Pop Culture

Celebrity Slot Machines

Two weeks ago, I took a three-day trip to Las Vegas. I like playing slot machines while I am there (table games terrify me), and on this trip, I noticed that more and more celebrities are getting in on the gambling action. 

I saw the usual celebrity machines – Michael Jackson, Elvis, Dean Martin, the Monkees – and then I noticed that Dolly Parton now had her very own slot machine. Because I’m drawn to new slots – and the minimum bet was just 40 cents – I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t become a millionaire, but it sure was fun.

I only know these fun machines, which make it sound like you hit the jackpot when you just won $3. Back in the day, you pulled the handle and three reels went and that was it; you either won or you didn’t. Today, there are bonuses and random wilds and all sorts of other entertaining asides.  For the Dolly game, when you put your money in, Dolly’s voice said something (which I am drawing a blank on right now, sorry!), and her music played as you did. Different pictures of her were used on the reels, making it a colorful and over the top machine. I didn’t play for too long, and I didn’t get any special bonus, but I still had fun for the two minutes or so I was on the machine. I can see where a devoted fan would love this one.

I also saw a few other new pop culture games, like Cheers and KISS. It makes perfect sense to have these machines; if you like a band or a TV show, of course you will want to try the game. In the case of Cheers and old favorites like Sex and the City and The Hangover, if you win big, hit a bonus or get certain reels in play, you get to watch clips of the series. It’s fun and nostalgic and gets people hooked. At some casinos, it can be incredibly difficult to get on the Sex and the City or Wizard of Oz machines, and it’s because of that nostalgia/fan factor.

I am very curious as to how much money these celebs make off of these machines; I’m sure Dolly received a large chunk of change for her name and image, but what about the guys in The Hangover? Did they get money, or does it just go to the studio? Judging by how many people were at these machines, someone is making bank.

Are you drawn to slot machines with celebrity images? Who would you like to see on a slot machine?

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

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