In a previous post I discussed what happens if a power outage interrupts a bonus or other such scenarios on a slot machine. But with the recent scenario of most casinos closing because of Coronavirus, a question came up in one of the forums I frequent:
Do slot machines get turned off during a long outage? And if so, what happens to progressives on a slot machine when a machine is turned off?
First off, as you can see from this photo from Plaza head Jonathan Jossel, machines do indeed get turned off. They’re electronic equipment just like any other computer-driven device, and as such powering them down saves electricity and reduces wear and tear.
This isn’t just because of situations like the casino closures. Sometimes a slot breaks and needs to be fixed, machines get moved around from time to time, and so on. So having the ability to shut the machines down for various reasons is important.
So, on to those progressives. In the previous piece about power outages, I noted the game has the ability to retain the information that is necessary to properly come back after an outage, and that includes where a progressive stands. This allows the above maintenance capabilities to take place without losing track of where a game is.
Many jurisdictions have some specific regulations around progressives because as players play a slot, their wagers fuel the progressive, and the progressive is a part of a machine’s overall payback. In many states, if a game or a machine is decommissioned, the progressive has to be migrated to another game to ensure the money collected for the previous progressive is eventually paid out.
So, slot manufacturers make sure that such data is retained among the critical data it tracks in case of a power outage or power shutdown. If a machine is powered down, it will have recorded in its memory the progressive information, and when the machine comes back up, the progressives will be in their rightful place.