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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask the Slot Expert

22 October 1999

Dear John,

Someone recently asked me a slots question that I hope you can help me with. He said that he "won over the $1200 jackpot limit at the Argosy riverboat casino" (in Lawrenceburg, Indiana), and he wanted to know if he could get a printout of his slot losses, for tax purposes. He says he always uses his "slot card" when he plays.

I told him that I didn't think Argosy would keep records of every player's slot play (even if he is getting rated as he plays), or, would not make those records available to the public. But then, I have to wonder. If it is possible, this is something that the public, I'm sure, would want to be aware of.

Do you have any information to offer in this regard?

Thanks a bunch,
R.D. Ellison
Frank Scoblete's Gaming Pages Writer

Dear R.D.,

The slot club database has a detailed record of a player's activity during a trip. Slot club personnel can tell each machine he played, how long he played it, how much action he gave, and how much he won or lost. At some point after the trip, this detailed information is deleted and just a summary of it remains in the player's record.

The casino may not release what a player's rating is or how many comp dollars are in his account because that information is proprietary. On the other hand, a player can know how much action he gave and how much he won or lost just by keeping track. There are no secret formulas involved in calculating those figures and most casinos release them freely.

I frequently request a year-end statement from slot clubs to verify and corroborate my own records. And I've also verified the amount of action I've played on a machine with the data in a slot club's database.

The only caveat is that the win/loss number the casino reports includes all your winnings, including W-2G winnings. When you calculate your losses, you have to remember to net out the W-2G winnings. They're reported on another line on the tax return. If you don't subtract W-2G winnings when you calculate your losses, you'll have counted them twice.


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots