RTP of games, how is it monitored, by whom and at what point is action taken?

manttih

Full Member
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Nov 18, 2016
Hello!

I was just wondering how can a game (Tombstone) advertised at approx 96% RTP run at significantly lower RTP for a very long time? In my knowledge, the only sites which show the true RTP of games are videoslots.com and mrvegas.com. I know for a fact, that mrvegas is approx one year old, and their RTP shows 87.9%. Videoslots has been around for years, and I guess they have had Tombstone from the games publication - yet it still has approx 4% lower RTP than this game should have (92.1%). I know the game is volatile, but there has most certainly been billions of spins on this game in this timeframe. All casinos say that the RTP should come close to the TRTP over time, but in my opinion 4% (let alone 9%) is quite a difference.

So, at what point is the RTP checked and by who and what actions are taken if the game constantly runs on too low RTP?

Obviously the game exists on plenty other casinos as well, so it might be that some of them is sporting way over 100%RTP over the years, but the only available data is from the sites showing the true RTP. And videoslots is quite popular site..

PS. Before anyone says the game is not popular enough, I checked on mrvegas.com, Tombstone is on page 525/544 when sorted by least played ascending (10/page)...

PPS. For instance Bonanza is spot on (96%) on both casinos.
 

manttih

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Nov 18, 2016
No there aren't clear motives - not for any regulated company. But there will always be dodgy ones - play at any non-gamstop casino or any unregulated market, and you'll meet the dodgy ones for sure. For everyone else, the loss of license and their business is normally risk enough.

You are right to be skeptical, and i'm sure there are dodgy people and companies in the industry - but they will be the minority, not the majority
What happens if a casino loses their license? How long does it take to get their license back, or do they go on some sort of 'hold' state? Also like the fact you added the word normally risk enough :) But you must admit, there IS a clear motive, this thread is about how easy it would be to practise this motive.
 

trancemonkey

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That's very assumptive of you to declare that any audit would be sniffed at.

The whole point of this thread is to seek and find some kind of audited proof or some definition of a system.

I choose not to use slot tracker because I don't want bucket loads of apps on my computer, it might interfere with my script writing for my million spins test run.
Why don't you just actually check the regulations... it's really not that hard

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If you think the UKGC rules are wrong, or not up to scratch, that's a debate you need to have with them.

TM
 

goatwack

We call him....Humperdoo
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So these are tested.....annually?

I suppose that's the question that was partially unaddressed. Now we know that the procedures are handled in-house, in small samples, and that the Live testing is done offline, I feel reassured everything's tickety-boo.

My favourite part is still: -

It is not sufficient to notify players that the games have met the required testing standards as this does not acknowledge that errors can evade testing

Well that's BTG screwed. Maybe they could have that emblazoned on their loading screens? :eek:
 

manttih

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Why don't you just actually check the regulations... it's really not that hard

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If you think the UKGC rules are wrong, or not up to scratch, that's a debate you need to have with them.

TM
5.1. Licensees must ensure sufficient RTP monitoring is in place ... Do licensees here mean providers or casinos?
5.2. ... Relying on, for example, one measurement per month will not account for particularly popular games which will accrue a high volume of play in a short time.... If the casinos must ensure monitoring, @trancemonkey, what's your take on Tombstone running on too low RTP on videoslots / mrvegas? If the provider does this, then the game might run over 100% RTP on other sites (as said on the first message). Rules talk about one measurement per month will not account, the game has been running on too low RTP for years now.
5.4. Are these alerts shown to player or do I understand this incorrectly?
5.5. Monitoring processes should include adequate investigation of consumer complaints ... It is not sufficient to notify players that the games have met the required testing standards as this does not acknowledge that errors can evade testing.... as said on previous message, at least MGA or their casinos doesn't follow this rule. :)
 

manttih

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Nov 18, 2016
So these are tested.....annually?

I suppose that's the question that was partially unaddressed. Now we know that the procedures are handled in-house, in small samples, and that the Live testing is done offline, I feel reassured everything's tickety-boo.

My favourite part is still: -

It is not sufficient to notify players that the games have met the required testing standards as this does not acknowledge that errors can evade testing

Well that's BTG screwed. Maybe they could have that emblazoned on their loading screens? :eek:
If I gather correctly, they are indeed reviewed annually (Audit Rules provided by @trancemonkey) - however, no info is given on the following questions:

- In what format is the data send? I for once can build a code in 5 minutes which creates billion of 'random' log entries.
- what happens if the tests fail. If there are fines or the game is 'taken offline for fixes', that really doesn't confort players who have been playing a game (for a year) on too low RTP :) See my post above on conflict on interest .
- if a licensee loses their license, how will they get it back? By buying a new one? That only benefits the regulator, not the players.
 

manttih

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Nov 18, 2016
I've never said number 1 - there HAS to be a difference, but how we lower the RTP in a game can mask the difference more or less depending on how you do it. For example, let's just say you have a 98% game, and 6% of all wins are over 1000x (which will be very rare). If you somehow lower that to 2% instead of 6%, the game will be almost identical with the difference being that the very high wins will be 66% less often.
I did a quote on later message, what you meant was that the game doesn't feel any different on couple of thousands of spins (regular player).
 

trancemonkey

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If I gather correctly, they are indeed reviewed annually (Audit Rules provided by @trancemonkey) - however, no info is given on the following questions:

- In what format is the data send? I for once can build a code in 5 minutes which creates billion of 'random' log entries.
- what happens if the tests fail. If there are fines or the game is 'taken offline for fixes', that really doesn't confort players who have been playing a game (for a year) on too low RTP :) See my post above on conflict on interest .
- if a licensee loses their license, how will they get it back? By buying a new one? That only benefits the regulator, not the players.
Feel free to ask the regulators these questions:

1. This is out of my knowledge field,
2. I've already explained this
3. No idea - i would imagine it would be very hard to do so, and you would have to jump through hoops, prove you are no longer an idiot and do dodgy stuff, and get audited regularly.

But honestly, these kind of questions are verging on the realms of the silly. Because you could say the same about anything really...
How can you ever be sure about anything - at some point, you have to trust something - whether it's the government, the regulator, the providers, the casino, your own eyes,.. otherwise why play at all. Ever.
 

manttih

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Nov 18, 2016
@trancemonkey . I do understand why you might find these questions silly. However, we as a players are told all the time the games are regulated by independent parties. As this thread has proven this is not the case. All the info provided so far by industry people is that the games are regulated by only people who gain direct income from the games playing on too low RTP. Which bodes the question, why wouldn't the games run on too low RTP, all parties (except players obviously) are winners here.

The question why play at all. ever. is irrelevant. I have pretty much already stopped playing alltogether and this thread justifies why: you just have to believe the games are random and honest. But as said, some possible fines won't do anything good for players, as the money players have already lost just goes to gambling commisions (who get their money from licensing the casinos). You see the problem here?

I already sent all these questions to a gambling commision, still waiting for their answers.
 
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bamberfishcake

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Corrective procedure would be to fix the game.

Thanks Trance, was wondering more about how it's corrected.

Why don't you just actually check the regulations... it's really not that hard

Already have, quite familiar with them. Nothing explains how developers actually do the correcting.

Appreciate you taking the time to answer.
 

danofthewibble

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Location
UK
What happens if a casino loses their license? How long does it take to get their license back, or do they go on some sort of 'hold' state? Also like the fact you added the word normally risk enough :) But you must admit, there IS a clear motive, this thread is about how easy it would be to practise this motive.
Difficult to say, but there’s a live case right now where BGO had their UK license suspended a week or two ago. It’s very rare, so keep an eye for how long it takes for them to have it reinstated.
 

bamberfishcake

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at some point, you have to trust something - whether it's the government, the regulator, the providers, the casino, your own eyes,.. otherwise why play at all. Ever.

I don't have to trust anything, trust is earnt, but I enjoy playing slots.

It's just a simple pursuit of knowledge and I appreciate you participating, as participants are short in numbers, well - it's just you really :)
 

bamberfishcake

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No there aren't clear motives - not for any regulated company.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this.

Plenty of regulated companies, big and small, that do dodgy stuff to get ahead of the competition and front page lobby positioning is highly competitive as you know. Getting your game in front of every player can make or break a developer. Just look at what the headline-grabbing has done for Pragmatic Play and Nolimit City. Their games would not be so popular without the headlines.
 

manttih

Full Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Difficult to say, but there’s a live case right now where BGO had their UK license suspended a week or two ago. It’s very rare, so keep an eye for how long it takes for them to have it reinstated.
@danofthewibble I found this trough Google, thanks for the heads up! I will check how long it takes..
However, if I understood correctly, this is more of a case of player protection (responsible gaming) than games running on too low RTP.
 

trancemonkey

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Thanks Trance, was wondering more about how it's corrected.



Already have, quite familiar with them. Nothing explains how developers actually do the correcting.

Appreciate you taking the time to answer.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean but i'll give the answer that i think you are asking for...

They will do it the same way any company corrects faults...

You find the error in the code, or the maths, or wherever it is - you fix it, you test it, you package it up.
You send it to homologation (a test-house like GLI or BMM or whoever) and you explain what you've changed, and provide all the necessary paperwork and you wait for them to test it. They give you a certificate to say which version of software has been fixed, and a they provide you with a hash code (checksum) of that package. This is so that when an audit is done, the regulators can check that the package that is on the server is the same as the one that was licensed. This means that no one can (legally) upload a package that was not tested and put it live as the checksum would not match.

Does that answer your question?
 

trancemonkey

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@trancemonkey . I do understand why you might find these questions silly. However, we as a players are told all the time the games are regulated by independent parties. As this thread has proven this is not the case. All the info provided so far by industry people is that the games are regulated by only people who gain direct income from the games playing on too low RTP. Which bodes the question, why wouldn't the games run on too low RTP, all parties (except players obviously) are winners here.

The question why play at all. ever. is irrelevant. I have pretty much already stopped playing alltogether and this thread justifies why: you just have to believe the games are random and honest. But as said, some possible fines won't do anything good for players, as the money players have already lost just goes to gambling commisions (who get their money from licensing the casinos). You see the problem here?

I already sent all these questions to a gambling commision, still waiting for their answers.
As this thread has proven this is not the case

Has it? As far as i'm concerned, it hasn't shown anything of the sort...

It shows that the operators and providers are following the regulations. I've posted links to the UKGC requirements for both RTP monitoring and auditing procedures. Whilst there is reliance on operators and providers to monitor RTP's, there are severe penalties for those found to willfully breach them. Also, remember in the UK, companies have to have PML holders (
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) and i believe these people can be held personally responsible (i think this includes criminally responsible) for the actions of companies if they are in severe breach of licensing.

So while you think it is the wild west, and to some extent it was in the past, it is now very highly regulated.
 

manttih

Full Member
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Nov 18, 2016
As this thread has proven this is not the case

Has it? As far as i'm concerned, it hasn't shown anything of the sort...

It shows that the operators and providers are following the regulations. I've posted links to the UKGC requirements for both RTP monitoring and auditing procedures. Whilst there is reliance on operators and providers to monitor RTP's, there are severe penalties for those found to willfully breach them. Also, remember in the UK, companies have to have PML holders (
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) and i believe these people can be held personally responsible (i think this includes criminally responsible) for the actions of companies if they are in severe breach of licensing.

So while you think it is the wild west, and to some extent it was in the past, it is now very highly regulated.
Can you vouch for MGA? I have no experience for UKGC, as I am located outside their jurisdiction. It certainly feels like wild west at times (as I wrote on another thread about Condor Malta, who by the way still has their license, even though many others have complained about on thepogg.com).

But if I have read every message on this board correctly:

- games are constantly monitored by only gaming providers (who themselves offer the games and gain profit from lowered RTP)?
- if a game runs on too high / too low RTP, providers/casinos must inform about this and fix the game (both of whom gaim profit from lowered RTP). No refunds are given to players, who have lost their money being played on falsely advertised product?
- A provider gives the regulator RTP data annually, so there is no constant monitoring by regulator - they accept the data as is provided by provider?
- If the regulator does 'surprise' check (dont know if they do or how often), something might come up - in which case no refunds are given to players, but the lost money goes to gambling commission as a fine (Gambling commissions get their money by selling licenses to casinos, so they gain profit from lowered RTP as fines). The provider/casino might lose their license which can be get back by money?

Is there something I have missed? At which point is an independent party a part of this process (by independent I understand a party that doesn't gain direct income from games running at lowered RTP)? PS. initial testing, sure, but the thread is about RTP monitoring.
 
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trancemonkey

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Can you vouch for MGA? I have no experience for UKGC, as I am located outside their jurisdiction. It certainly feels like wild west at times (as I wrote on another thread about Condor Malta, who by the way still has their license, even though many others have complained about on thepogg.com).

But if I have read every message on this board correctly:

- games are constantly monitored by only gaming providers (who themselves offer the games and gain profit from lowered RTP)?
- if a game runs on too high / too low RTP, providers/casinos must inform about this and fix the game (both of whom gaim profit from lowered RTP). No refunds are given to players, who have lost their money being played on falsely advertised product?
- A provider gives the regulator RTP data annually, so there is no constant monitoring by regulator - they accept the data as is provided by provider?
- If the regulator does 'surprise' check (dont know if they do or how often), something might come up - in which case no refunds are given to players, but the lost money goes to gambling commission as a fine (Gambling commissions get their money by selling licenses to casinos, so they gain profit from lowered RTP as fines). The provider/casino might lose their license which can be get back by money?

Is there something I have missed? At which point is an independent party a part of this process (by independent I understand a party that doesn't gain direct income from games running at lowered RTP)? PS. initial testing, sure, but the thread is about RTP monitoring.
I can't vouch for the MGA, but i'm led to believe they are a good regulator.

As to your points:

- games are constantly monitored by only gaming providers (who themselves offer the games and gain profit from lowered RTP)?
I don't believe this is true - some governments require all gaming transactions to go through their own servers. So they could absolutely monitor the RTP if they wanted to
- if a game runs on too high / too low RTP, providers/casinos must inform about this and fix the game (both of whom gaim profit from lowered RTP). No refunds are given to players, who have lost their money being played on falsely advertised product?
Not at all true - as i mentioned in a previous comment. If you can identify the players that were affected, you absolutely should repay their losses (which in an RTP situation would be a percentage of their play through)
- A provider gives the regulator RTP data annually, so there is no constant monitoring by regulator - they accept the data as is provided by provider?
Depends on the regulator - i posted information about the UKGC, but other countries operate in entirely different ways. You would need to check your own governments legislation
- If the regulator does 'surprise' check (don't know if they do or how often), something might come up - in which case no refunds are given to players, but the lost money goes to gambling commission as a fine (Gambling commissions get their money by selling licenses to casinos, so they gain profit from lowered RTP as fines). The provider/casino might lose their license which can be get back by money?
Partly true - see point 2 above. And depending on the reason you lose your license, it can't be just bought back.

Not sure where you get your information, but it's not reliable, doesn't relate to every jurisdiction in every country, and is mostly just scaremongering or failing to actually understand what's being said. I get that you are very skeptical, and where money is concerned, you're right to be - but you need to point the finger of blame at the regulations - not the people following them.

Sadly threads like this are the reason i don't come here as often any more, because it doesn't matter how much truth people are fed, they only really want to believe what they want to believe.
 
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manttih

Full Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
I can't vouch for the MGA, but i'm led to believe they are a good regulator.

As to your points:

- games are constantly monitored by only gaming providers (who themselves offer the games and gain profit from lowered RTP)?
I don't believe this is true - some governments require all gaming transactions to go through their own servers. So they could absolutely monitor the RTP if they wanted to
- if a game runs on too high / too low RTP, providers/casinos must inform about this and fix the game (both of whom gaim profit from lowered RTP). No refunds are given to players, who have lost their money being played on falsely advertised product?
Not at all true - as i mentioned in a previous comment. If you can identify the players that were affected, you absolutely should repay their losses (which in an RTP situation would be a percentage of their play through)
- A provider gives the regulator RTP data annually, so there is no constant monitoring by regulator - they accept the data as is provided by provider?
Depends on the regulator - i posted information about the UKGC, but other countries operate in entirely different ways. You would need to check your own governments legislation
- If the regulator does 'surprise' check (don't know if they do or how often), something might come up - in which case no refunds are given to players, but the lost money goes to gambling commission as a fine (Gambling commissions get their money by selling licenses to casinos, so they gain profit from lowered RTP as fines). The provider/casino might lose their license which can be get back by money?
Partly true - see point 2 above. And depending on the reason you lose your license, it can't be just bought back.

Not sure where you get your information, but it's not reliable, doesn't relate to every jurisdiction in every country, and is mostly just scaremongering or failing to actually understand what's being said. I get that you are very skeptical, and where money is concerned, you're right to be - but you need to point the finger of blame at the regulations - not the people following them.

Sadly threads like this are the reason i don't come here as often any more, because it doesn't matter how much truth people are fed, they only really want to believe what they want to believe.
- Do you know of any government actually monitoring the RTP? As you said, if they wanted to? I would suspect UKGC is quite reliable and the fact that they don't monitor RTP constantly tells a story on its own.
- Second point, do you have any info of refunding the players actually occuring? Also, you use the word should, which obviously mean you are not sure or you don't know. Also, RTP situation, when game has been advertised untruthful TRTP, shouldnt all the money be returned to players in your opinion?
- I asked our Finnish Gambling Commision as they now offer games such as Red Tiger, BTG etc. I will inform this thread if/when I get an answer.
- Yet again I would like to ask info on such case happening - I understand if you don't have such info, but with MGA, I am sure it is all about the money (see my posts about Condor Malta)

I have no inside information, I am a player who has played for over 10 years. All information I get is trought these threads / reading stuff from other forums (such as thepogg.com, askgamblers.com) and directly from casinos / gambling commisions.

As for the truth, you use words such as if, should, might etc. The truth might be something else, don't you agree?

EDIT, and you didn't answer this question:

**

Is there something I have missed? At which point is an independent party a part of this process (by independent I understand a party that doesn't gain direct income from games running at lowered RTP)? PS. initial testing, sure, but the thread is about RTP monitoring.

**

.. or do you disagree that not all of these parties would directly gain more income trough lowered RTP?
 

Odds4slots

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Oct 23, 2021
I think we're not going to avoid abuse in this matter even by imposing ridiculous regulations. As already mentioned... who is testing the testers?!.and we can go on forever. We have perfect examples of car manufacturers dodging the emission tests despite strict control, financial institutions ripping of the general public despite heavy regulations. The question is if RTP is a real metric in the sense of control against abuse of the players in gambling industry. There are providers essentially running lotteries under the name of slots,like NLC where big win can swing RTP by 10% within few weeks,so perhaps we should redirect the focus on more reliable and realistic measures to give the assurance of fair play.
 

bamberfishcake

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Sadly threads like this are the reason i don't come here as often any more

That's a shame, this thread would have been a non-starter without you.

No matter if we agree, it's great getting some kind of reply. Although I may not come across as such, I like to think I am quite open-minded. Maybe that's half the problem lol.

Appreciate you entertaining my questions.
 

snorky510238

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Jan 12, 2018
Location
Uk
I'm not entirely sure what you mean but i'll give the answer that i think you are asking for...

They will do it the same way any company corrects faults...

You find the error in the code, or the maths, or wherever it is - you fix it, you test it, you package it up.
You send it to homologation (a test-house like GLI or BMM or whoever) and you explain what you've changed, and provide all the necessary paperwork and you wait for them to test it. They give you a certificate to say which version of software has been fixed, and a they provide you with a hash code (checksum) of that package. This is so that when an audit is done, the regulators can check that the package that is on the server is the same as the one that was licensed. This means that no one can (legally) upload a package that was not tested and put it live as the checksum would not match.

Does that answer your question?
But how did the game pass the initial test of “billions” of spins, if it had a fault? The only answer can be that the method of testing is not sufficient or it’s not done at all. Can’t think of any other reason.
 

goatwack

We call him....Humperdoo
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So in essence, Commission sets out guidelines for companies to audit their games.

Companies conduct in-house testing at various intervals using samples and 3rd- party independent testers, who no one is aware of in any way and whose results no one can actively verify, because themz the rulez.

Said findings are sent back to the Commission to say all is well.

Industry asks "Why the long face? Where's your trust?"

The End
 
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