I look at a lot of gaming statistics but I don’t remember seeing information for slot machines that provided specific information to what games were played the most. That changed last night when I learned that Wheel of Fortune was the most played slot machine last year. Megabucks and Michael Jackson were tied for second most played slot machines last year.
IGT, which makes Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks, led the fourth quarter in sales with survey participants purchasing 34 percent of their games from the Reno-based company. Bally, a Las Vegas manufacturer that makes the Michael Jackson game, was second with 16 percent of sales. WMS accounted for 9 percent in sales but was the leading company in leased games.
This makes perfect sense. Wheel of Fortune is the favorite slot machine of many people in the casino that have white or blue hair. I love Wheel of Fortune too…it’s one of the survivors of the reel slot machine era. I just want to SPIN!
The Michael Jackson slot machine really isn’t anything special but it’s new and has his popular music and it seems to hit a sweet spot with people in casinos. It’s a flashback for the person in their mid 30’s-40’s and retro for younger people. I played this game once…once.
Megabucks also comes as no surprise as one of the most played slot machines since it’s essentially Nevada’s lottery. Most people just want to win jackpots. Much like the Michael Jackson slot machines I’ve only played Megabucks once. These games are boring and have bad returns. That’s a combo I don’t like.
I’m expecting similar results in 2013. There’s a new Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soliel show coming soon and promotion for the show can only help the slot machine. Older people in the casino will likely hang on to their old favorite Wheel of Fortune reel slot machine while people will always be lured into Megabucks because they’re all living the dream.