Wagerworks 'megajackpots' are fraudulent (rigged)

thelawnet

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
UK
Wagerworks have got three Megajackpot (progressive) slots:

Cluedo
Cleopatra
Monopoly with Pass Go Bonus

These are based on the standard games, for instance the Cleopatra pays are:

(Cleopatra is wild and pays 2x)

5 Cleopatras 10000
4 Cleos 2000
3 Cleos 200
2 Cleos 10

(Sphink is scatter)
5 Sphinxes 100
4 Sphinxes 20
3 Sphinxes 5
2 Sphinxes 2

3 or more Scatters gives 15 spins at 3x, with a maximum of 11 retriggers allowed

5 Scarabs OR Bells 750
4 Scarabs OR Bells 100
3 Scarabs OR Bells 25
2 Scarabs OR Bells 2

5 Tablets 400
4 Tablets 100
3 Tablets 15

5 Staffs 250
4 Staffs 75
3 Staffs 10

5 Eyes 250
4 Eyes 50
3 Eyes 10

5 Aces 125
4 Aces 50
3 Aces 10

5 Kings 100
4 Kings 50
3 Kings 5

5 Queens OR Jacks OR Tens 100
4 Queens OR Jacks OR Tens 25
3 Queens OR Jacks OR Tens 5

5 Nines 100
4 Nines 25
3 Nines 5
2 Nines 2

Payback is given as 95.02%

The Progressive game has exactly the same pays, except 'Cleopatra' is replaced by 'Megajackpot', and has the same pays.

If you get 5 Wilds on Line 1, you win the jackpot.

Except they say

"With a 1,000,000 jackpot, the long-term expected return to player is 90.00%. With a 4,000,000 jackpot, the long-term expected return to player is 93.04%."

And you can bet anywhere between 2p and 5 coins and still be eligible to win the jackpot.

So clearly something is wrong. 5 is 250x bigger than 2p, but both are eligible for the same jackpot. And to win that jackpot all you have to do is get 5 Wilds on line 1. And that's something that should be fixed odds. E.g., if there are 30 symbols on each reel and 1 Wild, then the odds are 1 / (30^5)= 1 in 24.3 million.

Clearly if that's so, then a max bet at 5 pays 10,000 coins for 5 wilds on lines 2 - 20, and at reset (1.5 million) 60,000 coins (based on max bet of 5 coins per line) for line 1.

Whereas the 2p game would pay 250 times as much in coins - 15,000,000 coins (because the progressive is the same amount).

Which means that there's a much higher return to player at 2p than at 5. Which is not sensible.

The 'pay table' also says:

"In accordance with the fair gaming practices in Alderney as well as in most physical casinos world-wide, each and every game outcome is independent. Your odds of getting any particular outcome are always the same. The odds do not vary based on your prior outcomes, your bets, your budget, time of day, day of week, etc."

However looking at 'Game Info' it says:

'If the same Jackpot is offered in the same game with different denominations, the odds of winning the Jackpot are exactly proportional to the actual max bet amount. Therefore, the game is completely fair, offering the same odds per currency amount bet irrespective of the base denomination. For example, a player betting max in a 0.20 denomination game has twice the chance of winning the Jackpot as a player betting max in the same game and currency, but in a 0.10 denomination. The expected return to player is exactly the same for both players. So you can play in your favourite denomination, free from worrying about giving up any Jackpot odds relative to your total max-bet money staked. '

These two statements are contradictory. "Your odds of getting any particular outcome are always the same. " is false, because "a player betting max in a 0.20 denomination game has twice the chance of winning the Jackpot as a player betting max in the same game and currency, but in a 0.10 denomination".

In other words the odds of getting the 5 Wilds outcome is not the same at all. They are not in fact operating 'in accordance with the fair gaming practices in Alderney'.

This means that the Wilds must be weighted based on your bet size.

Max bet is 100 lines, so at 2p this is a 2 stake. At 1 million the game returns 1.80
At 4 million the game returns 1.8608.

Therefore the chance of winning the jackpot is equal to (1.8608 - 1.80)/(4 million - 1 million). That is 49.34 million to 1.

The payout of the game with a zero jackpot is 89.4%.

The game resets at 1.5 million, at which level the game pays 90.92% so they are contributing 1.52% payout with their seed money.

The problem with all of this is that the weighted jackpot has to affect other pays. At 5 coins the chance of hitting the jackpot is only 197,360 to 1 (albeit that you're wagering 500 a spin!), so this would mean if wilds (which, if aligned correctly, win the jackpot) are more likely at higher coins you'd also get more other pays with wilds too. Which would make the return higher at higher coins because you'd get more wild wins.

The only way they could do this is to implement something like this:

1. Get a random number between 1 and x, where x is the chance of hitting the jackpot at the coin level, and if you get a 1, show five wilds on line 1 on the reels
2. If you didn't get a 1, spin the reels as normal. If five wilds on line 1 is the result, discard the result and repeat.

[Which is of course not a fair game, the reels on screen are faked - fraudulent, they do not represent what is actually happening in the background.]

But still it doesn't explain why the payout is so much lower than the normal game.

Cluedo is the a 'skin' of the same game, same paytables but it pays 95.04% at 1m (below reset), and 98.08% at 4 million, which suggests the same odds of winning the jackpot - so why does it pay so much more? And why does it pay less than the basic Cluedo game, which pays 96.00%?

Monopoly is a different game and pays 95.11% at 1m and 98.15% at 4m.

The basic Monopoly game pays 96.01 - again why is it this one pays less despite having the same symbols? I can understand the concept of the jackpot spin being a cheat and not a fair game by doing two separate spins, but that doesn't explain the lower payout.


Quite aside from the fact that Wagerworks claim they have fair games when they do not, these jackpots suck!

"If you win MegaJackpots the prize money shall be paid to you in 20 equal annual instalments. For the avoidance of doubt, no interest will accrue in your favour on any unpaid balance. In lieu of the annual payments, a MegaJackpots winner will be offered the option of selecting a reduced lump sum amount based on the present value of the future payments."

20 years! That's worse than winning at one of the rogue RTGs for payout.

And they admit that the money is not worth what they say it is

"In lieu of the annual payments, a MegaJackpots winner will be offered the option of selecting a reduced lump sum amount based on the present value of the future payments"

So the return to player given is also fraudulent.

They don't specify how the 'present value' will be calculated, which is rogue behaviour given the amount of money involved.

20 year gilt yields are 4.11%, which gives a NPV of 4 million of 2.69 million. Of course Wagerworks could choose a lower figure since they don't specify how this will be calculated. If you were to buy 20-year Wagerworks paper the yield would obviously be much higher than 4.11%, and thus the NPV would be lower.

What this does mean is that the stated returns are wrong. If you have a slot machine that has 3 pays:

10,000 in 1000 years, 2p today, or 1p today
and another
10,000 today, 2p today, 1p today

then the second machine has a MUCH higher payout.

That's the principle here.

The stated payouts are overinflated because the money they're paying is not worth what they say it is.

These must be the worst progressives online. Why have Wagerworks done such a bad job?
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
A pretty good argument that demonstrates that the Wagerworks slot games are WEIGHTED video slots, i.e, the chances of any one reel stop ocurring are NOT necessarily equal, but are varied (weighted) depending upon the value of the symbol. This explains how the SAME game can have a lower payout even when excluding the jackpot from the calculations. The reels in the progressive version may be weighted to lower the return from 95% to 90% in the base game, thus releasing 5% to be added to the jackpot pool.

Whilst players contribute to the pool immediately, the casino will always slice the payout into annual instalments over 20 years. While common in soe big prize competitions where there is NO contribution by players to the pool, it is pretty bad practice when it is used when players ARE contributing to the pool.

20 years is a long time to wait, and it brings with it a whole host of legal issues if a winner dies during this 20 years, since the size of the win will inevitably generate a liability to "death taxes" (called different things in different countries), and means an executor may have to wait up to 20 years before being able to settle the estate.

For the casino, the benefit is immediate, and obvious. Although the money has been won by a PLAYER, they will be able to benefit from having the unpaid balance as "float", and also reap the benefits of any investment income such a sizeable sum would generate. For the player, expecting an individual casino to even LAST 20 years is a big risk, what happens if it goes bust?

I have often seen competitions with this kind of arrangement, Reader's Digest springs to mind. I can tell you, I ALWAYS opt for the lump sum (never won though:D), rather than the instalments. Although the lump sum is "adjusted", it is nevertheless a lump sum, which the PLAYER can invest, or enjoy, as they please, and if shrewdly invested, should easily restore any value the casino has "adjusted" out of it, and all with the added benefit that the future business health of the casino becomes irrelevant.
 

thelawnet

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
UK
A pretty good argument that demonstrates that the Wagerworks slot games are WEIGHTED video slots, i.e, the chances of any one reel stop ocurring are NOT necessarily equal, but are varied (weighted) depending upon the value of the symbol. This explains how the SAME game can have a lower payout even when excluding the jackpot from the calculations. The reels in the progressive version may be weighted to lower the return from 95% to 90% in the base game, thus releasing 5% to be added to the jackpot pool.

That doesn't fully explain it.

While weighting the reels could indeed reduce the payout from 95% to 90%, it doesn't allow a game to have a 1 in 500,000 chance of hitting the jackpot on one coins size and a 1 in 50,000,000 chance on another.

This can only have been implemented using a hidden two-stage mechanism.

This is clearly not 'fair gaming practice', and the reels on screen do not in fact represent what is happening behind the scenes.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
That doesn't fully explain it.

While weighting the reels could indeed reduce the payout from 95% to 90%, it doesn't allow a game to have a 1 in 500,000 chance of hitting the jackpot on one coins size and a 1 in 50,000,000 chance on another.

This can only have been implemented using a hidden two-stage mechanism.

This is clearly not 'fair gaming practice', and the reels on screen do not in fact represent what is happening behind the scenes.

They could achieve this with variable weighting (based on coin size), and have most of this applied to the last wild, making it near impossible for it to occupy 5th place on line 1, yet have the weights of the first four vary only slightly, with this designed to shave 5% off the base payout. If the weight was reduced by a factor of 100, just on the 5th wild, this would achieve a reduction from 1 in 500,000 to 1 in 50,000,000 chance of lining up all 5 wilds.
IF it is possible to play less than 20 lines, then having line 1, and not line 20, count for the progressive seems odd, as this further complicates the weightings needed.
 

thelawnet

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
UK
They could achieve this with variable weighting (based on coin size), and have most of this applied to the last wild, making it near impossible for it to occupy 5th place on line 1, yet have the weights of the first four vary only slightly, with this designed to shave 5% off the base payout. If the weight was reduced by a factor of 100, just on the 5th wild, this would achieve a reduction from 1 in 500,000 to 1 in 50,000,000 chance of lining up all 5 wilds.

But if the 5th reel wild weighted that would affect the other payouts as well - you'd get far more wild wins.

You could say they could fiddle about with all the OTHER wilds, but of course this affects the adjacent symbols as well (which pay on some of the other 19 lines). So the game would pay very differently at 2p to 5.

And of course as the jackpot rises the necessary weights would have to change.

IF it is possible to play less than 20 lines, then having line 1, and not line 20, count for the progressive seems odd, as this further complicates the weightings needed.

Not sure about that part.
 

Jufo

Dormant Account
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Location
Finland
Based on my experiences I am not sure whether Wagerworks table games are completely fair / random either. After about 10 000 hands played on different table games (not a small sample) my overall return percentage is way below expected value.

And here is another reported unlikely result: hxxp://www.hundredpercentgambling.com/2009/01/virgin-casino-wagerworks-software-is.htm
 

rpalmer83

Dormant Account
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Location
UK
A big group of online casino players need to get together and post their results so that they can be combined. I feel I have noticed a severe degradation in the payout of casinos this past year or so since the financial crisis started. Of course it could be co-incidence but how many co-incidences do you actually need to see before you believe otherwise.

I am not sure what I believe, I think I believe they are random but can be adusted and the common assumption that there is solely a big RNG that cannot be adjusted determining game outcomes is a wrong one.

Perhaps the RNG is set up in such a way that the pool of random numbers it can generate from can change depending on the amount of money going through the casino at any one time.

We will never know though unless we can see the host software which does the number generating.
 

Alexandre

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Bryan, Zoozie, the Wizard of Odds, where are you ?

Hi,

I dind't really miss this incredible post by thelawnet but I was to lazy to read and analyze it in details.
On the other hand I thought: "This is going to make so much noise, let the big guys debate about it, you will post your thougts later".
Since then, I've seen The Watchmen movie and I understood that superheroes are people like you and me, they have a real life, sometimes even a family and you can't always count on them to save other people lives.

For those who didn't understand the maths exposed by thelawnet just think about the 20 years payment or the "reduced lump".
It sounds outrageous.
I was conviced that Wagerworks was the most honest software provider, much more than Microgaming, Playtech, RTG, etc...
Today I have serious doubts.
I would love to hear our inhouse slot experts Zoozie, the gaming guru Michael Shackleford aka Wizard of Odds and of course Bryan.
Virgin Rep is very welcome too.
 

thelawnet

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
UK
Hi,

I dind't really miss this incredible post by thelawnet but I was to lazy to read and analyze it in details.
On the other hand I thought: "This is going to make so much noise, let the big guys debate about it, you will post your thougts later".
Since then, I've seen The Watchmen movie and I understood that superheroes are people like you and me, they have a real life, sometimes even a family and you can't always count on them to save other people lives.

For those who didn't understand the maths exposed by thelawnet just think about the 20 years payment or the "reduced lump".
It sounds outrageous.
I was conviced that Wagerworks was the most honest software provider, much more than Microgaming, Playtech, RTG, etc...
Today I have serious doubts.
I would love to hear our inhouse slot experts Zoozie, the gaming guru Michael Shackleford aka Wizard of Odds and of course Bryan.
Virgin Rep is very welcome too.

I've no idea why they've done this.

They will probably make around 5% from each spin (hard to say for sure because it depends on the balance of games that are played and also how much money from each spin goes to the jackpot).

It will take about 50 million spins at 2 to hit the jackpot, which is 100 million wagered. At this level they would make 5 million of profit, but they seeded the jackpot with only 1.5 million. So they would expect to make 3.5 million in profit from this game.

Even if they only make 4% from each spin, it's still very profitable.

So there's really no need to payout this way.

It just suggests that they are undercapitalized. So what if somebody wins the jackpot earlier than expectation (which, if 2% of each spin goes to the progressive, is before about 3.5 million), that's just luck, they will win more next time. The jackpot is already up to 1.74 million, that suggests 12 million has been wagered already, they've already earned about 600k I reckon.

It's really a giant scam - they collect cash from the losers today, and pay it out to the winner over 20 years.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
I've no idea why they've done this.

They will probably make around 5% from each spin (hard to say for sure because it depends on the balance of games that are played and also how much money from each spin goes to the jackpot).

It will take about 50 million spins at 2 to hit the jackpot, which is 100 million wagered. At this level they would make 5 million of profit, but they seeded the jackpot with only 1.5 million. So they would expect to make 3.5 million in profit from this game.

Even if they only make 4% from each spin, it's still very profitable.

So there's really no need to payout this way.

It just suggests that they are undercapitalized. So what if somebody wins the jackpot earlier than expectation (which, if 2% of each spin goes to the progressive, is before about 3.5 million), that's just luck, they will win more next time. The jackpot is already up to 1.74 million, that suggests 12 million has been wagered already, they've already earned about 600k I reckon.

It's really a giant scam - they collect cash from the losers today, and pay it out to the winner over 20 years.

That is probably the cheekiest thing I have seen. They stand to pocket a considerable "hidden" hold above the obvious 5% estimate because of the way they structure payouts. Perhaps they consider this OK since they seed the jackpot with 1.5Million each time it is won. Well, Microgaming seed Mega Moolah with 1 Million, and we don't see any sign of anything but instant(ish) payment in one lump sum, often with considerable publicity.

Over 20 years, the original sum will reduce considerably in value "in real terms" due to the effects of inflation. Further, NO interest will be accumulated on the outstanding capital for the benefit of the player. Many financial products that produce staged payments from a lump sum do at least continue to "sweat" the remaining capital by investing it for the benefit of the beneficiary. In this case, all investment proceeds become the "hidden hold" on the game, and are for the benefit of the casino operator.

The sharply reduced amount of the lump sum option is probably an indication of the sheer SIZE of this "hidden hold", as no doubt they have had an acountant calculate the appropriate reduction needed to provide them with the same benefits they would retain were the player to opt for staged payments.

Remember the old proverb, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". So winners should take the reduced sum, and consider this amount to be the REAL jackpot of the game, rather than the sum displayed. Also the REAL return is NOT 95%, as the reduction taken from the pool contributions has to be taken into account, which might knock another 1% off the payback.

Using the past 20 years of inflation data and investment return data, and presuming the trend to be onwardly representative, it should be possible to calculate pretty accurate figures to illustrate the level of "cheek" with this arrangement. It may also show whether some players may indeed be better off with staged payments. This might be the case if on a low income, or hovering close to tax increase thresholds. Young players in good health, who would like a secure income for 20 years, rather than a huge sum in one go, might like the idea of the staged payment plan. However, advice should be sought, as it might be better to take the reduced sum, and use it to purchase an income producing product through a financial advisor. The BIG benefit of the lump sum option is, of course, that you are NOT relying on the casino remaining in business for the next 20 years - this has to be the biggest incentive of all to take the lump sum.


Now, anybody know an accountant, or even an actuary:D
 

Jasminebed

Game old gal
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Location
Ontario
Government run lotteries often pay over 20 or 25 years, but I actually trust that government will still be with us 20 or 25 years from now, can't say I have that much trust in any online casino.

Are there guarantees of payments continuing to beneficiaries of an estate?

I'd take the upfront payment and run if it was me, but it does truly affect the theoretical payout for these games.
 

RobWin

closed account
Joined
Apr 24, 2004
Location
A Vault!
Government run lotteries often pay over 20 or 25 years, but I actually trust that government will still be with us 20 or 25 years from now, can't say I have that much trust in any online casino.

Are there guarantees of payments continuing to beneficiaries of an estate?

I'd take the upfront payment and run if it was me, but it does truly affect the theoretical payout for these games.

I agree, I would find me a "Factoring Company" willing to accept the payout note (paper) and take what they offered me today at a reduced payout rate thus transferring all of the risk of 20 years over to them.
 

Rusty

Banned User - repetitive flaming
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Location
Manchester UK
I think the payout is just a side issue (although a big One)because as thelawnet so astutely points out you can not have a Jackpot that relies on a combination of symbols and yet has a proportionate chance of hitting according to stake without it being weighted.

Fine if a relative proportion of the Jackpot was won relevant to bet size.
Fine if the Jackpot does not rely on a combination of reel positions. (Random)

I would hesitate to use the term rigged because that implies that the result is not random which it almost certainly is.
But weighted definitely and therefore unfair.

As far as I am concerned all the software providers use an element of weighting in their slots but here the logic of the argument is undeniable.

Just another wake up call for those that still believe no element of weighting exists in online slots.
Then again some people can sleep through anything ;)
 

gerilege

Meister Member
PABrogue
PABnorogue
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Location
Hungary
There is nothing I could add to what thelawnet originally posted. It is accurate and logical, and clearly identifies the contradiction, so I do not feel the need for further mathematical or computational analysis - unless we are all missing something obvious, but I do not think so.

Somebody should rather take the initiatative to get answers from those who can really address the issue, like Alderney.
 
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