Private and public availability of slot machines in the United States is highly regulated by state governments and can differ in each state. Unlike Nevada, where there are very few, if any, restrictions on both private and public slot machine use, most states do have established gaming control boards for regulating the possession and use of slot machines. For example, in New Jersey, slot machines are only permitted in hotel-owned casinos based in Atlantic City, and other states, such as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri, only allow slot machines (as well as any casino-style gambling) on licensed riverboats or permanently anchored barges. State by state regulations on private slot machine ownership can be found by looking at regulations on U.S. state slot machine ownership.
Casinos located on reservations operated by Native-Americans are not allowed to have slot machines unless the tribe first comes to an agreement with the state in which it is located (per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act). The agreement usually provides for the state to receive a percentage of the gross revenues from the slot machine activity.
Slot Machine Classes
In some states, there are restrictions on the class of slot machines that can be used in a casino or other gaming area. Traditional slot machines, or Class III slot machines, operate independently from a centralized computer system and the chances of a player winning any type of payout is the same with every play. Class III slots are sometimes called “Vegas-style slots” and are seen mostly in Nevada and Atlantic City.
Class II slot machines, on the other hand, are connected to a centralized computer system that determines the outcome of each bet that is placed. As a result, Class II slot machines are similar to scratch-off lottery tickets because each machine has an equal chance of winning a series of limited prizes. Class II slot machines are also referred to as “Video Lottery Terminals” or “VLTs”. Both classes may or may not have a player skill element.
Slot clubs give back a small amount of money in the form of complimentary foods, dinner shows, hotel rooms, or merchandise. This form of payment is also known as “comps” and can be obtained through free memberships offered at many American casinos. Occasionally, the comps can even include cash back payments that sometimes, with restrictions, can be redeemed at a later date.