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When Not Every Coin Counts26 December 2004
Something similar happened to me at The Desert Inn in Las Vegas. You used to carry the countdown from machine to machine, but suddenly the countdown was always reset when you changed machines.
I complained to the management about this change, and I found out the situation was not as bad as it seemed. They had installed new slot club software and one of the changes was that your countdown did not follow you.
That did not mean, however, that some coins you played did not count. The system calculated your points based on your total action, regardless of whether you completed points on a machine. The countdown was really irrelevant. At worst, it was something to encourage you to play just a bit more on a machine to complete a point.
I verified that every coin counted by playing partial points on a number of machines and seeing my total point count increase at the end by the exact amount I expected.
The systems at the casinos you visited may actually be counting all coins, despite the resetting countdown. One would think the slot floor people would know and, certainly, the slot club booth people should know, but many times these people are not well-versed in the detailed workings of the slot clubs in their casinos. The slot directors at the casinos should definitely know, however.
There were, and maybe still are, some systems that require players to complete points on a machine, otherwise the partial-point play is not counted. I agree with you that not counting every coin played is despicable. The casino has the edge on every coin played.
Your only recourse it to vote with your feet. I would also suggest writing a letter to the slot director. Say that you noticed this change and you will be going to other casinos in the future. If casinos don't know exactly what they're doing wrong, they ca9n't fix the problems.
You might also want to check out www.unitedgamblers.com. Star Brooks has taken it upon herself to stand up for the players. It used to be that we had mega-casinos. Now we have mega-corporations running the mega-casinos. Star's trying to ensure that the mega-corporations don't lose touch with the players, who after all are the reason they exist.
Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at email@example.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't send a reply to every question. Also be advised that it may take two or more months for your question to appear in my column.
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Best of John Robison