Slot machines are very popular all over the world - but not in Japan. Access to gambling in all forms except for betting on public sports, lotteries, and pachinko. There are no casinos in the country - people often play Mahjong for money, and there are a few popular rock-paper-scissors apps that many people play for money. Thus, it may come as a surprise that the games featured slot machine minigames up to Generation IV.
The slot machines in Pokémon games are a lot like their online counterparts at the JackpotCity online casino. The slots in Generation I games and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen are a lot like the classic three-reel slot machines so popular at JackpotCity - even the symbols on the reels are inspired by the real thing. Plus, they borrow a popular feature from their real-life counterparts: by betting more coins per spin, you activate more pay lines, and with it, you boost the potential payouts of the game.
Slots in Pokémon
In Generation II games, the slot machines became simpler, with fewer symbols on the reels. But they come with an extra perk: Chansey. From time to time, the Pokémon thought to bring good luck and happiness to its owner, will appear to spin the reels with an egg bomb. In Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, the slot machine becomes more complex and similar to the real thing by adding a feature so popular at real-life gambling venues and online outlets like the JackpotCity: bonus games. The bonus games offer players bigger payouts and the chance to try the Reel Time (a bit like jackpots) with a potential to win big. And in the fourth-generation games, the slot machine once again becomes simpler, with a smaller jackpot but it gets a new bonus game. Triggered by winning the jackpot, the bonus game involves trying to keep a Pokémon happy by stopping the reels that it points at in the correct order.
Playing slot machines in real life is permitted in most countries - even those that ban real-money gambling have carveouts for social games like MyVegas or Slotomania. Not in South Korea, apparently. Here, even the playful minigames inside Pokémon games have triggered the authorities. With gambling illegal in Korea, the slot machines in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum had to go. The problem is that without them, players couldn’t obtain TM64. As a workaround, the Game Corner receptionist will occasionally reward players with the item.