Video Slots

Video slot machines

The video slot machine is a more recent innovation, with no moving parts at all – instead a graphical representation of one appears on screen. Since the player is essentially playing a computer/video game, the manufacturers are able to offer more interactive elements, such as advanced bonus games and advanced video graphics.

In addition, because there are no mechanical constraints on the design of video slot machines, most display five reels rather than three. This greatly expands the number of possibilities: a machine can have 50 or more symbols on a reel, giving odds as high as 300 million to 1 against – enough for even the largest jackpot. As there are so many combinations given by five reels, the manufacturers do not need to weight the payout symbols (although some may still do so). Instead, higher paying symbols will typically appear only once or twice on each reel, while more common symbols, earning a more frequent payout, will appear many times.

Video slot machines typically encourage the player to play multiple “lines”, so rather than simply taking the middle of the three symbols displayed on each reel, a line could go from top left to bottom right, or any of the other patterns specified by the manufacturer. As each symbol is equally likely, there is no difficulty for the manufacturer in allowing the player to take any or all of the possible lines on offer – the long-term return to player will be the same. The difference for the player is that the more lines he plays the more likely he is to get paid on a given spin – though of course he is betting more in the first place.

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To avoid the feeling that the player’s money is simply ebbing away (whereas a payout of 100 credits on a single line machine would be 100 bets, and the player would feel they had made a substantial win, on a 20 line machine, it would only be 5 bets and would not seem significant), manufacturers commonly offer bonus games, which can return many times their bet. The player is encouraged to keep playing to reach the bonus: even if he is losing, the bonus game could allow him to win back his losses.

Random number generators

All modern machines are designed using pseudo random number generators (“PRNGs”), which are constantly generating a sequence of simulated random numbers, at a rate of hundreds or perhaps thousands per second. As soon as the “Play” button is pressed, the most recent random number is used to determine the result. This means that the result varies depending on exactly when the game is played. A fraction of a second earlier or later, and the result would be different.

It is important that the machine contains a high-quality RNG implementation, because all PRNGs must eventually repeat their number sequence, and if the period is short, or the PRNG is otherwise flawed, an advanced player may be able to ‘predict’ the next result. Having access to the PRNG code and seed values, Ronald Dale Harris, a former slot machine programmer, discovered equations for specific gambling games like Keno that allowed him to predict what the next set of selected numbers would be based on the previous games played.

Most machines are designed to defeat this by generating numbers even when the machine is not being played, so the player cannot tell where in the sequence they are, even if they know how the machine was programmed.

video slots

Payout percentage

Slot machines are typically programmed to pay out as winnings 82% to 98% of the money that is wagered by players. This is known as the “theoretical payout percentage” or RTP, “return to player”. The minimum theoretical payout percentage varies among jurisdictions and is typically established by law or regulation. For example, the minimum payout in Nevada is 75%, in New Jersey, 83%, and in Mississippi 80%. The winning patterns on slot machines – the amounts they pay and the frequencies of those payouts – are carefully selected to yield a certain fraction of the money played to the “house” (the operator of the slot machine), while returning the rest to the players during play. Suppose that a certain slot machine costs $1 per spin and has a return to player (RTP) of 95%. It can be calculated that over a sufficiently long period, such as 1,000,000 spins, that the machine will return an average of $950,000 to its players, who have inserted $1,000,000 during that time. In this (simplified) example, the slot machine is said to pay out 95%. The operator keeps the remaining $50,000. Within some EGM development organizations this concept is referred to simply as “par.” “Par” also manifests itself to gamblers as promotional techniques: “Our ‘Loose Slots’ have a 93% payback! Play now!” It is worth noting that the “Loose Slots” actually may describe a very few anonymous machines in a particular bank of EGMs.

A slot machine’s theoretical payout percentage is set at the factory when the software is written. Changing the payout percentage after a slot machine has been placed on the gaming floor requires a physical swap of the software or firmware, which is usually stored on an EPROM but may be loaded onto non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM) or even stored on CD-ROM or DVD, depending on the capabilities of the machine and the applicable regulations. Based on current technology, this is a time-consuming process and as such is done infrequently. In certain jurisdictions, such as New Jersey, the EPROM has a tamper-evident seal and can only be changed in the presence of Gaming Control Board officials. Other jurisdictions, including Nevada, randomly audit slot machines to ensure that they contain only approved software.

Historically, many casinos, both online and offline, have been unwilling to publish individual game RTP figures, making it impossible for the player to know whether they are playing a “loose” or a “tight” game. Since the turn of the century some information regarding these figures has started to come into the public domain either through various casinos releasing them – primarily this applies to online casino – or through studies by independent gambling authorities.

The return to player is not the only statistic that is of interest. The probabilities of every payout on the pay table is also critical. For example, consider a hypothetical slot machine with a dozen different values on the pay table. However, the probabilities of getting all the payouts are zero except the largest one. If the payout is 4,000 times the input amount, and it happens every 4,000 times on average, the return to player is exactly 100%, but the game would be dull to play. Also, most people would not win anything, and having entries on the paytable that have a return of zero would be deceptive. As these individual probabilities are closely guarded secrets, it is possible that the advertised machines with high return to player simply increase the probabilities of these jackpots. The casino could legally place machines of a similar style payout and advertise that some machines have 100% return to player. The added advantage is that these large jackpots increase the excitement of the other players.

The table of probabilities for a specific machine is called the Probability and Accounting Report or PAR sheet, also PARS commonly understood as Paytable and Reel Strips. Mathematician Michael Shackleford revealed the PARS for one commercial slot machine, an original International Gaming Technology Red White and Blue machine. This game, in its original form, is obsolete, so these specific probabilities do not apply. He only published the odds after a fan of his sent him some information provided on a slot machine that was posted on a machine in the Netherlands. The psychology of the machine design is quickly revealed. There are 13 possible payouts ranging from 1:1 to 2,400:1. The 1:1 payout comes every 8 plays. The 5:1 payout comes every 33 plays, whereas the 2:1 payout comes every 600 plays. Most players assume the likelihood increases proportionate to the payout. The one midsize payout that is designed to give the player a thrill is the 80:1 payout. It is programmed to occur an average of once every 219 plays. The 80:1 payout is high enough to create excitement, but not high enough that it makes it likely that the player will take his winnings and abandon the game. More than likely the player began the game with at least 80 times his bet (for instance there are 80 quarters in $20). In contrast the 150:1 payout occurs only on average of once every 6,241 plays. The highest payout of 2,400:1 occurs only on average of once every 643=262,144 plays since the machine has 64 virtual stops. The player who continues to feed the machine is likely to have several midsize payouts, but unlikely to have a large payout. He quits after he is bored or has exhausted his bankroll.

Despite the fact that they are confidential, occasionally a PAR sheet is posted on a website. They have limited value to the player, because usually a machine will have 8 to 12 different possible programs with varying payouts. In addition, slight variations of each machine (e.g., with double jackpots or five times play) are always being developed. The casino operator can choose which EPROM chip to install in any particular machine to select the payout desired. The result is that there is not really such a thing as a high payback type of machine, since every machine potentially has multiple settings. From October 2001 to February 2002, columnist Michael Shackleford obtained PAR sheets for five different nickel machines; four IGT games Austin Powers, Fortune Cookie, Leopard Spots and Wheel of Fortune and one game manufactured by WMS; Reel ’em In. Without revealing the proprietary information, he developed a program that would allow him to determine with usually less than a dozen plays on each machine which EPROM chip was installed. Then he did a survey of over 400 machines in 70 different casinos in Las Vegas. He averaged the data, and assigned an average payback percentage to the machines in each casino. The resultant list was widely publicized for marketing purposes (especially by the Palms casino which had the top ranking).

One reason that the slot machine is so profitable to a casino is that the player must play the high house edge and high payout wagers along with the low house edge and low payout wagers. In a more traditional wagering game like craps, the player knows that certain wagers have almost a 50/50 chance of winning or losing, but they only pay a limited multiple of the original bet (usually no higher than three times). Other bets have a higher house edge, but the player is rewarded with a bigger win (up to thirty times in craps). The player can choose what kind of wager he wants to make. A slot machine does not afford such an opportunity. Theoretically, the operator could make these probabilities available, or allow the player to choose which one so that the player is free to make a choice. However, no operator has ever enacted this strategy. Different machines have different maximum payouts, but without knowing the odds of getting the jackpot, there is no rational way to differentiate.

In many markets where central monitoring and control systems are used to link machines for auditing and security purposes, usually in wide area networks of multiple venues and thousands of machines, player return must usually be changed from a central computer rather than at each machine. A range of percentages is set in the game software and selected remotely.

In 2006, the Nevada Gaming Commission began working with Las Vegas casinos on technology that would allow the casino’s management to change the game, the odds, and the payouts remotely. The change cannot be done instantaneously, but only after the selected machine has been idle for at least four minutes. After the change is made, the machine must be locked to new players for four minutes and display an on-screen message informing potential players that a change is being made.

Linked machines

Often machines are linked together in a way that allows a group of machines to offer a particularly large prize, or “jackpot”. Each slot machine in the group contributes a small amount to this progressive jackpot, awarded to a player who gets, for example, a royal flush on a video poker machine or a specific combination of symbols on a regular or nine-line slot machine. The amount paid for the progressive jackpot is usually far higher than any single slot machine could pay on its own.

In some cases multiple machines are linked across multiple casinos. In these cases, the machines may be owned by the manufacturer, who is responsible for paying the jackpot. The casinos lease the machines rather than owning them outright.

Casinos in New Jersey, Nevada, and South Dakota now offer multi-state progressive jackpots, which now offer bigger jackpot pools.[wiki]

Fraud

Mechanical slot machines and their coin acceptors were sometimes susceptible to cheating devices and other scams. One historical example involved spinning a coin with a short length of plastic wire. The weight and size of the coin would be accepted by the machine and credits would be granted. However, the spin created by the plastic wire would cause the coin to exit through the reject chute into the payout tray. This particular scam has become obsolete due to improvements in newer slot machines. Another obsolete method of defeating slot machines was to use a light source to confuse the optical sensor used to count coins during payout.

Modern slot machines are controlled by EPROM computer chips and, in large casinos, coin acceptors have become obsolete in favor of bill acceptors. These machines and their bill acceptors are designed with advanced anti-cheating and anti-counterfeiting measures and are difficult to defraud. Early computerized slot machines were sometimes defrauded through the use of cheating devices, such as the “slider” or “monkey paw”. Computerized slot machines are fully deterministic and thus outcomes can be sometimes successfully predicted.

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Jackpot errors

Malfunctioning electronic slot machines are capable of indicating jackpot winnings far in excess of those advertised. Two such cases occurred in casinos in Colorado in 2010, where software errors led to indicated jackpots of $11 million and $42 million. Analysis of machine records by the state Gaming Commission revealed faults, with the true jackpot being substantially smaller. State gaming laws do not require a casino to honour payouts.

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Count Duckula slot Scientific Games

INTRODUCTION Welcome to the world of vicious vampire ducks! Count Duckula is a 5-reel 20-line slot game with spooktacular wins! The game has 5 bonus features as well as modifiers which can be triggered on any spin by Duckula, Igor or Nanny! Getting Started Click the TOTAL BET button to […]

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Cluedo slots

CLUEDO Classic CLUEDO Classic Introduction How To Bet Auto Spin Feature CLUEDO Bonus Options Rules Additional Information Introduction Experience the intrigue of this classic murder mystery filled with a curious combination of suspects and a 2X wild that increase the thrills and rewards! Uncover the mystery as night falls over […]

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Chibeasties & Chibeasties 2 slots Yggdrasil Gaming

Chibeasties WELCOME TO CHIBEASTIES VIDEO SLOT WITH FREESPIN MODE AND EXPANDING SYMBOLS. Chibeasties is a Video Slot with 5 reels and 20 paylines oriented from the left to right. The game has eight regular symbols that win if three or more are lined up in sequence on a payline, beginning […]

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Cazino Zeppelin slot Yggdrasil

GAME RULES WELCOME TO CAZINO ZEPPELIN VIDEO SLOT WITH FREE SPINS FEATURING WILD TRANSFERS AND STICKY WILDS! Cazino Zeppelin is a Video Slot with 5 reels and 20 paylines oriented from the left to right. The game has eight regular symbols that win if three or more are lined up […]

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Casinomeister slot NextGen Gaming

Casinomeister  is a 5 reel slot game with a Casinomeister feature to boost your winnings. During regular play, the goal is to achieve a winning combination of symbols on any of the 5 reels. Payouts depend on the number of coins played and the winning combination of symbols achieved. The […]

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Cashapillar slot

General In this game all 100 paylines are permanently enabled. You can bet up to 10 coins per payline. Your total bet amount is the number of coins you bet per payline, multiplied by the number of paylines. Regular wins are created when the same symbols appear next to each […]

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Cash Stampede slot NYX

Game Rules 25 coins plays 243 ways Payouts are made according to the Paytable All wins multiplied by the bet Highest win paid per winning combination Coinciding wins are added Winning combinations can occur anywhere on all reels Each symbol can be used only once per winning combination Only positions containing […]

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Bruce Lee slots

Bruce Lee Base Game WILD FEATURE WILD is wild for all symbols except FEATURE. Paytable reflects current bet configuration. Only highest winner paid per winning combination. Line pays must occur on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel. Feature Description EXPANDED WILD The free spin feature is triggered 3 different […]

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Bork The Berzerker Hack N Slash Edition slot Thunderkick

Game Rules Note: The Børk the Berzerker ® video slot is referred to as Børk the Berzerker ®The Game or Game. Børk the Berzerker® is a video slot with 5 reels and 25 fixed pay lines. The game features expanding wilds and bonus game. The theoretical return to player is […]

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Bloopers slot Elk Studios

In Hollywood there are two kinds of people The ones in front of the camera and the ones behind! In this game we’ve put some extra focus on the ones behind. This game is about setting the final scene in this Hollywood production. To do so the player needs to […]

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Big Money Slingo

Big Money Slingo Introduction Select a Lucky Location. Click Start Game and receive up to 4 Joker matches. Click the Spin Button to match numbers on the reels to numbers on the grid. You get 6 spins a game plus up to 3 free spins. Complete a win line and […]

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Bicicleta slot Yggdrasil Gaming

GAME RULES WELCOME TO BICICLETA VIDEO SLOT WITH A FREE SPIN MODE WITH STICKY WILDS AND TROPHY BONUSES. Bicicleta is a Video Slot with 5 reels and 25 paylines oriented from the left to right. The game has eight regular symbols that win if three or more are lined up […]

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Basic Instinct slot iSoftbet

1. Overview The goal is to obtain a winning combination on at least one of 243 ways spread across the reels. Game specifications: Type Slots Number of reels 5 Number of rows 3 Number of ways 243 Number of coins 50 Progressive Yes Double feature No Autospin feature Yes Wild […]

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Barkin’ Mad slot Barcrest & Scientific Games & SG Interactive

Game Introduction “Barkin’ Mad is 15 reel game. 1 symbol on each reel is visible, with reels configured in a 5×3 matix. The game features a Wild Dog Multiplier Bonus and a Free Spins Bonus. Certain stakes also feature a Barkin’ Mad Bonus, and the Big Bet game exclusively offers […]

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Astro Magic slot iSoftbet

How to Play Note:If you do not have enough money to play a game, the bet can be set to the minimum selectable amount through a dialog window informing about this. All winning lines pay from left to right. Wins on different selected lines are all added. Only the highest […]

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Arising Phoenix slot Amanet Amatic Industries

Arising phoenix Game Overview Arising Phoenix is a 5 reel, 4 row video slot with a Respin Feature and the Gamble Feature. The game is played with 50 lines (fixed). All wins only occur on active lines. Wins pay only from left to right. Only the highest win on each […]

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Esqueleto Explosivo slot Thunderkick

Ay Ay Ay, Enrico Mortis and his mariachi band The Boners celebrate The Day Of The Dead. Esqueleto Explosivo® is a slot featuring Dropping symbols, Mucho Multipliers, Explosivo Wild, 17 paylines. Esqueleto Explosivo Game Rules 1. Esqueleto Explosivo® is a video slot with 15 reels and 17 fixed pay lines. The game […]

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Arcader slot Thunderkick

Houston, we have a… video slot? Mysterious monoliths left by an ancient civilization. A sentient machine capable of handing out cash as well as experiences from beyond the stars. It is, the Arcader! Arcader Game Rules Note: Arcader video slot is referred to as Arcader, The Game or Game.  Arcader is a video slot […]

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An Evening with Holly Madison slot NextGen Gaming

An Evening with Holly Madison is a 5 reel slot game with a Holly Goes Wild Feature, Re-spin Feature and Free Games Feature to boost your winnings. During regular play, the goal is to achieve a winning combination of symbols on any of the 25 lines. Payouts depend on the […]

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Always Fruits slot Amatic Amanet

Allways fruits Game Overview Allways Fruits is a 5 reel, 3 row fruit slot with a Bonusspin Feature and the Gamble Feature. The game is played with 243 ways (fixed). Wins pay only from left to right. The Multiplier symbol appears only on reel 1, 2 and 3. The Multiplier […]

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Action Bank slot Barcrest

Action Bank Games Rules Game Introduction Action Bank is a new five reel slot that features freespins and a Big Bank Bonus. How to play Select your stake – If you wish to adjust this, click the STAKE/LINE ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons to increase or decrease the size of your […]

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7 Piggies slot Top Game

7 Piggies Farm a fortune in 7 Piggies, the 3×5, 7 lines videoslot. The piggies are always stacked on all reels and always know where the treasure is. And you get the Free Spins Feature, you can pull multipliers and additional free games out of the hit barns for extraordinary […]

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7 Monkeys slot Pragmatic Play

7 Monkeys Characteristics and features All winning combinations pay from left to right only All wins are multiplied by bet per line Bets are made in coins per line To control bets, user is able to change the value of a coin in real currency and also increase the number […]

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300 Shields slot NextGen Gaming

300 Shields GAME RULES Malfunction Voids All Pays and Play Play 1 to 25 lines Payouts are made according to the Paytable Payline wins are multiplied by the amount staked per payline Scatter wins are multiplied by the total amount staked Scatter wins are added to payline wins Only the […]

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1Can 2Can slot NextGen Gaming

1Can 2Can 1Can 2Can is a 5 reel slot game with a Free Games Feature, Wild Bonus and Scatter Bonus to boost your winnings. During regular play, the goal is to achieve a winning combination of symbols on any of the 25 lines. Payouts depend on the number of coins […]

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Centurion slot Inspired Gaming

Centurion slot Inspired Gaming Getting Started: Centurion is a 20 line, 5 reel slot game. There are multiple bonus games and reel modifiers. How to play: Spin the reels to try to achieve 3, 4 or 5 of a kind reel wins, or a bonus feature. Set your bet Centurion […]

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Monopoly slots

Base Game monolopy video slots The WILD symbol is wild and substitutes for all symbols except BONUS, COMMUNITY CHEST, and CHANCE. 3 or more BONUS symbols on an active payline triggers the Once Around Deluxe bonus. Line pays must occur on adjacent reels beginning with the leftmost reel. Paytable reflects […]

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How to play online slots

Slots Guide on how to play online slots Slots are exciting games of chance. The player’s actions do not affect the outcome of the game, as the result of each spin is down to luck. To play slots, you simply need to place your bet and start the reels spinning […]

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ETERNAL SLOTS: LONG-LASTING GAMES WE LOVE

There’s a rhythm to the popularity of slot machines and their themes. Excitement over new games hitting the floor at live casinos or the screen at online casinos builds to a popularity peak as the games find their target audiences. During peak popularity, players flock to the games and explore […]

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ONLINE SLOTS

Playing the slots doesn’t have to stop when a trip to a live casino is over. Today, there are a multitude of options for online slots players, whether they prefer their desktop or laptop computers, or mobile devices including pads and phones. In this chapter, you’ll find out about options […]

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VIDEO SLOT PROGRESSIVES

Just as on slots with mechanical reels, progressive jackpots that build as you play are big attractions for players on video slots. There also are some differences in the way progressives work on video, whether on live slots or online slots. Most progressive video slots offer more than one progressive […]

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SLOTS BONUS EVENTS

Bonus features are where much of the creative, interactive fun of slot machines is focused. Much of game development centers on getting the bonuses just right to get us to try a game and keep us playing once we’re there. As one slot exec told me in 2013, “Bonuses are […]

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VIDEO SLOT BASICS

Slot machines have their roots in three-reel mechanical games, but the large majority of slots in modern brick-and-mortar casinos are played on video screens. Online, of course, all games are on video. Like slots with mechanical reels, video slots and online slots are easy to play. You just slide your money […]

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Slot Machine Tips – The Basics

SLOT MACHINE BASICS You are reading this guide because you want to learn how slot machines work, what goes into developing games that are fun for players, and how to get the playing experience that’s best for you. You’ve come to the right place, because my more than 30 years […]

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HOW MECHANICAL SLOTS WORK

Most modern slot games are played on video screens, whether in brick and mortar casinos or online. But slots with mechanical reels still have a loyal following, especially in the United States with its more than a century-old tradition of three-reel games. But today’s mechanical-reel games are software-driven, just like […]

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10 Slot Machine Cheats That Changed the Casino Industry

For nearly as long as there have been slot machines, there have been unsavory players who have tried to beat them using illegal means. Cheating at slot machines became a hot topic in 2017 when a team of Russian engineers was found to be using a high-tech road to ill-gotten gains. […]

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