There’s a new slot machine at The D casino, and it’s grabbing the attention of guests.
The D has two Go Go Claw slot machines, and they’re the first and only such machines in Las Vegas. And possibly the world. We would find out, but that would require “exerting effort,” so
you know that’s not happening.
We’ve got all the scoop about this new slot machine.
The Go Go Claw slot machine comes from Aruze Gaming, the same folks behind the Roll to Win Craps game cropping up across town.
The claw slot machine was inspired by the old-school arcade game. The game is also referred to as a “toy crane” or “skill crane.”
The Go Go Claw slot machine is getting quite a bit of play at The D, probably because it appears to be skill-based.
We say “appears,” because a slot machine can’t really be skill-based. If it were, people would learn to beat the machine and the casino would lose money. Casinos aren’t charities.
Still, even the illusion of skill makes a game more enticing to some, and here’s how the Go Go Claw game works.
Players first select a denomination to wager. Bets can range from $5 a try to $100.
The balls in the machine have no intrinsic value (they contain generic paper bills).
The machine determines the “Ball Prize” value and the prizes increase based upon your denomination.
For example, for a $5 bet, the prize can be worth $10 to $1,000, or even more if it’s the progressive jackpot. The numbers get quite big at the $100 bet level.
Once play is initiated, the player moves the claw with a joystick.
The claw drops, and if it retrieves a ball, the player wins the prize.
Here’s a look at Go Go Claw in action.
While the game has some built-in suspense, the skill of the player has pretty much nothing to do with winning a prize.
The rules of the game provide some insights into how it all works.
The rules state: “If a first attempt to deposit a prize ball in the win box is unsuccessful, it is possible that an additional attempt may be presented twice only.”
That’s right. Even if you don’t retrieve a ball, you could get another shot at it. Possibly two.
The rules continue, “If a prize ball is not deposited into the win box on a third attempt only, it is possible that the determined ball prize is still awarded via an onscreen notification.”
In some ways, this is entirely awesome. Even if you screw up, the machine forces you to get a prize.
Alternatively, it’s pretty clear what the player is doing has little if anything to do with winning a prize.
On a traditional slot machine, a random number generator decides who wins and when, and the reels are just for show.
Similarly, on the Go Go Claw slot machine, the outcome of your attempt is predetermined. If you are going to win, you’ll win no matter what. If you’re a highly-skilled ball-grabber, but
the machine decides you’re not winning, your ball’s going to drop, sorry.
Amidst the game’s “Notices,” it says, “The physical components of the game are used to exhibit the game result randomly determined by the software.”
Another “Notice” says, “The average payout of the game is not affected by the player’s operation of the claw.”
In layperson’s terms, it’s theater.
As with the traditional arcade game, claw strength is critical to snagging and holding onto a ball, and claw strength is adjustable to ensure the proper payout on the machine.
In other good news, slot machines are highly-regulated, so you can rest assured the claw slot machine will be much more generous than the game at your local carnival midway.
In truth, you could sort of just play the game with a blindfold and the results would be the same.
That said, knowing more about how slot machines operate doesn’t really add to the fun, and gambling is all about fun.
Everyone knows the random number generator (RNG) decides a player’s fate on slot machines, but it’s the spinning of the reels that makes slots so amusing.
Same with Go Go Claw. The game gives players something more interesting to do than hit buttons.
Unlike traditional slot machines, the game also attracts a crowd. It’s a great group experience, as you can see in our video.
A downside for the casino is most players drop $20, try the game four times (at $5 a pop), and move on. This hit-and-run customer isn’t the most lucrative for casinos.
Another issue for casinos is there are relatively few “decisions” with this game. There’s a 30-second countdown timer for each attempt to keep things moving, but decisions are critical to the profitability of a slot machine or any casino game. That’s why blackjack dealers who deal quickly are more valuable to casinos than slow dealers. More hand, more results, more revenue. It’s just math.
The players tend to be younger than the average casino customer, so there’s that. Casinos and game manufacturers have tried for years to attract younger players, but most “skill-based” games have failed miserably.
Go Go Claw is familiar to many people, so there’s no real learning curve.
It also taps into a competitive part of the brain, which could theoretically lead to longer play.
We definitely observed a pattern of guys trying to impress female companions, just as many do at carnivals when they attempt to win stuffed animals with the ultimate goal of having sex. With their companions. Don’t make it weird.
Anyway, Go Go Claw is a hoot to play and watch, even knowing the outcome is preordained.
We didn’t personally see anyone win a big jackpot, but we’ve seen such wins shared in social media, so hope reigns.
As mentioned, if you’re looking for Go Go Claw, they’re only at The D for the moment. It’s sort of a field test to see if the machine’s are viable.
There’s one on each floor of The D’s casino, one by Longbar and another at the top of the escalators.
Fun fact: When claw machines were introduced in 1951, they were considered “gambling devices.” Regulations we relaxed in 1974, and their popularity took off. Now, they’re gambling devices again. Ah, the circularity of the universe.
Let us know what you think of the new claw slot machine at The D and we’d be curious to hear if you think such machines have staying power, or if they’re just another case of slot machine makers dropping the ball.
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