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Best of John Robison

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Ask the Slot Expert: Do casinos replace machines to change paybacks?

6 June 2012

I heard that casinos have to post the percentage changes on a machine if they change the payback, but they can get around this rule if they put in a new machine.

Is that why they choose to replace the machine?

I am not aware of a jurisdiction that requires a casino to post a notice on a machine if it changes the machine's long-term payback, but with casino gambling in almost every state, I certainly don't know every state's quirky rules.

Nevertheless, casinos usually don't change a machine's long-term payback once it's on the slot floor. It's an expensive process: the new payback program has to be licensed; technicians have to replace chips or discs in the machine; the machine will be out of service for the duration of the change; paperwork has to be filed with the state.

The slot directors I know have told me that they'll change the paybacks on their slot floors through attrition. As they refresh their slot floors, they order new machines with the new payback to replace the old machines with the old paybacks. Even if an old machine is popular and will survive the refresh, they usually leave its payback as is.

To answer your question, the main reason casinos replace machines is to keep their slot floors current. It's possible that they're also implementing a change in payback policy, but it won't be the main reason they're replacing machines.

Jackpots for all,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

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