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Vegas Slot Machines: As”sign”ing cash value

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on August 25, 2008 1 Comment

On a trip to Las Vegas in the height of summer in late June this year, I was struck by the interesting “slot machine literacy” I saw everywhere. In the cool, air-conditioned halls where players sat obsessively dumping hopeful coins into slot machines, these glamorous, lit up signs are designed to attract a big following. These machines have short, evocative names, such as the ones below: “Wolf Run,” “Wild Cougar,” “5 Dragons,” “Cash Time,” and my personal favorite: the “Hot, Hot Penny.” All these names are inscribed in catchy fonts, have artwork relevant to the names on them, and the play of light adds to their allure. While there were many others, due to constraints of time and space, I’ll focus on these ones that caught my interest.

The Wolf Run for example, has a picture of two wolves, and a wolf’s paw stands on for the “O.”


The Wild Cougar has the letters “WILD” written out on the top left, almost as an afterthought, in bright red, evoking danger. The cougar image growls atop the lettering “COUGAR.”


The 5 Dragons name is bottom center of the image, with variety of dragons and the font conjuring up Chinese mythology.


Cash Time is very interesting; notice that the entire thing is ensconced in a clock, with the 15 minute intervals marked by the images of dollar signs. The “s” in the phrase is also a dollar sign. Green and white, evoking money, are the two predominant colors of the sign.


Finally, there’s the Hot, Hot Penny where the lettering literally seems ablaze, and the lettering seems a little off-center, as if the heat is making the letters bounce.


It’s funny; I’m not a gambler, never play the slots: however, there’s something about these catchy signs that’s irresistible. I imagine thousands of dollars are invested in developing these signs, an investment that, I imagine, pays back handsomely. They didn’t draw me in financially, but the fact that I am blogging about it probably speaks to their success in drawing people in! 🙂

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One Response to “Vegas Slot Machines: As”sign”ing cash value”

  1. Bill on: 24 July 2010 at 11:29 am

    The images on the slots are brilliant (in many different ways), aren’t they?

    The first time I went to Vegas I was completely blown away by them and now I really enjoy playing (but only for pennies).

    I wonder if the graphics are more appealing once you have been to Vegas and seen them (i.e. evocative memory), or if they appeal to people that have never seen them in real life (i.e. genuinely appealing as art in their own right)

    The bizarre thing for me, is that I loved the images, sounds and graphics of the slots so much, I even started my own little blog about them, which then turned into a complete website and now I intend to go back every year for a few days to get more pictures, videos etc, to add to the site. It’s become almost a part time job for me keeping it up,

    So, maybe this blog post of yours is the first step down that road?!?

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