A slot is a narrow depression, perforation, or aperture, typically used to slide something in or out. The word comes from the Old French esclot, which is of uncertain origin. The word slod is related and is also a synonym for slot. It first appeared as a word in the 1520s. The term slot machine was coined in 1888. It is also used in gambling and in etymology to refer to a machine that pays out prizes.
In hockey, a slot is a rectangular area that extends towards the blue line. The slot is also used as the fourth position on a flying display. The word slot is related to the Latin verb sleutanus, which means “to put or receive.” The word is cognate with the German Schloss. In the sport of ice hockey, a slot is a crucial part of the playing surface. Its icy surface helps a puck pass more easily.
The gambling industry has a complex regulatory system. While slot machines are legal in Nevada, the other states have strict regulations and laws on slot machine gaming. New Jersey, for instance, only allows slot machines in casinos, while Indiana and Louisiana only allow casino-style gambling on riverboats and permanently anchored barges. After Hurricane Katrina, however, these restrictions were lifted and the states now allow slot machines in specially-licensed gambling zones. In the United Kingdom, slots are regulated by the Gambling Commission.