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Government Sanctioned “Tight” and “Loose” Slot Machines: How Having Multiple Versions of the Same Slot Machine Game May Impact Problem Gambling

by:
Mike Dixon, Kevin A. Harrigan

In Ontario, Canada, the regulator approves identical looking slot machine games with different payback percentages. We gained access to the design documents (called PAR Sheets) used to program these different versions of the same slots game and ran Gambler’s Ruin simulations of 2,000 first-time players who each arrived with a $100 bankroll and played either the 85 or 98% version of the same game until broke. Simulations revealed that the typical (median) player’s experience did not differ significantly between versions. However the payback percentage affected the experience of players in the upper tails of the distributions with those in the 98% version having dramatically more total spins, winning spins, entries into the “bonus mode”, and “hand pays” (a win of $100 bankroll and played either the 85 or 98% version of the same game until broke. Simulations revealed that the typical (median) player’s experience did not differ significantly between versions. However the payback percentage affected the experience of players in the upper tails of the distributions with those in the 98% version having dramatically more total spins, winning spins, entries into the “bonus mode”, and “hand pays” (a win of 125 or more on a given spin). Most importantly, the ...

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: http://www.springerlink.com/content/f26012214ht85033/full...

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type
: report •
published in
: 2009 •
publisher
: Springer •
is part of a publication
: Journal of Gambling Studies
keywords
: gaming regulation, PAR Sheets, problem gambling, slot machines, structural characteristics, video slots