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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Did I really tamper with a slot machine?

22 December 2008

Quick, dumb question. I stopped at a gas station in a small Georgia city and begain to play a video poker (Cherry Master) game. The manufacturer is Cadillac Jack. About 20 minutes into playing, I dropped some money in between two of the machines. I moved the machine, which caused it to become unplugged.

The attendant came over and informed me that, by unplugging the machine, I violated a gaming law in the state of Georgia. A sign on the machine did state that "any tampering of machine will notify the local law enforcement agencies". Is there really a law that I violated, or is this just a scare tactic against hackers (which I am not)?

Let me answer your question in two parts. First, is there a law against tampering with machines? Absolutely. States want to ensure that they get their share of machines' winnings. If someone tampers with machines, they're not only stealing from the operator, they're also stealing from the state.

Now, did you violate that law? I say that you didn't. You didn't intend to disrupt the normal operation of the machine. In addition, machines are required to survive a power loss and, when power is restored, resume exactly where they were when the power went out.

Your return address wasn't a prison, so I assume there was no action from the attendant other than the warning. Casinos and slot operators get real touchy about players doing anything out of the ordinary with their machines. If something like this should happen, I suggest asking an attendant for assistance.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
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