A regular reader of the site shared a chat post from another site where a casino player claimed that casinos don’t allow players to record because they’re fearful of players catching on to the patterns of a slot machine. Is this true?
STATUS: This is not true for a few reasons.
Let’s start by talking about the recording of the games themselves. When I talk to the various people at companies where game development occurs, they seem to watch out for the videos and so on from players who find the games to see their reactions to them.
In recent years slot channels are getting invited into the various game studios to see works in progress and film games, they’re shown off at events like G2E, and they’re invited to debuts at casinos with increasing frequency, to be the first player on camera to record the game.
Then there’s the casinos, where an increasing number of them are giving authorization to record play, either to specific individuals or broadly. There are thousands of slot channels on YouTube, with countless hours of footage of various games at this point. If this was truly an issue, we’d see a lot more issues around this.
So that would seem to put that to bed pretty easily, or else all sorts of patterns would be broken by now, right?
But if you’ve read my previous posts about the Random Number Generator (or really the fact that it’s pseudo-random), you know the whole point of them is to ensure that the next spin isn’t specifically tied to the last – that any outcome is still possible on the very next spin. Patterns would kill that possibility.
And I’m sure some may say “but what about the Russian Aristocrat example,” but they reverse engineered an RNG, something you won’t be able to do solely off of recording slot play.
OK, so why don’t casinos let players record? Many of these rules predate YouTube or cell phone cameras. The reasons that are floated vary – for security, to avoid cheating, so you don’t capture other patrons on camera – but for the most part the rules just seem to be a lingering artifact of a different time.
In Atlantic City, I’ve been told by multiple slot channels that they have to work through the casinos to get permission from the state in advance (while others will roll the dice and take a chance on getting caught).
The more forward thinking casinos that allow recording will usually instruct the recorders not to capture other patrons on camera, or may restrict some activities like live broadcasts to reduce the risk of that happening, while allowing prerecorded play (that’s what I’ve been told is the current policy at Wynn Las Vegas, at the time I write this anyway).
But ultimately, not allowing recording of the machines is an artifact of another era, that stubbornly hangs on to this day, but over time the ice that this was all frozen in is starting to melt away.