Slot machines are a familiar sight to anyone who has visited a casino. The so called ‘one-armed bandits’ are a staple of any betting establishment – even if they lost the mechanical lever long ago in favour of digital buttons.

Now, patrons can play on real-life slot machines via webcam thanks to the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City.

First of its kind

The real, physical slot machines sit in a secure room in the casino, tucked-away from visitors but visible through small windows. An array of cameras sit in front of the 12 machines, allowing gamblers to play on them remotely. There’s something reassuring for players who don’t quite trust the internet in being able to see a real machine.

Hard Rock casino and their technology partner, Softweave Ltd, hope that the system will help bridge the gap between online and in-person betting.

“The psychology, there are brick-and-mortar players that have a fear of doing things online,” explains Kresimir Spajic, senior vice president of online gaming at Hard Rock International.

“This is helpful in transitioning them into online customers. This is a real, physical machine that they can see, almost like they’re sitting in front of it.”

Joe Lupo, Hard Rock’s Atlantic City president, said that remote slot machines are a natural outgrowth of ‘live dealer’ online games that have grown in popularity over recent years.

“Credibility and transparency have been paramount to seeing online gaming move forward,” Lupo said. “The difference between seeing a computer image as opposed to the kind of machine that a customer has been playing for years, it may be easier to understand.”

Exact same experience

Whether online or in real-life, slot machines rely on a piece of computer software known as a random number generator. Regulators put machines through rigorous tests to ensure that the numbers are truly random and the players are treated fairly. The remote slot machines work the exact same way, just like the slot machines available of the casino floor.

Anybody with a valid Hard Rock online account can access the machines. If all twelve are occupied, players are put in a queue where they can access other online games while they wait.