially in the casino’s neighborhood, one of the oldest in Las Vegas.

Among the players is Judy Cantrell, who moved to Las Vegas in 1992 and played coin machines at Nevada Palace until it closed in early 2008.

“These are the first games I ever played,” Cantrell says. “I like the interaction that comes with using coins. You’re not just pressing a button.”

Cantrell, 68, waited up to two hours for a chance to play the Fortune 1 machines when the casino had fewer of them on the floor.

“I was here at 11 p.m. the other night and I waited 45 minutes for a machine,” she says. “Sometimes we’ll come in on a Sunday at 6 a.m. and play a little, then get some breakfast. A lot of people who come here are retired so you just take your chances as far as when you’ll get a machine.”

Although the rest of the casino is lucky to have 40 percent of its machines occupied on any given day, the coin-operated slots get used more than 60 percent of the time, Gross says.

The machines are part of an effort by the casino to offer unique attractions that help it stand out. Eastside Cannery is in the most competitive casino market in suburban Las Vegas with more than a half-dozen casinos — and two long-established giants on Boulder Highway nearby.

In the old days, casinos were constantly draining and refilling machines with coins, as well as removing jammed coins and fixing other mechanical problems. For some, gambling was a grimy, labor-intensive process involving coins that blackened hands after hours of play and filled heavy coin buckets.

Quote

Sam Morris

Patsy Hale shows off the down side of playing coin operated gambling machines, dirty fingers, in the coin slot area at Eastside Cannery Thursday, April 15, 2010.


For 62-year-old Patsy Hale, that just makes it “more fun,” she says as she dips her hands into a bucket brimming with gleaming quarters in the Classic Slot Room.

Her husband, Jerry Hale, 64, has a more practical point of view.

“You lose your money slower playing these machines. That’s why I like ’em,” he explains.

The 20-year residents rattle off the names of casinos they have visited. All of them, such as Jerry’s Nugget and Skyline, still have a few coin-operated machines. Some, such as the Stardust, are gone.

The coin slots at Eastside Cannery “are the only reason we come here,” Jerry Hale says.

The sound of coins hitting trays, a noise carefully cultivated by manufacturers that perfected the engineering of metal and angle for the most pleasing jingle possible, is still a big part of the attraction for many players, says Anthony Curtis, publisher of Las Vegas Advisor.

“Whenever we ask people what they miss about old Las Vegas, they always bring up the coin machines,” Curtis says.

In the late 1990s, players gravitated toward coinless machines with bill acceptors and paper tickets for convenience and faster play. The change benefited casinos that were replacing older, simpler machines. At first, removing coins from the equation was a significant enough drawback for players that manufacturers compensated by building coinless slots with metal trays embedded with speakers emitting the sound of falling coins.

Over time, players became accustomed to faster digital machines that used advanced software for bigger jackpots and a higher frequency of small jackpots. More advanced machines had home entertainment features such as high-definition images, bucket seats and surround sound.

Casinos say gamblers shouldn’t expect to see many more coin-operated machines because the majority of players prefer high-tech machines.

Station Casinos, the largest operator of suburban casinos, offers only ticket machines.

“We have not yet seen a demand by our guests for the return of coin-operated slot machines,” spokeswoman Lori Nelson says.

Boyd Gaming offers coin-operated machines at its three downtown Las Vegas casinos and Sam’s Town, just up the road from Eastside Cannery.

“We have a certain portion of our players who still prefer the coin machines, but we have no plans to introduce more of them,” spokesman David Strow says. The coin machines are “exceptionally popular” with those who play them, he adds.

They’re also a big draw at El Cortez, which has one of the largest stashes of coin machines.

To General Manager Mike Nolan, these 230 or so machines are like antique cars: hard to find in good condition and more difficult to maintain.

“A lot of our employees have been here a long time, so they’re still knowledgeable about the machines,” Nolan says. “We have mechanics who have spent 20 years working on them.”

In the past couple of years, the casino has snapped up 12 coin slots to add to its inventory.

Older gamblers are more comfortable playing them, Nolan said. Some are skeptical of the new devices and how they operate, he says.

Fortune 1’s manufacturer, slot giant International Game Technology, no longer makes coin-operated slots, although it refurbishes and sells old coin machines from its Las Vegas plant.

American casinos have little use for these vintage games, but foreign ones do, says Ron Brooks, IGT vice president of gaming service and operations.

The coin machines, taken back from casinos that buy newer machines just like old cars traded in for new models, are shipped to places such as South Africa and Peru.

Nations newer to gambling lack the software and systems to support the latest machines, so it’s easier and more affordable for them to go low-tech, Brooks said.

Although his company has moved beyond coin slots, Brooks is happy to hear that the games of his youth are still in use.

They remind him of his first trip to Las Vegas in 1982, when he gambled at the Aladdin.

“I was planning to play blackjack. I played these Fortune 1 machines instead and loved them.”

Coin machines aren’t for everyone, of course.

Just ask Donovan York, Eastside Cannery’s director of slot operations and a former slot manager at the Rampart in Summerlin.

Coin slots probably wouldn’t work at the Rampart, he says, because “people on that side of town don’t like to get their hands dirty.”
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 12:49:48 PM by knagl » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2010, 07:24:41 AM »

Bravo! I wonder if we should worry............maybe our S+'s will be scoffed up making them go up in value?
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 10:21:19 AM »

 Scratch Head I seem to remember an article a few months back that Atlantic City brought in a few of the quarter machines and they were quite popular. yes  I highly doubt the S+ will make a huge comback but maybe an upgraded version of it? stir the pot / get cooking  I still have better odds at ManCave so that's where I go.  Crazy Tongue Out
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 11:58:35 AM »

All I'm saying is that now that some casinos are going back partly to coin and nostalgia, we may have to compete as home users for equipment. Want an S2000? Well, now they might not be as plentiful as before because a smaller casino may want an order filled first.............
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 12:12:53 PM »

This made me start thinking about something.   Duh!  Now I have a migraine Cry Laughing Cry Laughing

When ever we go to Vegas it is normally downtown Vegas.  It's much more fun to me down there and I can do plenty of people-watching.  Anyway,  frying pan allot of places down there still do coin handling in their machines, maybe another reason why I like to go down there.  I wonder if the 'strip' will start getting rid of their 'high-demon' areas for the more 'classic' nostalgia stuff.  That might make me wanna go to the strip more often.  I can't remember the last time I had been to the strip before January.  And the only reason why I went there was because jstraa was in town and I wanted to meet him finally. 
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 01:40:59 PM »

It  might be a "cutsy" thing but it might fade just as fast if the casino has a large bill at the end of the month for resources over extended to fix this stuff...........
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2010, 07:46:07 AM »

It's just a niche crowd and a passing fad. Counting coins, wrapping coins, change personnel, refilling hoppers, coin jambs, coin/token thiefs.......all add up to extra costs for the casino. That's why they got rid of all that, and why the casinos were cutting a fat cow (also boosted by a booming economy).

I do miss the sounds of the coins dropping, jackpots being won, and 96% paybacks.

I also remember seeing a few of the newer machines in Reno a couple months ago, which had the option for ticket or coin payout. All the people I saw were choosing ticket out.

Ahhhh, I do enjoy the one perk of this economy, that being reasonable (or comp'd) rooms again and cheaper meals. They're still a little tight on drinks, though. Just wish I had more $$$ to enjoy more of it.

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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2010, 07:50:59 AM »

Oh - btw, I have some stacks of very collectible plastic coin cups from various casinos I'd sell, to go with anyone's Fortune I or S-Slot collection. Might also trade a box of 'em for a nice S2000  Weird Eyes   Crazy
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2010, 08:05:32 AM »

The driver for TITO was none of the above.

1c machines were the driver for TITO. There is a physiological draw to 1c machines - play 20 coins per line and 10 lines or vice versa and you are pulling in $2.00 per spin.
Secondly with the multi-multi-line themes you can generate a slow bleed Ie 200 coins in 100 coins out and the player gets the whistle and bell treatment which again is physiologically rewarding but never the less still a loss (for the player).

Move of the Blue Hair Crowd will play 1c machines at $2.00 per spin then they ever would on a 2 coin 1$ slot or even 3coin 0.25 slot.

There are also mathamatics at play. If you play max coins you have a chance to win the top paytable. Payback Rates - ie 92% are calculated based on a max coin play where there is a chance to win the top prize.
If you are playing less than max coins (I will let Statfreak do the math so I don't embarass myself) the house holds go from 8% to practically double that.
So when you have put in your $20.00 bill and realize that 1/2 your credits are gone after 3 spins you might start playing fewer coins. Still fun for you - better for the house.
or on the flip side when you are getting low ... Ie under ther number of coins to play max-bet this is just another ploy to get you to open your wallet and put that next $20 into the box.

Finally the speed of machines have increased so the concept of plugging in 200 pennies one at a time (4 rolls of pennies) just ins't going to happen...... thus TITO.
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2010, 09:38:25 AM »

Interesting. The people I spoke with years ago, when TITO was coming out, were telling me about the management meetings, and the savings gained due to the examples I cited above. Additionally, less strain on human resources dept., as hiring/firing change personnel (and all the paperwork involved), as well as benefits programs, workman's comp, etc., etc. I believe, although I can't remember exactly, that there was a projected bottom line profit increase for the casinos of 8%-12%.

I think there were some experimental penny machines that were nickel in/out, and if you had anything that was not nickel-dividable, then you could press "change" and get cashed out, but the expectation of the casinos were that people would just "play" the few cents extra and leave, at the casino's advantage.

Most all of what I refer to was the Reno area, have no idea about East coast or anything.
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2010, 10:24:07 AM »

I believe that you are both right.

It costs less to operate a casino filled with machines than one filled with dealers and pit bosses. It costs less to operate a coinless casino filled with machines than it does a coin based one. It increases profits to get players to bet more and play faster, no matter how you accomplish it, and if you can increase the hold percentage at the same time and get away with it, so much the better.

They used to sell soap by having an actor stand in front of a plain curtain holding the product and telling the audience how much better the product was than that of the competition. Now they make full-scale movie-like production commercials which, in some cases, don't even show the product at all.

The science of psychology, as applied to sales and marketing, has matured greatly over the last few decades, and selling the product of gambling has benefited along with the rest of the retail marketplace, if you choose to view this progress as a benefit. I don't.

The gambling industry has successfully integrated the addictive nature of intermittent reward with the addictive nature of video games: that's a powerful tool for profit! They then took that product and made it even more powerful by cleverly marketing it. They don't even call themselves the "gambling" industry; they call themselves the "gaming" industry. Who are they fooling?

One has to admit that it's clever marketing to advertise penny slots instead of dollar slots while still successfully manipulating the customer into wagering a minimum that the casino determines it needs or wants to have per square foot of casino space. (Expected and actual rate of return per square foot are how casinos are evaluated when analyzing resource allocation on the floor.)

As Jay said, TITO allows for absurd max bets of hundreds of credits without the delay of inserting coins, and the video platform allows for incredibly fast play. Manufacturers were even slimy enough to add a "Stop" button to most newer games for people who want to lose even faster -- and they set it up to use the spin button so that the player doesn't even have to move their finger to do it!

I usually site a playing speed of between 450-900 spins per hour for stepper slots. That's a spin every four to eight seconds, with 600 spins per hour splitting the difference at six seconds per spin. This takes into account delays to pay out wins. It's much faster for video, especially if one stops the reels. One can spin as quickly as every two seconds. I've tried it. Press Spin -- press it again to stop -- lose, press spin -- press it again to stop -- win something? press spin to immediately finish the pay and...  at that rate, we're talking 1800 spins per hour. Of course, with the bonus rounds, it slows down a bit, but what used to be the maximum frenzied speed of 900 per hour on the old steppers becomes a relatively normal speed on the video machines unless the player deliberately adds pauses to slow down the action.


Regarding the less-than-max play on the latest breed of machine, I'm not sure that that applies as much today. Many of the new five-reel stepper and video slot themes don't have disproportionate jackpots for max bet. Some have bonus features that must be played to get the maximum payback, but I've seen games where the bonus can be activated with less than max bet on all lines. Of course, the cost of these bonuses can drain credits faster than the main bet.

I see today's jackpots as another product of the psychological advertising machine. They appear to be much larger than jackpots on older machines, when they are, in fact, smaller. If I'm playing a penny machine with a maximum jackpot of 100,000 coins and it's costing me, say $2.50 a spin to play (25 lines at 10 coins per line, for example, which is actually conservative for today's machines), the top prize of $1000 is quite low as compared to a typical three-dollar, three-coin, three-reel slot, and the odds of hitting the prize is much higher -- in many cases over 16 million to one.

Even a 5˘ machine with a 150,000 coin jackpot is only paying $7,500. If max bet is $4.50 (90 credits), how does that compare to a five-line one-dollar three-reel slot, or perhaps a two-coin five-dollar stepper, when one takes into account the odds of hitting a jackpot on the three-reeler vs. the five-reeler?

They will continue to have coins in casinos that cater to older patrons until the older generation dies off, but they will also continue to use every tactic at their disposal to get older players comfortable with the newer machines. Once the number of older gamblers who demand coin drops sufficiently, the casino will remove the coin games for all of the reasons we've stated.

The up and coming generation of gamblers was weaned on video games, the internet, and electronic money, so there will be no problem along these lines. The problem casinos will have, and already have, in keeping the younger customer will be providing a level of entertainment that exceeds their demanding and ever-increasing expectations, and overcoming their ADHD nature, brought on by a lifetime of 20-second sound bites.

...And then  there's the economy. Tongue Out Duh!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 10:45:30 AM by StatFreak » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2010, 12:57:45 PM »

Speaking of the value of our S+ machines, the laws of supply and demand most surely comes into play.  If you new how many IGT S-plus machines have been built and compare that to how many are still in service you could get and idea of the true value.  I'm sure its tens of thousand if not more that have been built and thousands that have been destroyed or disassembled.  But even so I'd bet it would take an enormous number of casinos to want to bring back the coin machines to have an impact on the value of our machines. 

My personal preferences are: coin machines when I'm losing and TITO when I'm winning.  propeller 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 06:30:38 PM by MarkInAz » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2010, 06:25:16 PM »

The very reason I bought my first slot was to have a coin-in/coin-out machine. Not surprised at all to see that article. The Pioneer in Laughlin still has S+'s.
Even some old Uni's still in operation in LV.
Really like the machines that are credit/cashout selectable. Slows the game(gambling) right down.  yes
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 12:21:13 PM »

I to am from the old school and love to hear the jingle of coin hitting the tray. have played many TITO games there just not the same.
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2010, 05:41:48 AM »

My favorite place to play!
 Scratch Head Those old machines don't seem to get much play. The most I've ever seen playing in that corner was, on Friday & Saturday nights, maybe 10 people.
I don't miss those days when you had to wash your hands before you used the restroom at all. ttth
Give me my bill validators!!  applause
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2010, 10:31:15 PM »

In PA we had a Chicken Wing Place Called "Quaker Steak and Lube"  Great wings.
They have the Atomic Wings in which you are required to sign a release before they serve you. I think this is more for show as I have had the wings and they are HOT but certainly not crippling.

Anyways the washroom has signs up that if you have been indulging in hot wings of any sort wash your hands before using the facilities.......I pity the fools who don't.
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« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2010, 08:07:50 AM »

I got hot wing sauce squirted into my right eye once Duh! ....OMG that's quite a burning sensation!
I haven't had a hot chicken wing since. no ttth
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« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2010, 06:56:53 PM »

I got hot wing sauce squirted into my right eye once Duh! ....OMG that's quite a burning sensation!
I haven't had a hot chicken wing since. no ttth

Ouch! I have to admit that I like cold chicken on picnics and such, but I still prefer  hot chicken most of the time, with or without spice. Crazy  frying pan turkey
So, what does a hot chicken look like, anyway?
 CoolChicken   Jeannie    Cry Laughing Cry Laughing Cry Laughing Cry Laughing Cry Laughing


P.S. Bunker, if you think that your experience was bad, don't EVER touch ANY mucus membrane after handling fresh habaneros.
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« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2010, 07:22:55 PM »

Some  hot pepper tips:

Capsaicin is insoluble in cold water and only barely soluble in hot water. Soap helps. So washing your hands in hot, soapy water can help.

It IS soluble in fat, alcohol, and milk. The capsaicin molecule is a fatty molecule with a long hydrocarbon tail, and the casein milk contains surrounds and carries away the fatty capsaicin molecules.


It is also soluble in cold sugar solutions, so drinking milk or eating ice cream are the best ways to get the burn out of your mouth. That is why restaurants that routinely serve spicy dishes, like Mexican and Thai food establishments, typically offer ice cream deserts.

You can also rinse your mouth with strong alcohol, such as straight shots -- swallowing afterward is a great perk. bust gut laughing   Beer doesn't work nearly as well because the alcohol content is too low.

Drinking water, especially cold water, won't help a bit! Drinking cold non-diet soda will help a little.

It is still a good idea to wash one's hands in hot, soapy water after handling these peppers, but washing one's hands in alcohol would work better. I suppose one could rinse one's hands in a bowl of milk as well... Tongue Out
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 07:28:56 PM by StatFreak » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2010, 07:25:00 PM »

I got hot wing sauce squirted into my right eye once Duh! ....OMG that's quite a burning sensation!
I haven't had a hot chicken wing since. no ttth


So, what does a hot chicken look like, anyway?
 CoolChicken   Jeannie    Cry Laughing Cry Laughing Cry Laughing Cry Laughing Cry Laughing


P.S. Bunker, if you think that your experience was bad, don't EVER touch ANY mucus membrane after handling fresh habaneros.

David  Just imagine a Rooster runing across your back yard with smoke coming out his  censored That's what a HOT CHICKEN looks like.  Cry Laughing Cry Laughing
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