Before we explain Class II slot machines, it’s helpful to understand what the Federal government defines as ‘Class II Gaming‘. According to The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act it is “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, it was very common for tribes to offer high stakes bingo games in big warehouse like bingo halls. That has become less common as gaming has become more hi-tech and Tribal Gaming operators have sought to capture a more ‘Vegas like‘ vibe in their gaming offerings.
All of that leads us to the Class II Slot Machine. In theory, the fact that the definition “specifically excludes slot machines or electronic facsimiles of any game of chance from the definition of class II games” would seem problematic. There was at one point some contention over this proviso in Florida–the Seminole Hard Rock properties there are one of the industry leaders of ‘Class II Slots‘–but that’s been nearly a decade ago. For now, everyone seems content with the arrangement–presumably since everyone is making money.
In theory, the Class II Slot Machine falls into the part 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. You’ll even see a little LED bingo card in the top right-hand corner of the game. 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. Any relationship to actual bingo is tenuous, though in some jurisdictions the player has to touch the screen to daub the bingo card to collect winnings.
In future articles, we’ll talk about the Class II machines in greater detail and give you some specific strategy tips for this type of game.