SOFTWARE GLITCHESพฤศจิกายน 13, 2019
SOFTWARE GLITCHES: Last month’s article regarding slot machine malfunctions raised quite a stir amongst readers of my column! I received numerous emails and handwritten letters with concerns and questions about whether or not we players need to be worried about the legitimacy of the statement malfunction voids all pays and plays. Dale from Glendale was just one of dozens of readers who wanted to know, “Are we, as players, at risk of software glitches?” Susan from Buckeye was curious “what could happen during a software glitch.” And, Ron from Avondale needed reassurance that “software glitches don’t happen on a regular basis.”
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First, rest-assured that software glitches are extremely rare! And, second of all, the casinos are the ones most at risk if a software glitch does occur! Several years ago, gamblers at Caesars in Indiana raked in nearly half a million dollars in two days on one slot machine that was registering ten times more money than the players were inserting. Putting a $20 bill into the game was actually being recorded as $200! Players didn’t even need to play the slot. They could just cash out their inflated ticket and leave. Security tapes later showed people just walking up to the machine, inserting $100 and cashing out $1,000! A young couple finally reported the problem to security and it was determined that the machine’s bill acceptors had been incorrectly set for the Philippines instead of the United States which instructed the machine to multiply credits by ten!
We asked a Gaming Device Compliance Manager at the Arizona Department of Gaming GCLUB if he has ever come across a situation where a player was actually being cheated by a software glitch? He said he couldn’t recall a single incident during his tenure as an inspector for the Department, and during the time he was a slot technician previously, that there was an instance of slot software cheating a customer.
“Based on my experience, when there is a problem with a slot, the casino is at a disadvantage. Slot machines are a huge liability and risk for the casinos! It’s not the other way around. Players are not the ones who are at a disadvantage if a blip occurs. Even though there is a disclaimer on every slot machine that states malfunction voids all pays and plays, casinos tend to provide some form of compensation to a player in the event of a malfunction anyway. One time a slot’s touch screen stopped working while the player was in the bonus and the casino paid out the maximum possible bonus award on the slot to the customer as a result since they couldn’t complete the bonus!,” said the Gaming Compliance Manager.
Obviously, software glitches can pose serious problems that no casino, slot manufacturer, independent laboratory or regulatory agency wants to deal with. Ultimately, if something goes awry with a slot machine one individual or a group of individuals will be held accountable and the repercussions can involve fines, loss of jobs, and even lawsuits! That is why casino gaming is so secure. There is so much testing, certifying, and regulating to prevent these kinds of problems from occurring and that is why software glitches are so extremely rare!