There Were Two Million-Dollar Slot Machine Wins At Airport In Las Vegas In Less Than A Month

Written By Marc Meltzer on July 31, 2023
Big Winners Playing Las Vegas Airport Slots

Who says people never win playing slot machines in a Las Vegas airport? The iconic slot machines at Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas have paid two million-dollar jackpots in  less than a month.

The Las Vegas airport saw a player win the second slot million-dollar machine jackpot in less than a month. The most recent million-dollar slot machine payday at the airport July 25 when a player hit a $1,286,324 jackpot on a Wheel Of Fortune game.

Coincidentally, the winners of both million-dollar jackpots at the airport were on Wheel Of Fortune slot machines. The most recent winner was playing the Triple Red Hot 7 version of the game in Terminal 3 of the airport.

The June Wheel of Fortune slot machine jackpot took place on the Triple Double Emeralds version of the game. The player in Terminal 1 hit a million-dollar jackpot. Harry Reid International Airport confirmed the $1.3 million win on June 28, a day after the win.

Airport officials have not released the identity of either million-dollar slot machine jackpot winner.

Las Vegas airport slot machines are big business

The slot machines at Harry Reid International Airport are big money makers for the operators. There are more than 1,400 slot machines spread throughout the terminals at the airport. For comparison, Bellagio has about 100 fewer slot machines on its casino floor.

Last year, the company that oversees the Las Vegas slot machines, Airport Slot Concession, Inc., passed a revenue milestone. The airport slot machines have generated more than $1 billion in revenue for the company.

These games aren’t only profitable for the company that oversees the operation of the slot machines. The airport has received more than $34 million in revenue from the slot machines.

The name Airport Slot Concession, Inc. may not sound familiar to many. However, the man behind the company should ring a bell.

Michael Gaughan owns both South Point Hotel & Casino as well as the airport slot machine operation.

Here for a good time, not a long time

The Nevada Gaming Control Board releases monthly gaming revenue reports to the public. These reports include gaming revenue for venues that offer table games and slot machines.

Beyond just seeing the revenue, these reports are useful to see how much money restricted and unrestricted gaming licenses generate and hold each month. Based on the report we can see what parts of Nevada collect more or less gaming revenue as well as how much is held for the different games.

Generally, the Vegas Strip casinos hold more than those elsewhere around Nevada. While the information offers useful insight into different regions, it doesn’t have breakdowns of specific locations. Gaming revenue information for individual casinos, bars, etc. isn’t available.

There’s no specific information about how much Harry Reid International Airport holds from slot machine play. However, it’s widely understood that these slot machines hold more than any other locations in the state of Nevada.

Generally speaking, these slot machines are estimated to pay out less than those in casinos, bars and other locations in Nevada.

So why do people play slot machines in the airport if the machines hold more money than elsewhere in Las Vegas? There are a number of reasons people play slots where the operator holds more than other locations.

The convenience of passing time by playing a few bucks in an airport slot machine is unique. Some slot players find the experience worth the price. There’s value in documenting playing slot machines in one of the few airports that offer gambling.

Frankly, it’s not much different than playing slot machines on the Vegas Strip instead of leaving the area for casinos that hold slightly less.

This is similar to why slot machine players still visit Las Vegas instead of Reno. The latter holds less money from slot machine players.

Slot players at the airport are typically hanging around for a short time waiting for a flight and are looking for one last big win before leaving Las Vegas.

That’s Vegas Baby!

Photo by John Locher/AP photo; illustrated by PlayUSA
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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