IGT Server Based Gaming

bowlingbob

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May 1, 2008
Location
usa
From IGT's website which was revamped yesterday to make it easier to navigate but I found this interesting in an advertisement of their new sbX software for casinos which allows casinos to make changes to the machine without having to physically go to the machine. One of the main things they can do is change the payback percentage. And I quote this:

Change Payouts: Make slots looser on slower nights and tighter on holiday weekends.

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Now I guess I know to stay away from the casinos on weekend/holiday nights when they are busy.
 

takethemoney

Banned User - Chargebacks at Slotastic
Joined
Apr 14, 2004
Location
Washington
My wife used to work at a very large land based casino as a slot attendant. They actually staff less people during peak play, simply because the machines just don't seem to hit as many jackpots during the busiest times. Seemed highly suspicious to her and I. It was almost like having all these sheep, so lets just slaughter them all. Years after the the casino opened I met a contractor who does electrical wiring, installs computer switches, hubs, etc. Supposedly all the machines have a cat 5 cable, or similar running into the bottom of them, which connects to a computer node. The man refused to do the job when he analyzed the potential purpose this system was going to be used for. He would only say he wanted no part of it and would say nothing further on the matter. I asked, do you think they would use this to cheat the players? He said read into it what you will, but these people are no angels and I'm saying nothing further.
These are IGT machines, WMS, Aristocrat and Bally machines, mostly.

It bit them in the ass one night. Something in their system malfunctioned and some 200 machines all jackpotted within an hour of each other. People were waiting hours to get paid, even into the next shift.

I also know that the land based casino near me changes chips and logic boards in their machines at will. I have observed this being done in the early morning hours when there are few patrons. If a machine has been set by the provider at, say, 93% payout, it would seem such tampering would be ill intended. Unfortunately, these so called gaming boards are a joke outside of Nevada and Atlantic City. I suspect there is really very little oversight, if any.
 

Nate

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Years after the the casino opened I met a contractor who does electrical wiring, installs computer switches, hubs, etc. Supposedly all the machines have a cat 5 cable, or similar running into the bottom of them, which connects to a computer node. The man refused to do the job when he analyzed the potential purpose this system was going to be used for. He would only say he wanted no part of it and would say nothing further on the matter. I asked, do you think they would use this to cheat the players? He said read into it what you will, but these people are no angels and I'm saying nothing further.
These are IGT machines, WMS, Aristocrat and Bally machines, mostly.

Remember - Slot machines need network cables in order for them to track play and give guests rewards. Network cables are common in B&M's - They are used to transfer data from the PTU (Player Tracking Unit). Through this they are also able to link them to progressives and give out random jackpots, update player card balances...etc. Settings (NOT RTP) can also be changed for progressives. They also send meters to the server so that revenue reports and errors can be analysed.

I also know that the land based casino near me changes chips and logic boards in their machines at will. I have observed this being done in the early morning hours when there are few patrons. If a machine has been set by the provider at, say, 93% payout, it would seem such tampering would be ill intended.

The only reason that a motherboard would be changed in a B&M is if the MB is faulty. RTP settings can be changed on the machine software and therefore do not need any chip to be replaced. Also bear in mind that machine changes / game changes and any technical work will always be done when it is quietest in order to give the guest the best experience.

B&M Casinos are regulated more efficiently than online Casinos. There is a wealth of infomation on this subject all over the internet.
 

the Shamus

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Oct 28, 2010
Location
Ontario, Canada
Good posts

Remember - Slot machines need network cables in order for them to track play and give guests rewards. Network cables are common in B&M's - They are used to transfer data from the PTU (Player Tracking Unit). Through this they are also able to link them to progressives and give out random jackpots, update player card balances...etc. Settings (NOT RTP) can also be changed for progressives. They also send meters to the server so that revenue reports and errors can be analysed.



The only reason that a motherboard would be changed in a B&M is if the MB is faulty. RTP settings can be changed on the machine software and therefore do not need any chip to be replaced. Also bear in mind that machine changes / game changes and any technical work will always be done when it is quietest in order to give the guest the best experience.

B&M Casinos are regulated more efficiently than online Casinos. There is a wealth of infomation on this subject all over the internet.

Hi Nate:

Good posts. The entire thread is good really. Server-based gaming does have the potential to allow a casino to change return to percentage on the fly. The real question is whether casinos who have server-based gaming are actually doing it.

If there are making changes, we are likely talking about a few percentage points. Still -- as a player, I don't like the idea of a game being changed intra-day ... what would someone say if a table game was being modified intra-day without notifying anyone?

In fact -- it is not even clear to me what the regulation is around this.

The suggestion that 200 machines jackpotted at once doesn't make sense. The server changes the payback percentage, not determine wins ... at least, not by my understanding.

However, I have seen TITO break down, and cause everything to be a hand pay -- evening if it is 5-cents owing.

/\/\/\/\ the Shamus /\/\/\/\
 

Seventh777

RIP Roy
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Location
Planet Tharg, dark side, where nothing grows.
This got me thinking about a local bookies I used to go to, a smallish outfit named Bobby Swift, which has just closed it`s shop near me due to adverse trading etc.

Anyway`s long story short, as is the norm these days with UK based Bookmakers, a very high percentage have multi game video machines, which if you ever use a bookies you will notice they are played 24/7/365 and the main shops have at least six of these machines to cater for the high demand. Now going back to the Bobby Swift shop that I have used for over 10-15 years, at least 6-8 of these years this bookies was adorned with 2-4 of these slots, in this time I would estimate I have put over 5k in these, but not once have I ever hit the UK maximum payout allowed (£500), nor have I ever seen anyone hit one, or no-one else i`ve spoke to who plays these has hit the jackpot either, i`m not saying that these would not payout, but, they would never, ever, give up a jackpot, bearing in mind this bookies had the resident Chinese guys feeding these as they do, like money is going out of fashion lol.

In comparison, I hit the jackpot on two consecutive Wednesday`s on the exact same machine (Rainbow Riches) in a Ladbrokes shop, I have also hit 4 jackpots over the years in a local Corals also, in fact I would bet a pound to a penny that if anyone spent the afternoon in a busy bookies they would witness at least one jackpot from these slots.

So where is all this leading me lol, in the nutshell - when I read this thread the 1st thing that sprung to mind was the absence of any known jackpot, from the 2-4 machines over 6-8 years from this Bobby Swift shop, so I googled the name and tried to find out what software they use, to see if it would throw any light on this jackpot anomaly, but, I had no joy, so, if anyone out there has some knowledge on the hardware/software that land based bookies use, please post it here :).

Thx in advance.

P.S.

If it is any help, I remember that three of the slots were/are MGS ones - Dino Might, Wheel of Wealth, and Double Magic.
 

Simmo!

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
England
If it is any help, I remember that three of the slots were/are MGS ones - Dino Might, Wheel of Wealth, and Double Magic.

I've not seen these machines, but if the games used were MGS then my money would be on the machines being supplied by Betstone. They are tied in to MG, even share offices in the IOM I think and have a number of kiosks with exclusive MG games.

More info:
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Seventh777

RIP Roy
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Location
Planet Tharg, dark side, where nothing grows.
I've not seen these machines, but if the games used were MGS then my money would be on the machines being supplied by Betstone. They are tied in to MG, even share offices in the IOM I think and have a number of kiosks with exclusive MG games.

More info:
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Thx Simmo, I will have a good look around it later when I have time:).
 

rockycatt

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Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Location
Boston
From IGT's website which was revamped yesterday to make it easier to navigate but I found this interesting in an advertisement of their new sbX software for casinos which allows casinos to make changes to the machine without having to physically go to the machine. One of the main things they can do is change the payback percentage. And I quote this:

Change Payouts: Make slots looser on slower nights and tighter on holiday weekends.

You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.


Now I guess I know to stay away from the casinos on weekend/holiday nights when they are busy.

:) What better time to take the wool from the sheep than when there all in the barn :)
 

cheetahwind

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Location
Iowa
Actually server based gaming only refers to being able to change the game interfaces. They can't change the payback without changing the random number generators chip, that's already installed the in machine. The point of this concept is to allow operators to install new games on the fly. Without the need to actually access the machine. The way it used to be done was they had to actually open the machine, either change the software chip or put in a new CD rom. Load the software, test it, make it sure it worked, blah, blah, blah.
Now with this new technology they can change game faces without the need of actually opening the machine itself. It doesn't mean they can change the pay back ratio. It just means they can change the game without needing to insert the new game disc or chip.
Like for example. If you know you have a group of people who like to play Wolfs Run or Cleopatra coming to your casino. More than oh say State Fair or Gems Wild Tiles. Then for that day they can instruct the machines to have more of those machines available than the others. Just so you can people to actually sitting at your slots versus any other form of entertainment. I personally think it's a neat concept, just can also lead to alot of people also throwing around conspiracy theories.
 

Seventh777

RIP Roy
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Planet Tharg, dark side, where nothing grows.
Actually server based gaming only refers to being able to change the game interfaces. They can't change the payback without changing the random number generators chip, that's already installed the in machine. The point of this concept is to allow operators to install new games on the fly. Without the need to actually access the machine. The way it used to be done was they had to actually open the machine, either change the software chip or put in a new CD rom. Load the software, test it, make it sure it worked, blah, blah, blah.
Now with this new technology they can change game faces without the need of actually opening the machine itself. It doesn't mean they can change the pay back ratio. It just means they can change the game without needing to insert the new game disc or chip.
Like for example. If you know you have a group of people who like to play Wolfs Run or Cleopatra coming to your casino. More than oh say State Fair or Gems Wild Tiles. Then for that day they can instruct the machines to have more of those machines available than the others. Just so you can people to actually sitting at your slots versus any other form of entertainment. I personally think it's a neat concept, just can also lead to alot of people also throwing around conspiracy theories.

I just had a look around the site Simmo gave me a link to, and noticed this..


# Real-time flexibility with floor configurations – operators can manage games and maximise machine earning potential with real time information

# BetStone’s Vision Business Intelligence Tool – Vision allows operators and casinos to track performance on games and machines, delivering real time information tracking, enabling them to maximise their investment


How do you maximise a machines earning potential without changing the RTP?.



Global experience in Server Based Gaming: – this BetStone warns is crucial to ensure their provider can adapt to new trends ahead of other markets

How do they adapt when new market trends are the result of global recession?
 

De Beuker

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Location
Netherlands
Ok, but now look back at the first post of this thread.

How do you make slots looser during the week and tighter during the busy weekends without changing the RTP?:confused:
 

cheetahwind

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Location
Iowa
You really don't, I've noticed in some casinos. More people are lucky on the weekend. While others are more lucky at the beginning of the week. I used to work for an Indian casino. Trust me we had ten times more jackpots go off during the weekend. Than during the week. The only reason why slots may seen tighter or looser during the weekend is. Varying on what machine your playing, how recently it paid out, and how fast you are to hit that button to determine your fate.
Otherwise honestly, it's really a matter of people walking when they are ahead. Versus getting greedy and thinking there going to walk our millionaires. I watched one guy have his machine up to well over $2,000. Then he squandered it all away hoping for that $25,000 win. I could have thought of a few things to do with that $2,000. Yeah $25,000 is nicer, but hmmm $2,000 isn't a bad chunk of change either.
Since I now live in a state where progressives are getting smaller. There really aren't many chances to win big. So really the only time I see myself getting greedy is when I go Vegas or Atlantic City.
But getting back on the topic about being able to maximize there income.
That's what I was talking about by being able to change there slot machine interface to slot themes that more patrons seem to enjoy. Cause it's a widely known statistic. The longer you play any game in a casino. The more of an edge the casino has on you. So if they notice more people are playing Gems Wild Tiles that day over lets say Wolf's Run. They can decrease the amount of Wolf's Run machines, and change the theme to Gems Wild Tiles. Without the need to go through each individual machine and change the themes that are going over too well.
It's basically allowing them to save the headache of having to reprogram each machine individually. For once allowing a direct download to the machine of the new machine interface versus having to go around and doing it all by hand.
Yet it's still my understanding unlike what people are thinking here. I really don't think they could just change the payout without having the state or the indian gaming commission standing right there. Verifying that there not setting the payout ratio too low. Just because everytime we did any game change, payout ratio change, or anything that changed the game just a bit. We had to have it done in front of the state and indian gaming commission first. You could just change something that critical without someone actually verifying and approving it first.
 

Seventh777

RIP Roy
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Planet Tharg, dark side, where nothing grows.
Easily...

1. Adding Mystery Jackpots
2. Adding Progressive Jackpots
3. Changing Location
4. Changing Min Coin Size
5. Running Promotions


Nate

None of those ^^ are associated with real time adjustments, which is what the software designers are describing, and none of the above are a 100% guarantee of increased revenue, there is only one way to increase revenues generated by slot machines in times of adverse trading, to what the income has to be to cover overheads, wages, taxes, profit, etc, etc.
 

Seventh777

RIP Roy
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Location
Planet Tharg, dark side, where nothing grows.
You really don't, I've noticed in some casinos. More people are lucky on the weekend. While others are more lucky at the beginning of the week. I used to work for an Indian casino. Trust me we had ten times more jackpots go off during the weekend. Than during the week. The only reason why slots may seen tighter or looser during the weekend is. Varying on what machine your playing, how recently it paid out, and how fast you are to hit that button to determine your fate.
Otherwise honestly, it's really a matter of people walking when they are ahead. Versus getting greedy and thinking there going to walk our millionaires. I watched one guy have his machine up to well over $2,000. Then he squandered it all away hoping for that $25,000 win. I could have thought of a few things to do with that $2,000. Yeah $25,000 is nicer, but hmmm $2,000 isn't a bad chunk of change either.
Since I now live in a state where progressives are getting smaller. There really aren't many chances to win big. So really the only time I see myself getting greedy is when I go Vegas or Atlantic City.
But getting back on the topic about being able to maximize there income.
That's what I was talking about by being able to change there slot machine interface to slot themes that more patrons seem to enjoy. Cause it's a widely known statistic. The longer you play any game in a casino. The more of an edge the casino has on you. So if they notice more people are playing Gems Wild Tiles that day over lets say Wolf's Run. They can decrease the amount of Wolf's Run machines, and change the theme to Gems Wild Tiles. Without the need to go through each individual machine and change the themes that are going over too well.
It's basically allowing them to save the headache of having to reprogram each machine individually. For once allowing a direct download to the machine of the new machine interface versus having to go around and doing it all by hand.
Yet it's still my understanding unlike what people are thinking here. I really don't think they could just change the payout without having the state or the indian gaming commission standing right there. Verifying that there not setting the payout ratio too low. Just because everytime we did any game change, payout ratio change, or anything that changed the game just a bit. We had to have it done in front of the state and indian gaming commission first. You could just change something that critical without someone actually verifying and approving it first.

It`s a relatively simple way to balance the books, let`s take a look at the last year of how slots have completely changed, we have all felt the pinch and noticed how the payouts have dramatically reduced (mostly due to features being so hard to hit, and when we do hit them they are not worth a toss), this has been right across the board of each and every major software provider from Rival, RTG, MG and many more.

So, how do they balance the books?, simple, nearly every single slot that has been released since May`ish last year has had an outrageously high Jackpot and even more so -a chance to hit an outrageously high feature, these all come with expanding wilds, stacked wilds, various multipliers and ofc the obligatory 243, 1024, 3125 winning lines, to the average slot player these look absolutely mouth watering, but, and it`s a huge but, the variance is so high on these that when you play them you need an oxygen mask, for 94-96 out of 100 players playing these, they are going to go broke, the other few players will balance the books (around 94%-96%), so, how does this help the casinos through bad times?, again the answer is simple, if, as many of us do when playing low-mid variance range slots, notice a no win situation, we give up and withdraw, but, with these new *super slots* you are constantly chasing your starter balance, and by the time you have tried your luck at 2 or 3 of them, your balance has gone.

These new slots IMHO are a lot easier for casinos to regulate the monthly revenue needed to keep afloat, than the lower max payouts slots that will cover a w/r bonus with cash left at the end to withdraw, if, as was the norm, it looked like a no brainer session for the player today.

Just my $2, and this really does seem to me what has happened the past year.
 

Nate

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None of those ^^ are associated with real time adjustments, which is what the software designers are describing, and none of the above are a 100% guarantee of increased revenue, there is only one way to increase revenues generated by slot machines in times of adverse trading, to what the income has to be to cover overheads, wages, taxes, profit, etc, etc.

I disagree,

All of them can be changed in real time (Apart from the location). In the case of location not being applicable, game changes are possible via server.

Nate
 

Nobunaga

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Location
Cambridge ON
Slot issues.

This is a very interesting thread about how the age of slots have changed forever.

How does this tinkering of the machines affect video poker machines?

I assume it would affect the machines the same way as it does for the IGT slot machines?

Many people play video poker and would be nice to know how video poker machines, that are made by Bally and other companies, fits into all of this tinkering.

Thanks.

Nobunaga
 

the Shamus

Slot Machine Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Location
Ontario, Canada
Don't fool yourself ...

Hi Folks:

The IGT version of Server-based gaming allows the payback percentage of machines to be changed from a central location. There are certain guidelines about changing it. For example, I don't think it would happen in the middle of a player using a machine.

The idea is for a casino to capitalize on supply and demand. When demand for machines is higher on the weekend, you can pay back less to the player.

How is the payback percentage changed? The same way it is changed manually. The symbols on the virtual reels are adjusted. For example, if you want to lower the payback percentage, remove a few WILDS from the virtual reels. This method ensure the paytable and random number generator are never touched. This also illustrates why available payback percentages on amchines are often odd numbers (eg. you can not just select the payback you want).

As far as setting machines to what the casino wants -- most casinos with this IGT server-based setups allow the players to choose multiple games (4 is very common).

Hope this helps.

/\/\/\/\ the Shamus /\/\/\/\
 

the Shamus

Slot Machine Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Location
Ontario, Canada
Video Poker

This is a very interesting thread about how the age of slots have changed forever.

How does this tinkering of the machines affect video poker machines?

I assume it would affect the machines the same way as it does for the IGT slot machines?

Many people play video poker and would be nice to know how video poker machines, that are made by Bally and other companies, fits into all of this tinkering.

Thanks.

Nobunaga


Hi Nobunaga:

Video poker is a different beast. For one thing, it is considered a skill-based game. You can figure out the payback percentage (according to optimal play), by examining the pay table. In order to modify the payback on video poker, you would have to change from a 52-card deck ... and that would not be legal (as far as I know).

The real way for the casino to make more on video poker is by forcing the bet larger, or awarding less comp for play (relative to slots). Another way is by changing the rules of the game --- think of COMMUNITY GAMING poker, or 100 Hand Poker.

/\/\/\/\ the Shamus /\/\/\/\
 

the Shamus

Slot Machine Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hmmmm ....

Hi cheetahwind:

While it may seem like casinos are more lucky on certain times of the week, or during certain parts of the day ... they are not (at least if you exclude server-based gaming). The CLASS III slots are completely random ... and during busy times, there is a greater likelihood of more wins. By percetage of players, there is really no difference.

re:You really don't, I've noticed in some casinos. More people are lucky on the weekend. While others are more lucky at the beginning of the week. I used to work for an Indian casino. Trust me we had ten times more jackpots go off during the weekend. Than during the week. The only reason why slots may seen tighter or looser during the weekend is. Varying on what machine your playing, how recently it paid out, and how fast you are to hit that button to determine your fate.

re: The longer you play any game in a casino. The more of an edge the casino has on you.

Over the long term, players will put more in than they take out. One player session on any given evening is like a blink of an eye in a 10 million spin cycle. However, all of those spins add up over your lifetime.

re: They can decrease the amount of Wolf's Run machines, and change the theme to Gems Wild Tiles.

If both machines are set to pay back 90% to players, one machine could pay back better on a given day, but over the long term, they will pay back the same to players. The game does not make a difference. Math will take care of it.

re: I really don't think they could just change the payout without having the state or the indian gaming commission standing right there.

It seems surprising, and yet, IGT's server-based gaming allows it. Whether every jurisdiction allows it is another question. Apparently, changing payback percentage (from a gaming commission perspective) is not the big deal we thought it was (when replacing a hardware chip was necessary).

/\/\/\/\ the Shamus /\/\/\/\
 
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