Comparing the Slot Machine to Other Forms of Gambling
The Poor Relation
As we wrap up our exploration of the growth and development of the slot machine, it is interesting to consider the comparison between the slot machines and other forms of gambling such as poker. Which is more enjoyable and which is more dangerous to get into? I think that it is a good exercise to review any activity in the context of the other activities that reside within its home industry. The stereotype is to believe that that slot machine is the poor relative. I tend to disagree because each gambling gate has its own market and its own protocols. A comparison may not be the best way.
The Contribution of the Slot Machine
The slot machine has been able to revolutionize gambling by making it accessible to people from even the poorest backgrounds. This achievement, if we can call it that, has been tempered by the knowledge that the addictive tendencies of the slot machine have destroyed lives.
Other types of gambling such as poker have also played a role in getting the gambling world towards an affluent perception. Even the very rich and esteemed members of our societies now feel that they can gamble because of high profile gambling games that are sometimes even broadcasted on national television. However I would argue that they target the premium market which is able to obtain any sort of pastime using their money. For the ordinary person slot machines remains the only viable alternative.
The business community has been able to develop its revenue streams on the back of the extraordinary success of the slot machine. In some instances it has been reported that as much as seventy percent of income for some casinos is derived either directly or indirectly from the activities of the slot machine.
In terms of social awareness, the presence of the slot machine has brought into focus the impact of gambling activities on communities. This knowledge and focus has enabled community leaders to build up strategies to bring up communities that have been affected by slot machine gambling.
Also related to the social awareness model is the fact that the slot machine ushered in an age where it was possible to understand the effects of uncontrolled gambling. This led to a better understanding of addiction and a reduction in the social stigma attached to the victims.
The community is able to derive employment and enjoyment from the slot machine gambling venues within their boundaries. This has added an economic perspective to community wellbeing and has supported the work of the government in terms of encouraging social mobility. This is not to argue that other forms of gambling such as blackjack have not had a similar impact on the community. In fact many of them might have exceeded the contribution of slot machines. However we have to acknowledge the unique contribution that this pastime brings to the general community and individuals in particular. Despite all its failings, it would be a pity if the slot machine died out completely with the advent of new technologies.