This paper introduces a special issue of the Journal of Gambling Studies on slot machine gambling, and overviews some current trends concentrating on research and policy issues. It is demonstrated that throughout the world, research findings have linked slot machines with pathological gambling. Indeed slot machines are now the predominant form of gambling activity by pathological gamblers treated in self help groups and professional treatment centres in numerous countries. This paper briefly examines the research on slot machines and pathological gambling and then goes on more specifically to examine four areas. These are (i) slot machine gambling and youth, (ii) slot machines and arcade video game playing, (iii) the possible developmental link between slot machines and video games and (iv) pathological video game playing.