Capping: How Slot Machines Can Be Reserved

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Wonka slot machine out of service

In our article about tilting chairs, we mentioned one way a player can reserve a slot machine is by talking to a slot attendant, who can lock the machine for a player under circumstances which vary by casino. The casinos have a term for this: Capping.

The idea is that a slot attendant can take a machine out of service on behalf of a player for some period of time. Which casinos allow this and what levels a player has to be can vary; some casinos reserve this for their top players only, while others will be more flexible about it, especially during slower times.

Casinos may opt to not allow certain machines to be capped, just like they don’t allow certain machines to be used for playing free play. This is generally going to be machines with high popularity, where capping it and making it unavailable to players would be too costly for the casino.

The converse can also be true – I’ve heard stories from frustrated players where casinos cap one of the few high limit Dragon Cash machines for players with high card status to hold a machine with a maxed out major, depriving other players the opportunity of playing the machine, and in turn the casino of the revenue for it. But they feel the customer service aspect of holding it for a higher level player trumps that.

Of course, capping can now be an automated process, as we shared in our article, because there’s technology within the players card systems that can allow casinos to give players the ability to lock machines for a short period of time, and have that time it can be capped vary by card level. 

With this method, slot attendants don’t have to check the machine periodically and unlock it if the player doesn’t return. But not all casinos have access to the technology, and some fear giving players an automated tool would cost them revenue. So, the concept of manual capping of slot machines lives on.

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