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From HBO to Slots Streamer: Josh “Slotaholic” Duffy Keeps People Entertained

Slotaholic, also known as Josh Duffy, has one of the most vibrant slots channels on YouTube with bright colors, big smiles and even bigger jackpots. He’s inspired sippers, spinners and winners from around the globe.

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Is Josh Duffy – AKA Slotaholic – the most interesting man in the slots world?

The former child prodigy performed music at the Hollywood Bowl as part of Disney Channel’s Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra when he was just 12 years old. He went on to have a successful music career where he worked with Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child and produced his own album.

Later he worked as an actor and appeared opposite John Goodman in HBO’s Treme. He also opened his own retail shop – Bourbon Pride – in New Orleans. He also appeared on Wheel of Fortune.

These days his infectious smile and energy for slots has made him one of the must-watch YouTube channels. His slots content includes innovative concepts like Slot Golf and Super Sessions.

Between producing and editing his own content and running his retail business and spending time with his husband Joseph, he’s also very, very busy. Fortunately, he had time for a quick interview with SlotsFan.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Arthur Crowson: How did you get into making slots content?

Slotaholic: I think it was 2015 when I started the channel. At that time there were probably just two dozen channels to watch on YouTube. But I wanted to get into this space with a purpose, and so what I decided to do from the very beginning, besides just posting videos, was to take it seriously. I thought, let’s come up with some fun challenges, and provide information, and stats on the games. Let’s make it more than just a winning video because, in reality, you don’t always win, but for the most part, everyone always shows winning videos.

So that was my approach when I came up with the idea of the channel. I remember being at a casino nightclub, and the name ‘Slotaholic’ hit me. I went to GoDaddy to check, and it was taken, but it was available on YouTube.

Everything just came together like lightning. I’m a business owner. I’ve had a shop in New Orleans for 13 years and marketing is always important with a business. So that’s how I approached my channel. I wanted to make it fun with vibrant neon colors. Mottos like “Sip, Spin and Win” and “Collect the Coins.”

How did you actually find slots on YouTube? What was the first influencer you watched?

Slotaholic: Yeah, I mean, I don’t remember what actually got me to watch a slot video on YouTube because, for the most part, whenever we get on YouTube and still to this day, it’s always tarot card readers and psychics and anything dealing with the universe and signs.

I do remember one of the first channels I watched was Vegas Low Roller (Daniel Manachi) who’s doing so amazingly. I’ve always found his personality to match mine. We get real giddy about winning and can’t believe it when we do. I’ve met Daniel many times since then. Another channel was Casino Man NJ, who no longer has his channel, but I always found those to be the ones I gravitated towards.

Then there was Diana Evoni, Brian Christopher, and Lady Luck HQ, and SDGuy. So, I mean, it’s pretty cool to be in the mix now. It was obviously a goal when you started the channel—you want to succeed and perform well. Although I’m still, in the grand scheme of things, a small channel with twenty-seven thousand subscribers, it’s been a nice, steady build where I can manage it. I can still have that nice rapport with the viewers and know their YouTube names and their real names and know them in person where it’s not just like, who are you? I appreciate the growth that I have had. Do I feel like I should be bigger? Sure, but it’s just that I don’t get to travel as much as everybody else does. 

It sounds like you stay busy at home…

Slotaholic: Yeah, I also review games for SciPlay, which is behind Jackpot Party, Quick Hit Slots and Goldfish Casino. Each month, they give me a game that they’re going to release on the platform, and I review it.

In your mind what makes a good slot?

Slotaholic: For me, it’s the graphics. That’s what always gravitates or captures my attention. When I was young, of course, I played video games, and as I got older, I aged out of it, but I loved every bit of that. So whenever I play a game, if it has really great graphics, it definitely captures my attention. And then the mechanics of the game. I actually like games that are a little bit hard to understand.

Giving me a hard game to understand at first is something that I’m going to make sure I learn. I want to know what that feature does, how frequently does it come up and why do they pay what they do. So I like more complex games. Unfortunately, those games never last because people need simplicity, which is why the hold and spin mechanic has been so popular through Dragon Link, and everybody uses it now. I’m just so over it, bored. I need some stimulation.

Do you have three favorite games just off the top of your head?

Slotaholic: Yeah, we just did a top five with Kelly and Slot Drop Mark that aired on their podcast, where we all gave our top five. But if I’m going to narrow it down to three (they are all Light and Wonder games): 

1. Double Dragon

2. Big Hot Flaming Pots

3. Huff and More Puff

Huff and More Puff seems to be everyone’s answer these days…

Slotaholic: Yeah, it’s such a brutal, volatile game too, but I think what makes it fun or makes up for its volatility is the game’s many features. Although they typically don’t pay what you want them to pay, at least they keep you entertained.

The features are long enough — two to three minutes — giving you a nice little break from the game. Now Big Hot Flaming Pots – That bonus feature can go on for 10 minutes. It just keeps going and going. It’s like when you get a bonus like that, and you’ve been getting your ass handed to you all day at the casino, it’s so worth it, even if it’s a 50x win, right? 

Double Dragon is just so innovative. I’ve actually met the team who designed Double Dragon, and if you haven’t seen that one, it’s a really cool mechanic. You can really rack up some nice wins on that game, and it’s a very beautiful game. Definitely, after this, check out Double Dragon on my channel. There’s an action camera video that I had probably about two months ago.

Slotholic spinning on Double Dragon.

How did you come up with your Super Session promotion?

Slotaholic: Yeah, so the Super Session was born basically because of channel memberships. When I had the opportunity to offer channel memberships, you come up with the tiers, and I thought, let’s go with the Sip, Spin, and Win theme.

So, “sippers,” my channel members are called sippers. Now, Patreon — I got rid of my YouTube channel memberships because YouTube’s back office for it is just so hard to keep track of everybody. On Patreon, it’s direct. If you need to have communication with someone, you can just message them on Patreon. So I came up with little big sippers and super sippers, and I was like, what can I do with a super sipper? Let’s offer a Super Session.

The first one was filmed at Coushatta Casino in 2021. I was doing it with $500, and then I would go with a list of games that I wanted to feature on the session, and there were six tasks that I tried to complete. Now the budget is up to $1,000, and there’s a bonus game. We spin a wheel, and the wheel has a prize or a challenge that we have to complete. It’s a lot of fun. It keeps it engaging, and I’m always trying to think about the viewer’s perspective.

Why do you think people enjoy watching slots so much?

Slotaholic: I think it’s because people love the thrill of watching others win, and they like to learn about new games. There’s also the connection with the streamer and the community aspect of the content. It’s like watching a friend play and cheering them on. One of the major benefits of doing this is that you have all these friends you’ve never met before.

They’ve got your back. I meet fans in real life and it’s great. I’ll talk to anyone.

A photo of Josh Duffy performing at Pride in Houston in 2008.

Josh Duffy, Slotaholic, performing at Houston Pride in 2008.

You have a pretty diverse background. You were a musician and an actor. Do you think that helped you become a slots content creator?

Slotaholic: Yeah, I mean I would say so. I’m comfortable. Of course, I can kind of get in my own way. Sometimes you’re not feeling in or there’s some sort of mental block. You need to snap out of it for the reaction camera. 

I don’t have a posse, a manager, or anyone else to handle all the behind-the-scenes stuff and point me at things. 

A lot of the other slots influencers have teams that feed them lines and stuff. Sometimes, when you are a one-man show like I am, you hit this moment where you’re just like, “Okay, what do I need to do?” So you really have to be confident and having those tools and being on stage and being in front of an audience it all comes together at one point you can turn it on.

Can you share the story of your biggest win?

Slotaholic: My biggest win was on an Ultimate Fire Link machine in the high-limit room at Coushatta. I won the Mega Jackpot, which was over $22,000. It was a bucket list win.

It’s funny because I started on Buffalo Gold Revolution in the high-limit room and I had a nice win to keep my ticket afloat. Then Joseph, my husband, said that I should try Fire Link. If it wasn’t for him it wouldn’t have happened.

When each row unlocked I was just like, “my god.” Then of course I realized I needed to get a reaction so I had to set up my other camera. God dang it. Sometimes you just want to live in the moment but you’ve got to capture it and put your producer hat on. Moments like that are so rare. It was an amazing win and my biggest handpay on a slot machine.

Do you have any tips for people going to the casino for the first time?

Slotaholic: Yes, in fact, that’s the question that I always get asked. First and foremost, you’ve got to remember to treat the experience as entertainment. If you’re not having a good time with a game then just walk away. You should also set a limit of course.

I also do find that there’s always one machine in a bank that has a high return to player. That’s it. Those are my tips.

Do you enjoy playing online slots?

Slotaholic: Yeah I love it. I was a little hesitant at first about doing online slots. But as I’ve played them each week on Monday nights with my audience. I’m learning new games through them and there are so many unique games out there that yield massive results.

Five hundred dollars at a land-based casino can go fast. Regardless of what you’re betting, it can be gone in a matter of minutes. In my Monday night streams I can last for three hours. That’s a lot of entertainment.

Personally would love to see some of those online slots Integrated into land-based casinos. I think that’d be really interesting. I guess there might be some regulations that would keep that from happening.

Do you have any goals for your channel?

Slotaholic: I definitely want to continue to work towards being a name and a channel in the slot community that people keep in rotation. You know what I mean? I definitely want to build on my brand of providing stats and entertaining concepts like slot golf and super sessions.

So, I hope that as my channel continues to grow, people will understand that what they can get from Slotaholic is much more diverse and, I would say, satisfying than other channels. You’re getting entertainment, challenges, competitions, and stats along the way to become a better, more informed player. So yeah, that’s the goal.

What’s your favorite part of doing slots content?

Slotaholic: I mean, I think my favorite part is that I get to rub elbows with the industry people, so to speak, and meet the game designers and the marketing teams for these manufacturers who are, each and every year, embracing us more and more. IGT is making a really big step forward with that.

AGS, Light & Wonder, for sure, and now IGT really have a good handle on us. Or they’re at least welcoming us and using us on our platforms.

That’s been the real exciting part for me. I’ve always been creative and had an affinity for games and design. I think I should be in that space at some point. I’m working towards it. I would love to be on a design team and develop games.

What about the least favorite part of the job?

Slotaholic: Editing. I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s fun. It’s like putting a puzzle together, and when you finish it and you watch it back, you’re like, “Damn, I did that.”

But I mean, my life is non-existent for the most part. I have to force myself to step away from the computer and text a friend and say, “What’s up?” I’m deep into editing until one o’clock in the morning. But yeah, I mean, overall I’m very happy with it.

That’s all my questions. Anything you’d like to plug?

Slotaholic: I don’t know if there’s anything in particular. I’ll be doing a Meet the Slot Influencer event at Coushatta Casino. I’m also turning double 20 in July – that’s 40 – so we’ll do something big for that.

To learn more about about Slotaholic head over to his website or YouTube channel. You can also see where he ranks in our YouTube streamer rankings by checking out our Slotaholic Profile page.

Author: Arthur Crowson
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