What is Candle?
A candle is a light on top of a slot machine, used to signify to staff that the machine needs attention. This candle light is often on a pole or column above the machine, and often shows a red light to signify a fault: which is where it gets its nickname. However, the light might actually be placed in a number of locations, and could show several different colors, or flash in sequence, to show different issues.
When players use slot machines, they often stick with a particular machine for a long period and are reluctant to leave before they land a big win, in case somebody steals their jackpot. If a fault occurs with the machine, such as a failure to pay out on a prize, the player will certainly not want to move away until they have got their payout! To alert staff to machine problems, many casinos use a light system. The lights, known as ‘candles’, are on top of the machines and they light when a problem occurs, or when the player lights it for service.
Candle lights might be programmed to change color or flash, so the staff know exactly what the problem is before they even reach the player. They usually signify that the coin hopper is jammed or the machine is out of change, and may also light in the event of another technical fault. In some casinos, players can also light their ‘candle’ to request service from floor staff, including drinks and snacks. Resolving the problem or fulfilling the request may turn the candle of automatically, or the staff member may have to reset it.
In some modern casinos, the candle light has been adopted by some venues as a comp validation system, with a light behind the slot machine or on the player’s chair being used to alert staff when the player qualifies for a free drink or some other reward. Once the reward is given, the staff member can clear the light and play tracking will start again.