‘Bingo‘ slot machines are another name for what is more appropriately referred to as a ‘Class II’ slot machine. Class II slot machines are machines that operate in such a way to be legal under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s definition which essentially refers to Bingo games. More specifically, the act defines Class II as “the game commonly known as bingo (whether or not electronic, computer, or other technological aids are used in connection therewith) and, if played in the same location as the bingo, pull tabs, punch board, tip jars, instant bingo, and other games similar to bingo.”
At one point in history, many tribes operated large high stakes bingo games in warehouse-sized halls. A few tribes still specialize in this type of bingo and others include traditional bingo in their casino properties. The desire of tribes to further leverage their gaming operations and the necessity to compete with other forms of gambling led to the creation of the ‘Class II slot machine‘.
The Class II Slot Machine falls into the part of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act definition that permits ‘electronic, computer or other technological aids‘ used in conjunction with a bingo game. Class II machines are in many ways indistinguishable from their Class III cousins. In fact, many of the same popular titles you’d see in a Las Vegas casino will be found in a Class III property. The big difference is that the results of each spin are based on electronic bingo games involving multiple machines throughout the casino. These bingo games are conducted in the background while the player experiences a virtually identical slot machine experience that they’d have on a Class III machine. The machine doesn’t use a random number generator like a ‘Class III‘ machine–instead when you spin the reels you’re entered into some type of bingo game with other players in the casino (some have a proprietary format making it all the vaguer). The results of this ‘bingo game‘ that happens completely in the background determines the reel pattern and if you win or lose.