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Linked machines & Fraud

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Linked machines
Often machines are linked together in a way that allows a group of machines to offer a particularly large prize, or "jackpot". Each slot machine in the group contributes a small amount to this progressive jackpot, awarded to a player who gets, for example, a royal flush on a video poker machine or a specific combination of symbols on a regular or nine-line slot machine. The amount paid for the progressive jackpot is usually far higher than any single slot machine could pay on its own.

In some cases multiple machines are linked across multiple casinos. In these cases, the machines may be owned by the manufacturer, who is responsible for paying the jackpot. The casinos lease the machines rather than owning them outright.

Casinos in New Jersey, Nevada, and South Dakota now offer multi-state progressive jackpots, which now offer bigger jackpot pools.

Fraud
Mechanical slot machines and their coin acceptors were sometimes susceptible to cheating devices and other scams. One historical example involved spinning a coin with a short length of plastic wire. The weight and size of the coin would be accepted by the machine and credits would be granted. However, the spin created by the plastic wire would cause the coin to exit through the reject chute into the payout tray. This particular scam has become obsolete due to improvements in newer slot machines. Another obsolete method of defeating slot machines was to use a light source to confuse the optical sensor used to count coins during payout.

Modern slot machines are controlled by EPROM computer chips and, in large casinos, coin acceptors have become obsolete in favor of bill acceptors. These machines and their bill acceptors are designed with advanced anti-cheating and anti-counterfeiting measures and are difficult to defraud. Early computerized slot machines were sometimes defrauded through the use of cheating devices, such as the "slider" or "monkey paw". Computerized slot machines are fully deterministic and thus outcomes can be sometimes successfully predicted.

Jackpot errors
Malfunctioning electronic slot machines are capable of indicating jackpot winnings far in excess of those advertised. Two such cases occurred in casinos in Colorado in 2010, where software errors led to indicated jackpots of $11 million and $42 million.  Analysis of machine records by the state Gaming Commission revealed faults, with the true jackpot being substantially smaller. State gaming laws do not require a casino to honour payouts.

wikipedia.org

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