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Remote Reprogramming of Slot Machines

Arlington TX
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Remote Reprogramming of Slot Machines

From April 6th NY Times:

In the past, changing out a slot machine was a complicated operation and entailed opening it, replacing the computer chip inside, then changing the glass display that markets the game's theme. The alteration usually took a day and could cost thousands of dollars, from ordering parts to modifying the machine.

"Now, I just come to my office, and select the program," said Mr. Beltram, the 28-year-old executive director for slots at Treasure Island, which is owned by the MGM Mirage. "With the technology, it takes 20 seconds."

Full story at:

nytimes.com/2006/…

South Carolina
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1. Re: Remote Reprogramming of Slot Machines

WOW! Fred, I find that scarey. I've had trouble over the years convincing my husband that there was no one singling him out over a monitor to affect the way his machine was paying out. Have always told him that any changes in the machine required a physical adjustment by a technician. What will I do now?

I have a picture of me sitting at a machine and running out of money. My wonderful, considerate husband goes to get me some change. When he gets back, I look at my machine for the first time since he left (and maybe 10 minutes have elapsed) and find my penny "Eagle Rock" game is now a quarter "I Dream of Genie" game. Woe is me!

Frisco, Texas
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2. Re: Remote Reprogramming of Slot Machines

what's scary? (sorry- scay-ree) These things are preset no matter what, so a changing theme machine won't effect the fact that they still are going to pay out however the casino deems fit. I would guess that the day will come when you choose your theme, and the optics will transform the machine to what you want it to be. I personally think that slot machines are akin to just handing a guy a $100 bill and one of these things happens:

He kicks you betwixt the legs

He hands you back some amount of $$ more than the $100

He hands you back less than $100

At least it would be quick.

South Carolina
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3. Re: Remote Reprogramming of Slot Machines

Hey, BJM, it's early. Spell check doesn't kick in 'til later in the morning.

I like the entertainment of the slots, even though it doesn't seem to be your game of choice. I am fully aware of the house advantage of the slots vs. the tables, but still choose to play them. I just feel like the new technology comes a little closer to "Big Brother is watching you" than is comfortable for me. It's enough that their "eye in the sky" cameras can follow me anywhere in the casino.

Loveland, Colorado
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4. Re: Remote Reprogramming of Slot Machines

Against all common sense, I sometimes think that by inserting my player's card, they're watching me and deciding whether to suck me dry or give me a break so I come back again.

Ridiculous, I know!

Honolulu, Hawaii
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5. Re: Remote Reprogramming of Slot Machines

Great article...

But its just a test of new gaming technology, which they do in Vegas all the time. The vast majority falls by the wayside, is not allowed by the gaming regulatory folks, or is rebuffed by the market.

Most critically, a joint (wisely) will be cautious to implement this device in fear of being "caught" and having its reputation (and slots cash flow) ruined.

The concern is now that the Strip casinos are basically run by two corporations they can implement whatever they want (more favorable outcomes, less comps, more restrictions) via their virtual monopoly.

The gaming commission has shown a tendency to be under the sway of the casinos in some regards in the past, but you will never see them allow the house to change the structure (i.e pay-outs) of a game in mid-play or mid-session.

Several years ago the gaming industry thought that by now all BJ tables would be using the "Intelli-shoe" and "Bloodhound" devices that would swing the game in the house's favor and eliminate counting. But the last place you can see them in Vegas, I believe (and assuming they are still there), is at Flamingo.

This too shall pass. Player confidence/trust in the game is everything. They have no reason to screw with the golden goose.