Maybe you fancy yourself as the next online casino tycoon. Maybe you’re considering investing more heavily into your existing gambling portfolio or simply interested in the business sector. We go over the biggest business points surrounding the operation of online slots targeted at the US market. The market is growing, but we’ve also seen an expansion in sites looking to offer the best free slots in an attempt to offer a “demo” version of the game for players to try out without having to stake any real money.

Why are online slot machines so popular?

There’s a lot of noise out there as to why online slot machines have become popular in the US and worldwide. The overarching point is that they make the casino experience available to those who wouldn’t normally be able to access it. People who can’t afford to visit casinos or those who aren’t geographically near one can still get the same thrill of a slot machine, through these means.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic left people with fewer options for how to spend their free time. As a result, a lot of gambling apps saw a surge in customers. Online slots have the advantage of appealing to new customers as they needn’t learn anything to play. The simplicity of the slot machine lends itself to the accessibility of the game. Players need only to load up the software and tap away.

There is also a complicated relationship with real money and play in the online slot business. As it’s purely a game of skill, some users may be suspicious and want to see what it’s like without worrying about wasting their hard-earned money. You can play on these best free slots sites to win real cash, so there are different ways of going about actually playing slots with the various offerings.

While the exact number of online slot players is unknown, there are a few indicators to help find out the answer. There are around 4.2 billion people who say they gamble at least once a year, while a third of them state they gamble regularly. 48% of all American online gamblers (around 100 million users) state they like to play slot machine games.

Growth and worth of the sector

It’s been reported that the top 10 most profitable online casinos make around $800 million per year on average. In 2021, reports speculated that slot machine games attribute around 70% of all income for these companies.

Tangible slot machines in the US charging $1 per play, were estimated to make around $79,000 per year (equating to about $215 per day) on average back in 2017. This was before the coronavirus pandemic and when online slots were not as popular. Given that many slot customers have gone online and they generally have fewer overheads, online slot machines have the capacity to make a lot more money. Firstly, there’s no upkeep like paying someone to service or clean the machine or fees like installation, etc.

As mentioned earlier, the number of online casino users skyrocketed during the recent global pandemic. While the tangible casino buildings had to close their doors, the online casinos continued to trade. That along with multiple other restrictions on fun paved the way for a massive uptake in online gambling. This popularity surge is yet to be fully analyzed but the figures should make for very fruitful reading for all those operating online slot machines at the time.

In the American market specifically, there is a ‘pent-up’ demand for online gambling. While Las Vegas has been a destination for international casino lovers for many years, there are many states which outlaw all forms of gambling. In 2023, the laws are generally relaxing on the pastime. However, for many Americans gambling has been a forbidden fruit for so long, that there’s a desire to try it out, even if just once. The next few years in the states with evolving gambling laws will be a hotbed for online slot providers as the marketability will be very appealing to a receptive audience.

Comparison to a Physical Slot Machine

There are many differences and similarities arise when comparing the business of the tangible slot machine and the online counterpart. One notable similarity is that you’ll seldom ever own the machine. The companies that manufacture and own the tangible machines and the software are more likely to license it to you for a fixed period. However, if that’s not extended they’re more than happy to take the privilege away from you.

One key difference is that acquiring a license for software won’t take up any physical assets. However, it does mean that unless you pay an additional fee you won’t be the exclusive vendor of the software. Of course, you always build your own software if you have the skills and/or budget.

Another attribute defines the differences between the accessibility between the two slot machine mediums. The tangible fruit machine is only available to those in the locality who visit your physical premises. While you might be based in a busy downtown metropolis, this is still dwarfed by the worldwide availability of operating an online slot machine that can be reached by the majority of internet users across the globe.

The software variation also has multiple benefits for both business owners and slot users. Demo plays can be configured as customers may need to be tempted to play before parting with their money. These are relatively rare for real machines and lend themselves to helping promote customer patronage.