Our Thoughts: Why Fruit Machines Are Still So Popular?

shutterstock 1115759312

shutterstock 1115759312

Fruit machines are an instantly recognisable element of the majority of British pubs – and for good reason. Fruit machines have been around, and delighted thousands of British pub-goers each and every week, for decades now – and even in the digital age, the popularity of the humble fruit machine shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. 


If you’re scratching your head wondering whether or not hiring a fruit machine would really pay off in this day and age, allow us to share some of the reasons why fruit machines are still so very popular.


Dedicated Users


Just as British pubs often have a fairly large group of regulars, so do the fruit machines! 


While there has obviously been huge developments in pub gaming technology, such as the rise of the virtual quiz machine, there hasn’t quite been another kind of machine made which can replicate the charm of a good old-fashioned fruit machine. If someone has been a long-time user of the fruit machines in their local, then chances are that they aren’t going to switch to this new technology any time soon!


The more high-tech takes on the classic fruit machine often come with complicated rules, a higher play price and a variety of games that classic fruit machine players just aren’t quite as interested in. Traditional fruit machines have a classic charm, which will likely keep dedicated users coming back again and again for as long as they’re visiting the local pub.


At the end of the day, we’re all creatures of habit – if someone enjoys a go on the fruit machine, then they’re unlikely to decide to switch to an updated iteration of the game anytime soon. 


Lower Cost Of Play


Fruit machines are seen as a particularly low-stakes way to try and make a little bit of bonus cash. 


Players aren’t inserting huge amounts of money in one go, only to receive absolutely nothing back. The low cost of play makes fruit machines a fun and stress-free experience – a fun, extra experience to lift the quality of your time in the local pub.  


However, all those small play prices add up, making fruit machines an incredibly lucrative addition for pub owners to add to their space for the enjoyment of guests. Even today, it’s rare to see an hour pass by in a pub where the fruit machine simply isn’t in use – if you put your fruit machine in the right part of your pub, in view of large numbers of guests, it could definitely be a particularly profitable piece of equipment. 


Less Frowned Upon Than More Expensive Forms Of Gambling


Whilst fruit machines are, of course, still technically classed as gambling, they’re leaps and bounds from the high-stakes gambling which has come to be almost frowned upon in recent years. 


While we are often warned by television adverts to ‘gamble responsibly’ and are given frequent reminders of things that gamblers can do in order to quit their habit, the risks aren’t really quite the same for fruit machines. Fruit machines are seen as being less a genuine form of gambling and more just a game to enjoy in the local pub. 


Given that other forms of gambling are being cracked down on far more, or are simply being seen as less socially acceptable, the popularity of fruit machines may even be set to grow within the next few years. If there’s any doubt that they’re still just as lucrative and popular as they have been in the past, don’t worry about that!


Fruit Machines Can Be A Social Experience


A lot of the popularity of fruit machines comes from the fact it can be a fun group experience – crowding around a fruit machine and taking it in turns amongst your friends to see if any of you hit the jackpot. 


Whilst you might feel that there aren’t quite as many younger pub-goers interested in fruit machines, that’s not necessarily true. Fruit machines have still managed to maintain a certain amount of popularity amongst younger users, especially those who have seen their parents or grandparents enjoy a turn on the machines in the past. 


Groups of younger drinkers are still just as likely to crane their necks to look at the fruit machine when they hear that jackpot call go out – and to go and have a go on it for themselves afterwards, too. 


Fruit Machines Have A Long And Rich History


Fruit machines technically date back to the 1890s, with the birth of the traditional slot machine. Slot machines were hugely popular, originally giving out prizes of cigarettes and candies, but were soon adjusted to begin giving out instant cash prizes. 


This meant that slot machines were suddenly seen as gambling, rather than gaming as they had been up until that point. It was during the 1960s that the classic fruit machine was born, after the law was changed to allow the presence of skill-based games in pubs and bars. 


This is due to the addition of new elements, such as ‘nudge’ and ‘hold’ buttons, which gave the games an element of strategy and skill – perhaps leading to their popularity in later years. 


It wasn’t long until fruit machines were commonplace is pubs and bars throughout the country, played by patrons of all ages – above the age of 18, of course!


With fruit machines having such a long-standing popularity, and a very firm place within UK culture and within the memories of pub-goers from every decade, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the decline in popularity of these colourful, vibrant games any time soon.

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