Hockey is one of the biggest sports in the United States of America. When looking at the four major league sports (American football, basketball, baseball, hockey), hockey may fall behind the rest (in the United States at least); however, it is still hugely popular. Hockey matches draw in millions of people from all over the country and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue annually.
So, with such large popularity, it won’t surprise anyone to learn that hockey is huge in the betting and gambling scenes. Hockey matches attract a lot of punters, and many online slots have been created based on the theme of ice hockey, specifically the National Hockey League.
But, just what is online gambling? As the name suggests, online gambling is the process of playing all of the popular gambling games online. Thanks to advancements made in technology and web design, programmers are now capable of creating video representations of the classic casino games, such as poker, blackjack, and of course, slots. Many of these casinos double as sportsbook, so gamblers now have access to both casino games and sports betting at the tip of their fingers.
Slots are, by far, the most popular casino game globally, and they have also been met with massive popularity in the cyber world. Just what is it that separates online slots from their land-based counterparts?
The biggest thing is the accessibility of online slots instead of brick-and-mortar machines. It is much preferable for some to simply turn the power on their computer, where dozens, if not hundreds, of slots, are available at their fingertips, especially when the alternative is having to walk or drive to a casino or a gambling shop.
Another benefit of online slots is the various themes and motifs they employ to keep the game more interesting. Some of the best online slots casinos in the USA tend to be inspired by mythology, history, cinema, and most recently, sports.
As the name would suggest, sports-themed slots are slots inspired by a given sport. The most popular sport-themed slots, invariably, are soccer-inspired. Soccer is, by far, the most popular sport worldwide, with over 3.5 billion fans. Slots have been made based on a number of popular football leagues, the most popular of which are the Premier League, La Liga, the UEFA Champions Cup, and of course, the FIFA World Cup, the latest iteration of which is taking place in 2022.
In recent years, soccer has even overtaken hockey to become the fourth most popular sport in the United States. However, ice hockey remains hugely popular. The National Hockey League is one of the biggest ice hockey organizations globally, sponsoring some of the most popular events. For these reasons, game developers use the sport as a basis for their many games.
Popular Hockey-themed Slots
It is not uncommon to see the hockey-themed slots online take the NHL as inspiration, depicting symbols and jerseys which, while legally distinct, call to mind those of the NHL. However, for legal reasons, it is much more likely for online slots to use hockey aesthetics as a basis for their symbols and backdrops without calling to mind any specific leagues or players. Frequently, you will see symbols depicting pucks, hockey sticks, helmets, and even players, set against a backdrop of an ice hockey rink.
But let’s get into some specifics. What are the most popular and profitable online hockey-themed slots? Ice Hockey is certainly a slot that has seen major play. Created by PlayTech in 2012, the slot has a decent RTP, and features both players and equipment as symbols.
Another popular one is Break Away, created by Microgaming. The NHL very clearly inspires the standard 5×3-reel slot. Symbols are explicitly made to emulate many of the most popular teams and players in the NHL today. The last ice hockey slot we are looking at is the Hockey League slot, created by Pragmatic Gaming. Like most, it is a 5×3-reel slot, which features different players as high-value symbols. There are 20 different pay lines; however, it is worth noting that the RTP is a little lower than average.
Wrapping It Up
The sports industry is bigger than it has ever been. They draw revenue not just from matches and merchandise but from game and film licenses. With so much revenue to be made, it is no surprise that many online slots have taken heavy inspiration from sports, especially the four major league sports.
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