Can Casinos Manipulate Slot Machines

Casinos purchase their slot machines from slot game developers who preset the odds and return-to-player rate. But can casinos control slots, too?

can casinos manipulate slot machines
Can Casinos Manipulate Slot Machines

Slot machines are made to make casinos money. For the sake of profit, can casinos rig their physical or online slots to keep you playing while locking away your chance of a massive payout?

Let us take a close look at how a casino can manipulate its slots and how you can avoid rigged games.

Can a Casino Remotely Manipulate the Odds of a Slot Machine?

It is technically possible for casino operators to set a machine in a way that a player will only experience small wins. For casinos in major cities where gambling is allowed, the question is not whether they can rig a slot machine, but if it is worth it.

Almost every city or area where gambling is legal has a gaming commission that regulates every slot operating within their jurisdiction. In Atlantic City, there is the NJ Casino Control Commission while Las Vegas has the Nevada Gaming Commission. Licensed casinos in various gambling cities are required to follow a strict set of rules while operating within the area such as providing its patron with a fair chance to profit.

All gaming commission heavily regulates slot machines. Each slot's data must be clear to each player such as its return-to-player (RTP) expectations on profits as well as its variance or expected number of wins after a set of spins. Additionally, gaming commissions require all slots utilize a PRNG (i.e., a pseudo-random number generator) that would yield unpredictable results.

how to calculate RTP in slots
Wondering how to calculate RTP in slots? Just subtract the house edge!

One example is Nevada's Gaming Control Board ruling on avoiding the use of static seeds. If time is going to be the basis for a slot's PRNG, it should represent the milliseconds of a gaming device clock or smaller increments.

Legitimate casinos have little to no reason to rig a physical slot machine just for them to keep profiting and avoiding big payouts. Otherwise, licensed casinos risk a large fine if they allow a single rigged slot on their floor.  

Chances of encountering a rigged slot in outstanding casinos such as the MGM Grand, Horseshoe Casinos, or The Borgata are incredibly low. If you happen upon a slot that seems to be reluctant with its payout or wins, always check its RTP and variance rate. Low variance with a high RTP often have a small number of wins after several spins, but they have incredibly high payouts when you win your bet.

remote control of slots by casinos
Can a Casino Remotely Manipulate the Odds of a Slot Machine?

Do Online Casinos Control Slot Machine Odds?

PRNG among online slots is the same as physical slot games. On the other hand, a majority of rigged online games do not have to use a complex algorithm to trick players into spending more money. Rogue casinos utilize a gambling software that promises substantial gains, but only gives out a small return for large bets.

Fortunately, there are regulation offices for the online gambling industry that can help players avoid illegitimate casinos. You have the Malta Gaming Authority, Belgium Gaming Commission, and Curacao regulators who oversee the operation among online casinos within their jurisdiction. Any online players who feel they are cheated out of their money by a licensed casino can forward their complaints to the regulation offices. Online operators can risk losing their license if regulators find out they are hosting rigged slot games on their website.

Licensed software providers for online casinos are also required by certain regulators to submit their games to have their RTP, variance, and RNG checked. One example is the Malta Gaming Authority that requires online slot makers to have their RNG inspected and approved by the regulation office. Software providers that allow operators or even individuals to gain access to their algorithm and manipulate the slots to the advantage of one person or party can get into legal troubles.

Take note that licensed online operators have little incentive to swindle their players into spending money. Rogue casinos on the other hand can swindle anyone of their cash and disappear immediately with the money they pocketed from people visiting their website.

You can avoid rigged slots by looking for online casinos with a license logo located on their website. It also pays to double-check on their license by looking up an operator through a specific regulator's website. Online casino review sites that take the feedback of players can also help you find legitimately licensed operators.

With the growth of Bitcoin casinos, we are starting to see the flourishing of provable fairness.

Provable Fairness In Crypto Gambling Explained
Provable Fairness In Crypto Gambling Explained

Rigged slots are present among physical locations and rogue website. As long as you are playing in a licensed casino or website, you have a chance at a massive payout of a slot game or even the jackpot prize.

This article was published on February 21, 2021, and last updated on February 21, 2021.