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Is the secrecy of the parametric configuration of slot machines rationally justified? The exposure of the mathematical facts of games of chance as an ethical obligation

Cătălin Bărboianu

Abstract


Slot machines have gained high popularity despite a specific element that could limit their appeal: non-transparency with respect to mathematical parameters. The PAR sheets, which expose the parameters of the design of slot machines and probabilities associated with the winning combinations, are kept secret by game producers, and the lack of data regarding the configuration of a machine prevents people from computing probabilities and other mathematical indicators. In this article, I argue that there is no rational justification for this secrecy for two reasons: one psychological and the other mathematical. For the latter, I show that mathematics provides us with some statistical methods of retrieving the missing data, which are essential for numerical probability computations in slots. The slots case described herein raises the problem of exposing the parametric configuration and mathematical facts of any game of chance as an ethical obligation.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2014.29.6

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