What is a Slot?

A narrow opening, especially a slit or groove, for receiving something such as a coin or paper. Also: (informal) a place or position, such as an appointment or job opening: I’ve got the slot for the chief copy editor.

A line on a slit machine that a coin or paper may be placed in, or (in video slots) a set of reels with symbols to spin and win credits. Various types of symbols are used to create pay lines, and each symbol has a different probability of winning. Some slot machines allow multiple pay lines, and some have a variable number of pay lines that can be chosen prior to play.

Psychological accounts suggest that structural characteristics of slot machines, including near-misses and low cognitive demands, might promote excessive or compulsive gambling (Breen and Zimmerman, 2002; Harrigan, 2008). Amphetamine-induced deficits on the CD task have been attributed to aberrant dopamine signaling in this behavior, resulting in enhanced responsiveness to conditioned stimuli (Dunn et al, 2005).

An airline’s authorization to operate at an airport at certain times, provided by EUROCONTROL. A slot is typically awarded based on the availability of runway capacity or on air traffic management capacity considerations, and can be traded or used as collateral to obtain additional airline operating rights. A related term is a flight slot, given by the airline to a specific aircraft for takeoff or landing at an airport. The flight slot is usually allocated in advance.

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