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Black Oak Casino Offers 1,013 Slot Machines

Among the labyrinth of 1,013 slot machines, 24 card tables and the jewel-tone swirls of the carpet, everything is carefully placed and calculated. The shortest slot machines are set in front of the casino's front doors, with taller islands in the center. It's so gamblers can scan the entire floor when they enter - making it easier for them to find their favorite machine.

The slot machine is a microcosm of the entire casino, a package designed to sell a unique product: HOPE. The slot machine at Black Oak Casino light up with cartoon-like images and chime with musical riffs as if they were large toys.

What most players want is "time on device", where a relatively small amount of money affords them hours of entertainment. Penny slots, for example, have a smaller payout but a higher "hit" frequency - the regularity with which a machine pays out.

Machines with high top awards have higher stakes, appeasing the gambler aiming for the large, but elusive, jackpots.

It's in the casino's interest to tease the player with occasional wins at any machines. A person who always loses isn't likely to return.

Black Oak Casino though not the monolithic creatures found in Las Vegas or Reno, employs many of the same techniques as its larger counterparts. Yet inside are sophisticated computer systems, programmed to keep the gambler pushing the "bet credits" button.

"Winners created excitement and more business," said Mitch Goldstein, Black Oak's director of gaming.


Friday, 18 August 2006
Darren G. Strachan