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States want to be able to ensure that they are getting their fair share of the gaming revenue, so they need to know the long-term paybacks on the machines in the casinos. Casinos have to notify their gaming authorities when they change the payback on a machine.
What is your evidence that the software was "upgraded" on your machine? The fact that you're not doing as well on the machine as you have in the past is not evidence that something has changed on the machine. I've played machines that have been hot for me on one visit and cold on another and I was able to verify with the slot director that nothing had changed on the machines.
As for checks and balances, in some states casinos can't access the logic drawers in their machines. Someone from the gaming authority must make the change. In other states, someone from the gaming authority must be present to witness the change. In Nevada, casinos can change payback chips themselves if they have a manufacturers license, which they all do. In most (if not all) states, machines are subject to surprise inspections in which someone from the gaming authority verifies that a machine has not been tampered with and the chips in the machine match the reference chips approved by the authority.
As for a penalty, the state could revoke the casino's gaming license. That's sufficient to keep casinos following the rules.
Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.