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How do slot machines and other electronic gambling machines actually work?

Nigel Turner, Roger Horbay

Abstract


Slot machines and other electronic gambling machines (EGMs) are gambling devices that offer a variety of games. They are inexpensive to run, which makes it possible for casinos to offer low-stakes betting to a large number of customers. As a result, they have become the most profitable form of gambling. EGMs are found at casinos, on cruise boats, at racetracks, at local bars, and even at corner stores. Slot machines and other EGMs seem to attract a lot of myths. This is partly because of a lack of accurate information on how the machines work and partly due to the design of the machines. In this paper, we will discuss how slot machines really work. Our goal is to demystify the machines in order to demystify the games. We will also discuss some of the myths about slot machines. This paper is intended to serve as a resource for counsellors and prevention workers in the field of problem gambling. It is also intended for people in the general public who wish to understand slot machines.


Keywords


slot machines; problem gambling; random

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2004.11.21

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