Although jurisdictions all over the world have slot machines, the appearance of machines and how they are monitored varies depending on where they are located. When it comes to video gaming terminals (“VGTs”) in the Illinois video gaming market, there are many similarities between VGTs and the slot machines found in the ten casinos throughout the State. However, notable differences can also be found.
What the physical machines look like: Slant vs. Upright Cabinets
You may hear machines (the actual, physical cabinet) referred to as either slant or upright. Accel Entertainment offers both slant and upright VGT cabinets from the following manufacturers: WMS, Bally, Novomatic, Scientific Gaming, and IGT. But what separates slant cabinets from upright cabinets?
The answer is pretty simple! Slant cabinets are machines that can stand on their own while upright cabinets are machines that need to be placed on a base in a location. Every slant cabinet has an equivalent upright cabinet that runs the same software.
Upright cabinets are easier to place in a line since their bases and separators can be connected to each other. They can make a gaming location look more cohesive and centralized. On the other hand, slant cabinets can be placed further apart from each other since they do not need to stand on bases. Gaming parlors, restaurants with a strong focus on gaming, or locations with a large space or room to spare are more likely to have slant machines since a larger gaming area can be created with them. Casino floors tend to feature more upright cabinets, with slant cabinets scattered throughout the floor.
What games can be played: Multi-Game Machines vs. Single-Game Machines
One major difference you will find between slot machines in an Illinois casino and VGTs at video gaming locations across the State are the amount of games on each machine. Casinos tend to have a number of slot machines dedicated to just a single game, while VGTs have a variety of games on a single machine. Because each video gaming location is limited to a maximum of five VGTs, this allows video gaming patrons a similar variety of choice typically found in an Illinois casino.
How the machines are monitored: The Illinois Gaming Board and Scientific Games
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) is the State Agency that regulates all aspects of gaming in Illinois. IGB Agents are stationed at every casino in Illinois. Gaming cannot occur at a casino unless these IGB Agents are present. Having this constant presence is helpful when and if problems arise with slot machines on the gaming floor. To contrast, video gaming locations do not have the luxury of a constant physical IGB presence. Instead, the Video Gaming Act requires that every VGT in the State be hooked to and monitored by a central communications system (“CCS”). The IGB contracted with a company called Scientific Games International (“SGI”) to build and maintain the CCS. SGI can remotely perform actions like turning machines off and on (pursuant to each licensed location’s liquor pouring hours), or even shut off a specific game if there are problems or concerns with it. At the direction of the IGB, VGTs can also be shut down due to disciplinary action against the licensed location.