How Much Does It Cost To Make A Slot Machine?

How much does it cost to make a slot machine? Today's slot machines tend to be video slots. You have the shell, electronic components, and screens. You'll find those in land-based casinos and, depending on local laws, bars or pubs. Online, you simply have a program that is played online, on a mobile device, or via a free software download.

There are still mechanic slot machines, too. These operate using metal reels that have the symbols stuck or painted on them, the paytable sticker, the buttons that make the reels spin and stop, and the mechanism that releases coins. Mechanical slots are not common. You might find vintage machines at flea markets, estate sales, or auctions. Replicas are possible, too, but many are cheaply made and not worth your time. You might find these for less than $50 in stores like Staples.

To answer how much does it cost to make a slot machine, we looked closely at modern video slots. They've changed a lot since the first machines in the late-1800s. For these slots, you have the outer case, kind of like an arcade game's case, the computer components, and the screens.

What Goes Into a Slot Machine's Construction?

It all starts with the outer shell called a cabinet. The cabinets are often made of sheet metal and have slots for the components like speakers, audio systems, and circuit boards. There are two doors, upper and lower, that hold many of the game's main features.

In the lower door, you have the bill slot is added along with a ticket dispenser. There may be a slot that takes a card, such as a debit card, if the casino doesn't use a ticketing system. The upper door has the reels and/or a video monitor. There's also the computer component that accepts the flash drive or SD card that holds the game's program.

As the machine is assembled, lights are connected to electrical components. Wiring is hooked up from the circuit boards to the audio and visual components and slot machine controls. All of this is done in manufacturing and assembly plants where workers earn $11 to $17 per hour according to Glassdoor.

Online Slots Skip the Need for Cabinets and Hardware

Online slots only need a program to run. The price of these slot machines is significantly lower for that reason. You still have the cost of the programmers' time though.

Today's video slots rely heavily on computer programs. If you think about it, you have the program that makes the reels spin and stop. The graphics, betting system, and bonus features all have programs. Even the random number generators are a program that's added to the rest of the programming done to complete a video slot.

It comes down to three main programming components. You have the algorithms and mathematical calculations that determine a games' hit frequency and return-to-player percentages. There are the programs that get the betting buttons, spin buttons, and other controls to respond. You have the bonus features that are added to the base game. These include your interactive bonus games, respins, and free spins. Finally, there are the graphics and audios that are tied into everything else.

Software engineers usually have to be at least 21 years old and be eligible for a gaming license. According to PayScale, the wages for slot machine software engineers range from $64,500 to $83,283 per year. Mobile game developers may earn more than $200,000 a year if they have enough experience.

Putting All of Those Costs Into a Price for a Slot Machine

The reason slot machines can be so expensive is because a lot of work goes into making one. From the components to the hours of programming time, costs get driven up. In 2014, Calvin Ayre put the average cost of an IGT slot at more than $13,000. They said that Bally Technologies games were selling for more than $16,000. There are slots that can top $25,000.

Even used slots are quite expensive. One eBay auction has a Bally Wonder Woman slot machine selling for more than $5,500. A The Price is Right slot machine is selling for close to $4,000.

We hope this helps you gain a little more knowledge into how slot machines are made and how much it costs to make a slot machine. Now that you know a bit more, head to a leading casino and play slots online for real cash.