Getting paid to gamble? It’s more likely than you think.
A growing number of slot channels have debuted on YouTube, featuring an individual gamer putting real money into a slot machine and then showcasing their play, both wins, and losses. Monetizing their channels allows some users to subsidize the cost of their gambling losses. For others, their channels have grown beyond a hobby and into a full-time career. Some slot channels even have full-time staff.
What’s the Appeal?
A user who goes by Dianaevoni has had her slot channel for over eleven years. She never planned to be an influencer. Instead, she wanted a place where she could share videos on a slot machine message board with her friends.
Diana spoke with Wealth of Geeks to give insight into her slot channel.
“It wasn’t until I was in Vegas at a slot message board meet that Shamus of Slots encouraged me to monetize to get back a bit of money from my losses,” she says. In fact, when YouTube first invited her to monetize her channel, she initially put it off for a year.
Slot channels like Diana’s showcase a wide range of video slots with games unique to casinos, such as Lock It Link, DaVinci Diamonds, and The Amazing Sea Monkeys, and titles that might sound more familiar to non-gamblers: The Wizard of Oz, Madonna, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, among others. Aristocrat, one of the leading manufacturers of slot machines, recently announced a new slot based on 2021’s Dune.
Modern video slots look a lot different from the sevens and cherries of traditional reel games. Now they function more like a video game. Players can unlock different features and bonuses that offer them credits, free games, and progressive jackpots. One allure of watching a slot channel is getting to test drive the game. A viewer has the opportunity to see Diana play, what bonuses and features she triggers, and what a game might typically pay.
Thinking About Starting Your Own Channel?
“Make sure you are doing it for fun, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the subs and views you want,” cautions Diana.
With great influence comes great responsibility. “While I was in the original group that started slot channels, I really don’t have a massive fanbase,” says Diana. With over 72,000 subscribers, it’s safe to say she’s being modest.
“Newer channels who are making a career of being slot influencers have surpassed me by hundreds of thousands,” she says. Diana is happy for them and for the growing interest in slot channels. “My channel has always been a hobby and about fun with friends,” says Diana.
A love for casinos runs in the family. Diana’s mother can be seen in the background of some of her videos, playing slots alongside her daughter. However, Diana’s initial love for casinos came from her father, who loved Craps and was often flown to Vegas to play. “I couldn’t wait until I turned twenty-one years old and could go to Las Vegas and finally gamble like dad,” she says.
While Diana never intended to be a trailblazer in the casino influencer world, some of her contemporaries aspire to make it a full-time job. Brian Christopher Slots is one of the biggest in the gaming community.
A few weeks ago, he surpassed 500,000 subscribers on YouTube. His most popular video shows him playing Sky Rider, and it has 1.6 million views. Brian is credited as being one of the first channels with the idea of utilizing two cameras: one on the slot and one on his reactions.
Brian worked as an actor and an Uber driver before making his passions a full-time gig. What was briefly a side hustle is now a lucrative business: BCSlots has offices in Palm Springs and eight employees. He also partners with casinos like The Plaza in Old Vegas, where he has his own handpicked section of games.
The House Always Wins… Until…
NJSlotGuy is a legend on the East Coast. Known for his signature one-liners like “Gotta love those cherries,” NJSlotGuy spends most of his time playing old-school reel slots such as Wheel of Fortune, Top Dollar, and Triple Double Diamonds (a slot he calls “old faithful”).
“It is my actual job at this point,” says NJSlotGuy. “I have to produce so much content that over 60 hours a week goes into it.”
His bankroll is often higher than his colleagues, with NJSlotGuy favoring the High Limit room when visiting Atlantic City casinos. He might spend anywhere between $700-2000 on a single slot machine in a typical video.
This high roller behavior allows the viewers at home to live vicariously through him, experiencing, however briefly, the thrill of betting $50 a spin, when in reality, their bankroll would not permit them to do the same.
NJSlotGuy has some advice for aspiring influencers. “Be smart,” he says, “this is a losing game.” He also recommends traveling and interacting with fans whenever possible. “Get to know everyone,” he says. “Help another influencer, help multiple influencers. Spread love and leave a legacy behind.”
Haven’t we been told that the house always wins? Can you make a living off playing slot machines?
“Absolutely not,” he says. “Anyone that tells you they can is a complete liar.” Influencing allows players to turn the tables on their losses. “You can, however, make a living off of making slot videos,” says NJSlotGuy.
The success and monetization of these YouTube channels could change the face of gambling forever.
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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash.
Justin McDevitt is a playwright and essayist from New York City. His latest play HAUNT ME had its first public reading at Theater for the New City in September. He is a contributor for RUE MORGUE where he lends a queer eye to horror cinema in his column STAB ME GENTLY.