Las Vegas Airport Slot Machines Hit $1B Milestone

The slot machines at Harry Reid International Airport have hit a different kind of jackpot. Over the 36 years that they’ve been dinging in Las Vegas’ terminals, the machines from Michael Gaughan’s Airport Slot Concession, Inc. have generated $1 billion in revenue. The milestone was announced by the company on Monday.

Harry Reid airport slot machines
Harry Reid airport slot machines
Slot machines await players at Harry Reid International. The funds they generate help lower the cost of Las Vegas plane tickets. (Image:

In recent years, the company’s Las Vegas airport slot machines have generated approximately $39.8M in annual gross revenue, translating to an average of $34.4M in net revenue for the airport, which collects 86.5 percent of the net revenue from the slots. The funds generated by slots, and other airport concessions, help keep airport operating costs – and, in turn, plane ticket prices – down.

“We are happy that the slot machines located inside Harry Reid International Airport not only provide Las Vegas visitors’ the opportunity to spend a few minutes at one of our slot machines while they wait for their flight, but that the revenue generated also helps lower the operating costs for airlines at the airport and those lower rates trickle down to tourists who plan on visiting Las Vegas,” said Patricia Ross, general manager of Michael Gaughan’s Airport Slot Concession, Inc.

The company, which has 245 employees, operates 1,430 slot machines in the airport’s terminals.

“Non-aviation revenue is beneficial in that it helps to lessen our costs for air carriers. As a discretionary travel market, we’re very diligent in keeping our costs to the airlines both stable and as low as we can reasonably maintain,” added Scott Kichline, Harry Reid International Airport’s assistant director for business commercial/development. “Financial considerations aside, Las Vegas is known for casinos. Having slots in the airport is an amenity travelers largely enjoy and have come to expect. Seeing and hearing slots the moment they arrive sets the tone for an Only Vegas experience, and on their way out, many also enjoy the opportunity to pursue one last jackpot.”

It is widely believed that airport slot machines are less likely to pay off big than slots at Las Vegas casinos. However, there is never a shortage of players among the 40 million passengers that pass through Reid annually.

Chicago Bullish on Slots

So-called one-armed bandits were first installed at the Las Vegas airport, then called McCarran, in 1968. Since then, the only airport in the US to also install slot machines is Reno-Tahoe International Airport – which waited until 1993. However, Chicago is likely be the next city to install them.

The Illinois Legislature cleared the way for slots at O’Hare and Midway international airports in 2020. And last year, when the Windy City announced that it wanted a single, iconic casino resort built within its city limits, it also announced that the winning bidder would get the concession to install 4,000 slots at the two airports.


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