Fruit Machines and payout

kmay87

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I thought this may make an interesting read as I've never seen anything written about it before. Not strictly relevant to internet gambling, but what the heck.

-A bit of background- my family own an electrical company which deals mainly with businesses wanting electrics rewired etc.

On a visit to one 'said' nationwide pub chain (whose name I will leave blank at the moment, just out of interest to see if anyone already knows) the electricians discovered a mystery wire. We asked what it was, and the manager informed us that it was used to alter the payout of the fruit machines, and delved further to say that the payout would be vastly reduced during peak hours, in the hope that drunks would pile all their money in, win nothing (and of course not query it) and so they would make a tidy sum from it. His words, not mine.

Considering as I said earlier, it's a chain, I'd be surprised if this was the only pub in the chain to use this system. It was quite complex too - similar to the 'Itbox' which is plugged into a network, but the pubs' own network which they can use very easily.

Now although I'm a lawyer, my knowledge in this part of the law is minimal, but aside from the fact that operators will always attempt to dispute just what the '72% payout etc' actually equates to, it doesn't seem right that such a system is in use.

Hence I'm glad I don't touch fruit machines :D

Anyone heard anything about this?
 

Alexishot69

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payouts

Id be more than surprised if they altered payouts to less than 70% which is illegal to be honest but i do know they can alter them upwards of that %..i doubt a nationwide company would require to "cheat" punters after all 28% guranteed income from allover the country is a vast sum...
 
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kmay87

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The question is though, what is the payout set at during these 'off-peak hours'? I'd be surprised if it was set at more than the payout percentage displayed on the machine, so I expect between 70-80%, so what the hell must be it during peak hours :confused:
 

winbig

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The question is though, what is the payout set at during these 'off-peak hours'? I'd be surprised if it was set at more than the payout percentage displayed on the machine, so I expect between 70-80%, so what the hell must be it during peak hours :confused:
Off peak? Probably < 50%
 

Alexishot69

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doubtful

Off peak? Probably < 50%
And if it was set less than 50% then thats not even closing down material thats porridge for the people responsible so i have grave doubts as to the credibility of the setting being less than 70% which is UK law...
 

winbig

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And if it was set less than 50% then thats not even closing down material thats porridge for the people responsible so i have grave doubts as to the credibility of the setting being less than 70% which is UK law...
But is that 70% overall? If so, while being unethical, it would still be legal as long as they meet the 70% when audited.
 

Alexishot69

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yep

If a machine has just paid out 3x jacpots of 35 in succession obviously the % will go down and the chances of the next few people playing it of getting a return is minimal but the important part is that the machine will even itself out at say for eg 70% which is the minimum % payable by law...
 

kmay87

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Valid points by everyone, but I'm still of the opinion that bars shouldn't be allowed, or even able, to have a device that controls payout, Maybe in private establishments, it can be understood.

The pub chain in question here is Wetherspoons. I don't see a problem in posting their name, because I can quite happily prove that at least one pub in their chain is using this, should any representatives question my comments.

I can see why they may choose to limit payouts during the said 'peak hours' but it seems more like them praying on the foolish. Moreso, why would they want to control the payouts, unless under orders of the operators, as surely this can't be profiting them.....well unless it is a nationwide scheme.
 

Alexishot69

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way off the mark

Valid points by everyone, but I'm still of the opinion that bars shouldn't be allowed, or even able, to have a device that controls payout, Maybe in private establishments, it can be understood.

The pub chain in question here is Wetherspoons. I don't see a problem in posting their name, because I can quite happily prove that at least one pub in their chain is using this, should any representatives question my comments.

I can see why they may choose to limit payouts during the said 'peak hours' but it seems more like them praying on the foolish. Moreso, why would they want to control the payouts, unless under orders of the operators, as surely this can't be profiting them.....well unless it is a nationwide scheme.
the company that supplies machines to wetherspoons is inspired the largest uk supplier of these machines with over 90000 in the uk alone..i severely doubt that they have anything at all to gain from such a tactic although there yearly profits fell sharply in the past year due to the smoking ban in uk bars/pubs etc ..still sitting on the fence here regarding "little wires" to reduce payouts....
 

kmay87

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the company that supplies machines to wetherspoons is inspired the largest uk supplier of these machines with over 90000 in the uk alone..i severely doubt that they have anything at all to gain from such a tactic although there yearly profits fell sharply in the past year due to the smoking ban in uk bars/pubs etc ..still sitting on the fence here regarding "little wires" to reduce payouts....
In that case, now I know the name of the supplier, perhaps a FOI request might be in order....
 

Alexishot69

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well

If you strongly believe that they are manipulating these machines then you go right ahead but i think would be extremely unlikely an investigation would take place on the word of one man however strong your views..your best bet is not to play them if u know theyre crooked..
 

kmay87

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I don't really touch fruit machines anyway, so I'm ok there. But an FOI (Freedom of Information) request doesn't necessarily involve an investigation to take place. When the system was wired up the electrical contractors would provide information to the company of what work they carried out, including where parts were sourced etc. An FOI request for this document would have to be accepted, as it doesn't fall under any categories listed on the exemptions list of the act.

Further to that, as well as stating whether it was installed for its true purpose, or obscurely listed (hence suggesting they don't want people to know) I could then contact the manufacturer to establish percentages and other facts about the 'device' - it is essentially a standard CAT 6 cable linked to a network that culminates in a switch positioned behind the bar which activates and deactivates the system.

If you guys lived where I do, in a tiny seaside town with a population of only a few thousand (most of whom are pensioners) you'd understand that if this came to light, it would be pretty big news! The local daily paper usually has the headline 'plight of the old corner shop' (it seriously does run this story at least once a week) blaming Tesco's or Asda's negative effect on society, so you can just imagine what they would think of a pub that essentially cheats its customers.

Or perhaps I just have too much time on my hands :D
 

Alexishot69

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how

about just callin MI5 or maybe panorama at the bbc they usually delve into such strange goings on with little wires and the likes :lolup::lolup::lolup:
 

hushda24

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I don't really touch fruit machines anyway, so I'm ok there. But an FOI (Freedom of Information) request doesn't necessarily involve an investigation to take place. When the system was wired up the electrical contractors would provide information to the company of what work they carried out, including where parts were sourced etc. An FOI request for this document would have to be accepted, as it doesn't fall under any categories listed on the exemptions list of the act.

Further to that, as well as stating whether it was installed for its true purpose, or obscurely listed (hence suggesting they don't want people to know) I could then contact the manufacturer to establish percentages and other facts about the 'device' - it is essentially a standard CAT 6 cable linked to a network that culminates in a switch positioned behind the bar which activates and deactivates the system.

If you guys lived where I do, in a tiny seaside town with a population of only a few thousand (most of whom are pensioners) you'd understand that if this came to light, it would be pretty big news! The local daily paper usually has the headline 'plight of the old corner shop' (it seriously does run this story at least once a week) blaming Tesco's or Asda's negative effect on society, so you can just imagine what they would think of a pub that essentially cheats its customers.

Or perhaps I just have too much time on my hands :D
Please tell me how this cable is suposed to work ? How on earth do they link it up to the fruit machine ? As its not april 1st i think you are on a big big wind up. I have owned several fruit machines for home use. And i find it impossible to imagine them pushing a switch behind a bar lmao. Dont take this personal please but this IS complete garbage. End off. Also you cant even put percentage lower than 70% and thats by manual. Only on ferries can they go lower.To about 60ish %
 

kmay87

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Please tell me how this cable is suposed to work ? How on earth do they link it up to the fruit machine ? As its not april 1st i think you are on a big big wind up. I have owned several fruit machines for home use. And i find it impossible to imagine them pushing a switch behind a bar lmao. Dont take this personal please but this IS complete garbage. End off. Also you cant even put percentage lower than 70% and thats by manual. Only on ferries can they go lower.To about 60ish %
As for how the cable is supposed to work, i have no idea. I'm not an electrician. But it's connected in the same way that the Itbox machines, which I'm sure you are familiar with, are connected to a network so they update. I can't imagine this is an isolated case, but should you happen to live in Norwich, make a trip down to the Wetherspoons on Riverside and you will see that all the fruit machines have a network cable installed in the back which runs up through the wall. The machines, and hence the cables, are scattered about, but meet in a junction box in the roof, which resulted in it being traced back to this switch located behind the bar. Bearing in mind the guys in our company have been electricians for more than 20 years, it's a rarity for something like this to puzzle them.

And as for the sarcastic comment about April Fools, you obviously have no common sense whatsoever if you think I would waste my time, and other readers' time, making up an elaborate hoax in the hope of achieving God knows what. What I was told by the manager I simply posted here, so if it is a load of rubbish, then it will forever remain a mystery why he didn't want that cable touched, when the job we were asked to carry out was a complete rewiring of the entire building.
 

hushda24

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As for how the cable is supposed to work, i have no idea. I'm not an electrician. But it's connected in the same way that the Itbox machines, which I'm sure you are familiar with, are connected to a network so they update. I can't imagine this is an isolated case, but should you happen to live in Norwich, make a trip down to the Wetherspoons on Riverside and you will see that all the fruit machines have a network cable installed in the back which runs up through the wall. The machines, and hence the cables, are scattered about, but meet in a junction box in the roof, which resulted in it being traced back to this switch located behind the bar. Bearing in mind the guys in our company have been electricians for more than 20 years, it's a rarity for something like this to puzzle them.

And as for the sarcastic comment about April Fools, you obviously have no common sense whatsoever if you think I would waste my time, and other readers' time, making up an elaborate hoax in the hope of achieving God knows what. What I was told by the manager I simply posted here, so if it is a load of rubbish, then it will forever remain a mystery why he didn't want that cable touched, when the job we were asked to carry out was a complete rewiring of the entire building.
I will repeat myself just for you. Do not take it personal which you have done just that.
 
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hushda24

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By the way kma i am having this all checked out for you. I am very very intested in this and if its no wind up i will say so. So do not take this personal and i will report back after weekend on this matter.
 

kmay87

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By the way kma i am having this all checked out for you. I am very very intested in this and if its no wind up i will say so. So do not take this personal and i will report back after weekend on this matter.
Believe me I don't take anything personal that's said on a message board :D

But you implied I was a liar, who has nothing better to do than create an elaborate story to make people believe something that's a load of garbage. Now I wasn't just going to sit back and accept that!

Ultimately, I'm not bothered whether people want to believe this or not. I would like to think that you will confirm my comments however after checking it out. I have no way of actually proving it is true, without travelling there and recording it for all to see. And if it was closeby, I would do just that.
 

vinylweatherman

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Switch behind the bar.

This is one of those "hussles" that fairgrounds and small seedy pubs get up to. It comes as quite a suprise that the big chain Wetherspoons got caught red handed with one of these.

This is very careless of them, especially disclosing it's true purpose to an electrical contractor who may, as far as they know, could be a keen fruit machine player & pub regular.

What would be OK is a simple ON/OFF switch behind the bar to turn various things on and off. With fruit machines though, this is where the scam started. If the barstaff thought they had a "player" on the machine, they would use their switch to set a "fault" with the machine, and hope that the "player" would leave.

With the tactic of "forcing", this could be used as a means to "fault" the machine just before the player had forced out the jackpot or streak, and when they left, either the machine would be played out of hours by staff, or a "stooge" would go and complete the force for the jackpot streak.

Many fruit machine players knew that some places had such switches, and that they were misused, but it is rather hard to prove when any complaint is met by a baseball bat & bouncers (in the worst places).

This is simply a modern version of an old scam. Set high payouts off peak to entice play, and drop payouts once punters get interested. This can also be worked by staff after hours, by them changing the payouts back to the top setting and playing to take the value from the machine, which should pay a few big prizes from recalculating the RTP target after the change.

Such changes would be ILLEGAL if they were operated secretly during opening hours, with specific players being targeted for low and high payouts, even if it is just the drunks that are conned. It is still a deception, and is a form of fraud that could end up in a criminal court if proof could be found and produced.

If changes were ONLY made out of hours, and did not contradict the rules as displayed on the machine, then nothing illegal is being done, even if it is immoral.

Since wetherspoons seen to feel this kind of thing is OK, I will feel no pangs of guilt should I find, for example, an unchipped and full Pie Factory in one of their establishments;)

This also tells players that the best time to hit the local pub is early in the evening (even better, just after morning opening & lunch:D), and not after the drunks have filled the machines up.
 

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