What comes to your mind when you hear “slot machine”? One of two things. Either those antiquated mechanical machines that are a century-old and need you to pull a handle, or press a button, for reels to spin and stop, or not, on the single pay line that allows the player to win money. The second option is the online slot, the software-based cousin of the slot machine that offers a whole new set of features, like multiple pay lines, bonus rounds and game-specific features such as Wild, Scatter and Multiplier.

Well, in the near future the true meaning of “slot machine” or rather “slot game” is about to transform once again to a whole new realm. But before that, let’s look a bit closer at the incredibly successful adaption of the online universe by the slot industry.

Online Slots, Casino Slots – Slots Are Everywhere

It is no small feat that slots have been proliferating online in such a rapid pace. Think about it: an ancient, mechanical gambling machine reinvented itself as an online game and was one of the first to do so – already in 1996 slots began to appear online. Since than it has continued to grow its online presence, expand its appeal to new audiences and upgrade the technology that runs it.

It has done this without abandoning its core business of casino slot machines; on the contrary. Nowadays, slot machines take up 80% of floor space in US casinos and generate 70% of their income. This is an astonishing hold on a multi-billion industry.

So how has the slot industry pulled it off? The only answer is that they were observant, quick and innovative. They recognized early on the potential of the web and realized that the slot game can be easily transferred to a software-based version and even improved greatly. But that was not all. The most important realization was that they must target new audiences in their online endeavor, because those retired folks that favor the slot machines in casino halls aren’t going to login and connect their Paypal account…

Take PrimeSlots, an online slots international operator of slot websites in various languages. Its strategy is to target as many audience segments as possible. It offers free slots as well as real money slots and hosts hundreds of games on its site that are themed to dozens of interest niches. Whether you are into csi-fi, folk tales, hard-rock, films, the orient – name it and they have a game that will match your interest.

It’s a marketing strategy that the entire slot industry adopted – appeal to a wide as possible audience.

Slots Are Embracing Skill and VR

The other side of the audience coin is to cater to needs of new audiences and to changing preferences as they arise.

So as a way to prepare itself to the changing landscape of online gaming as a whole, and as means to hook millennials, the slot industry is now gearing up for the two major changes it’s about to take: realizing the somewhat conflicting notion of skill-based slots and stepping up its game with VR slots.

Skill basically stands against everything the slot is – a chance game. But if the slot industry wants to get attention from millennials (the most coveted demographic from now till the end of time) it needs to make it interesting for them. So following the steps of fantasy sport that mixes skill-based gaming with light-gambling, slot game developers are working on the 2.0 version of the slot.

The other shoe that is about to drop is of course VR slots. It’s anyone’s guess to what direction game developers will take this one: is it going to be in-casino experience, with buckets of coins and free booze from smiley waitresses? Is it going to be a completely new realization of the slot game, that let’s say, you are jumping from one reel to the other, needing to step on the right combination in order to achieve a pay line? Who knows. With VR, it can be anything.

The Slot Has Only Just Began

This just goes to show that a century-old industry is keeping up with a changing world as quickly as 4-month-old startups. The entire industry is adapting so well to the environment around it. The slot industry has grasped the concept of content and third party, unbiased resources and there are tons of sites for online slot reviews, like SlotSpinners.co, giving the industry depth and meaning. There aren’t many products out there that had such a long, successful run for a century without changing a thing and then in the span of two decades overhauled its entire strategy and product design, and have done so with remarkable success.

So stay tuned. The slot industry has yet to say its last word.