There are a number of conspiracy theories in the world so it's no surprise that there are also a few when it comes to slot machines both at land based and online casinos. In reality however, gambling regulators and licensing bodies exist to protect players and ensure fair play at all casinos.
In addition to this, there are very few casinos that would risk their multi-billion dollar organizations in order to cheat visitors when they already enjoy a house advantage in most casino games offered at their venues. Regardless of these facts however, a few conspiracy theories regarding slot machines remain.
Here we look at a few of the most widely held ones.
Player Cards lead to lower slots payouts
Players at land based casinos have long theorized that these venues rig their slots to payout at lower rates when player cards are used. This is not such a far-fetched idea when you consider that players using player cards do earn free comps, so the theory goes, why not penalize these players in order to compensate for the free cash that is given away.
The truth of the matter however is that even when the average player makes use of their player card, they are still losing money over the long term and the casino is thus making money. Comps only make up a small portion of the theoretical losses experienced by the player so casinos have little to no reason to program their slot machines to deliver lower payout rates when a player card is used.
Online Casinos have a "losing" switch
Since their inception in the 1990's fear and paranoia have been experienced by the more nervous players who believe that online casinos software can be manipulated by corrupt operators. These players also believe that online casinos can easily change the payout percentages of their slots and casinos games by flipping a "losing" switch.
While this may be plausible at certain rogue casinos who operate proprietary software that is not subject to any licensing and regulation, legitimate online casinos have no reason to manipulate anything at all.
Similar to land based casinos they are subject to licensing jurisdictions and regulatory bodies that monitor and audit operations and casino game payouts on an ongoing basis to ensure fair gaming. If any type of "losing" switch were ever discovered it would risk the entire industry's reputation so software manufacturers would never compromise their income by adding in such a "switch". Again, the risk wouldn't be worth the reward.
Casinos hide their "loose" slot machines
In land based casinos, slot machine placement is everything but many players believe that the loose slots are hidden in the recesses of casinos in order to limit big winners. While this may have been true at one time, this type of machine placement is rare because ultimately casinos can afford to payout big wins and these actually encourage increased play by visitors who witness them.
When it comes to online casinos, the nature of their games lobby makes it very difficult to "hide" anything as players have all slots titles available at their fingertips.
Slots are "tighter" during peak times
Many people believe that casinos are able to manipulate their slots payout rates during certain times of the day and night and do so, lowering payouts at peak times which means they make more profits. The truth of the matter is that slots payout rates are monitored by regulatory bodies and may only be adjusted with the permission of these which is a very lengthy process that requires the casinos to publish notifications of these changes.
The time and effort required to change these is not something that can just be done in few minutes every day to cater to peak and off peak times.
Jackpots are rigged to payout at peak times
Some slots conspiracy theorists believe that casinos rig their machines to pay jackpots during peak hours and days. The thinking is that if players see someone winning while they are at a casino or playing online, they will be more likely to play themselves.
As we've explained before there is not magic switch that allows a casino to alter their payouts or trigger jackpots, instead, all machines run on Random Number Generators (RNG's) that are programmed to payout randomly.
As you can see from the above, there are valid answers to all slots conspiracy theories and the next time you hear one, you can roll your eyes and rest assured that as with the many commonly held gambling superstitions, slots conspiracy theories are just that...theories with no factual basis.