Video Lottery Terminals Vs. Slot Machines – How Do They Differ? | Windmill Testing Framework

Countless people love to play slot machines offline and online. Surprisingly, only a few know the difference between VLTs and slot machines. VLTs (video lottery terminals) and slot machines look similar but have unique differences. You should know these differences before playing slot games. We will discuss the differences between VLTs and slot machines to boost your understanding.

Video Lottery Terminals – an overview

Video Lottery Terminals are mostly land-based electronic machines. They are offline gaming machines located in land-based casinos and small retail shops. VLT gambling machines provide bingo, scratch cards, lotto, etc. A VLT game entails many bettors looking to compete against one another for a top prize or many prizes. Bettors tend to sit before a screen but play a linked VLT game. 

The winner is the player who encounters a combination of symbols or numbers. Traditional VLTs work like bingo because the winner shouts when they find a winning number. The facility operators then confirm the claim. Current electronic VLTs produce shimmering lights and sweet soundtracks when a player wins. Unlike typical slot games, VLTs have a lower Return to Player (RTP) rate of 88%. 

Most slots have an average RTP of 96%. VLTs are common in America but are not legal in all states. They vary as widely as class III, Vegas-style slot machines. VLTs do not have random number generators. However, some US states enable RNG-based VLTs. These machines run according to state lottery rules. They use a pull-tab or scratch-off model.

Slot Machines 

Most people think they are on a slot machine when playing a VLT game and vice versa. A slot machine works independently, meaning players do not play against each other. Instead, slot machine bettors play against the software or the casino.

Slot machines can only interlink via progressive jackpots. Casinos with a similar software platform contribute to one progressive jackpot pool. One casino running a local area progressive jackpot may choose one slot game for all its tables. However, if you are not ready to play for money, the slot machines from can even be played for free to test their functions. This is useful for those who are looking for a suitable slot for themselves, but do not want to lose funds. 

If a casino has a no-deposit bonus with free spins, a player does not have to deposit cash to play. Like VLTs, slot machines celebrate a winner with sweet soundtracks and lovely graphics. However, only the player receives the news. Slot machines use random number generators (RNGs), the reason they do not remember your previous result. Their outcome is unpredictable. If you spin the reels once and win, you might lose or win in the next round. 

Slot machines have a higher return to player-percentage since the average one has a payout of 96%. Some slot games offer an RTP rate of 98% or 99% and are highly volatile. Every software provider produces slot machines, explaining why they are the most popular casino games.

VLTs vs. Slot Machines: How Do They Differ?

When it comes to gambling, there are various types of gaming machines available in casinos and other establishments. Two popular options are Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) and Slot Machines. Let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between VLTs and slot machines.

Video Lottery TerminalsSlot machines
Many competing playersOne player for one slot machine
A predetermined pool of winnersNo need to choose winners before the game begins
A predetermined number of prizesSlots winners are unpredictable
Entails many games, including bingo, lotto, pull-tabs, scratch-offs, etc.Entails only the slot game
Class II gaming machinesClass III gaming machines

First, Video Lottery Terminals occupy Class II, while Slot Machines are in Class III. Class II slots and Class III slots have many variants, so we cannot tell between the two. Overall, these are the differences we can find: 


VLTs are land-based gambling machines. On the other hand, slot games are land-based and internet-based gaming machines. VLTs appear in regions where people have limited access to Vegas-style slots. Traditional slot machines are easier to locate anywhere in the country. 


VLTs contain many players who compete for one prize. Also, a VLT game has a pre-determined number of winners and a top prize. In contrast, slot machines do not have pre-set winners or many contestants facing each other. A slot machine is more independent; winning or losing is by chance. 


VLTs pick their gaming rules from games like bingo, lottery, and video poker. At the same time, VLTs act like slot machines in that they announce winners via soundtrack and lights. On the other hand, slot machines use randomly generated numbers’ power to run. The RGNs determine the winner. It will begin afresh even if a player uses the same slot machine twice. It can remember if they won or lost in their previous round. 

Payout rate 

VLTs have an average Return to Player rate of 88%. The best-paying VLT game, including Dragon Link, has an RTP of 95.2%. On the contrary, an average slot machine has a payout rate of 96%. The highest-paying slot has an RTP of 99%. Hence, slot machines pay better than VLTs. 


A VLT machine game starts afresh after finding winners for all pre-set prizes. It works more like a lottery ticket game. As the machine gives away prizes, the pool of players reduces in size. Once all outcomes are gone, the VLT game network creates a new pool. This enables a new game to begin. A slot machine game begins when a player spins the reels. When the reels stop, the game ends there. It is the player who decides to keep spinning or end the game.

How to choose the best slot machines?

Most people prefer slot games because they pay more than VLTs. Besides, you can play slot games on your computer or mobile device. All slots are not similar. That is why you should pick only the best games according to these tips: 

  • Play high RTP-rated slot games.
  • Choose medium-variance slot machines to get many small wins.
  • Choose high-variance slots if you have the money to risk.
  • Pick slot games with free spin bonuses.
  • Choose a slot game with high-value multipliers.
  • Play slot games from renowned software developers.
  • Play slots only at licensed and reputable casino sites.

We hope you can now distinguish between Video Lottery Terminals and slot machines. VLTs are only legal in some states. Only a few land-based casinos offer them. On the other hand, slot machines are everywhere. In slot games, a player competes against the house. On the other hand, a VLT game player competes with other players who play the same game to win predetermined prizes.

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