Space Invaders Skill-Based Slots at AC Harrah’s & Bally’s

The classic arcade game Space Invaders is coming to Atlantic City. Scientific Games Corporation signed a deal this week to place a skill-based slot machine in Caesars Entertainment’s Atlantic City casinos.

Space Invaders Slots has a bonus game based on Space Invaders, the classic arcade and Atari game. The normal gameplay will play like a classic slot machine. When players trigger the bonus mode, the bonus game is Space Invaders.

If the slots gambler plays the bonus game well, it translates to real bonus money and then lowers the house edge.

Scientific Games has not released the exact payout chart for the Space Invaders skill-based slot, but previous discussions noted that the return-to-player can be as high as 98%.

Space Invaders at Harrah’s and Bally’s Atlantic City

Rich Broome of Caesars Entertainment Corporation told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the gaming machine will debut in Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City.Broome said the game debuts this week in Atlantic City, but it will appear “in addictional jurisdictions” later in the year. Since Nevada is the only other state which has legalized skill-based slots, Caesars properties in Nevada should have Space Invaders soon.

Where to Find Space Invaders Slots

Susan Cartwright of Scientific Games Corporation said in a recent interview that Space Invaders would appear at land venues in Las Vegas sometime this summer. Readers should expect those venues to be Caesars Entertainment properties.

Scientific Games becomes the fourth company in the past 7 months to release a skill-based gaming machine. Younger generation casino goers are less interested in slot machines than Baby Boomers. Generation X casino gamblers showed a 10% to 15% decline in interest in slot machines compared to Baby Boomers, while millennials showed a marked decline in interest compared to Gen X gamblers. To convince players to visit slots row, gaming machine firms lobbied for the right to offer skill-based slots.

Companies Producing Skill Slots

At the moment, GameCo, Gamblit, Konami, and Scientific Games are the four companies producing skill slots. The companies have taken very different approaches. For instance, GameCo produces games which do not have a traditional slots mode, but instead offers something more like a traditional arcade game. Reviews on the GameCo gaming machines (found at Tropicana Atlantic City) have been mixed, because players have complained of gameplay or asked whether such games are truly skill-based. Such games are still in the development phase and players can expect them to improve rapidly in the coming months.

Scientific Games, which owns traditional slot machine companies like Bally Technologies and WMS Industries, is taking a more conservative approach. They combine an already-proven slot machine game mechanic with a bonus game based on Space Invaders, an iconic game from the Atari Age.

Space Invaders Slot Machine

Space Invaders Slots is a 6-reel, 60-payline slot machine in the main game. Once the bonus game is active, Scientific Games describes an “authentic alien shooter bonus game”.

The original Space Invaders video game is a third-person shooter in which the player character sits at the bottom of the screen and fires at rows of aliens which slowly march towards the bottom of the ground, as if they’re aliens coming from the sky. Space Invaders was one of the first arcade games and it inspired countless game designers since then (Galaga/Galaxian, Centipede, Missile Command).

The game is housed in Scientific Games’ s32 game cabinet, so it has the look and feel of a classic slot machine. Players who have no interest in gambling on the slots have the option to skip the slots mode and go directly to the arcade game, with higher level credit wins.

Derik Mooberry on Space Invaders

Derik Mooberry, Gaming CEO for Scientific Games Corporation, said in a press release, “Space Invaders is one of the true classic video arcade games and a childhood favorite for many who grew up in the era of video games. We are thrilled to bring this iconic game to casino slot gameplay.”

“Our development team worked diligently to ensure that our first skill-based game featured authentic Space Invaders gameplay, complete with its familiar alien symbols and correlative music, and we are certain that players are going to be captivated with this compelling new game.

The next few years should bring a lot of creativity to the skill-based gaming machine market. Eventually, one title or type of game is going to emerge as the leader in the genre. Until the breakout skill-based slot emerges, it should be entertaining to see what GameCo, Scientific Games, and Konami produces.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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