Light & Wonder, AWS Develop Predictive Maintenance Program for Slot Machines

Light & Wonder and AWS (Amazon Web Services) have developed a technological program that the gaming developer, manufacturer, and distributor believes can assist the firm in better servicing its issued slot machines.

Light & Wonder AWS slot machine maintenance
The Light & Wonder exhibition booth at the 2022 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas on Oct. 11, 2022. L&W recently teamed up with AWS to develop a machine-learning program that can detect the probability of a slot machine malfunctioning. (Image: Las Vegas Sun)

L&W, formerly Scientific Games, spends a considerable amount of money maintaining its roughly half a million slot machines that are currently operating on casino floors around the world.

When slots malfunction, the terminals being offline cost L&W’s clients by way of reduced play. Such breakdowns can also dampen the patron experience, as many gamblers have their game of choice, and sometimes even their specific seat of choice.

L&W tells the company, through its partnership with AWS, has come up with a program that can predict when a slot machine might error. The innovative technology was developed with the use of data provided through Light & Wonder Connect, which was also developed with AWS.

L&W Connect gathers and disseminates near-real-time machine health data through a telemetric connection. Using that data, L&W says the company will receive advanced warning of machine breakdowns and will be able to proactively dispatch a service team to further inspect the alert.

For tech-savvy readers, an in-depth breakdown of the development can be found here.

Exploratory Program

L&W cautions that its predictive slot maintenance program is still being perfected and is undergoing further testing with only about 500 machines currently sharing data via Connect.

The nature of the project is highly exploratory — this is the first attempt at predictive maintenance in the gaming industry,” a statement from AWS added. “The Amazon Machine Learning (ML) Solutions Lab and L&W team embarked on an end-to-end journey from formulating the ML problem and defining the evaluation metrics, to delivering a high-quality solution.”

L&W counts most major gaming operators as clients, including Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, Hard Rock International, Penn Entertainment, and Golden Nugget.

L&W’s primary competition includes Evolution Gaming, Aristocrat, IGT, Playtech, and Everi Holdings. L&W has a market capitalization of $6 billion, with its shares closing this week on the Nasdaq at $66.12. Of its competitors, only Evolution at $26.8 billion and Aristocrat at $17.3 billion have richer market caps.

L&W reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $913 million last year. But the company has set the goal of reaching $1.4 billion in EBITDA by 2025.

L&W reduced its debt burden by selling off its lottery and sports betting units in 2021. The company subsequently underwent a rebranding from Scientific Games to Light & Wonder.

Slot Machine Servicing

Servicing a slot machine today is much different than it was back when Las Vegas was founded. The days have long passed that servicing a slot machine was mostly about cleaning the terminal’s internal working parts, as most games today are nearly fully electronic.

Though there are still plenty of slots in circulation that retain old-fashioned mechanical reels, and those reels frequently break and require repair, today most of the service calls have to do with electronic components. Disabled monitor displays are among the most common troubleshooting needs.

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