Like putting a bill in the slot and pressing “spin,” it seems easy: bring some money to the casino, play the slot machines, record them, put on a video, and watch the view come in. Even if you lost money on slots (you probably did), you can get paid.
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Where does the money come from? Ads are another source. If you’re always on the go, Super Chats is another. This feature allows viewers to post and earn money directly through YouTube; Their message is attached to the chat and displayed in a different color. Beyond videos, there are tour dates, tours, and merchandise.
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Miran Maric and his wife, who goes by “Lady Luck” on YouTube, have been playing slots for about four years. After getting a positive response to the few videos they had posted, the couple decided to create their own channel, Lady Luck HQ, about three months ago.
So far, they have enjoyed the experience. “We want to be involved with other players from around the world,” says Maric. “It’s a big community that is often unpopular because of the nature of the game. We want to share our experiences. “
With about 10,000 followers, the two are still not in the top echelon of slot YouTubers. For them, it is now an exciting job. Maric estimates that his wife puts five to ten hours a week into the station. Both have day jobs—she in software, he in car marketing—but they went viral with a video of Lady Luck winning $18,088 playing the Rio Dreams machine at the Wynn Las Vegas. Clocking in at less than seven minutes, the video—which is showing something that happens every day in casinos all over the world—has received more than 1.1 million views.
With so many slot machines, what makes one more popular than another? Being photogenic certainly doesn’t hurt, but being fun and friendly is more important. Judging from what has been said, most viewers like to play slots themselves and like to see people like them win money. People like to see big jackpots, so that means playing high-quality machines that, over time, take in more than they give back to players. Taking your own video game and monetizing it can, at best, be a very expensive hobby.
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Lady Luck and her husband, who mainly play at the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas, often decide, on the first night of a trip, what games they will play. All their dialogue is unscripted. “We try to be ourselves in the videos and connect with the wider audience that gambles out there,” Maric explains. They then edit the videos into short, marketing chunks that take viewers on a journey, from buy-in to (hopefully) manual payment.
The rise of YouTube slot channels shows that conventional wisdom about gambling devices may be wrong. Millennials are thought to have nothing to do with traditional machines, but the machines YouTubers play—Wheel of Fortune, Double Diamond Deluxe, Chili Chili Fire—are not the skill-based games that casino executives think will attract a new generation to the casino. They are just colorful, immersive traditional slot machines, with no skills required.
It could be that experts who say millennials won’t play slot machines are wrong. At least, the popularity of video slots shows that slot machines may have more potential with younger audiences than casino experts think. And casino executives are taking notice.
Many slot YouTubers have contracts with the casinos they play in that allow them to record videos on their site. The benefits to casinos seem obvious: free advertising, the YouTuber pays to make a video showing someone having fun playing slot machines in their casino. It helps that their live events and group pulls bring in crowds of gamblers. Back in the old days, the Sands put Frank Sinatra on stage to attract big players to town. Today, the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan can let Brian Christopher, who runs a popular channel (his videos have more than 50 million views), play their machines. Christopher both attracts players to the event and creates a video that, if it goes viral, can get more than a million views—the first free advertising for the casino.
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With all the furore about declining slot play and millennials allegedly turning their backs on gambling, casino managers couldn’t have created a better marketing platform than slot YouTubers if they tried.
But recent moves by YouTube have highlighted just how secure even a successful channel can be. Over two years, Christopher built his channel up, uploading several videos a month, interacting with viewers, and promoting himself and his platform. Then, on June 3
, without warning, YouTube found that his videos violated content restrictions and suspended his channel. It came back after two days, but it took a long time for it to be done again.
Christopher’s fellow YouTuber, Scott Richter, aka Raja, has had his own problems with his channel The Big Jackpot. His channel was also suspended, only to be inexplicably restored. But it was removed again on June 13, after an hour-plus stream of Richter playing slots that were marked as “Nutu and Sexual content” even though they were not. Two days later, his account was mysteriously restored.
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The videos make it look effortless, but a lot goes into creating a quality slot playing a YouTube… [+] hit, as shown by The Big Jackpot’s Raja.
Both megastars are now back in YouTube’s good graces, happily uploading new videos and hosting livestreams as well. Meanwhile, a dozen would-be famous players are hard at work trying to crack the code that makes them go viral, while casino marketing and managers plan their quarter, trying to figure out how to get more people to play.
They are all trying to stay on the right side of YouTube, not really understanding the rules they have to play by. They too, it is clear, need help from an even stronger and inexplicable force, which everyone, from the average slot players to Sinatra himself, sought a favor: luck. Heidi Clemons and her husband Fred Clemons at the Cosmopolitan in Las. Vegas, Sunday, January 26, 2020. This couple runs a youtube channel called The Slot Cats where they upload videos of themselves playing slot machines. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Diana Evoni, from left, Heidi Clemmons and her husband Fred Clemmons speak with the Review-Journal at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. Evoni runs the Dianaevoni Vegas Slot Machine Video youtube channel and Clemmons runs The Slot Cats youtube channel. They gained a following by posting videos of themselves playing slot machines in casinos. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
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Diana Evoni at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Sunday, January 26, 2020. Evoni runs the Dianaevoni Vegas Slot Machine Video youtube channel. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Casinos across the country have been closed for weeks, but that hasn’t stopped Joshua O’Connell and others from meeting the speed of today’s slot jackpot.
The Connecticut resident sets aside time each day to watch his favorite slot machine YouTubers, a growing internet niche where creators film their own gameplay.
“You get that real winning moment (in these videos),” O’Connell said. “I watch because I get to learn new things (with slots) … and the character comes through creating a channel. It’s a good time to take me in the day.”
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O’Connell used to watch an average of four videos each day, but his viewing time has been cut in half in recent weeks. New uploads have dropped significantly as YouTubers have lost the ability to create more content within casinos, resulting in a significant drop in views and payouts for some.
“We can sympathize with those who have retired and are waiting to return to work,” said Heidi Clemons, one half of the husband and wife duo behind The Slot Cats channel. “Our wages are down two-thirds from what they were last year.”
A growing community of content creators have started making a living on YouTube, posting videos of themselves risking — and sometimes winning — large sums of money in casinos across the U.S.
When YouTuber Brian Christopher posted his first slot video four years ago – a hilarious video titled “‘Lightning Strikes’ – HUGE WIN at Vegas Slots! $3, 75/Bet” filmed inside the Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood casinos on the Las Vegas Strip – he expected several views from Instead, the video got Christopher thousands of views and almost 1,000 subscribers in one week and promoted his career as a full-time YouTuber.
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“I didn’t expect these videos to blow up like they did,” said Christopher, a Canadian actor who was driving for Lyft in Los Angeles before his station took off.
He had nearly 245,000 subscribers as of February, and business was successful enough to sell merchandise — including lanyards, rubber wristbands and autographed headshots — and hire.