Next month the wife and I are heading to the bright lights of Las Vegas, so I found this story about eBay interesting. Seems that the auction giant has slot machines in the Rivera hotel in Las Vegas. To show that eBay only wants big gamblers, its machines are penny slots. 🙂

According to this article:

Yup, the world’s favorite auction site is helping casinos separate customers from their cash. Why any major Web site would lend its name to slots, I’m not entirely sure. Money? Crossmarketing potential? Slot machines are so inherently cheesy that neither opportunity seems remotely worth it. With eBay, though, the implied message is particularly weird: “Hey, using eBay is like gambling, and gambling is like using eBay!” You’d think the very last thing it would want to be associated with is risky financial transactions that may involve the loss of all of one’s money with no recourse to get it back.

Of course, we’re talking about a penny slot machine, so it would be tough to lose one’s shirt. Actually, in the interest of research, I tried the eBay game at the Riviera hotel here–and even though I couldn’t really figure out what was going on, I won enough dough to pay for my dinner.

I agree with the author that eBay’s reasoning is somewhat suspect. It has brand recognition, so placing a bank of slots in Vegas is not going to increase awareness.

Why do you think that eBay has the slots?

Comments welcome.